Connect with us

Tech

Exclusive: NASA is assembling an independent team to study unidentified aerial phenomena

Published

on

NASA is assembling an independent team to study unidentified aerial phenomena

#NASA #assembling #independent #team #study #unidentified #aerial #phenomena

Why it matters: NASA is assembling an independent team to study unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs) from a scientific perspective. The effort will be led by astrophysicist David Spergel, who previously served as the chair of the astrophysics department at Princeton University. The study is expected to take roughly nine months to complete and will involve input from experts in the aeronautics, scientific and data analytics communities.

Spergel said they will look at available data from governments, civilians, non-profits and companies, decide what other information they should try to collect and determine how to best analyze it.

“Consistent with NASA’s principles of openness, transparency, and scientific integrity, this report will be shared publicly,” said Daniel Evans, the assistant deputy associate administrator for research at NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

The community has largely moved away from the term unidentified flying objects (UFOs) due in part to the stigma it carries and the fact that some of these objects exhibit characteristics atypical of flight and beyond our understanding of physics.

Reports of unknown objects in the sky have persisted for decades – centuries, even – but didn’t attract mainstream media coverage until The New York Times ran a groundbreaking piece on the subject in December 2017.

In 2020, the Department of Defense publicly released a handful of UAP videos captured by Navy pilots. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) published a highly anticipated report on the matter in June 2021. Of the 144 cases studied that originated from US government sources, the report was only able to identify one with high confidence. No explanation was reached for the remaining incidents.

The ODNI said other potential categories for explanation include airborne clutter like balloons or bids, natural atmospheric phenomenon such as ice crystals and thermal fluctuations, and a catchall “other” bin that could require additional scientific knowledge to understand.

The ODNI’s report said there was no data to suggest the UAP it studied were from a foreign adversary. They were also unable to confirm that classified US government programs were responsible for any of the sightings.

Advertisement

Just last month, Congress held its first public hearing on the subject in 50 years.

NASA said unidentified phenomena in the atmosphere are of interest for both air safety and national security, adding that as of now, there is no evidence that UAPs are extraterrestrial in origin. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson has his own opinion on the matter.

One can’t help but question the timing of the study. NASA elected to announce it just one month before it plans to share the first full-color images from the James Webb Space Telescope. Nelson previously said he expects Webb to “open up secrets of the universe that will be just stupendous, if not almost overwhelming.” Perhaps NASA is expecting to uncover something truly revolutionary with Webb and wants to get out in front of it?

The first images from Webb will be shared publicly on July 12.

Image credit: Greg Rakozy, Pixabay

Tech

Exclusive: 52 Best 4th of July Sales: Shop Deals on Tech, Home, Beauty and More – CNET – TalkOfNews.com

Published

on

By

52 Best 4th of July Sales: Shop Deals on Tech, Home, Beauty and More     - CNET

#4th #July #Sales #Shop #Deals #Tech #Home #Beauty #CNET

We’re just a week away from Independence Day and many of the best Fourth of July sales have already begun. With a variety of retailers having already kicked off their sales, those wanting to get a head start on the savings can start shopping right now. 

Whether you’re wanting to upgrade the tech and appliances in your life if you’re ready to revamp your wardrobe, there are plenty of Independence Day deals to choose from — and even more are arriving each day.

We’ve collected together some of the top early Fourth of July sales currently available below to help you make the most of the current promotions. Check back here regularly as we’ll continue to update the list as additional sales begin.

Top tech sales for Fourth of July

  • Amazon: TVs, tablets, smart speakers, e-readers, home security, fitness trackers and more are marked down right now.
  • Best Buy: Price cuts on smart TVs, laptops, smart speakers, headphones and more will help you upgrade your gear for less.
  • B&H: This limited-time Mega Deal Zone promotion is discounting everything from laptops and monitors to Bluetooth speakers and mesh networking gear. 
  • Dell: You can save hundreds on Dell computers and monitors, of course, but you can also get some competitive prices on a bunch of peripherals and consumer electronics from other brands. 
  • Echelon: Take an additional 15% off Echelon connected fitness equipment when you use promo code USA15.
  • Govee: Save on a variety of smart lighting products at Govee.
  • Home Depot: Smart tech for both the home and outdoors is discounted now, along with lots of other tools, storage and appliances.
  • iRobot: Save up to $250 on home cleaning tech like robot vacuums, mops and more.
  • Lenovo: Save up to 55% on select electronics including PCs, tablets, peripherals and much more.
  • Newegg: Deals at Newegg change regularly but there are always savings to be found on computer parts and essential electronics. 
  • OtterBox: Protect your tech with discounts on cases, screen protectors and more.
  • Satechi: Satechi’s summer clearance sale offers as much as 60% off essential tech accessories. 

Home sales for Fourth of July

  • Amerisleep: Get $450 off any mattress with code AS450 as well as 40% off upholstered bed frames with a mattress purchase or 30% off adjustable bed bundles. 
  • Bear: Bear is offering up to 30% off sitewide when you use code JULY30 at checkout. You can also get two free cloud pillows with a qualifying mattress purchase.
  • Bed, Bath & Beyond: If you’re looking for deals on small kitchen appliances, cookware, linens, decor and other deals for the home, you can save a bundle.
  • Casper: Save up to $600 on mattresses and up to 50% off bed frames, pillows, sheets and more.
  • Chewy: Grab some can’t-miss deals for your furry, feathered and scaled friends with deals on food, apparel and more for your pets.
  • Embark: Save up to $40 off DNA test kits for dogs when you use promo code DOGLIFE at checkout.
  • Green Chef: Enjoy $135 off plus free shipping with code GCJULY4TH22.
  • Hello Fresh: Get 16 free meals and free shipping with code HFJULY4TH22.
  • Liquid I.V.: Stay hydrated on the go with 25% off Liquid I.V. using promo code NHD25.
  • Nebula: Get up to 70% off whole genome sequencing. 
  • NordicTrack: Save as much as $100 on connected fitness equipment. 
  • ProForm: Upgrade your home gym with Independence Day deals on rowers, exercise bikes and more.
  • Solo Stove: Save up to 45% on fire pits and 35% off accessories for your backyard or other outdoor adventures.
  • Waterpik: Save as much as 25% on water flossers at Waterpik’s Amazon store.
  • Wayfair: Items are on sale for your living room, office, bedroom, patio, backyard and more with up to 60% off.

Appliance sales for Fourth of July

  • American Freight: Appliances are discounted by up to 55% right now.
  • Best Buy: As well as being great for tech purchases, Best Buy’s Fourth of July deals on appliances are hard to beat right now with discounts across a multitude of appliances, bundle offers and up to $250 in free gift cards. 
  • Lowe’s: Save up to an additional $750 on large appliances, plus discounts tools, outdoor power equipment and more for everything you need for your home or lawn and garden right now. 
  • Overstock: Save an extra 10% off select large appliances.
  • Samsung: Get up to $1,550 off select refrigerators and up to $1,100 off washers and dryers.
  • Sears: Right now you can get up to 35% off select appliances and get free delivery when you buy two or more.

Fashion and apparel sales for Fourth of July 

  • Adidas: Save up to 50% on clothes, hats, bags and a variety of shoe styles.
  • Aerie: Get up to 50% off the Aerie collection of tops, bottoms, bras and clearance as well as up to 50% off swimsuits.
  • American Eagle: Everything is on sale sitewide for up to 50% off right now.
  • Anthropologie: With a plethora of tops, bottoms, dresses and accessories on sale, you’ll find exactly what you need to freshen up your wardrobe for summer at a fraction of the cost.
  • Eddie Bauer: Get up to 50% off shorts, tees and footwear for men and women.
  • EyeBuyDirect: Right now you can get 30% off site-wide with coupon code LOVE30.
  • Free People: Free People is celebrating the start of summer with 20% off select clothing and shoes. And it’s offering free shipping and returns on all orders right now.
  • Hollister: Get up to 50% off select styles plus an extra 25% off swimwear and shorts online.
  • JCPenney: Save up to 30% on select home products or as much as 25% on select apparel, shoes, accessories & fine jewelry with code 4THJULY.
  • Kohl’s: Save an extra 20% with code SHOP20 plus other coupon deals.
  • Laura Geller: Beauty products have up to 60% off plus an extra 10% discount with code JL10
  • Nike: Get up to 40% off sneakers and sportswear.
  • Ray-Ban: Save up to 50% on select Ray-Ban styles in its clearance sale.
  • Urban Outfitters: Save up to 50% off summer styles for everyone.

Travel sales for Fourth of July

  • Budget: Save up to 35% on rental cars. Amazon Prime members can get up to 10% cash back in the form of a gift card.
  • Expedia: Save on US city breaks, foreign vacations and more. Members get special pricing, too. 
  • Hyatt: Members can get summer savings up to 15% off.
  • Marriott: Save on staycations in the US, plus trips to Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America. Use code ZJL to save.
  • Priceline: Get $20 off Express Deals hotels when you use SUMMER2022 until June 28, save 15% on summer stays, save 20% on car rentals and enjoy cruise deals.

Continue Reading

Tech

Exclusive: Here's Everything Coming to Netflix the Week of June 27, 2022 – TalkOfNews.com

Published

on

By

Here's Everything Coming to Netflix the Week of June 27, 2022

#Here039s #Coming #Netflix #Week #June

Netflix

While it’s still be June at the moment, July begins at the end of this week. That means two things for Netflix fans. First, your massive beginning of the month drop is here, and second, the final two episodes of Stranger Things Volume Four are here.

Of course, Stranger Things is arguably one of the most exciting launches this week, but it shouldn’t overshadow the plethora of other content heading subscribers’ way. You’ll also be able to watch classic films like Goodfellas, moving biopics like Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, and comedy specials.

If you’re looking for things to watch over the Fourth of July weekend, here’s everything coming to Netflix the week of June 27, 2022.

  • June 27
    • Cafe Minamdang: A police inspector investigates a business that’s alleged employing a shaman.
    • Chip and Potato: Chip’s Holiday: Chip and Potato must help everyone after falling coconuts keep them away on vacation.
  • June 28
    • Blasted: A bachelor party is interrupted by an alien invasion.
    • Cristela Alonzo: Middle Classy: Comedian Cristela Alonzo debuts a new special.

  • June 29
    • Beauty: An up and coming singer is torn between the industry, her family, and her girlfriend.
    • Extraordinary Attorney Woo: An attorney navigates a new job at a law firm.
    • Pirate Gold of Adak Island: A team searches for pirate gold in Alaska in this docuseries.
    • The Upshaws: Season 2 Part 1: A working class Black family navigates life in this comedy series.

  • June 30
    • Bastard‼ —Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy: A dark wizard has to prevent the God of Destruction from rising.
    • Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom: Idris Elba stars in this biopic about Nelson Mandela.
    • Sharkdog: Season 2: Max and his best friend Sharkdog continue their adventures.

  • July 1
    • Stranger Things 4: Volume 2: The final chapter of Volume 4 hits Netflix.
    • A Call to Spy: A team of female agents help undermine the Nazis during WWII.
    • Big Daddy: Adam Sandler stars in this film about a man who adopts a child to prove he’s responsible.
    • Blue Jasmine: A New York socialite gets divorces and moves in with her sister in San Francisco.
    • Boogie Nights: A young man find success in the porn industry but drugs and egotism threaten his career and new friendships.
    • Catch Me If You Can: An FBI agent attempts to catch a young, prolific bank robber and conman.
    • Deliverance: Four friends set out for a trip to rural Georgia but are terrorized by the locals.

  • July 1 [Con’t]
    • Falls Around Her: An Anishinaabe musician returns home.
    • Final Score: A former solider has to rescue his niece after terrorists take over a stadium.
    • GoodFellas: Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, and Robert De Niro star in this classic gangster film.
    • I Am Legend: Will Smith stars in this film about a man making his way in a post apocalyptic world.
    • Insidious: A couple living in a haunted house find their son has slipped into a coma.
    • LOL: A girl navigates life and romance on social media.
    • Mean Girls: Lindsay Lohan stars in this cult classic comedy about high school bullies.
    • Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous: Gracie Hart returns to save her best friend.

  • July 1 [Con’t]
    • Natural Born Killers: This film explores the way the media covers killers.
    • Old School: College friends decide to found a fraternity after graduation.
    • Police Academy: A police department has to accept all new recruits in this cult classic comedy.
    • Semi-Pro: A unique basketball team own and his set of players must prove their way.
    • Seven: Two cops investigate a serial killer modeling murder on the seven deadly sins.
    • Snatch: Two boxers get roped into a jewelry heist.
    • The Dark Knight Rises: The final film in Christian Bale’s Batman run comes to streaming.

  • July 1 [Con’t]
    • The Dirty Dozen: Convicts are assigned to fight in WWII.
    • The Pursuit of Happyness: A man attempts to make his way on Wall Street to support his son.
    • The Talented Mr. Ripley: A man attempts to co-opt the lifestyle of a wealthy playboy through any means necessary.
    • The Terminal: A tourist is stuck in an airport after a coup in his country.
    • Vampires: A French half vampire, half human comes to terms with her powers.
    • Wyatt Earp: Kevin Costner stars as the famous cowboy.
    • Zero Dark Thirty: A female operative helps assemble the mission to capture Osama bin Laden.


Continue Reading

Tech

Exclusive: Fortnite creators are making studios to build ambitious — and branded — worlds – TalkOfNews.com

Published

on

By

Fortnite creators are making studios to build ambitious — and branded — worlds

#Fortnite #creators #making #studios #build #ambitious #branded #worlds

Last year, Fortnite developer Epic Games launched a big partnership with high fashion house Balenciaga. In addition to a collection of skins decked out in Balenciaga gear available to purchase, Epic also promoted a Balenciaga-themed zone players could visit. It looked like a virtual city square dropped into Fortnite, but at the heart was a recreation of a Balenciaga retail store.

It’s an impressive world, and feels almost like something plucked from the Fortnite battle royale island. But it was actually made by just three creators who are full-time Fortnite Creative experts that have formed their own company to build in-game worlds for brands.

“The fact that I can build games now with a team of almost 10, and we all do it for a living, I think that’s pretty impressive,” Kasper Weber, a Fortnite creator, said in an interview with The Verge. “I don’t think my parents would ever think that would be a thing.”

Weber is a co-founder and CEO of the company Beyond Creative. “Beyond builds unique experiences within Fortnite,” the company says on its website. “We bring our clients’ ideas to life using the powerful Fortnite Creative platform.” The company lists an impressive selection of clients including Verizon, the NFL, Nvidia, AMD, and even Chipotle.

Beyond Creative isn’t the only company doing this kind of work. I talked with three other groups of people working in full-time remote teams making branded Fortnite Creative worlds. TeamUnite is responsible for an entire in-Fortnite RPG based on the movie The Northman. Alliance Studios has worked on Grubhub and Tomb Raider-themed worlds, among others. Zen Creative worked with other creators on a recent concert starring Brazilian rapper Emicida, which took place in a series of shifting virtual locales.

The Fortnite Creative maps aren’t just impressive outlets of virtual world-building, though; making them has proven to be very lucrative for the businesses I talked to. According to Simon Bell, co-owner and art director at Alliance Studios, a contract can range from “four to six figures” depending on the scope of the work. And he estimated that projects can last from anywhere from two weeks to six months, depending on what the team needs to do. “It’s definitely a very successful avenue for us,” said Mackenzie Jackson, Alliance Studios co-owner and creative director.

Creators can probably command such large contracts in part because players are increasingly playing Fortnite Creative maps. According to Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, “about half of Fortnite play time by users is now in content created by others, and half is in Epic content,” he said in an interview with Fast Company. Epic Games declined to be interviewed for this article.

But the Creative makers also rely on income from Epic’s Support-A-Creator program. With this program, qualified groups or individuals get a “Creator Code” that people can enter in the Fortnite item shop. Any purchases made while that code is active support the group or individual the code represents. (Creator Codes can also be used in Rocket League store and the Epic Games Store.)

Advertisement

For the Fortnite groups I talked to, the Creator Codes can be an inefficient way to get revenue, since they have to find ways to convince people to enter the code. In some maps I’ve played, though, there’s a prompt right at the beginning that lets you use the code with just a couple button presses. But creators don’t get much of the share of what’s purchased. In Fortnite, creators earn 5 percent of the value of in-game purchases made using their Creator Code, Epic says on its website.

In an FAQ, Epic spells out a couple examples of how the payouts might work — and explicitly cautions creators to “expect modest results”:

WILL THIS PROGRAM MAKE CREATORS RICH?

Please expect modest results. The amount you earn scales with the number of players who choose to support you. A Fortnite example: If your in-game supporters spend 50,000 V-Bucks in-game, then you would earn $25 USD. An Epic Games Store example: if your supporters purchase $100 of games, you’ll earn $5 (at the base Epic-funded rate).

And to be able to take money out of the system, you have to have earned $100 in a 12-month period.

Brand deals, so far, seem to be a more effective way to build a business for the creators I talked to. “I would say brand deals are more of a sustainable thing at the moment,” said R-leeo Maoate, a director at Zen Creative. “Sometimes we do have gaps where we don’t get as [many people playing our maps], which leads to less revenue. So we try not to rely on Support-A-Creator. We rely more on brand deals.”

Some teams talked to me about how they wished they had more monetization options. Right now, the Support-A-Creator code is the only in-Fortnite way for creators to make money, but competitors like Roblox and Meta let creators monetize things like custom virtual items.

Maoate also talked about how where your experience shows up within Fortnite can make a difference. “You have to be [on] the main front page discovery page in order to make somewhat of an income,” he said.

Despite it being several years old, it seems we’re still in early days with Fortnite Creative. The mode was released in December 2018, but Epic updates it on a frequent basis to add major new tools and features. For example, Johnny Lohe, one of the co-founders of Alliance, told me about how Epic had recently added the ability to modulate water levels. And many of the groups I interviewed discussed a major expected upgrade they referred to as “Creative 2.0.”

Epic shared a brief preview of the improved tools in its 2020 year in review video for Unreal Engine. “These are the same tools that our developers use to put the game itself together,” said Epic’s Zak Parrish in the video. “Our goal is to give you the same kind of power, the same toolset, that we use to bring Fortnite to you season after season.” Epic also demoed a scripting language that creators could use to customize their Creative experiences even more granularly.

The tools might arrive soon, Sweeney said to Fast Company. “Later this year, we’re going to release the Unreal Editor for Fortnite — the full capabilities that you’ve seen [in Unreal Engine] opened up so that anybody can build very high-quality game content and code … and deploy it into Fortnite without having to do a deal with us — it’s open to everybody.”

And there are hints that Epic might introduce more monetization tools as well, also based on comments from Sweeney. In response to a series of tweets in April, discussing Fortnite’s 5 percent kickback to creators, Sweeney tweeted: “Epic is working on Fortnite creator economy version 2 and 3 already. Expect some big changes throughout the year.”

Advertisement

He followed up with a short tweet suggesting that Epic has bigger ambitions. “It’s a longer road to the open metaverse,” he said. “Next few steps will be nice but aren’t the holy grail.”


Continue Reading

Exclusive

Copyright © 2022 Talk Of News.