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Linux team approves new terminology, bans terms like 'blacklist' and 'slave'

ZDnet Blogs - July 11, 2020 - 2:34pm
Linux creator Linus Torvalds puts stamp on proposal to use neutral language in kernel code and documentation.
Categories: Opinion

This self-driving startup built a “car without wheels” for remote driving

Ars Technica - July 11, 2020 - 2:00pm

Enlarge (credit: Voyage)

The ideal self-driving car would drive itself all the time, in all situations. But achieving that goal in practice is difficult—so difficult, in fact, that most self-driving companies have provisions for human backup to help cars get out of tricky or confusing situations.

But companies are often secretive about exactly how these systems work. Perhaps they worry that providing details—or even admitting they exist—will cast their self-driving technology in an unflattering light.

So it was refreshing to see the self-driving startup Voyage unveil its remote driving console as if it was announcing a major new product—which, in a sense, it is. Voyage didn't just create software that allows a remote operator to give instructions to a self-driving car—it built a physical "Telessist Pod" where a remote driver sits to control the vehicle.

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How small satellites are radically remaking space exploration

Ars Technica - July 11, 2020 - 1:00pm

Enlarge / An Electron rocket launches in August 2019 from New Zealand. (credit: Sam Toms/Rocket Lab)

At the beginning of this year, a group of NASA scientists agonized over which robotic missions they should choose to explore our Solar System. Researchers from around the United States had submitted more than 20 intriguing ideas, such as whizzing by asteroids, diving into lava tubes on the Moon, and hovering in the Venusian atmosphere.

Ultimately, NASA selected four of these Discovery-class missions for further study. In several months, the space agency will pick two of the four missions to fully fund, each with a cost cap of $450 million and a launch late within this decade. For the losing ideas, there may be more chances in future years—but until new opportunities arise, scientists can only plan, wait, and hope.

This is more or less how NASA has done planetary science for decades. Scientists come up with all manner of great ideas to answer questions about our Solar System; then, NASA announces an opportunity, a feeding frenzy ensues for those limited slots. Ultimately, one or two missions get picked and fly. The whole process often takes a couple of decades from the initial idea to getting data back to Earth.

Read 34 remaining paragraphs | Comments

SpaceX stands down from Starlink launch for the third time [Updated]

Ars Technica - July 11, 2020 - 12:30pm

10:15am ET Saturday Update: The third time was not a charm. A little more than an hour before a Falcon 9 rocket was due to launch on Saturday morning from Florida, SpaceX announced it was, "Standing down from today's launch of the tenth Starlink mission to allow more time for checkouts; team is working to identify the next launch opportunity. Will announce a new target date once confirmed with the Range."

Notably, this is the second time this rocket—the first stage of which has flown four times previously—has been scrubbed on launch day due to the need for additional "checkouts."

8:30am ET Saturday Update: SpaceX first tried to launch its tenth batch of Starlink satellites on June 26 before standing down a couple of hours before liftoff, citing the need to perform additional "pre-flight checks."

Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Comic for July 10, 2020

Dilbert - July 11, 2020 - 12:59am
Categories: Geek

Coronavirus: How can we make post-pandemic cities smarter?

BBC Technology News - July 11, 2020 - 12:48am
Will the "anthropause" brought on by lockdowns make our cities greener, cleaner and quieter in future?

Should We Be Drinking Less?

Slashdot - July 11, 2020 - 12:45am
Categories: Geek, Opinion

Huawei: Why the UK might hang up on 5G and broadband kit supplier

BBC Technology News - July 11, 2020 - 12:44am
The Chinese telecoms equipment provider's fate in the UK is set to be revealed on Tuesday.

WHO still skeptical SARS-CoV-2 lingers in air—despite what the NYT says

Ars Technica - July 11, 2020 - 12:00am

Enlarge / World Health Organization (WHO) Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan attends a press conference organized by the Geneva Association of United Nations Correspondents (ACANU) amid the COVID-19 outbreak, caused by the novel coronavirus, on July 3, 2020 at the WHO headquarters in Geneva. (credit: Getty | Fabrice Coffrini)

If you happened to read The New York Times this week, you may be under the false impression that the World Health Organization significantly changed its stance on whether the pandemic coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, spreads by lingering in the air.

Around midday Thursday, the paper declared: “W.H.O., in Reversal, Affirms Virus May Be Airborne Indoors.” The paper also called it an “admission” and, in a subsequent article, said the WHO had “conceded.” The articles both noted that a group of more than 200 researchers had also published a commentary piece this week urging the WHO and other public health bodies to acknowledge and address the potential for airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

The problem: the WHO did not change its stance on airborne transmission. And, as such, it did not issue any new recommendations or guidance on how people can stay safe.

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TikTok: Amazon says email asking staff to remove app 'sent in error'

BBC Technology News - July 10, 2020 - 11:42pm
Earlier, the company had asked staff to remove the TikTok app from phones over "security risks."

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