The first detailed look at how Elon Musk’s space internet could work

When sending an internet message via Starlink, a ground station will begin by using radio waves to talk to a satellite above it. Once in space, the message will be fired from satellite to satellite using lasers until it is above its destination. From there, it will be beamed down to the right ground station using radio waves again.

Source: The first detailed look at how Elon Musk’s space internet could work | New Scientist

Between distant places, this will allow messages to be sent about twice as fast as through the optical fibres on Earth that currently connect the internet, despite having to travel to space and back. This is because the speed of the signal in glass is slower than it is through space.

To Keep Pace With Moore’s Law, Chipmakers Turn to ‘Chiplets’

The new approach comes with a snappy name: chiplets. You can think of them as something like high-tech Lego blocks. Instead of carving new processors from silicon as single chips, semiconductor companies assemble them from multiple smaller pieces of silicon—known as chiplets.

Source: To Keep Pace With Moore’s Law, Chipmakers Turn to ‘Chiplets’ | WIRED

A powerful new battery could give us electric planes that don’t pollute

Planes are rarely used for regional travel, representing less than 1% of trips under 500 miles, according to the US Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Airlines have shied away from shorter flights largely because most of the fuel is burned during takeoff, meaning longer routes are far more economical. And given the high costs and hassles of flying, consumers largely opt for cars, trains, or buses instead for this travel range.

Source: A powerful new battery could give us electric planes that don’t pollute – MIT Technology Review

Vigilante engineer stops Waymo from patenting key lidar technology

The USPTO was not impressed. In March, an examiner noted that a re-drawn diagram of Waymo’s lidar firing circuit showed current passing along a wire between the circuit and the ground in two directions—something generally deemed impossible. “Patent owner’s expert testimony is not convincing to show that the path even goes to ground in view of the magic ground wire, which shows current moving in two directions along a single wire,” noted the examiners dryly.

Source: Vigilante engineer stops Waymo from patenting key lidar technology | Ars Technica

Self-driving startups should not take this legal confusion as carte blanche to use the lidar technology described in Waymo’s and Velodyne’s patents, warns Brian Love, co-director of the High Tech Law Institute at the Santa Clara University School of Law. “There’s a joke among patent lawyers that a final rejection is anything but final, because owners still have options even after a final rejection,” he tells Ars. “And to get an award in a patent action, you only have to show infringement of one claim in one patent. The fact that there’s even one claim left in Waymo’s patent means there’s one shot for arguing that someone infringes that claim.”

New material could up efficiency of concentrated solar power

Above a certain temperature, it becomes possible to replace the steam with supercritical carbon dioxide. This works more efficiently, potentially providing a boost of more than 20 percent, but it requires temperatures in excess of 1,000K. That makes things a bit more challenging, given that many metals will melt at such temperatures; others will react with carbon dioxide under these conditions. Finding a material that could work involves balancing a lot of factors, including heat and chemical resistance, ea

Source: New material could up efficiency of concentrated solar power | Ars Technica

Researcher finds simple way of backdooring Windows PCs and nobody notices for ten months

The technique does not allow a hacker to remotely infect a computer unless that computer has been foolishly left exposed on the Internet without a password.

Source: Researcher finds simple way of backdooring Windows PCs and nobody notices for ten months | ZDNet

Since registry keys are also boot persistent, any modifications made to an account’s RID remain permanent, or until fixed.

On Thursday a rocket failed. Three humans remain on the ISS. What’s next?

NASA’s strong preference is to keep astronauts aboard the station. But Todd said NASA does have procedures for operating the station without crew on board. “That’s something that we’re always prepared for,” he said. “I feel very confident that we could fly for a significant period of time.”

Source: On Thursday a rocket failed. Three humans remain on the ISS. What’s next? | Ars Technica

For Now, at Least, the World Isn’t Making Enough Batteries

There’s booming demand for one of the product categories Tesla makes that gets far less focus than its cars. Residential-energy storage has been surging in the U.S., with more capacity installed in the second quarter than in all of last year. Tesla sells its Powerwall to homeowners.

Source: For Now, at Least, the World Isn’t Making Enough Batteries – Bloomberg

This 17-Year-Old Has Become Michigan’s Leading Right to Repair Advocate

In 2012, Massachusetts passed a law forcing automotive companies to share diagnostic information with third party repair shops. The law set a precedent and the industry rolled out the changes nationally. Now, Massachusetts has commissioned a study to see if similar legislation should extend to consumer electronics such as smartphones and video game consoles.

Source: This 17-Year-Old Has Become Michigan’s Leading Right to Repair Advocate – Motherboard