Thursday, October 11, 2018

Miracle Escape For U.S. - Russian Astronauts As Rocket Fails Mid-Launch -- News Roundup







Daily Mail: Miracle escape for Space Station astronauts as rocket fails mid-launch: American and Russian hurtle back to Earth in harrowing 7G 'ballistic re-entry' and survive

* The secondary booster rockets on the Russian-made Soyuz spacecraft failed just after it launched Thursday
* American Nick Hague and Russian Aleksey Ovchinin were forced to carry out a 'ballistic re-entry' to get back
* The two-strong crew landed safely at a site in Kazakhstan hundreds of miles away from the initial launch site
* Video footage from the launch shows the pair being shaken around as the engine malfunctioned in mid-flight
* After the incident Russia announced Soyuz flights to the International Space Station would be suspended

Two astronauts are alive after dramatically aborting their voyage to the International Space Station when their Russian Soyuz rocket malfunctioned while it carried them into orbit at 4,970mph.

American Nick Hague and Russian Aleksey Ovchinin were forced to abort their mission on the cusp of space, at an altitude of approximately 50km (164,000ft).

They landed safely in Kazakhstan after a ‘ballistic re-entry’, during which they experienced forces of up to 7G.

Video footage from the launch at the Baikonur Cosmodrome shows a large plume of smoke coming from the rocket at the moment it failed and footage from inside the capsule shows the two astronauts being violently shaken about.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: These astronauts have every reason to be relieved with what happened today .... First footage of ISS crew after emergency landing (PHOTOS, VIDEO) (RT).

Miracle Escape For U.S. - Russian Astronauts As Rocket Fails Mid-Launch -- News Roundup

ISS crew made emergency landing in Kazakhstan, both alive -- RT
Russian space rocket fails in mid-air, two-man U.S.-Russian crew lands safely -- Reuters
US, Russian astronauts safe after emergency landing -- AP
Astronauts escape malfunctioning Soyuz rocket -- BBC
Crew of Soyuz rocket survive emergency landing after engine problem -- AFP
Almost like Columbia: Two crew members dodge death by an inch in botched Russian space launch -- RT
Soyuz MS-10 Lands in Kazakhstan, Crew Feels Well - Roscosmos Head -- Sputnik
Soyuz spacecraft crew lands, cosmonauts alive — Roscosmos chief -- TASS
Putin to receive report on aborted Soyuz space launch to ISS -- TASS
Rocket Fails, and American and Russian Astronauts Make Emergency Return -- The New York Times
Space crew abort flight after post-launch rocket failure -- The Guardian
NASA: ISS crew make emergency landing after booster failure -- DW
Astronauts make emergency landing after rocket malfunction -- ABC News Online
A Soyuz crew makes an emergency landing after rocket fails -- Ars Technica
Russian-US ISS crew makes emergency landing: Who are Aleksey Ovchinin and Nick Hague? -- RT
'Thank God they're well': Cosmonaut's wife tells of horror, relief in wake of emergency landing -- RT
RT EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Villagers film smoke in sky close to capsule landing site in Kazakhstan -- RT

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Google Drops Bid For $10 Billion Military Cloud Computing Contract Amid Employee Objections

An illuminated Google logo is seen inside an office building in Zurich September 5, 2018. REUTERS/Arnd WIegmann/File Photo

Fortune: Google Passes on a $10 Billion Pentagon Cloud Contract, Citing Its New AI Principles

Google is pulling its bid for a $10 billion Pentagon contract.

The company was among several bidding to house government data under a project called the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud, or JEDI. But on Monday the company said it would not submit a proposal, citing displeasure with the terms (Google and other bidders wanted the Pentagon to split the contract among multiple bidders rather than award the whole thing to one) and uncertainty that the contract would align with Google’s A.I. Principles.

Read more ....

More News On Google Dropping Its Bid For $10 Billion Military Cloud Computing Contract Amid Employee Objections

Google drops out of Pentagon’s US$10 billion cloud competition -- SCMP/Bloomberg
Google drops $10bn battle for Pentagon data contract -- BBC
Google drops out of bidding for controversial $10bn Pentagon cloud contract claiming it would be 'inconsistent with its principles' -- Daily Mail
Google drops $10 billion bid for Pentagon contract -- CNN
Google drops out of Pentagon cloud computing competition -- The Hill
Google pulls out of race for billion dollar Pentagon defense contract -- FOX News
Google Drops Bid for Massive Military Cloud Computing Contract Amid Employee Pressure -- Gizmodo
Google drops out of $10-billion DoD contract competition -- We Are The Mighty

Google Unveils New Products

Google's new range: The firm unveiled the Home Hub, Pixel Slate and Pixel 3 at a New York event. It boasted AI technology is the core of each device, and hopes to gain ground in the hardware market on rivals like Apple, Samsung, Amazon and others

Daily Mail: Google reveals the Pixel 3: Firm unveils new $799 'superselfie' handset that uses AI to answer calls itself alongside $599 Pixel Slate tablet and $149 Home Hub smart speaker

* The firm released new Pixel phones, a smart display, a new tablet and more
* Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL to include big upgrades from the Pixel 2, including super-size displays, improved cameras and wireless charging, among other things
* New 'superselfie' group selfie cam adds a second camera on the front that captures 184% more of the scene than the iPhone XS
* Call Screen feature will answer incoming calls for you to weed out robocalls
* Smart display is equipped with Google Assistant, a small screen - but no camera

Google has unveiled a slew of new hardware including its $799 (£739) Pixel 3 phones, a new $599 (£549) tablet called Pixel Slate and a $149 (£139) smart speaker with a screen called Home Hub.

The firm has pledged to build AI into its entire range at a New York event where Google's Rick Osterloh unveiled the new products, designed to take aim at Apple, Samsung and Amazon.

Its new Pixel 3 handset includes AI features that allow it to answer calls itself, weeding out robocalls and transcribing messages if a user is busy, alongside a wide angle 'superselfie' lens.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: It does not have the Apple price.

Are You Ready For YouTube's Mini-Player?

YouTube's new mini-player allows viewers to browse while their current video plays in a smaller concern screen. PopSci

Popular Science: Is your brain ready for YouTube's new mini-player?

On multi-tasking and the possible death of tabs.

This week, viewers may have noticed a new tool in the bar beneath each YouTube video. The button, a small white box nested inside a larger box, is the much-awaited mini-player. Instead of giving your attention to one video at a time, users can now watch videos in a small pop-out player in the corner of their screen, freeing them up to search for new videos on the rest of the YouTube site. While literally miniature, experts say the feature could have huge consequences for our brains—and the future of streaming.

Read more ....

CSN Editor: I find it to be a distraction.

What Is Google Really Up To?

Sky News

Popular Mechanics: What Is Google Really Up To?

The search giant's crusade against "annoying" ads isn't altruism.

Google's been busy this week. First came the new push to make email interactive. Then the flashy "Google Stories"—a Snapchat-esque package that can live in Google's search results. Most importantly, we're about to get Google's newest version of Chrome, which will block "annoying" ads by default.

At first glance these projects might not seem unrelated. If anything, they look like a public good. Google is flexing its muscle to make the core experiences of the open web—email, searching, and reading web pages—a cleaner, better, more user-friendly affair.

That may be true, but make no mistake about the other side of this coin. These projects are different facets of a push that will tighten Google's stranglehold on the web.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: We know that they do not want to be involved in this .... Google Drops Out of Pentagon's $10 Billion Cloud Competition (Bloomberg).

Monday, October 8, 2018

Book Review: This Is How The Mona Lisa Was Saved During World War Two

A new book reveals how Jacques Jaujard worked out a modus vivendi with the Nazis of civil co-existence which helped him to oversee the evacuation of Louvre’s treasures including the Mona Lisa (pictured being returned to Louvre in 1945) during World War II. He was able to protect thousands of cultural masterpieces from destruction

Daily Mail: Quiet man who saved the Mona Lisa from the Nazis’ clutches: Fascinating account of the thousands of French masterpieces saved during World War II

* A new book reveals how the Louvre’s treasures were protected in World War II
* Jacques Jaujard ensured items were kept safe from bombs, damp and the Nazis
* He had items including the Mona Lisa evacuated out of Paris during 1939
* Dukes in the South and West of France sheltered the cultural items in chateaux
* However the Nazi's destroyed some 500 masterpieces including work by Picaso

Reading Hamlet at school, I was taught that the delaying habit is a bad one. This new book, about how the Louvre’s priceless treasures were protected during the German occupation of France in World War II, utterly contradicts that theory.

It was through the delaying tactics of a self-effacing civil servant called Jacques Jaujard that the precious objects we most associate with the Louvre — the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, the French crown jewels, as well as thousands of other items — were saved from destruction through bombing or damp.

Read more ....

CSN Editor: A truly fascinating story.

Hubble Space Telescope Has Been Hit By A Mechanical Failure

Hubble has been been operational for 28 years

BBC: Hubble telescope hit by mechanical failure

The Hubble Space Telescope is operating with only essential functions after it lost one of the gyroscopes needed to point the spacecraft.

The observatory, described as one of the most important scientific instruments ever created, was placed in "safe mode" over the weekend, while scientists try to fix the problem.

Hubble had been operating with four of its six gyroscopes when one of them failed on Friday.

The telescope was launched in 1990.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is bad. It looks like this may be the end of the Hubble Telescope.