Cybersex toy industry heats up as infamous “teledildonics” patent climaxes

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Sex toy innovators of America: we have good news for you!

The so-called “teledildonics patent,” owned by a company that many would deem a “patent troll,” has just expired. Now US sex toy companies can create the Internet-controlled vibrators, dildos, and whatever else of their dreams with significantly less fear of being sued.

On Friday, US Patent No. 6,368,268 expired after being on file with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for 20 years. The company that had previously held the patent, TZU Technologies, LLC, of Pasadena, California, had filed 10 lawsuits alleging infringement since 2015—one as recently as December 2017. All suits appear to have been settled, with TZU Technologies receiving a payout in exchange for dropping the lawsuit.

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Netflix will now interrupt series binges with video ads for its other series

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Netflix has confirmed a major change to its video-streaming service, effective as of this week for at least some users: video ads for other Netflix series between episodes.

The news emerged via user reports, particularly on the primary Netflix Reddit community, in which users claimed that ads for entirely different series would play between episodes of a given show’s binging. One initial claim said that “unskippable” ads for the AMC series Better Call Saul appeared between episodes of Rick & Morty, and that this ad appeared while using Netflix’s smart TV app on an LG set in the UK. Replies to that thread included an allegation that a video ad for I Am A Killer (a Netflix-produced true-crime series) appeared between episodes of the animated comedy Bob’s Burgers.

An American Netflix user offered more details for exactly how the ads appear:

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Next Windows 10 update nearing completion as it gets its official name

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The last few Windows Insider preview builds of Windows 10 have offered few new features; instead these have focused on fixing bugs.

The latest build, released today, takes a step towards completion: it’s changed the operating system’s version stamp. Until now the previews have called themselves version 1803, the release from earlier this year. Today’s build updates that version label to 1809, showing that Microsoft intends to wrap up its development in September with an October release likely to follow.

Version 1809 will be the last of the five Redstone-codenamed Windows releases. The next release, likely to come in April 2019, is codenamed simply “19H1,” with Microsoft opting for date-based codenames to go with its date-based releases.

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9to5Rewards: Still time to enter our 2018 MacBook Pro giveaway!! (+ 10% off at Hyper)

Thanks to our sponsor Hyper, we have Apple’s brand new 2018 MacBook Pro to give away to one lucky reader!! Valued at $1,799 USD, you can enter for your chance at winning below.

After raising over $3.1M on Kickstarter and Indiegogo, Hyper now has an entire lineup of HyperDrive USB-C hubs available for MacBook and MacBook Pro users. Visit hypershop.com and use coupon code 9to5macbook to get 10% off site-wide

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Russia is down to a single female cosmonaut, and she may never fly

Enlarge / Russia’s newest class of cosmonauts is all male. (credit: Roscosmos)

The Russian space program gets a lot of credit for flying the first woman in space. In fact, the Soviet Union flew the first two women: Valentina Tereshkova in 1963 and Svetlana Savitskaya in 1982. NASA waited until the space shuttle era before selecting female astronauts, and Sally Ride did not become the first American woman in space until 1983.

However, since Ride broke the US space gender barrier 35 years ago, 50 other American women have flown into space. By contrast, just two other women from Russia have flown into space since then, Yelena Kondakova (1994 and 1997) and Yelena Serova (2014). Two women from China, Japan, and Canada have also flown into space, as well as one woman each from the countries France, India, Italy, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.

Widening gap

This disparity seems

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Motorola’s New P30 Smartphone Blatantly Copies iPhone X

Motorola’s latest P30 smartphone is making headlines this week, but not for an impressive feature set or a unique design. As it turns out, Motorola has opted to copy the design of the iPhone X, resulting in an Android smartphone that’s nearly identical to Apple’s flagship device.

The P30, which features a 6.2-inch display, is by far the most iPhone X-like Android smartphone that we’ve seen yet, with a frontal design that includes rounded corners, a notch that’s similar to the iPhone X notch in size and shape, and an edge-to-edge design. There’s a small bezel at the bottom, which is the only feature that distinguishes the P30 from the iPhone X.



At the back, the P30 features a dual-lens camera setup in a vertical orientation much like the iPhone X, and it replaces the Apple logo with a Motorola logo that doubles as a fingerprint sensor. The colorful

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The blockchain bonanza is over for graphics card makers

Enlarge / A Philadelphia cryptocurrency miner snapped this shot of his rig for us earlier this year. (credit: Matthew Freilich)

For almost a year, cryptocurrency miners have snapped up all the graphics cards they could get their hands on. That was a financial windfall for Nvidia and AMD, the leading makers of consumer graphics cards. Both reported soaring profits their last two quarters.

But on Thursday, Nvidia reported its financial results for its second fiscal quarter, which ended on July 29. The results were pretty good overall, with strong demands for Nvidia products for AI and data center applications. However, cryptocurrency-related demand has cratered.

“Our revenue outlook had anticipated cryptocurrency-specific products declining to approximately $100 million,” said Nvidia CFO Colette Kress. “Actual crypto-specific product revenue was $18 million.”

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HBO picks up Watchmen live-action TV series, will debut in 2019

Enlarge / HBO offered this teaser image with its Watchmen announcement today. (credit: HBO)

Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ groundbreaking comic series Watchmen is set to emerge once more on the pop-culture stage—this time as a live-action series on HBO.

The channel’s announcement pegs the series’ launch for “2019,” with no news of a narrower window nor any hint about how many episodes to expect. It rounds up the series’ massive cast, as has been teased in various reports over the past year: heavy-hitters Jeremy Irons and Regina King will headline the series, and the likes of Don Johnson (Miami Vice), Frances Fisher (Unforgiven), and Louis Gossett Jr. (Roots) round out the cast. Those actors’ characters have not yet been confirmed.

Today’s news is careful to describe the show as “Damon Lindelof’s new series,” as the co-creator of Lost and The Leftovers has helmed this HBO

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