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The Morning After: Thursday, November 16th 2017

Richard Lawler

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

It will be a busy Thursday for Elon Musk, as this evening SpaceX sends a "secret" payload skyward, and we're expecting to see Tesla's electric semi-truck. For everyone else, well, there's a new look for Google Maps and Amazon apparently won't launch a cable TV competitor.

That's different.Teenage Engineering teams up with Baidu to create strange new speakers

One way to separate from the increasingly crowded smart speaker market is to do something different, and Teenage Engineering has managed that with its new "R" and "H." They offer voice control, just like options from Google and Amazon, but in odd designs, and, in the case of the R prototype, a motorized pivot arm that makes its display face you when you're talking to it, or dance to music.

Still the champ.Google Maps' new look adapts to how you travel

A new look for Google Maps will roll out over the next few weeks. It's intended to adjust based on the method of travel you're planning to use (public transportation, driving, walking) and show relevant information for whichever one you choose. It's your choice: get used to the new icons and color coding now, or wait until it pops up on your phone when you're lost and looking for directions.

Shhhh.SpaceX is launching a secret mission called 'Zuma'

On November 16th, between 8 PM and 10 PM Eastern, SpaceX is sending a secret payload called "Zuma" beyond our atmosphere. What's on it? Your guess is as good as ours. Whatever it is, it needs to be in low Earth orbit by the end of the month, and it was commissioned by defense technology company Northrop Grumman for the US government.

But 'Lord of the Rings' is happening.Amazon has reportedly nixed plans for its own live TV service

Don't expect a new skinny bundle here.

EV, PHEV or FCEV?What you need to know before buying an electric car

If you're thinking your next car should be powered by electrons, then Roberto Baldwin is here to help set you on the path to a glorious gas-free (or at least reduced-gas) future.

Give up those blue checks.Twitter tries to fix verification

Twitter claims its blue Verified checks were never intended to serve as an endorsement of the people who have them, but is recognizing their meaning extends beyond simple identity validation. As such, the company rolled out new rules for the tag, which mean certain well-known individuals tied to Nazism and white supremacy have had their checkmarks removed.

It's not a game.Pixar makes its VR debut with 'Coco'

Coco VR is a "social adventure" available for Oculus Rift that puts users inside the world of Pixar's upcoming movie.

But wait, there's more...

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  • This article originally appeared on Engadget.