- $124M lawsuit has been leveled against Twitter by a pair of companies that say they were used to try and drum up interest in the recently announced Twitter IPO. The lawsuit claims that Twitter gave early approval for the two companies to explore a potential sale of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of private shares in the social network, to evaluate the perceived value of the stock, but never actually intended to give final authorization for the sale. source
Apple hosted its iPad-centric event in San Francisco today, just a little more than a month after its Cupertino iPhone event. “We still have a lot to cover,” the company teased in its invitation. And the event certainly lived up to that message, with a slew of products, including new iPads, MacBook Pros, Macs, and more.
Here’s everything you need to know about what Apple showed off and what execs had to say about it all.
In 1977, the Voyager 1 spacecraft left Earth on a five-year mission to explore Jupiter and Saturn. Thirty-six years later, the car-size probe is still exploring, still sending its findings home. It has now put more than 19 billion kilometers between itself and the sun. Last week NASA announced that Voyager 1 had become the first man-made object to reach interstellar space.
The distance this craft has covered is almost incomprehensible. It’s so far away that it takes more than 17 hours for its signals to reach Earth. Along the way, Voyager 1 gave scientists their first close-up looks at Saturn, took the first images of Jupiter’s rings, discovered many of the moons circling those planets and revealed that Jupiter’s moon Io has active volcanoes. Now the spacecraft is discovering what the edge of the solar system is like, piercing the heliosheath where the last vestiges of the sun’s influence are felt and traversing the heliopause where cosmic currents overcome the solar wind. Voyager 1 is expected to keep working until 2025 when it will finally run out of power.
None of this would be possible without the spacecraft’s three batteries filled with plutonium-238. In fact, Most of what humanity knows about the outer planets came back to Earth on plutonium power. Cassini’s ongoing exploration of Saturn, Galileo’s trip to Jupiter, Curiosity’s exploration of the surface of Mars, and the 2015 flyby of Pluto by the New Horizons spacecraft are all fueled by the stuff. The characteristics of this metal’s radioactive decay make it a super-fuel. More importantly, there is no other viable option. Solar power is too weak, chemical batteries don’t last, nuclear fission systems are too heavy. So, we depend on plutonium-238, a fuel largely acquired as by-product of making nuclear weapons.
But there’s a problem: We’ve almost run out.
NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft, which toured the outer solar system in 1979, has officially entered interstellar space and is now more than 19 billion kilometers from our sun, nearly 130 times farther away than our planet. An announcement today from NASA scientists confirms that the probe has entered a region of space that is outside our sun’s electromagnetic influence.
You might recall the many previous times that this farthest-out spacecraft has been suspected of venturing out into the stars, leading many to wonder if NASA is simply crying wolf again. But an analysis of data from the machine’s plasma wave sensor suggests that Voyager 1 in fact reached interstellar space more than a year ago, in August 2012.
"I belong to the Syrian people," Syrian president Bashar al-Assad told the French journalist George Malbrunot, of the newspaper Le Figaro, earlier this week. “I defend their interests and independence and will not succumb to external pressure.”
Yes. That’s what he said. There are many, many caveats to that little assertion, obviously, but one of the most noteworthy is this: The message wasn’t just sent from President Assad to George Malbrunot. It was also sent from President #Assad to George #Malbrunot. It was a message that originated in person, ostensibly, but that was delivered to the world (or at least to 36,664 members of that world) with the help of a Facebook-owned social network. It was political posturing in the form of an Instagram.
In that capacity, the “Syria, c’est moi” messaging accompanied a picture of Assad doing his thing, or claiming to — one of dozens of such pictures that syrianpresidency, “the official Instagram account for the Presidency of the Syrian Arab Republic,” has posted to its page since July.
The most ridiculous thing on Instagram right now.
Steve Ballmer is stepping down as the CEO of Microsoft, and Wall Street is rather pleased.
After more than three years already spent in confinement while awaiting trial, former Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison today for what has been described as the largest ever leak of classified government documents.
Manning, who is 25 years old, had been facing 90 years, and prosecutors had asked the judge to sentence him to a minimum of 60 years in prison, arguing that the leaks endangered lives and interfered with the government’s diplomatic efforts.
“There may not be a soldier in the history of the Army who displayed such an extreme disregard” for his mission, the prosecutor, Capt. Joe Morrow, said in court on Monday, according to CNN. Manning “felt he alone was knowledgeable and intelligent enough to determine what information was to be classified.”
In addition to his sentence, the judge reduced his rank, gave him a dishonorable discharge and ruled that he would forfeit all pay, but she did not levy a $100,000 fine against him that he was facing.
SAN MIGUEL ISLAND, Calif. – It’s late June, and San Miguel Island’s white sand beaches are filled with barking sea lions. More than 100,000 of them. The marine mammals have come to this windy, remote island to breed and give birth – a rowdy, stinky summer extravaganza that last year, enigmatically, ended in disaster.
When the sea lions converged on this most westerly of southern California’s Channel Islands in May 2012, as they do every spring, there was no hint of anything amiss. A year later, thousands of pups – perhaps as many as 70 percent of the newborns – were dead. The struggle to survive led desperate pups from their sandy nursery into the churning, dangerous sea, long before they were ready.
Between January and June, five rescue centers along the southern California coast, from Santa Barbara to San Diego, took in more than 1,500 stranded pups – five times more than normal.
And those are just the ones that survived the journey of more than 50 miles. Many thousands more died on the islands, or along the way.
What happened is still a mystery, but investigating scientists have come to suspect that an unexpected shift in the sea lions’ food source is to blame. Now, as a new generation of pups are being born here, a different question arises: Has the danger passed, or are this year’s pups in peril too?
WIRED Science reporter Nadia Drake went to San Miguel Island to try to find out.
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