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The Morning After: Counting down to SpaceX's next Crew Dragon test – Engadget

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Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

Welcome to your weekend! The first week back after CES has been a long one, but now it’s time to relax. Below there are some highlighted stories from Friday and the rest of the week, but the news I needed to see is that a rumored “Pro Mode” for MacBooks could bring back the illicit thrill of a Turbo Button that’s been missing since the days of the 486.

This weekend we might see a dramatic test from SpaceX, however the in-flight abort test requires conditions that are right both for its landing and the Crew Dragon’s return to Earth in the Atlantic Ocean. SpaceX is currently targeting a six-hour window on Sunday morning for the test, but also has a backup window on Monday if necessary.

Otherwise, sit back, catch up on a few highlight stories from this week and maybe check out Avenue 5 on HBO.

— Richard


Original content.Ben & Jerry’s made a binge-worthy Netflix and Chill’d ice cream flavor

With official support from Netflix, Ben & Jerry’s has announced a new flavor called Netflix and Chill’d. It’s made with peanut butter, salty pretzel swirls and fudge brownie chunks. The lid displays the company’s logo and declares that you’re about to eat “A Netflix Original Flavor.”


Drones with bird-like wings could fly in rougher winds.This pigeon-inspired drone bends its wings to make it more agile

A team of researchers from Stanford University’s Lentink Lab has built a robotic pigeon aptly called PigeonBot, which can bend, extend and simply change the shape of its wings like real birds can.


Bad PasswordYour online activity is now effectively a social ‘credit score’

As columnist Violet Blue explains, companies are already using your online profile to decide if they’ll allow you on as a customer.


Ready for another trip?Engadget Podcast: Super Nintendo World, here we go!

Devindra, Cherlynn and Senior Editor Nick Summers take a relaxing break from the madness of CES by diving into some of this week’s news, like the trailer for Japan’s Super Nintendo World park. They also question the wisdom of Sony abandoning E3 (yet again), and welcome Microsoft’s new Chromium-infused Edge browser. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, Pocket Casts or Stitcher.


It could help track breathing issues — if you have the right device.Fitbit quietly enables blood oxygen tracking on its wearables

A bunch of Fitbit models already have blood oxygen monitoring hardware, but until now it wasn’t being used. The company has just snuck out an update to its Versa, Ionic and Charge 3 devices, which will look at blood oxygen levels to help track things like asthma, heart disease and sleep apnea.


Like Project xCloud, but from your home console.Microsoft’s Xbox Console Streaming preview goes global

Microsoft has been experimenting with streaming Xbox games to Android phones and tablets for a while as it looks for an answer to the PS4’s Remote Play. Now, after opening a limited beta late last year, all Xbox Insiders in countries that support Xbox One can have a go.


Update ASAP.Microsoft patched a major Windows 10 flaw discovered by the NSA

This week Microsoft issued patches for Windows 10 as well as Windows Server 2016 and 2019. However, it wasn’t a normal Patch Tuesday, because this time it addressed a flaw that had been uncovered by the NSA and could be used to exploit computers remotely or spy on and manipulate encrypted internet traffic. Disclosing the vulnerability so it can be fixed will hopefully stop it from leaking out, which is what happened in 2017 with the EternalBlue exploit.


Nope, no, not happening.Valve is definitely not working on ‘Left 4 Dead 3’

Despite “LFD3” popping up on an HTC slide during a presentation, Valve says there’s nothing in development for the co-op shooter series, so quit asking.

But wait, there’s more…


The Morning After is a new daily newsletter from Engadget designed to help you fight off FOMO. Who knows what you’ll miss if you don’t Subscribe.

Craving even more? Like us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter.

Have a suggestion on how we can improve The Morning After? Send us a note.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Dinosaur Tail Found In Chile Could Point To Discovery Of New Species – NDTV

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Dinosaur Tail Found In Chile Could Point To Discovery Of New Species

Paleontologists have discovered 80 percent of the dinosaur’s skeleton.

Santiago:

Chilean paleontologists on Wednesday presented their findings on a dinosaur discovered three years ago in Patagonia which they said had a highly unusual tail that has stumped researchers.

The remains of the Stegouros elengassen were discovered during excavations in 2018 at Cerro Guido, a site known to harbor numerous fossils, by a team who believed they were dealing with an already known species of dinosaur until they examined its tail.

“That was the main surprise,” said Alexander Vargas, one of the paleontologists. “This structure is absolutely amazing.”

“The tail was covered with seven pairs of osteoderms … producing a weapon absolutely different from anything we know in any dinosaur,” added the researcher during a presentation of the discovery at the University of Chile.

The osteoderms — structures of bony plaques located in the dermal layers of the skin – were aligned on either side of the tail, making it resemble a large fern.

Paleontologists have discovered 80 percent of the dinosaur’s skeleton and estimate that the animal lived in the area 71 to 74.9 million years ago. It was about two meters (almost seven feet) long, weighed 150 kilograms (330 pounds) and was a herbivore.

According to the scientists, who published their research in the journal Nature, the animal could represent a hitherto unknown lineage of armored dinosaur never seen in the southern hemisphere but already identified in the northern part of the continent.

“We don’t know why (the tail) evolved. We do know that within armored dinosaur groups there seems to be a tendency to independently develop different osteoderm-based defense mechanisms,” said Sergio Soto, another member of the team.

The Cerro Guido area, in the Las Chinas valley 3,000 km (1,800 miles) south of Santiago, stretches for 15 kilometers. Various rock outcrops contain numerous fossils.

The finds there allowed the scientists to surmise that present-day America and Antarctica were close to each other millions of years ago.

“There is strong evidence that there is a biogeographic link with other parts of the planet, in this case Antarctica and Australia, because we have two armored dinosaurs there closely related” to the Stegouros, said Soto.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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Chinese Rover Exploring What Appears to Be Cube-Shaped Object on Moon – Futurism

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There’s a Moon cube now! At least, it looks that way based on some intriguing photos from the Chinese lunar rover Yutu-2, released by the country’s space agency this week.

The photos show a distant object that looks like a perfect cube, and China say the rover is headed to check it out.

It’s worth worth noting a few caveats about the photo, spotted yesterday by space journalist Andrew Jones, who described the formation as a “cubic shape.” For one thing, the object is just a few pixels in the photo, meaning it could easily be some sort of optical illusion that’ll be a disappointment up close.

And China has struggled with lunar science communication in the past. In 2019, Yutu-2 “discovered” a “gel-like substance” on the lunar surface, but upon closer inspection it turned out to be, well, rocks. It also trumpeted the discover of a “shard” on the Moon earlier this year, but that turned out to just be another interesting rock. Did we mention that there’s not a lot other than rocks on the Moon?

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Jones, for his part, is managing expectations.

“So yeah, it’s not an obelisk or aliens, but certainly something to check out,” Jones tweeted in followup.

The idea of alien artifacts on the Moon runs deep in popular culture — remember that one scene in “2001: A Space Odyssey”? — but, needless to say, none have been found in reality.

The apparent cube sits in the Von Kármán crater, and China’s space program has been dubbed it, evocatively, the “mystery house.”

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Yutu-2 will spend two or three lunar days traveling to investigate the cube; lunar days are about 50 minutes longer than solar days on Earth.

Jones speculated that the object could be a boulder carved out by an asteroid impact, and posted a photo of a similarly sharply defined boulder found previously on the Moon’s surface.

CNET’s coverage of the most recent discovery agrees with Jones’ analysis, saying the most likely explanation is that the Moon cube is a boulder.

That’s not to say Yutu-2 hasn’t ever found anything cool. In 2019, CNET reported the rover discovered that the Moon’s surface was made of different materials than we previously thought, a discovery that could better predict how Earth’s internal layers might change over time.

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We’re not saying there isn’t weird stuff on the Moon. After all, we just recently found enough buried oxygen under its surface to sustain billions of people. But suffice it to say we aren’t holding our breath over Moon cube, and if it turns out to be anything other than a rock we’ll be really impressed.

More on space: Scientists Discover Enormous Black Hole Right Near Our Galaxy

Care about supporting clean energy adoption? Find out how much money (and planet!) you could save by switching to solar power at UnderstandSolar.com. By signing up through this link, Futurism.com may receive a small commission.

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A Surprisingly Large Number Of “Stars” You See In The Sky Are Actually Spacecraft – Wonderful Engineering

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Thousands of communication satellites are being designed and launched at a rapid pace. These satellites will have a negative impact on observational astronomy research and are likely to significantly disrupt recreational or traditional cultural stargazing.

If you look up in the sky, you might notice a sequence of bright star-like objects moving in a straight line. Those aren’t stars. They’re Starlink satellites, and they’ll soon be even more noticeable in the dark sky.

Samantha Lawler, assistant professor of astronomy at the University of Regina, recently wrote a piece in The Conversation warning that “one out of every 15 points” of light in the sky could someday be a satellite rather than a star. Moreover, she said he also thinks that satellite companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX’s Starlink will immensely impact space research.

“This will be devastating to research astronomy and will completely change the night sky worldwide,” she wrote.

Lawler’s forthcoming study will be published in The Astronomical Journal, which will show evidence for the adverse stargazing effects of satellite megaconstellations like SpaceX’s.

Given that firms like SpaceX offer internet to locations around the world that might otherwise be without it, Lawler believes that regulatory agencies should limit the number of visible satellites in orbit.

“Our perspective of the stars will soon be changed forever,” she added if that doesn’t happen.

“We can’t accept the global loss of access to the night sky, which we’ve been able to see and connect with for as long as we’ve been human,” she wrote.

Our orbit is clogged with space debris. Starlink’s satellites have to avoid space junk as well. Will legislators intervene to put a stop to it? If prior responses to existential concerns like climate change are any indication, it will be considered later rather than sooner.

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