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TweakTown News Posts - Page 64

NASA wants proposals for commercial satellite data relays for Mars

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 24, 2014 2:08 pm

NASA is currently looking for proposals for a commercial satellite network to be put in orbit around Mars. The satellite network would be used to provide telecommunications capabilities for future robotic missions to Mars.

 

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"We are looking to broaden participation in the exploration of Mars to include new models for government and commercial partnerships," said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate at the agency's headquarters in Washington. "Depending on the outcome, the new model could be a vital component in future science missions and the path for humans to Mars."

 

NASA wants to avoid a communications gap foreseen for the 2020s and is seeking cost effective solutions to future communications needs. "Looking ahead, we need to seriously explore the possibility of the commercialization of Mars communications services," said Lisa May. "This will offer advantages to NASA, while also providing appropriate return-on-investment to the service provider." Communications currently use relay radios to send data from the surface of Mars to orbiters in place around the planet. With only one more orbiter, MAVEN, planned in the foreseeable future, NASA is predicting communications issues for future rovers sent to the surface of the planet.

Marvel Sinister Six film gets a release date a few years away

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: Jul 24, 2014 1:04 pm

Fans of Marvel movies will be pleased to hear that a new film in the Marvel universe has been given a release date. This film follows a collective of bad guys known as the Sinister Six. The movie will focus on six super villains from the Marvel universe and will hit theaters in November 2016.

 

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Sinister Six will be directed by Drew Goddard. The next movie in The Amazing Spider-Man franchise has also been given a release date. The Amazing Spider-Man 3 will hit theaters in 2018. Exactly what month that launch will happen hasn't been announced.

 

All of the other films in that franchise have launched in the spring, presumably the new film will launch around the same time. The Sinister Six is one of two spin offs planned for the Spider-Man franchise and will follow Doctor Octopus, Electro, Kraven the Hunter, Mysterio, Sandman and Vulture. The second spinoff has no release date and will focus on Venom.

Hackers infiltrate Wall Street Journal network in new cyberattack

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jul 24, 2014 12:00 pm

The Wall street Journal operates a print publication and it has an online presence as well. Hackers recently attacked the WSJ computer network and forced the publication offline. Authorities say that the hackers were able to infiltrate WSJ computer systems used to host graphics.

 

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As a result of the breach, systems were taken offline to isolate the attack. According to the WSJ, no damage, or altering of news graphics has been found, but a review of the systems is ongoing. A spokesman for the WSJ said, "We are investigating an incident related to wsj.com's graphics systems. At this point we see no evidence of any impact to Dow Jones customers or customer data."

 

A user going by the name w0rm posted to Twitter an image of the hacked website with an offer to sell the user name and other info required to control the server for a bitcoin, worth about $620.

GM estimates settlement for ignition switch defect victims at $1.2bn

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Business, Politics & Money | Posted: Jul 24, 2014 11:01 am

GM has been at the center of a raging controversy and some of the biggest recalls in automotive history over the last year or so. The company has had a myriad of problems, but the biggest of the recalls is the ignition switch problem that has been linked to several deaths. GM has now offered an estimate of what it will cost to pay victims of the ignition switch recall at $1.2 billion.

 

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GM has hired a disaster compensation expert to administer a victims fund and claims will begin being accepted on August 1. The fund is uncapped and for now, the number of victims who are qualified for payments from the fund is unknown.

 

Some analysts estimate that the total cost of fines and settlements GM faces could total as much as $7 billion. GM is expected to fight lawsuits that are tied to accidents that happened before it exited bankruptcy in July 2009. For now GM has taken a single-time $1.2 billion recall cost from its earnings.

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket soft landing test completed

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 24, 2014 10:29 am

SpaceX is working on a way to be able to retrieve the main stage of the Falcon 9 rocket to be reused for future flights. This month the Falcon 9 was used to put six ORBCOMM satellites into space and after that launch was completed successfully, the main stage of the rocket went on to perform another test.

 

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The main stage fell back into the atmosphere at hypersonic velocity and a camera on the outside of the rocket recorded the landing process. As the rocket came back to a water landing in the Atlantic Ocean, the main rockets fired up twice to slow the rocket down to a velocity of near zero at touchdown.

 

 

You can see in the video above that the landing process appears to have performed flawlessly. The landing legs on the rocket pop out and the rocket lowers itself into a very soft landing in the water before toppling over on its side in the ocean, as planned. SpaceX says that the structural integrity of the rocket was damaged during the flopping over horizontally portion but the camera footage shows things performed as planned and data needed was gathered in the test. The goal is to eventually land the main stage on a floating landing pad for reuse with no refurbishment.

Titanfall gets in-game currency with 'The Black Market'

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 24, 2014 9:29 am

Respawn has just announced its new Titanfall DLC known as Frontier's Edge, but the company also took the time to tease that it is introducing something it is calling "The Black Market".

 

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The Black Market is Titanfall's way of offering in-game currency, which will have two different sets of items that you can purchase: Burn Cards, and Titan Insignias. There are multiple sets of Burn Cards that are based around a theme, but the cards themselves you'll receive are random. There's a Weapons Pack, which should include some cards about weapons, for example.

 

The cards will be purchased using the new in-game currency known as "Credits". You can earn these credits by doing various things in Titanfall, with six ways of acquiring Credits: by winning a match, completing a match, for your first victory of the day, completing daily challenges, selling burn cards you don't want to use, and once you reach level 50, a portion of your experience will be converted into credits. You can only access The Black Market once you've reached level 11 in Titanfall.

Continue reading 'Titanfall gets in-game currency with 'The Black Market'' (full post)

Burglar busted after he was heard over Xbox Live voice chat

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 24, 2014 8:35 am

On April 1st (of all days) just before dinner time, Jay Georgiou and an unidentified assailant broke into the flat of three men based in Tenterden Close, Eastbourne. The pair of criminals had weapons, tying up the residents of the flat, demanding drugs and money.

 

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19-year-old Georgiou had enough class during this time to take a call from his probation officer, discussing a missed appointment. The victims kept quite during the phone call, but the criminal pair didn't notice that the residents of the flat they broke into were playing Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 online with a friend in Brighton at the time.

 

The friend was able to hear everything that was happening in his friends flat, so he contacted the authorities. Less than two hours after Georgiou broke into the flat, he was arrested by police. The second assailant has yet to have been apprehended, but is said to be a white male between the ages of 20 and 25, with ginger hair. He was wearing a ski mask or balaclava at the time of the incident. Georgiou was sentenced to eight years in prison, and was ordered to pay £120, or $204 in damages.

Apple rumored to be working on 12-inch MacBook and 4K-capable desktop

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Computer Systems | Posted: Jul 24, 2014 7:29 am

Apple should be unveiling some hardware refreshes in the near future, something that will include a new 12-inch MacBook and 4K-capable iMac according to 9to5Mac. The 12-inch MacBook would feature a high-res display, but just how many pixels we don't know yet.

 

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The new MacBook will be thinner and lighter, which would see it placed somewhere between the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro in terms of weight. The new laptop will run off of an Intel CPU, unlike previous rumors that the machine would be powered by the Apple-made A8 processor. Apple has reportedly put a lot of faith behind this new 12-inch MacBook, thinking it will be a big jump forward for the laptop industry.

 

When it comes to the iMac side of things, we should expect a new 4K-capable desktop to be unveiled by the company in the future. This new machine should arrive with the new version of OS X, Yosemite.

Law enforcement get new search tool to monitor people of interest

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jul 24, 2014 7:21 am

A person and mobile phone search database popular among law enforcement and federal agencies, LP Police, has now added advanced live data search capabilities so police can resolve cases faster.

 

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A new social media search allows offers to enter a name and have immediate access to user profiles, profile photos, social influence, and other data, from more than 100 social media services. Searching for people through the work search feature will pull current and former employers, names, company names, position held, phone numbers and addresses.

 

"The LP Police team is pleased to introduce yet another round of significant search updates and user improvements," said Ron Lifton, LP Police CEO, in a press statement. "Police departments, government agencies and law enforcement across the country unanimously endorse our ongoing enhancements, best phone data in the industry, and bullet proof customer support."

Continue reading 'Law enforcement get new search tool to monitor people of interest' (full post)

Cyberith Virtualizer hits Kickstarter, immersive VR gaming is close

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Jul 24, 2014 6:34 am

After what has felt like years of teasing, Cyberith has finally placed its immersive VR gaming device on Kickstarter, known as the Virtualizer. The Virtualizer is a locomotion device for virtual reality gaming that allows gamers to move freely within the VR world.

 

 

The Virtualizer has been in development for two years now over at Cyberith, but now it is on Kickstarter. The cheapest way to get your hands, or body into the Virtualizer is to pledge $599. For $599, you get the Virtualizer without the sensors, which is a kit that is "specifically targeted at developers and researchers who want to track movement with/via different sensor solutions like optical tracking or the PrioVR Suit from YEI Technology".

 

For $699, you're getting the real deal: the Virtualizer. This is the early bird special, with the first 150 backers receiving their Virtualizer for a special price. On top of this, these 150 backers will have their name registered in Cyberith's hall of fame as VR pioneers. The Virtualizer has a current ETA of March 2015, but this could charge for various reasons.

Continue reading 'Cyberith Virtualizer hits Kickstarter, immersive VR gaming is close' (full post)

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