Computers & Linux News

SpaceX Reveals the Controls of Its Dragon Spacecraft For the First Time

SlashDot - 2 hours 12 min ago
On Monday, SpaceX let reporters take a look inside its Crew Dragon capsule for the first time, as well as hear from the four astronauts: Bob Behnken, Doug Hurley, Victor Glover and Mike Hopkins. Ars Technica writes about several pieces of hardware observed at the event in Hawthorne, California: During the event at SpaceX, engineers guided reporters through various displays. Outside, under a resplendent blue sky with the rolling hills of Palos Verdes in the distance, media was invited to crawl into a low-fidelity mockup of the crew Dragon spacecraft. This was a roomy vehicle, especially in comparison to NASA's current ride to the space station, a cramped Soyuz with a capacity of three. The Dragon will comfortably carry a normal complement of four for NASA, but seven seats can fit inside. On the second floor of its main factory, where astronauts have trained in recent years, SpaceX also showed off two simulators publicly for the first time. This marked the first time SpaceX has revealed details about the controls and the interior of its crewed spacecraft. The cockpit simulator demonstrated the controls that Dragon astronauts will have at their command. In comparison to the space shuttle and its more than 1,000 buttons, switches, and controls, the Dragon capsule has a modest array of three flat screens and two rows of buttons below. These touch screens selectively display the necessary controls during flight and are the primary interface astronauts have with the vehicle. Below are two rows of manual buttons, 38 in total, that provide back-up control of the spacecraft. Many of the buttons are situated beneath clear panels, intended to never be used, because they are often the third option after the touch screens and ground control of the Dragon. One control stood out -- a large black and red handle in the middle of the console with "EJECT" printed in clear white letters above it. This initiates the launch escape system, which rapidly pulls the spacecraft away from the rocket in the case of an emergency during the ascent into space. It must be pulled, then twisted. Normally the flight computers would initiate such a maneuver, but the prominence of the escape system handle underlines its importance. Notably, after the vehicle reaches orbit, this control becomes "deadened," such that accidentally pulling it in space would do nothing. CNBC has included several pictures of the Crew Dragon capsule mock-up in their report. CNN also has a first look video with text and quotes from the astronauts.

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Sharks have a new enemy: Magnets - CNET

CNET News - 2 hours 52 min ago
Scientists say a few $2 magnets could be enough to save sharks and rays from dying in commercial fish traps.

Netflix's new animated movie is like Big Hero 6 mixed with The Iron Giant - CNET

CNET News - 3 hours 54 min ago
If you're going to mimic animated movies, you might as well mimic the best ones.

MoviePass' new 3 movies per month for $10 plan is live - CNET

CNET News - 5 hours 12 min ago
Unless MoviePass has changed their plans again.

Scientists Calculate the Speed of Death In Cells And It's 30 Micrometers Per Minute

SlashDot - Tue, 2018-08-14 23:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Live Science: Scientists found that death travels in unremitting waves through a cell, moving at a rate of 30 micrometers (one-thousandth of an inch) every minute, they report in a new study published Aug. 10 in the journal Science. That means, for instance, that a nerve cell, whose body can reach a size of 100 micrometers, could take as long as 3 minutes and 20 seconds to die. Apoptosis -- or programmed cell death -- is necessary for clearing our bodies of unnecessary or harmful cells, such as those that are infected by viruses. It also helps shape organs and other features in a developing fetus. To figure this out, Ferrell and his team observed the process in one of the larger cells present in nature: egg cells of Xenopus laevis, or African clawed frogs. They filled test tubes with fluid from the eggs and triggered apoptosis, which they watched unfold by tagging involved proteins with fluorescent light. If they saw fluorescent light, it meant apoptosis was taking place. They found that the fluorescent light traveled through the test tubes at a constant speed. If apoptosis had carried on due to simple diffusion (the spreading of substances from an area of high concentration to one of low concentration), the process would have slowed down toward the end, according to the study. Since it didn't, the researchers concluded that the process they observed must be "trigger waves," which they likened to "the spread of a fire through a field." The caspases that are first activated, activate other molecules of caspases, which activate yet others, until the entire cell is destroyed.

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I think it's safe to say McAfee's 'unhackable' crypto-wallet has been hacked - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2018-08-14 22:29
Analysis: Until someone claims the Bitfi bounty, we won't know for sure.

Verizon Nears 5G Launch Deals With Apple and Google: Bloomberg

SlashDot - Tue, 2018-08-14 22:05
In a statement Tuesday, Verizon announced deals making Apple and Google its first video providers for a 5G wireless service its planning to launch in four cities later this year. From the report: The home broadband service will debut in Los Angeles, Houston and Sacramento, California, as well as the newly announced fourth city of Indianapolis, Verizon said Tuesday in a statement. With the introduction, Verizon will provide 5G customers either a free Apple TV box or free subscription to Google's YouTube TV app for live television service, according to people familiar with the plan. After shelving its own online TV effort, New York-based Verizon decided to partner with the two technology giants for video content, a first step toward eventually competing nationally against internet and pay TV providers such as AT&T and Comcast Using fifth-generation wireless technology, Verizon plans to beam online services to home receivers, delivering speeds that match or exceed landline connections.

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Evangeline Lilly wanted to play Leia in Star Wars trilogy - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2018-08-14 21:35
The actress says she loves playing The Wasp, but has dreams of an all-female Avengers movie.

WWV Shortwave Time Broadcasts May Be Slashed In 2019

SlashDot - Tue, 2018-08-14 21:25
New submitter SteveSgt writes: A forum thread on indicates that the shortwave time broadcasts by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) from stations WWV (Colorado) and WWVH (Hawaii) may be slashed in budget year 2019. [One of the proposed reductions includes "$6.3 million supporting fundamental measurement dissemination, including the shutdown of NIST radio stations in Colorado and Hawaii."] While the WWV broadcasts may seem like an anachronism to some Slashdotters, they remain a crucial component in many unexpected services, from over-the-air broadcasters and traffic signals, to medical devices, wall clocks, and wrist watches. The signals serve as standard beacons for radio propagation, and as a frequency reference for alignment of a broad range of communications equipment. It's easy to imagine that not even the NIST knows every service and device that could be impacted by this decision.

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Twitter suspends Infowars host Alex Jones' ability to tweet - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2018-08-14 21:21
Twitter finally follows the lead of every other social media platform.

Stranger Things star: Hopper denies Eleven has powers - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2018-08-14 20:45
Netflix star David Harbour admits his character can't be honest about the girl he treats as a daughter.

LA To Become First In US To Install Subway Body Scanners

SlashDot - Tue, 2018-08-14 20:45
Los Angeles officials announced Tuesday that the city's subway will become the first mass transit system in the U.S. to install body scanners that screen passengers for weapons and explosives. "The deployment of the portable scanners, which project waves to do full-body screenings of passengers walking through a station without slowing them down, will happen in the coming months, said Alex Wiggins, who runs the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's law enforcement division," reports the Associated Press reports: The machines scan for metallic and non-metallic objects on a person's body, can detect suspicious items from 30 feet (9 meters) away and have the capability of scanning more than 2,000 passengers per hour. On Tuesday, Pekoske and other officials demonstrated the new machines, which are being purchased from Thruvision, which is headquartered in the United Kingdom. In addition to the Thruvision scanners, the agency is also planning to purchase other body scanners -- which resemble white television cameras on tripods -- that have the ability to move around and hone in on specific people and angles, Wiggins said. Signs will be posted at stations warning passengers they are subject to body scanner screening. The screening process is voluntary, Wiggins said, but customers who choose not be screened won't be able to ride on the subway.

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Jordan Peele might take Rod Serling's role on new Twilight Zone - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2018-08-14 20:44
The showrunner for the CBS revival has "resisted but not ruled out" stepping into the iconic narrator role.

Fans want Peter Weller to star as RoboCop in upcoming sequel - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2018-08-14 20:10
Inspired by a two-word tweet from director Neill Blomkamp, fans are clamoring to see this casting happen.

A Community-Run ISP Is the Highest Rated Broadband Company In America

SlashDot - Tue, 2018-08-14 20:03
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: A new survey by Consumer Reports once again highlights how consumers are responding positively to [community-run broadband networks]. The organization surveyed 176,000 Consumer Reports readers on their experience with their pay TV and broadband providers, and found that the lion's share of Americans remain completely disgusted with most large, incumbent operators. The full ratings are paywalled but available here to those with a Consumer Reports subscription. All the usual suspects including Comcast, Charter (Spectrum), AT&T, Verizon, and Optimum once again fell toward the bottom of the barrel in terms of overall satisfaction, reliability, and value, largely mirroring similar studies from the American Customer Satisfaction Index. One of the lone bright spots for broadband providers was Chattanooga's EPB, a city-owned and utility operated broadband provider we profiled several years back as an example of community broadband done well. The outfit, which Comcast attempted unsuccessfully to sue into oblivion, was the only ISP included in the study that received positive ratings for value. "EPB was the top internet service provider in our telecom ratings two times in the past three years," Christopher Raymond, electronics editor at Consumer Reports told Motherboard. "Consumer Reports members have given it high marks for not only reliability and speed, but also overall value -- and that's a rare distinction in an arena dominated by the major cable companies," he said.

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Comcast X1 boxes now let you vote for America’s Got Talent - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2018-08-14 19:32
First The Voice, now America's Got Talent has interactive voting by remote.

California Officials Admit To Using License Plate Readers To Monitor Welfare Recipients

SlashDot - Tue, 2018-08-14 19:20
According to a report from the Sacramento Bee, officials in Sacramento County have been accessing license plate reader data to track welfare recipients suspected of fraud. The practice dates back to 2016. Gizmodo reports: Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance Director Ann Edwards confirmed to the paper that welfare fraud investigators working under the DHA have used the data for two years on a "case-by-case" basis. Edwards said the DHA pays about $5,000 annually for access to the database. Abbreviated LPR, license plate readers are essentially cameras that upload photographs to a searchable database of images of license plates. If a driver passed by an LPR four times throughout a city, an officer with access would know where and at what time of day. Anyone with access to that data could use it track where someone drove and when, provided they were scanned by the LPR. It's not immediately clear how travel patterns might reveal welfare fraud. As noted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, welfare fraud is statistically speaking, extremely rare. In 2012, the DHA found only 500 cases of fraud among Sacramento's 193,000 recipients. Following an inquiry from the EFF, the DHA has instituted a privacy policy (one that didn't exist before their initial inquiry) requiring investigators to justify each request for LPR data. The Sacramento Bee reports the DHA accessed the data over a thousand times in two years.

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LA to become first US subway to install portable body scanners - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2018-08-14 19:10
Devices can detect metallic and non-metallic objects from 30 feet away.

Bird, Lime stop scooter service to protest Uber, Lyft rankings - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2018-08-14 18:46
The move comes as Santa Monica ranks the ride-hailing companies over Bird and Lime in its scooter pilot program.

Tinder co-founders just sued the dating app's owners for $2 billion - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2018-08-14 18:44
They allege Match Group and parent company IAC manipulated Tinder's valuation to "cheat" employees out of billions of dollars.