Apex Legends: What’s Coming In Season 7

Apex Legends Season 7: Ascension begins November 4. Ahead of its start, we had the chance to check out the season’s new map, character, vehicle, and more at a preview event.

In the video above, Max Blumenthal and Jordan Ramée talk through everything they got to see and get hands-on time with. The biggest change coming to Apex Legends in Season 7 is Olympus, the game’s third map. Bigger than Kings Canyon but smaller than World’s Edge, Olympus is a very vertical-focused map that’s packed with hidden lore to discover and loot lanes to take advantage of.

Season 7’s new character, Horizon, is perfect for navigating Olympus’ verticality. Her tactical ability, Gravity Lift, temporarily reverses gravity, allowing her to send her allies, other squads, or herself high into the air. Once she’s airborne, her passive ability, Spacewalk, gives her additional aerial control and ensures she isn’t temporarily stunned when falling back down to earth. But her ultimate trick, Black Hole, is where Horizon truly shines: She tosses out a device that creates a micro black hole, sucking in all surrounding players for an easier kill.

If you and your squad are feeling a little sluggish, the brand-new Trident offers a speedy way to get around Olympus. Don’t expect Apex Legends’ first vehicle to work like the vehicles in other battle royale games, though. As Max and Jordan explain, the Trident is fast, but it possesses zero offensive potential (unless you’re driving it with the right legend). You can’t use it to splatter your enemies.

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Biden And Trump: “Higher Education: What’s That?”

Written as the tumultuous and consequential 2020 electoral campaign was winding to a close, I note that almost no discussion of the role of our universities in American life had occurred during the campaign. Trump partisans could have spoken about the lack of ideological diversity in American universities and argued that federal policies largely enacted by Democratic congresses and administrations had caused the tuition explosion that put so many into massive student loan debt.

Biden supporters could have spoken about how higher education holds the key to economic progress, and that offering free college would work to reduce income inequality, especially between races. They could have called for a massive expansion of the Pell Grant program and other ways to expand college access.

Yet very little was said during the campaign about any of these things (or such other issues of policy disagreement as foreign policy). Contrast that to 2016, when, for example, Hillary Clinton would speak about higher education access in many stump speeches. The conventional explanation for the neglect of higher education in 2020 was that Covid-19 crowded out discussion of most issues. It became Joe Biden’s major talking point, to the point that he spoke about virtually nothing else in the latter days of the campaign, if national news accounts accurately reflect his actual campaign utterances. Perhaps something was said by one of the candidates during the two presidential debates, but if so, I do not recall it and it certainly was not consequential.

But part of the reason for the non-emphasis on higher education may be its decline in importance in American life. The proportion of the American population attending college this fall is probably almost 20 % smaller than it was a decade ago, partly because of the coronavirus but at least equally because of other factors, including an increasing skepticism that a university degree is a good value proposition.

Particularly relevant are the increasing negative attitudes of Americans towards colleges and universities. Polling data show declining public support. Campus protests and the ascendant Cancel Culture has infuriated conservative Americans and annoyed many moderates, while polling data show somewhat smaller but real erosion in support among liberals. Americans of all stripes have found massive fee increases until recently hard to accept, particularly as they read of conspicuous consumption in some aspects of collegiate life, such high salaries of football coaches and ever more luxurious recreational and housing facilities.

Both Trump and Biden themselves are university graduates (Trump: University of Pennsylvania, Biden: University of Delaware and Syracuse for law school) who sent their adult children to good expensive private universities (Trump’s: Penn and Georgetown, Biden’s: Georgetown, Yale, Penn, Syracuse and Tulane). Some 20 of the 21 presidents in office since 1900 were college graduates, the sole exception being Harry Truman. In the last one-third of a century, not only did every major candidate for the presidency have a college degree (at

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Souped-Up Robots Will Soon Be Able To Tell Us What’s Happening In The Middle Of The Ocean

Earlier this week, the National Science Foundation awarded a $53 million grant to a team of institutions in the United States conducting oceanic research. The funds will be used to deploy 500 autonomous sensors that will collect oceanographic data across the world’s oceans, known as the Global Ocean Biogeochemistry Array (GO-BGC Array).

Once deployed, the robots will collect information about the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of the local ocean environment. And, within a day of being collected, the data will be accessible from the robotic float and streaming worldwide. These floats provide additional resolution on complementary data that are aggregated by satellites, but are only able to collect information from the ocean’s surface.

The sensors will also be descending from the ocean surface to 2,000 meters below (a little over 1 mile deep), making observations along the way. Measurements across this depth range are especially critical because recent research indicates that the temperature of seawater in this segment of the ocean is rapidly increasing. The oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon data they collect will not only be critical for climate change research, but will also inform our understanding of more fundamental mechanisms, such as how these elements cycle through the ocean and atmosphere.

The GO-BGC Array expands on the international Argo program that was launched in 2000, where 3,900 floats were deployed to measure temperature and salinity profiles across the ocean (but none of the biological or chemical metrics this newly funded array will gather). The data from the Argo sensors have since been used in over 4,000 scientific publications.

Over the next five years, scientists from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), Princeton University, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, University of Washington, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution will be working together to launch the autonomous sensors approximately 1,000 kilometers (over 600 miles) apart from one another. And, the eventual plan is to double the number of floats so that 1,000 of them deployed across the planet.

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People who are incarcerated may now be eligible for stimulus checks. Here’s what’s happening

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A federal judge has ordered the IRS to issue stimulus checks to eligible people even if they’re incarcerated. 


Sarah Tew/CNET

Since the IRS began issuing stimulus checks back in April, incarcerated people throughout the US have had to navigate confusing and often contradictory information about whether or not they could collect the money. First, the IRS sent money to people in jail and prison, then the agency asked for the money back (cached IRS website). On Oct. 19, a federal judge ruled that nothing in the CARES Act, which authorized stimulus checks of up to $1,200 per individual, prohibits payments to many of the 2.3 million people residing in US jails and prisons. The judge ordered the IRS to send the checks.

The results of the class-action lawsuit bring some clarity to the issue, but the IRS has already appealed the decision and requested an injunction against the current ruling, which could possibly upend things yet again down the road. For now, the IRS has extended the deadline for incarcerated individuals to request their stimulus checks until Nov. 21. However, with little to no internet access and unreliable means of communication with family and friends at home, filing that claim still presents some hurdles.

We’ll tell you what you need to know about how to notify the IRS about an incarcerated person’s eligibility, where to send the money and answer other questions you may have about stimulus checks being sent to those who are incarcerated. Here’s what we know about qualifications for the second stimulus check, where negotiations stand on a new stimulus bill and when a second stimulus check could arrive.

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The IRS had requested incarcerated people return any stimulus checks they received, but reversed course after a federal judge ruled against the agency.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Can people in jail or prison get a stimulus check?

Right now, the answer is yes, but that could change if a judge rules in favor of the IRS with regard to its appeal.

Who is eligible to receive the first check?

Anyone who’s eligible to receive a stimulus check is eligible to receive one even if they are incarcerated. Check our complete stimulus guide for more details.

How does someone who is incarcerated request a check?

The IRS says information can be provided using the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here online tool by Nov. 21, or you can file a 2019 simplified paper tax return following the instructions on the File a Simplified Paper Tax Return page. The deadline for filing a paper return is Nov. 4.

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Incarcerated people rarely if ever have access to the internet, yet IRS instructions for notifying the agency require it.


Angela Lang/CNET

Can someone else request a stimulus payment for the incarcerated person?

Most jails and prisons do not allow internet access to those incarcerated in them, so it seems improbable if not impossible

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What’s the Best Way to Invest in Coronavirus Vaccine Stocks?

Some investors have already made a lot of money so far this year with coronavirus vaccine stocks. But what’s the best way to invest in these stocks going forward? In this Fool Live video, Healthcare and Cannabis Bureau Chief Corinne Cardina and longtime Motley Fool contributor Keith Speights discuss several investing strategies to potentially profit from coronavirus vaccine stocks.

Corinne Cardina: I’m going to ask you about strategies for investing in the coronavirus vaccine. Then we’ll try to get to a couple of questions that are rolling in.

But depending on someone’s own preferences for risk versus reward balance, there are several different approaches an investor could take. They could buy a basket of all the stocks with candidates in phase three trials, or at least those that are trading on American exchanges. You could buy a basket with some of the phase three companies that one from each of the different vaccine technologies. You could buy only the stocks with existing products in the market, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN). Or if you’re feeling really bold, you could go all in on some of the clinical-stage biotechs that really will skyrocket if they’re successful. Those biotechs are known for being pretty binary.

What do you think about strategies? What are the benefits or drawbacks of some of these strategies? What would you say?

Keith Speights: I would say to any investor, ask yourself, what is your tolerance for risk? I think that’s going to dictate which strategy you pursue.

If you are an investor who is very aggressive and you don’t mind taking on risk and you’ve got a long time horizon and you’re well-diversified, I would say you might want to take a look at some of these clinical-stage stocks. Particularly you’ve got Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA), BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX), and Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) that are all clinical-stage stocks that are leaders. They all have late-stage candidates, and so I think you might want to consider those.

But let’s say you’re not such a risk-taker. If you’re not such a risk-taker then going with stocks like Johnson & Johnson or Pfizer or AstraZeneca would certainly be something you’re going to be more comfortable with than going with one of the smaller clinical-stage biotechs.

Now, as for the basket approach, I think it could work. But there is a scenario where it wouldn’t work so well. Here’s this scenario where it would not work so well: Let’s say you put money in the basket and you put an equal amount of money in these clinical-stage biotechs as you do the big pharma companies like Pfizer and J&J. Let’s say none of them is successful, none of the vaccines are successful. Well, all of the stocks are going to fall, but the small biotech stocks are going to crash. Don’t think just diversifying across a basket insulates you from risk. There’s still a possibility that it’s not going to pan out.

Corinne Cardina: There is no

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What’s the best play in Iowa State vs. Oklahoma State?

The Big Ten and Mountain West both return to action this week, so there are a lot more college football options on the board at BetMGM. It will be tempting to wager on a few of these Big Ten matchups, but I’m going to try to stay disciplined and stick with teams that have already played this year.

Last week was a good one for my picks. In fact, I was a garbage time kick return touchdown (with multiple missed tackles) by Kansas away from a perfect 5-0 week. Despite that bad beat, I’ll take 4-1 any week I can get it.

That effort put me up to 19-14 overall for the year. Let’s see what Week 8 has in store. 

(Note: All times ET, odds from BetMGM)

Georgia Southern at No. 25 Coastal Carolina

Time: Noon | TV: ESPNU | Line: CCU -6.5 | Total: 51.5

Coastal Carolina upset Louisiana on the road last week to improve to 4-0 and enter the Top 25 for the first time in program history. I think the Chanticleers are due for a bit of a letdown and am tempted to pick Georgia Southern to cover, but with the spread below a touchdown (for now) I’m going to look at the total. 

Both of these teams use option-style, run-based offenses, so possessions could be limited. I still like the over, though. Coastal has proven it can put up points, but it is also in the bottom half of the Sun Belt in rushing defense, giving up 4.78 yards per carry. That mark is second-worst in the conference. Georgia Southern runs a more traditional triple option, and should be able to put some points on the board. This matchup has gone over the total pretty comfortably the past two years, too.

Pick: Over 51.5

Oklahoma at TCU

Time: Noon | TV: ABC | Line: Oklahoma -6.5 | Total: 59.5

I’m three-for-three picking TCU games this season, so I might as well keep the streak going. TCU quarterback Max Duggan is one of my favorite players to watch, and he’s going to be a tough matchup for the Oklahoma defense. OU showed some signs of life defensively against Texas, but I think this will end up being a fairly high-scoring game, especially with both teams coming off a bye week. 

There are some trends that back up my feelings about this game. Since it joined the Big 12, TCU has played eight conference games as a single-digit home underdog. The over is 5-3 and 5-1 in its last six. During that same span (since 2012), Oklahoma has played 11 games as a single-digit road favorite. The over is 10-1 and 7-0 in its last seven. On top of that, the last three times OU and TCU played in Fort Worth, the game went over the total by an average of 20.8 points. 

Pick: Over 59.5

Auburn at Ole Miss

Time: Noon | TV: SECN | Line: Auburn -3 | Total: 71

Auburn

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What’s it like to start college in the middle of a pandemic? Here’s how freshmen at 5 Maryland schools are dealing.

For people making a major life transition in the middle of a pandemic, some incoming college freshmen have come to terms with the weirdness of their circumstances.

This is a snapshot of what it’s like for students at five Maryland schools who are logging on to “Zoom University” for the first time, on campus or from their childhood bedrooms.

Morgan State University

Iyana Gross made an unusual decision this spring — she chose an out-of-state university.

When the pandemic hit and students were left to make decisions about which university to attend without having visited many of them, they often flocked to schools closer to home or universities that were less expensive.

But Gross, who is from Chicago, decided on Morgan State University, which she described as being the perfect mix of everything she was looking for.

“I’m from Chicago, and so I enjoy being in a big city,” she said. “But I also wanted to be at a school that had a gender studies program, and they have a gender studies program.”

“In the future, I’d like to go to medical school, or at least be in the medical field,” Gross added. “I chose Morgan because the program I’m in, medical technology, all of their graduates, within six months of graduating, have a job in their field. And for me, that is great.”

Even though she’s attending virtual classes from several hundred miles away, Gross said she feels like the university has made a good effort to reach out and organize virtual events for students.

Morgan State University also has a peer mentorship program, where older STEM students are partnered with incoming freshmen for their first two semesters.

“I love talking to my mentor. She checks in on me every week and she always sends me a ‘Happy Monday, hope things are going well,” Gross said. “She’s just been very supportive.”

While Morgan State allowed a limited number of students to return to campus, Gross, who’s immunocompromised, felt it was safer for her to stay at home this semester.

“I wasn’t necessarily willing to risk it,” Gross said, noting that while she might be doing everything she can to keep herself safe, she can’t control who she might be exposed to.

She’s also not sure if she’ll come to campus in the spring, even if it does reopen.

“It’s just not something I’m willing to take a chance on,” Gross said. “But catch me there in August 2021.”

University of Maryland, Baltimore County:

When the pandemic hit in March, Chinenye Armstrong Christopher had to make difficult decisions about what college he wanted to attend.

“’Cause of COVID 1/8 19 3/8, I didn’t want to leave the state,” he said.

Christopher, who’s from Pikesville, had been accepted by University of Maryland, Baltimore County, University of Maryland, College Park, Towson University, Penn State University and Howard University, but ruled out the last two for their distance.

But Christopher is more than happy with his decision to attend UMBC.

“I didn’t

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Robert Gehrke: What’s Amendment G on your ballot? It’s a legislative shell game involving education.

Voters across the state tore into their ballots last week as giddy as kids on Christmas morning, only to get to the end and then there’s the big record scratch: What’s with all these amendments to the Utah Constitution?

There are seven amendments — the most in at least four decades — that voters are being asked to approve. It’s a lot to digest.

Most of them aren’t particularly controversial. Removing references to slavery from the Constitution and making clear that the state’s founding document applies equally to men and women are kind of no-brainers.

But then there’s Amendment G.

It’s a complicated proposal that makes significant changes to how some of the most vital programs in state government — education and services for children and disabled individuals — get funded. So stick with me here while I lay the groundwork.

Beginning in 1946, Utah’s Constitution earmarked all of the income tax revenue to K-12 education. In 1996, a constitutional amendment added higher education to that pot of money. Sales tax and gas tax pays for every other state government program.

While income tax collection has been seeing robust growth, sales tax and gas tax have generally not, and that’s squeezing the ability to pay for things like roads and social services and highway patrol and the like.

Amendment G is, at its core, another attempt by lawmakers to relax the rules on how they spend money and ease the squeeze.

It proposes taking social service programs for children and Utahns with disabilities — about $600 million total — and funding them with money meant for education instead of sales tax dollars. State Sen. Dan McCay, R-Riverton, who sponsored the change, said the idea is to “focus on the whole kid,” that mental health services and the like are part of a quality education, so it makes sense to fund them out of the Education Fund.

To get educators on board, lawmakers passed HB357, which guarantees that, at a minimum, schools will get funding to cover rising student populations and inflation, and a percentage of new money will be put into savings to act as a buffer against future recessions.

Those are not small concessions, and it was enough to get the Utah Education Association on board. If the amendment fails, those guarantees go away — and it’s why I really went back and forth on whether to support Amendment G or not.

Years ago, Joe Biden put it this way: “Don’t tell me what you value. Show me your budget and I’ll tell you what you value.”

This is no exception. The Legislature wants more flexibility in how they slice up the budgetary pie and, so long as the pie stays the same size, one program will win and one program will lose. What’s concerning is that education generally and higher education in particular seem destined to be the losers.

Think about it this way: If lawmakers wanted to keep education spending on the same trajectory or to increase

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What’s next for college football after so many coronavirus cases in SEC?

Nick Saban follows all of the protocols.

The Alabama coach was rarely, if ever, spotted on the sidelines without a mask. He kept socially distant, at least in public, and he says he washed his hands often. He appeared in social media advertisements encouraging the public to follow CDC guidelines, and he preached to his players to keep their distance from everyone—you never know, he told them, who could be infected.

In fact, Alabama is one of the few football programs currently playing to have administered daily testing of its staff and players. That includes Saban.

And then, on Wednesday afternoon at 1 p.m., despite all of the precautions, he tested positive for the coronavirus.

“I was very surprised by this,” Saban told reporters on a Zoom call Wednesday, hours after his test result.

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Saban is, for now, asymptomatic. He feels fine, he says, and will continue to work from home while awaiting a second test result to potentially confirm the first. With the test confirmation, the 68-year-old will miss what is the biggest game, to this point, of the college football season, when No. 3 Georgia visits No. 2 Alabama on Saturday in Tuscaloosa. He will not be allowed to communicate with players or coaches. Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, a former head coach himself, is expected to fill in.

Meanwhile, the diagnosis of college football’s most successful active head coach is the latest in a string of COVID-related issues sustained this week by the country’s most high-profile conference. Florida and Vanderbilt have, at least, a combined 60 players out for virus reasons, resulting in postponements of their games this weekend against LSU and Missouri, respectively. Ole Miss is battling an outbreak as well, coach Lane Kiffin told reporters Wednesday.

Across the country, at least 29 games (about 10% of those played) have been postponed or canceled because of a virus that has killed more than 200,000 people in America and nearly 1.1 million worldwide. Saban became the seventh FBS head coach to reveal that he’s tested positive, and his diagnosis sends a chilling reminder of what medical experts have cautioned throughout the summer.

“At the end of the day, the virus doesn’t care if you want to play football,” says Shane Speights, dean of the NYIT medical school at Arkansas State, who oversees virus testing at ASU.

The virus found its way to one of the most protected men in college football, who resides in one of the most impenetrable programs in the sport.

So now what?

While awaiting the second test result, Alabama is exploring just how it happened. Saban suggested during an interview with reporters that he could have contracted it while traveling to the Crimson Tide’s road trip, noting that he left the “bubble” that the program has created in Tuscaloosa.

“As soon as you travel, you get exposed to a lot more people,” Saban said. “I wear a mask on the sideline, on the plane. Nobody really knows how this occurs.”

On Tuesday, in explaining

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