Richard Branson's commercial spaceflight company Virgin Galactic literally soared to new heights during a Thursday morning test flight of its rocket-powered SpaceShipTwo space plane. It returned safely to Earth after the flight."SpaceShipTwo, welcome to space," the company tweeted during live coverage of the flight from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California. The space claim is a bit of a gray area. SpaceShipTwo, named the VSS Unity, hitched a ride on Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo aircraft before separating and taking off under its own power. The winged spaceship reached 51.4 miles (82.7 kilometers) above the surface of Earth and achieved a speed of Mach 2.9. The rocket motor burned for 60 seconds.NASA says space starts at roughly 62 miles (100 kilometers) above sea level, but SpaceShipTwo's pilots likely experienced microgravity during the journey. Virgin Galactic preps for space Virgin Galactic could beat SpaceX to major milestone Thursday Virgin … [Read more...] about Virgin Galactic plane touches edge of space in historic test flight
Autonomous vehicles were supposed to make driving safer, and they may yet—some of the more optimistic research indicates self-driving cars could save tens of thousands of lives a year in the U.S. alone. But so far, a recklessness has defined the culture of the largest companies pursuing the technology—Uber, Google, and arguably even Tesla—and has led directly to unnecessary crashes, injury, even death. Let’s be clear about this, because it seems to me that these companies have gotten a bit of a pass for undertaking a difficult, potentially ‘revolutionary’ technology, and because blame can appear nebulous in car crashes, or in these cases can be directed toward the humans who were supposed to be watching the road. These companies’ actions (or sometimes, lack of action) have led to loss of life and limb. In the process, they have darkened the outlook for the field in general, sapping public trust in self-driving cars and delaying the rollout of … [Read more...] about The Deadly Recklessness of the Self-Driving Car Industry
As 2018 comes to a close, it's interesting to watch various parties attempting to analyze the reasons behind Microsoft's "comeback." It's the change in culture, some argue. It's the focus on open source, say others. It's because Microsoft is (or isn't) the next IBM, armchair pundits pundicize.My take: Microsoft has evolved into an interesting blend of practicality and aspiration. And this combination is what makes Microsoft tick these days. It is driving the company's acquisitions, its new product launches and its retrenchments.Instead of filing my usual look back/look ahead column, I've decided to try to encapsulate some of the lesser-understood but important business and strategy changes Microsoft instituted recently and is likely to continue into 2019 as my annual Microsoft year-end wrap.Since Satya Nadella took the CEO spot almost five years ago, it's been hard to avoid reading about Microsoft's new mission statement: Empower every person and every organization on the planet to … [Read more...] about What makes Microsoft tick?
The iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR phones are updates to last year's iPhone X, 8 and 8 Plus. The iPhone XS retains the familiar design of the iPhone X, including a 5.8-inch OLED display and stainless-steel sides. Apple also offers a larger version of the XS with a 6.5-inch OLED display called the iPhone XS Max. With a footprint about the same size as the iPhone 8 Plus (though the older phone has a smaller 5.5-inch LCD display), the iPhone XS Max has the largest display found on any current iPhone. iPhone XS features vs. XS Max, XR, X 19 Photos The iPhone XS and XS Max come in silver, space gray and gold. Apple opted for more of a straw-colored gold this time than previous gold iPhone models, which skewed closer to copper.Then, there's the iPhone XR, which has a 6.1-inch LCD display and an aluminum and glass body instead of the stainless steel and glass of the XS and XS Max. The iPhone XR comes in white, black, coral, yellow, blue and red (Product Red) and cost … [Read more...] about iPhone XS specs vs. XS Max, XR, X: What’s the same and different
Hot Links We spend way too much time on the internet ESPN’s Outside The Lines reporters can’t see us, but the entire Takeout staff has heaved our butts off our ergonomic office chairs and is collectively applauding their investigative efforts. Today, those intrepid sports reporters dropped a massive, in-depth analysis of food-safety violations at major-league sports stadiums. Bottom line: We may never eat a stadium hot dog again. The extensive report examined food-safety inspections from 2016-2017 at all 111 North American pro sports arenas, which amounted to nearly 17,000 inspections. While the vast majority had better overall inspection ratings than other food venues in their areas, “at about 28 percent of the venues, half or more of their food service outlets incurred one or more high-level violations, the type of unsanitary conditions or omissions that can pose a risk for a foodborne illness.” These include beer leaking through ceilings, bartenders … [Read more...] about We’re never eating stadium food again