Tuesday, November 2, 2021

William Shatner Describes His Short Trip To Space 'It's Indescribable'"


Kotte.org: Captain Kirk Goes to Space: “It’s Indescribable” 

 Last week, William Shatner finally got a chance to boldly go where he hadn’t actually been before: into space. And upon returning from the 11-minute flight, the 90-year-old TV spaceship captain had come down with more than a touch of the Overview Effect. 

From the transcript of his post-flight remarks:  

Read more .... 

CSN Editor: William Shatner's description of his space flight after landing is below: 

Japanese Startup Is Selling A Hoverbike

In a video grab from Japanese startup A.L.I. Technologies, the "XTurismo Limited Edition" hoverbike is pictured during its demonstration at Fuji Speedway in Oyama, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, October 26, 2021. A.L.I. Technologies/Handout via REUTERS  

Reuters: Japan startup targets supercar users with $700,000 hoverbike 

TOKYO, Oct 26 (Reuters) - A Japanese startup backed by soccer player Keisuke Honda hopes to persuade wealthy consumers to swap their supercar for a 77.7 million yen ($680,000) hoverbike which went on sale on Tuesday. 

The "XTurismo Limited Edition" from Tokyo-based drone startup A.L.I. Technologies is equipped with a conventional engine and four battery-powered motors and promises to fly for 40 minutes at up to 100 kph (62 mph). 

"Until now the choice has been to move on the ground or at scale in the sky. We hope to offer a new method of movement," Chief Executive Daisuke Katano told Reuters.  

Read more ....  

CSN Editor: The era of the Jetsons is coming.

To Combat Global Warming, The Whitest Paint On Record Has Been Developed

Xiulin Ruan, a Purdue University professor of mechanical engineering, holds up his lab’s sample of the whitest paint on record. (Purdue University/Jared Pike)  

Perdue University: The whitest paint is here – and it’s the coolest. Literally. 

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — In an effort to curb global warming, Purdue University engineers have created the whitest paint yet. Coating buildings with this paint may one day cool them off enough to reduce the need for air conditioning, the researchers say. 

In October, the team created an ultra-white paint that pushed limits on how white paint can be. Now they’ve outdone that. The newer paint not only is whiter but also can keep surfaces cooler than the formulation that the researchers had previously demonstrated. 

“If you were to use this paint to cover a roof area of about 1,000 square feet, we estimate that you could get a cooling power of 10 kilowatts. That’s more powerful than the central air conditioners used by most houses,” said Xiulin Ruan, a Purdue professor of mechanical engineering.  

Read more ....  

CSN Editor: This paint will definitely be popular in hot climates.

The Inside Story Of Mining Bitcoin

Bitcoin miner Zack Pettit skating on his work break at the SCATE Ventures mining facility in Dallesport, Washington. SCATE Ventures Inc.  

CNBC: This 19-year-old earns $54,000 a year mining bitcoin as a full-time job — here’s what it’s like 

* Nick Sears was 17 years old when he helped build a bitcoin mining farm in Dallesport, Washington. 

* Sears oversees a hydro-powered data center with 4,500 ASICs, all mining for bitcoin. 

Nick Sears was 17 when he helped build a bitcoin mining farm in Dallesport, Washington. He was 18 when rules allowed him to buy bitcoin for the first time. And now, at 19, Sears has doubled down on his life as a bitcoin miner, saying “no” to college and “yes” to living in a room inside a data center that houses 4,500 whirling ASICs. 

“My room is sound-locked,” said Sears of the acoustic retrofitting of his living quarters. “So I can’t hear the machines when I close my door, but they are definitely noisy if I have my door open.”  

Read more ....  

CSN Editor: He is living his dream.

Chinese Satellites Have The Capability To Dodge US Surveillance

Shijian 20, China’s most advanced communication satellite, was launched in 2019. Photo: Weibo  

SCMP: Chinese satellite hints at space warfare prowess by dodging US surveillance  

A Chinese satellite has used a manoeuvre to avoid being followed by a spying US satellite, hinting at its capability in potential space warfare. 

But some defence analysts said the scenario was not new and the incident should not be seen as escalating the rivalry between China and the United States in space.

 "It is not difficult to monitor satellites," said Chinese military commentator Song Zhongping. "The US, Russia and China are all able to monitor each other's satellites in orbit. But the US will certainly plan its space infrastructure through monitoring the satellites of China and Russia."  

Read more ....  

CSN Editor: More details on what China, Russia, and the US are doing in space can be read here .... US, China, Russia Test New Space War Tactics: Sats Buzzing, Spoofing, Spying (Breaking Defense).

Nasa Delays SpaceX Launch To ISS Over A ‘Medical Issue’ With An Astronaut

The four astronauts of SpaceX's Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station for NASA pose for a photo on the gantry to their Crew Dragon Endurance during a launch rehearsal. They are (from left): ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer, NASA astronauts Tom Marshburn, Raja Chari and Kayla Barron. (Image credit: SpaceX)  

Space.com: SpaceX's Crew-3 astronaut launch for NASA delayed by 'minor medical issue'  

Crew-3 will now launch no earlier than Saturday (Nov. 6). 

SpaceX's next astronaut launch for NASA has been delayed until at least Saturday (Nov. 6) by a "minor medical issue" affecting a crewmember, agency officials said. 

The mission, known as Crew-3, had been scheduled to lift off early Wednesday morning (Nov. 3) from NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. 

The earliest it could now launch is 11:36 p.m. EDT on Saturday evening (Nov. 6; 0336 GMT on Nov. 7). 

"The issue is not a medical emergency and not related to COVID-19," NASA officials said in an update today (Nov. 1). 

Read more ....  

Update #1: SpaceX Crew Dragon launch to space station delayed by "minor medical issue" (CBS)  

Update #2: Nasa delays SpaceX launch to ISS over ‘medical issue’ with astronaut (The Guardian)  

CSN Editor: NASA and SpaceX are not elaborating on the nature of the problem or say which astronaut was involved.

Astronauts Heading Back To Earth From The International Space Station This Month Will Be Without A Bathroom

The toilet aboard SpaceX's Inspiration4 craft malfunctioned during the crew's three-day journey around the Earth last month, causing urine to leak inside the capsuleNASA's Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, French astronaut Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency, and Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency  

Daily Mail: This stinks! SpaceX capsule's leaky toilet is going to leave astronauts without a bathroom and force them to wear 'undergarments' on their return trip from the International Space Station this month 

* Engineers first noticed trouble with the toilet design when the all-civilian Resilience capsule returned in September 

* Urine had pooled beneath the floor panels after a tube from the toilet came unplugged 

* SpaceX engineers fixed the issue in the Resilience but the Endeavour capsule is stationed on the ISS and unable to be repaired 

* Astronauts commonly use the undergarments to relieve themselves in spacesuits for launches, landings and spacewalks 

Astronauts heading back to Earth from the International Space Station this month will be without a bathroom, thanks to an issue with the toilets on SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule. 

Instead, NASA's Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, French astronaut Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency, and Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will have to rely on 'undergarments' for waste management while aboard the Endeavour capsule, Steve Stich, NASA's Commercial Crew Program manager, told reporters at an October 29 press conference.

Read more .... 

Update #1: SpaceX's Dragon space toilet is off limits for astronauts returning to Earth soon (Space.com)  

Update #2: Leaky SpaceX toilet problem will force astronauts to use backup 'undergarments' (CNN)  

CSN Editor: Thank God for diapers/undergarments.

Monday, November 1, 2021

James Webb Space Telescope Arrives At Europe's Kourou Spaceport To Be Prepped For Launch

BBC: $10bn James Webb Space Telescope unpacked in Kourou 

Engineers have unboxed the James Webb Space Telescope in French Guiana and will now prepare it for launch. 

The $10bn successor to the Hubble observatory arrived at Europe's Kourou spaceport five days ago after being shipped from the US. 

It's now been relieved of its transport container and raised into the vertical to allow preflight checks to begin. 

JWST is one of the grand scientific projects of the 21st Century and will ride to orbit on 18 December.  

Read more ....  

CSN Editor: The space telescope will be launched on December 18.

Global Covid-19 Death Toll Tops Five Million


Daily Mail: Global Covid death toll tops five million with US, UK, Brazil, India and Mexico accounting for more than half of all fatalities 

* Grim landmark of 2 million Covid deaths comes less than 2 years into pandemic 

* US, Brazil, India, Mexico and the UK account for 50% of world's reported deaths 

* US recorded more than 740,000 lives lost - higher than any other nation 

The global death toll from Covid-19 has topped five million, according to Johns Hopkins University. 

The grim figure comes less than two years into a crisis that has not only devastated poor countries but also humbled wealthy ones with first-rate healthcare systems. 

The US, Brazil, India, Mexico and the UK account for more than half of the world's reported deaths. 

Read more .... 

More News On Global Covid Death Toll Topping Five Million 

COVID-19′s global death toll tops 5 million in under 2 years -- AP 

Global Covid deaths hit 5 million as pandemic takes staggering toll -- CNBC 

COVID-19: Five million people have now died from coronavirus across the globe -- SKY News 

Global Covid-19 deaths surpass five million -- CNN 

The world has recorded 5 million COVID-19 deaths, but the real toll is likely more than double that -- ABC News Australia  

Global Covid-19 death toll passes 5m -- The Guardian 

Johns Hopkins: World COVID-19 Death Toll Nears 5 Million -- VOA  

The COVID-19 pandemic has now killed 5 million people around the world -- NPR

Shanghai Disneyland Lockdowns 33,000 Visitors After One Posivie Covid-19 Test


Daily Mail: Shanghai Disneyland is forced to shut down after one visitor tested positive for coronavirus as China steps up bid to eradicate virus ahead of Winter Olympics 

* Contact tracing blighted fireworks at Disneyland Shanghai on Sunday night 

* Woman tested positive after returning home from the theme park on Saturday 

* Beijing's strict 'zero Covid' strategy does not tolerate transmission of disease 

* More than 33,000 guests at Disneyland require tests before they can leave 

Shanghai Disneyland has gone into lockdown because of a single Covid case, shutting its gates as authorities carry out tests on tens of thousands of guests. 

Frantic contact tracing blighted the theme park's Halloween fireworks last night as health officials in protective suits swabbed families under the watchful eye of the police manning the entrances and exits. 

The Chinese Communist Party is operating a strict 'zero Covid' strategy and hopes to eradicate the virus before it hosts the Winter Olympics in February.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: It takes a few days for the Covid coronavirus to incubate. So even if they test 30,000, they would not know who this person infected until next week (or more) later. I suspect quarantines and contact tracing will be the rule for these all of these visitors in the next two weeks. 

Shanghai Disneyland Tests 33,000 For COVID And Closes For 2 Days After 1 Positive Test 

Testing results at Shanghai Disney Resort come back negative; at least two hospitals closed to screen out potential COVID-19 infections -- Global Times  

Over 33,000 people tested negative for COVID-19 at Shanghai Disney -- CGTN 

China Locks 30,000 Visitors Inside Shanghai Disneyland After One Guest Got Covid-19 -- WSJ  

Halloween Covid scare forces Shanghai Disney into lockdown as China steps up efforts to eradicate virus -- CNN  

Shanghai Disneyland tests 33K people for COVID, closes for 2 days after 1 contact -- FOX News/AP

25 Cities Account For The Majority Of Global Urban Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The Hill: Study: Just 25 cities account for majority of global urban greenhouse gas emissions 

Just 25 cities comprise more than half of greenhouse gas emissions from a sample of 167 urban centers, according to research published Monday in the journal Frontiers in Sustainable Cities. 

Researchers analyzed a sample of 167 cities and metropolitan areas in 53 countries, including more cities from countries that are major emitters, such as China, the U.S. and India. They then compared the cities’ respective levels of progress in carbon reduction based on 2012 and 2016 emissions inventories, in combination with their short and long-term reduction targets. 

The researchers found that 25 cities accounted for 52 percent of the sample’s emissions. All but three of the 25 — Moscow, Istanbul and Tokyo — were located in China, including major cities such as Shanghai and Beijing.  

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: The study is here .... Keeping Track of Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Progress and Targets in 167 Cities Worldwide (Frontiers).

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Hope For Millions Of Patients With Dementia And Parkinson

Image: Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of neurological disorders  

Daily Mail: Hope for millions of patients with dementia and Parkinson's as scientists find likely culprit behind nearly all neurological diseases 

* 'Toxic' acid system to remove damaged cells in the brain could be going wrong 

* Scientists say this is the likely suspect of a number of brain diseases and aging 

* Blocking the fat from working helped to save 75% of brain cells in study on mice 

* While promising, experts warn that treatment is not ready to be used on humans 

Scientists believe they've found the culprit behind nearly all neurological diseases, in a breakthrough that could offer hope to millions. 

Dementia, Parkinson's and many other brain disorders are caused by key cells called neurons dying over time. Researchers have now found other brain cells – known as astrocytes – play a 'critical role' in their death.  

Read more ....  

CSN Editor: Faster please!

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.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

How Do Some People Have The Ability To Quickly Learn And Speak Multiple Languages?

Judith Thurman, New Yorker: People Who Speak Dozens of Languages

What can hyperpolyglots teach the rest of us?

Last May, Luis Miguel Rojas-Berscia, a doctoral candidate at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, in the Dutch city of Nijmegen, flew to Malta for a week to learn Maltese. He had a hefty grammar book in his backpack, but he didn’t plan to open it unless he had to. “We’ll do this as I would in the Amazon,” he told me, referring to his fieldwork as a linguist. Our plan was for me to observe how he went about learning a new language, starting with “hello” and “thank you.”

Read more ....

CSN editor: I envy these people. I speak and read Russian, English, Ukrainian, and French .... and I am the first to admit that it has not been easy learning these languages. But 10 languages and more?!?!?!