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The Morning After: Russia teases its own space station ahead of leaving the ISS

Engadget - Tue, 2022-08-16 07:15

Russia decommissioned its last self-run space station, Mir, in 2001. Now Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency, has shared a model of the country’s future station, as it prepares to move out of the International Space Station. Nicknamed ROSS by state-controlled media, it would launch in two phases, starting with four modules and expanding to six with a service platform. The design would accommodate four people in rotating tours and reportedly offer better monitoring of Earth than Russia gets from the ISS today.

State media claim the first phase will launch between 2025 and 2030, with Russia expected to leave the ISS in 2024. It announced its departure from the ISS in July in response to sanctions and other measures following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February.

— Mat Smith

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Samsung's 55-inch curved gaming monitor has six speakers and two remotesThe newest Odyssey Ark is $3,500.TMAEngadget

Samsung has gone all-out on its next-generation monitor. Samsung claims the Ark is the world’s first 55-inch monitor with a 4K resolution, a 165Hz refresh rate and a 1ms response time. You also get support for HDR 10+ and Dolby Atmos audio, and it’s got six built-in speakers that create a dome of sound. Oh, and you can use it vertically.

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Android 13 is rolling out to Pixel phones todayThe software is out of beta and brings some small but useful new tools.

Android 13 is coming out of beta and will start rolling out to Google’s Pixel phones today, with devices from Samsung, ASUS, Nokia (HMD), Motorola, OnePlus, Oppo, Sony, Xiaomi and more expected to get the update later this year.

The latest version of Google's mobile operating system brings more granular privacy controls, a new photo picker, Bluetooth LE audio and more. Messaging app streaming might be the most notable new feature, letting you cast your messaging apps to your Chromebook so you can chat with your friends on your laptop. Google said this works with Messages "and many of your other favorite messaging apps." The company added you'll "soon be able to copy content — like a URL, picture, text or video — from your Android phone and paste it on your tablet," or the other way around.

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Yet another Lord of the Rings game is in developmentFrom a company that worked on the movie trilogy’s special effects.

Wētā Workshop is working on a new Lord of the Rings game alongside publisher Private Division. The game is in early development and few details have been announced, but Wētā Workshop has "the broadest creative license to interpret the underlying lore of the books," according to a press release. If you’re wondering who or what WētāWorkshop is, it worked on Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings movies as well as The Hobbit trilogy. The special effects powerhouse is also collaborating with Amazon on The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. It set up its gaming division in 2014.

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TikTok adds an AI image generator to its appIt’s a very, very simple version of DALL-E.TMAGetty

TikTok has introduced a basic AI greenscreen effect in its Android and iOS apps that turns your text descriptions into artwork. It's much simpler than OpenAI's DALL-E 2, producing abstract blobs rather than photorealistic depictions — which makes it a lot less interesting. However, AI art tools like DALL-E are usually limited to a select group of users. TikTok, meanwhile, has over a billion monthly users — while few of them are likely to ever use AI-generated art, the addition brings the technology to a much wider audience.

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Peloton may open its workout content to competing bikes and treadmillsThe company is also redesigning its bikes for home assembly.

Peloton may soon allow users of competing fitness equipment to stream its workouts to their bikes and treadmills. In an interview with Bloomberg, CEO Barry McCarthy said the company is “rethinking” its digital strategy. Peloton could adopt a freemium model offering some features and workouts in its mobile and TV app for free. Currently, the software costs $13 per month. In the future, people with stationary bikes or treadmills from companies like Bowflex, Echelon and NordicTrack could also stream Peloton's content to their equipment’s display.

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Polestar 6 Electric Roadster Slated for 2026 Production, Based on the O2 Concept - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2022-08-16 07:00
The gorgeous 884-horsepower sport convertible concept is production-bound and will use the same high-performance EV architecture as the upcoming Polestar 5 sedan.

Polestar will release a production version of its O2 concept convertible in 2026

Engadget - Tue, 2022-08-16 07:00

It didn't take long for Polestar to translate the O2 Concept to a production model. The company has confirmed that it will sell the electric convertible as the Polestar 6 sometime in 2026. Most details are still under wraps, but the 6 will share the same 884HP dual-motor powertrain and 800V architecture as the Polestar 5 sedan. The firm is targeting a 0-62MPH time of 3.2 seconds and a 155MPH top speed.

There will also be a limited, 500-unit run of a Polestar 6 LA Concept edition with the O2 Concept's signature blue color, "light" leather interior and 21-inch wheels. Unlike many adaptations of concepts, you really can buy a car that (at least superficially) resembles what you saw at motor shows.

The Polestar 6 is a sportier, open-air counterpart to the 5 with a smaller footprint. It also represents an aerodynamics challenge — the range will heavily depend on Polestar's ability to overcome convertibles' typically higher drag coefficients. There's no mention of whether or not the 6 will include some of the more fanciful features from the concept, though, including the integrated camera drone.

No matter what the finished model offers, it's clear Polestar plans a steady expansion of its lineup. The Polestar 3 SUV arrives next year, followed by the 5 in 2024. The Volvo sibling brand will still have a relatively small selection, but you'll at least have choices if the Polestar 2 doesn't fit your needs.

Replacing Lead Water Pipes with Plastic Could Raise New Safety Issues

Scientifc America - Tue, 2022-08-16 06:45

Industry-related groups say plastic is a safe material to replace lead pipes, but some researchers and health advocates are not so sure

Amazon sale slashes the price of Kindle Kids and Fire Kids tablets

Engadget - Tue, 2022-08-16 06:01

If you have a child in your life who needs a new tablet or e-reader, Amazon has a sale you may want to check out. The company's devices designed for kids are currently being sold at a discount —some are even listed with the lowest prices we've seen for them on the website. You can get Kindle for Kids for $60, which is an all-time low for the e-reader and is $50 less than its normal price. Kindle for Kids is just the 10th-gen Kindle that comes with a year of Amazon Kids+, a subscription service that gives you access to child-friendly books and magazines. It also comes with a kid-friendly cover and a 2-year warranty, guaranteeing that Amazon will replace the device for free if it gets damaged and returned within that period.

Buy Amazon Kids Devices at Amazon

The 2022 version of the Fire 7 Kids tablet is also on sale for $70, or $40 less than its usual price. Like the Kindle for Kids, it comes with one year of Amazon Kids+ and a two-year warranty. Plus, the 7-inch tablet ships with a kid-friendly case that has a built-in kickstand. The model on sale for $70 has 16GB of internal storage, but it can be expanded with a microSD card up to 1TB in size. 

If you want to get a bigger tablet for your kid, you can get Amazon's Fire HD 8 Kids tablet instead. It's currently on sale for $70, which is 50 percent off or $70 less than its normal price. This tablet has an 8-inch display, 32GB of internal storage with expandable memory and up to 12 hours of battery life. It also ships with one year of Amazon Kids+, a childproof case and a 2-year warranty. 

Finally, the Amazon Glow with Tangram Bits pack will only set you back $200, or $130 less than what buying them separately will cost you. Amazon Glow is a video calling and interactive entertainment system that can project a 19-inch touchscreen on its accompanying mat. Meanwhile, Tangram Bits are small physical pieces kids can use to play and solve puzzles. The pack also comes with one year of Amazon Kids+ that will give you access to Glow's games, books and art activities, as well a two-year warranty. 

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Earth Had Its 6th-Hottest July and Year To Date On Record

SlashDot - Tue, 2022-08-16 06:00
July 2022 was the world's sixth-hottest July on record, according to NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information. Last month also saw Earth's sixth-hottest year to date on record as Antarctic sea ice coverage plunged to a record low for a second consecutive month. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports: The July 2022 land and ocean-surface temperature for the globe was 1.57 degrees F (0.87 of a degree C) above the 20th-century average of 60.4 degrees F (15.8 degrees C). This made it the sixth-hottest July in the 143-year global climate record. July marked the 46th-consecutive July and the 451st-consecutive month with temperatures above the 20th-century average. The five warmest Julys on record have all occurred since 2016. Regionally, July 2022 was among the top-10 warmest Julys on record for several continents. North America saw its second-hottest July on record, Asia had its third hottest, South America had its fourth hottest and Europe had its sixth hottest. The average global land and ocean-surface temperature was the sixth-warmest year to date on record, at 1.55 degrees F (0.86 of a degree C) above average. Asia had its second-hottest such YTD on record with Europe seeing its fifth hottest. Africa, North America and South America all had an above-average YTD, though it did not rank among their top-10 warmest on record. According to NCEI's Global Annual Temperature Rankings Outlook, there is a greater than 99% chance 2022 will rank among the 10-warmest years on record but an 11% chance the year will rank among the top five.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Czinger 21C First Ride Review: 3D-Printed Absurdity - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2022-08-16 05:00
This American-made hypercar is built with some of the most impressive manufacturing tech out there.

9 Must-Have Classic Car Accessories - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2022-08-16 04:00
Here are some of the best ways to keep your classic car looking and running its best while making your life easier.

Russia Unveils Model of Proposed Space Station After Leaving ISS

SlashDot - Tue, 2022-08-16 03:00
The Russian space agency has unveiled a physical model of what a planned Russian-built space station will look like, suggesting Moscow is serious about abandoning the International Space Station (ISS) and going it alone. The Guardian reports: Russia wants to reduce its dependency on western countries and forge ahead on its own, or cooperate with countries such as China and Iran, after sanctions were imposed by the west as a result of the invasion of Ukraine. Roscosmos presented a model of the space station, nicknamed "Ross" by Russian state media, on Monday at a military-industrial exhibition outside Moscow. Roscosmos said its space station would be launched in two phases, without giving dates. For the first phase a four-module space station would start operating. That would be followed by two more modules and a service platform, it said. That would be enough, when completed, to accommodate up to four cosmonauts and scientific equipment. Roscosmos has said the station would afford Russian cosmonauts a much wider view by which to monitor Earth than their current segment. Although designs for some of the station exist, design work is still under way on other segments. Russian state media have suggested the launch of the first stage is planned for 2025-26 and no later than 2030. Launch of the second and final stage is planned for 2030-35, they have reported. The space station, as currently conceived, would not have a permanent human presence but would be staffed twice a year for extended periods. Dmitry Rogozin, the previous head of Roscosmos and a hardliner known for his tough statements against the west, has suggested the new space station could fulfil a military purpose if necessary.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Apple requires employees to work out of its offices thrice a week starting in September

Engadget - Tue, 2022-08-16 02:36

After multiple delays and false starts, Apple now has a solid start date for its hybrid work arrangement. According to Bloomberg and The Verge, the tech giant will start requiring employees who work in its Santa Clara Valley offices to report to office three times a week starting in the week of September 5th. They're expected to come in every Tuesdays and Thursdays, with the third day set by their individual teams. In a letter sent to staff members, Apple's SVP of software engineering Craig Federighi encouraged employees to share their input about that third team-specific day with their managers to help them decide. 

Apple has been planning to enforce a hybrid arrangement wherein employees are required to work from its offices since June 2021. At the time, though, it wanted personnel to come in every Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. The company, which puts great value in what Tim Cook calls the "irreplaceable benefits of in-person collaboration," has made several attempts to enforce a hybrid work week arrangement since then but has had to keep pushing its plans back due to rising COVID-19 cases and other factors.

Earlier this year, it again attempted to start enforcing its hybrid work policy in the week stating on May 23rd. However, employees had criticized the policy for being "driven by fear" — "[f]ear of the future of work, fear of worker autonomy, fear of losing control," they said in an open letter. Apple even reportedly lost Ian Goodfellow, its director of machine learning and most cited expert in the field, over the policy. In the end, the company backtracked and softened its stance, launching a pilot that required some employees to report to its offices two days a week instead.

Now, it looks like there's no stopping Apple from requiring employees to report to its offices. "September 5th marks the true start of our hybrid work pilot in the Santa Clary Valley," Federighi wrote in his memo. As he mentioned, though, it is still a pilot, and the company expects to learn from its implementation in the coming months as it prepares for employees' return to office in other locations. 

2022 Doodle for Google Winner Cares for Herself by Not Going It Alone - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2022-08-16 00:00
Florida teen's contest entry highlights the importance of a support network.

Intel Drops DirectX 9 Support On Xe, Arc GPUs, Switches To DirectX 12 Emulation

SlashDot - Mon, 2022-08-15 23:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Native DX9 hardware support is officially gone from Intel's Xe integrated graphics solutions on 12th Gen CPUs and A-Series Arc Alchemist discrete GPUs. To replace it, all DirectX 9 support will be transferred to DirectX 12 in the form of emulation. Emulation will run on an open-source conversion layer known as "D3D9On12" from Microsoft. Conversion works by sending 3D DirectX 9 graphics commands to the D3D9On12 layer instead of the D3D9 graphics driver directly. Once the D3D9On12 layer receives commands from the D3D9 API, it will convert all commands into D3D12 API calls. So basically, D3D9On12 will act as a GPU driver all on its own instead of the actual GPU driver from Intel. Microsoft says this emulation process has become a relatively performant implementation of DirectX 9. As a result, performance should be nearly as good, if not just as good, as native DirectX 9 hardware support.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

I've Been Drinking Rainwater the Past Two Years. Is It Time To Stop? - CNET

CNET News - Mon, 2022-08-15 22:00
Recent studies find all rainwater may be unsafe to drink, according to the latest health advisories for levels of PFAS, also known as "forever chemicals."

An Eye Implant Engineered From Proteins In Pigskin Restored Sight In 14 Blind People

SlashDot - Mon, 2022-08-15 21:25
According to a new study published in the journal Nature Biotechnology, researchers implanted corneas made from pig collagen to restore sight in 20 people who were blind or visually impaired. "Fourteen of the patients were blind before they received the implant, but two years after the procedure, they had regained some or all of their vision," notes NBC News. "Three had perfect vision after the surgery." From the report: The patients, in Iran and India, all suffered from keratoconus, a condition in which the protective outer layer of the eye progressively thins and bulges outward. "We were surprised with the degree of vision improvement," said Neil Lagali, a professor of experimental ophthalmology at Linkoping University in Sweden who co-authored the study. Not all patients experienced the same degree of improvement, however. The 12 Iranian patients wound up with an average visual acuity of 20/58 with glasses; functional vision is defined as 20/40 or better with lenses. Nonetheless, Dr. Marian Macsai, a clinical professor of ophthalmology at the University of Chicago who wasn't involved in the study, said the technology could be a game changer for those with keratoconus, which affects roughly 50 to 200 out of every 100,000 people. It might also have applications for other forms of corneal disease. To create the implant, Lagali and his team dissolved pig tissue to form a purified collagen solution. That was used to engineer a hydrogel that mimics the human cornea. Surgeons then made an incision in a patient's cornea for the hydrogel. "We insert our material into this pocket to thicken the cornea and to reshape it so that it can restore the cornea's function," Lagali said. Traditionally, human tissue is required for cornea transplants. But it's in short supply, because people must volunteer to donate it after they die. So, Lagali said, his team was looking for a low-cost, widely available substitute. "Collagen from pigskin is a byproduct from the food industry," he said. "This makes it broadly available and easier to procure." After two years, the patients' bodies hadn't rejected the implants, and they didn't have any inflammation or scarring. But any experimental medical procedure comes with risk. In this case, Soiberman said, a foreign molecule like collagen could induce an immune reaction. The researchers prescribed patients an eight-week course of immunosuppressive eyedrops to lower the risk, which is less than the amount given to people who receive cornea transplants from human tissue. In those cases, patients take immunosuppressive medicine for more than a year, Lagali said. "There's always a risk for rejection of the human donor tissue because it contains foreign cells," he said. "Our implant does not contain any cells ... so there's a minimal risk of rejection." The procedure itself was also quicker than traditional cornea transplants. The researchers said each operation took about 30 minutes, whereas transplants of human tissue can take a couple of hours. [...] It's not yet clear whether the surgery would work for patients who have other forms of corneal disease aside from keratoconus.

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WeWork's Former CEO Has a New Startup, Reportedly Valued At More Than $1 Billion

SlashDot - Mon, 2022-08-15 20:45
Nearly three years after Adam Neumann stepped down as CEO of WeWork following a failed attempt to take the company public, he is said to once again be in charge of a billion-dollar real estate startup. CNN Business reports: Andreessen Horowitz, the prominent venture capital firm known for its early investments in Twitter and Airbnb, has pumped about $350 million into Neumann's newest venture, called Flow, according to The New York Times, citing unnamed sources briefed on the deal. The investment valued the startup at more than $1 billion, according to the report. In a blog post Monday, Marc Andreessen, cofounder and general partner at the VC firm, announced the investment, without disclosing financial details. He also explained his thinking for backing Flow, a residential real estate company, and Neumann despite the founder's high-profile fall from grace at WeWork. "Adam is a visionary leader who revolutionized the second largest asset class in the world -- commercial real estate -- by bringing community and brand to an industry in which neither existed before," Andreessen wrote in his post Monday. "Adam, and the story of WeWork, have been exhaustively chronicled, analyzed, and fictionalized -- sometimes accurately. For all the energy put into covering the story, it's often under appreciated that only one person has fundamentally redesigned the office experience and led a paradigm-changing global company in the process: Adam Neumann." It's not immediately clear how Flow seeks to revolutionize the residential housing industry. Flow currently has a bare bones website, with the slogan "Live life in flow" and two words stating it will launch in 2023. Andreessen positioned the new company as a long-awaited solution to the nation's "housing crisis." He used a mix of jargon-filled terms -- "community-driven, experience-centric service" -- to explain how the new startup would "create a system where renters receive the benefits of owners." "We think it is natural that for his first venture since WeWork, Adam returns to the theme of connecting people through transforming their physical spaces and building communities where people spend the most time: their homes," Andreessen wrote. "Residential real estate -- the world's largest asset class -- is ready for exactly this change."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

New US Privacy Law May Give Telecoms Free Pass On $200 Million Fines

SlashDot - Mon, 2022-08-15 20:02
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: The American Data Privacy and Protection Act (ADPPA), a new federal privacy bill that has actually a chance of becoming law, is designed to introduce new privacy protections for Americans. But it may also have the side effect of wiping out $200 million worth of fines proposed against some of the country's biggest telecommunications companies as part of a major location-data selling scandal in which the firms sold customer data that ended up in the hands of bounty hunters and other parties. The issue centers around the ADPPA's shift of enforcement for privacy related matters from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which proposed the fines, to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The news highlights the complex push and pulls when developing privacy legislation, and some of the pitfalls along the way. The FCC proposed the $200 million fines in February 2020. The fines came after Motherboard revealed that the carriers sold phone location data to a complex supply chain of companies which then provided it to hundreds of bounty hunters and other third parties, including someone that allowed Motherboard to track a phone for just $300. The fines also came after The New York Times and the office of Sen. Ron Wyden found that the carriers sold location data in a similar method to a company called Securus, which allowed law enforcement officials to track the location of phones without a warrant. A former sheriff abused the tool to spy on judges and other officials. The offending telecoms -- AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon -- said they stopped the sale of location data at varying points in time in response to the investigations. The FCC then found that the carriers broke the law by selling such data. FCC Press Secretary Paloma Perez told Motherboard in an emailed statement that "our real-time location information is some of the most sensitive data there is about us, and it deserves the highest level of privacy protection. That is why the FCC has proposed more than $200 million in fines against the nation's largest wireless carriers for selling their customers' location data. Through our continued oversight we have ensured that these carriers are no longer monetizing their consumers' real-time location in this way, and we are continuing our investigation into these practices and expect to reach a conclusion very soon." In July FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel sent letters to a host of U.S. telecommunications, tech, and retail companies to ask about their use of location data.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

US Bans Export of Tech Used In 3nm Chip Production On Security Grounds

SlashDot - Mon, 2022-08-15 19:20
The United States is formally banning the export of four technologies tied to semiconductor manufacturing, calling the protection of the items "vital to national security." The Register reports: Announced Friday (PDF) by the US Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and enacted today, the rule will ban the export of two ultra-wide bandgap semiconductor materials, as well as some types of electronic computer-aided design (ECAD) technology and pressure gain combustion (PGC) technology. In particular, the BIS said that the semiconductor materials gallium oxide and diamond will be subject to renewed export controls because they can operate under more extreme temperature and voltage conditions. The Bureau said that capability makes the materials more useful in weapons. ECAD software, which aids design for a wide range of circuits, comes in specialized forms that supports gate-all-around field effect transistors (GAAFETs), which are used to scale semiconductors to 3 nanometers and below. PGC technology also has "extensive potential" for ground and aerospace uses, the BIS said. All four items are being classified under Section 1758 of the Export Control Reform Act, which covers the production of advanced semiconductors and gas turbine engines. Those types of technology are also covered by the Wassenaar Arrangement, made in 2013 between the US and 41 other countries, which functions as a broader arms control treaty. "We are protecting the four technologies identified in today's rule from nefarious end use by applying controls through a multilateral regime," Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration Thea D Rozman Kendler said in a statement. "This rule demonstrates our continued commitment to imposing export controls together with our international partners." The reason for the addition of the four forms of technology to export controls is a change made in May to how the BIS characterizes emerging and foundational technologies. Under the change, such tech was reclassified to be covered by Section 1758. The BIS statement announcing the export ban made no mention of the countries, but recent events make it clear the target is China -- the US has been considering other tech export bans (and investment freezes), recently all of which appeared tailored to target China. Analysts in the Middle Kingdom have claimed the ban would have little short-term impact on China's chipmaking industry as no one in China has yet managed to design chips as advanced as those targeted by the ban.

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Dodge Makes It Easier to Turn Your Challenger Into a Convertible - CNET

CNET News - Mon, 2022-08-15 19:00
There's nothing easy about the $26,000 it costs to make this happen, though.

2023 Dodge Charger, Challenger Lean on Nostalgia for Final Production Year - CNET

CNET News - Mon, 2022-08-15 19:00
Seven new special-edition models are coming, in addition to heritage paint colors and a shiny new "Last Call" plaque.

2023 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat Revives Three-Row Madness - CNET

CNET News - Mon, 2022-08-15 19:00
New options packages will offer a bit more customization than before.