Marvel's Star Wars comic makes a massive change to Han Solo

Star Wars is in the process of rebuilding its official canon after Disney made the decision to detonate thirty-five years of accumulated backstory last year. Thanks to a handful of new novels, The Clone Wars and Rebels TV shows, and the movies themselves, parts of the universe are already in place, but as partners such as book publisher Del Rey and comics powerhouse Marvel scramble to fill in the gaps before Episode VII‘s launch, there are still plenty of opportunities to drop proton torpedo-sized story bombs on Star Wars fans.

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Author: Rich McCormick

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NASA and Verizon want to develop a drone tracking system

Verizon and NASA are working together on a cell tower system to track civilian and commercial drones in the US, according to documents obtained by The Guardian. Under the agreement, signed last year, NASA will develop an air traffic management system to track drones using radar, satellites, or cellular signals. The federal agency will begin testing the system this summer, while Verizon plans to develop a way to monitor drones on its cellular network by 2017, in the hopes of finalizing its technology by 2019. Google and Amazon have both signed on to help test NASA’s system at the Ames Research Center in California, according to contracts obtained by The Guardian.

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Author: Amar Toor

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PayPal changes user agreement so it can send you ads on numbers you didn't provide

Be careful when you sign PayPal’s soon-to-be updated user agreement: new wording in the document means the company could soon be able to make phone calls and send text messages to numbers of yours that you didn’t give them. As noted by The Washington Post, the new agreement updates a clause that means PayPal can now contact you with “autodialed or prerecorded calls and text messages,” on numbers the company has “otherwise obtained” from other sources.

While the new agreement sounds invasive, it should be noted that under the current document, PayPal could also technically obtain numbers from various sources. The existing agreement specifies that the ways users provided a number a telephone number “include, but are not limited to”…

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Author: Rich McCormick

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Cameron Crowe offers apology for casting Emma Stone in his latest movie

Allison Ng, one of the major characters in Cameron Crowe’s recently released Aloha, is Asian-American. Emma Stone, the actress the director chose to portray her, is not. The casting decision raised eyebrows and drew criticism from groups who said that by using Stone to play a character who explicitly states her racially mixed background throughout the movie, Crowe was whitewashing the role. Now Crowe, in a post on his own site, has offered a “heart-felt apology to all who felt this was an odd or misguided casting choice.”

The director says that he was “grateful for the dialogue” the backlash provided, but also took the time to defend his decision to cast Stone as Ng. “As far back as 2007,” Crowe writes, “Captain Allison Ng was written…

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Author: Rich McCormick

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Uber’s 5th birthday party was pure theater, and here’s our review

Travis Kalanick was choking up. On stage at Uber’s birthday party, looking out on a audience that included drivers, employees, the press, and his parents, Uber’s pugnacious CEO found himself overcome with emotion. “I realize I can come across as a somewhat fierce advocate for Uber,” Kalanick would go on to say, as the crowd chuckled appreciatively. I also realize some people have used a different ‘A’ word to describe me.” More laughter. “I’ll be the first to admit I’m not perfect, and neither is this company. Like everyone else, we’ve made mistakes. But at Uber, we’re passionate about learning from them.”

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Author: Casey Newton

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Dish and T-Mobile in talks to merge: WSJ

Dish Network and T-Mobile US are considering a merger, according to The Wall Street Journal. Discussions are said to be at the “formative stage” and may yet fall through, but the two parties are reportedly in “close agreement” about the big picture. T-Mobile CEO John Legere (above) would be CEO of the new company, with Dish CEO Charlie Ergen as chairman, according to the WSJ‘s sources.

Although T-Mobile has increased its subscriber count significantly under Legere’s “Uncarrier” strategy, it hasn’t been able to compete on a larger scale with AT&T or Verizon. The company has been the source of acquisition speculation for some time; Reuters reported interest from Dish in 2013, and all the way back in 2011 former Dish CEO Joseph Clayton…

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Author: Sam Byford

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