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+ - ESA complete spaceplane test flight; IXV safely returns to Earth->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "The European Space Agency (ESA) has successfully completed the first test flight of its Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV), as planned, wherein it saw the wingless spaceplane land in one piece in the Pacific Ocean. A Vega VV04 rocket took the IXV to an altitude of 340 km from where it separated and continued up to 412 km. Reentering from this suborbital path, it recorded a vast amount of data from more than 300 advanced and conventional sensors. According to ESA the spaceplane few east around the globe during its descent and finally landed safely in the the Pacific Ocean west of the Galapagos Islands at about 15:20 GMT"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Finish the FTTC rollout first pls kthxbai (Score 4, Informative) 132

by Grench (#48945711) Attached to: BT Unveils 1000Mbps Capable G.fast Broadband Rollout For the United Kingdom

My local telephone exchange has been enabled for fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) for a year and a half

The street cabinet my line connects to has not been upgraded. I can't even physically find the damn thing, no idea where they've hidden it. Maybe BT doesn't either. Nobody can tell me when or if it will be enabled.

I can get 4G LTE on my phone and get 30 Mbit/sec up or down. But ADSL2 is as fast as I can get - with the distance from my exchange to my house, I get no more than 9 Mbit/sec down (but more often than not closer to 6 Mbit/sec) and no more than 1 Mbit/sec up.

I'm all in favour of gigabit broadband rollouts - but I want them to finish the FTTC programme first.

Also - I live in the middle of a city of 230,000 people, and the area I'm in is entirely residential. They'd get more fibre subscribers if they enabled more cabinets.

Comment: Wireless - does that also mean autonomous? (Score 1) 19

by Grench (#48865687) Attached to: DARPA Wants Atlas Robot To Go Wireless

So operating the robot wirelessly - will that mean it is completely self-contained? By which I mean, does the robot's shell contain all of the computer control / decision-making equipment it needs to operate and move around, or will this equipment remain on separate hardware, transmitting commands wirelessly to a much smaller "movement control" system on-board?

Just wondering if cutting the cords means that the robot could simply be told "go and explore your environment", with the decision-making on where to go, how to get there, how to move to overcome obstacles X, Y and Z (i.e. step over, walk around, duck under, etc), without damaging itself or causing injury to humans, all being performed on-board with no external input (power or control).

Comment: Re:Makes sense. (Score 1) 629

by Grench (#48796183) Attached to: Google Throws Microsoft Under Bus, Then Won't Patch Android Flaw

I just asked my 2012 Nexus 7 tablet to check for updates. I've done this numerous times since Android 5 came out.

It says I'm up to date. That, of course, is false. From this I conclude Google has abandoned me, and I will not be buying another Android device.

My Nexus 7 2012 (WiFi only) just got updated from 5.0 to 5.0.2 the other day, as an over-the-air update. It will happen, just it sometimes takes a little while - I have no idea why.

Comment: Re:I'm shocked, SHOCKED! (Score 2) 190

by Grench (#48789861) Attached to: Tesla vs. Car Dealers: the Lobbyist Went Down To Georgia

Traditional dealerships make their living on repairs/maintenance and electric cars just don't require that much of either

While the internal combustion engine, gearbox, and fuel tank may not exist on an electric car, they do still have mechanical components that will still need replacement... shocks, springs, anti-roll bars / droplinks, track rod ends, bushes, brake discs / pads / calipers, etc.

Electrical/electronic components wear and need replacing - fuses and wiring can become damaged or faulty through issues like water ingress. Which also means things like your water drainage needs to work, and your door / window / sunroof seals may need to be replaced. Your key (or keyless ignition system) may fail, with the key needing to be reprogrammed for your Tesla. You might lose your key and need a new one.

Teslas still have tyres; some people go to their dealer for tyres, rather than going to tyre places. Hell, even alloy wheels can get buckled if you hit a decent-sized pothole.

That's all stuff that's common between electric cars and combustion engine cars. The electric motors, the charging circuit, etc, may need to be replaced or repaired. Something as simple as a damaged charging socket would ruin your day and need fixing too.

If a chain of dealerships started carrying Teslas or other electric cars, they'd still manage to make as much money (if not more!) from repairs, servicing, and maintenance as they would from petrol/diesel/LPG models.

+ - EFF and Mozilla create free, automatic Certificate Authority->

Submitted by chefmonkey
chefmonkey (140671) writes "A group of big-name companies including the EFF and Mozilla have banded together to form "Let's Encrypt", a nonprofit corporation dedicated to making HTTPS configuration free, automatic, and easy. According to its website, all it takes is two commands to be up and running for initial configuration — and certificate renewal is completely automated. It's not going live until next summer, but this could be a real game-changer for encryption on the web once it's up and running."
Link to Original Source

+ - Martin Jetpack Closer to Takeoff in First Responder Applications->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Last year's redesign of the long-awaited Martin Jetpack was accompanied by plans to begin commercial sales in 2014, starting with emergency response services and individual sales to follow thereafter. The release date for the first responder Jetpack has since been revised to 2016, a prediction bolstered by the fresh announcement of a partnership between Martin Aircraft Company and US company Avwatch to develop air-based, first responder solutions for the US Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense."
Link to Original Source

+ - Self-Filling Water Bottle Invention Can Turn Air Humidity into Drinking Water->

Submitted by concertina226
concertina226 (2447056) writes "An Austrian industrial design student has invented a water bottle that fills itself during cycling journeys by converting humidity in the air into safe drinking water.

The Fontus system was developed by Kristof Retezár, an industrial design student at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna who is a Dyson Awards finalist.

Designed to be attached to a bicycle frame, Fontus consists of a condenser unit powered by a solar panel that is attached to a bottle.

When the bike is in motion, moist air is blown into a channel in the condenser unit where it cools and condenses.

The water droplets then roll into the water bottle, and at present the prototype is able to produce a drop of water a minute in air that features approximately 50% humidity at temperatures of at least 20C (68F)."

Link to Original Source

+ - Jolla Crowdfunds its First Tablet

Submitted by SmartAboutThings
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "Jolla is another rising star in the tech world, having recently expanded its smartphone sales into more countries across the world, with India included. Jolla’s Sailfish OS is considered by many as a direct successor to Nokia and Intel’s MeeGo and the N9 mobile phone, but only its software is based on the open-sourced components of MeeGo. And now it seems that the company is ready to start the production of their very first tablet .

The Jolla Tablet features a 7.9-inch screen with a resolution of 2048 x 1563. The device is powered by a 1.8GHz 64-bit quad-core Intel processor, comes with a 32GB of storage, has 2GB of RAM and a 5MP rear camera. Judging by its size, we can see that this is another take on the iPad Mini and even on the ‘sister’ company Nokia. While there aren’t too many Sailfish-specific apps available, just like the phone, Jolla’s tablet will be compatible with Android apps."

+ - StoryWall - Interactive Children's Toy - AR Wallpaper->

Submitted by Gidi2Go
Gidi2Go (3918297) writes "We all know it is possible to transform static images (e.g., playing cards or magazine pictures) into interactive experiences using Augmented Reality software. In this way, we can make games where these static pictures represent game backgrounds, game pieces or the game controller itself.

Wallpaper prints in a children’s bedroom are natural candidates for these games: the project StoryWall by Studio Bleep offers children a new way of playing, experimenting and creating their own stories full of interaction and fun. It is a combination of wall decoration (wall stickers, wallpaper and posters) and a mobile app for smartphones and tablets. Every single design (e.g., a cow) can interact and respond to other designs (e.g. an apple tree) on the wall, allowing children to create their own game and story (watch what happens when you pick an apple and feed it to the cow!). By clicking on items on the smartphone, saving them in the inventory and combining them with other interactive elements on the wall, a whole new world opens up, waiting to be explored.

Technically, it is a combination of existing software plugins used in a novel way. The innovative factor can also be seen in the use of the smartphone accelerometer in combination with camera orientation to automatically detect whether a picture is a wallpaper print or an image on a horizontal surface, like a postcard. https://www.kickstarter.com/pr..."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Cue legal action from a UK cinema chain (Score 3, Insightful) 130

by Grench (#48385197) Attached to: Sony To Take On Netflix With Playstation Vue

There's a cinema chain here in the UK called "Vue"; they have over 80 cinemas as far south as Plymouth to as far north as Inverness. And those are just the ones with Vue branding - they own cinema chains across Europe under different trading names. I wonder if they're thinking of rebranding them all Vue right about now... They have the right to, and hell, I might be tempted to, if I was in their position.

I can't see them permitting an online streaming movie product (in the UK, at least) under that name, without at least getting some revenue from Sony for the name, or without being beaten down by Sony lawyers in a bitter dispute. Possibly pan-European, if they did suddenly decide "all of our cinemas are going to be called Vue now".

Also, echoing what others have said - forget trying to compete with Netflix (or whatever Amazon's LoveFilm service is called these days) unless your product can:

1) work in a web browser on any platform, like Netflix
2) have a wider selection of media than Netflix
3) offer this choice for less money than Netflix

It's just pissing money into the wind if they don't make a product that meets all three of the above goals. Sony knows how to make a lot of money from home entertainment, but they know how to lose a lot too.

The meat is rotten, but the booze is holding out. Computer translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

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