ESA, CSA and NASA's James Webb Telescope opened its giant primary mirror one last time on Earth ahead of being packed up for long awaited launch later this year.
The 6.5m structure, comprised of 18 hexagonal mirrors, was commanded from the Northrop Grumman testing control room in California to expand and lock itself into place in the same way it will in space. The only difference will be the addition of some equipment to simulate the gravity (or lack thereof) of where it will spend its operational life.
The test is the team's final checkpoint in a series of qualifications aimed at ensuring the telescope and its multitude of parts (including the 132 actuators and motors used to deploy and focus the mirrors) will withstand the rigours of launch and a lengthy mission near the Earth-Sun L2 Lagrange point.
Video A combination of brain implants and a neural network helped a 65-year-old man paralyzed from the neck down type out text messages on a computer at 90 characters per minute, faster than any other known brain-machine interface.
The patient, referred to as T5 in a research paper published [preprint] in Nature on Wednesday, is the first person to test the technology, which was developed by a team of researchers led by America's Stanford University.
Two widgets were attached to the surface of T5’s brain; the devices featured hundreds of fine electrodes that penetrated about a millimetre into the patient’s gray matter. The test subject was then asked to imagine writing out 572 sentences over the course of three days. These text passages contained all the letters of the alphabet as well as punctuation marks. T5 was asked to represent spaces in between words using the greater than symbol, >.
Exclusive Manchester City Council exposed online the number plates of more than 60,000 cars slapped with parking tickets, breaking data protection laws as it did so.
In what appears to be a sincere if misguided attempt to provide public accountability over parking wardens, the council publishes income from parking tickets online in the open data section of its website.
One Register reader, however, spotted a problem: in three of the 20,000-row spreadsheets, published every month between 2018 and early 2021, drivers' number plates were detailed alongside precisely where and when they were hit with parking tickets and which parking warden issued them.
The NHS is preparing for the "biggest data grab" in the history of the service, giving patients little information or warning about the planned transfer of medical records from GP surgeries in England to a central store for research purposes – and with no prospect of the data being deleted.
Campaigners and doctors have expressed alarm that such a wide-ranging data haul is in the offing when health services and patients are still swamped by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, with little time to focus on the details of data privacy.
The 55 million citizens of England will need to opt out of the involuntary scheme before it is introduced to prevent the entire history of their GP visits being slurped, campaigners told us. The opt-out forms are here. We understand you will need to give this form to your GP practice before 23 June.
The Rust 2021 Edition Working Group has scheduled the new version for release in October, with what it says are small changes that amount to a significant improvement.
This is the "third edition of the Rust language," said Mara Bos, founder and CTO of Fusion Engineering and a Rust Library Team member. The previous editions are Rust 2015 and Rust 2018.
"Edition" is a special concept in Rust, as explained here. Updates to Rust ship frequently, but the special feature of an edition is that it can include incompatible changes. A crate (Rust term for a library) has to be explicitly configured to support an edition so older code will continue to work correctly. The Rust compiler can link crates of any edition.
Sponsored Over the last two decades, enterprises have gotten datacenter management down to a fine art. Standardization and automation means improved efficiency, both in terms of raw compute and of power consumption. Technologies such as virtualization and containerization mean users and developers can make more efficient use of resources, to the point of enabling self-service deployment.
However, the general purpose x86 architectures that fuel modern datacenters are simply not appropriate for running AI workloads. AI researchers got round this by repurposing GPU technology to accelerate AI operations, and this is what has fuelled the breakneck innovation in machine learning over the last decade or so.
However, this presents a problem for enterprises that want to run AI workloads. Typically, the CPU host plus accelerator approach has meant buying a single box that integrates GPUs and x86-based host compute. This can start alarm bells ringing for enterprise infrastructure teams. Although such systems may theoretically be plug and play, they can take up a lot of rack space and may impose different power and cooling requirements to mainstream compute. They can also be inflexible, with the ratio of compute to GPU accelerator being fixed, limiting flexibility when juggling multiple workloads with different host compute requirements.
Japan has passed laws that will allow it to create a new Agency to lead a national digital transformation effort.
The nation has already introduced an identifier called “My Number”. The new plan calls for My Number to be recognised across national and local governments and to merge with other identifiers like health insurance numbers and drivers’ licences. Japanese central and local governments plan to eventually harmonise their back-office technology to make it easier to deliver digital services that draw on personal information attached to a My Number profile.
My Number is currently card-based. Laws passed yesterday will allow it to be stored in an app, and smartphones used to identify citizens as they access services.
Analysis Over the next few months, Google plans to change the way its online word processor Docs renders its pages in web browsers, and collateral damage is expected.
In a blog post on Tuesday, the Chocolate Factory said it plans to move Docs from HTML-based rendering to Canvas-based rendering "to improve performance and improve consistency in how content appears across different platforms."
In so doing, there may be casualties. Chrome extensions that interact with Google Docs, for example, may break.
Microsoft has announced the imminent death of its Azure Blockchain service.
A support document dated May 10 delivered the news as follows:
As India struggles to cope with its savage second wave of COVID-19 infections, its government is being criticised for an API that critics say is creating inequities in the nation’s vaccination program.
The API in question, Co-WIN, is designed to tap India’s vaccination-booking service and has been made available to third-party app developers in the hope that innovators find clever ways to get Indians signed up for their jabs.
India has made use of vaccination booking services powered by Co-WIN compulsory for people aged 18 to 44.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has announced his electric car maker will stop accepting Bitcoin payments for its vehicles.
The occasional host of television sketch comedy program Saturday Night Live took to Twitter to deliver the news. Tl;dr: Tesla is concerned about the "increasing use" of fossil fuels, particularly coal, to support Bitcoin's electricity-hungry mining and transaction processing. The cost to the environment cannot be ignored, Tesla isn't selling its Bitcoin stash, it will consider using more energy-friendly crypto-coins instead, and will return to using Bitcoin when mining uses more sustainable energy.
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