Avengers Endgame is three of Marvel’s best films, rolled into one
- The buzz word "inevitability" comes up a few times during the three-hour course of Avengers Endgame.
- What wasn't inevitable was whether directors Joe & Anthony Russo would pull it off: three hours of big-name Marvel superheroes not only juggling a zillion plot threads but doing so in watchable fashion.
- That likelihood became downright questionable after the uneven, sometimes emotionally hollow, and frequently bloated results of last year's Infinity War. But the Russo Brothers didn't just pull off an incredible action-blockbuster experience in Endgame—they made the kind of riveting, funny, full-of-life production that instantly rockets to the top of the MCU's best.
- But Endgame is at its most clever when it utilizes framing and surprises, not clichéd action sequences, to redirect viewers' attention right back where it belongs: the Avengers' relationships, grief, and burning questions.
Millimeter-wave 5G isn’t for widespread coverage, Verizon admits
- Verizon's early rollout of millimeter-wave 5G is producing high speeds and throughput, but the high-frequency spectrum isn't suitable for widespread coverage, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg said today.
- One day after T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray wrote that millimeter-wave spectrum "will never materially scale beyond small pockets of 5G hotspots in dense urban environments," wireless industry analyst Craig Moffett asked Vestberg about Ray's statement during a Verizon earnings call.
- Later in the earnings call, analyst Walter Piecyk pressed Vestberg on his millimeter-wave statement, saying it seemed like a change from Verizon's optimism about the frequency ranges.
- T-Mobile and Verizon both have high-frequency spectrum licenses in the 28GHz and 39GHz ranges, which they can use for high speeds in densely populated urban areas.
- For 5G in rural areas, then, the carriers seem likely to focus on making better use of lower-frequency spectrum instead of deploying millimeter-wave networks to any significant extent.
Crap artists rejoice! MS Paint is getting a last-minute reprieve
- Long, long ago, Microsoft quietly announced that it was going to remove the venerable mspaint.exe from Windows 10.
- Microsoft said that Paint would still be installable from the Store, but it was no longer going to be included by default.
- The app was even updated to include a "Product alert" button on its ribbon that, when clicked, showed a message box to warn that Paint would soon be moving to the Store.
- Paint's role would be filled by the new Paint 3D application, which contains most Paint features, as well as lots of 3D things.
- But there's good news.
- The very latest builds of the Windows 10 May 2019 Update have removed the "Product alert" button, and Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc has confirmed that Paint will in fact continue to be shipped with Windows 10.
Swirling patterns in Starry Night match those in gassy star nurseries
- Now, two Australian graduate students have mathematically analyzed the painting and concluded it shares the same turbulent features as molecular clouds (where literal stars are born).
- In particular, she talked about how van Gogh's technique allowed him (and other Impressionist painters) to represent the movement of light across water or in the twinkling of stars.
- Aragón and his colleagues decided to find out if that perceived connection between the turbulence in the dust eddies around a star and van Gogh's famous painting might hold up mathematically.
- They found evidence of something remarkably close to Kolmogorov scaling, not just in Starry Night, but also in two other paintings from the same period in van Gogh's life: Wheatfield with Crows and Road with Cypress and Star (both painted in 1890).
- Like Aragón et al., they found evidence of turbulent scaling in Starry Night.
Twitter shuts down 5,000 pro-Trump bots retweeting anti-Mueller report invective
- Twitter has suspended over 5,000 accounts tied to a network amplifying a message denouncing the report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as a "RussiaGate hoax." According to a researcher, the accounts—most of which had only posted three or four times in the past—were connected to other accounts previously used to post pro-Saudi messages.
- Last October, a group of accounts propagated messages praising Saudi leadership and used a hashtag that translates from Arabic as "We all trust Mohammad Bin Salman." The accounts also denounced reports tying Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman to the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi as "false statements" by those "waging a war against the Kingdom." And according to a New York Times report last October, the Saudis had a spy working inside Twitter to help track dissent on the platform—and had an army of over 100 people working as a "troll farm" to go after dissidents like Khashoggi online.
Listen up: We’ve detected our first marsquake
- After landing on Mars last November, the InSight probe first deployed a suite of meteorological equipment and then began to check the health of its science instruments.
- Following this, the NASA lander extended its French-made seismometer to the red planet's surface in December, then commissioned the instrument in early February.
- This marsquake was not strong enough to tell scientists much about the interior of Mars, but they expect future, stronger quakes to provide this information.
- Meanwhile, NASA and its international partners are continuing to troubleshoot a probe known as the "mole," which is a part of the lander designed to dig up to five meters into the surface to provide additional information about the Martian interior.
- Shortly after beginning to hammer itself into the surface two months ago, the mole's progress stopped, and scientists are investigating whether the probe has struck a rock or a layer of gravel that is impeding its progress.
Intel puts 8 cores, 16 threads, and a 5GHz turbo option in a laptop processor
- The first processors to include Intel's ninth-generation Core branding came out last year with a limited line-up: just a handful of high-end desktop processors in the Coffee Lake family.
- This is a 45W processor with eight cores, 16 threads, and 16MB of cache, with a base clock speed of 2.4GHz and a turbo speed of 5GHz. The "K" on the name also indicates that the chip is overclockable: for those truly monstrous gaming laptops with high-powered cooling systems, you'll be able to go beyond the default speeds.
- At the top end is the i9-9900: eight cores, 16 threads, a base of 3.1GHz, and a peak of 5.0GHz. The big difference between this and the already-shipping 9900K and 9900KF is the power use: it's a 65W chip, whereas the other two are 95W, and it's not overclockable.
The OnePlus 7 (and 7 Pro) are launching May 14
- Further ReadingOnePlus 6T Review: Amazing value with an even more amazing fingerprint readerWe've already seen a bit of the OnePlus 7 Pro. We posted renders in March showing an all-screen OnePlus phone with a pop-up camera and three cameras.
- A OnePlus teaser claims the company's new phone will be "Fast and smooth," and in an interview with The Verge, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau said the Pro would have a new display that was three times more expensive than the display used on previous models.
- A report from Android Central claims this is in reference to a 1440p, 90Hz display coming to the OnePlus 7 Pro. Normal smartphone displays run at 60Hz (60 frames per second), but lately we've seen devices like the iPad Pro and the Razor Phone 2 ship with a 120Hz display.
- As for the regular OnePlus 7, renders from OnLeaks claim it looks just like the OnePlus 6T, with a slightly tweaked rear camera setup.
Check out Batman’s and Marty McFly’s rides at the Petersen Museum
- A new exhibition will open shortly at Los Angeles' wonderful Petersen Automotive Museum.
- It's called "Hollywood Dream Machines: Vehicles of Science Fiction and Fantasy," and as the name suggests, it features the two- and four-wheel stars of movies and video games, most of which will be very familiar to anyone with a passing interest in depictions of dystopian futures or speculative fiction.
- Some of the featured vehicles will be more instantly recognizable than others.
- I'm sure everyone is familiar with Batmobiles and the time machine from Back to the Future.
- Others might be a little more obscure, like the Weyland Industries RT01 Group Transport from Prometheus, or Frankenstein's Corvette from Death Race 2000.
- And they aren't all from films, either.
- Halo's iconic Warthog will be on display, and along with the BTTF DeLorean, you can don a HoloLens to check it out in augmented reality.
Dealmaster: Save on a bunch of PC accessories in Amazon’s Gold Box sale
- Today's list is headlined by a number of deals on PC gear and accessories over at Amazon, which has them all rounded up in its latest one-day Gold Box sale.
- These aren't the highest-profile devices around, but the sale includes discounts on a number of storage solutions, gaming mice, PC building equipment, and networking gear.
- Highlights include $10 off the 2TB variant of Seagate's Backup Plus Slim portable hard drive, $70 off the 10TB version of WD's Elements desktop hard drive, the Destiny 2 version of Razer's DeathAdder Elite gaming mouse for $40, a version of Netgear's Orbi mesh Wi-Fi system for $200, and, if you want to splurge, a new low on AMD's high-end Ryzen Threadripper 2950X processor.
- If you're not interested in new PC gear, we also have deals on Dell's newest XPS 13 laptop (which we really liked), the acclaimed board game Gloomhaven (ditto), Anker's MFi-certified USB-C to Lightning cables, and much more.