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Chris Hadfield launches odyssey into realm of thriller novel writing with The Apollo Murders – National Post

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Hadfield is already a published author, having written the 2013 autobiographyAn Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, as well as the children’s book The Darkest Dark and You Are Here, a collection of photographs taken from the International Space Station, where he became the first Canadian to command the ISS.

His foray into fiction makes him unusual among those in space program, most of whom stick to memoirs, from the very first (Yuri Gagarin’s Soviet Man in Space) to Limitless, the autobiography of British astronaut Tim Peake, due out this month. But the multi-hyphenate Hadfield has worked in other fields, notably music. His 2015 album Space Sessions: Songs from a Tin Can includes his cover of David Bowie’s Space Oddity, which he also played in space.

Random House says The Apollo Murders’ mix of science and tension will appeal to fans of The Martian and The Hunt for Red October, with the added frisson of an author who, when he writes about the stress of a rocket launch or living in microgravity, has the experience to back up his prose.

As they say, write what you know.

• Email: cknight@postmedia.com | Twitter:

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‘RIP SN10’: SpaceX rocket goes up in flames after landing – Al Jazeera English

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Starship rocket SN10 blows up eight minutes after appearing to nail landing, the third prototype to be destroyed.

The third time appeared to be the charm for Elon Musk’s Starship prototype rocket, until it wasn’t.

The rocket soared into the sky in a high-altitude test on Wednesday from Boca Chica in Texas, then flew itself back to Earth and manoeuvred into its first – successful – upright landing.

But the triumph was short-lived.

“A beautiful soft landing,” a SpaceX commentator said during a live broadcast of the test flight, as an automated fire-suppression system trained a stream of water on flames still burning at the base of the rocket.

About eight minutes later it blew itself to pieces, lurching into the air and crashing back to the ground.

There was no immediate explanation for what went wrong.

SN10 was the third Starship to be destroyed in a fireball although it came far closer to achieving a safe, vertical touchdown than two previous models – SN8 in December and SN9 in February. The rocket is being developed by SpaceX to carry people and cargo on future missions to the Moon and Mars.

For Elon Musk, the billionaire SpaceX founder who also heads the electric carmaker, Tesla, the outcome was mixed news.

This screengrab made from SpaceX’s live webcast shows the Starship SN10 prototype as it prepares to land during the second attempted test flight of the day [Jose Romero/SpaceX via AFP]

In a tweet responding to tempered congratulations from an admirer of his work, Musk replied, “RIP SN10, honorable discharge.”

The video feed provided by SpaceX on the company’s YouTube channel cut off moments after the landing. But separate fan feeds streamed over the same social media platform showed an explosion suddenly erupting at the base of the rocket, hurling the SN10 into the air before it crashed to the ground and became engulfed in flames.

The complete Starship rocket, which will stand 394-feet (120 metres) tall when connected with its super-heavy first-stage booster, is SpaceX’s next-generation fully reusable launch vehicle – the centre of Musk’s ambitions to make human space travel more affordable and routine.

The first orbital Starship flight is planned for year’s end.

On Wednesday, Japanese billionaire and online fashion tycoon Yusaku Maezawa, who paid an undisclosed sum for a SpaceX lunar spaceship trip, invited eight people from around the world to join him.

The Starship tests take place in a nearly deserted area leased by SpaceX in southern Texas near the border with Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico.

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Google Chrome: It's time to ditch the browser – ZDNet

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Google Chrome is the most-used browser on the internet. The browser rose to fame as an alternative to slow, sluggish incumbents — Internet Explorer and Safari. But Google Chrome has become the new leader, and as a result has itself become the sluggish incumbent.  

It became the thing we hated. We created a monster.

It’s time for a change.

Also: Actively exploited Chrome browser zero-day vulnerability patched

I don’t say this lightly.

Over the past few months, I’ve been testing browsers, examining things like performance, memory usage, battery usage, and overall feel of using the browser.

I know that picking the “best” browser is a personal and potentially controversial thing. It’s a bit like asking whose Mom makes the best apple pie (mine, of course), or whether it’s cats or dogs that rule (cats, because dogs are just a rubbish, attention-seeking kind of cat).

The answers are personal. Specific to the individual use case.

But, with that said, I can still come up with a number of good reasons to dump Chrome.

Power usage

If your device is powered by a battery, then you’re best using the stock browser.

On Windows, that is Edge, and on Mac and iOS that’s Safari. Both have been highly tuned to the platform they are running on and offer the best battery life and thermal performance possible.

Yes, you can tweak and fiddle with Chrome to make things better, but better is still far from best.

Also: Google is really annoyed you’re using Microsoft Edge

When I switched from Chrome to Safari on my daily driver MacBook Pro, I was getting over an hour of extra battery life, which is a very significant gain.

Switching to Safari on the iPhone also got me significantly better battery life, but it’s harder to measure since the browser isn’t the main focus of my day on that platform.

For the best possible battery and power performance, use the stock browser.

Period.

Operating system optimizations

One of the great “selling” points of Google Chrome is that you get a streamlined, consistent experience across all the platforms you are using.

That’s nice for sure, but after using Edge and Safari on their respective platforms for a few weeks, I was surprised to find how clunky that experience actually is, compared to the stock browser.

It’s hard to put it into words, but Safari on Mac or Edge on Windows feel like an extension of the operating system. It’s a smoother transition between the OS and the browser. Coming back to Chrome suddenly felt clumsy (and this is when I also noticed the sluggish performance the most).

Having a choice

Google Chrome is a great tool for Google to slurp up a lot of data, both to find out how people use the internet and also things like passwords and payment details to keep us locked into the ecosystem.

While I’m not paranoid about my data, I’m a fan of having a choice over where my data is stored and how it’s used, and what companies I choose to work with, and being able to pick and choose what works best for me, not what is convenient.

The big exception

And that is Android. Here Google Chrome is the winner. I’ve played with other browsers on this platform, but Chrome is the one that works best. It is, after all, the stock browser, and as such as been tweaked to give the best performance.

What browser do you use? Why do you use it? When was the last time you tried a different browser?

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Nintendo Switch Pro will reportedly have 720p OLED screen – Eurogamer.net

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Or display in 4K on TVs.

Nintendo’s widely-anticipated Switch Pro model will feature a seven-inch 720p OLED screen and output at up to 4K when connected to a TV.

That’s according to a Bloomberg report, which cites sources aware that Samsung will provide its screens and begin production on those from June.

Nintendo’s plan is to reveal the new Switch model this year with an eye to launch in time for the lucrative holiday season, the report concludes, though no firmer release window is given.

Eurogamer News Cast – Nintendo Direct special

The current Switch offers a 6.2 inch screen, while the Switch Lite’s screen is 5.5 inches. Both are LCD rather than OLED, meaning this new model – if it launches as reported – will boast a larger and higher contrast display.

The online response to news of a 720p screen has been mixed, but the gains from a 1080p resolution on a screen that size would likely not be as pronounced as some have suggested, while it would also decrease battery life and likely drive up the unit’s overall price.

Nintendo has kept mum about its plans for a new Switch model, though references to it have existed in the console’s firmware for nearly a year now. Security researcher Mike Heskin wrote back in January how these strings pointed to an OLED/MiniLED screen and the capability to upscale HDMI output to 4K.

Talk of a souped up Switch began in March 2019, when a Wall St Journal report stated two new Nintendo Switch models were on the horizon. One would be a cheaper option, which Eurogamer sources told us was designed for a handheld-only audience, and which was later revealed as the Nintendo Switch Lite.

The other would have “enhanced features targeted at avid videogamers” which Eurogamer reported would be comparable an upgrade as the one seen on 3DS to its New 3DS relaunch. It wouldn’t, in other words, be a Switch 2.

We’ve contacted Nintendo for comment on today’s report.

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