27 Oct 2021

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Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin Wants To Build a Tourism Space Station Nearly As Big As the ISS

Blue Origin, the rocket and space tourism company founded by Jeff Bezos, is proposing a massive new commercial space station called "Orbital Reef" that could be used to host science experiments, vacation getaways, and potentially even in-space manufacturing. CNN reports: The company plans to work alongside startup Sierra Space to bring the space station to fruition, and Boeing plans to design a research module on the station, though there are no guarantees the companies can make it happen. Such projects are still exorbitantly expensive and risky, likely costing in the tens of billions of dollars and requiring multiple safe launches before a human ever even floats aboard. Blue Origin and Sierra Space plan to co-finance the space station, though executives declined to give an all-in cost estimate during a press conference Monday. They did add that they are expecting to sign on NASA as an anchor tenant, though it's not exactly clear how such a partnership could take shape. Blue Origin hopes Orbital Reef could be operational in the late 2020s, though it will have to get quite a bit done to make that happen. The company has only managed a few crewed suborbital flights so far, much like NASA first achieved back in the early 1960s, and it has yet to put a spacecraft in orbit, let alone a person. A space station would take a major leap. New Glenn, the Blue Origin-built rocket that is expected to be powerful and large enough to haul the biggest portions of the space station to orbit, is not yet operational, and its maiden flight was recently delayed to at least late 2022. The orbital reef will be able to host up to 10 people and will have roughly the same internal volume as the ISS.

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27 Oct 2021 7:00am GMT

Apple's iPod Came Out Two Decades Ago

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Conversation: On October 23, 2001, Apple released the iPod -- a portable media player that promised to overshadow the clunky design and low storage capacity of MP3 players introduced in the mid-1990s. The iPod boasted the ability to "hold 1,000 songs in your pocket". Its personalized listening format revolutionized the way we consume music. And with more than 400 million units sold since its release, there's no doubt it was a success. Yet, two decades later, the digital music landscape continues to rapidly evolve. The iPod expanded listening beyond the constraints of the home stereo system, allowing the user to plug into not only their headphones, but also their car radio, their computer at work, or their hi-fi system at home. It made it easier to entwine these disparate spaces into a single personalized soundtrack throughout the day. [...] The rise of touchscreen smartphones ultimately led to the iPod's downfall. Interestingly, the music app on the original iPhone was called "iPod." The iPod's functions were essentially reappropriated and absorbed into the iPhone. The iPhone was a flexible and multifunctional device: an iPod, a phone and an internet communicator all in one -- a computer in your pocket. And by making the development tools for their products freely available, Apple and Google allowed third-party developers to create apps for their new platforms in the thousands. As of this year, mobile devices are responsible for 54.8% of web traffic worldwide. And while music piracy still exists, its influence has been significantly reduced by the arrival of streaming services such as Spotify and YouTube. These platforms have had a profound effect on how we engage with music as active and passive listeners. Spotify supports an online community-based approach to music sharing, with curated playlists. [...] As of February this year, more than 60,000 tracks were being uploaded to Spotify each day. The experience of listening to music will become increasingly immersive with time, and we'll only find more ways to seamlessly integrate it into our lives.

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27 Oct 2021 3:30am GMT

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Bounty hunter Spike Spiegel is back on the hunt in Cowboy Bebop trailer

"If the cops and the bounty hunters don't get you, the Syndicate will."

27 Oct 2021 2:12am GMT

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US Regulators Exploring How Banks Could Hold Crypto Assets

A top U.S. bank regulator said U.S. officials are looking to provide a clearer path for banks and their clients that are looking to hold cryptocurrencies, in order to keep control over the fast-developing asset. Reuters reports: Jelena McWilliams, who chairs the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, told Reuters in an interview on Monday that a team of U.S. bank regulators is trying to provide a roadmap for banks to engage with crypto assets. That could include clearer rules over holding cryptocurrency in custody to facilitate client trading, using them as collateral for loans, or even holding them on their balance sheets like more traditional assets. "I think that we need to allow banks in this space, while appropriately managing and mitigating risk," she said in an interview on the sidelines of a fintech conference. "If we don't bring this activity inside the banks, it is going to develop outside of the banks. ... The federal regulators won't be able to regulate it." McWilliams' comments provide the fullest picture yet of what regulators are exploring as part of a cryptocurrency "sprint" team first announced in May. The goal of the team was to ensure cryptocurrency policy coordination among the three main U.S. bank regulators - FDIC, Federal Reserve and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

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27 Oct 2021 1:40am GMT

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N64 collection goes live on Nintendo Switch, and it’s-a me, disappointment

"Better than Wii U" is faint praise for underwhelming emulation performance.

27 Oct 2021 12:08am GMT

26 Oct 2021

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Promising-looking SETI signal turns out to be of human origin

Space junk may look like a supernova as SETI researchers struggle with a signal.

26 Oct 2021 11:14pm GMT

01 Jan 2009

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A new year, a new Linux.com

Many of you have commented that our NewsVac section hasn't been refreshed since the middle of last month. Others have noticed that our story volume has dropped off. Changes are coming to Linux.com, and until they arrive, you won't see any new stories on the site.

01 Jan 2009 2:00pm GMT

31 Dec 2008

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Android-powered G1 phone is an enticing platform for app developers

The free and open source software community has been waiting for the G1 cell phone since it was first announced in July. Source code for Google's Android mobile platform has been available, but the G1 marks its commercial debut. It's clearly a good device, but is it what Linux boosters and FOSS advocates have long been anticipating?

31 Dec 2008 2:00pm GMT

30 Dec 2008

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Municipalities open their GIS systems to citizens

Many public administrations already use open source Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to let citizens look at public geographic data trough dedicated Web sites. Others use the same software to partially open the data gathering process: they let citizens directly add geographic information to the official, high-quality GIS databases by drawing or clicking on digital maps.

30 Dec 2008 2:00pm GMT