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Thursday Afternoon (3 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 21-February-2019  13:01:25 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Time for some news catchup. Firstly, I was saddened to hear that the Opportunity Rover has died, or at least, stopped responding, on Mars. Designed to last just 90 Martian days and travel 1,100 yards (1,000 meters), Opportunity vastly surpassed all expectations in its endurance, scientific value and longevity. In addition to exceeding its life expectancy by 60 times, the rover traveled more than 28 miles (45 kilometers) by the time it reached its most appropriate final resting spot on Mars — Perseverance Valley. A bit more info here and discussion in this thread.

2019 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, and NASA have found a heap of new high-quality footage from the Apollo program. It was like a family discovering a forgotten shoebox full of old Super 8 movies of major life events and departed friends—only the family was America, the movies were of theater quality, the event was one of the most important accomplishments in human history, and the departed friend was Neil Armstrong.

Apparently Australian political IT systems have been compromised by a "state-based actor". Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday said the activity was uncovered during the investigation into the security breach that forced parliamentarians and their staff to reset their passwords. “During the course of this work, we also became aware that the networks of some political parties – Liberal, Labor and Nationals – have also been affected,” he said. “Our security agencies have detected this activity and acted decisively to confront it. They are securing these systems and protecting users.”

Samsung have unveiled their Galaxy S10 range, with hands-on reviews on news.com.au and CNBC. However, it may be overshadowed by their other new product, the Galaxy Fold, a phone which opens out to reveal a double-width touchscreen. Samsung is using a new 7.3-inch Infinity Flex Display that allows the phone itself to have a tablet-sized screen that can be folded to fit into a pocket. The main display is QXGA+ resolution (4.2:3), and when it’s folded, a smaller 4.6-inch HD+ (12:9) display is used for the phone mode. Samsung is using 512GB of Universal Flash Storage 3.0 (eUFS) for fast speed, alongside a Qualcomm 7nm octa-core processor and 12GB of RAM.

Fake news may be about to become even faker, with an AI text generator called GPT2. Feed it the first few paragraphs of a Guardian story about Brexit, and its output is plausible newspaper prose, replete with “quotes” from Jeremy Corbyn, mentions of the Irish border, and answers from the prime minister’s spokesman.

For a real retro fix, you can play with the world's first web browser. OCAU doesn't look that great through it. :) In February 2019, in celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of the development of WorldWideWeb, a group of developers and designers convened at CERN to rebuild the original browser within a contemporary browser, allowing users around the world to experience the rather humble origins of this transformative technology.

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All original content copyright James Rolfe. All rights reserved. No reproduction allowed without written permission.