New submitter sumit sinha notes recent reports that Tesla may soon be joined again by Fisker in the world of high-end, all-electric car makers. According to a Reuters story, the Fisker Karma in something very close to its previously available form may be offered for sale again sometime soon. Says the article: The "new" Karma that California-based Fisker, acquired by Wanxiang earlier this year, is rushing to finish is based largely on the 2012 model, said the people, who asked not to be identified. Wanxiang’s top U.S. executive said in February the Karma would be reintroduced within a year. "It will have to be nearly identical to the 2012 model, or it would need to go through (safety) testing and certification again," a person close to Fisker’s suppliers said. "I don’t think they want to put a lot of engineering into it either, as well as probably use up some of the old parts that are in inventory." Close, but not exact,: Fisker does not plan to simply reintroduce the 2012 Karma, a source close to Fisker said. “Not 100 percent identical," the person said. "The new Karma will be different in many key areas. It will have noticeable upgrades." He declined to provide details. Using the 2012 Karma design could present problems given it has older features and technologies. "You’re not buying something that’s considered ‘state of the art’ necessarily," the supplier source said. "It’s a big hurdle to overcome."
After a 24-hour delay due to rain, NASA and SpaceX finally launched the Dragon spacecraft at 1:52 am ET at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on its three-day journey to the International Space Station. Now, you can watch the 15-minute spectacle thanks to NASA.
"There’s nothing like a good launch, it’s just fantastic," SpaceX’s Hans Koenigsman told NASA. "From what I can tell, everything went perfectly." Two minutes and 41 seconds into the flight, the Dragon’s nine Merlin 1D engines, tasked with providing enough power during the first stage, shut off as planned allowing a single Merlin engine to carry the craft all the way to orbit. All this action happens around the 3:30 mark.
The close-up view of the rocket launch makes it hard to actually envision its trajectory. Luckily photographers on the ground captured some amazing long-exposure images that show the Dragon spacecraft’s arc-shaped liftoff.
When astronauts Alexander Gerst and Reid Wisemen eventually intercept the Dragon capsule and retrieve it with the station’s robotic arm, they’ll be greeted with a treasure trove of goodies—2.5 tons of it to be precise. Aside from food and provisions that make a third of the cargo on board, Dragon will also deliver the ISS-RapidScat, a device designed to take readings of winds speeds over Earth’s oceans to help improve weather and hurricane forecasting.
The Dragon rocket’s most unique piece of cargo is space-friendly 3D printer, the very first of its kind. The cargo also carries elements needed to complete some 255 different scientific investigations, according to NASA, so the crew will have their hands full for the foreseeable future. [NASA]
Once, there was a golden age — not a golden age of martial arts, certainly, but a golden age of easy copywriting employment for anyone with a penchant for florid prose and a casual relationship with consensus reality.
There was no shortage of VR headsets at the Tokyo Game Show this year — but that didn’t stop the lines forming endlessly over the weekend. Hidden, at least slightly, in Hall 8 was Cyberith, demonstrating their now successfully crowdfunded VR gaming mat, the Virtualizer. It pairs a second-generation Oculus Rift headset with three different sensor arrays, which, with the assistance of a low-friction mat and some "rental socks" from the Cyberith team, we got to test it out. How does it work and (most importantly) when can the rest of you play it? Well, for the latter, a commercial product is planned for launch in 2015 and for the former, we’ll let the founders do some of the explaining in a quick video after the break. We’ll fill you in on the rest.
Running while strapped into the Virtualizer takes some skill — we weren’t entirely satisfied with our zombie-like gait. That said, we didn’t realize this until we saw the video above: the team is getting the immersion part very right. To ensure you’re able to rotate around and slide-jog in any direction, the wiring for the Oculus Rift headset is attached to an arm, meaning no wire-based mishaps, and making it feel kind of wireless — even though it’s still very much tethered.
Let’s break down the sensors at work inside the Virtualizer itself: there’s six holes in the flat base plate, with optical sensors tracking your feet. As they trace over these holes, the computer does the math to work out which way you’re attempting to virtually go. These sensors also work in tandem with those found in the ring that goes around your torso, monitoring the positioning and adjusting your in-game movement to match. The clever thing about Cyberith’s gaming setup, however, is the third sensor group, inside the trio of pillars keeping that torso ring up. Inside, sensors also monitor the height of the player — and because it’s sensor based, crouching becomes less of a toggle-based function, but something that could (depending on games that choose to use it) be an analogue range of motion.
Playing a demo inside the system was, well, fun. The horror-based demo we (literally) walked through, however, didn’t entail any sort of in-game controls: movement was all done through your legs and we liked the fact that you could also walk backwards, once you got the knack of walking-jogging on the spot. Depending on the movement speed of your feet, this directly translates to the game, although turning gently while moving appears to be something that needs a little training. This particular game wasn’t compatible with virtual movement, so we couldn’t crouch while strapped into the manbaby-bouncer, but Cyberith informs that it’s working to add full support to all movements inside virtual gaming worlds — and other VR-powered projects. Although you’re strapped into the thing, it doesn’t drag or weigh you down that much, as the pillars around the ring keep it supported for you. Kickstarter shipments are scheduled to arrive in March 2015 and to see some early demos of what they’re already working on, we’d advise taking a look at the team’s crowdfunding pitch below. 180-degree mid-game jumps are the future of gaming. We hope.
HughPickens.com writes On Friday evening, a man jumped the White House fence, sprinted across the North Lawn toward the residence, and was eventually tackled by agents, but not before he managed to actually enter the building. Now CBS reports that the security breach at the White House is prompting a new round of criticism for the Secret Service, with lawmakers and outside voices saying the incident highlights glaring deficiencies in the agency’s protection of the president and the first family. "Because of corner-cutting and an ingrained cultural attitude by management of ‘we make do with less,’ the Secret Service is not protecting the White House with adequate agents and uniformed officers and is not keeping up to date with the latest devices for detecting intruders and weapons of mass destruction," says Ronald Kessler. "The fact that the Secret Service does not even provide a lock for the front door of the White House demonstrates its arrogance." But the Secret Service must also consider the consequences of overreaction says White House correspondent Major Garrett. "If you have a jumper and he is unarmed and has no bags or backpacks or briefcase, do you unleash a dog and risk having cell phone video shot from Pennsylvania Avenue of an unarmed, mentally ill person being bitten or menaced by an attack dog?" But Kessler says Julia Pierson, the first woman to head the Secret Service, has some explaining to do. "If the intruder were carrying chemical, biological or radiological weapons and President Obama and his family had been in, we would have had a dead president as well as a dead first family."
The importance of email may have lessened with the rise of free messaging and social networking, but many of us still have to contend with stuffed inboxes on a daily basis. Some people keep their email inbox in check, while others let theirs overflow. We want to know how you manage your digital affairs, and the quickest shortcut to finding out is asking how many emails you currently have sitting in your inbox. We won’t judge you too harshly, as long as you’re honest with us… Apple Watch Apathy Watch To answer this week’s question please scroll down the page…
When I came across the Bttn on Indiegogo, I was immediately reminded of the “Easy Button” from Staples. For those unfamiliar with that advertising campaign, it features customers wanting to undertake a variety of tasks, and all the Staples employee has to do to help is push a big red button. http://ift.tt/eA8V8J