NASA reschedules Mars InSight mission to May 2018
Published in News


New geophysical data should make existing data 3 to 10 times more accurate

NASA’s mission to study the deep interior of the Red Planet has been rescheduled to a new 2018 launch timeframe, according to a recent news release from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology.

Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California is the current active site of NASA’s Mars projects, including the $2.5 billion Mars Science Laboratory mission (November 2011 – present), the $14 million per-year “Opportunity” rover (July 2003 – present), and the $720 million Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (August 2005 – present).

mars insight lander

InSight, also known as Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, is a $425 million NASA Discovery Program mission that will place a stationary lander on the surface of Mars to study its early terrestrial formation. The lander will be equipped with a seismometer and a heat transfer probe to measure the planet’s “vital signs” – more specifically, its “pulse” (seismology), “temperature” (heat flow probe), and “reflexes” (precision tracking).

nasa insight solar arrays

NASA began construction on the InSight lander on May 19, 2014, with general testing starting on May 27, 2015.

The mission was originally known as GEMS (Geophysical Monitoring Station), but underwent a name change in 2012 at the request of the agency.

"The science goals of InSight are compelling, and the NASA and CNES plans to overcome the technical challenges are sound," said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. "The quest to understand the interior of Mars has been a longstanding goal of planetary scientists for decades. We're excited to be back on the path for a launch, now in 2018."

The original InSight Mars launch window was scheduled between March 4 and March 30, 2016. Now, the agency is targeting a new launch window that begins May 5, 2018 with a Mars landing scheduled for November 26, 2018. The mission’s secondary objective is to conduct an in-depth study of geophysics, tectonic activity, and the effects of Martian meteorite impacts. These findings will aid scientists in learning how such processes on Earth could occur in real-world situations.

Overall, the data collected from crust thickness, mantle velocity, core radius, core density, and seismic activity will increase data accuracy by at least three to ten times their current accuracy values.

Google Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P now available for $299 and $399
Published in Mobiles


Unlocked phones with free shipping, while supplies last


This week, Internet retail giant B&H Photo Video is offering promotional codes on Google’s 2015 flagship smartphones, the LG-branded Google Nexus 5X and the Huawei-branded Huawei-branded Google Nexus 6P, while supplies last. Thanks to a special limited-time sale on twelve different varieties of the devices, customers can now order the Nexus 5X for as low as $299 with free shipping, while the Nexus 6P can be ordered for as low as $399 with free shipping.

Hyperloop may come to Central Europe by 2020
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1223km/h high-speed link between Austria, Slovakia and Hungary

On Tuesday, crowd-sourced transportation company Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) signed a deal with the government of Slovakia to explore the idea of building a high-speed, 1,223 kilometer-per hour (760mph) transportation system linking the countries of Austria, Slovakia and Hungary in Central Europe, with the first section of the project to be completed by 2020.

LG G5 launches in the US in early April
Published in Mobiles
Thursday, 10 March 2016 18:26

LG G5 launches in the US in early April


Free second battery and charging cradle for a limited time

The flagship smartphone of 2016 from LG just received its official launch date for wireless customers in the United States, along with an incentive to pre-order it now and receive a free second battery and charging cradle for a limited time.

Verizon gets fined for secretly tracking customers without opt-out
Published in Mobiles


Violated FCC's Open Internet Transparency Rule

In 2014 and 2015, Verizon was found secretly inserting a small piece of web code into all mobile web traffic to track its customers for advertisement purposes. The so-called “supercookies” were unavoidable, with no way to opt-out, even if customers opted out of advertisements. As of this week, the wireless giant finally had the case settled in court at the tune of a rather small $1.35 million fine by the FCC.

Nvidia Pascal GPUs spotted en route to testing facilities
Published in News


Shipping values priced between $608 and $810 USD per unit

Any time a new batch of GPUs are ready to be sent from a manufacturing facility overseas to a supply partner for testing and metrics, there are always debugging and testing parts sent ahead of time to ensure that silicon is quickly brought to market without suffering silicon respin and unforeseen manufacturing delays.

"Right to be forgotten" now applies to all of Google's domains
Published in News


Geolocation fences will be deployed to avert unwanted local searchers

In 2014, the European Union’s highest court, the European Court of Justice (ECJ), ruled that Internet search engines like Google must be required to erase all webpage links to an individual’s search results in which personally identifiable information is deemed “inadequate” or “irrelevant” to a larger context of search inquiry. At first, the court order was only applicable to Google’s European Union-based search sites (see: Google.co.uk, Google.fr and Google.de, etc).

iPhone 6S Plus outperforms Galaxy S7 Edge in app test
Published in Mobiles


But Snapdragon 820 is still faster than A9 overall

Earlier this week, a hands-on performance comparison between Apple’s crown jewel of 2015, the iPhone 6S Plus, and Samsung’s crown jewel of 2016, the Galaxy S7 Edge, was uploaded to YouTube where real-world performance was tested side-by-side to see how fast each phone runs a sequence of various apps.

Seagate to launch world's fastest NVMe SSDs this summer
Published in News


Open Compute Project (OCP) and NVMe compliant

In an effort to keep up with the ever-increasing high performance storage demands of datacenters and enterprise customers, Seagate has announced it will launch the world’s “fastest ever” solid state flash drive this summer with throughput performance of 10 gigabytes per second (GB/s), according to a new press release.

California’s High Speed Rail delayed by 3 years
Published in News


Silicon Valley to Central Valley line will cost $20.6 billion

California’s very costly 220mph high-speed rail (HSR), which was approved by voters in 2008, will not be accepting passengers until at least 2025, according to a new business plan released by the state’s high speed rail authority last month.