Proof that life imitates art — or at least Black Mirror on Netflix — China will soon be imposing strict penalties for those with low “scores” on its so-called “social credit” system. Starting May 1, Chinese citizens with low scores will be unable to travel via plane or train for up to a year, according to a release by the country’s National Development and Reform Commission. China’s social credit system is a controversial one. President Xi Jinping’s plan is to score citizens based both on financial and social behavior, creating a number similar to a credit score in the United States. “Once…
Bitcoin mining titan Bitmain has launched a new ultra-powerful cryptocurrency miner specifically designed for the CryptoNight hashing algorithm which powers privacy-oriented coins like Monero (XMR) and Bytecoin (BCN). But there is one massive problem: the device might be virtually obsolete by the time it starts shipping in May and June – especially to those interested in mining XMR. The so-called Antminer X3 ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) mining rig will offer an impressive 220 kH/s at 550W. Bitmain intends to ship the machine in two batches – one in May and one in June. Customers can purchase first-batch X3 for $11,999 or wait for the…
Spend some time shopping for headphones, and you’ll quickly grow tired of devices claiming to present music “as the artist intended,” despite sporting vastly different sound. But what if your favorite cans actually could sound like the recording studio where your favorite music was mixed? Enter SonarWorks, a company I’m guessing you’re not familiar with, as it’s best known in audio engineering circles for tuning professional studio speakers. Now SonarWorks is turning its attention to something more mainstream by calibrating headphones to sound like those same studios. The concept is simple. First you tell SonarWorks’ software, called True-Fi, which headphones…
While there are plenty of ecommerce platforms that offer the option to buy and sell standard goods and services, there haven’t been many aimed at creating a marketplace for crypto-assets. Rarebits, an ecommerce startup working with digital assets, is trying to cut ‘in’ this gap by creating a peer-to-peer marketplace for crypto-based assets and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) like Crypto Kitties and CryptoCelebrities. The platform, which is currently in beta testing, allows users to discover and trade new crypto-assets. It also lets them monitor recent market trends and insights in a convenient way. Rarebits also has its own wallet where users…
Chinese gadget titan Xiaomi recently released its Mi Robot Builder toy set to the US market on Amazon. If you or your kids are the kind of techie that can’t help but take things apart to see how they work: I’ve found the toy for you. Mi Robot Builder is a brick-building toy like Legos or K’NEX, but with more horsepower: once built, your creations can be remotely controlled or programmed to perform movement routines on their own. It features a self-balancing system powered by machine learning, brushless motors, and three different modes of control. It comes with a whopping…
The U.S. Coast Guard’s only active heavy-duty icebreaker, the 42-year-old Polar Star, returned to its homeport in Seattle today to cap off a challenging months-long mission to Antarctica.
The 13,000-ton cutter is built to break through ice as thick as 21 feet by backing and ramming, and can steam continuously through 6 feet of ice at a speed of 3 knots.
Every year, the Polar Star voyages to the waters off Antarctica to keep shipping lanes open to McMurdo Station, on the southern tip of Ross Island.
The ship left Seattle last November to take part in Operation Deep Freeze 2018, and faced numerous challenges — including two flooding incidents and the loss of one of the ship’s three main gas turbines. No injuries resulted, but the Coast Guard acknowledged that the problems took a toll on the crew and slowed the cutter’s progress to McMurdo.
“Although we had less ice this year than last year, we had several engineering challenges to overcome to get to the point where we could position ourselves to moor in McMurdo,” the ship’s commanding officer, Capt. Michael Davanzo, said in a Coast Guard blog posting.
Vice Adm. Fred Midgette, commander of the U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area, said he was impressed by the crew’s perseverance.
“The crew members aboard Polar Star not only accomplished their mission, but they did so despite extreme weather and numerous engineering challenges,” he said. “This is a testament to their dedication and devotion to duty.”
The Polar Star is scheduled to go into drydock in preparation for its next Antarctic tour of duty, in support of Operation Deep Freeze 2019.
If you didn’t have a chance to win a dodgeball championship, battle a Sounders player in FIFA, fly through the air on a cross-venue zipline, or participate in one of the other fun activities at the 2018 GeekWire Bash, we’ve got you covered.
Starla Sampaco, host of GeekWire’s new daily video show TLDR, takes us through the GeekWire Bash experience in the video above, providing a peek into our seventh annual anniversary party that has turned into a full-blown geek carnival.
News Brief: Taha Kass-Hout, former chief health informatics officer at the FDA, is reportedly joining a secretive Amazon team that works on experimental projects and new businesses for the company. He will focus on health tech projects on Amazon’s Grand Challenge team, a source tells CNBC. Read the full story here.
For its first test flight, the newest and smallest sibling in Boeing’s top-selling 737 family of jets, the 737 MAX 7, took a three-hour trip today from Renton, Wash., to Seattle’s Boeing Field, just eight miles away.
Getting from Point A to Point B wasn’t the point: Instead, the circuitous journey was designed to give test pilots a chance to put the plane through its paces for the first time in the air. The flight path ranged from the tip of Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula to Moses Lake in central Washington, with several photogenic circles around Mount Rainier added for good measure.
The pilots were greeted with applause as they emerged from the cockpit at Boeing Field, at the end of a trouble-free flight.
Like the other single-aisle 737 MAX variants, the MAX 7 has been optimized for low-cost operation. It incorporates fuel-efficient CFM International LEAP-1B engines as well as lift-maximizing wingtips and other innovations. That’s expected to result in an 18 percent reduction in fuel costs per seat, compared to its predecessor, the 737-700.
The MAX 7’s passenger capacity can range from 138 to 172 seats, depending on the configuration. It has the farthest range of the 737 MAX family, amounting to 4,430 statute miles (3,850 nautical miles).
The MAX line is part of what’s recognized as the world’s most widely sold commercial jet family. Just this week, Boeing rolled out its 10,000th 737 jet, a 737 MAX 8 that’s going to Southwest Airlines. But Boeing’s European rival, Airbus, is hot on the 737’s tail with its own single-aisle A320 family. Boeing has more than 4,600 orders lined up for 737s, while Airbus has a backlog of more than 6,000 A320 orders.
To date, the MAX 7 accounts for roughly 60 of Boeing’s orders.