A nine-year-old reviews the Tesla Model X

Editor’s Note: Verge transportation editor Tamara Warren regularly rides and reviews all the latest and greatest from the automotive industry, which means that as a by-product, her son Benicio also gets to take a spin from time to time. Her review of the Tesla Model S published earlier this month, so we wondered what nine-year-old Benicio thought of the Tesla experience. Below are his honest thoughts. —Natt Garun

I have been in lots of cars because my mom works for The Verge and she gets a new car every week. The name of this car is the Tesla Model X.

This car has new and improved car features from the cars I have been in. My favorite feature is the falcon door, so I’m going to start with that. They open by pressing a silver rectangle that is in the place a regular door handle would be for the car. After you press that, the door will start to open. If you want to open the door from the inside, you will have to push the button on the door frame. You can press the top of the button to open it and push the bottom of it to close it.

When we picked up the car at the Tesla store in Brooklyn, a man named David told Shrey, one of my best friends, and me about it. I took notes as I was listening to David, and then we were ready to jump in the car.

When we went outside, we were fascinated by the car’s design. The key is the same shape as the car. You can push any part of the key and open the trunk, the doors, or the extra trunk in the front. I would use the space to put extra baseball gear in there.

David was driving the car, but he told me to sit up in the front. He told us why the car was already on. It turns out that when the car senses the key it automatically turns on, and when you are in the car the driver will start driving. If you use Autopilot, it will even take over the steering, but David told me you should still keep your hands on the wheel.

David showed us how to navigate by pressing a huge screen and going to the map section. After he showed us that, we were ready to start driving. Shrey said the car was really cool, so that got me hyped up about it.

After that, David showed us how it could park itself. When the car finds a parking spot, it will pop up on the screen and ask you if you want to park there. If you say yes, it will park.

This car isn’t powered by energy from the sun. It’s just powered by a ton of batteries. You don’t have to use gas. All you have to do is find an outlet and plug it in and it will start charging. If you Supercharge the car, it will be full in as fast as 20 minutes.

My second favorite thing on the Model X is when you put it in Ludicrous Mode. You get to it by selecting the options on the screen. When you click on the selection, it will show you a kind of thing like hyperspace from Star Wars. Then when you drive, it will go a lot faster. So when David started driving, we put our heads back on the seats, and then we were going really fast and other people on the street didn’t even notice us. (That’s because there is no gas engine, so the car doesn’t make any noise.) I would think twice before crossing the street, if I saw a Tesla in the neighborhood.

I’m really energetic when I just sit around and I’m also a pitcher for the Huskies, our local travel baseball team. So after we finished the demonstration, Shrey and I took a break to act out the Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees. After that, we said goodbye to David and I headed to Coney Island with Shrey and my dad. The radio in the car is really good personally to me, because we got to listen to my favorite song “Lose Yourself” by Eminem on the way there.

As we were driving, we kept on asking my dad to do what David did and try Ludicrous Mode. But he kept saying no. (If any kids are reading: try to beg your parents to let you go fast in the car.)

[“Source-theverge”]

Google is bringing video reviews to Google Maps

e’re still very far away from real-time Google Street View or satellite imagery on Google Maps, but Google is, for the first time, introducing video in parts of its mapping service. Users who are part of the company’s Local Guides program can now shoot 10-second videos right from the Google Maps app (or upload 30-second clips from their camera roll).

While the company quietly launched this feature for Local Guides about two weeks ago, Google is now also notifying them about it via email and will likely release it publicly in the near future.

Until now, you could only upload still images to Google Maps. Videos, however, can capture a restaurant’s, store’s or sight’s atmosphere far better. Google is also explicitly allowing users to use their videos for personal reviews (as long as they adhere to its usual review policies that also apply to written reviews). Local businesses will, of course, also be able to use this feature to highlight their own products, too.

To record or upload videos to Google Maps, you’ll have to search for and select a place in Google Maps (this is Android-only for now, as far as we can see), scroll down and tap “add a photo,” tap the “Camera” icon and then hold the shutter to record (or you can upload a short video, too).

For now, though, the program is only open to Local Guides on Android, but it looks like Google is also testing this with local businesses already. As far as I can see, though, the videos will be visible on all platforms.

While this may look like a minor update at first, it’ll make for quite a change on Google Maps, especially for local business owners. Snapping a few pictures is pretty easy, after all, but chances are that many of them will soon want to take professional video of their locations, which is far harder and — if they hire a videographer — expensive.

[“Source-techcrunch”]

Destiny 2 Reviews: Release Day Impressions Roundup

Image result for Destiny 2 Reviews: Release Day Impressions Roundup

Destiny 2 has officially launched, and soon it will be available worldwide. Full reviews won’t arrive just yet, but reviews-in-progress have started to pop up around the internet based on a recent three-day event in Seattle.

The much-anticipated sequel doesn’t radically shake up the Destiny formula, instead opting primarily to refine and improve the core of the first game. You can see our breakdown of Destiny 2’s five biggest changes for a basic idea of what to expect.

Below, you’ll find a collection of various critics’ impressions of the game so far. In GameSpot’s Destiny 2 review in progress, Kallie Plagge calls the story a “clear improvement over Destiny’s much-maligned storytelling,” adding that “Destiny 2 builds on the original in smart ways that make me excited to keep playing.” We’ve also more recently published a Destiny 2 review diarythat offers more of Kallie’s thoughts now that the game is live.

  • Game: Destiny 2
  • Developer / Publisher: Bungie / Activision
  • Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
  • Release: September 6 (PS4/Xbox One), October 24 (PC)
  • Price: US $60 / £50 / AU $100

GameSpot

“Of course, all of this still feels like Destiny. The new social space, the Farm, is functionally the same as the Tower in the original. Finding loot and switching out your old gear still takes up a significant portion of your time. Enemies have been tweaked, but they’re not wildly different, either. That’s not necessarily bad, but it also makes me wonder if I’ll see Destiny 2 as a sequel, rather than a half-step forward, the longer I play and the more I grind and repeat.” — Kallie Plagge [Full review in progress]

“Though I’ve only replayed things I’ve already done, I’m still excited about Destiny 2. I can’t wait to find my next exotic weapon, but I’m also looking forward to completing more Adventure missions and learning more about the world. My next step is to finish the story, reach level 20, and run some Strikes, so check back soon for more impressions.” — Kallie Plagge [Destiny 2 review diary]

Polygon

“At the very least, what I’ve played of Destiny 2 is an incredibly promising start. In plain English, it feels like Destiny without all the bulls***. It seems like the sequel Bungie needed to make–not a fundamentally different experience, but improved enough over its predecessor to reel veterans back in and attract people who skipped the original Destiny. Now we have to see how it holds up.” — Samit Sarkar [Full review in progress]

IGN

“My initial impressions leave me with more questions than answers. Is the story going to stay engaging through the end? Are the great drops going to get stingier at higher levels? Am I going to get bored exploring the new destinations? We’ll have to answer those hanging questions later, but based on what I’ve experienced so far, Destiny 2 hasn’t disappointed my high expectations as a fan of the original. There have been deliberate steps to improve the moment-to-moment experience, be it something as simple as bringing up the next task with the press of a button or by keeping you constantly climbing the Light ladder without realizing it with enticing dynamic events. That’s all on top of a story the team at Bungie knew they had to get right after the convoluted mess of the first game which forced you to read Grimoire cards on a website to experience the original story. So far it seems as though they’ve succeeded.” — Destin Legarie [Full review in progress]

Rolling Stone

“However, what’s remarkable about the structure of Destiny 2–aside from it having a real central plot–is that it achieves what the first Destiny tried but ultimately failed to do: it gives the player freedom. Yes, there’s some linearity to the Red War missions and the order in which the destinations are introduced–but you can spend the bulk of your time wherever you’re most comfortable, where you find combat encounters most fulfilling, or where the rewards on offer are most appealing to you.” — Alex Kane [Full impressions]

Ars Technica

“I am not at an ideal state to issue anything resembling a verdict. But I at least feel safe declaring this: I entered the event perturbed that I would play so much Destiny 2 and not get to transfer that progress to the final, retail version. Now, I am anxious to dive back in and try again. I want to flex the muscles of an entirely different class. I want to devote far more attention to so much in-mission dialogue and exposition. Above all else, I want to group up with some friends and see how the ‘always a battle around every corner’ sensation feels when I have some persistent fireteam members at my side.” — Sam Machkovech [Full pre-review]

DualShockers

“So far, Destiny 2 has improved upon the original Destiny in every way. There’s a Pierce Brosnan-impersonating sniper who serves as your faction representative for the European Dead Zone. There’s new enemy types, including staff-wielding Fallen Wretches and caped-flaming-crossbow-wielding Hive Knights. There are cutscenes where The Speaker, who never really had much to say, is actually a savage and disses Ghaul in rap-battle proportions during cutscenes. When I sat down to play this game I had one mission for Bungie: prove to me that Destiny 2 isn’t just another expansion. Thankfully, it turns out that Destiny 2 has listened to the fans and has taken a look in the mirror: the product is one that I–so far–thoroughly enjoy.” — Noah Buttner [Full review impressions]

[“Source-gamespot”]

Performers/Creatives reviews – Irvine Welsh’s two plays are exercises in tedium

Embarrassingly limp: George Russo and Perry Benson in Performers.

Not so much theatre shows as exercises in tedium, these new pieces from Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh would never have seen the light of day if they didn’t have his name attached. An audience expecting the skanky wit and vim of Trainspotting will be disappointed by this duo of tired and clumsy plays.

Performers, written with Dean Cavanagh, is potentially the more interesting of the two. Apparently, when making the 1970 movie Performance, which starred Mick Jagger and James Fox, directors Nicolas Roeg and Donald Cammell wanted to hire real villains to play the gangsters. Their quest for authenticity sees low-life criminals Alf (Perry Benson) and Bert (George Russo) turning up at the production offices. But with slack direction from Nick Moran, it has all the tension of a used teabag. The comic tour de force that is supposed to ensue when a pretentious young assistant director persuades Alf to take off his clothes is embarrassingly limp.

Set in 1969, it would have looked dated and if it had actually been written that year, and – in their own quest for authenticity – Welsh and Cavanagh appear to have copied out a cockney rhyming slang dictionary lock, stock and barrel.

Creatives: bland, slick shininess.
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 Creatives: bland, slick shininess. Photograph: Roberto Ricciuti/Getty

If Performers aims for comic grittiness and misses by a mile, Creatives is all bland, slick shininess; straight out of the Fame mould. It’s a musical, written with Don de Grazia, about a group of would-be songwriters attending a Chicago course run by former punk Paul, whose career has nosedived and whose personal life is complicated.

The students are all stereotypes, ranging from moody goth girl to (bizarrely) a redneck Trump supporter, and the entire thing starts to resemble an audition for the X Factor but with less convincing back stories, until a violent plot twist pushes it into outright melodrama.

The US cast are game, and Laurence Mark Wythe’s music and lyrics cry out for a better vehicle than this cliched attempt to explore the price of creativity and the pressures to sell out for a quick buck. One imagines that is exactly what Welsh has done with these abysmal efforts.

 Performers is at the Assembly Rooms until 27 August. Box office: 0131-623 3030. Creatives is at the Pleasance Courtyard until 28 August. Box office: 0131-556 6550.

Source:-theguardian