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Comic for February 25, 2020

Dilbert - February 26, 2020 - 12:59am
Categories: Geek

Pets 'go hungry' after smart feeder goes offline

BBC Technology News - 49 min 11 sec ago
The device, designed to schedule pets' food and control portions, appears to have been offline for seven days

Marsquakes and ancient magnetic fields: InSight’s first data

Ars Technica - 1 hour 5 min ago

Enlarge / A self portrait of InSight's hardware on the Red Planet. (credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

While the rovers seem to get most of the attention, they're just one part of a suite of instruments we're using to understand the history and geology of Mars. We have an orbiting telescope pointed down toward its surface and an orbiting atmospheric observatory trying to help us understand why Mars is so sparse. And, for nearly a year, we have had a seismograph, weather observatory, and magnetic sensor parked at Mars' equator.

The InSight mission (from the bacronym "Interior exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport") is a stationary lander and contains a suite of instruments designed to give us a clear picture of Mars' workings. It landed toward the end of 2018 and has had instruments in operation since early last year. Now, in a large series of papers, the teams behind the lander's hardware have analyzed the first data to come back from InSight, which includes the first recordings of marsquakes, along with some details on the local magnetic field.

At the equator

InSight landed at a region of Mars called Elysium Planiti, a region sandwiched between the southern highlands and the second largest volcano on the planet, Elysium. Billions of years ago, that volcano left large rock deposits that spread across parts of Elysium Planitia. But to the east, there's additional volcanic terrain that appears to have formed as little as 10 million years ago and terrain that's associated with the flow of liquid water.

Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments

TSA Bans Employees From Using TikTok

Slashdot - 1 hour 9 min ago
Categories: Geek, Opinion

A peanut butter brand has put its spoon into the GIF pronunciation debate

Ars Technica - 1 hour 24 min ago

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson)

Last week, an email popped into my mailbox with a simple subject: "Jif vs. GIF." Its sender asked if I was interested in hearing about a peanut butter producer's interest in "setting the record straight on how to pronounce GIF."

That's not quite what I got. The powers that be at Smucker's advertising department thought we at Ars Technica might bite on their proposal that a new jar of Jif would put the years-long pronunciation debate to rest. Instead, I ended up spending too much time talking about, contemplating, and researching the pronunciation of the letter G—and of other invented brands and acronyms in general.

Does Wilhite have it right?

If you're wondering, the J.M. Smucker Company—known on the street as Smucker's—comes down on the "hard-G" side of this debate. The company does this in order to support its latest advertising campaign that says—wouldn't you know it—the soft-G version has already existed for decades in the form of a massive peanut butter brand. Thus, the people at Smucker's say, don't mix up the two. Soft G "jiff" for food; hard G "giff" for an animated image format that came into vogue during GeoCities' heyday.

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The mid-engined Corvette was 60 years in the making, now we’ve driven it

Ars Technica - 1 hour 33 min ago

Predicting the arrival of a mid-engined Corvette has been a perennial bench-racing sport in the auto news game for decades. The first of the Chevrolet research cars that placed an engine behind the driver goes back to 1960, conceived by the first chief engineer of the Corvette, Zora Arkus-Duntov. Now, after thinking about it very, very long and very, very hard, Chevrolet starts building production mid-engined Corvettes this year, some 60 years after that first research vehicle.

With all that pent-up anticipation, could the new $59,995 Corvette actually be both brilliant and actually shy of the mark? We tested several with different suspensions on the road and the track around Spring Mountain Raceway in Nevada to glean the truth.


The inescapable reality of designing a mid-engine layout in the sports car segment is that, well, the Italians basically own it. But they didn't pioneer it. Post-WWII, Porsche built sports-racing 550 Spyders, RSKs and 904s, but Ferrari and Lamborghini built street cars placing engines behind drivers' heads in earnest by the 1960s.

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