SpaceX Falcon 9 test vehicle explodes during 'particularly complex' Texas test flight

SpaceX's rocket program suffered a setback today, with one of its three-engine Falcon rockets exploding in mid-air during a test flight in McGregor, Texas. The company says it triggered the action after onboard systems detected that something was wrong. Nobody was injured, local Central Texas news station KXXV reports.

According to SpaceX, the Falcon 9-R Dev 1 test rocket's systems detected...

Photo Essay

This is what the future of a drone-filled America could look like

The laws governing drone use in the US right now are relatively black and white. For the most part, you either can fly, or you can't — and there's no in between. That's really limiting for the parties that can't, and, at the same time, it's really permissive for the parties that can, giving them little guidance as to where they should and shouldn't be flying.

That's a problem as drones increasingly move toward ubiquity: we don't want them everywhere, but there is very likely a more logical way to determine where they can go.

Mitchell Sipus, an urban planner doing doctoral research at Carnegie Mellon, has mocked up one idea that might be able to start to resolving some of that. He imagines the government beginning to create zoning rules specific to drones — as in, zones that they can fly in and can't fly in, and other zones where flight might be allowed only during specific times of day when there are fewer people around.

Step into the drone zone

Playlist

The Verge Playlist: I made this mix just for you

I haven't done a Verge Playlist yet, which seems a little odd considering how obsessed I am with music. (I think a solid 10 percent of my tweets are to Spotify tracks.) I wanted to mix it up a little bit, though — instead of doing a normal playlist, I thought I'd link you to an actual mixset I've made. This example, one of my longest at nearly an hour and a half, is from a couple years ago.

I...

Turn it way up

This robotic suit lets you sit in mid-air instead of a chair

Factory workers who do rote work through long shifts risk developing back pain or other problems, and a Swiss company called Noonee has developed a solution: the "Chairless Chair," an exoskeleton for your legs that lets you sit at the push of a button.

The aluminum and carbon fiber exoskeleton only weighs about four pounds, so when workers wear the device — still in the prototype phase,...

National Security

Texas governor wants more drones to guard the US–Mexico border

Texas Governor Rick Perry wants more drones over the US–Mexico border in order to catch undocumented immigrants and potentially even terrorists trying to make their way into the US, according to Bloomberg. At an event in New Hampshire today — the home of killed journalist James Foley — Perry said that there could be members of ISIS who have made it in to the US. "We don’t know," Perry says. "They may have used our southern border, because it’s porous."

Over 1,000 US businesses are affected by the attack that hit Target, says Secret Service

The hack that cost Target and its partners more than $200 million may have caused even more damage than we thought. The New York Times is reporting that the same malware used in the attack also targeted more than a thousand other US businesses, based on a new assessment from the Secret Service. Known as Backoff malware, the attack allows hackers to monitor all the information passing through checkout computers, including customer credit cards. UPS and Supervalu have both announced they were affected by the attacks, but many others have yet to come forward.

It's unclear how many distinct attackers are responsible for the various breaches,...

Apple's two iPhone 6 models shown off in another possible Foxconn leak

Just like last year's iPhone 5S and 5C, there have been numerous parts floating around that may or may not be (but probably are) the iPhone 6. The latest comes from French Apple blog iGen, which has posted shots of what appears to the two new iPhone 6 variations, right next to last year's iPhone 5S. Those are depicted as engineering prototypes on what iGen claims is Foxconn's internal software, thanks to one of its sources.

Hope you like CAD
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In the future, we'll all be like my grandfather

As essentially impossible as it is to be completely encouraged about the future of media or technology, there may be nothing that drives my optimism and ability to (hopefully) put things in their proper perspective than my grandfather Ben, who passed

Digital credit card replacement Coin is almost ready to swipe — the Coin Beta begins today

Since digital card holder Coin was announced last November, the team behind it has done a lot of thinking. To battle fraud, they've implemented an optional morse code unlocking system. To help manufacture the more than 20,000 Coins pre-ordered, the company poached Apple's iPhone supply chain guy. To improve Coin's two-year battery life, the...

The Coin Beta gives backers early access to testing the device
  •  
  • Features

This might be Motorola's next smartphone

In less than two weeks, we're likely to find see the successor to the Moto X. But notorious leaker Evan Blass may have beaten Motorola to the punch, taking to Twitter to show off what could be the X+1. He posted a matte black model and a wooden one, both bearing Verizon logos.

Now, the usual caveats apply: there's no way to know for sure if...



Play ThisQuick read

Are video game art galleries art?

When you're done pondering, writing furious essays about, and ultimately denouncing this question, you might want to check out Gallery404, an oddly compelling vast white space where you can run around under Louise Bourgeois' 30-foot metal spider,...




BlackBerry

Oh no, there's another Porsche Design BlackBerry

In 2012, Porsche Design and BlackBerry produced the extravagantly overpriced P'9981 limited edition of the then-flagship BlackBerry 9900 phone. 2013 followed with the P'9982 variant of the Z10, and now 2014 will apparently have its own Porsche Design handset in the newly leaked P'9983. It's a return to the austere matte black look and hardware keyboard that have been consistent hallmarks of BlackBerry devices. What's bemusing about the persistence of this series of handsets is its ability to...



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