Technology News

Buzz Aldrin is Looking Forward, Not Back -- and He Has a Plan To Bring NASA Along

(7 days ago)
schwit1 shares a report: Just after Memorial Day this year, I began talking regularly with the pilot of the first spacecraft to land on the Moon. We had spoken before, but this was different -- it seemed urgent. Every week or two, Buzz Aldrin would call to discuss his frustration with the state of NASA and his concerns about the looming 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing without a lack of discernible progress to get back. Even at 89, Aldrin remains remarkably engaged in the aerospace community, often showing up to meetings and conferences unannounced. Aldrin asks questions. He talks to the principals. In the last two years, the aerospace legend has been to the White House for major space announcements by President Trump, served as an adviser to the National Space Council, and supported the White House goal of returning to the Moon by 2024. But what NASA has been doing to get back there, for the better part of two decades, just hasn't been working. President Bush directed NASA back to the Moon more than 15 years ago, and in one form or another, NASA has been spending billions of dollars each year to build a big, heavy spacecraft and a bigger, much heavier rocket as the foundation for such a return. Along the way, NASA has enriched a half-dozen large aerospace contractors and kept Congress happy. But the space agency still can't even launch its own astronauts into low-Earth orbit, let alone deep space or the Moon. "I've been going over this in my mind," Aldrin told[..]

Ford, Volkswagen promise details on electric, autonomous vehicle alliance

(7 days ago)
Ford Motor Co and Volkswagen AG said on Thursday they are expanding their global alliance announced in January with deals that are expected to involve collaboration on electric and autonomous vehicles.

France Approves Digital Tax on American Tech Giants, Defying US Trade Threat

(7 days ago)
France's Senate approved a tax on the revenues of tech giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook on Thursday, defying a warning from the President Donald Trump administration that it "unfairly targets American companies." From a report: On Wednesday, Trump ordered an investigation into France's planned "digital tax" on tech companies. The 3% tax would apply to the French revenues of roughly 30 major companies, mostly from the U.S. "France is sovereign, and France decides its own tax rules. And this will continue to be the case," France's Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said in a statement. He added the U.S. and France could find agreements, rather than using threats, to reach a deal on the "fair taxation" of internet giants.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Exclusive: Verizon sought buyers for Yahoo Finance - sources

(7 days ago)
Verizon Communications Inc earlier this year looked for buyers for Yahoo Finance, one of the most popular internet destinations for financial news and portfolio management tools, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters this week.

Apple's India-made top-end iPhones to hit stores next month: source

(7 days ago)
Apple Inc's top-end iPhones, assembled in India by Foxconn's local unit, are likely to hit Indian stores next month, a source said, potentially helping the tech giant drop prices in the world's second-biggest smartphone market.

Exclusive: Verizon sought buyers for Yahoo Finance - sources

(7 days ago)
Verizon Communications Inc earlier this year looked for buyers for Yahoo Finance, one of the most popular internet destinations for financial news and portfolio management tools, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters this week.

Amazon Pledges $700 Million To Teach Its Workers to Code

(7 days ago)
Amazon announced Thursday that it will spend up to $700 million over the next six years retraining 100,000 of its US employees, mostly in technical skills like software engineering and IT support. From a report: Amazon is already one of the largest employers in the country, with almost 300,000 workers (and many more contractors) and it's particularly hungry for more new talent. The company currently has more than 20,000 vacant US roles, over half of which are at its headquarters in Seattle. Meanwhile, the US economy is booming, and there are now more open jobs than there are unemployed people who can fill them, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. "The purpose isn't really to create a job ladder from fulfillment center to CEO, but rather to meet employees where they are and to create opportunities for them to build on the skills that they have," Ardine Williams, Amazon's vice president of workforce development, said in an interview Thursday morning. Amazon joins a number of other companies who have announced multimillion-dollar investments in retraining in recent years, as a tightening labor market and technological change forces businesses to evolve. Amazon has already spent thousands of dollars on worker retraining in its Career Choice program, which helps hourly associates pay for degree programs in other, high-demand fields. CEO Jeff Bezos said in a shareholder letter last year that more than 12,000 US employees have participated in the program since it began in[..]

German NGO captain seeks to block Salvini's social media accounts

(7 days ago)
The German captain of a migrant rescue ship will ask magistrates to block Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini's social media accounts because he has used them to spread hate, her lawyer said on Thursday.

Apple Opens App Design and Development Accelerator in China

(7 days ago)
Apple has opened a design and development accelerator in Shanghai -- its first for China -- to help local developers create better apps as the iPhone maker looks to scale its services business in one of its key overseas markets. From a report: At the accelerator, Apple has begun to hold regular lectures, seminars and networking sessions for developers, the company said this week. It is similar to an accelerator it opened in Bangalore about two years ago. In India, where Apple has about half a million app developers, the accelerator program has proven crucially useful, more than three dozen developers who have enrolled for the program have told TechCrunch over the years. Participation in the accelerator is free of cost. Apple said more than 2.5 million developers from greater China, which includes Taiwan and Hong Kong, actively build apps for its platform. These developers have earned more than $29 billion through App Store sales. More than 15% of Apple's revenue comes from greater China, according to official figures.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Panasonic To Develop Green Home Appliances Made From Plants

(7 days ago)
AmiMoJo writes: Panasonic will adopt a plant-derived plastic for refrigerators, vacuum cleaners and other home appliances within a few years. The Japanese electronics maker has developed a plastic that is comprised of 55% cellulose fibers and is durable enough to be used for its products. Cellulose is an insoluble substance obtained from the bark, wood or leaves of plants, or from other plant-based material. Panasonic says resin material with more than 50% of plant content is rarely used for commercial purposes. Because plant fibers are soft, molding the material into appliance parts had been a challenge. Panasonic tapped its expertise in battery development to increase plant content without compromising its strength.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Climate Change: How Hot Cities Could Be in 2050

(7 days ago)
dryriver writes: A new study, published in the journal PLOS One, suggests summers and winters in Europe will get warmer, with average increases of 3.5C and 4.7C respectively. It's the equivalent to a city shifting 620 miles (1,000km) further south -- with those furthest away from the equator being most affected. London could feel as hot as Barcelona by 2050, with Edinburgh's climate more like Paris, Leeds feeling like Melbourne and Cardiff like Montevideo. That's from a study looking at how a 2C temperature increase could change the world's 520 major cities. That temperature increase would result in the average UK temperature during summer's hottest month increasing by about six degrees to 27C. The University of Reading's Professor Mike Lockwood warned about the damage that could be done to infrastructure. 'Bringing Barcelona's climate to London sounds like it could be a good thing -- if you don't suffer from asthma or have a heart condition, that is -- except London clay shrinks and is brittle if it gets too dry and then swells and expands when very wet. As ever, there is destructive and unforeseen devil in the details of climate change.'Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Apple Disables Walkie Talkie App Due To Vulnerability That Could Allow iPhone Eavesdropping

(7 days ago)
Apple has disabled the Apple Watch Walkie Talkie app due to an unspecified vulnerability that could allow a person to listen to another customer's iPhone without consent. From a report: Apple has apologized for the bug and for the inconvenience of being unable to use the feature while a fix is made. The Walkie Talkie app on Apple Watch allows two users who have accepted an invite from each other to receive audio chats via a 'push to talk' interface reminiscent of the PTT buttons on older cell phones.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Porn pirating lawyer jailed for five years

(7 days ago)
The scam was run by a firm that hid the fact it had shared the pornographic films people then pirated.

Bankrupt Maker Faire Revives, Reduced To Make Community

(7 days ago)
After being shut down last month with 22 employees losing their jobs, Maker Faire and Maker Media are coming back, but in a weakened capacity. Founder and CEO Dale Dougherty tells TechCrunch that "he's bought back the brands, domains, and content from creditors and rehired 15 of 22 laid off staffers with his own money." The report says that he will formally announce the relaunch of the company with the new name "Make Community." From the report: The company is already working on a new issue of Make Magazine that it will hope to publish quarterly (down from six times per year) and the online archives of its do-it-yourself project guides will remain available. It hopes to keep publishing books. And it will continue to license the Maker Faire name to event organizers who've thrown over 200 of the festivals full of science-art and workshops in 40 countries. But Dougherty doesn't have the funding to commit to producing the company-owned flagship Bay Area and New York Maker Faires any more. For now, Dougherty is financing the revival himself "with the goal that we can get back up to speed as a business, and start generating revenue and a magazine again. This is where the community support needs to come in because I can't fund it for very long." The immediate plan is to announce a new membership model next week at Make.co where hobbyists and craft-lovers can pay a monthly or annual fee to become patrons of Make Community. Dougherty was cagey about what they'll get in return beyond[..]

Game on! Fiverr offers coaches for Fortnite, PUBG players

(7 days ago)
Fiverr International Ltd is tapping into the phenomenal success of "Fortnite" and "PUBG" by hooking up players with online gaming experts, who will help them up their game while helping the company make some money in the process.

Game on! Fiverr offers coaches for Fortnite, PUBG players

(7 days ago)
Fiverr International Ltd is tapping into the phenomenal success of "Fortnite" and "PUBG" by hooking up players with online gaming experts, who will help them up their game while helping the company make some money in the process.
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