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Oct 2, 2018

Exclusive: Tim Berners-Lee tells us his radical new plan to upend the World Wide Web

Posted by in categories: government, internet

Berners-Lee believes Solid will resonate with the global community of developers, hackers, and internet activists who bristle over corporate and government control of the web. “Developers have always had a certain amount of revolutionary spirit,” he observes. Circumventing government spies or corporate overlords may be the initial lure of Solid, but the bigger draw will be something even more appealing to hackers: freedom. In the centralized web, data is kept in silos–controlled by the companies that build them, like Facebook and Google. In the decentralized web, there are no silos.

With an ambitious decentralized platform, the father of the web hopes it’s game on for corporate tech giants like Facebook and Google.

[Photo: Flickr user gdsteam].

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Oct 1, 2018

Blue Origin and Airbus back ‘The Moon Race,’ a space contest yet to be defined

Posted by in categories: space travel, sustainability

A new nonprofit organization is partnering with Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture, Airbus and other heavy-hitters to create a moon-centric prize program known as “The Moon Race.”

The contest’s goal is to boost technologies that could contribute to sustainable lunar exploration. A lot of the details, however, are still up in the air — including exactly what those technologies will be, and how much the prizes will amount to.

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Oct 1, 2018

Fully driverless Waymo taxis are due out this year, alarming critics

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

Waymo poised to launch driverless service with minimal federal oversight.

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Oct 1, 2018

SpaceX paints “X” on Western Falcon 9 landing pad for rocket recovery debut

Posted by in category: satellites

According to, SpaceX has finished painting a fresh “X” on their newest Falcon 9 landing zone, located just a quarter of a mile from the company’s SLC-4 Vandenberg Air Force Base launch facilities.

In work in one shape or another since late 2014, mainly due to a lack of a pressing need for the pad, it’s looking increasingly likely that the West Coast landing zone (LZ) will be used for the first time on October 6th, shortly after a flight-proven Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket launches the Argentinian Earth-sensing satellite SAOCOM-1A.

SpaceX Falcon 9 launch with SAOCOM 1A coming up at Vandenberg next weekend. Static Fire test is NET October 2.

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Oct 1, 2018

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin beats key rival to rocket engine deal

Posted by in category: space travel

Blue Origin is best known for its own rocket programs, but it just scored a deal that could make it an important name in the spaceflight industry. United Launch Alliance has chosen Blue Origin’s BE-4 engine (two of them, to be exact) to power the booster stage its next-generation Vulcan Centaur rocket, which is due to launch in mid-2020. Jeff Bezos’ outfit won’t be the only rocket vendor involved, but it crucially beat out Aerojet Rocketdyne — a behemoth in the industry that had tried to pressure ULA into avoiding Blue Origin tech altogether.

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Oct 1, 2018

Google Maps adds ‘Commute’ tab w/ live traffic info, Spotify, Apple Music integration

Posted by in categories: media & arts, mobile phones

The Commute tab for Maps first popped up in a limited rollout in early September, but starting today it’s rolling out to users on Android and iOS. Google says that this new feature is designed to help you “take control over your commute.” It built the feature with the fact that, in many cities across North America, rush hour traffic can result in a commute that takes up to 60% longer than expected.

With the new Commute tab, Google Maps can provide live data on traffic to help you best manage your daily trip to work. It automatically accounts for accidents or heavy traffic and can help you better budget your time to account for that or provide alternate routes. Android users will have notifications on these updates sent to their device before getting caught in the delay.

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Oct 1, 2018

Watch this humanoid robot install drywall

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

The HRP-5P is a humanoid robot from Japan’s Advanced Industrial Science and Technology institute that can perform common construction tasks including — as we see above — install drywall.

HRP-5P — maybe we can call it Herb? — uses environmental measurement, object detection and motion planning to perform various tasks. In this video we see it use small hooks to grab the wallboard and slide it off onto the floor. Then, with a bit of maneuvering, it’s able to place the board against the joists and drill them in place.

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Oct 1, 2018

The Stellina Smart Telescope Finds The Stars For You

Posted by in category: space

Pick a constellation, and this tiny telescope shows it to you. (Via Seeker)

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Oct 1, 2018

Defects promise quantum communication through standard optical fiber

Posted by in categories: materials, quantum physics

An international team of scientists led by the University of Groningen’s Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials created quantum bits that emit photons that describe their state at wavelengths close to those used by telecom providers. These qubits are based on silicon carbide in which molybdenum impurities create color centers. The results were published in the journal npj Quantum Information on 1 October.

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Oct 1, 2018

Strange Blobs Beneath Earth Could Be Remnants of an Ancient Magma Ocean

Posted by in category: futurism

New research suggests that weird blobs in the deepest part of Earth’s mantle could be leftovers from an ancient magma ocean.

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