s.s. nautilus
slashdot le : 03/09/2021 13:00:33
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNN: The Perseverance rover successfully drilled into a Martian rock on Thursday, creating an intact core sample that could one day be returned to Earth. But NASA wants better images to make sure the sample is safely in the tube before it's sealed up and stowed on the rover. So far, data sent back by the rover and initial images suggest an intact sample was inside the tube after Perseverance drilled into a rock selected by the mission's science team. After the initial images were taken, the rover vibrated the drill bit and tube for five one-second bursts to clear both of any residual material from outside of the tube. It's possible that this caused the sample to slide down further inside the tube.

The next images taken after this were "inconclusive due to poor sunlight conditions," according to the agency. Perseverance will use its cameras to take more images under better lighting conditions before conducting the next steps of the sampling process. The extra step of taking additional images before sealing and stowing the sample tube was added after Perseverance attempted to drill into another rock target on August 5. During that attempt, the rock crumbled and there was no sample present in the tube once it was stowed.

Perseverance is currently exploring the Citadelle location in Jezero Crater, which -- billions of years ago -- was once the site of an ancient lake. The rover's specific target was a rock called Rochette, which is about the size of a briefcase and is part of a half-mile ridgeline of rock outcrops and boulders. The mission team should receive more images of what's inside the sample tube by September 4. If images taken while the sun is at a better angle don't help the team determine whether a sample is present, the tube will be sealed and the rover will measure its volume. If Perseverance is able to successfully collect samples from Mars, they will be returned to Earth by future missions -- and they could reveal if microbial life ever existed on Mars.

slashdot le : 26/08/2021 02:00:31
YouTube has issued a cease-and-desist order against the creator of Groovy, who has agreed to shut down the widely-popular music bot on August 30th. PC Gamer reports: Effectively a tool for adding background tunes to a chat room, Groovy worked by pulling audio directly from YouTube videos, joining voice calls, and playing music queued up by users [...]. It was ridiculously popular, reportedly installed on over 16 million servers. But it seems Google wasn't so hot on the bot, with a spokesperson for the company told The Verge that Groovy violated YouTube's terms of service for "modifying the service and using it for commercial purposes."

In that same report, Groovy creator Nik Ammerlaan (who made the bot because "my friend's bot sucked and I thought I could make a better one") admitted that this was likely a long-time coming. Groovy circumvents YouTube's front-end and advertising entirely. "I'm not sure why they decided to send it [a cease and desist] now," said Ammerlaan. "They probably just didn't know about it, to be honest. It was just a matter of seeing when it would happen."

slashdot le : 29/07/2021 21:00:25
Black Widow has a new enemy: the Walt Disney. From a report: Scarlett Johansson, star of the latest Marvel movie "Black Widow," filed a lawsuit Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court against Disney, alleging her contract was breached when the media giant released the film on its Disney+ streaming service at the same time as its theatrical debut. Ms. Johansson said in the suit that her agreement with Disney's Marvel Entertainment guaranteed an exclusive theatrical release, and her salary was based in large part on the box-office performance of the film.

"Disney intentionally induced Marvel's breach of the agreement, without justification, in order to prevent Ms. Johansson from realizing the full benefit of her bargain with Marvel," the suit said. The suit could be a bellwether for the entertainment industry. Major media companies are prioritizing their streaming services in pursuit of growth, and are increasingly putting their high-value content on those platforms. Those changes have significant financial implications for actors and producers, who want to ensure that growth in streaming doesn't come at their expense.

slashdot le : 28/07/2021 10:00:20
On Monday, astronauts said goodbye to a cornerstone of the International Space Station and captured stunning images of the compartment burning up in Earth's atmosphere. Space.com reports: A Russian Progress cargo vehicle towed the module, called Pirs, away from the space station and down through Earth's atmosphere to ensure the module burned up completely and reduce the odds of any large chunks making it to Earth's surface. Russia had launched its Pirs module in 2001; since then, the module, which served as a port to the space station, hosted more than 70 different capsules and supported Russian cosmonauts conducting extravehicular activities, or spacewalks. To make room for Russia's new science module, dubbed Nauka, which launched on July 21 and will arrive at the station on Thursday (July 29), Pirs had to go. Yesterday's fiery retirement ceremony marks the first time a major component of the International Space Station has been discarded. The attached Progress vehicle, which had arrived at the space station in February, controlled Pirs' re-entry to ensure that the module was destroyed as thoroughly as possible. European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet shared the photographs on Flickr.

slashdot le : 20/07/2021 18:00:11
DuckDuckGo is launching a new email privacy service meant to stop ad companies from spying on your inbox. From a report: The company's new Email Protection feature gives users a free "@duck.com" email address, which will forward emails to your regular inbox after analyzing their contents for trackers and stripping any away. DuckDuckGo is also extending this feature with unique, disposable forwarding addresses, which can be generated easily in DuckDuckGo's mobile browser or through desktop browser extensions.

The personal DuckDuckGo email is meant to be given out to friends and contacts you know, while the disposable addresses are better served when signing up for free trials, newsletters, or anywhere you suspect might sell your email address. If the email address is compromised, you can easily deactivate it. These tools are similar to anti-tracking features implemented by Apple in iOS 14 and iOS 15, but DuckDuckGo's approach integrates into iOS, Android, and all major web browsers. DuckDuckGo will also make it easier to spin up disposable email addresses on the fly, for newsletters or anywhere you might share your email.