Day: February 13, 2020

NASA’s next science missions will head for Venus, Io, or Triton

Image of VenusVenus, one of three possible destinations for NASA’s next Discovery missions | NASA/JPL

NASA just gave four teams $3 million each to bring their Solar System exploration dreams closer to reality. Two of the scientific teams have their sights set on Venus, one is focused on Jupiter’s highly volcanic moon Io, and the last is targeting Triton, a moon of Neptune.

“These selected missions have the potential to transform our understanding of some of the solar system’s most active and complex worlds,” Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, said in a press release. “Exploring any one of these celestial bodies will help unlock the secrets of how it, and others like it, came to be in the cosmos.”

The four teams are finalists for NASA’s next round of Discovery-class missions. Discovery-class…

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‘Disgruntled’ former Waymo self-driving car operator arrested for causing car crash

A former Waymo contractor was arrested after allegedly forcing one of the company’s self-driving cars to crash in Tempe last month, according to AZ Central. Police say 31-year-old Raymond Tang drove his Mazda recklessly around the Waymo vehicle, eventually swerving in front of the self-driving car and slamming his brakes, causing the Waymo vehicle to rear-end him.

The collision was captured on video by the Waymo vehicle’s cameras and posted online by ABC15. A dark Mazda can be seen swerving several times in front of the Waymo vehicle before eventually slamming on the brakes and causing a minor fender-bender.

Waymo, which has the same parent company as Google, operates hundreds of self-driving minivans in the suburbs of Phoenix,…

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Tesla owner says remotely disabled Autopilot features have been restored

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Tesla has restored the Autopilot driver assistance features it remotely disabled on a used Model S, just days after Jalopnik published a story about the customer’s ordeal.

The owner, who Jalopnik simply referred to as Alec, confirmed to The Verge that the features are back after The Next Web spotted new Tesla Motors Club forum posts he wrote earlier this week. Alec said he was contacted by a Tesla customer experience rep who “apologized for my troubles, told me that Tesla has restored all missed options” and “cited a miscommunication” as the reason why the company pulled the Autopilot features in the first place.

Alec had purchased the used 2017 Model S in December from a third-party dealer that acquired the car from Tesla at auction…

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EA reassigns future Need for Speed projects to Burnout developer Criterion Games

EA says that future games in the Need for Speed series will be developed by Criterion Games, while the series’s previous developer Ghost Games will be rebranded as a support studio to aid in various projects under the EA umbrella, according to GamesIndustry.biz.

Criterion Games is best known for creating the Burnout series. However, the studio previously produced two games in the Need for Speed series — 2010’s Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit and 2012’s Need for Speed: Most Wanted, which are some of the more popular installments in the franchise.

Personally, I felt that 2012’s Most Wanted was a high point in the series because it felt like a spiritual sequel to Burnout, while maintaining the identity of Need for Speed. Meanwhile, my editor…

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