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Huawei Executive Accused of Helping Steal Trade Secrets
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '19 at 06:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's when-it-rains-it-pours department:
CNEX Labs, a Silicon Valley startup backed by Microsoft and Dell, is accusing high-level Huawei executive Eric Xu of participating in a conspiracy to steal its trade secrets (Warning: source paywalled; alternative source), reports The Wall Street Journal. From a report: The Journal quotes a newly released hearing transcript that offers some details in a largely locked-down trial. According to its write-up, CNEX claims that Xu -- one of Huawei's rotating chairmen -- "directed a Huawei engineer to analyze Cnex's technical information." The engineer then allegedly posed as a potential CNEX customer to obtain details about its operations. CNEX also says that Xu was briefed on a plot to surreptitiously gather information from Xiamen University, which had obtained a computer memory board from CNEX. According to the Journal, Huawei lawyers admitted that Xu had been "in the chain of command that had requested" information about CNEX, but they denied that any trade secrets had been stolen.

Huawei originally filed a lawsuit against CNEX co-founder Yiren "Ronnie" Huang in 2017, claiming Huang -- who left Huawei in 2013 -- had poached employees and used its patents to build CNEX's solid-state drive technology. CNEX counter-sued, claiming that Huawei had misappropriated its tech and was trying to gather even more information through the lawsuit.

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Apple Agrees To Notify iPhone Users If iOS Updates Will Affect Performance, UK Watchdog Says
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '19 at 06:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's planned-obsolescence department:
A UK watchdog group said on Wednesday that Apple has agreed to clearly notify consumers if future iOS software updates slow down or change the performance of an iPhone. CNBC reports: The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority investigated the issue after Apple said in early 2018 that it had deliberately slowed down processor speeds through a software update on some iPhones to extend battery life. Public pressure stemming from the revelation forced Apple to provide discounted $29 battery replacements that were cited by the company as one reason iPhone sales last holiday quarter were slower than expected. That program has ended.

"To ensure compliance with consumer law Apple has formally agreed to improve the information it provides to people about the battery health of their phones and the impact performance management software may have on their phones," the U.K. government said on its website. The CMA said that Apple is legally required to tell consumers about the software and battery health, something the company was already doing through software on the iPhone as well as a letter on its website.

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Phones Can Now Tell Who Is Carrying Them From Their Users' Gaits
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '19 at 04:50 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's more-and-more-intrusive department:
PolygamousRanchKid shares an excerpt from a report via The Economist: Most online fraud involves identity theft, which is why businesses that operate on the web have a keen interest in distinguishing impersonators from genuine customers. Passwords help. But many can be guessed or are jotted down imprudently. Newer phones, tablets, and laptop and desktop computers often have beefed-up security with fingerprint and facial recognition. But these can be spoofed. To overcome these shortcomings the next level of security is likely to identify people using things which are harder to copy, such as the way they walk. Many online security services already use a system called device fingerprinting. This employs software to note things like the model type of a gadget employed by a particular user; its hardware configuration; its operating system; the apps which have been downloaded onto it; and other features, including sometimes the Wi-Fi networks it regularly connects through and devices like headsets it plugs into.

< article continued at Slashdot's more-and-more-intrusive department >

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Consumer Reports: Latest Autopilot 'Far Less Competent Than a Human'
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '19 at 04:50 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's not-ready-for-prime-time department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: In recent weeks, Tesla has been pushing out a new version of Autopilot with automatic lane-change capabilities to Model 3s -- including one owned by Consumer Reports. So the group dispatched several drivers to highways around the group's car-testing center in Connecticut to test the feature. The results weren't good. The "latest version of Tesla's automatic lane-changing feature is far less competent than a human driver," Consumer Reports declares.

CR found that the Model 3's rear cameras didn't seem able to see very far behind the vehicle. Autopilot has forward-facing radar to help detect vehicles ahead of the car and measure their speed, but it lacks rear-facing radar that would give the car advance warning of vehicles approaching quickly from the rear. The result: CR found that the Model 3 tended to cut off cars that were approaching rapidly from behind. The vehicle also violated some Connecticut driving laws, the testers found. "Several CR testers observed Navigate on Autopilot initiate a pass on the right on a two-lane divided highway," writes CR's Keith Barry. "We checked with a law enforcement official who confirmed this is considered an 'improper pass' in Connecticut and could result in a ticket." The vehicle also failed to move back over to the right lane after completing a pass as required by state law, CR reports. Ultimately, driving with Autopilot's automatic lane-changing feature is "much harder than just changing lanes yourself," writes CR's Jake Fisher said. "Using the system is like monitoring a kid behind the wheel for the very first time. As any parent knows, it's far more convenient and less stressful to simply drive yourself."

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Millions of Golfers Land In Privacy Hazard After Cloud Misconfig
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '19 at 03:31 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's par-for-the-course department:
Millions of golfer records from the Game Golf app, including GPS details from courses played, usernames and passwords, and even Facebook login data, were all exposed for anyone with an internet browser to see -- a veritable hole-in-one for a cyberattacker looking to build profiles for potential victims, to be used in follow-on social-engineering attacks. Threatpost reports: Security Discovery researcher Bob Diachenko recently ran across an Elastic database that was not password-protected and thus visible in any browser. Further inspection showed that it belongs to Game Golf, which is a family of apps developed by San Francisco-based Game Your Game Inc. Game Golf comes as a free app, as a paid pro version with coaching tools and also bundled with a wearable. It's a straightforward analyzer for those that like to hit the links -- tracking courses played, GPS data for specific shots, various player stats and so on -- plus there's a messaging and community function, and an optional "caddy" feature. It's popular, too: It has 50,000+ installs on Google Play.

< article continued at Slashdot's par-for-the-course department >

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Crowdfunded Android Console Ouya Will Be Shut Down On June 25th
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '19 at 03:31 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's end-of-the-road department:
Razer, the gaming hardware manufacturing company that purchased Ouya's software assets in mid-2015, announced today that the crowdfunded Android console will cease functioning on June 25th. "That date will mark the unremarkable end of what began as a runaway Kickstarter success story: the inexpensive Ouya mini-console was powered by Android and introduced games such as TowerFall," reports The Verge. "But despite being positioned as the indie console, Ouya never quite took off after its $8.5 million crowdfunding campaign. The goal was to move Android's indie gaming scene to TV screens -- with exclusive Ouya-only titles mixed in -- but the execution didn't pan out." From the report: The hardware has been discontinued ever since Razer acquired Ouya's software assets in 2015. So it's somewhat surprising that the platform has continued to plod along for nearly four additional years. But that all ends next month. Accounts will be deactivated on June 25th. After that, Razer says "access to the Discover section will no longer be available. Games downloaded that appear in Play may still function if they do not require a purchase validation upon launch." But by and large, games on the Ouya platform will stop working after the cutoff date.

Razer notes that some developers might choose to help their Ouya customers by activating the same game on some other platform (i.e., Google Play) where available following the shutdown. Razer's own Forge TV device will continue functioning as an Android TV set-top box, but the Forge TV games store is also going offline come the 25th. Part of Razer's thinking behind the Ouya acquisition was to propel its long-term Android TV gaming ambitions. The company has clearly shifted its priorities over the last few years, as indicated by the decision to finally shut down Ouya once and for all.

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Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian Speaks Out Against 'Always-On' Work Culture
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '19 at 02:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's work-life-balance department:
At The Wall Street Journal's Future of Everything Festival on Tuesday, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian spoke out against the toxicity of "hustle porn" and how always-on work culture creates "broken" people. An anonymous reader shares an excerpt from the report: I've spoken out quite a bit about things like 'hustle porn,' and this ceremony of showing off on social [media] about how hard you're working," said Mr. Ohanian, who previously co-founded online discussion forum Reddit. "Y'all see it on Instagram and you certainly see it in the startup community, and it becomes really toxic." Business men in his position are rarely asked about juggling the requirements of their roles outside of work, like in their family, he said, and that contributes to unrealistic expectations that a job can reflect the entirety of anyone's identity as a human being.

< article continued at Slashdot's work-life-balance department >

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Hackers Are Holding Baltimore's Government Computers Hostage
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '19 at 02:11 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's stranger-than-fiction department:
On May 7, hackers infected about 10,000 of Baltimore city government's computers with an aggressive form of ransomware called RobbinHood, and insisted the city pay 13 bitcoin (then $76,280, today $102,310) to cut the computers loose. The hackers claimed the price would go up every day after four days, and after the tenth day, the affected files would be lost forever. From a report: "We won't talk more, all we know is MONEY!" the ransom note read. "Hurry up! Tik Tak, Tik Tak, Tik Tak!" But the city has not paid. In the two weeks since, Baltimore citizens have not had access to many city services. The city payment services and email systems are still offline. A May 7 Baltimore Sun report stated the Robbinhood ransomware used in this attack encrypts files with a "file-locking" virus so the hackers can hold the files hostage. Among the departments that have had issues with their email and phone systems are the Department of Public Works, the Department of Transportation, and the Baltimore Police Department.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Baltimore Health Department's epidemiologists aren't able to use the network that allows them to alert citizens of certain which types of drugs are causing recent overdoses. Many services have resumed through phone, and vital emergency systems like 911 and 311 reportedly continued to function. The ransomware froze the system the city uses for executing home sales, which reportedly hurt the local market, but the city began implementing a manual workaround earlier this week.

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How the World's First Digital Circuit Breaker Could Completely Change Our Powered World
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '19 at 12:51 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's moving-forward department:
This week the world's first and only digital circuit breaker was certified for commercial use. The technology, invented by Atom Power, has been listed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the global standard for consumer safety. This new breaker makes power easier to manage and 3000 times faster than the fastest mechanical breaker, marking the most radical advancement in power distribution since Thomas Edison.

From a report: Picture the fuse box in your basement, each switch assigned to different electrical components of your home. These switches are designed to break a circuit during an electrical overload to protect your lights and appliances. When this happens, you plod down to your mechanical room and flick the switches on again. Now multiply that simple system in your home to city high rises and industrial buildings, which might have 250 circuit breakers on any given floor, each one ranging from 15 to 4000 amps at higher voltages. At this scale, the limitations and dangers of a manually controlled power system become much more evident -- and costly.

Ryan Kennedy, CEO of Atom Power, has been working to build a better electrical system since he began his career 25 years ago, first as an electrician and then as an engineer and project manager on large, high profile commercial electrical projects. His experienced based inquiry has revolved around a central assertion that analog infrastructure doesn't allow us to control our power the way we should be able to. That idea has led to some pretty critical questions: "What would it take to make power systems controllable?" and "Why shouldn't that control be built in to the circuit breaker itself?"

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Google's Ad System Under EU Probe For How It Spreads Your Private Data
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '19 at 12:51 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's confrontation-on-each-turn department:
Ireland's data protection watchdog has launched an investigation into Google's collection of personal data for the purpose of online advertising. From a report: "A statutory inquiry pursuant to section 110 of the Data Protection Act 2018 has been commenced in respect of Google Ireland Limited's processing of personal data in the context of its online Ad Exchange," the Data Protection Commission said in a statement Wednesday. The DPC, one of the lead authorities over Google in the European Union, wants to know whether the search giant's "processing of personal data carried out at each stage of an advertising transaction" is in compliance with the EU's General Data Protection Regulation. The GDPR is a sweeping law that gives residents of the European Union more control over their personal data and seeks to clarify rules for online services.

The DPC inquiry follows a complaint filed in Europe in September by privacy-focused browser maker Brave that says Google violates GDPR by broadcasting personal information to companies bidding to show targeted ads. At the time, Google denied any wrongdoing. On Wednesday, Johnny Ryan, Brave's chief policy and industry relations officer, said the DPC inquiry signals a change is coming that goes beyond just Google. "We need to reform online advertising to protect privacy, and to protect advertisers and publishers from legal risk under the GDPR," Ryan said in a blog post.

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EE To Switch on UK's First 5G Network on May 30
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '19 at 12:51 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's marching-forward department:
UK mobile carrier EE announced its plans to launch 5G in the UK on Wednesday. The network will be switched on on May 30, with the first 5G phones available to preorder from today. From a report: EE's initial 5G rollout will focus on six cities (London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester), with promises to expand to 19 cities by the end of the year. EE CEO Marc Allera promised EE 5G customers would experience average download speeds of 156 Mbps. It will be "like having a lane of the motorway all to yourself," he said, speaking at an event in London. The first devices EE will offer on its 5G plans include the OnePlus 7 Pro, the Samsung Galaxy S10, the Oppo Reno 5G, the LG V50 ThinQ, a 5G home router and an HTC Wi-Fi device. Plans start from $68 per month (for 10GB of data) and extend up to $94 per month (for 120GB of data). Earlier this month, EE announced it would offer the Huawei Mate 20 X as one of the first 5G phones it offered to customers, but due to the developments earlier this week calling into question the future of Android on Huawei phones, the network has pulled them from its initial 5G device lineup. "We've put the Huawei devices on pause until we've got a bit more information on that," said Allera.

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Android and iOS Devices Impacted By New Sensor Calibration Attack
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '19 at 11:31 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's security-woes department:
A new device fingerprinting technique can track Android and iOS devices across the Internet by using factory-set sensor calibration details that any app or website can obtain without special permissions. From a report: This new technique -- called a calibration fingerprinting attack, or SensorID -- works by using calibration details from gyroscope and magnetometer sensors on iOS; and calibration details from accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer sensors on Android devices. According to a team of academics from the University of Cambridge in the UK, SensorID impacts iOS devices more than Android smartphones. The reason is that Apple likes to calibrate iPhone and iPad sensors on its factory line, a process that only a few Android vendors are using to improve the accuracy of their smartphones' sensors. "Our approach works by carefully analysing the data from sensors which are accessible without any special permissions to both websites and apps," the research team said in a research paper published yesterday. "Our analysis infers the per-device factory calibration data which manufacturers embed into the firmware of the smartphone to compensate for systematic manufacturing errors [in their devices' sensors]," researchers said. This calibration data can then be used as a fingerprint, producing a unique identifier that advertising or analytics firms can use to track a user as they navigate across the internet.

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Shareholder Efforts To Curb Amazon Facial Recognition Tech Fall Short
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '19 at 11:31 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's how-about-that department:
Two Amazon shareholder proposals about the company's controversial facial recognition technology failed to pass Wednesday, following a concerted push by civil rights groups and activist investors. From a report: One proposal would have banned Amazon from selling its Rekognition technology to government agencies unless it first determines the software doesn't infringe on civil liberties. The other proposal called for an independent study of the potential privacy and human rights violations caused by Rekognition. Both proposals were presented at Amazon's annual shareholder meeting in Seattle on Wednesday. The company said it isn't disclosing the vote tallies until this Friday.

"The fact that there needed to be a vote on this is an embarrassment for Amazon's leadership team. It demonstrates shareholders do not have confidence that company executives are properly understanding or addressing the civil and human rights impacts of its role in facilitating pervasive government surveillance," Shankar Narayan, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington's Technology and Liberty Project director, said in a statement. "While we have yet to see the exact breakdown of the vote, this shareholder intervention should serve as a wake-up call for the company to reckon with the real harms of face surveillance and to change course." Both proposals, which were non-binding, were long shots to pass, since Amazon's board said it was against the proposals. Major shareholders typically follow such positions to show support for the board. Also, CEO Jeff Bezos, Amazon's board chairman, is the company's biggest shareholder, controlling about 16% of its stock, and wasn't expected to vote for either proposal.

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Facial Recognition is Making Its Way To Cruise Ships
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '19 at 08:51 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's checking-up department:
On May 14, San Francisco became the first US city to ban police and government agencies from using facial recognition. On May 22, Amazon shareholders will vote on whether to restrict the company's sale of its own facial recognition software. But at cruise operator Royal Caribbean, facial recognition still has plenty of potential. From a report: Like some airlines, Royal Caribbean has started to roll out facial recognition and other technologies to streamline its boarding process. The company's SVP of digital, Jay Schneider, tells Quartz that the typical wait time to board is 10 minutes with a mobile boarding pass; less if the passenger opts into facial recognition by uploading a "security selfie." Before those additions, he says the typical wait time was around 90 minutes. "We wanted it to be a welcoming experience, such that the agent knows who you are when you're getting there," Schneider says, adding that the company wants to turn facial recognition "not into a stop and frisk moment, but into a way to welcome you on vacation, answer any questions, and let me just get you on your way." As people churn through the line faster with mobile boarding passes and facial recognition, the rest of the line benefits as well -- that 90-minute wait will average more like 20 minutes for even those passengers boarding the old-fashioned way. Schneider says Royal Caribbean deletes security selfies at the end of each trip, to avoid storing data any longer than necessary. Royal Caribbean has also rolled out mobile boarding to board its crew members; Schneider says the technology saves the company 50,000 crew hours each year.

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Indonesia Restricts WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram Usage Following Deadly Riots
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '19 at 08:51 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's tussle-continues department:
Indonesia is the latest nation to hit the hammer on social media after the government restricted the use of WhatsApp and Instagram following deadly riots yesterday. From a report: Numerous Indonesia-based users are today reporting difficulties sending multimedia messages via WhatsApp, which is one of the country's most popular chat apps, and posting content to Facebook, while the hashtag #instagramdown is trending among the country's Twitter users due to problems accessing the Facebook-owned photo app. Wiranto, a coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs, confirmed in a press conference that the government is limiting access to social media and "deactivating certain features" to maintain calm, according to a report from Coconuts. Rudiantara, the communications minister of Indonesia and a critic of Facebook, explained that users "will experience lag on Whatsapp if you upload videos and photos." Facebook -- which operates both WhatsApp and Instagram -- didn't explicitly confirm the blockages , but said it has been in communication with the Indonesian government.

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EPA Plans To Get Thousands of Pollution Deaths Off the Books by Changing Its Math
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '19 at 08:51 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's how-about-that department:
The Environmental Protection Agency plans to change the way it calculates the health risks of air pollution, a shift that would make it easier to roll back a key climate change rule because it would result in far fewer predicted deaths from pollution, New York Times reported this week, citing five people with knowledge of the agency's plans. From the report: The E.P.A. had originally forecast that eliminating the Obama-era rule, the Clean Power Plan, and replacing it with a new measure would have resulted in an additional 1,400 premature deaths per year. The new analytical model would significantly reduce that number and would most likely be used by the Trump administration to defend further rollbacks of air pollution rules if it is formally adopted. The proposed shift is the latest example of the Trump administration downgrading the estimates of environmental harm from pollution in regulations. In this case, the proposed methodology would assume there is little or no health benefit to making the air any cleaner than what the law requires. Many experts said that approach was not scientifically sound and that, in the real world, there are no safe levels of the fine particulate pollution associated with the burning of fossil fuels.

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US Judge Says Qualcomm Violated Antitrust Law
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '19 at 07:31 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's up-next department:
Qualcomm illegally suppressed competition in the market for smartphone chips by threatening to cut off supplies and extracting excessive licensing fees, a U.S. judge ruled, a decision that could force the company to overhaul its business practices. From a report: The decision issued late Tuesday night by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, caused Qualcomm shares to plunge 9.5 percent in early trading on Wednesday. "Qualcomm's licensing practices have strangled competition" in parts of the chip market for years, harming rivals, smartphone makers, and consumers, Koh wrote in a 233-page decision. She ordered the San Diego-based company to renegotiate licensing agreements at reasonable prices, without threatening to cut off supplies, and ordered that it be monitored for seven years to ensure its compliance. Qualcomm said it will immediately ask Koh to put her decision on hold, and also seek a quick appeal to the federal appeals court in California. "We strongly disagree with the judge's conclusions, her interpretation of the facts and her application of the law," general counsel Don Rosenberg said in a statement.

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ARM Memo Tells Staff To Stop Working With Huawei
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '19 at 06:11 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's tussle-continues department:
UK-based chip designer ARM has told staff it must suspend business with Huawei, according to internal documents obtained by the BBC. ARM instructed employees to halt "all active contracts, support entitlements, and any pending engagementsâ with Huawei and its subsidiaries to comply with a recent US trade clampdown. From a report: ARM's designs form the basis of most mobile device processors worldwide. In a company memo, it said its designs contained "US origin technology." As a consequence, it believes it is affected by the Trump administration's ban. One analyst described the move, if it became long-term, as an "insurmountable" blow to Huawei's business. He said it would greatly affect the firm's ability to develop its own chips, many of which are currently built with ARM's underlying technology, for which it pays a licence.

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Trump Administration Considers Banning Another Major Chinese Firm
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '19 at 06:11 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's another-one-bites-the-dust department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNBC: The U.S. administration is considering limits to Chinese video surveillance firm Hikvision's ability to buy U.S. technology, the New York Times reported on Tuesday, in a move that deepens worries about trade frictions between the world's two top economies. The move would effectively place Hikvision on a U.S. blacklist and U.S. companies may have to obtain government approval to supply components to Hikvision, the paper said. The U.S. Commerce Department blocked Huawei Technologies from buying U.S. goods last week, effectively banning U.S. companies from doing business with the Chinese firm, a major escalation in the trade war, saying Huawei was involved in activities contrary to national security.

Hikvision and Dahua Technology which produce audio-visual equipment that can be used for surveillance were specifically cited in a letter to Trump's top advisers last month, signed by more than 40 lawmakers. The lawmakers said China's actions in its western region of Xinjiang "may constitute crimes against humanity" and urged tighter U.S. export controls to ensure that U.S. companies are not assisting the Chinese government's crackdown there. The issue stems around the facilities in China that "U.N. experts describe as mass detention centers holding more than 1 million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims," reports CNBC. "Beijing has said its measures in Xinjiang, which are also reported to include widespread surveillance of the population, are aimed at stemming the threat of Islamist militancy. The facilities or camps that have opened are vocational training centers, the government has said."

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SpaceX's Starhopper Moves Closer To Its First Flight
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '19 at 02:10 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's grab-your-popcorn department:
SpaceX is planning to launch test flights of its Starhopper test vehicle to a height of up to 16,400 feet. "The short tests, which will take place out of SpaceX's launch site in Boca Chica, Texas, will send the rocket to just under 1,640 feet (500 meters) high for its low-altitude flights and up to 16,400 feet (5,000 meters) high for its high-altitude flights," reports The Verge, citing a modified application filed with the FCC. The heights match those that the company indicated in a similar filing last year. From the report: The Starhopper is a very basic version of Starship, the massive passenger rocket that SpaceX wants to build to send people to the Moon and Mars. In order to prepare for the first Starship's flight to space, SpaceX has been tinkering with the test Starhopper in Boca Chica. The vehicle boasts a similar structure to the final rocket, though it's slightly smaller in size. Starhopper's most important task is to test out the new, powerful Raptor engines that SpaceX has developed for the future deep-space rocket.

SpaceX fired up a Raptor engine on the bottom of the Starhopper for the first time in April. It only lifted a few inches since the vehicle was tethered to the ground. But now, SpaceX plans to perform what are known as "hop" tests with the vehicle (hence the nickname Starhopper), which will send the rocket to a low altitude above the Earth. The company will then attempt to touch the Starhopper back down on the ground with the vehicle's three landing legs. The idea is to test out the landing capabilities the rocket's going to use to touch down on Earth and other worlds. SpaceX performed similar tests with a vehicle known as Grasshopper back in 2012 and 2013 to try out the landing technique its Falcon 9 rockets now use.

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