NASA’s Martian rover, Perseverance, runs on a 23 year old processor. Last seen in Apple’s iMac G3 (the colorful AIO), it is a single-core processor with around 6 million transistors and a clock speed of 233 MHz. While there are more rugged chips out there, well, everywhere NASA went with the PowerPC 750 because of the most important factor for space exploration: reliability. The RAD750 variant of the PowerPC 750 that sits inside Percy is expected to withstand 200,000 to 1,000,000 rads, as well as temperatures between -55 and 125 degrees Celsius. The processor has already proven itself with a hundred satellites floating around the Earth.
It’s not the first mainstream processor sent into space by a long shot. In 2006, NASA attached a radiation-hardened version of the original PlayStation processor in its New Horizons probe. In decades, I wonder where we’ll be sending the Ryzen, M1, and Snapdragon chips.
And if all this talk about Mars and space makes you dream, now there’s a chance you can win a trip around the moon.
– Mat Smith
Maezawa will choose eight more to participate in the first civilian mission to the moon.
Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has bought the right to be SpaceX’s first lunar tourist for a mission slated for 2023, but he won’t be going alone. Maezawa bought all the seats on the flight and announced plans to choose eight people to make the week-long moon orbit trip with him (and two or three more).
Maezawa says there are two criteria for potential travel companions. First, they can push the boundaries of whatever they do to help people and society by making this trip, and that they are ready and able to support the crew members in their ambitions. I guess it goes beyond helping other passengers put on their helmets.
Accessories manufacturer Gomi will help optimize the use of damaged batteries.
Gomi, a UK company that makes chargers and other durable devices, has launched a line of portable Bluetooth speakers built from retired Lime e-bike batteries. The company will use 50,000 battery cells from 1,000 older Lime e-bikes to build the Gomi speaker with 20 hours of battery life. Aside from the batteries, the speakers are made from 100% recycled plastic waste. They are now live on Kickstarter, with prices starting at £ 99 ($ 138).
Samsung has decided to highlight its 2021 TV lineup with a 45-minute preview video, but you don’t have to watch it all. We edited the key bits to make it about ten minutes, so you can get pricing information on the main line and see things like the new 76-inch MicroLED setup, updated Odyssey G9 gaming monitor, and short throw 4K projector.
At its Ignite conference today, Microsoft announced major upgrades to the Teams for Work app. Since we clearly won’t be returning to large-scale in-person events anytime soon, you can now accommodate up to a thousand attendees per meeting, both inside and outside your organization. . If you need to reach even more people, there is a read-only broadcast mode that supports up to 10,000 participants. And until June 30, 2021, Microsoft is increasing that number to 20,000.
Microsoft also offers a more powerful Teams spin on Powerpoint, with Powerpoint Live. Here presenters can advance their slides whenever they want, while viewers can jump privately or rewind at their own pace.
In 2019, Instagram announced the start of tests to hide the likes accounts we all see on everyone’s posts. This test is apparently still in progress, but without much updating or expansion. Then today, all of a sudden, many Instagram users in the US got the above notification saying that they would no longer see the Like accounts.
Instagram told Engadget that today’s expansion was a bug, explaining in a tweet that “we unintentionally added more people to the test today.” Your precious accounts should now be restored – or will be very soon.