NASA will fund a revolutionary mission to fly through Titan’s atmosphere

NASA will fund a revolutionary mission to fly through Titan’s atmosphere

On Thursday, NASA announced its next medium-class mission to explore the Solar System—a lander named Dragonfly that will fly like a drone over the surface of Titan, Saturn’s largest Moon. Titan has a fascinating environment, with a hydrocarbon atmosphere much thicker than Earth’s atmosphere. NASA intends to spend a couple of years exploring its complex chemistry.

NASA scientists were deciding between this Titan explorer and another mission that would have flown to a comet named 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. The comet had been visited previously by Europe’s Rosetta spacecraft, but the new mission would have returned a sample of cometary material to Earth.

Of the two missions, the Titan explorer—with an unprecedented design that would fly a vehicle the size of a larger Mars rover over the moon—carried the higher risk. But, half a century

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Google Maps Will Now Show Traffic Delays for Buses, Predict Public Transit Crowdedness

Google Maps Will Now Show Traffic Delays for Buses, Predict Public Transit Crowdedness


Starting today in nearly 200 cities, you’ll begin seeing two new features in Google Maps: Live traffic delays for buses and crowdedness predictions.

Both are pretty self explanatory, but just in case, let’s go over it. As Google explains in its announcement, users will now be able to see if a bus will be late, how long the delay will be, and more accurate travel times based on live traffic conditions along a route. Google says, “You’ll also see exactly where the delays are on the map so you know what to expect before you even hop on your bus.”

As someone who hates crowds, the next feature is what has me excited, that being the crowdedness predictions.

We’re introducing transit crowdedness predictions so you can see how crowded your bus, train or subway is likely to be based on past rides. Now you can make an informed decision

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Jony Ive will depart Apple to start his own company

Jony Ive will depart Apple to start his own company

Enlarge / Jony Ive speaks onstage during the 2017 New Yorker TechFest in New York City. (credit: Brian Ach/Getty Images)

Jony Ive, Apple’s longtime design chief, will depart Apple to form his own independent design company, according to a press release distributed by Apple today. While he will no longer be an employee, he will count Apple among his clients at the new firm, according to both parties.

Ive’s new company will be called LoveFrom. It will be based in California, at least to start, and will launch in 2020 after a transition period later this year, according to a Financial Times article about the change.

“While I will not be an [Apple] employee, I will still be very involved—I hope for many, many years to come. This just seems like a natural and gentle time to make this change,” Ive told Financial Times. CEO Tim Cook also commented

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Twitter clarifies special rules for tweets by world leaders like Trump

Twitter clarifies special rules for tweets by world leaders like Trump

Enlarge / Donald Trump. (credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Twitter’s rules state that “you may not threaten violence against an individual or a group of people.” So when US President Donald Trump tweeted in January 2018 that he had a “nuclear button” that was “much bigger & more powerful” than the nuclear button of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and (a few months earlier) that North Korea “won’t be around much longer” if it continued its bellicose rhetoric, critics asked Twitter to take the tweets down for violating Twitter’s rules.

Twitter rejected those calls. Instead, the social media giant argued that the words of world leaders are newsworthy and that such newsworthiness can trump rules that might otherwise apply. But activists have kept up the pressure on Twitter. So now the company has rolled out a new policy to deal with this kind of situation.

“In the past, we’ve

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Firefox Preview is Here to Make Your Browsing Private Without Cutting Features

Firefox Preview is Here to Make Your Browsing Private Without Cutting Features


This morning, Mozilla revealed a new browser of theirs that they hope you’ll try if you want your web experience to be more private. This new browser is called Firefox Preview, and it’s sort of like a combination of Firefox Focus and regular Firefox, so you get privacy and features.

This new Firefox Preview will offer a “faster than ever” experience, with up to 2x faster performance than regular Firefox for Android. It has a minimalist start screen, bottom navigation bar, a way to organize everything you do on the web with a feature called Collections, and tracking protection on by default, so trackers around the web won’t follow your every step.

The app is in a semi-early state that is aimed at early adopters and developers, but Mozilla also thinks anyone interested in helping them improve Preview should give it a try.

Firefox Preview is free to use.… Read the rest

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New ransomware infections are the worst drive-by attacks in recent memory

New ransomware infections are the worst drive-by attacks in recent memory

Enlarge (credit: Malwarebytes)

An ongoing operation that’s installing ransomware and other malware on the computers of unsuspecting website visitors is one of the most potent drive-by attack campaigns researchers have seen in recent memory.

The attacks install three pieces of malware using an exploit kit called GreenFlash Sundown, which researchers identified in 2015 and have continued to follow since. Attacks in recent weeks have spiked again as ShadowGate—one of the names given to the hacker group behind the campaign—has unleashed a highly revamped version of the exploit kit on hacked ad servers run by Web publishers. The most notable compromise is of an ad server belonging to onlinevideoconverter[.]com, a site with more than 200 million visitors per month that converts YouTube videos into video files that can be stored on a computer hard drive.

“They are ongoing and with a scale we haven’t seen in a couple of years

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Tax-exempt hospital sues thousands of poor people while making millions

Tax-exempt hospital sues thousands of poor people while making millions

Enlarge / The exterior of Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. (credit: Getty | Bloomberg)

An “especially aggressive” nonprofit hospital system in Memphis that made $86 million after expenses in 2018 and pays virtually no taxes has spent years relentlessly suing thousands of low-income patients over medical debts, according to a new investigation by ProPublica and local reporting-network member MLK50.

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare runs six hospitals around Memphis, a city in which about 25 percent of residents live below the poverty line. The hospital system, which made $2.1 billion in revenue, charges low-income patients interest on their bills and regularly garners their meager wages when they don’t pay up. The hospital system owns its own collection agency to pursue debtors.

From 2014 to 2018, Methodist filed more than 8,300 lawsuits for unpaid medical bills. Through the courts, it secured garnishment orders in 46 percent of those cases.

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id Software’s origin story set to become USA Network TV series

id Software’s origin story set to become USA Network TV series

Enlarge / John Carmack (left) and John Romero (second from right) pose with their id Software colleagues in the early ’90s. We really hope USA Network’s adaptation of their origin story gets this “fashion” just right. (credit: John Romero)

We’ve seen our share of video games turned into films and TV series, but what about the real-life origin stories behind those games? USA Network has planted a flag as the first TV network to develop a series based on the true stories of a video game’s genesis, and it’s a meaty one: Masters of Doom.

The series, named after the 2003 non-fiction book, will revolve around the creation of id Software, its meteoric rise following the launch of 1993’s DOOM, and its iconic pair of studio leads: idiosyncratic programming wizard John Carmack and brash, long-haired level designer John Romero. As Deadline reported on Thursday, the series currently

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Debunking the flat Earth is a relatively easy task.

Two tactics effectively limit the spread of science denialism

Debunking the flat Earth is a relatively easy task. (credit: NASA)

“Vaccines are safe and effective,” write researchers Philipp Schmid and Cornelia Betsch in a paper published in Nature Human Behavior this week. “Humans cause global warming. Evolution theory explains the diversity and change of life.” But large numbers of people do not believe that these statements are true, with devastating effects: progress toward addressing the climate crisis is stultifyingly slow, and the US is seeing its largest measles outbreak since 2000.

Getting accurate information across in the face of this science denialism is something of a minefield, as there is evidence that attempts to correct misinformation may backfire, further entrenching the beliefs of science deniers instead. In their paper, Schmid and Betsch present some good news and some bad: rebutting misinformation reduces the ensuing level of science denialism, but not enough to completely counter the effect

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Giveaway: Win 1 of 5 mophie Juice Pack Cases for Your Galaxy S10

Giveaway: Win 1 of 5 mophie Juice Pack Cases for Your Galaxy S10


We’ve got the juice! We’re partnering with mophie to give away five of the company’s new Juice Packs for the Galaxy S10 lineup. For our lovely readers, we have 2 units for the Galaxy S10, 2 for the Galaxy S10+, and 1 for the Galaxy S10e. That’s five winners in total.

If you missed our initial writeup, Juice Pack cases feature 2,000mAh of extra battery for the Galaxy S10 and S10e, or 2,525mAh for the Galaxy S10+. They also feature Priority+ charging, allowing pass-through fast-charging speeds and sync capabilities when connected via USB-C, as well as compatibility with Qi wireless charging pads.

I’ve been testing a Juice Pack on my Galaxy S10+, and frankly, it’s pretty great minus the added bulk. That’s the sacrifice for undying battery life, though.

So, are you ready to win one of these $99 cases for absolutely free? Let’s do it!


Giveaway

Prizes: … Read the rest

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