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TweakTown News Posts - Page 84

NASA Opportunity rover sets record for longest off-Earth driving

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 29, 2014 2:05 pm

NASA has several spacecraft and rovers on and around Mars performing scientific studies of the Red Planet. The Opportunity rover has been on the surface of Mars since 2004 and recently set a record. Opportunity has set a record for the longest distance ever driven off the Earth.


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Opportunity has been on the surface of the Red Planet for a decade and has driven 25 miles. The previous record for the most miles driven off-Earth was held by the Soviet Union Lunokhod 2. The record was grabbed on July 27 as Opportunity drove 157 feet to reach 25.01 miles on the odometer.


If the rover continues to operate, it will reach its next major investigation site mission called Marathon Valley. Scientists want to study this area because they believe clay minerals are exposed close together at the site.

Smart Box delivers hot, melted, and crispy grilled cheese for The Melt

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Business, Politics & Money | Posted: Jul 29, 2014 1:02 pm

If you have ever made a grilled cheese sandwich and didn't eat it straight away, you know how soggy they can get and how quickly crunchy becomes a soft mess. This is a big problem for a restaurant that makes all sorts of grilled cheese sandwiches for delivery called The Melt. Crispy, crunchy goodness at the store can be soggy and nasty in short order.


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To combat this problem the company has come up with a Smart Box that is designed specifically to keep the sandwiches crispy, crunchy, and just as good as when it came off the grill during it's roughly 30 minute journey to your door. The Smart Box was created by former Flip Camera founder Jonathan Kaplan.


The challenge in designing the Smart Box was figuring out how to create airflow to prevent moisture build up. The Smart Box has gone through several iterations and the current one can keep the sandwiches fresh and hot for up to 30 minutes. The Smart Box has a heating element and fans that trigger when the temperature gets too low or the humidity too high. The Melt currently has 15 locations in California.

Cadillac to add wireless smartphone charging on some 2015 models

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 29, 2014 12:04 pm

GM has announced that it plans to add wireless smartphone charging to Cadillac vehicles in 2015. Not all vehicles will get the wireless charging option, but it will be available on 2015 Cadillac ATS sedan and coupe and on the 2015 CTS and 2015 Escalade.


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Vehicles that have the wireless charging option will have a Powermat wireless charging pad inside the console of the vehicle. Drivers and passengers will be able to lay their compatible smartphone down on the mat to charge wirelessly.


GM says that the majority of wirelessly charging devices on the market would work with its Powermat option. While the phone is on the charging mat, drivers will still be able to answer and make phone calls using the vehicle's Bluetooth hands-free tech.

Continue reading 'Cadillac to add wireless smartphone charging on some 2015 models' (full post)

Cassini discovers 101 distinct geysers on Saturn's moon Enceladus

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 29, 2014 11:00 am

One of the bodies in our solar system that is under investigation by NASA is Saturn and its moons using the Cassini spacecraft. Cassini has been studying the icy Saturn moon called Enceladus and so far, it has discovered 101 active geysers on the surface of the icy world. The interesting thing about this discovery is that liquid water is believed to be reaching the surface of the planet from an underground sea.


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Cassini has been eyeing the southern polar terrain for nearly seven years as scientists have studied the tiger stripe fractures in the area on the surface of the moon. These geysers and the large fractures were discovered on the moon years ago.


Scientists believe that the geysers and liquid water believed to be under the surface of the moon are caused by the repeated flexing of Enceladus by the gravitational forces of Saturn as the moon orbits the planet. Another theory was that there may be a back and forth rubbing action cause by friction of opposing walls that turns ice into the geysers. Cassini has now proven that the geysers coincide with small-scale hot spots that are only a few dozen feet across and are too small to be caused by frictional heating leaving gravitational forces as the cause for the liquid water and hot spots.

Rhapsody hits the 2M subscriber mark, plans expansion

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 29, 2014 10:28 am

Rhapsody is a streaming music service that has been around for a long time now offering a wide range of music. This week the company has announced that it plans to expand into more locations including France and Latin America. The expansion into the new areas comes with deals in place with French operator SRF and Telefonica in Latin America.


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Rhapsody has also noted that it has reached 2 million paying subscribers for its premium and unRadio internet radio service launched along with T-Mobile in the US. Rhapsody launched in 2001 and is currently facing stiff competition in the marketplace.


Segment leader Spotify now boasts 10 million paying subscribers putting it at about 5 times the size of Rhapsody. Rhapsody's subscriber numbers are on the increase with the firm announcing in April that it had 1.7 million paying customers.

Desktop solar panel production 3D prints a solar panel in 15 seconds

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 29, 2014 6:15 am

Two inventors based in the Philippines have made something that should open up the world's eyes, with a homemade solar panel production factory. The system they use is small enough to fit on a desktop, and is capable of making between 300,000 and 1 million solar panels every year - with one solar panel made every 15 seconds.



By reducing the labor intensive process, which sits at around 50% of the total cost, the machine can radically reduce the amount it costs to make solar panels. The pocket-sized solar panel producer could change the way the world looks at electricity, and solar power. A homemade solar panel can reduce the requirement for power outlets in the home, the same power outlets that power your smartphones, computers, lights, and more.



The duo took to Kickstarter to fund their venture, with the funds required pledged very quickly. The two men are now raising additional funds to redesign the CNC laser cutter that will arrive with open source technology. They plan to power the solar power maker using solar panels, with the product receiving continuous improvements, and with it being open source, the community can help out with the product.

Continue reading 'Desktop solar panel production 3D prints a solar panel in 15 seconds' (full post)

Next-gen MacBook Pro should come with Core i7 and 16GB RAM as standard

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Laptops | Posted: Jul 29, 2014 5:09 am

We should see Apple unveil its MacBook Pro refresh in September, but according to some new leaks, we now know what to expect in the hardware department. As it stands, the 13-inch MBP includes 4GB of RAM, while the 15-inch MBP sports 8GB of RAM by default.


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There are of course upgrade options, but it looks like Apple is upping the amount of memory in the stock models of the upcoming refreshed MacBook Pro laptops. We should see the 15-inch MacBook Pro with 16GB of RAM by default, which should open the doors to upgrade it to 32GB of RAM. This will be nice for video editors on-the-go, and other uses where 32GB of RAM is actually used to its full potential.


CPU options should be beefed up, with the current 15-inch MBPs including a 2GHz or 2.3GHz Core i7 processor. The upgrades on these include 2.2GHz, 2.5GHz and 2.8GHz options, with the 2.2GHz model rocking Intel Iris Pro graphics. The two other models feature NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M GPUs with 2GB of dedicated GDDR5 RAM. The new models with 16GB of RAM by default should come with a 2.8Ghz Core i7 processor, and the GT 750M GPU. We should expect the refreshed MacBook Pros to come in at the same $2599 price, but I'm sure we're going to see it clock up closer to $3000, especially when we're talking 16GB or 32GB of RAM.

Warner unveils The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies teaser trailer

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: Jul 29, 2014 12:01 am

As San Diego ComicCon closes for another year, Warner have ended with a bang, unveiling the first look at the final film in 'The Hobbit' trilogy; 'The Battle of Five Armies'.



Whilst some have criticised some of the more obvious use of CG, others have welcomed the wider scope and epic battles reminiscent of the earlier 'Lord of the Rings' films. Despite their cooler critical reception, the predecessors 'An Unexpected Journey' and 'The Desolation of Smaug' have grossed an impressive $2 billion worldwide.


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'The Battle of Five Armies' is released worldwide in late December.

Russian space agency regains control of sex gecko satellite Foton-M4

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 28, 2014 10:02 pm

Russia has regained control of a space satellite containing five geckos, which are the subjects of an experimental study examining how weightlessness impacts their sex lives.


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It was previously feared that Russian space agency Roscosmos' Foton-M4 satellite could crash to earth, bringing down the geckos with it, if control was not reasserted. It stopped responding to commands in mid-July, and specialists were quickly put to task to restore communications. The gecko sex satellite operated on autopilot in the meantime.


Russian news agency ITAR-TASS reported at the time that the satellite was perfectly safe, but did not comment on the safety of the geckos but it seems they're alive and well. Now that control has been regained the satellite will continue to observe the geckos, along with other items for separate experiments like mushrooms and plant seeds.

Russia posts hundreds of thousands dollar bounty to de-anonymize Tor

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jul 28, 2014 9:03 pm

Russia has posted an official bounty that offers a 3.9 million ruble sum - almost 200,000 USD - to the first people who can identify and track users on Tor.


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The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, which posted the bounty, requires applicants to pay a hefty application fee - and they must be either a Russian citizen or a Russian company to apply. The competition runs from August 13 to August 20, and the deadline for submission is November 30.


Tor has been a persistent thorn in the side of intelligence agencies around the world. Tor, or The Onion Router, has taken in a lot of cash from America's department for defense, as well as having been utilized by police and other authorities. But it is also used as a way to anonymize traffic among dissenting citizens and human rights activists. Vladimir Putin recently approved a law that would open up access to data within Russia to Russia's intelligence service - as well as his administration insisting high-circulation bloggers with over 3,000 visits a day formally register with the government.

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