NASA has awarded a contract to Boeing for a heavy duty rocket to be used on future space missions. The contract is to design and build the Space Launch System rocket that will be used to put astronauts on the moon and beyond. The new SLS rocket will be more powerful than the Saturn 5 rocket used in the past.
The first SLS rocket will make its maiden flight putting an unmanned Orion capsule into space in 2017. The second flight will be a manned mission and is planned for 2021. NASA has plans to build a more powerful version of the SLS in the future to put four person crews into space and take them to asteroids and eventually to Mars.
The Boeing contract is worth $2.8 billion and will see the company developing avionics and the SLS core stage. Funding for early studies into a new upper stage needed for exploration missions in the future is included in the contract.
If you follow the Star Wars universe, you know that a new film is in the works that has many of the original cast members back for another film. Harrison Ford will be reprising his role as Han Solo in the new film and Ford was injured on the set of the film not too long ago.
Ford suffered a broken leg that required surgery putting him out of the film for a while. Original reports claimed that production on the film wouldn't be delayed because of the scope of the project. However, new reports have surfaced claiming that production will be suspended for 2 weeks.
The good news is that Disney is saying that the film is still on track or a release in December 2015. Ford's leg was injured when a piece of Solo's infamous Millennium Falcon fell on him during filming.
Most of us understand that one of the ways to keep people who aren't authorized to get into your iPhone out is by using a password. The problem for many is that unlocking the screen of your device with a password can be a nuisance. Apple is tipped to be working on a new feature for the iPhone 6 that will make password security easier to live with.
According to rumors floating around the web, the iPhone 6 will get automatic unlocking. Apple has filed a patent application that outlines ways that the next iPhone might get automatic unlocking. The app outlines a method where the iPhone will only deploy password locks when it is used on an unknown network.
That would mean if you try to use your iPhone at home, no password would be needed, but if you try to use it on a network at the local coffee shop, it would ask for a password. The patent app is titled "Location-Sensitive Security Levels and Setting Profiles Based on Detected Location." As with all patent apps, there is no guarantee that this tech will ever be used.
YouTube is one of the most popular sites on the internet for streaming video and as such, it consumes a lot of bandwidth on many IPS networks. Some ISPs are allegedly slowing the streaming of YouTube videos down and YouTube is calling the ISPs out on the practice. YouTube has begun putting little messages on videos that are having streaming issues.
The message pops up over the title of the video and reads "Experiencing Interruptions?" and on the right side of the message, a button for users to click reads, "Find out Why." When the user clicks on that button, they are taken to a Video Quality Report that is localized for the person streaming the video. That report allows the user to compare video consumption times in their area and compare their ISP with the performance of other local ISPs in the area.
The best providers in the area receive a YouTube HD Verified tag with other carriers possibly having badges putting them in Standard Definition or lower tiers. The idea is to give the viewer an idea of why a video is slow rather than just assuming YouTube is having issues and to give the viewer options to change to other carriers that aren't putting limits on video streaming.
Reports are circulating that Apple has confirmed a bug in the calendar app that runs on the iPhone and iPad. According to these reports, the bug shows the wrong list of holidays for users in some countries. The bug was first spied when Apple released the iOS 7.1.2 update for its devices.
One iPad user reports that after the update was applied, his iPad showed a list of holidays for Mexico and Hong Kong rather than the holidays for his home country of Lithuania. This same user claims that the holidays listed changes occasionally.
The holidays reportedly show wrong if the home country on the iPad or iPhone is listed as Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. If the country is set as the US, UK, or Russia the holidays are reportedly listed correctly. Apple has acknowledged the issue with the user via email and says that the problem will be fixed with a new update. However, the time frame for the update to be issued is unknown.
Where is Microsoft going with its venture into Nokia? According to the latest leaked renders on a mystery Lumia smartphone, we could see new Lumia smartphones with the "Nokia by Microsoft" branding.
The new smartphone is said to be the Lumia 830, which sports the "Nokia by Microsoft" branding on its rear. We don't know what to expect from the new Lumia 830, apart from its 13-megapixel PureView camera, and a similar design to what we've seen on the Lumia 1020.
Foxconn should be one of the first companies to deploy robots to build consumer devices, with Apple reportedly being the first company to make use of these new "Foxbots" as they're referred to.
These new Foxbots will be capable of assembling an average of 30,000 devices, costing somewhere between $20,000 to $25,000 per robot to make. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has already said that these robots are in their final testing phase, with the company ready to unleash 10,000 robots into its factories. With Foxconn being the biggest partner for Apple in assembling its iOS-based devices like the iPhone, iPad and iPod, this could be big news for the Foxconn.
We already knew that Foxconn laid out plans to replace some of its human workers with some 1 million robots, but the time frame of this may shift. Apple is even chipping in, investing a hefty $10.5 billion on the advanced supply chain technology, with some of this investment sliding over to advanced machinery, something that includes assembly robots. Foxconn has hired an additional 100,000 new workers to help assemble the upcoming iPhone 6 for Apple, with production expected to ramp up next month for a launch in September.
For something that Microsoft teased back in March, Kinect 2.0 is finally headed to the PC. The 3D camera will be made available for PC on July 15, without the Xbox logo being printed on it.
The PC-compatible 3D camera is priced at $100 more than its Xbox One counterpart, at $200. Considering Microsoft knocked $100 from the price of the Kinect-less Xbox One, one has to wonder what the 100% increase in price represents. It should be the same hardware inside, but I'm sure we'll find out what the PC-compatible Kinect 2.0 sensor is capable of in a just a few days time.
Google Chrome is one of the most widely used web browsers on the planet, with over 300 million active daily users, but Google wants to see its web browser working in VR. First, with its own Google Cardboard, and the Oculus Rift.
The search giant has said that its working on adding VR support for both the Rift and Cardboard, with 360-degree product shots and interactive exhibits being the drawcard for a VR browser. Google still believes that surfing the Internet in VR is still not ready for most consumers, but with some killer apps, or websites, it could be an interesting start to browsing the web in virtual reality.
You know the problems we face today, with iPhone users being wall huggers, and not having all-day battery life on our smartphones. The solution? According to fashion designer Pauline van Dongen, a solar-powered dress.
The designer is developing the next-gen dress with her startup, Wearable Solar. When van Dongen took a prototype dress with her to the Brooklyn Northside Festival last month, people got to see the dress in action. TechCrunch's Anthony Ha was there, with van Dongen telling him that she had two main inspirations for the solar-powered dress.
She said: "One of them is the fact that we highly depend on connectivity. We're all addicted to our smartphones and we want them constantly powered, and the better our batteries get, the more we'll use them. And at the same time, working as a werable tech designer, I know the difficulties when integrating these kind of bulky batteries that don't allow for any comfort or wearability. So that's why I thought, why not power your phone through your clothes? And eventually power other interactive qualities that our garments are becoming a platform for".