Blue Origin moves closer to human spaceflight with 12th New Shepard launch

Blue-Origin-NS-12-landingBlue-Origin-NS-12-landing

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Jeff Bezos -founded Blue Origin has recorded another successful mission for its New Shepard sub-orbital launch vehicle, which is a key step as it readies the spacecraft for human spaceflight. This is also the six flight of this re-used booster, which is a record for Blue Origin in terms of relying and recovering one of its rocket stages.” data-reactid=”18″>Jeff Bezos -founded Blue Origin has recorded another successful mission for its New Shepard sub-orbital launch vehicle, which is a key step as it readies the spacecraft for human spaceflight. This is also the six flight of this re-used booster, which is a record for Blue Origin in terms of relying and recovering one of its rocket stages.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="This is the ninth time that Blue Origin has flown commercial payloads aboard New Shepard, and each launch moves it one step closer to demonstrating the system’s readiness for carrying crew on board. This launch carried experimental payloads on board that will be used for research, including materials used in student studies. It also had thousands of postcards on board written by students from around the world, which were submitted to the Club for the Future non-profit set up by Blue Origin earlier this year to provide educational resources about space to schools and students.” data-reactid=”19″>This is the ninth time that Blue Origin has flown commercial payloads aboard New Shepard, and each launch moves it one step closer to demonstrating the system’s readiness for carrying crew on board. This launch carried experimental payloads on board that will be used for research, including materials used in student studies. It also had thousands of postcards on board written by students from around the world, which were submitted to the Club for the Future non-profit set up by Blue Origin earlier this year to provide educational resources about space to schools and students.

Blue Origin intends to fly paying space tourists aboard New Shepard eventually, along with other commercial astronauts making the trip for research and other missions. Up to six passengers can fit in Blue Origin’s capsule atop the New Shepard, but we don’t yet know when it’ll actually be carrying anyone on board, either for testing or for commercial flights.

The Game Awards will run a 48-hour demo 'festival'

This won’t scratch your itch if you’re hoping to play a just-announced blockbuster. If this pilot works out, though, it wouldn’t be surprising if larger studios (or at least more studios) used this as a way to provide peeks at games beyond the usual trailers. Think of it as continuing what Konami’s P.T. started — only this time you’ll probably get the finished product.

YouTube app joins the billion-dollar club thanks to in-app purchases

People are spending a lot of money in the YouTube app. 

The Google-owned platform has taken in more than $563 million in 2019, bringing the app’s lifetime revenue to more than $1 billion, according to new analysis from app analytics firm Sensor Tower.

That milestone places YouTube amongst an elite group of just a handful of non-gaming apps to hit the $1 billion mark. Sensor Tower only looked at revenue from in-app purchases and subscriptions, so the $1 billion doesn’t reflect YouTube’s ad revenue, or what the company has made from the YouTube Music or YouTube TV apps.

YouTube has consistently ranked as one of the most-downloaded apps, so it’s not necessarily surprising that it’s also a major moneymaker for the company. Google has been notoriously secretive about YouTube revenue, but Sensor Tower’s report highlights just how much in-app spending has spiked in the last year. 

YouTube users spent more than $563 million in the app in 2019 so far, compared with $277 million in 2018, according to Sensor Tower. And spending outsides of the United States has been growing even more quickly, jumping from $53.8 million in 2018 to $181.7 million in 2019. 

Spending in the YouTube app jumped in 2019.

Spending in the YouTube app jumped in 2019.

Image: sesnor Tower

A big part of that is likely due to YouTube’s expansion of its monetization features for channel owners, like SuperChat, or the ability to sell products

“Today, thousands of channels have more than doubled their YouTube revenue by using new features that help fans engage with creators, like Super Chat, Channel Memberships, and Merchandise,” YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki wrote last month. “More than 100,000 channels have received Super Chat, and some streams are earning more than $400 per minute as fans reach out.”

YouTube didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, but Sensor Tower’s analysis indicates these efforts are starting to pay off — literally. 

Atomico VCs say that "everybody cares" in Europe about where the startup dollars are coming from

Sophia Bendz, Siraj Khaliq, Hiro Tamura and Niall Wass (Atomico)DSC00081Sophia Bendz, Siraj Khaliq, Hiro Tamura and Niall Wass (Atomico)DSC00081

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Today, on stage at TechCrunch Berlin, four of Atomico’s most senior partners took the stage together for the first time, flying into the city from London, Stockholm, and Geneva to talk about a wide range of issues. Among the many things we discussed were direct listings, secondary investments, and the firm’s sweet spot, which, despite its global reach, largely remains on pan-European companies and largely startups needing Series A stage funding, to which Atomico typically writes checks of between $5 million and $15 million in exchange for an ownership stake of between 15 and 20 percent.” data-reactid=”18″>Today, on stage at TechCrunch Berlin, four of Atomico’s most senior partners took the stage together for the first time, flying into the city from London, Stockholm, and Geneva to talk about a wide range of issues. Among the many things we discussed were direct listings, secondary investments, and the firm’s sweet spot, which, despite its global reach, largely remains on pan-European companies and largely startups needing Series A stage funding, to which Atomico typically writes checks of between $5 million and $15 million in exchange for an ownership stake of between 15 and 20 percent.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="We also spent some time talking about the changing complexion of investors in Europe, where pension funds contributed just $902 million of the roughly $13 billion that investment firms in Europe raised last year, according to Atomico's own research — and we discussed why more money came from outside of Europe to fund regional startups than within it.” data-reactid=”19″>We also spent some time talking about the changing complexion of investors in Europe, where pension funds contributed just $902 million of the roughly $13 billion that investment firms in Europe raised last year, according to Atomico’s own research — and we discussed why more money came from outside of Europe to fund regional startups than within it.

We’re zooming in on that part of the conversation for readers; if you missed our discussion and would like to check out other parts of it, you can find it below.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="TC: It was surprising to read in your recent state of European tech report that pension funds don’t account for more of the money being raised by venture firms, that much more of the funding continues to come from family offices and high net-worth individuals. Is the problem structural? Is it cultural?” data-reactid=”21″>TC: It was surprising to read in your recent state of European tech report that pension funds don’t account for more of the money being raised by venture firms, that much more of the funding continues to come from family offices and high net-worth individuals. Is the problem structural? Is it cultural?

HT: I think the world is waking up to the fact that European venture has comparative performance today with U.S. venture returns. There’s research in that area that’s relatively authoritative in that area.

As a function that yes you’re right [that this an issue]. Pension funds in Europe have roughly $4 trillion under management, but a billion dollars [invested last year in venture firms] is a three-fold increase from the year before, so it is material. But as you say, if you think about the $4 trillion that they are managing, it could probably be put to good use deploying capital into venture capital funds that are looking to change the world in a positive way, because that is what impacts the pensioners who are behind that capital. [So] hopefully we’ll continue to see that trend because there’s more to do there.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="TC: Also interesting from your report is the fact that $13 billion from European VCs has been plugged into startups over the last year, which means two-thirds is coming from somewhere else. Where?” data-reactid=”24″>TC: Also interesting from your report is the fact that $13 billion from European VCs has been plugged into startups over the last year, which means two-thirds is coming from somewhere else. Where?

SK: This is the way it should be. The companies that that we think should be coming from Europe — a lot of the ones we look to back — are by ambition global companies, And being global also means having investors from other regions, so it’s not a bad thing. I don’t think we should be as investors saying, ‘Well, the funding has to all come from here.’ I think it’s a sign of success that European companies are getting investments from Chinese investors, from U.S. investors, which is really what’s happening.

HT: The universe of tech is expanding to involve many industries, so what’s naturally happening is that a lot of different types of venture capital, strategic, corporate, and individual [investors are]  all getting involved in what is actually happening.  I think that a reflection of where tech is going well, and has been going for the several years if not decades.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="TC: Are you seeing more money specifically coming from China because of the ongoing trade war between the coutry and the U.S.?” data-reactid=”27″>TC: Are you seeing more money specifically coming from China because of the ongoing trade war between the coutry and the U.S.?

SR: There’s an interesting point there, which is that [for] certain kinds of companies, particularly a lot of frontier, deep tech companies that are considered sensitive. Europe is kind of neutral ground, so we can get customers from the U.S., customers from China,  and there are examples like Graphcore, one of our portfolio companies, where you know this is tech that is not [saddled] with restrictions that might come with some ongoing spat, and that’s an advantage for us.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="TC: In the US, over the last 10 or 15, years, far more money from the Middle East sovereign wealth funds has come into the US, raised by venture firms. Given that some of these regions don’t exactly have unimpeachable human rights records, there’s a lot of debate in the U.S. about whether or not founders and VCs should be taking theirmoney. Do European startups care? Do European venture capital firms care?” data-reactid=”29″>TC: In the US, over the last 10 or 15, years, far more money from the Middle East sovereign wealth funds has come into the US, raised by venture firms. Given that some of these regions don’t exactly have unimpeachable human rights records, there’s a lot of debate in the U.S. about whether or not founders and VCs should be taking theirmoney. Do European startups care? Do European venture capital firms care?

HS: I think so, not only [do they care] about what they’re doing in terms of what you know impact to the world, but what type of capital they are choosing, And more people who are becoming founders and entrepreneurs are clearly sensitive, and the people who are tackling big missions and big problems are clearly sensitive in terms of alignment with their investors. And I think that is something that will continue to be a trend that we see with the matching of the type of capital, the investor, and the entrepreneur. I think that will definitely be a continuing trend that we see.

SR: We’re very selective with our [own] LPs. A lot of our LPs are pension funds, which is a really nice virtuous cycle. The pensioners are doing well off of the investment performance that we’re working hard to deliver. And then the founders can feel good about the fact that in many cases, you know, the majority of money may be [from] pensioners.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="TC: Your LPs are mostly pension funds? And family offices? And mainly European investors?” data-reactid=”36″>TC: Your LPs are mostly pension funds? And family offices? And mainly European investors?

SR: I don’t have the stats at hand but I’d say mainly European, yeah.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/themes/techcrunch-2017/features/shortcodes/vidible-callback-js.php?id=1” data-reactid=”38″>https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/themes/techcrunch-2017/features/shortcodes/vidible-callback-js.php?id=1

Here’s a list of portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

Electronics are getting smaller and smaller, and we all seem to have our own special must-have gadgets that we never leave home without. You probably already have a smartphone with you whenever you leave the house, but that’s not to say there couldn’t be a few more conveniences. If you’re in the market for some new tech or a few cool add-ons, we’ve rounded up a large handful of palm-sized devices to add to your EDC loadout. If you know where to look, you can get affordable prices on key finders, SD cards, car USB chargers, headphones, portable speakers, and more.

Below are some of our favorite portable tech deals going right now, from a folding keyboard to a cheap smartwatch. Not only do these deals fit in your pocket, but they’re also generally cheap enough that you can fit them into your budget, as well.

Tile Mate Item Finder 4-Pack Combo — $30

tile mate key finder valentines day sale

The one major drawback with cool tiny gadgets these days is that they can easily get lost. If you need some help keeping tabs on the small stuff, Tile Mate item finders are just the ticket. The keychain-sized Tile Mate is a diminutive 1.3 inches long and is just 0.2 inches thick. Simply attach a tracker to any item and you can use the Tile companion app to locate it virtually anywhere. Even without the app, you can still find nearby items by remotely making the Tile vibrate, flash, or ring.

A single Tile costs around $22, but this four-pack of Tile Mate trackers is available from Amazon for $30 with free shipping. Also, be sure to take a look at some of the best Bluetooth trackers for more options.

Anker PowerCore 10,000mAh power bank — $26

portable power bank

If the palm-sized portable chargers whet your appetite for cool gadgets but you want something with a bit more juice, the Anker PowerCore 10,000 is another excellent pocket-friendly power bank. Its 10,000mAh battery can charge your iPhone multiple times, even though this PowerCore is barely larger in length and width than a credit card.

Like other Anker power banks, this unit also boasts Anker’s proprietary PowerIQ and VoltageBoost technology, which optimizes charging speed for different devices, ensuring that you’re not waiting around too long for your gadgets to recharge. This very practical charger rings in at just $26 on Amazon.

Anker portable SD card reader — $10

portable tech gadgets

SD and MicroSD cards are a cheap, portable way to move tons of data, but not all computers have slots to accept them, and even laptops that do typically only have one. Plus, if you only have a MicroSD card, then you need an additional adapter to use it with the SD card reader anyway.

The Anker USB 3.0 SD card reader can make your life a little easier. It has SD and MicroSD card slots that let you read and write both simultaneously on any computer. It’s compatible with all types of MicroSD cards, too, and will only set you back $10 from Amazon. This is a great piece of equipment for photographers and on-the-go professionals.

Anker PowerDrive Speed 2 car USB charger — $18

portable tech gadgets - Anker car charger

Another great gadget from Anker isn’t necessarily one you’ll carry in your pocket all day, but it is nonetheless something you don’t want to leave home without: a speedy car charger. The PowerDrive Speed 2 USB charger plugs right into your car’s 12V outlet and features two high-speed USB ports that pump out 30 watts of combined power for juicing up your tech.

Anker’s IQ2 technology allows this handy charger to detect and automatically optimize the power output for compatible devices, letting it power many phones up to 80 percent in about 35 minutes. You can score the PowerDrive Speed 2 car charger for $18.

Panasonic ErgoFit earbuds — $8

portable tech gadgets

A good pair of earbuds is invaluable if you’re frequently on the move and don’t want to be without your music and other entertainment, and when it comes to in-ear headphones, you can’t beat a classic: The Panasonic ErgoFit earbuds remain one of the best and most popular pairs you can buy, with more than 50,000 Amazon reviews. If you don’t want to dish out the cash for a pair of wireless earphones like the AirPods, these headphone earbuds are available in a variety of colors at around $8 on Amazon (and a just few bucks more for the model with an in-line microphone).

Mpow EM1 Bluetooth earpiece — $17

portable tech gadgets Mpow Bluetooth earpiece

Gone are yesterday’s bulky, goofy-looking Bluetooth earpieces — a quality miniature Bluetooth earbud like this one from Mpow is a simple, lightweight, and low-profile way to use your phone totally hands-free. Whether you’re on the road or just walking about and want to keep both of your hands untied, this handy mono headset lets you make and receive calls without even having to take out your phone.

The Mpow Bluetooth earbud is a cheap portable gadget at its usual price of $18-20, but the black model is available for a little bit cheaper, letting you score this mini earpiece for just $17 from Amazon.

Tophome earbud holder and cord organizer – $7

portable tech gadgets

Earbuds are great to have on you, but having the cable become a tangled mess in your bag or pocket is no fun to deal with (and it always seems to happen no matter how neatly you tuck them away). The Tophome earbud holder and cord organizer, made of thick genuine leather, ensures you never have to deal with that hassle again.

This is the perfect gift for anyone who hates tangled cords, and is currently just $7 from Amazon, so it’s a smart purchase for traveling techies.

RavPower Luster mini power bank — $17

portable tech gadgets - RavPower mini power bank

Power banks are one of those cool gadgets you want to have with you when you’re out and about, allowing you to give your portable tech a power boost without having to hunt around for the nearest outlet or USB port. The RavPower Luster mini power bank takes this portability to the next level with its pocket-friendly size and 3,350mAh internal battery. RavPower’s iSmart technology also automatically detects the proper voltage for your device to deliver faster charging on the go.

Although the pocket-sized Luster mini power bank won’t fully charge your smart devices multiple times over, the 3,350mAh battery is sufficient for a full or near-full charge for most smartphones. You can score this handy portable charger for $17 on Amazon, and give your iPhone the extra juice it needs.

Tesla Coil USB rechargeable lighter — $18

New Tech Gadgets

Need a light? Electric lighters like this one put a whole new spin on old-school designs. Fluid lighters can be messy and can run out of fuel quickly — the famous Zippo, while an all-American classic, is notorious for this — not to mention that lighter fluid and butane canisters are an extra expense. The Tesla Coil arc lighter, on the other hand, uses an internal rechargeable battery to project a windproof electric arc that is produced instead of a flame. The design is environmentally friendly and delivers up to 300 lights on a single charge.

When it needs more juice, simply plug it in and power it up via the included USB charging cable. No wicks, flints, fluid, or gases to fuss around with. You can score this unique tech gadget for just $18 from Amazon.

Amir clip-on smartphone camera lenses – $14

Cool Tech Gadgets

If you love to take pictures with your phone but find the camera’s capabilities a little bit limiting, then this top tech gadget is for you. The Amir clip-on camera lenses feature sturdy aluminum-and-glass construction. The bundle contains a 180-degree fisheye lens, a 0.4x super wide-angle lens, and a 10x macro zoom lens for detailed close-up shots. The metal housing is also water- and dust-resistant.

The universal clip-on design works with most popular brands of Android phones as well as the latest Apple iPhones. The Amir smartphone camera lenses come in at just $14 on Amazon. With most smartphones already sporting a high-resolution camera, this awesome attachment is a great piece of EDC gear for any burgeoning photographer — though it’s not that good for selfies.

Travelambo RFID wallet — $7-15

portable tech gadgets RFID wallet

A good RFID wallet provides an extra layer of security for the digital age, keeping your credit and ID cards safe from remote readers. You don’t have to sacrifice style for function, however, thanks to the leather Travelambo wallet.

This minimalist wallet is made of genuine leather lined with RFID-blocking material. It has six card slots, an ID window, and a compartment where you can tuck away a few bills. Best of all: It’ll only set you back $7 to $15 from Amazon depending on your color choice (there are a ton), making it a pretty smart purchase for security-conscious individuals.

Samsung Evo Select MicroSD card and adapter — $7

portable tech gadgets

It never hurts to have a bit of extra storage (especially when you’re frequently on the move), and now you can replace those bulky thumb drives with this super-compact MicroSD card from Samsung. The Evo Select MicroSD card offers a lot of space and speed for the money, with 95MB per second read and 20MB-per-second write speeds. It even comes with an SD adapter (or you can use it with the Anker card reader if your computer lacks an SD card slot).

The Samsung Evo Select MicroSD card with SD adapter can be yours from Amazon for as little as $7 for the 32GB model.

Streamlight 73001 Nano keychain flashlight — $9

Tech Gadget

Many of us have flashlights on our phones, but they aren’t always convenient to use or the best option. This nano torch from Streamlight, one of the best flashlight makers around, is the perfect addition to any keychain. This powerful and compact flashlight is perfect for navigating small, dimly lit spaces or just providing LED light where it’s needed the most.

The Streamlight 73001 keychain flashlight is available for around $9 on Amazon, and makes the perfect night light when you need it most.

Gerber Shard keychain tool — $7

portable tech gadgets - Gerber Shard

You never know when you’re going to need a tool to get the job done, but carrying around a tool bag with you everywhere you go is both impractical and unfashionable. That’s why the Gerher Shard keychain tool is one of the most useful gadgets on our list. It comes with a miniature built-in prybar, a bottle opener, a screwdriver that does double-duty as a Philips and flat head, and unlike most other multitools, it doesn’t have a blade so it’s totally TSA-approved.

You can pick up this must-have keychain multitool for just $7 at Walmart and it’s cheap enough that you can keep a spare in your car just in case.

Jelly Comb folding Bluetooth keyboard – $30

portable tech gadgets - Jelly Comb Bluetooth keyboard

These folding keyboards are nothing new, but most of them — even fairly compact models — aren’t very pocket-friendly gear. This folding wireless keyboard from Jelly Comb is the perfect solution, giving you a miniature set of QWERTY keys that folds down to roughly the size of a large smartphone for easy storage. Its metal and polymer construction is both durable and light, weighing in at roughly seven ounces.

The Jelly Comb folding wireless keyboard is compatible with any Bluetooth-capable iPhone, Windows, or Android phone or tablet, and is available for $30 from Amazon.

Bellabeat Leaf health tracker — $100-131

portable tech gadgets Bellabeat Leaf

The Bellabeat Leaf health tracker is the fitness tracker that she’ll actually want to wear. This fitness accessory can be worn as a necklace or bracelet without looking bulky or obtrusive, and syncs with both iOS and Android to collect activity metrics via the companion app.

The Bellabeat tracks steps taken, calories burned, sleep quality, stress levels, menstrual cycles, and more. You can pick up this perfect hands-free tech gift for as low as $100 right now, and check out our review to see why we love the Bellabeat family of stylish health trackers.

Ewa A106 Bluetooth speaker — $17

portable tech gadgets

Wireless speakers are arguably the most popular implementation of Bluetooth technology today, allowing you to take your music virtually anywhere. Most of these speakers won’t easily fit in your pocket, but this one from Ewa is an exception. This tiny, cool tech gadget packs a six-hour battery life, delivering great sound from a package that fits in the palm of your hand.

Measuring less than two inches on each side, the Ewa speaker can be your pocket party companion for as little as $17 from Amazon. It may not come with Alexa like the Amazon Echo hub, but it’s a great way to bring your music with you.

Looking for more great stuff? Find tech deals and much more on our curated deals page.

We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose what we cover carefully and independently. The prices, details, and availability of the products and deals in this post may be subject to change at anytime. Be sure to check that they are still in effect before making a purchase.

Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.

Editors’ Recommendations

Twitter now lets you make GIFs out of iOS Live Photos

Rejoice, iOS Live Photos have found yet another purpose!

Twitter announced today that it will allow users to take Live Photos from their iPhone or other iOS device and upload the media as a GIF in their tweet.

To take advantage of this new feature, all you have to do is upload a Live Photo as you would any other still image. Twitter will be able to tell if it’s a Live Photo and will then provide a simple GIF button, which turns the image into a GIF with a simple tap.

For those living under a rock and unfamiliar with what a Live Photo is, Apple provides an option to record 1.5 seconds of 15fps video before and after a user snaps a pic on an iPhone or iPad.

Live Photos are a very cool iOS feature that unfortunately suffers a bit from Apple’s notoriously closed ecosystem. Other than iOS devices and Apple’s own Photo app on Mac, many services do not provide support for Live Photos. 

A note: I personally implore you to review your Live Photo a few times before rushing to upload it to Twitter. There have been numerous occasions of people sending pics to family, friends, and co-workers without realizing they were Live Photos. For example, this woman snapped a pic of her new engagement ring without realizing she was in Live Photo mode and accidentally caught her man’s member in the background.

But wait. There’s more … The microblogging platform will also now preserve the quality of JPEG images uploaded to the site. So, in case you do end up accidentally snapping a pic of your soon-to-be (I assume!) husband’s dick, rest assured it’ll be crystal clear when you upload it.

Twitter will now let you post iOS Live Photos as GIFs

Live Photos are one of Apple’s signature camera options on iOS, making your photos look like one of the living photographs in Harry Potter. But if you’ve tried to post that Live Photo on Twitter, it would render as a still photo, taking away some of that magic. You could use an app to convert that Live Photo into a GIF and post that new GIF on its own, but that might be more work than you’d want to do.

Starting today, though, Twitter says you can now just post Live Photos as GIFs directly on the platform, no conversion required:

The feature is pretty easy to use, at least from the Twitter iOS app. When drafting a tweet, select a photo from your camera roll, then tap the “GIF” button in the lower-left corner of the photo in your tweet compose window. Then, when you post the tweet, that photo will be a GIF:

I think Live Photos are really fun, so I hope people use this feature to add a little more life to the photos they post on Twitter. At the very least, this new feature let me give the world another GIF of a goat.

'The Matrix 4' premieres in theaters on May 21st, 2021

There still isn’t much known about the plot of the fourth movie, although its cast is filling out. Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss are still the only returning actors known to have roles. Neil Patrick Harris, Jessica Henwick (Nymeria from Game of Thrones) and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Us and Watchmen) are also slated to appear. Co-creator Lana Wachowski is also involved, although she’ll share production and writing duties this time around. If there’s any certainty, it’s that expectations and anxiety are equally high. This could breathe new life into The Matrix and its visions of robot-controlled virtual worlds, or it could be another flawed attempt to cash in on a beloved classic.

San Francisco doesn’t want to be tech’s petri dish anymore

San Francisco legislators have had it with the tech industry’s wacky ideas spilling onto the streets.

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors passed legislation that aims to prevent tech companies from using the city as a test ground.

Essentially, tech companies won’t just be able to drop a new product into the world and see what happens — without getting government approval first. 

That’s in contrast to how companies like Uber and Airbnb have operated in the past. E-scooter companies like Bird are especially notorious for letting their products loose on street without considering the consequences. Governments have been struggling to keep up with regulating the scooters ever since.

To prevent similar madness, the legislation, introduced by Supervisor Norman Yee, will establish a new government organization called the Office of Emerging Technology. Tech companies will have to attain permits through the office before they unleash their creations on the city. That will apply to transportation (like e-scooters), delivery drones and robots, and whatever else entrepreneurs want to test in public. 

The legislation does not specify exactly what kind of technology the office will govern; instead, it’s about the “where.” Anything that impacts “roads, sidewalks, and public spaces” will be subject to oversight, according to a legislative FAQ from Supervisor Yee’s office. 

There’s also not a lot of detail yet about what will help get a project rubber stamped. But if a project demonstrates “net public good,” it will have a better chance.

The office isn’t just assuming that tech companies will follow the new guidelines. Companies that drop products like they’re hot into the city without proper permitting will be subject to increasingly severe fines.

“We don’t want to start off in a punitive way,” Ivy Lee, an aide to Norman Yee, told Mashable. However, “there’s an escalating ladder of fines that are part of the legislation.” 

Various fines could reach $1,600, but the office is still working out the exact scale, and how it would be applied. (For example, would violations be levied based on the number of offending objects, or would a single company be subject to a single fine?)

According to the AP, tech and business leaders are not stoked. But Lee said that many tech companies worked with Yee’s office on the legislation to make sure all parties could comply.

Naughty Dog is donating the money from its ‘Jak and Daxter’ reissues

Money from the games (Jak and Daxter, Jak 2, Jak 3 and Jak X: Combat Racing), which were released with help from Limited Run Games, will support K9 for Warriors, Child’s Play, Surfrider Foundation, LGBT Center for Los Angeles, Able Gamers and DAGERS.

“We’re proud to lend our support to these groups advocating and advancing important work for accessibility, environmental conservation, veterans, the LGBTQ+ community, and children’s hospitals,” Naughty Dog President Evan Wells wrote in a blog post.

We don’t know exactly how much Naughty Dog is donating, but whatever the amount, it’s nice to see the gaming community giving back. Last month, Desert Bus for Hope raised $864,415.01 for the Child’s Play hospital charity, and earlier this year, Ubisoft pledged to donate $564,000 to help rebuild Notre-Dame.

If you’re inspired to do a little good, we’ve rounded up a few charities that deliver gifts to those in need.