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Technology News

NASA Taking First Steps Toward High speed Space ‘Internet’

NASA Taking First Steps Toward High speed Space ‘Internet’

Baby Steps for High Speed Space Internet Being Taken Up by NASA

We all know how mandatory high speed Internet has become in today’s time and age. We all want to experience Lightning fast Internet Speed while working our way through the net. Well, we got good news for you. If all goes well with whatever NASA has planned then soon we could have a long-term technology of high speed space Internet also popularly referred to as Internet of the sky. 

How is NASA going to do that?

NASA has planned to get help from LSRD (Laser Communication Relay Department) in order to understand the best ways to use systems involving laser communications. By operating such systems NASA will be able to provide data rates which are supremely higher than the current ones available. By enabling such higher data rate NASA will hence enhance communications between earth and spacecrafts, between astronauts and also downlink of scientific data.

As per the associate administrator of NASA’s Space Technology Department LCRD will act as a guiding step for NASA towards a revolutionary system of optical communication which will benefit both deep space as well as near-Earth missions immensely.

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So what exactly is Laser communications?

Before we learn more about the project it is essential to know what Laser communication is. Also termed as Optical communications, laser communications works by encoding data on to light beams and then transmitting them between the sender (commonly spacecrafts) and the receiver (earth terminals).

Using optical communications one can get Internet speeds up to 100 times faster than the current obtained speed using RF (Radio Frequency) communication systems. Another benefit that will be achieved using Laser communications is that the size of the spacecraft will be drastically reduced as the systems involving Laser communications are of much smaller size than that of RF communications. Hence the power requirements of such spacecrafts will be significantly lower thus helping humans to embark on journeys to Mars and even beyond.

The building block upon which LCRD is being developed is the LLCD or Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration which in 2013 was used to demonstrate high rate data transfer using laser communications beyond the orbit of the earth. LCRD will further aim to demonstrate the reliability and the longevity of the technology being used.


How long can LCRD function?

As per the designs applied in LCRD it will be able to sustain for two to five years with two terminals at ground level having laser modems, one located at Hawaii and the other at California. These two terminals will provide demonstrations of laser communications with LCRD which will be located in a geosynchronous orbit between both the stations.

How does the LCRD work?

The payload of the LCRD has two optical terminals which are identical and are connected by a space switching component acting as a router. This space switching component is then connected to a RF downlink. As soon as the data transfer begins the modems will start to convert digital data into radio frequency or laser signals and vice versa. Once the data has been converted to laser the module will actively beam the laser i.e. the data back to the receiving stations on the Earth. The modules must thus be accurately pointed so that the transmission and reception of data is done perfectly. This is achieved by the controllers Electronics module which commands and controls the actuators despite vibrations and movements around it.

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Printed Titanium Parts Expected to Save Millions in Boeing Dreamliner Costs

Printed Titanium Parts Expected to Save Millions in Boeing Dreamliner Costs

Boeing Dreamliner costs will go down with the use of printed titanium parts

Boeing is working on its Boeing  787 Dreamliner which will be going to be one of the unique and great aircraft in the upcoming but rising costs a deal breaker. In order to cut costs Boeing has hired a 3D printing agency named Norsk Titanium AS from Norway which will be bringing the first structural titanium parts from the Boeing Dreamliner. Boeing has asserted that it will help in saving anywhere between $2 million to $3 million on the overall cost of a single plane.

Aiming at profitability but keeping the quality intact

Boeing has announced that a contract has been given to a Norwegian printing company which will help in boosting the profitability for the Boeing  787 Dreamliner. Furthermore the idea of Boeing making use of the 3D printed metal parts also shows the growing acceptance in the aircraft manufacturing industry. This move allows the manufacturers to supplement the pieces made out of traditionally expensive materials. Secondly it will also help in lowering the cost of overall manufacturing along with finding more applications in upcoming days.

The team behind the 3D printed Titanium pieces

The 3d printed pieces for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is being manufactured by Norsk who had invested over a year in designing four important part of this plane. This required them to get the Federal Aviation Administration certification as well before it can be put to use. The certification process has already started and the team is hopeful that the agency will approve the materials used by them. If this goes through successfully then Norsk will get a chance to print more than thousands of parts for Boeing  Dreamliner which will be used just in a single plane. And they won’t need to get separate FAA approval for different pasts which are a good sign for the Norsk.

In short this will help in not just lowering the cost as airlines has to be make use of traditional materials which requires precise forging and machining but it will also allow the manufacturers to save huge amount of money on future planes.

3D Printed Titanium is the new thing in aircraft manufacturing

If you are wondering why Boeing is opting for Titanium parts rather than the aluminum parts, then here is the breakdown. The first thing to notice about titanium is that it is extremely strong and lightweight in nature and secondly it low cost in nature when compared against the aluminum. Thirdly the aluminum parts present in a $265 million Dreamliner accounts for $17 million. Currently Boeing is only making use of four different titanium parts through 3D printing and it is helping in saving about $2-3 million on the overall costs.

Boeing has come up with some innovative ways of lowering the cost of manufacturing the Boeing Dreamliner as has carbon-fiber fuselage and huge wings which results in usage of more metal. Boeing is also getting stiff competition from the low cost airline manufactured by the rivals which makes use of titanium materials in order to cut cost.

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That Fingerprint Sensor on Your Phone is not as Safe as You Think

That Fingerprint Sensor on Your Phone is not as Safe as You Think

Fingerprint Sensors on the Smartphones are not safe enough

When fingerprint sensors debuted on the smartphones then it was seen as the biggest feature or functionality ever brought to the phone. Fingerprint sensors helped in securing the devices against unwanted access and helped in giving a sense of security to the users. Nowadays simply a touch of the finger can unlock the device with no need of pressing the codes or typing the passwords at all.

Soon enough the tech firms launched ‘Payment applications’ and collaborated it with the fingerprint sensors on the device to act as security feature. Now users can buy anything online or offline and pay with the Apple Pay or Android Pay and other payment services using their fingers. In short fingerprint sensors has made it possible to open a banking app and pay bills or transfer money to other without typing the passcodes.

However the major question which underlines the feasibility as well as extensive usability of the fingerprint is —“Is it really safe?”

Fingerprint on smartphone is ‘not safe’

A research conducted by the scientists at the New York University and Michigan State University has established that the Fingerprint sensors of Smartphone can be fooled into accepting the fake fingerprints quite easily. This raises the question on the security of the fingerprint sensors in itself.  Researchers made use of digitally generated finger prints which had all the common features found in the human prints in order to fool the fingerprint sensors.

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When the computer simulations were used then it was found that the smartphone can be fooled easily by 65 per cent. The set of artificial ‘Master Prints’ developed for this purpose were able to match with the real prints usually by the modern day phones with an accuracy level of 65 per cent.

The only sign of relief for the Smartphone users is that during the testing real smartphone were not used by the researchers. A number of security experts have stated that the match rate on real devices will be significantly lower as compared to testing conditions results. But the questions raised on the effectiveness of the fingerprint usage on the smartphones can’t be doused just like that.

Tech firms are trying to save grace

The lead research, Dr.Menon, has stated that their finding has found that it is even possible to crack the fingerprint sensors present on the iPhone. Simply developing magic glove with a Master Print for each of the finger will help in get right into an iPhone device with 40 to 50 per cent accuracy.

Apple was quick to respond this claim by clarifying that the false match system paced on the iPhone’s fingerprint system is extremely powerful. Only one in 50,000 tries it has failed to work it is supposed when a false match is used. It should be noted that Apple and Google had kept a wide amount of details pertaining to their finger print technology completely secret in order to keep their devices highly secure against the false match software and tools.


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Microsoft Finally Brings The Security Patch for the Word Bug

Microsoft Finally Brings The Security Patch for the Word Bug

Microsoft Word is hit by a bug which was designed by the scammers to steal the baking logins of the users. Microsoft has been quick in coming up with an update before this Word bug can cause widespread financial loss. This Word bug was reported by a cyber-security firm named Proofpoint which stated that this bug has spread from an email campaign. The email campaign helped in distributed the Dridex malware which effectively targeted the Microsoft Word application in order to snoop upon the user’s banking login activity. Scammers have made use of a scam email campaign wherein they had distributed a Microsoft Word RTF (Rich Text File) documents which contained the Dridex within it.

The damage brought about by Dridex in the past

Just two ago cyber attackers made use of Dridex to steal about £20 million from the British bank accounts. Proofpoint has found that a vulnerability or flaw present in the Microsoft Word application for the Windows operating system has helped in installing and harbouring the Dridex. Micrsoft has not revealed whether the Word application on the Mac devices has been affected with this Word bug or not.

MS Word is ‘fully exploited’

Proofpoint researchers have explained in a blog that during their testing they found that the Microsoft Office 2010 can be fully exploited by the scammers for their own purpose. Microsoft brought an update on Tuesday April 11 to get rid of the Word bug and secure all the system from it. The updates have already been brought to Office 2010 and it will help in protecting it automatically.

Microsoft has also asked the customers to practice the safe computing habits in order to keep their devices secure against any such vulnerability and attack in future. One should always be cautious while opening unknown files or clicking on links present in the mail or on a dubious website. One should never indulge in downloading content from the untrusted sources on the internet in order to avoid falling to the traps of the scammers and cyber criminals.

Install the security patch quickly

Proofpoint has asked the Microsoft Word users to secure their system at the earliest by installing the latest security updates. They even stated that the when we encounter such security threats or vulnerability of a software or application which is used on a global scale then effort should be made towards growing ‘awareness’. Awareness helps in notifying the users to get rid of the application or stop using it for the time being in order to keep their devices secure. Secondly it adds pressure on the tech firm responsible for that application or program to come up with a security patch quickly.

Microsoft has also revealed that flaws have been found in two products which had been exploited by the scammers. One flaw was detected in the Internet Explorer which helps scammers in accessing sensitive information about the domain. However Microsoft has fixed all these flaws and vulnerability with the latest updates and users are simply to install it to secure their devices.

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Artificial Intelligence Wins $290,000 in Chinese Poker Competition

Artificial Intelligence Wins $290,000 in Chinese Poker Competition

Artificial intelligence is getting smarter, intuitive and bit scary with each passing development, testing or challenges thrown at it. Artificial intelligence is known for learning from its mistakes and improvising over it to overcome the challenges or tasks at hand just like a human mind. In China during a series of exhibition matches an artificial intelligence has been able to successfully defeat a team of six poker players. This particular Artificial intelligence system is named Lengpudashi which shocked everyone by beating not just one but six poker players to win a grand prize of $290,000 in the five day competition.

This AI isn’t the first to win a poker game

If you think poker is just for humans then think again. This is the second time in recent history that an Artificial intelligence has been able to successfully defeat professional competitive poker players with ease and grace. The first Artificial intelligence was an earlier version of the same which was named Libratus. Libratus went on to beat four top end world’s best poker players in a 20 day game during the month of January this year.

People behind this AI system

These AI systems were designed by a computer science professor from Carnegie Mellon University, US along with a PHD student named Noam Brown. Both of these men has formed their own firm named Strategic Machine and all the prize money won by the Artificial intelligence will be used for further study and development at the firm.

The poker players who lost against the Artificial intelligence included Yue Du who happens to be an amateur poker player but had came into recognition after successfully winning the World Series of Poker in the $5000 buy in, Texas Hold’em, No Limit category in 2016. The team led by Mr. Du against the AI system was packed with the brightest minds which included investors, computers scientists as well as engineers. They believed that making use of the game theory along with their knowledge about the machine intelligence will help in anticipating as well as coming up with counter measures to score a win over the AI system.

The science behind AI system

When Artificial intelligence plays game like Chess wherein all the pieces are placed right in-front of both the players then the odds of Artificial intelligence winning it doesn’t seems quite enthralling. But in a poker game all the cards remains invisible to players expect the one they are holding for themselves. Scientists has named such games as impact information game wherein players has to rely on their betting strategy as well as the ability to read through the opponents bluffing at the same time bluffing with oozing confidence.

Researchers generally make use of these kinds of matches in order to home the Artificial intelligence skills at reasoning as well as strategic decision making. Similarly this Artificial intelligence system, Lengpudashi, has learned from its experience and started judging the weak or string hands from the player bluffs with enhanced precision and accuracy.


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The FCC is Reversing Its Proposal to Allow Cellphone Use on Planes

The FCC is Reversing Its Proposal to Allow Cellphone Use on Planes

FCC will not be allowing Cellphone use on the planes anymore

If you are an avid flyer then this development will be really bitter news for you. FCC is simply withdrawing the proposal which would have allowed aircraft traveler to make use of the Cellphone at high altitude. Most of the people had never heard about this proposal which emerged back in 2013 when Federal Communications Commission, Tom Wheeler had decided to push towards the free usage of Cellphone devices on the aircrafts. The major reason behind rolling back this proposed advancement was that the usage if Cellphone on the planes has the ability to interfere with the pilots radios.

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Learning to Think Like a Computer

Learning to Think Like a Computer

Turning People Smarter by Making Theme Think Like a Computer

Can we think just like the computer and become smarter in the process? This isn’t a farfetched theory rather it has already been put to use to train the younger generation in becoming more sync with the computational knowledge and learning for the further advancement of the human race.

Simple and easy to use and learn programs has started emerging all across the world which helps in younger people get acquainted with the core computational procedures and study without being extremely complex or mind boggling.

Some of the researchers are making use of the cooking in order to get around all-important concept in the field of the computer science, which is ‘abstraction’.

It is worth noting that concealing the layers of information helps in getting through the intersection of things without the need of knowing and understanding everything related to the large picture. Abstraction helps in doing away with the complicated system required to understand the intricate working of any computer application, program or software and it also helps in enhancing the knowledge of the users without getting down to extreme basics.

To be truthful the computational thinking has just started captivating the educators which includes not just the kindergarten teacher but also the ones in the colleges. It brings a chance of learning a new language and orientations which eventually leads to tackling problems in real life scenarios with better judgment and understanding.

Thinking like a computer isn’t a new thing

It would come as surprise that the computational thinking isn’t a new think. I was first pioneered by an artificial intelligence and MIT professor named Seymour Papert who came up with this term way back in 1980. He brought forward the idea of how children can make use of the computers to learn new thinks. However the computational thinking was made popular by the Jeanette M. Wing who was in charge of the basic research at Microsoft.

Existing children programs

A children program has been initiated at the Eliot Pearson Children’s School wherein actual blocks are used. The wooden blocks have been created by a child development & computer science professor going by the name of Marina Umaschi Bers. These wooden blocks comes with instruction like spin, forward and shake which are actually used in order to program small robots. These small robots has small and wheeled cards which comes with built in scanners and the sequence or instruction stated on the blocks helps in forming the robot. So the children starts with the green block which acts as begin command and finishes with the red block.

The steps taken by the Dr. Bers has been appreciated by all as her children based activities helps in making children familiar with the basic computing at a very young age. Her approach will help the next generation of human kind in consciously or unconsciously absorbing the computation thinking skills and abilities and it will result in getting highly intelligent digital beings.

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Elon Musk’s Space X makes history by launching a ‘flight-proven’ rocket

Elon Musk’s Space X makes history by launching a ‘flight-proven’ rocket
Space X rocket launches are mainly associated with misfires and failures but this new age space company is certainly learning from its mistakes at an astounding pace. Space X has launched it test rocket from the Florida’s Kennedy Space Center just a few days ago quietly without much fanfare or anticipation on global scale. The Flacon 9 rocket has been able to achieve what other rockets failed to do in the past for it. Space X is calling it a “flight-proven” rocket which brings a unique feature into the play for the upcoming space rocket development.
Falcon 9 can be reused?Traditional rockets are meant for just one thing and that is to take the payload into the orbit and the job is done. Each rocket takes millions of dollars to develop and millions of hours to ensure it is working in right conditions. However reusing any rocket at the moment isn’t possible as they are designed for one way trip to the space.Space X Falcon 9 is simply works in the opposite direction it can be reused. After the launch during the early morning hours Falcon flew into the orbit, placed the payload and landed vertically back gain for next trip. This is a major landmark in the history of space exploration or rocket development wherein a rocket has been developed by the mankind which can be used again and again burning blowing away.Earlier failed attempts

Success doesn’t come without some failures in the way. Space X aim of developing this kind of rockets met with a number of failures in the past wherein rocket booster tends to explode while landing back from the space.

However Space X has stated success quite a number of times with Falcon 9 when it was able to land the rocket on a landing pat at Cape Canaveral in December 2015. Just a few months later this feat was achieved again and that also at sea. Elon Musk the founder of Space X grew quite emotional at the latest successful launch and landing of the Falcon 9 and he went on to say this is an incredible milestone in the history of space.

The achievement of Falcon 9

The Falcon 9 rocket performed some incredible aerial acrobatics after the launch then turned around and flew back to Earth. It was guided by the highly sophisticated computer algorithms along with GPS navigation to ensure it find its path through the clouds and make its touch down with immense precision.

The goal of Space X in developing the Falcon X rocket is to lower the cost of the spaceflight and ensure that this technology is made accessible to wider range of space firms. And at last it will help in reaching the Mars in the long run.

Elon Musk has once said that the first stages of rocket which are usually discarded into the sea after giving it the initial power to escape the Earth gravity is just like throwing away an aircraft after every use. Falcon 9 is the answer for that.

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New Quantum Device Could Make Contactless Payment More Secure

New Quantum Device Could Make Contactless Payment More Secure

The world stands on innovation and technology. Currently, the world is witnessing a revolution in the digital era. It has been able to bridge the gap between the impossible things which we never imagined also. Day in day out, we are stunned by the discoveries in terms of technology and modern gadgets. Recent report from the Oxford University that a prototype Quantum Device has been designed to make payment by using quantum technology.

The Prototype Quantum Device

The Quantum Device sends some sort of secret keys from a cell to a terminal of payment in the form of encrypted manner. The transaction both contactless and wireless. It would enhance the security especially in the UK which is always in the news for theft from this type of transactions. With the collaboration of Nokia and Bay Photonics, the researchers in Oxford University have been able to device a system which helps in transmitting quantum signals maintaining the security of the data.

The Quantum Technology

The Quantum Device uses a very innovative way of transaction. It takes into consideration the light particles to send the encrypted information. This  Quantum Device will also maintain the security and thus prevent it from hacking. It uses super-fast movable mirrors and fast LEDs to cover a distance of more than 0.5 metres. The speed is normally 30 kb per second to send a secret pin code. The Quantum Device is made up of a number of overlapping lights which consists of LEDs. They have a different polarisation as well as a polarisation angel. The polarised LEDs are the main source to detect the security of the medium.


The hackers are always ready to bug your device or system in one way or the other. They are always advanced in technology and coding to break into the system of sophisticated devices. However, the team from Oxford University has devised an interesting Quantum Device to keep the hackers away from this transaction device. The key is the quantum which is pretty long and the hackers would be unable to crack the signal. Moreover, the key pattern is also not fixed which would make the task more difficult. One thing that needs to be ensured that the signal reaches its destination in the proper manner.


The research team experimented a lot before coming up with the prototype Quantum Device . They previously analysed on a hand held prototype which was made from a collection of off the shelf materials. In this development, Nokia helped a lot in decreasing the size of the device. They are still worried about the security but with few more tests and experiments round the corner, they are confident that the device would be huge successful in earning the people’s trust. The technology is unique and even if the hackers try to break into the signal, the signal gets altered and it becomes unusable. So, we need to wait before it breaks into the digital market and make a statement among the efficient hackers.

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How Chip Designers Are Breaking Moore’s Law

How Chip Designers Are Breaking Moore’s Law

Chip Designers Break the Moore’s Law by Developing Small Chip

It is widely known that the microprocessors are getting smaller, faster and extremely power efficient with each passing year. But it thus has certain limitation which comes when size is brought down and overcoming such isn’t a small feat. Two of the semiconductor manufacturing giant has made some announcement which is completely unrelated but signifies a major development in the same field of work.

Intel first announced that they had acquired an Israel based start-up called Mobileye which deals with manufacturing the chips & software for the self-driving cars. While in another announcement NVidia revealed that it has developed a latest generation of system which will help in speeding up the machine learning or to be more precise the artificial intelligence.

Driven by specialized computing

Both the semiconductor company are working towards a new way while developing the microprocessor which helps in getting work done more efficiently than ever before. Both of these latest products will be driven by a specialized computing wherein specific software tasks will be embedded right into the physical chips rather than depending on the chip to get all the work done on a CPU.

For a long time this kind of entity has remained available on variety of technology in different from but this this is first time both the semiconductor company is working towards a simple yet noble solution.

The need of smarter microprocessor

The reason behind this development is pretty simple. CPU’s are not getting faster at the pace which they were showing in the past. Therefore they are unable to deal with highly efficient microprocessor in a more effective and productive fashion. This shows that long held Moore’s Law is dying quite unexpectedly.

Moore’s Law has stated a long time ago that the after every two years or so the transistors present in the chip will double itself. This led to the common misconception that the computing device will become faster at the same becoming smaller in size and certainly they will be power efficient.

For quite some time this theory worked like a charm and the results led to its wide acceptance but the recent development is putting it in a tricky spot. Moore Law is certainly coming to its early demise as the theory on which it is based is going out of the equation.

Daniel Reed who chairs the computational science and bioinformatics at the University of Iowa has opined that the Moore is not coming to standstill rather it ageing and eventually it will die at the end but it will be for the good of the humankind as we will have much better computational capability in near future.

Apart from Intel a number of other chip manufacturing are pushing billions of dollars in the research work which helping in finding new innovative, cost effective and robust ways of developing efficient chips, processors and semiconductors. Device performance will get improved with these improvements which is a good sign.

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