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Industry & Technology

No, Sunspot Solar Observatory didn't see aliens

The Register - 57 min 58 sec ago
Janitor nabbed over child porn images, facility re-opens

On September 6, the Sunspot Solar Observatory in New Mexico was evacuated and sealed off without explanation, sparking wild conspiracy theories as to why.…

Vote Leave data firm hit with first ever GDPR notice

BBC Technology News - 1 hour 17 min ago
AggregateIQ is appealing against the accusation that it mishandled personal data and broke GDPR rules.

Video: “Delta V,” our new series on all the happenings in the heavens, is live

Ars Technica - 1 hour 18 min ago

Video edited by Kevin Gallagher. Click here for transcript. (video link)

During the last decade or so, there has been an incredible amount of money, time, and energy put into revitalizing the launch industry, both in the United States and around the world.

Less than a decade ago, no company had ever developed an orbital rocket on its own and successfully launched a payload into orbit. SpaceX finally accomplished that feat in September 2008, opening the floodgates of private investment. The aerospace world today is radically different as a result, with more than 100 companies now seeking to build orbital rockets of varying size, scope, and capacity.

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Spotify will let artists upload their songs directly - CNET - News - 1 hour 26 min ago
But "Spotify is not becoming a label," an exec says.

ESPN+ streaming service hits 1 million paid subscribers - CNET - News - 1 hour 28 min ago
Disney's first streaming service, ESPN+ launched five months ago.

Amazon Echo launch live blog: Event begins at 10 a.m. PT - CNET - News - 1 hour 29 min ago
Expect to see plenty of new Alexa-powered devices -- and maybe even a microwave.

Securing industrial IoT passwords: For Pete's sake, engineers, don't all jump in at once

The Register - 1 hour 34 min ago
If the networked kit needs to work for 10 years, you need to think policy

Cybersecurity has become an increasing priority in operations technology thanks to the growing appetite for the industrial internet of things.…

Leaked pics of Huawei's updated Freebuds show wireless charging on Mate 20 phone - CNET - News - 1 hour 37 min ago
The Apple AirPod-like wireless earbuds could debut with Huawei's latest flagship phone on Oct. 16.

New Doctor Who trailer shows first female Doctor is still the boss

Ars Technica - 1 hour 40 min ago

Doctor Who is coming back for its 11th season (since the modern reboot) next month, featuring the first-ever female Doctor (Jodie Whittaker). The BBC just released a new trailer, and it's clear from the footage that we've got a delightfully fresh take on the classic series ahead, while still keeping the most iconic elements that have made Doctor Who so enduring.

There were hints here and there over the last few seasons that, while the Doctor might have typically appeared in male form, a female incarnation was certainly possible. Count me among the longtime advocates for a female Doctor, particularly because it opens up an entirely new angle to the storytelling. It's one thing for a white male Time Lord to show up at various points in history. It's quite another for a strange woman to show up in, say, medieval England. So there's an opportunity for new kinds of conflicts and poignant shifts in relationships.

We got a taste of that during David Tennant's tenure as the 10th Doctor. In "Human Nature" and "The Family of Blood," the Doctor takes the guise of a humble schoolteacher in 1913 London to escape detection by the so-called Family of Blood, who are pursuing him across time and space in hopes of draining his life force so they might survive. His companion, Martha, guards his Time Lord essence (in the form of a fob watch), since he will have no recollection of his no-human existence. But Martha is black (and female), which limits her own undercover identity options to that of a lowly maid in the school, scrubbing floors despite her medical degree. And, well, she's treated accordingly.

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Amazon event brings new Alexa hardware at 1:00 PM ET - CNET - News - 1 hour 42 min ago
"We will debut some new features and products related to the Amazon devices business," Amazon tells us ahead of a surprise event starting this morning at 10:00 a.m. PT.

Leaked Google Home Hub could take on the Amazon Echo Show - CNET - News - 1 hour 44 min ago
Images and an FCC filing might show Google's take on a smart display.

Equifax just took another hit from that 2017 hack - CNET - News - 1 hour 49 min ago
The credit-monitoring company had "no excuse" for its failures, a UK watchdog says.

Walmart will use Oculus Go headsets to train employees in VR - CNET - News - 2 hours 8 min ago
Walmart is betting VR is an effective way to train employees in areas like customer service.

ServiceNow confirms relational-ship with MariaDB: We're protecting our toolchain

The Register - 2 hours 15 min ago
As Finnish DB biz bags fellow MySQL drop-in firm Clustrix

Platform-as-a-service pusher ServiceNow is backing MySQL upstart MariaDB, injecting cash into its coffers and staffers onto its board, partly to protect its own investment as a customer of the database biz.…

Major Antarctic ice sheet shrank when it wasn’t much warmer than now

Ars Technica - 2 hours 20 min ago

Enlarge (credit: NASA)

Are the big ice sheets in Antarctica stable in the face of the warming we've already committed to? That's a more serious question than it might sound. The continent is thought to hold enough ice to raise ocean levels by over 55 meters if it were to melt—enough to drown every single bit of coastal infrastructure we have and send people migrating far inland from the present-day shoreline.

But the melting of this ice is a complicated process, one that depends on things like the dynamics of glaciers as they push through coastal hills, the shape of the seafloor where the ice meets it, and the slope of the basins the ice sheets sit in. It's tough to reason out how much ice would be lost for a given bit of warming. As a result, we're left with historical comparisons—the last time it warmed by that amount, how much ice did we lose?

This week, we got some new information on this topic courtesy of a detailed study of Antarctica's Wilkes Subglacial Basin. The work showed that it wasn't so much the amount of warming the ice experienced; it was how long it stayed warm.

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New Doctor Who trailer shows Jodie Whittaker fully in charge - CNET - News - 2 hours 31 min ago
Season 11 starts Oct. 7 on the BBC and BBC America.

Volcanic eruptions get new early warning systems - CNET - News - 2 hours 49 min ago
Lidar, drones and advanced sensors help scientists better predict when a mountain is about to blow its top.

Amazon Echo subwoofer and Alexa-capable smart plug may be on the way

Ars Technica - 2 hours 52 min ago


Amazon seems to have given us a glimpse into some of its new, unreleased products. Listings on Amazon UK show a new Echo Sub, a subwoofer designed to work with Echo speakers, and a new Amazon Smart Plug, a socket adapter with Alexa capabilities, both with an availability date of October 11. Amazon has since removed the listings, but reports from Pocket-lint show images and details of the two new devices.

The Echo Sub looks like a fatter version of Amazon's Echo speaker, almost like a clone of Apple's HomePod. The wireless subwoofer includes a 6-inch down-firing woofer and 100W of bass, tech that would certainly improve the quality of existing Echo speakers. Some complained after Amazon released the updated version of the original Echo last year, claiming its sound quality was subpar.

Listed within the device's description is stereo pairing, a feature that hasn't been available to Echo speakers yet. Currently, users can only group multiple speakers together to fill a room with sound, but they won't get that rich, complex left/right stereo sound. It appears that will be possible with the Echo Sub connected to two compatible Echo devices.

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Volkswagen will build a new electric-car factory in North America - Roadshow - News - 3 hours 8 min ago
The automaker intends to open the new EV plant by 2022.

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