A Fully 3D-Printed Rocket Is Not as Crazy as it Seems. Investors Agree.

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60 days.

That’s how long it will take to produce and launch a rocket if the parts are 3D printed, according to the CEO of Relativity Space, a startup that seeks to do just that.

Flying something made completely of 3D-printed parts into space sounds, frankly, pretty bonkers. But investors are on board. The Los Angeles-based startup recently secured $ 35 million to go ahead with its plan to produce a fleet of spacecraft using one of the largest 3D printers known to man, known as Stargate.

Relativity is not the first company to bring 3D printing to space. SpaceX has done it for its reusable rockets, and even NASA is looking into which spacecraft parts can be made more reliably and cheaply by 3D printers.

But Relativity stands alone in that it wants to print nearly all of a rocket — 95 percent of it — and by cutting the number of components that go into it, from from 100,000 to fewer than 1,000.

Since its launch in 2015, the company has raised more than $ 45 million, promising to speed up the production of rockets. The company plans to use this most recent cash infusion to buy a second Stargate printer, and to grow its staff.

A first round of tests on the company’s 3D-printed Aeon engines should be carried out before the end of the year. Relativity wants to put nine of those engines on its Terran rocket, which will have a 3D-printed booster, too. The company expects that each launch will cost about $ 10 million.

Relativity aims to send about 1,250 kg (2,756 pounds) into orbit. That’s minuscule compared to SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy payload of 64,000 kg (64 metric tons, or 141,096 lbs), which is more than 50 times bigger, but quite a bit larger than the smallest rockets around, which can carry up to 150 kilograms.

But that’s just fine for Relativity. The company wants to tap into different markets, mostly launching commercial telecommunication satellites into low orbit, and feels no compulsion to compete with the likes of SpaceX or NASA. And if you consider that NASA recently made it clear that it has no intention of buying SpaceX’s rockets, Relativity’s plan seems to be a safer bet.

One day, Ars Technica reports, the startup hopes to send its rockets to Mars and back. But for now, it’s secured a solid foot on Earth, with a 20-year lease of NASA’s 25-acre E4 Test Complex at Stennis Space Center, in Mississippi.

Relativity plans to launch a first test flight by the end of 2020, Ars Technica notes. Should that be successful, commercial launches will begin in 2021.

The post A Fully 3D-Printed Rocket Is Not as Crazy as it Seems. Investors Agree. appeared first on Futurism.

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Google seems to have pulled back the web Play Store redesign (thank goodness!)

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

A couple of weeks ago, Google started rolling out a new Play Store redesign on the web. On the face of it, it looked a little cleaner, but try to use it for one minute and you’d hate everything about it. Now it appears that Google has pulled it back. None of us can get the new design to show up again, regardless of how many listings and browsers and devices we try on; we’re all back to the previous Play Store look on the web.

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Google seems to have pulled back the web Play Store redesign (thank goodness!) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Boycotting digital monopolies like Facebook is harder than it seems

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

You may have heard of the #DeleteFacebook campaign, but you, like me, are probably among the vast majority of Facebook’s nearly 2 billion users who probably won’t actually follow through. CEO Mark Zuckerberg even has the data to prove it, telling The New York Times yesterday that he hasn’t seen a “meaningful number of people” deleting their accounts.

Amid the ongoing data privacy scandal surrounding the Trump-connected firm Cambridge Analytica, tech critics and users alike are revisiting the concept of leaving Facebook and extracting ourselves from one of the world’s most pervasive advertising empires. The decision to delete Facebook boils down to two questions: 1. Has Facebook lost the necessary trust to be a steward of our personal…

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There’s a currency miner in the Mac App Store, and Apple seems OK with it

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

Enlarge / A version of Calendar 2 downloaded on Sunday from the Mac App Store.

Resource-draining currency miners are a regular part of the Google Play market, as scammers pump out apps that covertly harness millions of devices, in some cases with malware so aggressive it can physically damage phones. A popular title in the Mac App Store recently embraced coin mining openly, and so far Apple gatekeepers haven’t blocked it.

The app is Calendar 2, a scheduling app that aims to include more features than the Calendar app that Apple bundles with macOS. In recent days, Calendar 2 developer Qbix endowed it with code that mines the digital coin known as Monero. The xmr-stack miner isn’t supposed to run unless users specifically approve it in a dialog that says the mining will be in exchange for turning on a set of premium features. If users approve the arrangement, the miner will then run. Users can bypass this default action by selecting an option to keep the premium features turned off or to pay a fee to turn on the premium features.

Feels like the first time

If Calendar 2 isn’t the first known app offered in Apple’s official and highly exclusive App Store to do currency mining, it’s one of the very few. The discovery comes as sky-high valuations have pushed the limits of currency mining and led to a surge of websites and malware that surreptitiously mine digital coins on mobile devices, personal computers, and business servers. Calendar 2 is slightly different in the sense that it clearly discloses the miner it runs by default. That puts it in a grayer zone than most of the miners seen to date.

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Cash For Apps: Make money with android app

Apple Pay Cash Seems To Have Begun Its International Rollout

Apple Pay Cash, Apple’s alternative to PayPal, which allows users to send and receive money among themselves using Apple Pay, appears to be rolling out in a host of new countries today.

[ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]

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[Update: Now official, more devices supported] Google releasing ARCore 1.0 at MWC, but it seems to be rolling out early

Cash For Apps: Make money with android app

Google has grown increasingly fond of virtual and augmented reality, culminating in its release of the ARCore SDK last year. ARCore was meant to democratize AR, giving more phones the ability to do it without having to rely on extra hardware as in the case of project Tango (which is now dead).

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[Update: Now official, more devices supported] Google releasing ARCore 1.0 at MWC, but it seems to be rolling out early was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android Police – Android news, reviews, apps, games, phones, tablets

Google reportedly releasing ARCore 1.0 at MWC, but it seems to be rolling out early [APK Download]

Cash For Apps: Make money with android app

 

Google has grown increasingly fond of virtual and augmented reality, culminating in its release of the ARCore SDK last year. ARCore was meant to democratize AR, giving more phones the ability to do it without having to rely on extra hardware as in the case of project Tango (which is now dead). Now according to an exclusive report from Variety, Google is planning on pushing hard for AR at the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, including the release of v1.0 of ARCore on the Play Store.

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Google reportedly releasing ARCore 1.0 at MWC, but it seems to be rolling out early [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android Police – Android news, reviews, apps, games, phones, tablets

Android’s ‘Check for update’ button seems to be working after Google Play Services 12.2.09 update

Google Pixel 2 XL hands-on review

Last year, Google said that Android’s “Check for update” button would be fixed to actually pull an update if there was one available for your phone. Google then said a few months later that the button was broken but that it’d be fixed in 2018. Now it looks like the button is indeed working.

Google Play Services version 12.2.09 appears to enable the “Check for update” button. The update isn’t rolling out to the public quite yet, but it is available in beta. You can get it by joining the Play Services beta on the Play Store or by side loading it from APK Mirror.

Google hasn’t officially announced that Play Services v12.2.09 fixes the “Check for update” button, but many people that’ve installed it on their phones have had success pulling the February 2018 update.

It can be super frustrating when you know that there’s a new update available for your phone but hitting the “Check for update” button doesn’t pull it down. That’s why it’s great to see that Google is finally making the button work for its device. Now when there’s a new feature or security patch that you want, you should be able to snag it right away.

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WATCH: Man Bites Smartphone Battery, Seems Shocked When It Explodes in His Face

A man, for some reason, decided to bite a smartphone battery this past Friday. In a somewhat predictable turn of events, the battery exploded into a ball of flames.

And no, this isn’t a joke. The bizarre incident actually took place in a Chinese electronics store this past Friday, Jan. 19. A man was reportedly shopping for a replacement battery for his iPhone when he decides to take a closer look at it..

After examining it, he inexplicably decides to put the battery in his mouth and bite it (supposedly to “test its authenticity,” Taiwan News reported).

The battery explodes and ball of flame engulfs the man and his female companion.
Video of the inadvisable act surfaced on Chinese social media over the weekend. See it below.

Thankfully, local media reports that no one was injured in the blast. News outlets did note that the explosion “startled” many in the store — because, of course, a spontaneous explosion is going to startle people. Indeed, even the man who bit the battery seemed shocked at the sudden ball of flames.

The man’s teeth likely caused a catastrophic failure of the battery, which as we’ve seen before, can result in spontaneous fires or even full-fledged explosions.

Last month, Apple admitted that it throttled older iPhones as their batteries age. As a result, many iPhone owners began to look into replacing their device’s batteries — either via Apple’s discounted program, or through third-parties.

But Chinese electronics stores are infamous for stocking fake components. Still, it’s unclear what the man was testing for. While counterfeit or faulty batteries are prone to catching fire or exploding, biting a battery is not going to reveal its durability or authenticity — and most batteries will explode if sufficiently damaged. Higher-quality batteries are not somehow more bite-resistant.

We don’t know if the battery blew up because it was fake, or because the man decided to sink his teeth into it — but if we had to guess, biting it probably played a part. “The battery is not gold, why are you biting it?” one Chinese commenter chided online.

So, yes. You should not bite smartphone batteries. You shouldn’t stab, poke or otherwise damage smartphone batteries in any way. Take one man’s mistake as a warning, and be grateful that it’s a lesson most of us don’t have to learn the hard way.

iDrop News

‘Rusty Lake Paradise’ Review – Where Everyone Knows Everyone and Nothing is What it Seems

There is a good reason why each of the premium titles that were created by the Cube Escape [Free] developer bear the name Rusty Lake. Seeing this name should evoke the same sort of gut reaction upon seeing the words Twin Peaks. For those of you who are familiar with either of those names, you know you are in for a surreal cult series that is designed to bend the edges of reality. The tv show is a classic and broke new ground, and while Rusty Lake Paradise [$ 2.99] is only a sequel it does offer a lot of new story and of course new puzzles to solve as well.

In Rusty Lake Paradise, you are prodigal son Jakob Eilander returning to Paradise Island attempting to rid your family of a series of plagues that are all quite biblical in nature. You will solve puzzles, many simple, some quite difficult in order to accomplish your goals and save your family from a terrible fate. As you venture from one plague to another, you will retread your paths on the island but also open up new and disturbing avenues to explore.

The term gamebook has risen in use in recent years to describe a genre of games whose mechanics are either light or are mainly existant to push a narrative forward. Whereas some puzzle games, like the Professor Layton Games[$ 15.99] or The Room [$ 0.99 (HD)], push the gameplay to the forefront, Rusty Lake Paradise puzzles exist as a means to an end of story telling. I would contend that in many ways this makes this game a sort of Puzzlebook where you are guided through a story line via the means of relatively muted gameplay characteristics. There do not seem to be any side-quest or side-path puzzles that you can pursue as an alternative, the main story is always the focal point of the game.

The story and setting and feeling of the game is very much the centerpeice and heart of Paradise. The music actually reminds me in many ways of the dreary drone of Banner Saga [$ 9.99] which is a massive compliment. One thing that always impressed me with Banner Saga was how much a theme of sadness and defeat can really imprint on someone when the proper tools are used in the right way. Paradise does not deal so much with sadness as it does with weirdness and a certain sense of austerity that you cant find much of outside of an Edgar Allen Poe peice. Much like Poe, I think Paradise can be considered in many ways a work of gothic horror even if you dont have jump scares and even though it is not billed as a horror game.

I realize as I am writing that I really have not gotten into the story or really even the gameplay of Paradise and I don’t think I will very much. There are some spoiler-y things that would better be left to the player to uncover for themselves and as I before mentioned, the gameplay of the puzzles is muted. Some are more difficult than others but they don’t seem to be the primary focus of the game. It would be nice to get a hint system like the Layton games have, but I can understand that it might in some way clutter up the interface which is very very minimal and clean.

The artwork in the game is of that same gothic fabric the music seems to be made of. It is a delight to watch and listen as the weaving of the two set the characters and the scenes into a universe that seems fundamentally absurd and yet in some ways plausible. There are some nice visual indicators that eventually make sense only after coming back to a location the 2nd or 3rd time and some that while unresolved seem completely baffling. Even though the same locations are used and reiterated on in each plague, the scenery evolves and subtle changes are made that tell a visual story of the impact each plague has on the island.

One thing I will mention regarding gameplay is that the inventory system and item management is the same as previous games and it works very well. Tap an item in the inventory to highlight it and use it on the next thing you tap outside the inventory. Not exactly groundbreaking, but its a good way to implement a non-intrusive item management into a stripped down puzzle interface. A negative thing I noticed is that there were a few instances where simple trial and error carried me through some of the puzzles rather than having an underlying logic that I could discern.

As one would expect of a gamebook, Paradise does not consume large amounts of processing power and sits at a lean 108MB on my iPhone 6+. Battery drain did not increase after having the app running on my phone for several hours and you should really not see any type of additional battery loss by running this game that wouldn’t be consistent with a small to midrange sized game.

Paradise stands as a solid stardard bearer for the Rusty Lake brand. As a stand alone installment, this is as good a place as any to get into the narrative feel and personality behind these games. For veterans of this series of games you will find nods and small connections to the predecessors of Paradise. If you are looking for a dark story with some themes of rituals, biblical plagues, family secrets and a few highlights of puzzle gameplay, you are going to fit right in with what this game offers. While I wouldn’t reccommend for very young children I was able to play this game in front of my gradeschool aged kids with a few caveats and explanations of certain events. It’s a great addition to the Rusty Lake cult series of strangeness and worthy of a few bucks for the avid gamebook enthusiast!

TouchArcade