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Submission + - Twitter Shares Jump More Than 20% On Report Of Takeover Talks

Dave Knott writes: Twitter Inc has initiated talks with several technology companies to explore selling itself, a person familiar with the matter said on Friday, as the social media company grapples with its slowest revenue growth since going public in 2013. CNBC reported earlier on Friday, citing anonymous sources, that Twitter is in talks with companies that include Alphabet's Google and Salesforce.com, and may receive a formal bid soon. Twitter shares rose the most since its stock market debut in 2013, up 21 per cent to $22.59, giving the company a market capitalization of close to $16 billion.

Submission + - macOS Sierra Is Now Available For Download

Dave Knott writes: Apple's latest desktop operating system, macOS Sierra, is now available for download. In addition to the Siri virtual assistant hitting the desktop for the first time, the free update includes features like a universal clipboard, revamped Messages, a storage optimization tool, and Apple Pay on the web.

Submission + - The 50th Anniversary of "Star Trek"

Dave Knott writes: Today marks the 50th anniversary of the first television broadcast of Star Trek. The first episode of the science fiction series was aired on September 8, 1966. From its humble beginnings, Star Trek has gone on to become one of the best-loved and most successful television concepts of all time, an enduring pop culture touchstone that changed science fiction forever and spawned multiple series and movies that continue to this day.
What does Star Trek mean to you? Are you a trekkie/trekker? What are your best memories of the series, and how has it affected your life?

Submission + - 2016 Hugo Award Winners Announced

Dave Knott writes: The recipients of the 2016 Hugo awards have been announced. Presented annually since 1955, the Hugos are (along with the Nebulas) one of science fiction's two most prestigious awards. They are voted on by members of the World Science Fiction Convention ("Worldcon"), the most recent of which, MidAmeriCon II was held this past weekend in Kansas City. Notable winners include:

Best Novel: The Fifth Season , by N.K. Jemisin
Best Novella: Binti , by Nnedi Okorafor
Best Novelette: "Folding Beijing", by Hao Jingfang, trans. Ken Liu
Best Short Story: "Cat Pictures Please", by Naomi Kritzer
Best Graphic Story: The Sandman: Overture , written by Neil Gaiman, art by J.H. Williams III
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: The Martian , screenplay by Drew Goddard, directed by Ridley Scott
Best Dramatic Presentation, ShortForm: Jessica Jones: "AKA Smile", written by Scott Reynolds, Melissa Rosenberg, and Jamie King, directed by Michael Rymer

As in the previous two years, the 2016 Hugos were subject to considerable controversy, as highly-politicized factions within science fiction fandom attempted to influence the awards via a concerted campaign that influenced the nomination process. Those actions once again proved unsuccessful, as the nominees put forth by these activists failed to win in any of the major awards categories.

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Submission + - SPAM: The 2016 Hugo Awards 1

Dave Knott writes: The recipients of the 2016 Hugo awards have been announced. Presented annually since 1955, the Hugos are (along with the Nebulas) one of science fiction’s two most prestigious awards. They are voted on by members of the World Science Fiction Convention (“Worldcon”), the most recent of which, MidAmeriCon II was held this past weekend in Kansas City. Notable winners include:

Best Novel: The Fifth Season , by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
Best Novella: Binti , by Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com)
Best Novelette: “Folding Beijing”, by Hao Jingfang, trans. Ken Liu (Uncanny Magazine, Jan-Feb 2015)
Best Short Story: “Cat Pictures Please”, by Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld, January 2015)
Best Graphic Story: The Sandman: Overture , written by Neil Gaiman, art by J.H. Williams III (Vertigo)
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: The Martian , screenplay by Drew Goddard, directed by Ridley Scott (Scott Free Productions; Kinberg Genre; TSG Entertainment; 20th Century Fox)
Best Dramatic Presentation, ShortForm: Jessica Jones: “AKA Smile”, written by Scott Reynolds, Melissa Rosenberg, and Jamie King, directed by Michael Rymer (Marvel Television; ABC Studios; Tall Girls Productions;Netflix)

As in the previous two years, the 2016 Hugos were subject to considerable controversy, as highly-politicized factions within science fiction fandom attempted to influence the awards via a concerted campaign to influence the nomination process. Those actions once again proved unsuccessful, as the nominees put forth by these activists failed to win in any of the major awards categories.

Submission + - Sony Reaches Settlement In PlayStation3 "Other OS" Class Action Lawsuit

Dave Knott writes: After six years of litigation, Sony has reached a settlement with the the plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit relating the Sony's removal of Other OS functionality from its PlayStation3 gaming console. Sony and lawyers representing as many as 10 million console owners reached the deal on Friday. Under the terms of the accord, gamers are eligible to receive $55 if they used Linux on the console. The proposed settlement also provides $9 to each console owner that bought a PS3 based on Sony's claims about "Other OS" functionality. The accord did not say how much it would cost Sony, but the entertainment company is expected to pay out millions.

Submission + - A Tour Of Campus 2, Apple's Upcoming Headquarters

Dave Knott writes: Popular Science has an article detailing Campus 2, Apple's upcoming headquarters, including a video with a tour of the under-construction complex. The Spaceship, as many have nicknamed it, is over one mile in circumference and when it is completed later this year it will house 13,000 employees. Its exterior will largely be composed of thousands of huge curved glass planes, and floors and ceilings will be constructed from hollow concrete slabs that allow the building to “breathe,” bolstering its eco-friendly qualities. Campus 2 will run entirely on renewable energy, with rooftop solar panels providing an output of 16 megawatts of power and acting as the campus’s primary energy supplier. Upon completion, the main building will have four stories above ground and three below, with numerous other facilities including seven cafes, a fitness center and a 120,000 square-foot theater where Apple will hold its famous product announcements. Construction on the building is expected to be finished by the end of 2016.

Submission + - Astronauts Enter Inflatable Space Station Module For The First Time

Dave Knott writes: The International Space Station's new inflatable habitat has had its first visitors. Astronauts have entered the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), "to collect an air sample and begin downloading data from sensors on the dynamics of BEAM's expansion". BEAM is part of a project to test how expandable habitats — which provide more usable volume per unit launch mass than do traditional rigid modules — perform in space. Over the next two years, NASA and Bigelow will study how well BEAM protects against temperature extremes, radiation and micrometeorite strikes.

Submission + - The 2015 Nebula Awards

Dave Knott writes: The winners of the 2015 Nebula Awards (presented 2016) have been announced. The Nebulas are voted on by members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and (along with the Hugos) are considered to be one of the two most prestigious awards in science fiction. This year's winners are:

Best Novel: Uprooted , Naomi Novik
Best Novella: Binti , Nnedi Okorafor
Best Novelette: “Our Lady of the Open Road,” Sarah Pinsker
Best Short Story: “Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers,” Alyssa Wong
Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation: Mad Max: Fury Road , Written by George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, Nick Lathouris
Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy: Updraft , Fran Wilde
Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award: Sir Terry Pratchett
Kevin O'Donnell Jr. Service Award: Lawrence M. Schoen
2016 Damon Knight Grand Master Award: C.J. Cherryh

Submission + - The Pirate Bay Loses Its Main Domain Name In Court Battle 1

Dave Knott writes: The world's most popular torrent website, The Pirate Bay, is suffering a major blow after the Swedish Court ruled Thursday that it will seize the domain names 'ThePirateBay.se' and 'PirateBay.se' and hand over them to the state. This is the latest development in an ongoing legal tug-of-war between The Pirate Bay and Swedish prosecutors, which has at various times seen the courts rule in favour of either side, only to see the case proceed via further appeals. Despite previous criminal convictions, the torrent site has always remained functioning by moving to different web domains several times. However, this time, The Pirate Bay loses its main .SE domain, the world's 225th most popular website according to the Alexa ranking, as reported by the Swedish newspaper DN.

Submission + - Hyperloop Technology Tested Successfully In Nevada Desert

Dave Knott writes: Hyperloop One (formerly known as Hyperloop Technologies) conducted a successful test of its high speed transportation technology Wednesday in the desert outside Las Vegas. The seconds-long, outdoor demonstration featured what appeared to be a blip of metal gliding across a small track before disappearing into a cloud against the desert landscape. A fully operational hyperloop would whisk passengers and cargo in pods through a low pressure tube at speeds of up to 1,207 kph (750 mph). Maglev technology would levitate the pods to reduce friction in the city-to-city system, which would be fully autonomous and electric powered. A day earlier, the company had announced the closing of $80 million in financing and said it plans to conduct a full system test before the end of the year.

Submission + - George R.R. Martin Releases A New Chapter From "The WInds Of Winter"

Dave Knott writes: George R.R. Martin has uploaded a new sample chapter from The Winds Of Winter , replacing an older sample chapter that had been on his site for the previous year. The new chapter features Arianne Martell and has previously been read by Martin at several fan conventions. Fans should take note, however, that this does not indicate an imminent release of the sixth volume of A Song Of Ice And Fire . Says Martin, "no, just to spike any bullshit rumors, changing the sample chapter does NOT mean I am done. Monkey is still on my back... but he's growing, he is, and one day..."

Submission + - The World Video Game Hall of Fame 2016 Inductess 1

Dave Knott writes: The World Video Game Hall Of Fame has announced its inductees for the year 2016, the second group of games to be so honoured since the award's inception in 2015. The Hall Of Fame "recognizes individual electronic games of all types—arcade, console, computer, handheld, and mobile—that have enjoyed popularity over a sustained period and have exerted influence on the video game industry or on popular culture and society in general". This year's six inductees are: Grand Theft Auto III, The Legend of Zelda, The Oregon Trail, The Sims, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Space Invaders.

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