Rocket Lab has successfully launched NASA's 55-pound CAPSTONE cubesat that will eventually orbit the Moon if all goes to plan. It's a small but important step in NASA's Artemis mission that aims to send humans to the Moon for the first time since 1972. The launch proceeded nominally according to NASA's broadcast, reaching low-Earth orbit at about 'T' plus 10 minutes. An Electron launch is much like any other, except that it's the first rocket to be electrically powered by batteries rather than a gas turbine. As such, there's a phase called "battery ejection" which happens near the end of the launch cycle. Rocket Lab used an Electron rocket with a special addition called the Lunar Photon upper stage with enough power to send it into deep space. It's one of the smallest rockets to attempt to launch a payload to lunar orbit, the company said. It launched from Rocket Lab's site on New Zealand's Mahia Peninsula, and is "the highest mass and the highest performance Electron has ever had to fly by quite some margin," the company told TechCrunch earlier. CAPSTONE will orbit Earth for nine days to build up enough speed for a trans lunar injection (TLI) that will allow it to eventually orbit the Moon. The primary objective is to verify a type of highly elliptical lunar orbit called "near rectilinear halo" that's planned for the Gateway space station. Gateway will eventually be delivered to lunar orbit by SpaceX with a science lab and living quarters for astronauts, along with ports for future spacecraft. Rocket Lab was supposed to launch CAPSTONE yesterday but delayed it until today "to perform final system checks," NASA tweeted. Regardless of the launch date, it's scheduled to arrive at the moon on November 13th. To see a replay of the livecast, check here.
If you post about being able to mail abortion pills to those who need it on Facebook, don't be surprised if you get a warning or even get your account restricted. A tipster told Motherboard that they were notified a minute after posting "I will mail abortion pills to any one of you" that their status update had been removed. When they tried to post about it again later, they were banned for it. Motherboard was able to replicate the scenario, and we were able to confirm it, as well. We tried posting "abortion pills can be mailed" on Facebook and were quickly notified that we violated the website's Community Standards.FacebookIn the next slide explaining our infraction, Facebook said doesn't allow users to buy, sell or exchange things such as tobacco, marijuana, recreational drugs and non-medical drugs. To test it out, we posted "I'm selling cigarettes," "cigarettes can be mailed," "anti-depressants can be mailed" and "painkiller pills can be mailed." None of them got flagged. General posts such as "abortion is healthcare" didn't get flagged either. As for our post that did get flagged, we were asked if we would like to accept Facebook's enforcement action or not. After choosing to accept it, our post got removed but we didn't get banned. According to Motherboard, their account got restricted for 24 hours after making several posts that got flagged.It's unclear when the website started removing posts about mailing out abortion pills and whether it only began after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. The Supreme Court's decision made all types of abortion illegal in several states with trigger laws, but people in those states can still get abortion pills shipped to them from international groups like Aid Access. Facebook could be preventing that information from getting to some people who need it, though, especially since it flags posts with "mail" and "abortion pills" even for international users. We posted from outside the US and still got a warning. "Some items aren't regulated everywhere," the slide explaining our violation reads, "but because Facebook is borderless we have global standards that apply to everyone."The New York Times also recently reported that Facebook's parent company, Meta, told employees not to discuss the Supreme Court ruling within the workplace. Moderators would reportedly swoop in and quickly remove posts about abortion in the company's internal Workplace platform. Meta did, however, tell employees that it would reimburse them for travel expenses if they need to access out-of-state healthcare and reproductive services "to the extent permitted by law."
The bodies of 46 dead migrants were discovered inside a tractor-trailer on Monday in San Antonio, Texas, city officials said, in one of the most deadly recent incidents of human smuggling along the US-Mexico border.
People with arm paralysis might easily feed themselves in the future. Johns Hopkins University-led researchers have developed a new technique that let a partially paralyzed man feed himself using robotic arms connected through a brain-machine interface. He only had to make small movements with his fists at certain prompts (such as "select cut location") to have the fork- and knife-equipped arms cut food and bring it to his mouth. He could have dessert within 90 seconds, according to the researchers.The new method centers on a shared control system that minimizes the amount of mental input required to complete a task. He could map his four-degree freedom of movement (two for each hand) to as many as 12 degrees of freedom for controlling the robot arms. The limbs' prompt-based intelligent responses also reduced the workload.The technology is still young. Scientists want to add touch-like sensory feedback instead of relying exclusively on visuals. They also hope to improve the accuracy and efficiency while reducing the need for visual confirmation. In the long term, though, the team sees robotic arms like these restoring complex movements and providing more independence to people with disabilities.
In a letter posted on her official website, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has revealed that House Democrats have been working on legislation to protect personal data collected by reproductive health trackers. It's one of the three avenues the lawmakers are exploring following the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. "Many fear that this information could be used against women by a sinister prosecutor in a state that criminalizes abortion," she explained, though she didn't expound on how the lawmakers plan to protect people's personal data. Users have been swapping their period trackers for others they believe can offer them more privacy ever since the Supreme Court decision dropped. It's not unusual for companies to sell user information or to cooperate with law enforcement, and people are concerned about the possibility of investigators using that data to identify them if they ever seek an abortion. As TechCrunch reported, a number of reproductive health apps enjoyed a surge of new signups over the weekend. One of those apps is Flo, which announced that it plans to launch an anonymous mode shortly after the Supreme Court decision came out. The mode is supposed to remove one's personal information from their account so that they can't be identified, but Flo has yet to reveal when it will become available. It's worth noting that Flo's average daily installs has been on the decline, based on Apptopia numbers cited by TechCrunch, likely because it has a history of sharing private data with third parties.Back in 2019, The Wall Street Journal listed Flo as one of the apps that had been giving Facebook access to people's sensitive data. Two years later, Flo settled with the FTC over allegations that it was sharing information with the social network, Google and other third-party companies. As part of that settlement, Flo now has to explicitly ask for user consent before it can give external services access to their personal health information.Despite the House Speaker's announcement that House Democrats are working "to protect the health and freedom of American women," there's no guarantee that the legislation they're cooking up would be signed into law. It's always smart to take a closer look at how apps are protecting user data by reading their "nutritional label" on iOS or their "safety section" in the Play Store on Android. But for those who want to be truly safe, perhaps the best solution is to not use a period tracking app at all.
When Rivian drivers do eventually get on the road, they'll have their pick of charging networks including a brand new one from the EV truckmaker itself. Rivian announced on Monday that the first three sites of its burgeoning "Adventure Network" of Level 3 fast DC chargers are coming online and will be accessible to nearly every other EV on the road, regardless of who makes it. The first station opened in Salida, Colorado with four chargers capable of delivering 200 kW of power that's about 140 miles of range for an R1T in 20 minutes in addition to the existing set of Level 2 chargers. Rivian will officially open the other stations in Inyokern and Bishop, California, later in the week. You've probably never heard of any of these towns unless you frequent Yosemite National Park, Sequoia National Forest, Mammoth Lakes or Death Valley National Park. Similar to Jeep's efforts to install charging stations at trailheads, Rivian's Adventure Network seeks to add fast charging capabilities along both popular cross-country routes and also near national parks and other out-of-the way locations. RivianWe designed Rivian charging to support electrified adventure, and these first sites demonstrate how were enabling drivers to responsibly reach some of the nations most breathtaking natural spaces, Trent Warnke, Rivians Senior Director of Energy and Charging Solutions, said in a statement. In addition to scenic or off-the-beaten-path destinations, our fast charging rollout is designed to ensure travelers have places to charge along major transportation corridors coast to coast. To that end, the company hopes to install some 3,500 chargers at 600 sites nationwide.