Technology

Watch Elon Musk play Wario, parody SpaceX, and hype dogecoin on Saturday Night Live

As you’ve surely heard, last night’s guest host on Saturday Night Live was not a charismatic movie actor promoting a new project but instead an endlessly hyped CEO named Elon Musk. Over the course of an hour and a half, SNL had Musk dress up as a misunderstood Wario, mock some of his more questionable ideas during a cowboy sketch, and play a version of himself set some years into a future where SpaceX has made it to Mars. Musk’s partner, Grimes, also made a cameo appearance as Princess Peach. I’ll let you guess which sketch. While the show was streamed internationally on YouTube last night, those of us in the United States who don’t pay for cable were stuck waiting for clips to appear the following morning. As of press time, it is now the following morning. And as expected, the clips have ...

Clubhouse comes to Android after more than a year of iOS exclusivity

After more than a year of iOS exclusivity, social audio platform Clubhouse is releasing its Android app. It will be available in beta on Google’s mobile OS today in the US, allowing users to sign up and participate in its audio-only chat rooms. “Our plan over the next few weeks is to collect feedback from the community, fix any issues we see and work to add a few final features like payments and club creation before rolling it out more broadly,” the company said in a blog post. The Android app, which the company says has been the top request from its community by far, will roll out to other English-speaking markets and the rest of the world in the days and weeks ahead, the company said. Users outside the US will be able to pre-register for access via the Clubhouse page in the Google Play s...

The Call of Duty League’s champions are being honored at Verdansk Stadium in Warzone

The champions of the first season of the Call of Duty League are being honored in a unique way: with their faces plastered at the stadium in Call of Duty: Warzone. Today, Activision revealed that the front entrance to Verdansk Stadium in Warzone will soon display a giant rendition of the CDL trophy, along with pennants featuring all five members of the Dallas Empire who were crowned champions for the 2020 season. It’s a unique kind of crossover and an example of how game developers and publishers are able to leverage popular games to promote esports. In the past, games like League of Legends and Overwatch have introduced unique skins to celebrate championship teams or players. But this move by the CDL is more akin to traditional sports, where championship banners are raised in local stadiu...

Elon Musk’s SpaceX is literally launching a Dogecoin-funded satellite to the Moon

SpaceX is now accepting Dogecoin, and it’ll be paid exclusively in the cryptocurrency to launch an upcoming satellite named DOGE-1 to — yes — the Moon. The DOGE-1 is a cubesat meant to acquire “lunar-spatial intelligence” using onboard cameras and sensors. It’s being sent and paid for by a company named Geometric Energy Corporation, and it’ll be flown up on a Falcon 9 rocket in the first quarter of 2022. Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency that started out as a goofy meme and is now a somewhat more valuable goofy meme, has been on the rise lately, with enough trading around spikes in the currency to cause crashes of the trading app Robinhood. Elon Musk is the coin’s highest profile supporter, tweeting Dogecoin memes, referring to himself as the “Dogefather,” and hyping it up (sort of) on Saturday N...

Apple Shortcuts is great, but it needs a notification toggle

Apple’s Shortcuts app is a fantastic piece of iOS, a nearly limitless corner of the operating system that lets users automate almost anything they can think of, limited only by imagination and ability to use Apple’s coding system (Federico Viticci’s comprehensive collection on MacStories is a great place to start.) But Shortcuts has an issue so awful it renders it one of the most annoying parts of my phone, instead of one of the most useful: Apple insists on always showing notifications when I do something, and it’s virtually impossible to turn it off. Yes, I am aware that there is an extremely janky hack for disabling notifications on Shortcuts on a global level. The trick, as detailed by HowToGeek, involves going to the Screen Time part of settings and toggling back and forth between wee...

An out-of-control Chinese rocket has re-entered Earth’s atmosphere

The 100-foot-tall, 22-metric-ton Chinese Long March 5B rocket that launched the first chunk of Beijing’s new space station last month has reentered Earth’s atmosphere near the Maldives, China’s Manned Space Engineering Office reported. Scientists, amateur satellite trackers and the Pentagon had been monitoring the dead rocket stage’s location for over a week amid fears it would reenter over a populated area. US Space Command, which helps locate space junk and man-made satellites in Earth orbit, said the rocket “re-entered over the Arabian Peninsula at approximately 10:15 p.m. EDT,” adding it was unknown if the debris impacted land or water. “Everyone else following the #LongMarch5B re-entry can relax. The rocket is down,” tweeted Space Track, a website that had been using Space Command dat...

Every other EV brand showed up to Elon Musk’s SNL

At least five of Tesla’s competitors bought ad time during Saturday Night Live hosted by Elon Musk, using the billionaire’s appearance to sell their own. non-Tesla EVs. Commercials for the Audi E-tron, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Volkswagen ID 4, and Lucid Air all aired within the first 30 minutes of SNL. Lucid Motors, a company founded by Peter Rawlinson, the former head engineer of the Tesla Model S who frequently clashes with Musk, teased its commercial earlier in the week. It was its debut commercial for the Lucid Air, a claimed 500-mile EV due later this year. In his opening monologue, Musk noted he’s the guy who made electric vehicles popular. The commercials were intended to remind the audience that Tesla isn’t the only name in the game anymore. It wasn’t just EV companies either. Accordin...

Elon Musk’s SNL monologue poked fun at his public persona

Elon Musk opened his hosting gig on Saturday Night Live by acknowledging his public comments get him in trouble. “Sometimes after I say something I have to say ‘I mean that,’” he said. He pointed to his “69 days after 4/20 again haha” tweet, but didn’t mention the 2018 tweet that got him in hot water with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Musk said he was the first person with Asperger’s to host SNL — something he hasn’t said publicly before. It did not appear he was joking, but it was a bit difficult to be sure how sincere Musk was being, given his history as both an internet troll and someone who doesn’t always know how to deliver a joke. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO joked that people sometimes don’t know what to expect from him. “I reinvented electric cars and I’m sending people to Ma...

Dogecoin is crashing while Elon Musk is on Saturday Night Live 

While Elon Musk hosted Saturday Night Live, Dogecoin investors sold. When SNL first went live, the cryptocurrency hovered around 69 cents (nice). But as the show wore on, the price dropped. As of this writing, it is worth 56 cents, a 12 percent plunge. There was a slight recovery when Musk — on “Weekend Update,” SNL’s parody news program — explained to a bewildered Michael Che and Colin Jost what Dogecoin was. (“A hustle,” Che finally said, knowingly.) He also called himself the “Dogefather.” As if to celebrate, trading platform Robinhood promptly crashed for cryptocurrency users. Earlier this week, Robinhood tweeted, “We’re all paws on deck, all weekend. [rocket emoji]” (I need the S-1.) A month ago, the trading platform crashed during a Dogecoin rally. Update: We’re currently experiencin...

Cyberattack prompts shutdown of major fuel pipeline in the US

One of the largest pipelines in the US has been taken offline by its operator following a cyberattack. First reported by the New York Times, Colonial Pipeline, which carries 45 percent of the fuel supplies for the eastern US, said in a statement late Friday that it took “certain systems offline to contain the threat, which has temporarily halted all pipeline operations and affected some of our IT systems.” The pipeline is 5,500 miles long and carries jet fuel and refined gasoline from the Gulf Coast to New York, according to the Times, transporting some 2.5 million barrels daily. It’s not yet clear whether the attack targeted Colonial’s industrial control systems, or if the attack was carried out by foreign government hackers. The Washington Post, citing a US official familiar with the mat...

We may never know the exact toll of the pandemic

This pandemic has taken millions of lives around the world — and researchers are realizing that the true death toll may be much higher than the official numbers we see every day. As of May 3rd, the death toll in the US officially stood at 574,043, but a new analysis published this week by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) estimates that the actual toll is 905,289. IHME is a health research center based at the University of Washington that specializes in measuring global health on a population level. Its new analysis estimates that the global death toll due to COVID-19 stands at 6.93 million, not 3.24 million. The key word here is “estimate.” The researchers looked at countries around the world that reported deaths on a weekly or monthly basis. They compared that with C...

Celebrate the weekend with these money-saving tech deals

I’m here with the latest collection of the best tech deals that appeared on The Verge this week. Similar to the last weekend’s post, deals have been ramping up lately. Hopefully it has helped you save a little money either shopping for yourself or a mom in your life for Mother’s Day. If you happen to be searching for a belated gift to ship over (orders placed today probably won’t arrive by Sunday, May 9th, which is Mother’s Day), check out our gift guide that’s full of fun gift ideas. Here are this week’s best deals. Save 15 percent on useful tech accessories from Satechi Satechi makes several accessories, like USB-C hubs, adapters, Apple Watch chargers, and much more. If you find something you want from its catalog of gadgets, it’s offering a sitewide 15 percent discount when you use the ...