Jeff Bezos is going to space on first crewed flight of rocket
Jeff Bezos will be flying to space on the first crewed flight of the New Shepard, the rocket ship made by his space company, Blue Origin. The flight is scheduled for July 20th, just 15 days after he is set to resign as CEO of Amazon.Blue Origin said Bezos' younger brother, Mark Bezos, will also join the flight."Ever since I was five years old, I've dreamed of traveling to space," Bezos, 57, said in a Monday morning Instagram post. "On July 20th, I will take that journey with my brother. The greatest adventure, with my best friend."
If all goes according to plan, Bezos — the world's richest person with a net worth of $187 billion — will be the first of the billionaire space tycoons to experience a ride aboard the rocket technology that he's poured millions into developing. Not even Elon Musk, whose SpaceX builds rockets powerful enough to enter orbit around Earth, has announced plans to travel to space aboard one of his companies human-worthy crew capsules.
British billionaire Richard Branson, whose own space company, Virgin Galactic, is planning on conducting flights to suborbital space for ultra-wealthy thrill seekers and competing directly with Blue Origin. Branson has long said he would be among the first passengers aboard Virgin Galactic's rocket-powered plane, but that flight is expected to take place later in 2021.Blue Origin's flight crewed flight will see the company's six-seater capsule and 59-foot rocket tear toward the edge of space on a 11-minute flight that'll reach more than 60 miles above Earth.After six years of extensive and often secretive testing of the rocket and capsule, called New Shepard, Blue Origin announced in May that it was preparing to put the first passengers in a New Shepard capsule.
Octopus punches fish in the head —just because it can
Why do octopuses have eight arms? The better to punch fish with, new research reveals.These brainy cephalopods sometimes team up with fish to find food; hunting collaboratively like this allows them to cover more area, and it increases their chances of catching prey. However, when big blue octopuses (Octopus cyanea), also known as day octopuses, are displeased with their fish partners, they demonstrate their ire by suddenly punching the fish in the head.The octopus lashes out using "a swift, explosive motion with one arm," in an attack "which we refer to as punching," scientists wrote in a new study.
Temporary hunting alliances between octopuses and coral reef fish have been documented for decades and can involve multiple participants of various species, the study authors reported Dec. 18 in the journal Ecology. Sometimes, fish and octopuses will work together for more than an hour, with different species scouting different locations. Octopuses pursue prey that dart around rocks and into tight spaces in the reef, while bottom-feeding fish such as the yellow-saddle goatfish (Parupeneus cyclostomus) scour the seafloor, and other fish species patrol the water column, according to the study.
This startup wants to build VR headsets with 'human eye-resolution'
Earlier this month, Google virtual reality head Clay Bavor discussed the company’s efforts on a mind-boggling 20 megapixel screen that was currently under development. The screens would be a staggering 17x resolution improvement on displays in current generation VR systems like the Rift and Vive. They would also be totally unusable, because at the frame rates needed for VR, such displays would burn through 50-100 GBs of data per second.The key for working this out would be utilizing a technology called foveated rendering to track where a user’s eyes are looking and ensure that only the area at the center of their vision is being rendered at full resolution.While this will undoubtedly be a technology that enables the future of high-end VR, it’s still one that relies on expensive displays that aren’t even widely available yet.
A Finnish startup is positing that they’ve come up with a way to bring human-eye level resolution to VR headsets through a technique that will direct a pair of insanely high-resolution displays to the center of your vision. With current technology, the company claims this will enable perceived resolutions north of 70 megapixels.Varjo, which means “shadow” in Finnish, is looking to bring this technology to higher-end business customers by next year at a price of “less than $10,000” according to the company.
Why show off this tech now? Largely because the company is currently raising cash stateside and was just awarded a few patents related to these technologies last week.I had the chance to demo a prototype of the company’s technology last week using a modified Oculus Rift headset with Varjo’s display systems embedded.I suppose the best testament to the company’s technology was that I spent most of the demo questioning whether my eye sight had actually been improved. After being dropped into an apartment scene, I was almost disturbed by my ability to read the spines of books on bookshelves several feet away.