Tour the Factory That Cranks Out 90 Million Tennis Balls a Year

Wired News - Mon, 27/02/2017 - 1:00pm
How hard is it to make a tennis ball? A lot more complicated than you think. The post Tour the Factory That Cranks Out 90 Million Tennis Balls a Year appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Questioning The Privacy Policies Of Data-Collecting Cars

Slashdot - Mon, 27/02/2017 - 12:30pm
Remember when Vizio's televisions started collecting data about what shows people were watching? One transportation reporter is more worried about all the data being collected by cars. schwit1 quotes Autoblog: Nowadays, auto manufacturers seem to be tripping over each other pointing out that they offer Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto. And more recent phenomenon are announcements -- from companies including Ford and Hyundai -- that they are offering Amazon Alexa capabilities. You talk. It listens... Here's the thing. While it may seem appealing to have all manner of connectivity in cars, there is the other side of that. Without getting all tinfoil hat about this, when your TV set is ratting you out, isn't it likely that your car will? It drives. And watches. And listens. And collects data... That data could be shared with everyone from auto insurers and advertisers to law enforcement officials and divorce attorneys. But the real problem may be consumers assuming strong privacy protections that don't actually exist. The article argues that GM's privacy policy "is like most privacy policies, which boils down to: You use it (the device, software, etc.), you potentially give up a portion of your privacy."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

I Am Groot*

Wired News - Mon, 27/02/2017 - 12:00pm
A <em>Guardians of the Galaxy</em> helmet with built-in Bluetooth headphones is the new way to chillax on the subway. The post I Am Groot* appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Graphic: 500 Designs That Matter Is Like Time Travel for Design Nerds

Wired News - Mon, 27/02/2017 - 12:00pm
The book lays bare the interconnectedness of the visual world, spanning time and geography and bridging hundreds of seemingly unrelated subjects. The post Graphic: 500 Designs That Matter Is Like Time Travel for Design Nerds appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

How to Use Dark Matter Detectors to Catch a Uranium Thief

Wired News - Mon, 27/02/2017 - 12:00pm
It turns out, the tools for hunting dark matter help nuclear watchdogs look inside nuclear reactors. The post How to Use Dark Matter Detectors to Catch a Uranium Thief appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Does Pluto Have The Ingredients For Life?

Space.com - Mon, 27/02/2017 - 12:00pm
The New Horizons probe that flew by Pluto in 2015 sent back data suggesting this icy world possesses organics, water and energy, or what scientists consider the necessary ingredients for life.
Categories: Science

What's That On Pluto? Official Names Near for Dwarf Planet Geography

Space.com - Mon, 27/02/2017 - 12:00pm
Pluto's famous heart-shaped feature is on the road to getting an official name, nearly two years after its discovery.
Categories: Science

Nearby Comet Has a Big Heart, Radar Reveals

Space.com - Mon, 27/02/2017 - 11:55am
A rare opportunity to study a comet using radar technology has yielded new measurements of this traveling space rock's size, shape, geology and rotation rate.
Categories: Science

SpaceX to Fly Passengers On Private Trip Around the Moon in 2018

Space.com - Mon, 27/02/2017 - 11:53am
SpaceX, the private spaceflight company founded by billionaire Elon Musk, will launch two paying customers on a week-long trip around the moon and back to Earth in 2018.
Categories: Science

Apollo 11 Spacecraft Tags Land on 'Antiques Roadshow' for Appraisal

Space.com - Mon, 27/02/2017 - 11:52am
Only days after the Smithsonian announced its national tour for Columbia, the spacecraft that flew the first men to walk on the moon, two rare artifacts off the Apollo 11 command module have turned up at a different type of roadshow: "Antiques Roadshow."
Categories: Science

Total Solar Eclipse 2017: When, Where and How to See It (Safely)

Space.com - Mon, 27/02/2017 - 10:23am
On Aug. 21, 2017, American skywatchers will be treated to a rare and spectacular celestial show — the first total solar eclipse visible from the continental United States in nearly four decades. Here's what to look for.
Categories: Science

Ask Slashdot: Would You Use A Cellphone With A Kill Code?

Slashdot - Mon, 27/02/2017 - 8:49am
Slashdot reader gordo3000 writes: Given all the recent headlines about border patrol getting up close and personal with phones, I've been wondering why phone manufacturers don't offer a second emergency pin that you can enter that wipes all private information on the phone? In theory, it should be pretty easy to just input a different pin (or unlock pattern) that opens up a factory reset screen on the phone and in the background begins deleting all personal information. I'd expect that same code could also lock out the USB port until it is finished deleting the data, to help prevent many of the tools they now have to copy out everything on your phone. This nicely prevents you from having to back up and wipe your phone before every trip but leaves you with a safety measure if you get harassed at the border. It could be built into the operating system, added by the manufacturer, or perhaps sideloaded as a custom mod -- but that begs the question of whether it'd really be a popular feature. So leave your own thoughts in the comments. Would you use a cellphone with a kill code?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

Ultraluminous Object Is Brightest and Farthest Neutron Star Ever Discovered

Space.com - Mon, 27/02/2017 - 8:42am
Astronomers have discovered a neutron star 1,000 times brighter than researchers previously thought was possible for neutron stars, a new study finds.
Categories: Science

Saturn's Mysterious Hexagon Gets a Close-Up in New Cassini Photo

Space.com - Mon, 27/02/2017 - 8:31am
Saturn's north pole sits smack-dab in the center of a strange, six-sided structure that scientists don't quite understand, and a new photo shines the spotlight on this mysterious feature.
Categories: Science

Waze Digs Into Your Car’s Dashboard

Wired News - Mon, 27/02/2017 - 8:30am
It will run on your in-car navigation system—and learn a lot more about you. The post Waze Digs Into Your Car's Dashboard appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Historic Supernova Explosion Still Shines Bright After 30 Years

Space.com - Mon, 27/02/2017 - 8:20am
The strikingly bright shock waves from a massive star explosion first observed in 1987 can still be seen today, three decades later.
Categories: Science

Coronal Hole In 1st Pics From Satellite's Solar Imager | Video

Space.com - Mon, 27/02/2017 - 7:57am
NOAA’s GOES-16 satellite, which launched in November 2016, will keep its eyes on the Sun and Earth. Imagery from the its Solar Ultraviolet Imager (SUVI) will be used to study the Sun by solar physicists and space weather forecasters.
Categories: Science

Oscars Honor Real-Life NASA Hero Katherine Johnson, But Pass On 'Hidden Figures'

Space.com - Mon, 27/02/2017 - 6:19am
The stars of "Hidden Figures," the 20th Century Fox film about NASA's early African American mathematicians, took to the stage at the Academy Awards Sunday night (Feb. 26) to pay homage to the real-life "human computer" Katherine Johnson.
Categories: Science

How To Get Back To the Moon In 4 Years -- This Time To Stay

Slashdot - Mon, 27/02/2017 - 4:50am
Scientific American describes "a way to get to the Moon and to stay there permanently...to begin this process immediately and to achieve moon landings in less than four years." It starts by abandoning NASA's expensive Space Launch System and Orion capsule, and spending the money saved on private-industry efforts like Elon Musk's SpaceX and Robert Bigelow's Bigelow Aerospace. schwit1 quotes their report: Musk's rockets -- the Falcon and the soon-to-be-launched Falcon Heavy -- are built to take off and land. So far their landing capabilities have been used to ease them down on earth. But the same technology, with a few tweaks, gives them the ability to land payloads on the surface of the Moon. Including humans. What's more, SpaceX's upcoming seven-passenger Dragon 2 capsule has already demonstrated its ability to gentle itself down to earth's surface. In other words, with a few modifications and equipment additions, Falcon rockets and Dragon capsules could be made Moon-ready... Major segments of the space community want every future landing to add to a permanent infrastructure in the sky. And that's within our grasp thanks to Robert Bigelow... Since the spring of 2016, Bigelow, a real estate developer and founder of the Budget Suites of America hotel chain, has had an inflatable habitat acting as a spare room at the International Space Station 220 miles above your head and mine. And Bigelow's been developing something far more ambitious -- an inflatable Moon Base, that would use three of his 330-cubic-meter B330 modules. The article calls Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin rockets "a wild car" which could also land passengers and cargo on the moon and suggests NASA would be better off funding things like lunar-surface refueling stations, lunar construction equipment, and "devices to turn lunar ice into rocket fuel, drinkable water, and breathable oxygen."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

Can Streaming Companies Replace Hollywood Studios?

Slashdot - Mon, 27/02/2017 - 2:50am
"Movie-theater attendance is down to a 19-year low, with revenues hovering slightly above $10 billion," reports Vanity Fair, arguing that traditional studios should feel threatened by nimble streaming companies like Netflix and Amazon, which produced the film Manchester By The Sea -- nominated for six Oscars. An anonymous reader writes: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos attended the Oscars, prompting host Jimmy Kimmel to joke that if the film won, "you can expect your Oscar to arrive in 2 to 5 business days, possibly stolen by a GrubHub delivery man." But it's a symbol of an inevitable disruption in Hollywood. "Studios now account for less than 10% of their parent companies' profits," writes Vanity Fair, adding "By 2020, according to some forecasts, that share will fall to around 5%... Some 70% of box office comes from abroad, which means that studios must traffic in the sort of blow-'em-up action films and comic-book thrillers that translate easily enough to Mandarin. Or in reboots and sequels that rely on existing intellectual property." Former Paramount CEO Barry Diller famously said "I don't know why anyone would want a movie company today. They don't make movies; they make hats and whistles." The article makes the case that Hollywood, "in its over-reliance on franchises, has ceded the vast majority of the more stimulating content to premium networks and over-the-top services such as HBO and Showtime, and, increasingly, digital-native platforms such as Netflix and Amazon. These companies also have access to analytics tools that Hollywood could never fathom, and an allergy to its inefficiency." The article argues that with A.I., CGI, big data and innovation, "Silicon Valley has already won," and that "it's only a matter of time -- perhaps a couple of years -- before movies will be streamed on social-media sites."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science