Science 

NASA bumps astronaut off space station flight in rare move

NASA has bumped an astronaut off an upcoming spaceflight, a rare move for the space agency so close to launch. Astronaut Jeanette Epps was supposed to rocket away in early June, and would have been the first African-American to live on the International Space Station. Late Thursday, NASA announced it was pulling Epps off the mission but didn’t disclose why. Astronauts have been removed from missions in the past, mostly for health reasons. Epps, an engineer, will be considered for future space missions, according to NASA. She’s been replaced by…

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Space 

California legislators move forward bill to create California Aerospace Commission

SAN FRANCISCO — The California Assembly Appropriations Committee approved plans January 18 to create a California Aerospace and Aviation Commission, which would serve as a central point of contact for the industry and recommend actions the governor and state legislature could take to retain jobs and encourage the industry’s growth.“The goal is to bring together the stakeholders and bring together policy recommendations so we can continue to grow and lead the nation and the world in innovation, advanced manufacturing and job creation,” California Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, chairman of the California…

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Space 

Pentagon space posture: Don’t even try to mess with us

Mattis: “We have to have capabilities to deny them what they want to achieve.” WASHINGTON — The title of the 2018 National Defense Strategy — “Sharpening the American Military’s Competitive Edge” — pretty much sums up the tone that has been set by Secretary Jim Mattis. The plan is straightforward: compete, deter and win. And that applies to outer space, too. “Space is like any other domain of war,” Mattis said Friday following a speech at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies here, where he laid out the broad…

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Space 

Finnish president signs space act as country’s first commercial SAR microsatellite launched

WARSAW, Poland — Shortly after a Finnish company successfully launched the country’s first commercial SAR microsatellite, Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö signed the country’s first comprehensive space legislation. The act was drafted by a working group set up to establish a clear framework for the country’s space industry. The legislation creates regulations for local satellite operators, a licensing scheme for space industry players, and the rules for maintaining a national satellite register. The act’s signing Jan. 12 was preceded by the launch of the country’s first commercial synthetic aperture radar (SAR)…

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Top Stories World 

US oil BOOM: America to topple Moscow and Saudis to become biggest producer in 2018

Latest report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts 2018 could be “record-setting” for the US as it looks set to dominate the global market. The respected report predicts: “Relentless growth should see the U.S. hit historic highs above 10 million barrels a day (in production), overtaking Saudi Arabia and rivalling Russia during the course of 2018.” Current crude oil prices are at their highest since December 2014, hitting $70.37 a barrel on Monday. They had pared back a little to $68.69 a barrel on Friday morning. The IEA’s head…

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Top Stories World 

Anti-Trump ‘Resistance’ turns its focus to the ballot box

WASHINGTON — The pink “pussy hat” is in a museum collection, protesters have left the airports, and George Orwell’s “1984” has fallen back off the best-seller list. But the energy behind the anti-Donald Trump protests that exploded a year ago, which turned everything from T-shirts to yoga into a form of political “resistance,” has started to coalesce into a surprisingly sophisticated political force ahead of November’s midterm elections. “Last year we marched and we resisted and we organized, and now we’re going to bring that collective power to the polls,”…

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Technology 

Photo format from Google and Mozilla could leave JPEG in the dust – CNET

Last year Apple managed to shrink photo file sizes dramatically so you could cram twice as many photos onto your iPhone. But hold on, because that might not be the only game in town. Google, Mozilla and others in a group called the Alliance for Open Media are working on a rival photo technology. In testing so far, the images are 15 percent smaller than Apple’s HEIC photo format, said Tim Terriberry, a Mozilla principal research engineer working on the project. But smaller sizes are just the beginning. The project…

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Technology 

Adult entertainment hasn’t figured out AR either – CNET

Two years ago, Naughty America made waves at CES with its debut of VR porn — or, to be specific, 180-degree 3D videos viewable on VR headsets. Riding the coattails of upcoming VR hardware like HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, it was a return to the risque days when CES overlapped with the adult-themed AVN (Adult Video News) show, making an awkward mix of adult entertainment and tech. This year, Naughty America lurked in a smaller closed-off demo space at the back of one of the busiest halls. Much like…

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Science 

Enormous Metalworking System, Including Bronze Age Weapons, Discovered Underneath Pyramid-Shaped Greek Island

A pyramid-shaped hill on the Greek island of Keros has revealed a complex system of drainage tunnels and metalworking from the 3rd millennium B.C. that was ahead of its time. Researchers from the University of Cambridge worked with members of the Ephorate of the Cyclades and the Cyprus Institute on an Early Bronze Age site called Dhaskalio, according to a new University of Cambridge press release. Rising sea levels have turned Dhaskalio into an island, but a thin land bridge (now underwater) still connects it to Keros, a “not so popular” island, according to…

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Sport 

Australian Open 2018 LIVE: Rafael Nadal takes two set lead over Damir Dzumhur

Reuters Rafael Nadal is in third round action Australian Open 2018: Nadal v Dzumhur LIVE updates Nadal 6-1 6-3 5-1 Dzumhur* The first hawk eye challenge gives Nadal a look at Dzumhur’s second serve and he wins the point to earn a break opportunity which he takes. Nadal will serve for the match. *Nadal 6-1 6-3 4-1 Dzumhur Another convincing hold of serve for Nadal. Nadal 6-1 6-3 3-1 Dzumhur* Despite a two set and a break lead, Nadal is still frustrated when he makes a mistake. Just relentless intensity. Dzumhur goes 40-0 in front but has to…

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