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Everything we know—and don’t—about Tom Cruise’s plans to film a movie in space

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Tom Cruise, at center, poses with NASA astronauts at the 2002 premiere of the IMAX film <em>Space Station 3D</em> at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. From left to right: Robert Curbeam, Marsha Ivins, Koichi Wakata, Scott Altman, Nancy Currie-Gregg, Bill Shepherd, Susan Helms, IMAX producer Toni Myers, James Voss, Yuri Usachov, Yuri Lonchakov, Jim Newman and Brian Duffy.

Enlarge / Tom Cruise, at center, poses with NASA astronauts at the 2002 premiere of the IMAX film Space Station 3D at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. From left to right: Robert Curbeam, Marsha Ivins, Koichi Wakata, Scott Altman, Nancy Currie-Gregg, Bill Shepherd, Susan Helms, IMAX producer Toni Myers, James Voss, Yuri Usachov, Yuri Lonchakov, Jim Newman and Brian Duffy. (credit: collectSPACE.com)

For some in the space community, it sounded like the rehash of an old rumor: “Tom Cruise Plots Movie To Shoot In Space…” read the headline of a Deadline Hollywood article published last month.

The “exclusive"—all three paragraphs of it—was short on details, but the mention of Cruise and space was all that was needed for other publications to want to run with the story and for social media to light up with the news.

But this was not the first time that had happened.

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lywyn
13 days ago
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Free trip to space thanks to idiots watching his crap movie
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Researchers say online voting tech used in 5 states is fatally flawed

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Voting machines are shown at a polling location on June 9, 2020 in West Columbia, South Carolina.

Enlarge / Voting machines are shown at a polling location on June 9, 2020 in West Columbia, South Carolina. (credit: Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

OmniBallot is election software that is used by dozens of jurisdictions in the United States. In addition to delivering ballots and helping voters mark them, it includes an option for online voting. At least three states—West Virginia, Delaware, and New Jersey—have used the technology or are planning to do so in an upcoming election. Four local jurisdictions in Oregon and Washington state use the online voting feature as well. But new research from a pair of computer scientists, MIT's Michael Specter and the University of Michigan's Alex Halderman, finds that the software has inadequate security protections, creating a serious risk to election integrity.

Democracy Live, the company behind OmniBallot, defended its software in an email response to Ars Technica. "The report did not find any technical vulnerabilities in OmniBallot," wrote Democracy Live CEO Bryan Finney.

This is true in a sense—the researchers didn't find any major bugs in the OmniBallot code. But it also misses the point of their analysis. The security of software not only depends on the software itself but also on the security of the environment on which the system runs. For example, it's impossible to keep voting software secure if it runs on a computer infected with malware. And millions of PCs in the United States are infected with malware.

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lywyn
20 days ago
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Shush if Trump sees this he will pass a law to make the mandatory!
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Quibi Cofounder Jeffrey Katzenberg Blames Pandemic for Streaming Service's Rough Start

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Quibi, the streaming app veteran executive Jeffrey Katzenberg started with Meg Whitman a little more than a month ago -- and for which it raised $1.8 billion -- is off to a rough start. From a report: Downloads have been anemic, despite a lineup that includes producers and stars like Jennifer Lopez, LeBron James, Idris Elba, Steven Spielberg and Chrissy Teigen. The service, which offers entertainment and news programs in five- to 10-minute chunks, was designed to be watched on the go by people who are too busy to sit down and stream TV shows or movies. It came out when millions of people were not going anywhere because of stay-at-home orders across the country. "I attribute everything that has gone wrong to coronavirus," Mr. Katzenberg said in a video interview. "Everything. But we own it." Quibi fell out of the list of the 50 most downloaded free iPhone apps in the United States a week after it went live on April 6. It is now ranked No. 125, behind the game app Knock'em All and the language-learning app Duolingo, according to the analytics firm Sensor Tower. Even with a free 90-day trial, the app has been installed by only 2.9 million customers, according to Sensor Tower. Quibi says the figure is more like 3.5 million. Of those who have installed the app, the company says 1.3 million are active users. Mr. Katzenberg expressed disappointment with those numbers. "Is it the avalanche of people that we wanted and were going for out of launch?" he said. "The answer is no. It's not up to what we wanted. It's not close to what we wanted." So nobody wants to use a short-form video app right now, except an increasingly growing number of people who are hooked to TikTok. Nobody wants to spend money on a service, but Quibi is free for first three months. Yeah, it's the coronavirus.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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lywyn
49 days ago
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Or other streaming services work on phones and TVs
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Duffy: Singer was ‘drugged for four weeks, raped and taken abroad’

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The singer says she was drugged and held for four weeks, and feared for her life.
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lywyn
86 days ago
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Doesn't want to name her attacker. Doesn't want to protect other women and warn the world of such a horrible person?
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The Pixel 5 may have a midrange Snapdragon 765G instead of a Snapdragon 865

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The revelations come from a teardown of the Camera app.

What you need to know

  • Google may not launch a flagship phone later this year.
  • Instead, the Pixel 5 series may have a Snapdragon 765G powering them.
  • It's unclear what the pricing of the new phones will be if this comes to pass, or what the fate of the Pixel Xa series will be.

According to a teardown of the Google Camera app on a pre-release version of the Pixel 4a obtained by 9to5Google, next year's Pixel phones may not be true-blue flagships, eschewing the Snapdragon 865 in favor of a Snapdragon 765G, the top-end of Qualcomm's midrange lineup.

The teardown revealed two files called "photo_pixel_2020_midrange_config" and "photo_pixel_2020_config." These are seemingly references to the Pixel 4a and Pixel 5 series, since Google's naming convention for the Pixel 3a and Pixel 4 was previously "photo_pixel_2019_midrange_config" and "photo_pixel_2019_config."

The device codenames corresponding to the "photo_pixel_2020_config" — by all accounts, Google's nomenclature for the 2020 'flagships' — are Bramble and Redfin, as per 9to5Google's breakdown. These codenames are also backed up by an investigation by @Cstark_27 on Twitter.

Where things get really interesting, though, is the fact that we've seen these codenames before. Back in January, the same codenames were discovered in the AOSP source code, with both Redfin and Bramble sporting a Snapdragon 765G. At the time, it wasn't clear if Google was just planning on releasing more midrange phones like the Pixel 4a in 2020 or if these were simply codenames for internal prototypes.

The reality, according to this latest report, is perhaps far stranger, and it looks like the company may entirely forego flagship offerings this year, with both the Pixel 5 and the Pixel 5 XL launching as midrange phones. Both phones will support 5G, however, thanks to the integrated 5G modem in the Snapdragon 765G.

If this is, indeed, true, it would undoubtedly be a significant departure from the company's direction so far. At the same time, since the biggest draw of the Pixel line is Google's software, it's certainly possible for the company to pull off many of the same camera tricks that it's achieved on the Pixel series with a less expensive but still very capable processor. It was, after all, able to do just that with the Pixel 3a.

How much these phones would, then, cost and what the change would mean for the future of any Pixel 5a remains to be seen.

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Google Pixel 4 & 4 XL

Pixel 4 From $799 at Amazon Pixel 4 XL From $899 at Amazon

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lywyn
107 days ago
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No flagship? Well plenty of others out there
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Google is helping the U.S. government build a coronavirus screening site

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The president made the announcement at a White House press conference on Friday.

What you need to know

  • Google will collaborate with the White House on a screening website for the novel-coronavirus.
  • The company has reportedly donated 1,700 engineers to the effort.
  • The website will help people who suspect they may have the virus find a testing site.

Google is collaborating with the United States government to make it easier for people who suspect they have contracted the novel-coronavirus (COVID-19) to see if they need to be tested.

TechCrunch reports:

The announcement was short on details, but the idea, it seems, is to give users the ability to enter their symptoms and see if they need additional testing. None of this sounds extremely complicated, but according to Trump, Google has 1,700 engineers working on this.

According to Debbie Birx, the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, users will have to log into this new screening website, fill out a screening questionnaire and risk factor questionnaire and then directed to a "drive through" testing facility.

In essence, it'll help streamline the process of determining whether you need to be tested for the virus or not and alleviate some panic for individuals who feel like they have some symptoms that match with that of the virus. While some governments like South Korea have engaged in aggressive testing, others have opted to wind down their testing under the assumption that the virus has been too widespread that any test would be meaningless.

The United States has yet to reach any decision point and has been criticized for its slow rollout of tests and perceived inaction in recent days. Measures like this will help inform what strategic changes may or may not be made further down the line.

Coronavirus and tech: Ongoing list of event cancellations, disruptions, product delays, and more

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lywyn
107 days ago
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Alphabet will not Google. Get the facts right if you are going to report stuff.
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