Never let it be said that Rocket Lab founder Peter Beck lacks a flamboyant streak. Although his Electron launch vehicle is one of the smallest orbital rockets in the world, Beck gleans every bit of performance from the booster he can. On just the rocket's second launch, in January 2018, he added a disco-ball like geodesic sphere called "Humanity Star" to give humans a small and bright shining object to, however briefly, gaze upon in the night sky. "The whole point of the program is to get everybody looking up at the star, but also past the star into the Universe, and reflect about the fact that we’re one species, on one planet," he said at the time. In interviews since then Beck has made no secret of his love for humanity's next-closest world, Venus. The surface of that hell-planet is a miasma of carbon dioxide, crushing pressures, and fiery temperatures. But scientists believe that high above that terrible surface, in the clouds of Venus, there are air pressures not dissimilar … [Read more...] about Rocket Lab will self-fund a mission to search for life in the clouds of Venus
Self righteous 7 little words
When a federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a libel suit brought against Techdirt's Mike Masnick, the decision was a victory of sorts for the First Amendment. And it may be short-lived. Even so, the ruling , which followed two-plus decades of legal precedent, brings to mind how lawsuits like this can be used as a weapon to stifle the First Amendment and extract huge settlements to make the issue disappear. Masnick fought the allegations that he defamed Shiva Ayyadurai, the man who claims to have invented e-mail. Ayyadurai sought $15 million in a lawsuit against Masnick and Techdirt parent company Floor64 over blog posts that labeled Ayyadurai a "fraud" and a "liar" surrounding Ayyadurai's "fake" claims to have invented e-mail in 1978 as a teenager in New Jersey. As strange as it may sound, however, Gawker paid out $750,000 to settle a similar lawsuit from Ayyadurai. He sued Gawker for ridiculing him with headlines that said Ayyadurai has "pretended to invent Email" and "The … [Read more...] about 1st Amendment wins in self-proclaimed e-mail inventor’s Techdirt libel suit
She-Hulk herself isn’t a telepath, but Disney Plus’ She-Hulk: Attorney at Law knows exactly what you were thinking when you first saw its statuesque heroine in all her uncanny VFX glory , and it appreciates all the feedback . While She-Hulk ’s frequent forays into the uncanny valley feel like an undeniable sign of the less than ideal conditions its visual effects were produced under, the show as a whole is a surprisingly refreshing spin on Marvel’s small screen character studies — one that feels like the precursor to something new yet very familiar. After multiple Phases full of hero origin series like Daredevil and Moon Knight that gradually teased out how their titular vigilantes became super, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law switches things up by immediately dropping you into the deep end of Jennifer Walters’ (Tatiana Maslany) life with little warning. Much like her counterpart in the comics, She-Hulk ’s Jen is an exceedingly talented but pathologically sheepish … [Read more...] about She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is peak uncanny valley, but it works
Audio player loading… Apple's most powerful iPhone security setting ever, Lockdown Mode, is an unexpected addition to iOS 16 . The new security mode, which will also appear in macOS Ventura and iPadOS 16 , is not for everyone. In fact, you might argue it's for a select few: those who believe they could be targeted by state-sponsored cybersecurity attacks. In other words, this is software for the President of the United States. It might also be for the head of your local power authority, water treatment plant, or a journalist covering the war in Ukraine. And thanks to Apple, anyone with an iPhone, it seems. Lockdown Mode is Apple's new hardcore approach to security that, when enabled on an iPhone, will introduce five key protections, any one of which might make your iPhone less useful and fun, but also, apparently, a whole lot more secure. These protections include: Most message attachment types other than images are blocked and link previews are … [Read more...] about Apple unveils Lockdown Mode and takes iPhone security to the next level
Audio player loading… Raleigh has announced its new lightweight Trace electric bike today, a super-light e-bike with a hidden motor and slimline design, weighing just 16.5kgs. This slender urban cycle is Raleigh’s lightest and one of its best electric bike models to date, with a 250W Ebikemotion X35 battery allowing for approximately 50 miles of riding on a single four-hour charge. All electrical assistance is hidden inside the frame using the Ebikemotion iWoc controller hidden at the top of the frame, just like other electric bike manufacturers like Ribble use. However, the slim frame design makes the Trace look to the untrained eye almost exactly like a traditional analog bike. It’s got a nine-speed derailleur system for a drivetrain and almost no, er, trace of the usual thick battery bulges other electric bikes are saddled with. In fact wouldn’t even register as a powered vehicle if someone didn’t know to look for the iWoc controller. At 16.5kgs, it’s easy … [Read more...] about If more e-bikes looked like the new Raleigh Trace, we’d all be using them
As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to ramp up efforts to halt the spread of poliovirus in New York, anti-vaccine activists are celebrating dips in childhood vaccination rates, calling them a "COVID silver lining." On Tuesday, the CDC published new details on the case of paralytic polio in New York's Rockland county that was first announced in mid-July. The case, which occurred in an unvaccinated, immune-competent young adult male, began in June. Among the report's revelations is that the infection left the man with ongoing flaccid weakness in both legs. As of August 10, officials had tested 260 wastewater samples in Rockland and nearby Orange county. Twenty-one of those 260 samples—8 percent—tested positive, with positive detections spanning samples collected in April, May, June, and July, the report notes. Separately, New York officials announced last Friday, August 12, that sewage samples in New York City had also tested positive . Health … [Read more...] about Anti-vaccine activists giddily celebrate as poliovirus spreads in NY
COLOGNE, Germany—It finally happened, a decade's worth of expectation fulfilled with a simple push of a button. Though I still can't quite believe it (and a recent delay hasn't helped) Final Fantasy XV , a game that's taken on near mythical status alongside the likes of The Last Guardian , Beyond Good and Evil 2 , and Half Life 3 , is finally being released on November 29—and I've already played it. Selecting "New Game" has never been quite as satisfying before. Unfortunately for Square Enix, FF15 is unlikely to live up to expectations. Its development has simply been too long and its predecessors too divisive to escape the crushing inevitability of a game with this much hype and history behind it. Some will welcome Square Enix's take on the modern open-world RPG. Others will lust after the linear worlds of the PlayStation-era games. There will be those for whom nothing is more satisfying than a three-hour grind through a maze-like dungeon, while others will hope … [Read more...] about hands-on: Brave new direction or just pandering to fans?
When you buy a laptop , you’ll likely have the choice between various screen resolutions, with 4K UHD being one of them. It’s tempting to pick the highest-resolution screen option and call it a day, but is it worth it? The “Retina” Resolution Problem The term “ Retina ” was coined by Apple to describe displays that have a pixel density that makes individual pixels invisible at normal viewing distances. In other words, increasing pixel densities beyond the “retina” level increases perceived image detail because your eyes can’t resolve those additional pixels. Every display becomes “Retina” as your distance from it increases, but typically the ergonomic advice for computer displays is to have them no closer than 20 inches from your eyes. We used a 13.3-inch, 15.6-inch, and 17.3-inch laptop in natural positions, and in each case, the distance was in excess of 20 inches, so this isn’t an unreasonable distance for comfortable use. The problem is that even a large … [Read more...] about Is 4K Really Worth It In a Laptop?
Is the Magic Mouse the best choice for Mac users, or should you spend your money on a third-party pointing device? And should MacBook owners bother “upgrading” from the Magic Trackpad on their device? Don’t Discount the Magic Trackpad If you have a MacBook or are considering a desktop machine like the Mac mini or Mac Studio, the Magic Trackpad might just be your best choice. All MacBook owners have one, while iMac customers can upgrade from the Magic Mouse at checkout for an additional $50. If you’re buying a Mac mini or Mac Studio you can add one to your order at checkout for an extra $129. Though expensive, Apple’s trackpads are the best in the business. External models are rechargeable and come with a USB-C to Lightning cable, though you can connect over Bluetooth for a fully wireless setup. Apple Magic Trackpad Apple Magic Trackpad (Wireless, Rechargable) - White Multi-Touch Surface Apple's wireless, rechargeable trackpad for all Mac models lets you use … [Read more...] about Which Mouse Is Best for My Mac?
How can you check if two Linux binaries are the same? If they’re executable files, any differences might mean unwanted or malicious behavior. Here’s the easiest way to check if they differ. Comparing Binary Files Linux is rich in ways to compare and analyze text files. The diff command will compare two files for you, and highlight the differences . It can even provide a few lines on either side of the changes to provide some context around the changed lines. And the colordiff command adds color to make visually parsing the differences even easier. Developers and authors use diff to highlight the differences between different versions of program source code files, or draft texts. It’s fast and easy, and you don’t need any technical skills to see the differences between strings of text. In the world of binary files, things aren’t so simple. Binary files are not composed of plain text. They’re made up of many bytes containing numeric values. If it’s a compressed file … [Read more...] about How to Compare Binary Files on Linux