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Rocket Report: Falcon Heavy ready to fly, Stratolaunch plane put up for sale

Ars Technica - June 21, 2019 - 12:00pm

Enlarge / The Rocket Report is published weekly. (credit: Arianespace)

Welcome to Edition 2.04 of the Rocket Report! We've got some up-to-the-minute news this week, with updated launch dates for NASA's commercial crew missions, BE-7 rocket engine tests, and a Falcon Heavy flight early next week. Thanks to everyone for their great contributions—nearly all of this week's content came from your tips.

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.

"Brutal consolidation" coming for small launch. In an interview with MIT Technology Review, Rocket Lab's Peter Beck talks about how his company does (and does not) use 3D printing technology for its rockets and engines. Beck also discusses a consistent theme of this newsletter, namely that despite all of the activity in launch vehicle development, a significant winnowing is coming in terms of providers.

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Google Hardware quits the tablet business, again

Ars Technica - June 21, 2019 - 11:45am

Google and tablets just don't mix. The company tried over and over again to make Android tablets work, peaking with the 2013 Nexus 7 and ending with the Pixel C in 2015.

After a three-year hiatus from the market, Google took a second swing at tablets with Chrome OS and the Pixel Slate. Four months later, we heard Google Hardware's laptop and tablet division was in trouble. Seven months later—in other words, right now—Google's Chrome OS tablets are dead.

Following a report from Computerworld claiming Google cancelled two tablets and was quitting the tablet business, Google Hardware SVP Rick Osterloh confirmed the news on Twitter:

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Florida town pays $600,000 virus ransom

BBC Technology News - June 21, 2019 - 11:27am
Computers for Riviera Beach have been locked up for more than three weeks following the attack.

Walmart uses AI cameras to spot thieves

BBC Technology News - June 21, 2019 - 11:11am
The supermarket uses image recognition tech at checkouts to detect when items have not been scanned.

Using CRISPR To Resurrect the Dead

Slashdot - June 21, 2019 - 9:15am
Categories: Geek, Opinion

Gmail power user tips and tricks

ZDnet Blogs - June 21, 2019 - 9:04am
On the face of it, Gmail seems like any other email service. But dig under the surface and you soon discover just how powerful it is… as long as you know which settings to tweak, and where to find them.
Categories: Opinion

Robot taught to 'feel' objects by sight and other news

BBC Technology News - June 21, 2019 - 8:44am
BBC Click's Paul Carter looks at some of the week's best technology stories.

Take a VR trip inside a giant sequoia tree with 80-year-old Ted

BBC Technology News - June 21, 2019 - 8:00am
Pensioner Ted Waight gives his verdict on an immersive virtual reality exhibit which takes viewers inside one of the world's biggest trees.

Slack is Now Worth More Than $20 Billion

Slashdot - June 21, 2019 - 3:15am
Categories: Geek, Opinion

Apple warns Trump that more China tariffs will help rivals

BBC Technology News - June 21, 2019 - 3:00am
Apple says US plans to impose more tariffs on Chinese goods would hurt its "global competitiveness".

Comic for June 20, 2019

Dilbert - June 21, 2019 - 12:59am
Categories: Geek

Ransomware gang hacks MSPs to deploy ransomware on customer systems

ZDnet Blogs - June 21, 2019 - 12:49am
Hackers breach MSPs and use Webroot SecureAnywhere console to infect customer PCs with the Sodinokibi ransomware.
Categories: Opinion

At House hearing, witnesses for Trump admin defend fuel economy rollback

Ars Technica - June 21, 2019 - 12:42am

Enlarge / Cars and trucks drive along Interstate 75/85 June 25, 2003 in Atlanta, Georgia. (credit: Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images)

The Trump administration has been trying to roll back Obama-era fuel economy standards for passenger vehicles out to model year 2025. But the state of California and its allies have been fighting this rollback in every venue possible.

Today, energy and commerce subcommittees from the House of Representatives held a joint hearing to question the creators of the proposed fuel economy standards rollback. William Wehrum, the assistant administrator in the Office of Air and Radiation at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Heidi King, the deputy administrator at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), both responded to questions from representatives on how the two agencies came to propose the new fuel economy rollback.

Later in the day, a second panel included Mary Nichols, the chairperson of the California Air Resource Board (CARB), which has been the leader of the fight against a fuel economy rollback.

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Apple introduces a recall program for some MacBook Pro laptops with faulty batteries

Ars Technica - June 21, 2019 - 12:17am

Today, Apple sent out a press release and published a customer support document announcing a new voluntary recall-and-replace program for certain MacBook Pro models that contain batteries that may overheat, and which may have the potential to be a fire risk.

The recall program is limited to certain 15-inch MacBook Pros from 2015, which were sold "primarily" between 2015 and 2017, Apple says—so pre-Touch Bar, Retina models from near the end of that form factor's life cycle. The company's support page offers a field wherein a consumer can input their serial number to find out if their laptop is affected.

"Because customer safety is a top priority," Apple wrote, "Apple is asking customers to stop using affected 15-inch MacBook Pro units." The company hasn't provided details about the nature of the problem other than to say, "in a limited number of older generation 15-inch MacBook Pro units, the battery may overheat and pose a fire-safety risk."

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