Welcome to Edition 1.13 of the Rocket Report! This week's issue covers a lot of ground, from more commercial space activity in China, to new Russian launch pads, and finally a not-so-brief history of SpaceX's Big Falcon Rocket. We're also looking forward to the next flight of the Vega rocket, which is carrying an important weather satellite.
As always, we welcome reader submissions, and if you don't want to miss an issue, please subscribe using the box below (the form will not appear on AMP-enabled versions of the site). Each report will include information on small-, medium-, and heavy-lift rockets as well as a quick look ahead at the next three launches on the calendar.
Chinese startup raises $44 million. The Chinese rocket company OneSpace, which aims to attempt its first orbital launch late this year, has raised $43.6 million in Series B financing, SpaceNews reports. This fourth round of financing brings the total raised since the founding of OneSpace in August 2015 to $116 million.
Francis Ford Coppola liked the machine so much, he bought one.
No, this isn't a flux capacitor. It's Maingear's F131, an amazingly engineered PC packed with a custom APEX liquid-cooling block.
Just when you thought it was safe to hang out at the water cooler
Just as DXC Technology workers thought they’d escaped a summer redundancy session the perennial cost-cutter has asked for volunteers to form an orderly queue to the exit door.…
BALTIMORE—At USENIX Security Symposium here on Wednesday, Saleh Soltan from Princeton University's Department of Electrical Engineering presented research that showed that if Wi-Fi-based high-wattage appliances become common, they could conceivably be used to manipulate electrical demand over a wide area—potentially causing local blackouts and even cascading failures of regional electrical grids. The research by Soltan, Prateek Mittal, and H. Vincent Poor used models of real-world power grids to simulate the effects of a "MaDIoT" (Manipulation of Demand Internet of Things) attack. It found that even swings in power usage that would be within the normal range of appliances such as air conditioners, ovens, and electric heating systems connected to "smart home" systems would be enough to cause fluctuations in demand that could trigger grid failures.
These kinds of attacks—focused on home-automation hubs and stand-alone connected appliances—have not yet been seen widely. But the increasing adoption of connected appliances (with many home appliances now coming with connectivity by default) and the difficulty of applying security patches to such devices make a Mirai-style botnet of refrigerators increasingly plausible, if not likely.
Soltan and his team looked at three possible categories of potential malicious demand manipulation:
The digital entropy of death
BSides Manchester What happens to the numerous user logins you've accumulated after you die or become too infirm to manipulate a keyboard?…
BBC Click's Emily Bates looks at some of the week's best technology stories
At first they started out real cool...
On-Call Friday is upon us once more, which can mean only one thing: it’s time for On Call, our weekly instalment of Reg readers’ tech support frustrations.…
The Land Rover Discovery has some serious off-road chops, but not at the expense of on-road suburban street civility.
Processes, Services, Installations: One UI to rule them all. Almost.
An attempt to cure the headache of a Windows 10 desktop festooned with Linux distributions has arrived in the form of WSLTools from Opsview.…
An Australian 16-year-old is in court following a series of intrusions into Apple's internal network.
Buy your tickets now and save hundreds
Our early bird ticket offer for Minds Mastering Machines expires this evening, so act now if you want to enjoy three days of conference and workshops showing how real organisations can exploit machine learning and artificial intelligence.…
£100k to sort borders, immigration, biometrics systems by 2019. Did we mention it's in Croydon?
The reality of the mammoth task facing the Home Office in preparing for Brexit appears to have sunk in – the department is seeking a technology lead for the UK’s exit from the European Union.…
Reviewing the latest version of a yearly sports franchise game isn't always something to look forward to. "It's just like the Game Name 20xx you love, but now with one extra year on the date" can be hard to spin out into a full-length piece. Then again, persuading cynics like me to open our wallets again is probably an even tougher job from the developer's side. I don't envy the task in front of Lee Mather (the game director) and his team at Codemasters—luckily, F1 2018 is proof there's genuinely a lot of thought going into that effort.
"It's actually not the ideas that are the problem, it's purely the time we have to create it," explained Mather. "2015 was a tech establishing year [when the game moved to the new EGO engine]. The career added in 2016 was just the beginning, and we know where we wanted to take it, what features to add over time. With such a tightly constrained dev window, we can't waste any time. We can't just try things and throw them away if they don't work."
At its core, F1 2018 is a damn fine Formula 1 game. But the last two years' games were, too, thanks to a revised game engine that's right up there with the best in the racing genre. So to stand out from those past iterations, the crew at Codemasters has tweaked things all over the place this go round. Some of it you may not notice, like the way the new game renders skies, clouds, and environmental lighting. But some of it you definitely will notice, like the way you now have to manage your car's hybrid system throughout the race or the RPG elements that have been integrated into career mode.
Maybe its inhabitants are mostly harmless and ordinary too
Earth appears to be unique and inhabited by living creatures, but the building blocks required for life to bloom are actually quite common, according to new research.…
Chrome, Safari, Opera, Tor Browser at risk to various levels
Browsers' built-in tools that crumble web cookies that track you around the internet can be bypassed or rendered ineffective by malicious websites.…
Let there be light
Telefonica’s O2 has confirmed that it is experimenting with transmitting high speed data using lightbulbs, the brainchild of an Edinburgh University professor Harald Haas.…
A longtime video game developer was arrested at a South Carolina gas station on Wednesday afternoon after suffering significant injuries as the result of a tackle by a police officer. The arrest followed the woman's attempt to film officers arresting fellow shoppers at a QuikTrip store in Rock Hill. Soon afterward, both sides of the arrest told vastly different stories of what exactly happened.
Former Disney, Turbine, and Ubisoft developer Patricia Pizer posted images from her hospital stay on Thursday morning on her Facebook page. A text post attached to the images, apparently written by Pizer's husband, included the following list of injuries that she sustained following her altercation with police: "Broken teeth (five that we know of), dislocated shoulder, several lacerations, bruised hip, fracture of the skull, concussion."
The news of Pizer's arrest and injuries quickly spread throughout the game development community, with industry peers such as Brenda Romero (Wizardry) and Robin Hunicke (Journey) sharing Pizer's text and video updates (along with a link to a GoFundMe fundraiser to cover her medical bills). Pizer's game-industry credits include creative director for Asheron's Call 2, senior designer for Disney's Club Penguin series, and senior design analyst for MMOs such as The Matrix Online and Uru: Ages Beyond Myst.
So sick and tired of the Photoshop? Then hold up, sit down -- see Hubble.
Musk opens up in raw New York Times interview about taking Tesla private and poor physical health after "excruciating" year.