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Industry & Technology

America’s oldest rocket just made its penultimate flight

Ars Technica - 30 min 33 sec ago


The Delta II rocket first launched in 1989, making it the oldest US orbital launch system still flying today. However, the heritage of this launch system is much older still. The Delta II rocket's first stage is derivative of the Thor intermediate range ballistic missile—the first operational ballistic missile used by the United States Air Force in the 1950s. Thus, the Delta II rocket can trace its roots to the beginning of US rocketry.

But now the end is near for the Delta II rocket. For United Launch Alliance, it is costly to keep supply lines open for the medium-lift rocket (three to six tons to low-Earth orbit) that has flown just three times since 2012. On Saturday morning, the Delta II made its penultimate launch by carrying the first Joint Polar Satellite System spacecraft into orbit for NASA and NOAA. The flight occurred from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

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Marvell Technology to buy chipmaker Cavium for about $6 billion

Ars Technica - 35 min 58 sec ago

Enlarge (credit: Google)

In another consolidation move in the semiconductor industry, chipmaker Marvell Technology announced it will acquire competitor Cavium Inc. for approximately $6 billion. It's estimated that the combined company will generate about $3.4 billion in annual revenue.

Bermuda-based Marvell makes semiconductors for data-storage devices while California-based Cavium produces communications and networking chips. The deal better positions Marvell to compete with bigger rivals, including Intel and Broadcom, in a semiconductor industry that has changed a lot over the past couple years as companies buy out rivals.

"This is an exciting combination of two very complementary companies that together equal more than the sum of their parts,” Marvell's President and Chief Executive Officer Matt Murphy wrote in a statement. "This combination expands and diversifies our revenue base and end markets, and enables us to deliver a broader set of differentiated solutions to our customers."

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Hacking pioneer John Draper faces sex misconduct claims

BBC Technology News - 49 min 36 sec ago
A lauded hacker, known as Captain Crunch, is accused of unwanted sexual contact with teenagers.

Drone maker DJI in cyber-security row over bug bounty

BBC Technology News - 59 min 55 sec ago
The drone maker claims a researcher who contacted it had "unauthorised access" to its servers.

OnePlus 5T review—An outstanding combination of specs, design, and price

Ars Technica - 1 hour 5 min ago

Ron Amadeo

After launching the OnePlus 5 earlier this year, OnePlus is back with an end-of-year upgrade for the device. The OnePlus 5T takes a winning formula—high-end specs with a low price tag and a metal body—and reworks the front of the phone to dedicate as much space as possible to the screen. This device has a new screen, a new button layout, a new fingerprint reader, and a new camera setup. It almost feel like a totally new device.

We liked the OnePlus 5 from earlier in the year, but, with the more modern design, OnePlus has fixed OnePlus 5's biggest downside. The result is something that is extremely compelling—a $500 phone that makes you question exactly why you'd give $800 to those other OEMs when this has nearly everything the more expensive phones have.

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Uber updates its app to help you find your driver more easily - CNET - News - 1 hour 5 min ago
The ride-hailing company adds new features, like "request for a guest," live location sharing, and a glowing windshield "beacon" light.

Above and below decks of the beautiful Queen Mary - CNET - News - 1 hour 21 min ago
Bigger than the Titanic, nearly as long as New York's Chrysler Building is tall, and once carried 16,082 soldiers from NY to England in WWII, here's what the incredible RMS Queen Mary looks like inside.

This crazy Bluetooth speaker turntable system actually works - CNET - News - 1 hour 21 min ago
The +Audio’s The+Record Player manages to combine a record player and Bluetooth speaker in a single box, and the Audiophiliac even liked the sound.

LG OLED TVs hit a new low price for Black Friday. Now's the time to buy - CNET - News - 1 hour 25 min ago
The best TVs we've ever tested get their lowest prices ever. If you were waiting to pull the trigger, the wait is over.

Delhi smog levels drop from severe to very poor—you know, half-marathon weather

Ars Technica - 1 hour 27 min ago

Enlarge / A man wears a face mask as he takes part in the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2017 in New Delhi on November 19, 2017. (credit: Getty | SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP)

Despite extremely dangerous levels of air pollution smothering Delhi and creating “gas chamber” conditions, thousands took to the streets to run a half marathon Sunday. Most ran without masks that would filter out harmful pollution.

In recent weeks, air pollution measurements around the sprawling megacity have been off the charts, hitting levels around 30 times those considered safe by the World Health Organization. Authorities blamed the toxic smog on seasonal crop burns in nearby areas as well as calm winds and the usual emissions from vehicles and industry.

Exasperated doctors explained that it was harmful to merely walk around in the smog, let alone run. The thick pollution can spark asthma attacks, lung and heart damage, and sudden cardiac arrest, they warned. And they implored race organizers and authorities to cancel or postpone the event, which has been long set for November 19.

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HomePod delay clouds Apple’s smart speaker future - CNET - News - 1 hour 39 min ago
Apple is ceding the key holiday shopping season to Google and Amazon.

Flo Home Water Control and Monitoring Release Date, Price and Specs - CNET - Reviews - 1 hour 49 min ago
Flo Technologies has a smart water monitoring kit that watches for leaks and shuts water off if it detects a problem.

Whew... Toshiba rustles up $5.4bn to avoid delisting

The Register - 1 hour 56 min ago
Weakens WD position on blocking flash biz sale

Beleaguered Toshiba, facing a Tokyo stock exchange deadline, has planned a $5.4bn share issue to avoid a delisting threat.…

<i>The Independent</i> 'live streamed' space vid recorded in 2015

The Register - 2 hours 27 min ago
'We naturally regret the human error that led to the mistake'

For reasons unknown, on Sunday The Independent "live streamed" footage from space that was more than two years old.…

How is 55 Cancri e like a Sisters of Mercy gig? Astroboffins: It has atmosphere

The Register - 3 hours 3 min ago
*No, mate. Just no* New model throws spanner in exoplanet debate

A new physical model has added more support to the theory that the large exoplanet 55 Cancri e has an Earthlike atmosphere.…

ICO probes universities accused of using private data to target donation campaigns

The Register - 3 hours 33 min ago
Students allegedly screened for wealth, tendency to give money

Twenty-four British universities are being probed by the Information Commissioner's Office after being accused of using their ex-students' data to target those most likely to be extra alma to their mater.…

Pokemon Go Travel is a new event that will spawn Farfetch'd globally - CNET - News - 3 hours 53 min ago
But before you go crazy trying to catch the leek-wielding birdie, you'll need to help catch 3 billion Pokemon within a week.

Nouveau niche: Datos IO adds distributed app fragment recovery

The Register - 4 hours 50 sec ago
Who are the RecoverX rivals again? Nice gig

+Comment Distributed database protector Datos IO has added fractional backup and recovery so you can restore the data you want faster.…

Pixel Buds review: OK Google, go back to the earbud drawing board

Ars Technica - 4 hours 5 min ago

Enlarge (credit: Sam Machkovech)

Find me a critic who would recommend any company's first-ever earbuds priced at $159, and I will find you that critic's sordid history of wire-transfer scams on Craigslist. Headphones and earbuds have to cater to so many tricky, subjective variables: various ear fits, sound preferences, and desired features. Nobody gets that right the first time, and even for longtime companies, one fan's treasure is another audiophile's trash.

Google isn't the company to buck this trend. Its Pixel Buds arrive as an admittedly ambitious entry to the sector, with promises of pristine sound quality and Google Assistant-fueled superpowers. And as Google's first-ever entry to the earbud world, they're not all that terrible. Some of their features range from compelling to downright cool.

But between this price point, inconsistent sound quality, underwhelming voice-assistant features, and glaring use issues, I have to wonder how long Google actually weighed and tested what it was about to launch, as opposed to rushing its own answer to Apple's AirPods.

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Container ship loading plans are 'easily hackable'

The Register - 4 hours 53 min ago
Look! A pic that's not a metaphor

Security researchers have warned that it might be possible to destabilise a container ship by manipulating the vessel stowage plan or "Bay Plan".…

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