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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Blogger stabbed to death after giving seminar on online trolls – CNET

The suspect reportedly harassed the victim online before the attack, even though the two had never met in person.
Source: CNET

Qualcomm bets more kids will wear smartwatches – CNET

That’s why it’s created new technology, the Snapdragon Wear 2500 Platform, to help companies build watches for children.
Source: CNET

Razer Blade 15 vs. MacBook Pro

Razer’s latest crop of laptops is better than ever before, so what better test than to see how they fare against Apple’s best? This head to head pits the Razer Blade 15 vs. MacBook Pro to see which takes the top spot.

The post Razer Blade 15 vs. MacBook Pro appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Watch Rocket Lab’s first commercial launch, ‘It’s Business Time’

Rocket Lab, the New Zealand-based rocket company that is looking to further amplify the commercial space frenzy, is launching its first fully paid payload atop an Electron rocket tonight — technically tomorrow morning at the launch site. If successful, it will mark a significant new development in the highly competitive world of commercial launches.

Liftoff is planned for 2:10 in the morning local time in New Zealand, or 7:10 Pacific time in the U.S.; the live stream will start about 20 minutes before that.

The Electron rocket is a far smaller one than the Falcon 9s we see so frequently these days, with a nominal payload of 150 kilograms, just a fraction of the many tons that we see sent up by SpaceX. But that’s the whole point, Rocket Lab’s founder, CEO and chief engineer Peter Beck told me recently.

“You can go buy a spot on a big launch vehicle, but they’re not very frequent. With a small rocket you can choose your orbit and choose your schedule,” he said. “That’s what we’re driving at here: regular and reliable access to space.”

An Electron rocket launching during a previous test.

Just like not every car on the road has to be a big rig, not every rocket needs to be a Saturn V. 150 kilos is more than enough to fill with paying customers and cover the cost of launch. And Beck told me there is no shortage whatsoever of paying customers.

“The most important part of the mission is the timing in which we manifested it,” he explained (manifesting meaning having a payload added to the manifest). “We went from nothing manifested to a full payload in about 12 weeks.”

For comparison, some missions or payloads will wait literally years before there’s an opportunity to get to the orbit they need. Loading up just a few weeks ahead of time is unusual, to say the least.

Today’s launch will carry satellites from Spire, Tyvak/GeoOptics, students at UC Irvine, and High Performance Space Structure Systems; you can see the specifics of these on the manifest (PDF). It’s not the first time an Electron has taken a paid payload to orbit, but it is the first fully commercialized launch.

Rocket Lab has no ambitions for interplanetary travel, sending people to space, or anything like that. It just wants to take 150 kilograms to orbit as often as it can, as inexpensively as it can.

“We’re not interested in building a bigger rocket, we’re interested in building more of this one,” Beck said. “The vehicle is fully dialed in; we started from day one with this vehicle designed from a production approach. We’re fully vertically integrated, we don’t have any contractors, we do everything in house. We’ve been scaling up the factories enormously.”

“We’re looking for a one-a-month cadence this year, then next year one every two weeks,” he continued. “Frequency is the key — it’s the choke point in space right now.”

Ultimately the plan is to get a rocket lifting off every few days. And if you think that will be enough to meet demand, just wait a couple years.


Source: TechCrunch

Botched paint job turns statue of saint into Nicolas Cage – CNET

A Spanish statue of St. George underwent a disastrous restoration, and now it looks like Nic Cage or Woody from Toy Story.
Source: CNET

Aston Martin DBS loses weight and gains great looks video – Roadshow

The DBS name has been shared by some of the most classic cars in Aston Martin’s history and now it’s back.
Source: CNET

Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and more tech companies are condemning Trump – CNET

Silicon Valley CEOs move past cybersecurity and taxes to comment on social issues like gay rights and immigration.
Source: CNET

These pieces of video game artwork were honored at this year's E3 – CNET

In its 15th year, Into The Pixel exhibition strives to bring together fine artists and experts from the gaming industry to celebrate the art of the video game. Here’s a gallery of the finalists and their work as seen at E3 this year.
Source: CNET

Where’s the outrage? How the Trump travel ban went from fury to forgotten – CNET

Social media and a frenetic news cycle means we can’t stay committed to one issue.
Source: CNET

Facebook permanently grounds its Aquila solar-powered internet plane

Facebook has announced that it will no longer pursue its dream of building a gigantic, solar-powered plane to blast internet to underserved communities via laser. Surprisingly, it’s just not practical.

In a news post on the company’s coding sub-site, Facebook’s Yael Maguire announced that “we’ve decided not to design or build our own aircraft any longer, and to close our facility in Bridgewater.” Closing the facility comes with the loss of 16 jobs specific to the development and maintenance of the aircraft, the company confirmed to TechCrunch, though plenty relating to other aspects of the project were unaffected.

The company will continue its work with partners, such as Airbus, to help advance “high altitude platform stations” (HAPS) like the Aquila.

The program has been underway since 2014 (the acquisition of Ascenta seems to have been its real start) and public since 2015, and had its first test flight in 2016 — resulting in a “structural failure,” hard landing and subsequent NTSB investigation. The second test flight was better, but far from perfect.

The craft itself, an enormous flying V that stayed aloft at extremely low power draw replenished by solar cells, seems to have worked quite well, actually, despite a few hiccups. But Facebook isn’t the only company looking to get into low-power, high-altitude communications craft.

“As we’ve worked on these efforts, it’s been exciting to see leading companies in the aerospace industry start investing in this technology too — including the design and construction of new high-altitude aircraft,” wrote Maguire.

Considering the considerable scale of investment required to build a craft like this from scratch, and the vast gap in expertise and core competencies between a social network and a veteran aerospace company, it’s not surprising that Facebook decided to cut its losses.

The decision was preceded by a report from Business Insider that the project had more or less stalled: its head and chief engineer left last month after, from reading between the lines, efforts to double down on the project with a redesign and private hangar were rejected.

The Aquila plan, like other ambitious connectivity ideas, some still in the offing, was conceived in a period one might call “peak Facebook,” when it was at the height of its growth, before it attracted nearly the level of criticism it faces today, and when its goals were lofty in several ways.

No doubt the company plans to pursue “the next billion” in a way that isn’t quite so costly or unprecedented. Maguire does indicate that work will continue, just not in such a direct way:

Going forward, we’ll continue to work with partners like Airbus on HAPS connectivity generally, and on the other technologies needed to make this system work, like flight control computers and high-density batteries. On the policy front, we’ll be working on a proposal for 2019 World Radio Conference to get more spectrum for HAPS, and we’ll be actively participating in a number of aviation advisory boards and rule-making committees in the US and internationally.

It’s hard to fault Facebook for its ambition, though even at the time there were plenty who objected to this extremely techno-utopian idea of how internet could be delivered to isolated communities. Surely, they said, and will continue to say, that money would be better spent laying fiber or establishing basic infrastructure. We’ll see.

I asked Facebook for more information, such as what projects specifically it will be backing, and what will happen to the IP and hardware the Aquila program comprised.

Although a Facebook representative declined to answer my specific questions, they emphasized the fact that the Aquila project was both successful and wide-ranging; although an actual aircraft will no longer be part of it (that duty falls to actual aerospace companies), there were many other advances in transmission, propulsion and so on that are still very much in active development. What exactly the company plans to do with those is still unclear, but we can probably expect news on that front over the next few months as the program adjusts focus.


Source: TechCrunch

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