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Industry & Technology

Still using Skype? Good news! After HOURS of meetings, Microsoft reckons it knows when you're Not Active

The Register - 1 hour 3 min ago
Plus: New passive aggressive 'Quiet Mode'

Microsoft has tweaked the presence model of its chat platform, Skype, in an effort to calm users still shrieking about lost features in the version 8 "upgrade".…

Japan has attempted to land two tiny rovers on a distant asteroid

Ars Technica - 1 hour 25 min ago

Enlarge / The Hayabusa2 spacecraft spies its shadow Thursday night as it descends toward Ryugu to deploy two small rovers. (credit: JAXA)

Japan's Hayabusa2 spacecraft hasn't garnered much attention in the western world, but on Friday night the 609kg vehicle attempted something rather amazing. The spacecraft descended from its station-keeping orbit 20km above a small asteroid down to just 60 meters, and there it deployed two miniature rovers bound for the surface.

Each weighed only about a kilogram, and after separating from the main spacecraft they approached the asteroid named Ryugu. Japanese mission scientists think the rovers touched down successfully, but are not completely sure. Communication with the two landers stopped near the moment of touchdown.

This is presumably because Ryugu's rotation took the rovers out of view from the Hayabusa2 spacecraft, but scientists won't know for sure until later Friday (or Saturday morning, in Japan) when they attempt to download images from the rovers. And thus we are left with a suspenseful situation.

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Amazon Fire TV Recast DVR streams free over-the-air TV, starts at $230 - CNET - Reviews - 1 hour 30 min ago
Cord-cutters get a new goody for their antennas, complete with Alexa and no monthly fees.

UKIP latex love gloves: Because Brexit means Brexit

The Register - 1 hour 31 min ago
Safety first, folks

The UK Independence Party is flogging multi-packs of rubber johnnies bearing the mug of former leader Nigel Farage. It is also unloading single packs for those more realistic about their chances of bedding someone this weekend or beyond.…

Apple AirPower charging pad: An alternative that exists and costs just $40 - CNET - News - 1 hour 36 min ago
The iPM 3-in-1 pad can charge two phones and an Apple Watch, and you can get it right now.

Google Doodle pays tribute to everyone's neighbor, Mister Rogers - CNET - News - 1 hour 37 min ago
Believe it or not, it's been 51 years since Mister Rogers' Neighborhood began entertaining and educating many of us.

FCC angers cities and towns with $2 billion giveaway to wireless carriers

Ars Technica - 1 hour 53 min ago

Enlarge / A Verizon construction engineer inspects a pair of radio heads on a mock small cell near Sacramento City Hall in 2017. (credit: Verizon)

The Federal Communications Commission's plan for spurring 5G wireless deployment will prevent city and town governments from charging carriers about $2 billion worth of fees.

The FCC proposal, to be voted on at its meeting on September 26, limits the amount that local governments may charge carriers for placing 5G equipment such as small cells on poles, traffic lights, and other government property in public rights-of-way. The proposal, which is supported by the FCC's Republican majority, would also force cities and towns to act on carrier applications within 60 or 90 days.

The FCC says this will spur more deployment of small cells, which "have antennas often no larger than a small backpack." But the commission's proposal doesn't require carriers to build in areas where they wouldn't have done so anyway.

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Instagram's IGTV recommended 'abusive' videos

BBC Technology News - 1 hour 56 min ago
Sexually suggestive clips featuring children were recommended to users, an investigation finds.

iPhone XS goes on sale, drawing smaller crowds but plenty of fans - CNET - News - 1 hour 58 min ago
Australia was the first to get its hands on the new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and Apple Watch Series 4.

Adobe forks out $4.75bn for Marketo in massive marketing mashup move

The Register - 1 hour 59 min ago
Deal puts pressure on competitors

Adobe has forked out $4.75bn for cloudy software-as-a-service biz Marketo, in one of the largest marketing tech buys to date.…

T-Mobile G1 review: CNET reviews the first-ever Android phone - CNET - Reviews - 2 hours 2 sec ago
We finally got our hands on the Google's first stab at a mobile phone, and it was a good experience indeed. We were impressed by the G1's Web browser, which came closest to the iPhone's than any we've seen, and by the combination of features that make this phone a very competent messaging device

Facebook's rumored Portal video chat device could debut soon - CNET - News - 2 hours 11 sec ago
It'll be like the Amazon Echo Show with social features, apparently.

How an inflatable sex doll and an Xbox controller are changing the game - CNET - News - 2 hours 5 min ago
The first gay football game isn't about scoring goals. It's about caring for your teammates' bodies.

Apple's AirPower gets mention in iPhone XS, XS Max manuals, may not be dead yet - CNET - News - 2 hours 18 min ago
It's also reportedly referenced in iOS 12.1.

How Google, T-Mobile and HTC got Android off to a crazy, awkward start - CNET - News - 2 hours 23 min ago
My, has Google's mobile operating system come a long way in 10 years.

iPhone's Face ID isn't perfect, but you can make it better - CNET - News - 2 hours 23 min ago
Face ID has its quirks. Before you get frustrated, try these tricks.

Amazon Echo Dot, Basics Microwave, Echo Sub: Everything Amazon just announced - CNET - News - 2 hours 27 min ago
A redesigned Echo Dot, a smart microwave and a subwoofer are just some of the new things Amazon unveiled at its September event.

Apple lets you interact with iPhone XS and XS Max without leaving the house - CNET - News - 2 hours 29 min ago
You can compare iPhone sizes and check out the color options.

You're alone in a room with the Windows 10 out-of-the-box apps. What do you do?

The Register - 2 hours 35 min ago
Worst Crystal Maze Challenge ever

Imagine you’ve just returned to work from a lengthy sabbatical and found, among the thousands of increasingly shrill and unanswered emails in your mailbox, one telling you that you are now the proud product owner of a bunch of Windows OS apps. What would you do?…

Inside the eight desperate weeks that saved SpaceX from ruin

Ars Technica - 2 hours 53 min ago

Enlarge / The Falcon 1 rocket ascends toward space on its fourth flight. (credit: SpaceX)

They bunked in a double-wide trailer, cramming inside on cots and sleeping bags, as many as a dozen at a time. In the mornings, they feasted on steaming plates of scrambled eggs. At night, beneath some of the darkest skies on Earth, they grilled steaks and wondered if the heavens above were beyond their reach. Kids, most of them, existed alone on a tiny speck of an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It was the middle of nowhere, really.

And they worked. They worked desperately—tinkering, testing, and fixing—hoping that nothing would go wrong this time. Already, their small rocket had failed three times. One more launch anomaly likely meant the end of Space Exploration Technologies.

Three times, in 2006, 2007, and 2008, SpaceX tried to launch a Falcon 1 rocket from Omelek Island in the Pacific Ocean, a coral shelf perhaps a meter above sea level and the size of three soccer fields. Less than two months after the last failure, the money was running out. SpaceX had just one final rocket to launch, with only some spare components left over in its California factory.

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