Air Force gives 3D-printed rocket company Cape Canaveral launch pad

Relativity Space

Relativity Space, a startup that aspires to create 3D printed rockets, has secured a launch pad at Cape Canaveral. The company announced Thursday a five-year agreement with the US Air Force that will allow the company to operate out of Launch Complex 16 (LC-16) at the at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The startup is the fourth private company to be given access to LC-16, joining Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and the United Launch Alliance. By using the existing launch complex, Relativity Space believes it will save about four years that would have been required to build a launch pad from scratch, according to CNBC.

The company is aiming to launch its first payloads into low-Earth orbit by 2020. Its 3D-printed rocket, the Terran 1, is expected to be able to launch payloads of up to 2,700 pounds. Each launch will cost about $10 million, and Relativity Space already has over $1 billion in booked launches according to Axios.

It’s worth noting that Relativity Space CEO Tim Ellis was named by Vice President Mike Pence as a member of the National Space Council’s Users Advisory Group last year. Executives from SpaceX, Blue Origin and the United Launch Alliance are also members of the council.

via Engadget

January 17, 2019 at 03:27PM

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Google buys $40 million worth of smartwatch tech from Fossil Group

Google buys $40 million worth of smartwatch tech from Fossil Group

Valentina Palladino

Wearables have brought Google and the fashion-focused Fossil Group closer together. Today, Fossil announced it will sell intellectual property related to smartwatch technology to Google in a deal worth $40 million. Upon news of the deal, Fossil Group shares jumped about 8 percent today.

Along with the IP, a section of Fossil’s research and development team focused on wearables will join Google. However, the announcement highlights Google and Fossil’s “shared investment in the wearable industry,” which likely means that this deal will not quell Fossil’s wearable efforts entirely. Fossil Group—which includes Diesel, Armani, Skagen, and Michael Kors—has launched smartwatches running Wear OS and hybrid smartwatches across 14 of its brands.

Greg McKelvey, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy and Digital Officer at Fossil Group, said the following in a statement:

Fossil Group has experienced significant success in its wearables business by focusing on product design and development informed by our strong understanding of consumers’ needs and style preferences… We’ve built and advanced a technology that has the potential to improve upon our existing platform of smartwatches. Together with Google, our innovation partner, we’ll continue to unlock growth in wearables.

According to a report from Wareable, McKelvey stated the deal will bring about a “new product innovation that’s not yet hit the market.” This is reportedly based on technology that Fossil acquired from wearable company Misfit when it bought the startup for $260 million back in 2015.

All of Fossil’s digital-faced smartwatches run on Google’s Wear OS, so the two companies have already worked together for quite some time. But Fossil is one of many companies to develop “hybrid” smartwatches, most of which have analog faces and resemble traditional timepieces in most aesthetic ways.

However, they still have the internal tech necessary to track daily activity and sleep, as well as deliver smartphone alerts through vibrations, custom watch-hand movements, and other subtle techniques. These are features that Misfit devices already had when Fossil purchased the company. Some Misfit smartwatches and trackers even used side buttons to control smartwatch functions, like taking a photo with the phone’s camera or pausing music playback. While hybrid smartwatches don’t have touchscreen interfaces, run apps, or store music like Wear OS devices can, they excel in longevity by having battery lives that last months to years.

It’s possible that Google wants to look into the “hybrid” side of smartwatches. Google, strangely, hasn’t made its own Pixel smartwatch yet, so the company may want to see if and how it can incorporate some of Fossil’s technology into its next Google-made wearables.

Stacey Burr, Vice President of Product Management, Wear OS by Google said in a statement:

Wearables, built for wellness, simplicity, personalization and helpfulness, have the opportunity to improve lives by bringing users the information and insights they need quickly, at a glance. The addition of Fossil Group’s technology and team to Google demonstrates our commitment to the wearables industry by enabling a diverse portfolio of smartwatches and supporting the ever-evolving needs of the vitality-seeking, on-the-go consumer.

Embracing the “simplicity” of Fossil’s hybrid smartwatches could give Google an edge. The tech required to produce a hybrid smartwatch doesn’t need to be as advanced as that of a Wear OS device. Google may be able to grab the attentions of those who don’t want devices (like Wear OS watches or the Apple Watch) but rather more traditional, fashion-forward devices with a few high-tech abilities.

Currently, the battle between Wear OS and watchOS appears to favor Apple’s OS. Wear OS has the advantage of many styles and price points thanks to OEMs on both the tech and fashion ends creating smartwatches that run the OS. But watchOS has the advantage of Apple-made chips, meaning the Watch isn’t held back by Qualcomm’s apparent disinterest in making competitive wearable SoCs.

The deal is set to be finalized later this month.

via Ars Technica

January 17, 2019 at 03:31PM

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Apple loses patent case appeal, owes VirnetX $440M in FaceTime dispute

Group Facetime for up to 32 simultaneous participants, coming to iOS 12.1.

Group Facetime for up to 32 simultaneous participants, coming to iOS 12.1.

A federal appeals court has upheld a landmark patent judgment brought by VirnetX against Apple, affirming a

$440 million judgment

in a years-long patent dispute.

On Tuesday, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit denied Apple’s efforts to overturn a 2016 verdict that imposed $302 million in damages. That figure has since risen to encompass enhanced damages, interest, and more. Many would dub the Nevada-based VirnetX a “patent troll,” as it has no meaningful source of income outside of patent litigation.

Previously, a jury found that Apple’s VPN on Demand and FaceTime features infringed VirnetX patents. But the Patent Trial and Appeal Board has already invalidated VirnetX’s patents, which VirnetX is appealing.

Reuters noted Tuesday that Apple has vowed to appeal.

As Ars has previously reported, VirnetX had won three separate jury trials against Apple, all in the Eastern District of Texas, a longtime hotspot for patent-holding companies seeking to sue tech companies. The first was in 2012, when a jury awarded $368 million in damages and the judge granted an ongoing royalty of one percent. Both holdings were overturned on appeal, however.

In February 2016, the jury in a second trial sided with VirnetX in a $625 million verdict against Apple. But that verdict was thrown out by the trial’s judge, who didn’t approve of VirnetX lawyers’ references to the 2012 trial. A third trial was held in September 2016, and it resulted in a $302 million verdict, which is what the judge added to in his October 2017 judgment.

The case began way back in 2012 with four of VirnetX’s patents (1, 2, 3, 4), all of which originated at a company called Science Applications International Corporation, or SAIC.

via Ars Technica

January 16, 2019 at 04:51PM

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Monster 773 million-record breach list contains plaintext passwords

Monster 773 million-record breach list contains plaintext passwords

Getty Images

Have I Been Pwned, the breach notification service that serves as a bellwether for the security of login credentials, has just gotten its hands on its biggest data haul ever—a list that includes almost 773 million unique email addresses and 21 million unique passwords that were used to log in to third-party sites.

According to Have I Been Pwned founder Troy Hunt in a post published Wednesday, the monster list is a compilation of many smaller lists taken from past breaches and has been in wide circulation over the past week. It was also posted to the MEGA file sharing site. At least one of the included breaches dated back to 2015. Dubbed “Collection #1,” the aggregated data was likely scraped together to serve as a master list that hackers could use in credential stuffing attacks. These attacks use automated scripts to inject credentials from one breached website into a different website in hopes the holders reused the same passwords.

The 773 million email addresses and 21 million passwords easily beat Have I Been Pwned’s previous record breach notification that contained 711 million records. But there are other things that make this latest installment stand out. In all, it contains 1.16 billion email-password combinations. That means that the list covers the same people multiple times, but in many cases with different passwords. Also significant: the list—contained in 12,000 separate files that take up more than 87 gigabytes of disk space—has 2.69 billion rows, many of which contain duplicate entries that Hunt had to clean up.

About 663 million of the addresses have been listed in previous Have I Been Pwned notifications, meaning 140 million of the addresses have never been seen by the service before. Hunt said that some of his own credentials were included in Wednesday’s notification, although none were currently in use. Have I Been Pwned has now begun the non-trivial task of emailing more than 768,000 individuals who signed up for notifications and nearly 40,000 people who monitor domains. Anyone who hasn’t signed up can still check the status of an email address here.

A little reminder

“People will receive notifications or browse to the site and find themselves there and it will be one more little reminder about how our personal data is misused,” Hunt wrote. If—like me—you’re in that list, people who are intent on breaking into your online accounts are circulating it between themselves and looking to take advantage of any shortcuts you may be taking with your online security.”

Hunt said that one of the questions he gets asked the most is if he will divulge the password that accompanied the email address in a breach. He has steadfastly refused for a variety of good reasons. First, a lookup service that pairs user names and passwords would undoubtedly make his service a major target of hackers. It would also require him to store passwords in clear text, which is something no site should ever do. Have I Been Pwned does allow people to use this page to check if a specific text string has ever shown up in a breach notification, but for obvious reasons, it decouples the password from the email addresses that used it.

There’s no doubt Collection #1 is huge, but it can’t be precisely compared to other massive breaches. It’s tempting to compare it to hacks of Yahoo 

in 2013


again in 2014

that compromised 3 billion and 500 million accounts respectively, a hack in 2016 that revealed account details for

412 million accounts

on sex and swinger community site AdultFriendFinder, and the breach of Equifax that allowed hackers to steal data belonging to

147.9 million consumers

. But that’s in many respects an apples-to-oranges comparison, because Collection #1 was seeded by many smaller breaches, many of which were likely already disclosed.

That’s not to say Collection #1 isn’t significant. Despite its recycling of previously breached credentials, the widely available megalist no doubt makes it easier than ever for even unskilled miscreants to capitalize on the bevy of breaches that have occurred over the past decade.

The most effective thing people can do to secure their online accounts is to ensure that each one is protected by a long, randomly generated password that’s unique to each account. For most people, this means using a reputable password manager, although many security experts (including Hunt) say an old-fashioned notebook will work. The second most important thing people can do is to use multi-factor authentication on every site that allows it. Hunt has more advice about passwords here.

via Ars Technica

January 17, 2019 at 06:59AM

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Artists Are Making Awesome “Paintings” In Source Filmmaker

Source Filmmaker is famous for the Saxxy Awards and other machinima, but there’s a vibrant and fascinating scene using the program for “scenebuilding” (2D art) as well.

Given the vast array of other, more popular options out there for digital painting, this might seem an odd and even counter-productive way to make art. After all, SFM was built to make movies, not still images.

But what’s going on here isn’t the same. Scenebuilding isn’t painting. It’s not drawing, either. When artists are making static stuff in SFM, the experience is closer to set-dressing, or building a diorama; it’s more about composition and playing with existing elements and variables then creating something entirely new.

Here’s an example of how it works, courtesy of Croatian artist Eduard Tucaković. He made this Simon Stålenhag-inspired image last year:

Looks cool! But here’s what it looks like in SFM:

You can see how the objects have been arranged to line up perfectly at the point of capture, and how the lighting is scattered throughout.

An actual 3D artist might be looking at this thinking “um yes this is how it all works”, and that’s true! But the big difference here for fans and tinkerers is that Source Filmmaker is available for free, and is in many ways far easier to use than professional 3D software, especially when you consider the tutorials and guides members of the community have made to help folks get started.

There are drawbacks to scenebuilding, though. You’ll notice most images rely on existing 3D models and characters (especially those from Source Engine games like Left 4 Dead and Half-Life 2), which limits the scope of what can be achieved, and the raw results can sometimes be a bit rough, requiring a pass in Photoshop to clean up things like clipping errors.

And SFM itself can be a hassle. Valve hasn’t updated it since 2015 (it’s based on the original Source Engine), and it’s still not a 64-bit application, so users struggle with frequent crashes thanks to its limited memory usage. There is a SFM2, based on Source Engine 2, but so far the only game it supports is DOTA 2.

Some prominent scenebuilders are current or former game studio artists, who dabble in the hobby not as a replacement for existing skills, but just because it’s a fun way to fuck around with composition and make cool images. And while most of the stuff that’s getting used to create scenes has been salvaged from other games, there’s even an art to that process: random junk, from grass to bricks to crates, can be combined and lit to appear as though it’s an all-new object.

All of the images you’ve seen so far are the work of Tucaković, but if you want to check out more SFM work, you can take a look at the portfolios of artists like TeslaMen, XieAngel, PixelEgor and Ivw115 as well.

via Kotaku

January 16, 2019 at 04:03PM

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Electric Ford F-150 is in the works

We’ve known for sometime that there’s a

Ford F-150 hybrid

in the works, something we should see in about a year or so. But it seems the company has bigger electric plans for the truck, as the

Detroit Free Press reports Ford’s

president of global markets, Jim Farley, said a battery electric F-Series is coming in addition to the


. We reached out to a Ford representative who confirmed the truck is in development, adding, “We are constantly looking at new ways to better serve our truck customers, from materials to features to propulsion systems.”

Ford is making large investments in

electric vehicle

development, so although this is the first we’ve heard about an electric F-Series, it’s certainly not surprising. The company is also working on a full-electric


, and just

inked a deal with VW for EV development


There are still many unknowns, but something we know all too well is that the competition could be fierce.

Tesla has announced a truck

, and

details are nebulous

, but the company has a record of fast, long-range


. Upstart Rivian has also previewed

an electric truck with range up to 400 miles, towing capacity up to 11,000 pounds

and a price range between

about $70,000



. And having seen the prototype in person,

we’re quite impressed


That being said, we’re not particularly concerned about Ford’s take on an electric pickup truck, nor whether it will sell. The


is far and away the company’s

best-selling vehicle

, so even a small percentage of total sales would still equal a lot of sales.

Of course, nothing is truly certain, especially when details are scarce. We’ll certainly be watching development of this electric truck, and its competitors, closely.

Related Video:

via Autoblog

January 16, 2019 at 04:53PM

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Bwoop Bwoop: Google Maps Users Spotting Icons and Audible Alerts for Speed Traps

Spotted by at least one user, visual icons and audible warnings for speed traps are being displayed inside of Google Maps, bringing the app just a tiny bit closer to the awesomeness that is Waze.

According to this user, the speed traps icons are viewable when simply looking around an area and also during navigation. As you come closer to a speed trap, you apparently hear an audible alert, which is helpful when you’re driving and not eyeing your phone.

This appears to be a very limited rollout. I’ve looked on my phone inside of Google Maps and haven’t seen anything like this, but check yours and let us know if you spot anything.

Here’s a screenshot of what the icons look like.

// Android Police

via Droid Life: A Droid Community Blog

January 16, 2019 at 02:37PM

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