Facebook has integrated Messenger Day and Facebook Stories, making it easier when posting (if anyone ever does) Stories on these platforms. Now, when you post something on your Facebook Story, it will also appear on Messenger and vice versa, and the fusion is simply called “Stories.” The company has four variations of Stories on its different networks: Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook and Messenger Day. The idea remains the same: users can post images or videos which disappear after 24-hours. Each app will still have its distinct effects, with Facebook’s masks and augmented reality Snapchat-style effects, while Messenger remains focused on stickers…
There’s no doubt that the world of cryptocurrency is growing remarkably fast. And it’s no surprise that scamsters will lock unto this endless opportunity like a heat-seeking missile. Even one of the most widely known cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, is no exception to this threat. Just recently, the social media and digital security monitoring company ZeroFOX reported about the dark side of digital currency. According to the report, a new type of financial scam involving bitcoin is rapidly spreading across social networks. However, with the cryptocurrency market growing very rapidly, have it in mind that scamsters are becoming more sophisticated than Ponzi schemes. And before…
IBM researcher Edwin Pednault was doing the dishes one evening when he came to the realization that qubits are a lot like the bristles of a scrubbing brush. What he dubbed as a “seemingly inconsequential moment” became the basis of a fault-tolerance theory which makes the 50-qubit quantum computer possible. Early last month Google’s quantum computer research team announced it had made strides towards what it dubbed “quantum supremacy.” The big idea was that a 50-qubit quantum computer would surpass the computational capabilities of our most advanced supercomputers, making it superior. IBM, early this month, successfully built and measured an…
Amazon managed to get its hands on the fantasy holy grail today, buying the rights to adapt J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” into a multi-season series for for Amazon’s Prime streaming service. Amazon Prime heads to Middle Earth. https://t.co/QowUmf8t3S pic.twitter.com/YVciEX3u2t — Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) November 13, 2017 Sources inside the company told Variety in September that Jeff Bezos wanted to bolster the profile of its streaming with new shows, specifically a “Game of Thrones”-esque fantasy epic. Now we know Amazon’s seized perhaps the one intellectual property that might take HBO’s fantasy crown. According to Deadline, Amazon paid about $250 million…
UrbanEars’ Plattan 2 headphones – a popular set of cans known for their minimalist design – are getting the wireless treatment. I’ve had the chance to try out the new Plattan 2 BT for a couple of days, and for $99 there’s a lot to like. UrbanEars’ headphones make a statement through simplicity. There’s little in the way of obnoxious branding, instead relying on solid colors and clean design to be recognizable. Other than a small black tag with the company’s name on it, there’s no way to tell who even makes them, but that very same minimal design is what…
The road ahead depends on the performance data that was gained when the engineering test article glided down to a picture-perfect runway landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California on Saturday.
But if the results are as positive as preliminary readouts suggest, the 30-foot-long plane can go into retirement after just two free-flying tests, said Mark Sirangelo, corporate vice president of SNC’s Space Systems business area. “This vehicle will not need further flight tests,” he told reporters.
The data from the test will be used to fine-tune the design for a space-worthy version of the Dream Chaser, which is due to take shape over the next couple of years.
Stevel Lindsey, vice president of SNC’s Space Exploration Systems, said the orbital vehicle would undergo extensive ground testing as well as computerized checkouts. Some tests would take place inside a vacuum chamber. But the first flight would come when it carries cargo to the space station.
“We do flight testing based on specific test objectives we need to design, build and certify the Dream Chaser Cargo System — future atmospheric flight testing will not provide us any additional information if we’ve accomplished all of our test objectives on this flight (based on our data analysis),” Lindsey said in an email sent to GeekWire. “Space shuttle used a similar process and rationale; they went straight from glide testing to orbital spaceflight.”
Today SNC shared a video of Saturday’s test flight as well as its basic statistics: The uncrewed plane was lofted 12,400 feet into the air by a Columbia 234-UT helicopter, then released at 9:51 a.m. PT Saturday for a gliding flight that reached a maximum speed of 330 mph. The prototype flew for a minute, touched down on the runway traveling at 191 mph, and rolled for 4,200 feet before braking to a stop.
Sirangelo said the performance “was what we wanted it to be.”
He noted that the test took place 40 years after NASA’s atmospheric-test shuttle prototype, the Enterprise, flew freely for the first time at Edwards. “We’ve picked up the torch for winged vehicles, certainly continuing the long tradition of Edwards flight-testing unique vehicles,” Sirangelo said.
The weekend flight follows up on an initial drop test that took place at Edwards back in 2013. At the end of that test, the landing gear malfunctioned, and the plane slid off the runway and crashed.
SNC took advantage of the down time to upgrade some of the systems aboard the engineering test vehicle to reflect more of the design for the orbital vehicle. Lindsey said the upgrades included the avionics and flight software, as well as data sensors and thermal protection tiles.
Lindsey, a five-time shuttle astronaut who joined SNC in 2011, said he experienced a flashback as he watched the autonomous Dream Chaser descend to a landing on Saturday.
“I felt like I kinda knew what it was feeling,” he said.
Watching the descent with his team was “the longest minute of our lives … but it sure was rewarding at the end when it touched down safely,” Lindsey said.
Sirangelo joked that Lindsey “really wanted to get in and fly it himself.”
SNC is sharing its data with NASA, which will judge whether the results satisfy its requirements for a final payment under the terms of a five-year-old contract for development of a crewed vehicle.
Dream Chaser wasn’t selected for further work on the crewed version, but the uncrewed version is due to join SpaceX’s Dragon capsule and Orbital ATK’s Cygnus capsule as a cargo carrier. NASA has contracted for at least six round-trip cargo shipments between 2019 and 2024.
Sirangelo said at least two orbital-class Dream Chasers would be built to service NASA’s needs as well as those of other customers, including the United Nations. The first flights would launch from NASA’s Kennedy Center in Florida, potentially atop United Launch Alliance’s Atlas 5 or Vulcan rocket.
SNC still holds out hope that a different variant of the Dream Chaser could eventually carry astronauts as well. If the company ever needs to conduct tests for a crew-capable space plane, the engineering test vehicle would almost certainly be called out of retirement.
“That’s why we’re going to keep this vehicle in flyable storage,” Lindsey said.
A powerful wind and rain storm that targeted the Puget Sound region and Seattle on Monday evening took out trees and power lines — and also knocked two of the city’s radio stations off the air.
KUOW 94.9, the National Public Radio station in Seattle, and KEXP 90.3, the city’s public indie rock station, were both reduced to static on radio airwaves as high winds moved into the area in the late afternoon.
KUOW tweeted at 5 p.m. that the station was experiencing issues with its signal. Another tweet closer to 6 p.m. said that engineers were on the way to deal with a down transmitter.
We are experiencing issues with our broadcast right now. You can still listen online while we work to fix the issue https://t.co/VZ23aWAsOo
It’s our evil conspiracy to make you miss us? Or else lightning may have struck our antenna on Capitol Hill and we’re working to get back on air asap! (@anndornfeld‘s husband was nearby and saw lightning strike tower rt when @kuow went off air) https://t.co/FERY75cDkA
KUOW’s website says that its “powerful 100,000 watt signal” originates from a transmitter on Seattle’s Capitol Hill and reaches east to the Cascade Mountains, west to the Olympic Mountains, south into Pierce and Thurston counties, and north into Snohomish, Skagit and Island counties.
Both stations stream their broadcasts online, and that service was uninterrupted during the storm.
We apologize to those desperately tuning to 94.9 right now. We’re still working on getting our signal back on air. pic.twitter.com/9ECrIKAqCO
A proposed redevelopment project in Portland would reshape that city’s skyline, with plans that include, among other things, towering skyscrapers connected by a glass-enclosed botanical bridge that would be 680 feet in the air and span a distance of 236 feet.
The project, which is in the conceptual design phase, would provide approximately 5 million square feet of new development, according to a news release. Multiple high-rise buildings would offer a mix of uses including retail, office, hospitality, and residential.
Of the two tallest central towers, one would exceed 970 vertical feet, which would eclipse the tower height of the West Coast’s current height leader, the Wilshire Grand hotel in Los Angeles. A 295-foot-tall spire attached to that building in September 2016 brought its overall height to 1,100 feet. The Salesforce Tower under construction in San Francisco is projected to have a roof height of 970 feet, and overall height of 1,070 feet.
The Portland towers would be interlinked by an enclosed bridge which would cross high over the North Park Blocks, a tree-lined green belt in the city.
“The towers are large enough to serve as a headquarters for a Fortune 100 company, such as Amazon, and would anchor the entire district both architecturally and financially,” Kaven said. “The towers and interlinking skybridge would be an iconic addition to Portland’s skyline and a destination for locals and tourists alike. The elevated garden would be a tropical respite from the gray of the city at any time of the year and provide breathtaking views of Mt. Hood and the entire city skyline.”
Kaven also wrote that Portland is devoid of any “iconic buildings” and said that “great buildings drive tourism and generate money.” He cited “destination monuments” such as Seattle’s Space Needle and the Freedom Tower and Empire State Building in New York City, or the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
The proposal also calls for integration of a “marquee transportation hub for high-speed rail and underground public transit innovations, such as Hyperloop, with the transportation facilities in the vicinity such as Amtrak’s Union Station, Greyhound Station and the local streetcar and bus.
“This is our opportunity to lead the effort to build a bullet train network that links Portland to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver from the heart of an already-existing downtown transportation hub,” Kaven said. “There is no better place, nor a better time, than the opportunity that is upon us, with this huge site next to our historic train station.”
The Willamette Week newspaper called the vision “not likely” to happen on Monday, thanks to the fact that the proposed height is more than double what Portland’s City Council is considering for the site. The newspaper called the Post Office site one of the most desired pieces of real estate in Portland.
Kaven + Co. and partners intend to submit a formal proposal to the City of Portland’s development arm, Prosper Portland, in the first quarter of 2018.
Bill Gates is apparently joining the ranks of technologists who want to build a better city.
One of his investment firms has purchased nearly 25,000 acres of land for $80 million to build a smart city community in Arizona, the Arizona Republic reports. The undeveloped land is about 45 minutes outside of Phoenix.
Arizona-based real estate investment group Belmont Partners says the community will incorporate high-speed digital networks, data centers, self-driving cars, and other new technologies into its infrastructure.
A new investment firm called Mt. Lemmon invested the $80 million to get the project off the ground. The Republic discovered the connection to Gates by linking the investment group’s tax mailing address with the Kirkland, Wash. headquarters of Cascade Investments and an office of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Representatives of Gates have not responded to GeekWire’s inquiries on the issue nor confirmed the connection between him and Mt. Lemmon.
The investment will help create Belmont, “a forward-thinking community with a communication and infrastructure spine that embraces cutting-edge technology,” according to a press release issued Nov. 3.
Belmont will have 80,000 residential units, 3,800 acres of industrial, office, and commercial space, 3,400 acres of open space, and 460 acres for public schools.
“Belmont is an incredible opportunity for the state of Arizona,” Grady Gammage, Jr., an attorney representing Belmont Partners, said in a statement. “Envisioning future infrastructure from scratch is far easier and more cost-efficient than retrofitting an existing urban fabric.”
The tech industry is becoming acutely interested in cities and innovations that can make them run more efficiently. Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs is building a high-tech waterfront community in Toronto and Amazon is seeking a home for its second headquarters with a modern transportation infrastructure and an appetite for innovation. It’s not clear how involved Gates will be in Belmont, but the smart city’s goals appear similar to those of Alphabet and Amazon.