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Galileo Satellites Are Experiencing Multiple Clock Failures

Slashdot - 56 min 7 sec ago
elgatozorbas writes: According to a BBC article, the onboard atomic clocks that drive the satellite-navigation signals on Europe's Galileo network have been failing at an alarming rate. From the report: "Across the 18 satellites now in orbit, nine clocks have stopped operating. Three are traditional rubidium devices; six are the more precise hydrogen maser instruments that were designed to give Galileo superior performance to the American GPS network. Each Galileo satellite carries two rubidium and two hydrogen maser clocks. The multiple installation enables a satellite to keep working after an initial failure. All 18 spacecraft currently in space continue to operate, but one of them is now down to just two clocks. Most of the maser failures (5) have occurred on the satellites that were originally sent into orbit to validate the system, whereas all three rubidium stoppages are on the spacecraft that were subsequently launched to fill out the network. Esa staff at its technical centre, ESTEC, in the Netherlands are trying to isolate the cause the of failures - with the assistance of the clock (Spectratime of Switzerland) and satellite manufacturers (Airbus and Thales Alenia Space; OHB and SSTL). It is understood engineers have managed to restart another hydrogen clock that had stopped. It appears the rubidium failures 'all seem to have a consistent signature, linked to probable short circuits, and possibly a particular test procedure performed on the ground.'"

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Japan adds phone chargers to buses in new trial - CNET

CNET NEWS - 2 hours 21 min ago
Seeing that battery life drop when you're out in town can be horrifying, but hey, there's a bus for that.

Neko Atsume's trailer proves we are all crazy cat ladies - CNET

CNET NEWS - 2 hours 35 min ago
The film becomes the second film to be based on a mobile app.

Remote Russian lake deepens old mystery and ruins 'The X-Files' - CNET

CNET NEWS - 1/19/2017 11:04pm
Many say it was a meteor blast that flattened a Siberian forest and left a large impact crater when the "Tunguska Event" happened over 100 years ago. New research debunks part of the story.

Star Trek's Gorn turns 50, and it's not easy being green - CNET

CNET NEWS - 1/19/2017 10:43pm
The big alien lumbered after Captain Kirk a whole half-century ago, and he's since become a sci-fi icon.

3D TV Is Dead

Slashdot - 1/19/2017 10:30pm
While Samsung dropped 3D support in 2016, LG and Sony -- the last two major TV makers to support the 3D feature in their TVs -- will stop doing so in 2017. None of their TVs, including the high-end OLED TV models, will be able to show 3D movies and TV shows. As a result, 3D TV is dead. The question is no longer when (or even why) 3D TVs will become obsolete, it's will 3D TVs ever rise again? CNET reports: The 3D feature has been offered on select televisions since 2010, when the theatrical success of "Avatar" in 3D helped encourage renewed interest in the technology. In addition to a 3D-capable TV, it requires specialized glasses for each viewer and the 3D version of a TV show or movie -- although some TVs also offer a simulated 3D effect mode. Despite enthusiasm at the box office and years of 3D TVs being available at affordable prices, the technology never really caught on at home. DirecTV canceled its 24/7 3D channel in 2012 and ESPN followed suit a year later. There are plenty of 3D Blu-ray discs still being released, such as "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," but if you want to watch them at home you'll need a TV from 2016 or earlier -- or a home theater projector. Those market trends are clear: Sales of 3D home video gear have declined every year since 2012. According to data from the NPD Group, 3D TV represents just 8 percent of total TV sales dollars for the full year of 2016, down from 16 percent in 2015 and 23 percent in 2012. Native 3D-capable Blu-ray players fell to just 11 percent of the market in 2016, compared to 25 percent in 2015 and 40 percent in 2012. As for whether or not 3D TVs will ever become popular again, David Katzmaier writes via CNET, based on his own "anecdotal experience as a TV reviewer": Over the years, the one thing most people told me about the 3D feature on their televisions was that they never used it. Sure, some people occasionally enjoyed a 3D movie on Blu-ray, but the majority of people I talked to tried it once or twice, maybe, then never picked up the glasses again. I don't think most viewers will miss 3D. I have never awarded points in my reviews for the feature, and 3D performance (which I stopped testing in 2016) has never figured into my ratings. I've had a 3D TV at home since 2011 and I've only used the feature a couple of times, mainly in brief demos to friends and family. Over the 2016 holiday break I offered my family the choice to watch "The Force Awakens" in 2D or 3D, and (after I reminded everyone they had to wear the glasses) 2D was the unanimous choice. But some viewers will be sad to see the feature go. There's even a change.org petition for LG to bring back the feature, which currently stands at 3,981 supporters. Of course 3D TV could come back to life, but I'd be surprised if it happened before TV makers perfect a way to watch it without glasses.

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Neuroscience Can't Explain How a Microprocessor Works

Slashdot - 1/19/2017 9:05pm
mspohr writes: The Economist has an interesting story about two neuroscientists/engineers -- Eric Jonas of the University of California, Berkeley, and Konrad Kording of Northwestern University, in Chicago -- who decided to test the methods of neuroscience using a 6502 processor. Their results are published in the PLOS Computational Biology journal. Neuroscientists explore how the brain works by looking at damaged brains and monitoring inputs and outputs to try to infer intermediate processing. They did the same with the 6502 processor which was used in early Atari, Apple and Commodore computers. What they discovered was that these methods were sorely lacking in that they often pointed in the wrong direction and missed important processing steps.

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Amazon greenlights series based on 'Good Omens' - CNET

CNET NEWS - 1/19/2017 9:03pm
Six-part series based on comedy about the approaching apocalypse will debut in 2018.

​Uber pays $20M to settle FTC claims it duped drivers - CNET

CNET NEWS - 1/19/2017 9:00pm
The ride-hailing company allegedly exaggerated how much drivers could earn on the service. Uber also reportedly misled drivers about its vehicle-financing program.

Here's why we're not downloading Meitu, the red-hot anime photo app (update) - CNET

CNET NEWS - 1/19/2017 8:40pm
Why does a cute photo app need all these permissions?

Scottish Government Targets 66% Emissions Cut By 2032

Slashdot - 1/19/2017 8:25pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from BBC: The Scottish government has outlined a new target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 66% by 2032. Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham set out the government's draft climate change plan for the next 15 years at Holyrood. She also targeted a fully-decarbonized electricity sector and 80% of domestic heat coming from low-carbon sources. Ministers committed last year to cut harmful CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050, with a new interim target of 50% by 2020. The previous interim target of 42% was met in 2014 -- six years early. However, the independent Committee on Climate Change said the decrease was largely down to a warmer than average winter reducing the demand for heating. Ms Cunningham said the new targets demonstrated "a new level of ambition" to build a low-carbon economy and a healthier Scotland. Goals to be achieved by 2032 include: Cutting greenhouse emissions by 66%; A fully-decarbonized electricity sector; 80% of domestic heat to come from low-carbon heat technologies; Proportion of ultra-low emission new cars and vans registered in Scotland annually to hit 40%; 250,000 hectares of degraded peatlands restored; Annual woodland creation target increased to at least 15,000 hectares per year. The 172-page document sets a road map for decarbonizing Scotland. The aim -- although not new -- is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds by 2032. Among the policies are making half of Scotland's buses low-carbon, full-decarbonizing the electricity sector and making 80% of homes heated by low-carbon technologies.

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Asteroid named after Star Trek's Wil Wheaton: Engage! - CNET

CNET NEWS - 1/19/2017 8:20pm
An asteroid going boldly through the universe now carries a new name that honors actor Will Wheaton, who played Wesley Crusher on "Star Trek: The Next Generation."

Oracle Scraps Plans For Solaris 12

Slashdot - 1/19/2017 7:45pm
bobthesungeek76036 writes: According to The Register, Solaris 12 has been removed from Oracle roadmaps. This pretty much signals the demise of Solaris (as if we didn't already know that...) From the report: "The new blueprint -- dated January 13, 2017 -- omits any word of Solaris 12 that Oracle included in the same document's 2014 edition, instead mentioning 'Solaris 11.next' as due to debut during this year or the next complete with 'Cloud Deployment and Integration Enhancements.' At the time of writing, search engines produce no results for 'Solaris 11.next.' The Register has asked Oracle for more information. The roadmap also mentions a new generation of SPARC silicon in 2017, dubbed SPARC Next, and then in 2020 SPARC Next+. The speeds and capabilities mentioned in the 2017 document improve slightly on those mentioned in the 2014 roadmap.

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Zuckerberg defends lawsuits filed over Hawaii land - CNET

CNET NEWS - 1/19/2017 7:39pm
Facebook CEO says lawsuits aim to ensure everyone is compensated and pledges that no one will be evicted.

Can Apple's original TV shows and movies survive on Apple Music? (Apple Byte Extra Crunchy, Ep. 68) - CNET

CNET NEWS - 1/19/2017 7:32pm
Apple is planning to keep its exclusive content locked behind the Apple Music subscription service. Is that enough to get you to sign up? Also, new iPads are coming in the second half of 2017, and you might as well wait for the new MacBook Pros.

Rick Perry disavows DOE questionnaire sent by Trump team in Senate hearing

Arstechnica - 1/19/2017 7:30pm

Enlarge / WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: Former Texas Governor Rick Perry, President-elect Donald Trump's choice as Secretary of Energy, testifies during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on Capitol Hill January 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. Perry is expected to face questions about his connections to the oil and gas industry. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images) (credit: Getty Images)

On Thursday, former Texas Governor Rick Perry appeared before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to answer questions from the senators, who will vote on whether Perry will become the nation’s Energy Secretary. The Republican-controlled Senate gave him little trouble this morning, although Democratic and Independent senators lobbed a few tough questions.

Perry’s nomination has been controversial, notably because in a 2011 presidential primary election debate, he couldn’t remember the name of one of the Departments he promised to eliminate as President—that Department was the Department of Energy (DOE). He also drew criticism after the New York Times reported last night that Perry had accepted the Energy Secretary nomination unaware that more than half of the Department of Energy’s budget is devoted to managing the US nuclear arsenal as well as directing nuclear energy facilities’ cleanup and maintenance. 

At the Senate hearing today, Perry attempted to persuade senators that he actually wanted the job. “My past statements made over five years ago about abolishing the Department of Energy do not reflect my current thinking,” Perry said in his opening statements. “In fact, after being briefed on so many of the vital functions of the Department of Energy, I regret recommending its elimination.”

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Assange: I'll keep my promise to go to the US - CNET

CNET NEWS - 1/19/2017 7:24pm
The WikiLeaks founder wants the US Department of Justice to make public any charges or extradition order against him.

South Korean Court Dismisses Arrest Warrant For Samsung Chief

Slashdot - 1/19/2017 7:05pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: A South Korean court on Thursday dismissed an arrest warrant against the head of Samsung Group, the country's largest conglomerate, amid a graft scandal that has led to the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye. But the reprieve for Jay Y. Lee, 48, may only be temporary, as the special prosecutor's office said it would pursue the case. Lee, who has led Samsung since his father, Lee Kun-hee, suffered a heart attack in 2014, was still likely to face the same charges of bribery, embezzlement and perjury, legal analysts said, even if he is not detained. The special prosecutor's office said it would be continuing its probe but had not decided whether to make another arrest warrant request, and the setback would not change its plans to investigate other conglomerates. Spokesman Lee Kyu-chul said the prosecution was unconvinced by the Samsung chief's argument that he was a victim of coercion due to pressure from Park. The office has accused Lee of paying multi-million dollar bribes to Park's confidant, Choi Soon-sil, the woman at the heart of the scandal, to win support from the National Pension Service for a controversial 2015 merger of two Samsung Group affiliates. The merger helped cement Lee's control over the smartphones-to-biopharmaceuticals business empire.

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Bosch debuts the modular, scalable, and compact eAxle

Arstechnica - 1/19/2017 6:55pm

(video link)

DETROIT—The annual North American International Auto Show, unlike most similar events in the US, is remarkably well attended by automotive suppliers as well as major OEMs like Bosch. The tier one supplier used the latest show to debut its new eAxle, a compact unit that's modular and scalable in design.

As you'll see in the video, the eAxle really is a lot more compact than combining the company's current individual systems together. "We can realize five-to-ten percent efficiency over standalone components when we move to an integrated unit," explained Bosch's Jon Poponea. Look in an electric vehicle on the roads right now, and you'll probably see a whole bunch of different components, all connected with thick orange-wrapped leads.

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A tour of Air Force One - CNET

CNET NEWS - 1/19/2017 6:44pm
Take a look inside America's most famous plane as it flies America's most famous passenger.
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