Watch 14 minutes of new Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay footage

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It’s been over a year since CD Projekt Red last unveiled a look at the highly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077. Today, the company has released a new trailer showing off what gameplay will look like when the game comes out next year.

The demo footage appears to be a condensed version of the one shown behind closed doors at E3 this year, and it shows off more of the actual gameplay for Cyberpunk 2077. As the demo explains, there are no set classes in Cyberpunk, although the demo does show off two differently built characters: a “strong solo” player built around strength and direct combat and a stealthier “netrunner” character designed around hacking and manipulating technology around the game world.

There are also more glimpses at how the…

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Colorado state senator settles lawsuit over blocking people on social media

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A Colorado Republican senator has agreed not to block anyone on his public social media accounts anymore after he was sued over it.

Sen. Ray Scott, R- Grand Junction, promised to unblock people on his official Facebook and Twitter accounts as part of the settlement of a lawsuit with one of his constituents, Anne Landman.

Landman and the ACLU of Colorado sued Scott, alleging that blocking her violated her First Amendment rights because it kept her from being able to participate in public discussions that took place on his account. Landman claimed Scott refused several requests to unblock or unban her.

“The overwhelming majority of cases has made very clear that the official social media pages of public officials, like Senator Scott’s, are public forums where individual’s speech is constitutionally protected,” ACLU attorney Sara Neel said in a statement. “Recognizing this, Senator Scott has agreed to unblock all users from his social media pages and will not block anyone else in the future based on viewpoint.”

Scott isn’t the only politician to get sued over his social media habits.

In January, a federal appeals court said a Virginia politician violated the Constitution when she blocked a man from her Facebook page for 12 hours after he posted critical comments. And President Donald Trump was told by a federal judge in May that he could not block people from following him on Twitter.

“It is a shame that I had to file a federal lawsuit to enforce my constitutional rights,” Landman said in a statement. “But I am just happy that Senator Scott will no longer be able to silence me or any of his critics.”

Scott did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

YouTube will reportedly pay up to $200 million after allegedly violating children’s privacy

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

On Friday, the Federal Trade Commission voted to settle federal privacy charges against YouTube, according to a report by Politico. The exact terms of the settlement are unclear, but Google will reportedly pay fines between $150 and $200 million. The charges stem from data collection and targeting practices in YouTube, which consumer groups alleged violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Some details of the settlement had been reported in July by The Washington Post, but they were not finalized until today’s vote.

The same day as the vote, YouTube unveiled a new web portal for YouTube Kids, along with a set of more discerning content filters. The platform has made a number of policy changes in response to the…

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Six Denver-area schools could face state action for low scores

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Six schools in the Denver area could face state action based on low test scores, but overall the metro has seen improvement, with more preliminary data showing more schools met expectations.

Denver Public Schools’ Abraham Lincoln High School has been on the state’s “accountability clock” for five years, and Manual High School hit its sixth year in 2019. Schools are placed on the clock if they score in one of the state’s bottom two rating levels, based on standardized test scores, student growth and graduation rates.

Joe Amundsen, director of school improvement at DPS, said in a statement that the district is making a “significant” financial investment in both schools. Both also will have new principals with experience in school turnarounds and “community building,” he said.

After five years of low performance ratings, the Colorado State Board of Education is allowed to order schools to hire an external manager, convert into charter schools or close. It sometimes holds off for several more years before taking aggressive action, however.

The other metro-area schools that could face board action are Hope Online Learning Academy Elementary in Douglas County School District, after nine years on the clock, Aurora Public Schools’ Aurora Central High School (nine years), Gateway High School (five years) and North Middle School Health Sciences and Technology (five years).

Districts can appeal to the state if they believe a ranking doesn’t accurately reflect their students’ achievement, however, so it’s possible that some of the schools could come off the clock.

Adams City High School and Adams County School District 14’s Central Elementary both have been on the clock for more than five years, but they aren’t likely to face additional action, since the state board already required Adams 14 to hire an external manager. The manager, MGT Consulting, has been at work since July, so it’s too early to know if it will be successful in raising students’ scores.

Overall, however, schools are moving up in the state’s ratings. According to the preliminary data, 77 out of 702 schools in the Denver metro area moved into the “performance,” or green, level, for a total of 503 area schools meeting expectations. At the same time, 52 schools were bumped down to a lower rating, though some may choose to appeal.

The Denver Post’s analysis didn’t include alternative education campuses, which serve students at risk of dropping out, because the state hasn’t yet released their ratings.

The preliminary data showed 60 of 702 rated schools in the Denver area were rated “turnaround” (red) or “priority improvement” (orange) — the fewest number of traditional schools ranking at the lowest levels since new tests were implemented in 2015.

Last year, 76 schools in the metro area scored in one of the bottom two levels. Nearly all of the decrease came from Denver Public Schools, which had 14 fewer schools in the bottom two levels.

Jeremy Meyer, spokesman for the Colorado Department of Education, cautioned against reading too much into the rankings at this point, because they could change before they are finalized. Last year, districts challenged the rankings of 164 schools, and CDE staff agreed to reconsider 117 of them, he said. The number of schools at the lowest levels is unlikely to increase, however, since districts don’t have an incentive to seek lower rankings.

Guest commentary: Colorado’s economy is on display, and now it must meet the challenges brought on by success

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By Patrick Sobers

The presence of two Coloradans in the presidential race helped shine a national spotlight on the mountain state’s enviable economic record.

Both former Gov. John Hickenlooper and Sen. Michael Bennet pointed to nation-leading growth, falling unemployment, and an increasingly resilient economy when they went up against fellow Democratic contenders. Hickenlooper dropped out of the presidential race a few weeks ago and soon after announced he was running for the U.S. Senate.

Patrick Sobers

The state added more than 65,000 jobs last year, with particularly strong growth in higher-paying roles, as the economy hummed along at a pace of 3.5 percent. Unemployment has steadily fallen to 3 percent compared to a national rate of 3.8 percent.

Colorado’s population has been expanding at an annual rate of 1.4 percent, adding 80,000 people just last year. That is nearly double the U.S. population growth rate, and largely due to strong net migration into the state.

This is an economic story that is worth bragging about, and it shows few signs of fizzling. There are also lessons for other states and leaders in how we got here.

For starters, Colorado is lucky.  The state is blessed with a rare geography and climate that attracts recreational visitors all year round (skiing in the winter, river rafting and hiking in the summer), while making it a desirable place to live and work. The outdoor recreation industry in Colorado alone is worth $65 billion, supporting more than 500,000 jobs..

But, the state’s success is mostly a result of far-sighted policies implemented over the last two decades by leaders of all political stripes. These have made the state one of the most attractive places to live and do business.

A prime example of Colorado’s prescient moves was the decision to build a world-class international airport for Denver just over two decades ago. The city probably didn’t need an airport of that size back then, but now the fifth busiest U.S. airport is an essential part of the city and state’s appeal, accommodating the huge flow of business visitors and tourists.

The Wall Street Journal last year named it the best U.S. airport, citing its reliability, value and convenience. Even the airport’s location on the outskirts of Denver was a smart move, meaning there is room for further expansion as it prepares to handle  80 million passengers a year by 2025, up from 64.5 million last year.

Whatever your personal views on the subject, the 2014 legalization of marijuana and the industry’s subsequent growth has been a revenue boon for the state. Regulated pot sales have now topped $6 billion since legalization, generating more than $1 billion in state revenues. Aside from the direct economic boost in terms of jobs and income, legalization is an undeniable lifestyle selling point for the younger generation of workers and for tourists. A quarter of people who visited the state between 2013 and 2018 listed marijuana as a reason.

The fast-growing tech industry around Denver and Boulder is another example of the state’s ability to embrace new industries. Much like Austin, Nashville, Salt Lake City and Indianapolis, tech companies and entrepreneurs have been flocking to the area, attracted by the Denver-Boulder network of higher education institutions, business-friendly regulations, collaborative culture, recreational options, and relatively affordable lifestyle. Denver has more affordable rent than 21 major U.S. markets and has the second-most residents with a bachelor’s degree, according to CBRE’s 2018 Colorado tech report.

The state has helped foster the growth of the tech scene and other businesses through its relatively low tax burden, as well as special tax credits for job creation and business development in enterprise zones or economically disadvantaged areas.

These policies have helped turn Colorado into a cradle for business development. Restaurant chains like Chipotle and Smashburger, retailer Dick’s Sporting Goods and marketing tech firm SendGrid are among the best known companies that were incubated in the state.

Gone are the days when the state’s economy rose and fell with the fortunes of the oil industry. The state’s economy barely skipped a beat after energy prices plunged in 2014-15. Office vacancy rates stayed low as new businesses moved in and workers transitioned to new industries.

Sam Bailey, vice president for economic development at the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, points to three other key developments in the last decade that help set Colorado on this course:

The development of a $4.7 billion rail system that added 122 miles of commuter, light rail and bus rapid transit since winning taxpayer approval from city and suburban voters in 2004. It makes getting in and out of the central business district much easier. And while ridership is not nearly in line with projections, new arrivals to the metro area think it’s great, Bailey said.

The state’s strong push to expand broadband to every part of Colorado. By 2021, nearly all of the state will have this technology, an important consideration for new residents and a magnet for businesses, as well.

Between 2011 and 2018, the state cut 11,000 regulations that saved $8 million a year and cut 2 million hours in unnecessary work by employees and businesses.

To be sure, the state’s success has put more pressure on infrastructure, especially the road network. Traffic jams on the I-25 near Denver aren’t yet in the same league as Boston or San Francisco, but they are getting significantly worse.

Rapidly rising house prices, and especially how that is affecting the affordability of entry-level homes, is another trend that bears watching in the coming years.

But these are all surmountable problems, and Colorado’s positioning suggests it can remain an attractive model for other states and cities for many years to come.

Patrick Sobers is NBH Bank executive vice president, business and consumer banking, and president, Community Banks of Colorado.

This Interview With Uber’s CEO Should Be Placed in a Time Capsule For the Year 2029

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Uber lost a mind-boggling $5.2 billion last quarter, but the company’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, is still optimistic that Uber will be able to make money one day. Khosrowshahi sat down with Bloomberg Technology reporter Emily Chang yesterday and kept insisting that Uber has the ability to turn a profit, despite…

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DoorBird releases first indoor video and audio station for its security systems

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Bird Home Automation, a company that focuses on IP video intercom technology, has officially announced the release of their first indoor station for its DoorBird door intercom product line. The A1101 indoor station is now available worldwide and provides 2-way audio and live video to its security system.

UK’s ‘most deprived’ village builds tidal energy crypto miners to reconnect with technology

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It’s often said that machines will perform upwards of 40 percent of the world’s jobs by 2035 — but one artist is out to prove that automated technologies can bring positive change too, and he’s using DIY cryptocurrency miners to do it. Jaywick, a sleepy seaside village roughly two-hours drive from London, has a well-documented problem with unemployment. In 2011, The Guardian reported that 62 percent of the working-age population received government benefits of some kind. Since then, Jaywick has been named England’s ‘most deprived‘ area, twice. Factories in surrounding areas have continued to close in recent years, putting further stress on…

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You Can Now Tell Siri to Tighten Your Nike Self-Lacing Sneakers

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Nike’s self-lacing (self-tightening is probably a more apt description) FitAdapt technology is slowing making its way into more of the brand’s shoe lines, including the Adapt Huarache now. The sneaker’s design might date back to the early ‘90s, but it will actually be Nike’s first self-lacing shoe that can be remotely…

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