Big Tech &
New details and images emerge of SpaceX’s Starlink user antennas and planned beta testing (5 minute read)
Images of Starlink's user terminals were found on SpaceX's Starlink website. They look like a 'UFO on a stick', just as Elon Musk had once described. Musk noted that the design had slightly changed since the images were produced. The terminals have motors to self-orient for optimal view angle and won't require an expert installer. Private beta testing for the network is expected to begin later this summer, with a public beta following soon. Beta testers will receive a Starlink kit, Wi-Fi router, power supply, and mounts for the system. They will be required to test the system between 30 minutes to an hour each day and provide feedback to SpaceX. Beta testers won't be charged for their terminals, but they will have to pay $1 to test out SpaceX's billing system.
Microsoft to launch xCloud streaming free with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate in September (6 minute read)
Microsoft will launch xCloud free to its Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers in September. xCloud lets Xbox players play games on mobile devices, even allowing users to transfer sessions from console over to mobile. Subscribers will receive Xbox Live access, an Xbox Game Pass subscription, and xCloud game streaming for a single $14.99 monthly subscription. Over 100 Xbox Game Pass titles will be playable on xCloud on launch.
Wireless Tiny Cameras Can Be Mounted On Insects (5 minute read)
Researchers from the University of Washington have mounted light-weight low-res cameras on the backs of flying beetles. The cameras stream footage using Bluetooth at around one to five frames per second at a resolution of 160 by 120 pixels. While the insects cannot be controlled, a swarm of camera-mounted insects would enable comprehensive monitoring or mapping of a large area. The camera is powered by a lithium-polymer battery that can stream for over an hour. It has an accelerometer so it can be programmed to only capture footage when the beetle is moving, potentially extending the battery life to up to six hours. Using live beetles is currently more practical than building tiny flying robots as mobility drains the battery a lot.
In the deep sea, scientists discover one of the blackest materials ever known (5 minute read)
Scientists have discovered 16 species of deep-sea fish that camouflage themselves with skin that reflects less than 0.5 percent of the light that hits it. Their darkness is caused by a distinct arrangement of melanin, a pigment also found in human skin, creating a structural light trap. Capturing these fish has proven difficult due to their low visibility and the depths that they live in. The darkest material known to man is still a material created by engineers from MIT which absorbs more than 99.96 percent of light.
Programming, Design & Data Science
css-media-vars (GitHub Site)
css-media-vars is a framework for writing responsive CSS using named breakpoints and dry selectors. It doesn't require any additional scripts or builds. A guide with multiple examples and demos is available.
How I Keep up with technology as a software developer with a chronic health condition (4 minute read)
Keeping up with tech while dealing with health issues can be difficult, but not impossible. Scheduling your time for learning, practice, or working on projects, and being strict about the schedule, will help keep health a priority while encouraging learning. It is important to remember to take small steps as the goal is to try to create a habit. As health should be a priority, taking frequent breaks is important as is being mindful of your mental health. If you have a desire to continue learning and development while dealing with other problems, the most important thing to do is to start taking action.
Solar Orbiter’s first images reveal ‘campfires’ on the Sun (7 minute read)
Solar Orbiter, ESA and NASA's new Sun-observing mission, has discovered omnipresent miniature solar flares near the surface of the star. The discovery was made with one of the first images received from Solar Orbiter, demonstrating the enormous potential for the mission. Solar Orbiter carries six telescopes to image the Sun and its surroundings and four instruments that monitor the environment around the spacecraft. The images, taken 77 million km away from the Sun, are available in the article.