A Rocket-Launching Plane, Nintendo’s New Switch, and More News From Today

Virgin Orbit is dropping rockets out of a Boeing 747, Nintendo is switching up the Switch, and a new design could make the middle plane seat tolerable. Here’s the news you need to know, in two minutes or less.

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Today’s Headlines

Virgin Orbit just dropped a rocket from a Boeing 747

Why launch rockets from the ground, when you could launch them with a head start from a plane? That’s the thinking behind Virgin Orbit’s plan to reduce the cost of getting into space by starting the rocket launch from 35,000 feet. Today’s test focused on the rocket’s free fall when released from a gutted Boeing 747, one of the final big tests before Richard Branson’s air-launch system opens for business.

Nintendo announces the Switch Lite

A smaller, cheaper version of the Nintendo Switch sounds great, but what if it no longer connects to the television? If it can’t switch, is it truly a Switch? That question looms for potential buyers of Nintendo’s latest offering, the Switch Lite. It’s lighter, has a longer battery life, and will cost just $200, but unlike its multi-mode predecessor only works as a handheld system.

Cocktail Conversation

Getting stuck in the middle seat is one of the worst parts of air travel. But an outfit called Molon Labe has a potential solution: lowering the middle seat two inches, and nudging it three inches back. While it doesn’t help leg room, it does solve the elbow-war for the armrest, and gives more room for your rear end, too. “Flying sucks,” says the designer. “We’re trying to make it suck less.”

WIRED Recommends: Which MacBook should you actually buy?

After yesterday’s updates to Apple’s laptop lineup, the question is: Which MacBook is best for you? WIRED put together a buying guide so you can figure out which one best suits your needs.

News You Can Use

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