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01-27-2023 Science&Technology
Hermeus Aims to develop the World's Fastest Turboramjet, a Hybrid Chimera Engine for Aircrafts

There is a new startup company that wants to develop the fastest engine in the world, and it is in the form of a turboramjet that centers on a hybrid Chimera engine for aircraft. When strapped to the fastest aircraft in the world, this engine may help propel it to greater speeds, and deliver a new supersonic record in the aircraft industry. This is a project from a company called Hermeus, and it recently demonstrated what it developed so far for its hybrid jet engine to fit modern aircraft. Hermeus to Develop Fastest Hybrid Chimera Engine According to a press release from Hermeus, the hybrid Chimera engine was able to achieve a successful transition of its engine in a test done last November 2022. "The ability to switch between these two modes allows Hermeus' first aircraft, Quarterhorse, to take off from a regular runway and then accelerate up to high-Mach speeds," says the company. The Chimera engine is a turbine-based combined cycle engine (TBCC), and this centers on being a hybrid of a turbojet and ramjet in one. Its technology centers on a transitioning engine which "At low speeds Chimera is in turbojet mode - just like any jet aircraft. But as the temperature and the speed of the incoming air increase, turbojets hit their performance limit. This happens at around Mach 2. " The ramjet fulfills higher Mach speeds, to accommodate a faster velocity in the air. Turboramjet Hybrid Successful in Tests The company is now celebrating its success in the turboramjet hybrid tests, but it is not yet done with its work. It aims to develop the fastest-ever aircraft engine in the world, and when fitted with capable vessels, could achieve what the company aims to bring. The current fastest aircraft now is the Lockheed SR-31 Blackbird, known for its Mach 3.3 top speed. But Hermeus aims to inch farther away from this number soon. Aircraft Development in the World One of the speeds that developers and researchers are breaking now is the speed of sound, and this means that going supersonic is a possible venture in this modern development of technology. A project from Boom and Northrop Grumann focuses on the "Overture" project that would supply the United States and its allies soon. While achieving Mach 1 on modern aircraft is an easy feat to do, and has been done over and over, going further is the challenge for developers, designers, researchers, pilots, and more. NASA has a so-called "Quesst" mission that aims to go supersonic in speed, but avoid creating the famed "sonic boom" that echoes loudly in the skies when breaking the sound barrier. Going further forward is the next step for aircraft development in the world, centering on different technology to deliver the fastest there is to the public. Hermeus aims to do just that, with its hybrid Chimera engine that centers on the turboramjet technology, one that has the capability to be the fastest among all. ...

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01-27-2023 Science&Technology
SpaceX's 1st orbital Starship looks supercool in these fueling test photos

SpaceX fueled up a fully stacked Starship vehicle for the first time ever on Monday (Jan. 23), and dramatic photos preserve the process for posterity. The 395-foot-tall (120 meters) Starship is an icy white in the new photos, which SpaceX released via Twitter(opens in new tab) on Tuesday (Jan. 24). That's a dramatic color shift for the silvery Starship, brought on by the loading of more than 10 million pounds (450,000 kilograms) of supercold liquid oxygen and liquid methane propellant into the stainless-steel vehicle's tanks. The fueling was part of a landmark "wet dress rehearsal" that SpaceX performed on Monday at its Starbase facility in South Texas. During wet dress rehearsals, mission teams practice many of the procedures they will perform on launch day. Monday's test will help SpaceX prepare for a very important Starship liftoff — the vehicle's first-ever orbital test flight, which company founder and CEO Elon Musk has said could take place as early as next month. But this Starship vehicle, which consists of a first-stage prototype called Booster 7 and an upper-stage spacecraft known as Ship 24, must pass a few more tests before embarking on that milestone flight, as SpaceX explained. "After completing Starship's first full flight-like wet dress rehearsal, Ship 24 will be destacked from Booster 7 in preparation for a static fire of the Booster's 33 Raptor engines," the company said in another Tuesday tweet(opens in new tab). Static fires are another common prelaunch test, in which engines are briefly ignited while a vehicle remains anchored to the ground. To date, Booster 7 has static-fired a maximum of 14 of its 33 Raptors simultaneously. Ship 24 lit up all six of its Raptors last September. SpaceX has big plans for Starship. Musk believes, for example, that the giant vehicle could soon make Mars settlement economically feasible. And he has said that Starship will eventually handle most, if not all, of SpaceX's spaceflight duties. NASA is invested in Starship as well. For instance, the agency selected the vehicle to be the first crewed lander for its Artemis program, which aims to establish a permanent, sustainable presence on and around the moon by the end of the 2020s. A Starship will land astronauts near the moon's south pole for the first time in 2025 or thereabouts, if all goes according to plan. ...

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01-27-2023 Science&Technology
Exclusive: This is Microsoft's new modern File Explorer overhaul for Windows 11

As was revealed a handful of weeks ago, Microsoft is currently working on a significant update to File Explorer on Windows 11 that will update several core areas of the app with modern designs and new features that will better integrate the experience with OneDrive and Microsoft 365. Internal mock-ups obtained by Windows Central reveal that the updated app will feature a redesigned header with a modern file directory box, a modern search box, and a new "home" button. The existing header buttons, such as "new," "copy," and "paste," will be moved into the file/folder view just below the header. The home page itself is being updated with more integration with Microsoft 365. Along the top will be a feed of "recommended" files, which will be presented with larger thumbnails that will make it easier to see what files are being suggested to you. Even the left-side navigation is being updated with more modern code, rounded highlight buttons, and more. The details pane is also getting a significant update to align with the rest of File Explorer, including integration with Microsoft 365 and a richer experience for seeing file details. The deeper integration with Microsoft 365 means users can see email threads and recent comments about files shared via the cloud across multiple colleagues or attached via email. This info will be visible at a glance on files that are being shared or via the details pane. I'm told that many of the updates to these areas of File Explorer will also aid in making it more friendly for touch users. Additionally, Microsoft is working on a more rich photo viewing experience for File Explorer via a new "Gallery" area. Users should be able to mouse over to view larger previews of photos. I've also heard that Microsoft is toying with bringing "tagging" to File Explorer, which would allow users to organize and categories specific files using keywords and colors, similar to what macOS offers in its Finder app. If Microsoft can deliver its plans, these changes will result in the most significant update to File Explorer since Windows 8, which shipped over 10 years ago. Microsoft's goal is to have the new File Explorer remain familiar to users while still updating all its surfaces with a fresh, consistent design and modern code. I'm told Microsoft is aiming to get most of this rejuvenated File Explorer experience out to users before the end of 2023, meaning it will likely show up in an upcoming Moment update over the summer or as part of the 23H2 release this fall. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   Windows Central

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01-27-2023 Environment
China’s New Revised Wildlife Protection Law: Will it Prevent Zoonotic Disease Outbreaks?

China's new revised Wildlife Protection Law was passed last December 2022, which aims to further expand the protection of wildlife and strengthen the prevention of zoonotic disease outbreaks. The new law is on top of the temporary ban on the sale of wild animals that the Chinese government implemented shortly after COVID-19 broke out. China's New Revised Wildlife Protection Law According to a report by the state-run news outlet China Daily, the top legislature in the Chinese country has successfully passed a new law revised Wildlife Protection Law. The new law reportedly prohibits hunting and trade of wild animals in the country - whether for food or medicinal purposes. South China Morning Post reports that the revised law essentially bans hunting, consumption, transport, and sale of wildlife. However, it has some exceptions for some species. The new law requires the approval of local authorities for breeding the highest level of protected species in China. It also seeks to impose rules to monitor and control the spread of disease among wild animals. And on top of that, it also has provisions that punish illegal trading and hunting of wildlife. The China Daily notes that the new version of the legislation addresses wildlife conservation and economic development. Will it Prevent Zoonotic Disease Outbreaks? But is the new legislation actually a step forward in preventing zoonotic disease outbreaks in the future? The Hong Kong-based news outlet, South China Morning Post, says that some environmentalists point out some loopholes in the new law. They raised concerns that the revised Wildlife Protection Law might do the opposite of what it aims for. It might instead further encourage the breeding and use of wildlife, the South China Morning Post reports, citing environmentalists. The senior campaigner with the NGO, Environmental Investigation Agency, Avinash Basker, pointed out the flaw of the new law. "The major problem with the law - that it legitimized the breeding and commercial use of even the highest level of protected species in China." But Basker also acknowledged that the revised law brings a few noteworthy revisions, including the expanded banning of consuming wildlife as food. Despite that, the senior campaigner notes that "key parts of the law remain ambiguous, and important terms undefined, leaving scope for the highest level of protected species to be exploited for potentially any purpose." In other related news, chip sales in China plummeted by roughly 21 percent, no thanks to slowing demand for chips across the world. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   Tech Times

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01-27-2023 Science&Technology
LG's latest CineBeam ultra short-throw projector is a dream — if you can afford it

Who wouldn't want a small box that can spit a 120-inch image onto your wall? That's the basic pitch behind 4K ultra short-throw (UST) projectors, which are sometimes called "Laser TVs." They're technically easier to set up than traditional projectors, and unlike large TVs, they don't require a huge footprint. Once you've placed it in front of a screen (or treated wall), you can summon an enormous cinematic image in an instant. We've reviewed a few UST projectors over the years, most recently Formovie's excellent $3,000 model. Personally, I've been in love with LG's Cinebeam HU85L since we first saw it in action in 2019. Sure, it was expensive at over $6,000, but that was far less than the $10,000 earlier models cost (and certainly better than Sony's early eye-watering $30,000 to $40,000 UST projectors). Much like LG's first OLED TVs, the CineBeam represented everything I wanted from the future of home cinema. Now after spending a few months with the company's latest UST, the CineBeam HU915QE, I'm even more enamored. It's brighter than its predecessor, reaching up to 3,700 lumens with a 2,00,000:1 contrast ratio, which makes it ideal for daytime viewing and HDR content. (Unfortunately, it doesn't support Dolby Vision, a rare feature we were surprised to see on the Formovie UST.) The new CineBeam can also be pushed even closer to your wall with the ability to spit out a 90-inch 4K image from 2.2-inches away, or a 120-inch image from 7.2-inches. I just wish it was cheaper than $5,000 — with the Formovie unit coming in at thousands less, it's hard to justify LG's premium. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   Engadget

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01-27-2023 Cars
After huge cuts, Tesla raises Model Y price… but not by much

Tesla has increased prices on new Model Ys, in a slight reversal after drastic cuts just two weeks ago. The changes went live on Tesla’s website tonight, and only seem to affect the Model Y, Tesla’s most popular vehicle. However, in contrast to the massive price cuts of up to $13K, the Model Y has been bumped in price by just $500. This brings it to a base price of $53,490, as opposed to $52,990 prior to this bump. The Model 3, X, and S all maintain the same post-cut prices as before. The recent price cuts came after weeks of signals from Tesla that demand might not have been keeping up supply, with Tesla offering discounts and incentives in various regions as inventory started to pile up. Tesla had hiked prices significantly over the course of 2021-2022 as EV demand far outstripped supply, and had little trouble selling out of vehicles until the end of the year. We here at Electrek noted that the result of these massive cuts could lead to an EV price war, which Tesla seems poised to do well in. Though this will cut into Tesla’s high margins, its margins are higher than other companies in the space, which gives it leeway to cut prices when supply gets to the point that it can keep up with demand. And in the weeks since that price drop, Tesla has seen “unprecedented demand” on these vehicles. Not only was the Model Y price dropped by $13K, but this also put it into range to qualify for the US EV tax credit, meaning a $20K price drop for many customers, as long as they take delivery before March when tax credits are expected to change once again. Notably, today’s price bump does again make a difference for EV tax credit eligibility. At the previous base MSRP of $52,990, up to $2,000 in options could be added before the 5-seat Model Y reached the government’s $55,000 MSRP limit to be eligible for tax credits. This meant that buyers could choose any paint color (which cost up to $2,000) or could choose the $2,000 20-inch wheels and just skate in under the limit. Now, adding the most-expensive red multi-coat paint color or the 20-inch wheel option take the MSRP above $55,000, which means Model Ys with those options will not qualify. At this point, the only options a 5-seat Model Y can choose to still qualify for tax credits are silver, blue, or black paint or a tow hitch (though the hitch can be added after purchase, which we’d recommend if you’re getting any other options). Tesla also made another change tonight – it now quotes the actual MSRP of the vehicle upfront, instead of including “potential savings” from gas and incentives:

Read Original Article     ON:   Electrek

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01-27-2023 Science&Technology
More organizations are adopting Chromebooks, thanks to Cameyo

In recent years, the push for cloud-based solutions for enterprise and small businesses has expanded exponentially. As companies look to break free from the lock-in of legacy software and antiquated infrastructure, bridging the gap between physical, on-device applications and fully web-based workflows has become an industry in and of itself. Virtual machines and remote desktop clients have long been the go-to solution for businesses that are making the move to the cloud but still rely on specific executable software to keep things up and running. Unfortunately, most of these solutions are as antiquated as the software they’re running and the execution can oftentimes be less than optimal due to the numerous pieces required to deliver a full PC desktop operating system virtually. Cameyo YOU ARE HERE: HOME/ CHROMEBOOKS/ MORE ORGANIZATIONS ARE ADOPTING CHROMEBOOKS, THANKS TO CAMEYO JANUARY 24, 2023 BY GABRIEL BRANGERS LEAVE A COMMENT In recent years, the push for cloud-based solutions for enterprise and small businesses has expanded exponentially. As companies look to break free from the lock-in of legacy software and antiquated infrastructure, bridging the gap between physical, on-device applications and fully web-based workflows has become an industry in and of itself. Virtual machines and remote desktop clients have long been the go-to solution for businesses that are making the move to the cloud but still rely on specific executable software to keep things up and running. Unfortunately, most of these solutions are as antiquated as the software they’re running and the execution can oftentimes be less than optimal due to the numerous pieces required to deliver a full PC desktop operating system virtually. What’s the solution? Obviously, we here at Chrome Unboxed are firm believers that ChromeOS is the answer to many of life’s computing questions and the enterprise sector happens to be one of the areas to which Chromebooks bring the most benefits. From its cloud-centric nature to its hardened, practically uncompromisable design, ChromeOS is the perfect operating system for companies looking to fully embrace the cloud. Paired with Google Workspace and the plethora of apps available in the Workspace Marketplace, ChromeOS offers solutions for nearly any use case or application for businesses of any size. Yes, Chromebooks are making a major impact in the workplace but ChromeOS devices are but one factor in the equation. The aforementioned legacy software is still a necessity for many businesses and one company is changing the way many of these companies approach app delivery. So, what’s the solution? Meet Cameyo Cameyo has revolutionized the way that businesses access and deliver software applications by removing the cumbersome and often clunky framework that comes with virtually delivering a full operating system. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   Chrome Unboxed

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01-27-2023 Science&Technology
Apple’s entry-level SSD slowdown rears its ugly head again

Here at Macworld, we tend to recommend that customers not buy the entry-level configuration of any Mac. It generally doesn’t have enough storage for most people, even people who rely heavily on iCloud or other cloud storage will likely run into space constraints down the line. But there’s another reason why you might want to avoid the entry-level configurations of Apple’s latest Mac minis and MacBook Pros, which went on sale Tuesday. While the new $599 M2 Mac mini is a very nice computer at a great price, it hides an ugly secret we’ve seen before: a slower SSD. MacRumors reports that benchmarks of the machine show that the 256GB SSD is up to 50 percent slower than the 256GB SSD in the M1 model it replaces. The reason for the slowdown is the same as with the 256GB SSD in the 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro and M2 MacBook Air: Apple uses a single NAND chip in the SSD, while the M1 Macs they replaced used two NAND chips. YouTuber Brandon Geekabit confirmed that Apple uses one NAND chip in his teardown of the M2 Mac mini. A single chip might be good for Apple’s space-challenged engineers, but when it comes to SSD storage, there’s a general principle that affects performance: an SSD uses multiple channels in parallel to read/write data to an SSD’s NAND chips. The more chips that are in play, the more channels that are available, and the more channels available, the better the performance. Somewhat surprisingly, the new base configurations of the MacBook Pro are also affected, despite having a 512GB SSD. 9to5Mac reports that in its testing and teardown of the 14-inch MacBook Pro with a 10-core M2 Pro processor, the SSD is compromised of two 256GB NAND chips, half as many as found in the 512GB SSD in the M1 Pro model. And as a result of the fewer chips, the 512GB M2 Pro MacBook Pro has slower SSD performance than its predecessor. We assume the entry-level 16-inch MacBook Pro, which also has a 512GB SSD, has the same performance issues as well. While we can understand the decision to use fewer chips in the lower-end Macs, the new MacBook Pro starts at $1,999 and is expected to be the ultimate in performance. Most users who buy one want the fastest speeds in all aspects of their machine. In the higher-end model we tested, disk speeds were as expected, with write scores that blew past the M1 Pro and M2. After four models, it’s clear that Apple has decided that the speed sacrifice is just something customers will have to live with when it comes to the cheapest configuration of its Macs. Granted, most users won’t feel the difference in everyday use and will only notice it the slowdown when using software that needs to read files from the SSD frequently–but we recommend getting at least a 1TB SSD anyway so there are enough data channels in use to make the speed difference unnoticeable.

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01-25-2023 Science&Technology
PayPal Breach Reveals Customer Data, Including SSNs | What to Do Next if Your Account Is Hacked?

PayPal acknowledged a security breach last week via a notification sent to affected customers. About 35,000 PayPal users were notified last Thursday that their accounts had been compromised between December 6 and 8, 2022. According to the official notification sent to all account holders, the hacks were confirmed on December 20, 2022. They are further reassured that PayPal has no evidence to suggest that their personal information was misused over the 2-day attack or that their account has been used for illicit purposes. On December 8, 2022, access to the impacted accounts was disabled for anybody who was not allowed to use it. Basic Knowledge of the Recent Attack In a report by Fox News, personal details such as names, ages, residences, social security numbers, and even taxpayer ID numbers were still accessible to hackers. Within two days of discovering the breach, PayPal had been shut down, users' passwords had been changed, and no fraudulent transactions had been attempted. Based on PayPal's investigation, the hackers exploited credit stuffing to access the victims' accounts. When hackers employ stolen or compromised credentials that are already public knowledge on the dark web, they are said to be "credential stuffing." Users' accounts are tried across a variety of online sites through bots programmed with lists of usernames and passwords obtained in prior data breaches in the hopes that users have not recently updated their passwords. Password reuse is a potential security risk, especially for people who use the same password for many accounts. If you're curious about whether or not your credentials have been compromised, according to Fox News, you can get more information on this topic by visiting CyberGuy.com. Search for "have your passwords been hacked" using the magnifying glass in the upper right corner of the page. 'My PayPal Account Was Compromised; Now What?' For anyone whose accounts were compromised in this hack, PayPal has likely already requested a new password. Make sure to include a combination of upper and lowercase letters, digits, and special characters in the new password. As per reports, the victims will also get free identity monitoring services from Equifax for a period of two years. Future-proofing Your Security Against Cybercriminals Although PayPal is doing everything it can to assist the victims of this horrible attack, there are measures you may take to protect yourself in the future. First up, avoid using the same password for several accounts and explore good password managers to help you with the task. Take advantage of two-factor authentication if the service you are using supports it. If a hacker somehow manages to get your login credentials, this additional precaution will prevent them from accessing your sensitive data. ...

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01-25-2023 Science&Technology
You Should Claim Money From These Class-Action Settlements

Companies make “mistakes” all the time, and a small number of those incidents turn into class-action lawsuit settlements where those companies owe customers money. But if you never claim the money, it goes to the pool of customers who did claim it. Here are the class action settlements that you may qualify for, and their deadlines. Claim your T-Mobile settlement payment Jan. 23: About 76 million customers’ data were breached on Aug. 2021, and there’s a $350 million settlement for it. If you were a customer during the data breach, you’re eligible for $25 in payment, and if you were a California resident during 2021, you might be entitled to $100. You can submit your claim here. Keep in mind, this is separate from the most recent data breach of 37 million in November 2022. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   Life Hacker

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01-25-2023 Science&Technology
Our Solar System is filled with asteroids that are particularly hard to destroy, new study finds

A vast amount of rocks and other material are hurtling around our Solar System as asteroids and comets. If one of these came towards us, could we successfully prevent the collision between an asteroid and Earth? Well, maybe. But there appears to be one type of asteroid that might be particularly hard to destroy. Asteroids are chunks of rocky debris in space, remnants of a more violent past in our Solar System. Studying them can reveal their physical properties, clues about the ancient history of the Solar System, and threats these space rocks may pose by impacting with Earth. In our new study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, we discovered that rubble pile asteroids are an extremely resistant type of asteroid and hard to destroy by collision. Two main types of asteroid Mainly concentrated in the asteroid belt, asteroids can be classified into two main types. Monoliths – made from one solid chunk of rock – are what people usually have in mind when they think about asteroids. Monolithic-type asteroids about a kilometre in diameter have been predicted to have a lifespan of only a few hundred millions of years in the asteroid belt. This is not long at all given the age of our Solar System. The other type are rubble pile asteroids. These are entirely made up of lots of fragments ejected during the complete or partial destruction of pre-existing monolithic asteroids. However, we don’t really know the durability, and therefore the potential lifespan, of rubble pile asteroids. Sneaky and abundant rubble piles In September 2022, NASA’s DART mission (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) successfully impacted the asteroid Dimorphos. The goal of this mission was to test if we could deflect an asteroid by impacting it with a small spacecraft, and it was a resounding success. Like other recent asteroid missions by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to visit asteroids Itokawa and Ryugu, and by NASA to asteroid Bennu, close-up images have shown that Dimorphos is yet another rubble pile asteroid. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   The Conversation

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01-25-2023 Science&Technology
NASA, Pentagon developing nuclear-powered rocket for Mars voyage

NASA is partnering with a Pentagon research agency to develop a nuclear-powered rocket engine in preparation for sending astronauts to Mars. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said Tuesday that the US space agency will team up with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to "develop and demonstrate advanced nuclear thermal propulsion technology as soon as 2027." "With the help of this new technology, astronauts could journey to and from deep space faster than ever –- a major capability to prepare for crewed missions to Mars," Nelson said in a statement. DARPA is the Pentagon's research and development arm and has played a role in many of the notable innovations of the 20th century including the internet. NASA said nuclear thermal rockets can be three or more times more efficient than conventional chemical propulsion and would reduce transit time, essential for an eventual mission to Mars. In a nuclear thermal engine, a fission reactor is used to generate extremely high temperatures. Heat from the reactor is transferred to liquid propellant which is then converted into gas, which expands through a nozzle and provides thrust. "DARPA and NASA have a long history of fruitful collaboration," DARPA director Stefanie Tompkins said, citing the Saturn V rocket that took the first astronauts to the Moon. "The nuclear thermal rocket program will be essential for more efficiently and quickly transporting material to the Moon and, eventually, people to Mars," Tompkins said. NASA conducted its last nuclear thermal rocket engine tests more than 50 years ago but the program was abandoned due to budget cuts and Cold War tensions.

Read Original Article     ON:   Phys

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01-20-2023 Science&Technology
A Rare Green Comet Will Be Visible From Earth This Month—Here’s How to See It



In March 2022, NASA astronomers at San Diego’s Zwicky Transient Facility spotted a previously undiscovered green comet orbiting Jupiter. They named it C/2022 E3 (ZTF). Not only has the comet gotten brighter since then, but it’s also exited Jupiter’s territory and entered ours. This month, as ABC News reports, you can even catch a glimpse of it—here’s how. How to See the Green Comet The comet, heading northwest, just passed its perihelion—its closest point to the sun—on January 12, and it will reach its closest point to Earth on February 2. For the duration of January, skygazers in the Northern Hemisphere should be able to see it in the early morning with the aid of a telescope or binoculars. You might be able to make it out with your naked eye “under dark skies,” according to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, but as “comets are notoriously unpredictable,” there’s no guarantee. The sky should be especially dark during the new moon phase on January 21, so that’s not a bad day to scan the skies for a greenish blur. People in the Southern Hemisphere will get a chance to see C/2022 E3 (ZTF) beginning in early February. This particular comet’s history is shrouded in mystery, but we know it doesn’t visit us often—if, in fact, it ever has. “If C/2022 E3 has ever passed through the solar system before, it would have last been seen in the sky more than 10,000 years ago,” Jon Giorgini, a senior analyst at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told NPR. What Makes the Comet Green The comet’s nucleus is surrounded by a cloud of gas and dust called the coma. As the comet travels closer and closer to the sun, radiation causes energy fluctuations in some of those gases. This process can cause two of them—cyanogen and diatomic carbon—to appear green to us. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   Mental Floss

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01-18-2023 Science&Technology
Nreal Air display goggles turn your Steam Deck into a 130-inch virtual TV



The 80-gram Nreal Air was launched in the United States last September. It is also available in China, Japan and the United Kingdom. The wearable is sold in the US via Amazon and costs $379. A USB-C cable connects it to smartphones (Android, iOS), consoles (Xbox Series S/X, Playstation 4 Slim & Playstation 5) and handhelds (Nintendo Switch, Steam Deck). The virtual screen headset features integrated OLED displays that project a 1,920 by 1,080 pixel image per eye. The 46-degree field of view is relatively narrow compared to standard VR headsets, but the pixel density of 49 PPD is more than double that of the Meta Quest 2 or Meta Quest Pro. This fact should result in an exceptionally sharp image. According to Nreal, the simulated screen is the size of a 130-inch TV four meters away. Nreal Air: A Steam Deck secret tip At the end of last year, the Chinese startup celebrated the production of 100,000 units. In the fourth quarter of 2022, 70,000 units are expected to have been shipped – a respectable success for the young niche of display glasses. This is likely helped by Nreal Air’s reputation in the U.S. as a great Steam Deck accessory. It replaces the electronic screen with a virtual one that surpasses it in terms of quality, and is lightweight and portable to boot. Nreal Air looks almost like sunglasses and can be worn relatively unobtrusively on trains or planes. Those who need a traditional headset can buy compatible glasses. Norman Chan from the YouTube channel Tested has tried out the Nreal Air on his Steam Deck and summarizes his impressions in a video (see below). The hardware tester calls the picture quality “fantastic”, but points out some limitations. Easy screen setup, but no 3-DoF tracking The setup is simple: Once connected via cable, the Steam Deck automatically recognizes the display glasses as an output device and adjusts the resolution accordingly. Since the Nreal Air does not have a battery, the wearable also uses the Steam Deck’s battery, which affects its lifespan. If the battery drops below 50 percent, no signal is sent to the display headset. You can play with the Nreal Air for about an hour, or use an adapter to power the handheld at the same time. What bothers Chan much more is the fixed orientation of the virtual screen. The 3-DoF tracking is disabled in screen mirroring mode, which causes the image to move with every head movement – an unpleasant viewing experience eventually. Chan also criticizes that an additional clunky adapter has to be purchased for some other devices, such as the iPhone. Those who need an additional visual aid have to dig deep into their pockets for the second screen. He hopes the next iteration of the Nreal Air will be an all-around better product that is more comfortable to use.

Read Original Article     ON:   Mixed News

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01-18-2023 Science&Technology
New Pixel Fold leak lands in physical space



The Pixel Fold isn’t official yet, but it might as well be. Last month we got renders. Now the dude Dave2D got an alleged dummy model of the Pixel foldable and extrapolated a bunch of features out of the mostly featureless plastic. Some highlights: Based on the hinge, the interior screen should have have a gentler center crease than the Samsung Z Fold 4. The 7.67-inch interior screen has surprisingly thick bezels — around 5mm, in Dave’s estimation — possibly to cut costs and avoid having a camera cutout. The 5.79-inch outer screen is a little shorter and wider than the Z Fold 4, and does seem to have a selfie cam cutout. There are speaker grills top and bottom. The grey plastic model largely matches the leaked renders we saw in December, down to the giant camera island, hinge design, and thick bezels, so if it’s a fake, at least we’re getting consistent fakes. Dave didn’t reveal his source, but dimensionally accurate blanks like these are usually sent to case manufacturers in advance of the device launch so they can have accessories ready to go. That timing tracks with the December leak, which suggested an official reveal at Google I/O in May, though later leaks have suggested a fall launch.

Read Original Article     ON:   The Verge

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01-13-2023 Science&Technology
Oculus founder is “blown away” by Playstation VR 2



Oculus founder Palmer Luckey was able to try out the Playstation VR 2 at CES and was “blown away” by the experience. Sony exhibited the VR system at the world’s largest electronics trade show. Press and trade show visitors could try out the Playstation VR 2 at a specially set up booth and play the flagship title Horizon Call of the Mountain. One of the testers of it was Palmer Luckey. The California native tinkered together VR headsets in a trailer as a teenager, and in 2012, with the Oculus Rift prototype and John Carmack’s help, got the latest VR craze rolling. In 2014, Facebook acquired his start-up Oculus for three billion US dollars and made Luckey a multi-millionaire. Since his ouster, the entrepreneur has successfully dabbled in military technology. The value of his new company Anduril is estimated at 8.5 billion US dollars. Positive feedback from CES On Twitter, Luckey writes how he experienced Playstation VR 2. “I was blown away when I used PSVR 2 recently! The first PSVR was arguably the biggest success of the generation, this version will do even better,” Luckey writes. Playstation VR 2 was also otherwise well received by CES testers. Tom’s Guide calls Playstation VR 2 one hell of a VR headset, and Android Authority calls it a huge leap forward from the original. Strengths cited include the OLED display, eye-tracking, forehead haptics, and new Sense controllers, all technologies, and features reserved for Sony’s VR system. PSVR-2 software is partly criticized However, the tracking of the input devices is said to have caused difficulties here and there, which Sony’s staff explains with trade show-related radio interference. VR testers like Bradley Lynch were also bothered by the image interpolation. Since the demo did not run at full frame rate, the software calculated artificial frames in between, which was especially noticeable in fast movements. VR pros already noticed the rendering technology negatively in the first PSVR2 previews last fall. Hopefully, Sony will solve these problems before the launch. The following videos show the reactions of Lynch as well as Wes Dillon from the YouTube channel PSVR2 without Parole. Dillon’s impressions are particularly detailed; he talks about the technology for just under an hour. Playstation VR 2 will be released on February 22, 2023.

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