Feed + - Google News Sci Tech: Google said to be prepping new VR headset -- without the cardboard - CNET (google.com)


Google said to be prepping new VR headset -- without the cardboard
Google is reportedly planning to release a new virtual reality headset this year, one made of more rigid materials -- like the Oculus Rift -- instead of cardboard. Nick Statt/CNET. Google has virtual reality ambitions that stretch beyond cardboard. The ...
Rumor: Google Working on Gear VR-Like Virtual Reality HeadsetPC Magazine
Google reportedly plans to release a Cardboard successor like Samsung's Gear VR this yearVentureBeat
Google reportedly plans to release a Gear VR competitor later this yearThe Verge
ZDNet-Android Headlines - Android News-Business Insider
all 15 news articles

Feed + - Google News Sci Tech: Rumor: Google Working on Gear VR-Like Virtual Reality Headset - PC Magazine (google.com)

PC Magazine

Rumor: Google Working on Gear VR-Like Virtual Reality Headset
PC Magazine
If you thought Google Cardboard—the company's smartphone holder that enables a cruder virtual reality for those who want a cheap way to play with it—was the beginning and end of Google's virtual reality ambitions, you'd be wrong. According to a new...
Google said to be prepping new VR headset -- without the cardboardCNET
Google reportedly plans to release a Cardboard successor like Samsung's Gear VR this yearVentureBeat
Google reportedly plans to release a Gear VR competitor later this yearThe Verge
Android Headlines - Android News-ZDNet-Engadget
all 12 news articles

Submission + - North Korea accused of testing an ICBM with missile launch into space (examiner.com)

MarkWhittington writes: Reuters reported that North Korea launched a long-range missile that is said to have placed a satellite into space. The launch happened much to the consternation of North Korea’s neighbors, South Korea and Japan, as well as the United States. Pyongyang claimed that the missile launch was part of that country’s peaceful space program. But, other countries are pretty sure that the launch was a test of an ICBM capable of placing a nuclear weapon on any target in the world, particularly the United States.

Submission + - Elon Musk's next great idea? An electric jet that can take off vertically (bgr.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Elon Musk is changing the world one idea at a time. First, with Tesla, the man so many people call the real life Tony Stark has done an incredible job of bringing electric vehicles to the mainstream. Second, Musk has been doing an impressive job over at SpaceX in the realm of space travel. And third, Musk’s effective rough draft of a high-speed transportation system known as the Hyperloop is being contemplated and conceptualized in a very real way by some extremely smart people.

So where does Musk go from here? Why, Mars of course. Recently, Musk said that he plans to unveil SpaceX’s Mars roadmap next September. But on another front, Musk has also been thinking about developing an electric airplane capable of taking off and landing vertically.

While answering a few questions during a Q&A session at the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Award Ceremony last week, Musk was asked what his “next great idea” was.

The answer? Electric-powered air travel.

User Journal

Journal + - Journal: OK, it's been over 12 years now.

The internet isn't what it used to be... It simultaneously got better and worse. Looking back, it's hard to believe that I abandoned this account over a decade ago.

I'm back for now. Not really sure what to do anymore... Should I lurk? Should I join in the discussion? Only time will tell.

Submission + - iOS update bricks iPhones with 3rd party repairs (nhv.us)

bobmorning writes: Any reason to stay far far away from the Apple Ecosystem. It amazes me that folks gladly fork over their consumer rights to Apple. Anyhow here is the story by John DiPietro at New Hampshire Voice:

"Many Apple iPhone users have claimed that their iPhone 6 stopped working after the newest update permanently disables the phone if it detects that the smartphone has been repaired by a non-Apple technician. The latest operating system released by Apple renders the phone completely useless if it has been repaired by non-Apple technician, according to latest news reports. The issue has been termed as “Error 53” and the phone will be permanently disabled in such cases.

Submission + - Microsoft's Cortana Doesn't Put Up With Sexual Harassment (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: Not long after Apple unveiled its Siri personal assistant to the world, it took very little time before people began asking her outrageous questions, sometimes inappropriate or just humorous, if for no other reason than they just could. When creating Cortana, Microsoft was well-aware of what its digital assistant was going to have to deal with, so, believe it or not, it was designed in such a way to handle abuse in a specific manner. According to Microsoft's Deborah Harrison, who is one of eight writers for Cortana, a chunk of the earliest queries were about Cortana's sex life. A specific goal was to make sure Cortana wasn't treated as a subservient. If she's insulted, she doesn't apologize or back down. She handles it with tact, so as to reduce the chance of further abuse.

Feed + - Google News Sci Tech: NASA Juno spacecraft adjusts course for July 4 Jupiter arrival - SlashGear (google.com)


NASA Juno spacecraft adjusts course for July 4 Jupiter arrival
NASA has announced that adjustments had been made this week to the course of its Juno spacecraft, which is on its way to the planet Jupiter. On Wednesday, the space agency carried out an "engine burn," firing the spacecraft's thrusters to put it on ...
NASA's Juno probe may solve the mysteries of the early solar systemBABW News
Juno's First Engine Burn Perfected the Spacecraft's TrajectoryThe Monitor Daily
NASA announces first 'engine burn' of Juno spacecraftPerfScience
Modern Readers-Tech Times-STGIST
all 82 news articles

Submission + - The death of SLS begins

An anonymous reader writes: At House hearings this week, congressmen listened to several space experts who lambasted NASA's asteroid and Mars mission proposals.

Paul Spudis of the Lunar and Planetary Institute and an expert on lunar science, was especially harsh.

"America's civil space program is in disarray, with many aspirations and hopes but few concrete, realizable plans for future missions or strategic direction," he said, adding that NASA lacks what it needs to pull off the mission (and throwing some shade at the agency's strong Twitter game). "We pretend that we are on a '#JourneytoMars' but in fact, possess neither the technology nor the economic resources necessary to undertake a human Mars mission now or within the foreseeable future. What is needed is a logically arranged set of short-term, realizable space goals-a series of objectives and destinations that are not only interesting in and of themselves, but whose attainment build space faring capability in the long term."

The testimony claimed that it could cost anywhere from $500 billion to $1 trillion for NASA to get humans to Mars, numbers that are reasonable based on using NASA's very costly and overpriced SLS/Orion rocket and capsule. The congressmen were of course interested in this, not because they want to get to Mars, but because they see gobs of pork for their districts in these numbers.

However, I expect that when SpaceX begins successfully launching its Falcon Heavy rocket in the next two years while simultaneously putting humans in space with its Dragon capsule, and does both for a tenth the cost of SLS/Orion, those same congressmen will dump SLS/Orion very quickly. Though they want the pork, they also know they don't have $500 billion to $1 trillion to spend on space. The private sector gives them an option that is both affordable and of strong self-interest. The more realistically priced and designed hardware of private companies will give them a more credible opportunity to fund pork in their districts.

Submission + - Thirty Meter Telescope likely never gets built ... in Hawai

An anonymous reader writes: After years of doing everything the state of Hawaii demanded in order to get permission to build the Thirty Meter Telescope, a state judge today ordered that the whole process should start over again.

Since this order was instigated by the protesters, and that it appears the government favors those protesters, it appears that there is no chance TMT will ever get approval to build in Hawaii. Though the university consortium building the telescope says they want to go through the new process to get permission, they are wasting their time. It will never happen. The peasants with the pitchforks and burning torches, terrified of new knowledge while preferring the worship of a mountain, are in control in Hawaii.

Submission + - Meet the soft, cuddly robots of the future (nature.com)

turkeydance writes: From the publication nature:
“Think about how hard it is to tie shoelaces,” says Daniela Rus, director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. “That's the kind of capability we'd like to have in robotics.”

Submission + - Morocco switches on first part of the world's largest solar plant (iflscience.com)

AmiMoJo writes: Noor 1 is just the first of three phases of a solar plant that will eventually cover an area larger than the country's capital, Rabat. It is hoped that it will eventually produce so much electricity that the nation will not only be able to meet its own energy needs, but also export the excess to Europe. The first section of the plant is now producing 160 MWp. Built near the town of Ouarzazate in central Morocco, the plant uses solar thermal technology, rather than photovoltaic solar panels. Solar thermal technology uses mirrors, which track the movement of the Sun, to concentrate solar rays to heat oil in pipes. The hot oil is used to create steam in order to power turbines, creating the electricity. The advantage of using this technique is that the oil can then be used to melt salt, which holds onto the energy, and can be used to produce power even after the Sun has gone down.

Submission + - Massive Layoffs Hit University of Copenhagen

jones_supa writes: University of Copenhagen is cutting deep into its staff to cut operation costs. Even though a great deal of the savings are aimed at administration and service, they are expected to affect the quality of education and research many years ahead. More than 500 teachers, researchers and employees in service and administrative jobs will be leaving. This corresponds to 7% of all staff. 209 employees can anticipate being laid off, while 323 jobs are either discontinued or terminated via voluntary redundancy. In addition to this, the university will have to reduce its PhD intake by 10% in the coming years. This is the outcome of the government's 2016 budget which imposes huge savings on research and education. As you might remember, we just heard about a similar situation in University of Helsinki in Finland.

Submission + - Firefox going to 6-8 week variable release schedule (mozilla.org)

AmiMoJo writes: Four years ago Mozilla moved to a fixed-schedule release model, otherwise known as the Train Model, in which we released Firefox every six weeks to get features and updates to users faster. Now Mozilla is moving to a variable 6-8 week cycle, with the same number of releases per year but some flexibility to "respond to emerging user and market needs" and allow time for holidays.

The new release schedule looks like this:

2016-01-26 – Firefox 44
2016-03-08 – Firefox 45, ESR 45 (6 weeks cycle)
2016-04-19 – Firefox 46 (6 weeks cycle)
2016-06-07 – Firefox 47 (7 weeks cycle)
2016-08-02 – Firefox 48 (8 weeks cycle)
2016-09-13 – Firefox 49 (6 weeks cycle)
2016-11-08 – Firefox 50 (8 weeks cycle)
2016-12-13 – Firefox 50.0.1 (5 week cycle, release for critical fixes as needed)
2017-01-24 – Firefox 51 (6 weeks from prior release)

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Surge Protection for International Travel?

gaiageek writes: As someone who has lost a laptop power supply (and thus use of the laptop) due to a late-night power surge while traveling in a developing country, I'm acutely aware of the need for surge protection when traveling abroad. While practically all laptop and phone power adapters these days are voltage auto-sensing 100V-240V compatible, most so-called "travel" surge protectors are restricted to either 110V or 220V. Given the space and weight constraints of carry-on only travel, I'd like to avoid having to carry two separate surge protectors knowing I may go from Central America (110V) to Southeast Asia (220V). Strangely, laptop specific surge protectors typically are 100V-240V compatible, but this doesn't provide protection for a phone or tablet that requires the original power supply (can't be charged from a notebook USB port).

Is there really no solution out there short using a 110V-240V notebook surge protector with an adapter to go from a "cloverleaf" notebook plug to a 5-15R (standard US) plug receptacle?

Submission + - Snowden Leaks Cost Pulitzer Winning Journalist W.H. Security Clearance, Job (businessinsider.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Ashkan Soltani was recently detailed to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy from a position at the the Federal Trade Commission. Former Google executive and White House chief technology officer Megan Smith extended a warm welcome. His portfolio at the White House included privacy issues, data ethics, and outreach to the technical community, among others. His drug test was complete, and the FBI investigation for his clearance was under way, when the wheels came off. His clearance was denied. Ashkan's move to the White House surprised some when it was announced due to his history. Ashkan had worked at the Washington Post where he helped analyze and safeguard the Snowden NSA document dump. A technologist at the ACLU noted that Ashkan had published many stories that probably irritated US intelligence officials. Government organizations have previously warned government employees to not access classified information made available in the media. Nobody is directly stating this is the reason, but the subtexts seem clear enough. Ashkan intends to leave Washington and head back to the west coast.

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