The Morning After: The FTC is challenging Microsoft’s Activision buyout, again

Yes, again.


Just when Microsoft’s buyout of Activision finally seemed to be near complete — and we could focus on Google’s legal tussles with the Department of Justice — the Federal Trade Commission said it will revive its attempt to block the $69 billion deal in an adjudicative process. Microsoft received EU approval over the summer when the European Commission endorsed the deal as long as the tech giant could ensure “full compliance with commitments.”

Normally, the FTC drops its challenges to deals when efforts are lost in federal court. This move will not delay the deal, though in the worst-case scenario, Microsoft might have to sell off parts of the gaming company. Microsoft told Bloomberg it’s not concerned about the move preventing its purchase. Regardless of the impact it could have, the FTC’s in-house hearing will only start after the Ninth Circuit issues an opinion on the appeal.

— Mat Smith

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The researchers analyzed 22 years’ worth of observations of the galaxy M87.

Observing 22 years of the first black hole humanity has ever imaged has offered “unequivocal evidence” that black holes spin. There’s apparently an oscillating jet that swings up and down roughly every 11 years. An international team of scientists headed by Chinese researcher Dr. Cui Yuzhu analyzed more than two decades of observational data gathered by more than 20 telescopes around the world to make the discovery in the black hole at the center of galaxy M87.

A small fraction of particles not falling into the black hole get jetted out. The telescopes’ observations show that M87’s jet oscillates by 10 degrees in a recurring 11-year cycle — as Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity predicted. Aside from proving Einstein right, it’s a significant discovery that massively improves our understanding of black holes.

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Honda’s first all-electric SUV has 300-mile range

The Prologue arrives in early 2024.

Honda has revealed more details about its all-electric Prologue SUV. The EV will have a listed range of 300 miles and cost in “the upper $40,000s” before any incentives or tax credits. The pricing puts it well above rival SUVs, like the Volkswagen ID.4, Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Mustang Mach-E — all of which start around $40,000. Also, the range of Honda’s EV is comparatively shorter.

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This third-party deck makes your Switch feel like a dream

CRKD’s Nitro Deck costs $60.

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The Nitro Deck comes from CRKD, a new company founded at Embracer Group’s Freemode incubator lab. The Nitro Deck is a simple idea executed well: Slide your Switch screen into the frame and it acts as a self-contained, beefed-up gamepad, sidestepping the initially innovative but drifty Joy-Con controllers. You can also get it in a decidedly Gamecube colorway. Lots of purple.

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These origami-inspired flying robots change shape in mid-air

The true foldables.

TMA (University of Washington)

Scientists at the University of Washington have developed flying robots that change shape in mid-air, without batteries, as originally published in the research journal Science Robotics. These miniature Transformers snap into a folded position during flight to stabilize descent. They weigh just 400 milligrams and feature an on-board battery-free actuator, powered by solar. Future-use cases could range from monitoring weather to checking air conditions with a fleet of the lil’ things.

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