Computers & Linux News

NASA To Pay More For Less Cargo Delivery To the Space Station

SlashDot - 1 hour 17 min ago
A new report from NASA's inspector general, Paul Martin, finds that NASA will pay significantly more for commercial cargo delivery to the ISS in the 2020s rather than enjoying cost savings from maturing systems. "NASA will likely pay $400 million more for its second round of delivery contracts from 2020 to 2024 even though the agency will be moving six fewer tons of cargo," reports Ars Technica. "On a cost per kilogram basis, this represents a 14-percent increase." From the report: One of the main reasons for this increase, the report says, is a 50-percent increase in prices from SpaceX, which has thus far flown the bulk of missions for NASA's commercial cargo program with its Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket. This is somewhat surprising because, during the first round of supply missions, which began in 2012, SpaceX had substantially lower costs than NASA's other partner, Orbital ATK. SpaceX and Orbital ATK are expected to fly 31 supply missions between 2012 and 2020, the first phase of the supply contract. Of those, the new report states, SpaceX is scheduled to complete 20 flights at an average cost of $152.1 million per mission. Orbital ATK is scheduled to complete 11 missions at an average cost of $262.6 million per mission. But that cost differential will largely evaporate in the second round of cargo supply contracts. For flights from 2020 to 2024, SpaceX will increase its price while Orbital ATK cuts its own by 15 percent. The new report provides unprecedented public detail about the second phase of commercial resupply contracts, known as CRS-2, which NASA awarded in a competitively bid process in 2016. SpaceX and Orbital ATK again won contracts (for a minimum of six flights), along with a new provider, Sierra Nevada Corp. and its Dream Chaser vehicle. Bids by Boeing and Lockheed Martin were not accepted.

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Dragalia Lost is Nintendo's newest mobile game - CNET

CNET News - 1 hour 53 min ago
The RPG will hit your iPhone or Android device this year, as will Nintendo's previously announced Mario Kart mobile game.

Genealogy Websites Were Key To Big Break In Golden State Killer Case

SlashDot - Thu, 2018-04-26 23:30
An anonymous reader shares a report from The New York Times: The Golden State Killer raped and murdered victims all across the state of California in an era before Google searches and social media, a time when the police relied on shoe leather, not cellphone records or big data. But it was technology that got him. The suspect, Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, was arrested by the police on Tuesday. Investigators accuse him of committing more than 50 rapes and 12 murders. Investigators used DNA from crime scenes and plugged that genetic profile into a commercial online genealogy database. They found distant relatives of Mr. DeAngelo's and traced their DNA to him. "We found a person that was the right age and lived in this area -- and that was Mr. DeAngelo," said Steve Grippi, the assistant chief in the Sacramento district attorney's office. Investigators then obtained what Anne Marie Schubert, the Sacramento district attorney, called "abandoned" DNA samples from Mr. DeAngelo. "You leave your DNA in a place that is a public domain," she said. The test result confirmed the match to more than 10 murders in California. Ms. Schubert's office then obtained a second sample and came back with the same positive result, matching the full DNA profile. Representatives at 23andMe and other gene testing services denied on Thursday that they had been involved in identifying the killer.

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Star Trek beams up its first ever female director for next film - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2018-04-26 23:07
S.J. Clarkson makes sci-fi history as the first woman to direct Spock and his fellow Enterprise shipmates in "Star Trek 4."

Should Police Body Cameras Get Facial Recognition Tech?

PCMag News - Thu, 2018-04-26 22:54
Privacy groups are worried that Axon, a major vendor of police body cameras, will incorporate the error-prone technology into its product.

Square to buy website-building company Weebly for $365M - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2018-04-26 22:48
The deal is expected to accelerate Square's international expansion.

Einstein's 'Spooky Action' Has Been Demonstrated On a Massive Scale For the First Time

SlashDot - Thu, 2018-04-26 22:20
schwit1 shares a report from ScienceAlert: For the first time, scientists have managed to show quantum entanglement -- which Einstein famously described as "spooky action at a distance" -- happening between macroscopic objects, a major step forward in our understanding of quantum physics. Quantum entanglement links particles in a way that they instantly affect each other, even over vast distances. On the surface, this powerful bond defies classical physics and, generally, our understanding of reality, which is why Einstein found it so spooky. But the phenomenon has since become a cornerstone of modern technology. Still, up until now quantum entanglement has only been demonstrated to work at the smallest of scales, in systems based on light and atoms, for example. Any attempt to increase the sizes has caused problems with stability, with the slightest of environmental disturbances breaking the connection. But new research changes all of this, by demonstrating that this "spooky action" can indeed be a reality between massive objects. We're not talking massive in the black hole sense but in the macroscopic sense -- two 15-micrometer-wide vibrating drum heads. And the next step will be to test whether those vibrations are being teleported between the two objects. The research has been published in the journal Nature.

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Sprint, T-Mobile reportedly may wrap up deal talks by next week - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2018-04-26 21:47
The wireless carriers are talking about how they would exercise voting control over the combined company, Reuters reports.

Parents Can Now Limit YouTube Kids To Human-Reviewed Channels and Recommendations

SlashDot - Thu, 2018-04-26 21:40
Google is announcing an expanded series of parental controls for its YouTube Kids application. "The new features will allow parents to lock down the YouTube Kids app so it only displays those channels that have been reviewed by humans, not just algorithms," reports TechCrunch. "And this includes both the content displayed within the app itself, as well as the recommended videos. A later update will allow parents to configure which videos and channels, specifically, can be viewed." From the report: The controls will be opt-in -- meaning parents will have to explicitly turn on the various settings within each child's profile in YouTube Kids' settings. [...] First, videos are uploaded to YouTube's main site. They're then filtered using machine learning techniques through a series of algorithms that determine if they should be added to YouTube Kids' catalog. But algorithms are not people, and they make mistakes. To fill in the gaps in this imperfect system, YouTube Kids relied on parents to flag suspect videos for review. YouTube employs a dedicated team of reviewers for YouTube Kids, but it doesn't say how many people are tasked with this job. This system, parents have felt for some time, just wasn't good enough. Now, parents will be able to toggle on a new setting for "Approved content only," which also disables search. A later version of YouTube Kids will go even further -- allowing parents to select individual videos or channels they approve of, for a truly handpicked selection. The new features in YouTube Kids will roll out over the course of the year, the company says, with everything but the explicit whitelisting option arriving this week.

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Cord Cutting Caused By 74 Percent TV Price Hikes Since 2000, Says Report

SlashDot - Thu, 2018-04-26 21:00
A new study by Kagan, S&P Global Market Intelligence finds that cord cutting is being caused primarily by a 74% increase in customer cable bills since 2000. From a report: That increase is even adjusted for inflation, and it should be noted that individual earnings have seen a modest decline during that same period, making soaring cable rates untenable for many. This affordability gap is "squeezing penetration rates, particularly among the more economically vulnerable households," the research company added. As their chart illustrates, prices for multichannel packages have steadily risen from just below $60 a month in 2000 to close to $100 in 2016. All while incomes remained largely stagnant. As customers grow increasingly angry at cable TV rate hikes and defect to streaming alternatives, most cable operators are simply raising the price of broadband (often via usage caps and overage fees) to try and make up for lost revenue. And because most parts of America still don't really see healthy broadband competition, they can consistently get away with it.

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Yahoo is making it harder for users to sue - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2018-04-26 20:52
A class action waiver and mutual arbitration clause are two big changes for Yahoo users as the site integrates further into the Verizon Oath family.

Tesla Autopilot Crisis Deepens With Loss of Third Autopilot Boss In 18 Months

SlashDot - Thu, 2018-04-26 20:20
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: It is no secret that Tesla's Autopilot project is struggling. Last summer, we covered a report that Tesla was bleeding talent from its Autopilot division. Tesla Autopilot head Sterling Anderson quit Tesla at the end of 2016. His replacement was Chris Lattner, who had previously created the Swift programming language at Apple. But Lattner only lasted six months before departing last June. Now Lattner's replacement, Jim Keller, is leaving Tesla as well. Keller was a well-known chip designer at AMD before he was recruited to lead Tesla's hardware engineering efforts for Autopilot in 2016. Keller has been working to develop custom silicon for Autopilot, potentially replacing the Nvidia chips being used in today's Tesla vehicles. When Lattner left Tesla last June, Keller was given broader authority over the Autopilot program as a whole. Keller's departure comes just weeks after the death of Walter Huang, a driver whose Model X vehicle slammed into a concrete lane divider in Mountain View, California. Tesla has said Autopilot was engaged at the time of the crash. Tesla has since gotten into public feuds with both Huang's family and the National Transportation Safety Board, the federal agency investigating the crash. "Today is Jim Keller's last day at Tesla, where he has overseen low-voltage hardware, Autopilot software and infotainment," Tesla said in a statement to Electrek. "Prior to joining Tesla, Jim's core passion was microprocessor engineering, and he's now joining a company where he'll be able to once again focus on this exclusively."

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The DS X E-Tense Concept is an asymmetrical, electric French fever dream - Roadshow

CNET News - Thu, 2018-04-26 20:16
With 1360 electric horsepower routed to the front wheel only and one of the weirdest passenger layouts yet described to us, the DS X E-Tense promises a weird, wonderful future.

Amazon Prime Will Start Costing You $119 Per Year

PCMag News - Thu, 2018-04-26 19:54
The price hike will go into effect in May for new customers, and mid-June for existing subscribers.

Apple Discontinues Its AirPort Router Line

SlashDot - Thu, 2018-04-26 19:40
9to5Mac reports that Apple is officially exiting the wireless router business and selling off its remaining inventory of AirPort products. This includes the AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme, and both models of the AirPort Time Capsule. "We're discontinuing the Apple AirPort base station products," Apple said in a statement to 9to5Mac. "They will be available through, Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers while supplies last." From the report: While the news is disappointing for fans of Apple's routers, the end of the AirPort line is no surprise either. Bloomberg reported back in November 2016 that Apple had disbanded the team responsible for developing Apple's routers, and in January 9to5Mac was first to report that Apple Stores started selling third-party. At the time, Apple told us that its AirPort line would remain -- with the mesh Wi-Fi routers adding a solution for larger homes: "People love our AirPort products and we continue to sell them. Connectivity is important in the home and we are giving customers yet another option that is well suited for larger homes."

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Genealogy site credited with helping ID Golden State Killer suspect - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2018-04-26 19:30
Authorities say consumer DNA databases provided their big break, but popular sites deny involvement.

MoviePass may have retired unlimited movie ticket option - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2018-04-26 19:12
The ticket-a-day package went away earlier this month, and the CEO says he doesn't know if it will return.

​Amazon's sales surge as possible Trump backlash looms - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2018-04-26 19:10
The e-commerce giant posts another blowout quarter and renews its streaming deal with the NFL. Even so, it faces potential challenges from the White House. Plus: Annual US Prime fees were raised by 20 percent.

Amazon to raise Prime membership in US to $119 from $99 - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2018-04-26 19:07
The 20 percent price hike goes into effect May 11 and hits existing customers' renewals on June 16.

Cool purple accessories for your cool purple Samsung Galaxy S9 - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2018-04-26 19:07
From a wireless headphone to a USB hub to rugged phone cases, everything's coming up purple.