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Industry & Technology

A new law gives Air Force some wiggle room in picking its new rockets

Ars Technica - November 21, 2017 - 2:59pm

Enlarge / Blue Origin's BE-4 engine hot fire test could have major implications for the next round of Air Force contract awards. (credit: Blue Origin)

On Monday, US aerospace companies submitted their final bids to capture some of the $1.2 billion on offer from the Air Force over the next five years to develop new launch systems for military purposes. The “Launch Services Agreement” competition has been closely watched in the aerospace industry, because the winners will help determine the future of US rocketry.

Through the competition, the Air Force seeks to end its dependence on Russian-made engines to get its spy and communications satellites into space. It wants commercial companies to provide two US-manufactured launch systems that can meet all of the national security requirements, including the launch of complex and heavy payloads.

Previously for this program, the Air Force has invested in technology development, and in 2016 it provided rocket engine development awards to SpaceX, Orbital ATK, United Launch Alliance, and Aerojet Rocketdyne. In future awards, the Air Force is likely to eventually winnow the number of participants. But which way would it go?

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Can OnePlus appeal to more than just Android fanboys? - CNET - News - November 21, 2017 - 2:42pm
The phone maker's growth has exploded thanks to word of mouth. But the CEO hopes to win you over to the OnePlus 5T, even if you're not a hardcore fan.

Apple's Siri doesn't really want to talk about HomePod - CNET - News - November 21, 2017 - 2:29pm
Commentary: Apple announces its smart speaker will be delayed. Can Siri throw any light upon that? I asked her.

Don't sweat Brexit, big biz told: Your shiny data protection sticker will remain intact

The Register - November 21, 2017 - 2:29pm
Survey reveals GDPR training and investment is on the rise

Multinationals whose data protection compliance was rubberstamped by the UK's privacy regulator have been assured they won't be stripped of the authorisation after Brexit.…

iPhone X supplier under fire over student labor - CNET - News - November 21, 2017 - 2:29pm
Chinese students say they were forced to work for Apple's manufacturing partner Foxconn in order to graduate from high school.

National Cyber Security Centre boss: For the love of $DEITY, use 2FA on your emails, peeps

The Register - November 21, 2017 - 2:03pm
Brit biz bosses, improve your infosec. We'll handle Russia

The chief exec of the National Cyber Security Centre – a branch of the UK's spy nerve-centre GCHQ – has called on everyone to enable two-factor authentication for their emails. This follows revelations that almost the entire population's details are available for sale on the dark web.…

Android phones still track you when location services are off - CNET - News - November 21, 2017 - 2:00pm
Even phones that have been reset to their factory settings can tell Google where you are.

Gulp. HPE's InfoSight self-repairs and makes 'proactive decisions'

The Register - November 21, 2017 - 1:45pm
Machine-learning engine stapled to 3PAR arrays

HPE is updating its acquired Nimble Storage InfoSight array management system with a machine learning-driven recommendation engine, and adding InfoSight to 3PAR arrays.…

SagePay's monster wobble... On the third day of sale week, UK retailers start to weep

The Register - November 21, 2017 - 1:19pm
Black Friday week? Is that a thing? Er, not for all retailers

What started as a Saturday afternoon nap for SagePay turned into a three-day snooze fest, angering retailers that were as of last night still struggling to process sales in a peak shopping week.…

Tether crypto-currency operator reports $31m raid

BBC Technology News - November 21, 2017 - 1:12pm
Tether says it is taking steps to prevent thieves from cashing in the stolen funds.

Google to 'derank' Russia Today and Sputnik

BBC Technology News - November 21, 2017 - 1:07pm
Alphabet's Eric Schmidt says the search engine's algorithms can help reduce spread of propaganda.

Tencent chief 'richer than Google founders'

BBC Technology News - November 21, 2017 - 1:02pm
Ma Huateng's company is the first Asian firm to reach a market value of more than $500bn.

Aston Martin reveals its all-new Vantage, a 503hp V8 sports car

Ars Technica - November 21, 2017 - 1:00pm

Aston Martin

On Tuesday morning, the second vehicle in Aston Martin's new "Second Century" plan was revealed to the world. The new Vantage sports car is a modern replacement for the company's best-selling model of all time. Powered by a 503hp 4.0L twin-turbo V8, it's a lighter, more-focused vehicle than the related DB11, which first saw daylight in 2016.

The Vantage is the company's entry-level car—although this is Aston Martin we're talking about, so "entry-level" means $150,000. It'll be some time before we get to drive the new Vantage. But just based on these photographs, plus my experience of the new DB11—by a quirk of fate, you'll be able to read about that vehicle tomorrow—the Vantage will almost certainly justify that price tag.

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Galaxy Note 8 vs. Pixel 2 XL camera shootout - CNET - News - November 21, 2017 - 1:00pm
The two best Androids battle it out in an old-fashioned camera comparison.

Royal Bank of Scotland website goes TITSUP*

The Register - November 21, 2017 - 12:57pm
Another day, another online banking snafu

Users who bank online with the Royal Bank of Scotland are having a tough time logging in this morning.…

Debian package depicts 'Tux the penguin' with sheep in intimate ASCII

The Register - November 21, 2017 - 12:29pm
User files bug report

A Debian software package containing an "ASCII representation of zoophilia" has been installed automatically on some users' machines.…

Iran the numbers – and Persian internet is the cheapest in the world

The Register - November 21, 2017 - 12:02pm
Burkina Faso the most expensive, UK in top third cheapest

Tired of continual price hikes on your broadband deal? Then why not move to Iran? According to a study released today, it has the cheapest broadband (if you're willing to ignore political and social problems).…

CEO: 'Claying the ongoing continuous chaos of info into one logical masterpiece'

The Register - November 21, 2017 - 11:33am
Yeah? Us neither. Here's another 'anchored benchmark' of a storage round-up

We start this week's collection of storage news with the marketing buzzwords of the month award, which goes to startup Panoply for outstanding excellence.…

Twitter's blue tick rule changes may lower the sueball barrier

The Register - November 21, 2017 - 11:06am
Got a few quid and want to launch a lawsuit? Now is a good time

Comment Infamous online cesspit Twitter may have unintentionally made itself easier to sue for the things users write on its site, following recently announced changes to its "blue tick" verification system.…

First XPoint, then Z-NAND: Oh dear, server-makers. SCM is happening

The Register - November 21, 2017 - 10:38am
Storage-class memory Nirvana 1.0 could be a 2019 event, says our man

Analysis Storage-class memory (SCM), in the shape of Optane, is already here and, with Samsung's Z-SSD, set to become available for use by servers. What does this mean and when will it actually happen?…

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