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Apple Music has raised the subscription price of its student plan in the US, UK, and Canada, as first reported by 9to5Mac (via TechCrunch). While it’s increasing the price from $4.99 to $5.99 / month in the US and Canada, student users in the UK can expect a similar jump from £4.99 to £5.99 / month.
Apple hasn’t acknowledged the changes yet, but the new pricing information is currently available on Apple Music’s webpage. Students subscribed to Apple Music have also started seeing the price increase on their iPhones and iPads’ subscription pages. It’s unclear when exactly Apple implemented these changes, but, as 9to5Mac points out, it was likely rolled out sometime between June 21st and the 23rd — an archived Apple Music webpage shows the old £4.99 student price on the 21st.
Apple Music’s student plan, which is reserved for those enrolled in a college or university, was previously the most affordable full-featured plan on offer. Pricing for the $9.99 / month individual and $14.99 / month family plans remain unchanged, and the same goes for the $4.99 / month voice plan. While students might look to the voice plan as a way to save an extra buck, it offers more limited access to Apple Music, as you can only control it through Siri.
Apple Music’s price increase isn’t limited to just the US, UK, and Canada. Last month, Apple quietly upped the subscription price for students across several countries, including Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Israel, and Kenya. It’s unclear whether Apple has plans to raise costs for students in additional countries, and Apple didn’t immediately respond to The Verge’s request for comment.
The Playstation 5 is one of the biggest consoles around, but eventually, Sony will likely release a slim version. However, one DIY YouTuber didn’t want to wait several years for it, so he made his own “PS5 Slim.”
Matt Perks, known as DIY Perks on YouTube, got busy taking the entire PS5 apart and slowly figuring out how to remove, replace, or displace all the most significant parts of the gaming console. The result is a PS5 Slim under an inch thick instead of over 4-inches thick like the original.
He substituted components with homemade parts, like the beautiful copper exterior, built his own LED power button, and removed two of the biggest pieces of the Playstation 5 to create a gaming console just a hair thicker than a DVD case.
As you can see from the image and video above, Matt’s Playstation 5 is super thin and absolutely stunning. It’s slim, sleek, and small enough to fit just about anywhere.
However, if you don’t watch the entire video, you’ll miss that two of the most important components aren’t smaller. They’ve just been moved behind the desk. Most of the PS5’s thickness comes from the massive cooling heatsink and power supply needed to power all the fun games.
For this, the YouTuber still came up with a pretty genius plan. He added new custom liquid cooling blocks to his PS5 Slim, then routed the heat, water-cooling, and power to an external power supply and heatsink unit. This way, the chunky parts of Sony’s Playstation 5 can hide behind a TV, out of the way, where it won’t be such an eye-sore.
And while some will consider hiding those two components elsewhere is cheating, it’s still downright amazing what DIY Perks managed to create using household tools. From the shiny exterior, custom copper water block, and everything else that went into bringing this “Slim PS5” to life.
For now, regular people will have to wait a few years and see if Sony releases a slim version of its hard-to-get console or live vicariously through this YouTuber.
The JWST team has completed 10 of 17 “modes,” or checkpoints, on the road to booting up the telescope.
Why it matters
Successful testing means we’re still on the path to receiving the first JWST images this summer.
It’s almost time.
NASA is revving up to release its very first interstellar discoveries, courtesy of the groundbreaking James Webb Space Telescope. Come July 12, we may begin seeing the universe through a vastly clearer lens.
And in preparation for the highly anticipated day, JWST researchers have been meticulously perfecting each of the scope’s trailblazing pieces of equipment — on that note, we have an update.
NASA scientists announced this week that they’ve successfully calibrated the eye of a JWST-mounted device called NIRSpec. This is a pretty big milestone because of the streamlined way NASA organized the road to regular Webb use. The agency basically has to get through 17 instrument “modes,” which you can think of as testing checkpoints, through analysis and observation before fully booting up JWST.
Thus, now counting NIRSpec achievements, the agency has officially passed the halfway point on the mode ledger — bringing the grand total to 10 out of 17 complete.
“The recent confirmation of NIRSpec target acquisition … primes the NIRSpec team for our last activities of commissioning,” the team said. “We cannot wait to see the first NIRSpec science observations coming this summer!”
In fact, “the team has started to take some of the first science data,” per the agency’s release.
A quick recap of the James Webb specs
There are four key components to JWST, each of which contributes to those 17 modes outlined by the agency. Of note, almost all these facets rely on some type of infrared light detection, which means they can study a part of the electromagnetic spectrum invisible to human eyes.
“Study of the intensity or brightness of light across the wavelengths can provide key diagnostic information about the nature of various objects across the universe,” the JWST team said. “From extrasolar planets around distant stars, to faint galaxies at the edge of the universe, and objects in our own solar system.”
You can read about the science of infrared in more detail here — but returning to JWST’s technology army, here’s the breakdown.
Its alpha instrument is probably the Near-Infrared Camera, or NIRCam. NIRCam will essentially lead the charge in detecting and imaging the cosmos as it was when time began. “If NIRCam doesn’t work, the telescope doesn’t work,” Alison Nordt, space science and instrumentation director at aerospace giant Lockheed Martin, who’s been a part of the JWST since the beginning, simply puts it.
Then, there’s the Mid-Infrared Instrument, or MIRI, which has both a camera and spectrograph aimed at dissecting items illuminated by light in the mid-infrared electromagnetic region, and the Near-Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph, or NIRISS, which is basically an exoplanet hunting machine.
Also aboard JWST, you’ll find a navigation system, aka the fine guidance sensor, which helps the scope, well, not get lost. And finally, the star of NASA’s latest update is the Near-Infrared Spectrograph, or NIRSpec.
What is NIRSpec?
“The Near-Infrared Spectrograph is the instrument on the Webb telescope that observes spectra of astrophysical and planetary objects at near infrared wavelengths,” the JWST team said.
In other words, it works to examine space-borne phenomena that emanate light in the near infrared region, but rather than merely image those objects, it can study their chemical composition. That’s the intrigue of spectrography. You get more than a picture of a planet, you get details of what it would be like to stand on it.
And in terms of target acquisition, the JWST team says NIRSpec has an important mirror, which can place cosmic targets in their proper locations as the telescope explores. This is crucial because such information helps NIRSpec’s spectrograph know where to look.
There are two ways the mirror does this — the Wide Aperture Target Acquisition (WATA) and Micro-Shutter Assembly-based Target Acquisition (MSATA). During testing, the team said, WATA performed “excellently” and MSATA made solid progress, and lucky for us, both successes give us awesome cosmic pictures, like the one featured up top.
Further, with regard to MSATA, the JWST team says this method is quite difficult to nail down. It calls for a proper estimation of iNIRSpec science spectral intensity within one-tenth of the device’s shutter width. That’s incredibly precise. For context, it’s “the approximate size of a bumblebee, 1.5 centimeters, viewed from 150 kilometers away,” the team said.
Now that NASA has these successes down, just seven more modes to go before we hit July 12 — the day we’ve all been waiting for.