A Japanese startup has ambitious plans for on-demand meteor showers

A Tokyo-based startup is hard at work developing a system that would deliver “shooting stars on demand.” According to a report by Japan Times, the world’s first artificial meteor shower could take place over Hiroshima as early as 2020. ALE Co., is reportedly in the final stages of developing two satellites. The first is set to be launched into space in March of next year, while the second would follow sometime mid-year. Each would have a payload of roughly 400 tiny balls whose tightly-guarded chemical formula would create a luminous display in the night sky.The balls would be re-usable, allowing…

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Here’s why you shouldn’t give your Fortnite password to strangers

A teenager in Ohio fell victim to the oldest scam on record while playing Fortnite. Hopefully his loss will stand as a good lesson for the legions of other neophytes cutting their teeth on the popular battle royale game. What happened: The 13-year-old, named Jake, was playing a match when a stranger made him a tempting offer. He could have free skins for his character — a character that, according to Jake’s mom Amy, he’d already invested a significant amount of money in. All Jake had to do was give the stranger his account details, including his password. I’m not necessarily…

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Google Translate glitch predicts the second coming of Christ

Google’s AI appears to be using its Translate platform to spread some good old-fashioned doomsday prophecy. We have no way of confirming that the world isn’t coming to an end, but we’re going to go ahead and say it’s a glitch. If you type “dog” into the Google Translate service a bunch of times and then chose to translate from Maori to English, you’ll receive the following response: Doomsday Clock is three minutes at twelve We are experiencing characters and a dramatic developments in the world, which indicate that we are increasingly approaching the end times and Jesus’ return. The glitch,…

This story continues at The Next Web

Or just read more coverage about: Google Translate,Google

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Trump inauguration kicked off the ‘angriest’ period in Facebook’s history

According to a new study by Pew Research Center, social media users are angrier than they’ve ever been — at least as best as we can tell using emoji. Since the inauguration of one Donald J. Trump, social media users are mashing the angry reaction more than ever. While “Like” remains the most common reaction, and “love” has been the most-used non-default reaction since it was released in late 2015, “angry” has since taken the crown, and by a wide margin. Facebook first unveiled the new emoji reactions globally in early 2016, although many users had then in late 2015.…

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Or just read more coverage about: Facebook

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Limbo and Inside fill a neglected niche in the Switch library

After playing both Inside and Limbo on the Nintendo Switch, I’ve com3 to the realization that the handheld needs more games with less color. Tiny person in a big world Limbo and Inside are the only games thus far made by indie studio Playdead. In both games, you play child-like characters in dystopian worlds devoid of color. There’s no combat or action. All you can do is try to survive attacks and puzzle your way to the end. Both games are recognizable for their dark imagery, and it’s indeed quite dark. If I had to choose, I’d say I like Inside‘s visual style a…

This story continues at The Next Web

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Freshly hatched Loon strikes deal to beam internet access from balloons over Kenya

News Brief: A week after becoming an independent business under Alphabet’s wing, the venture formerly known as Google’s Project Loon has struck its first commercial deal to provide balloon-powered 4G/LTE internet service to regions of central Kenya starting next year. “Our path to success as a company is through providing value to mobile network partners like Telkom Kenya and helping them extend their reach to places where ground-based infrastructure can’t go,” Loon’s CEO, Alastair Westgarth, said in a Medium post. Terms of the agreement with Telkom Kenya were not disclosed. The deal follows up on work that Loon did while it was part of Alphabet’s X moonshot factory, including efforts to boost internet access in Puerto Rico last year after Hurricane Maria hit.

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Boeing outdoes Airbus’ jet sales tally at Farnborough, but the details are murky

Boeing and Embraer executives
Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg is flanked on the left by Boeing’s chief financial officer, Greg Smith, and on the right by Embraer CEO Paulo Cesar Silva. (Boeing Photo)

Boeing declared victory in its multibillion-dollar sales competition with Airbus at this week’s Farnborough International Airshow — but the details are murkier than usual, in part due to international trade frictions.

Boeing chalked up 528 orders and commitments for airplanes during the show. Airbus’ corresponding tally came to 431, including up to 60 of the A220 jets formerly known as the Bombardier CSeries. Those single-aisle jets would go to a new airline called Moxy, with the first deliveries due in 2021.

To counter that Airbus-Bombardier partnership, Boeing struck a deal of its own earlier this month with Brazil’s Embraer to market small-size passenger jets.

Farnborough’s list-price sales total for Boeing added up to $98.4 billion on the commercial airplane side of its business, and $2.1 billion on the services side. Airbus’ corresponding number shaped up in the range of $50 billion to $60 billion, according to 24/7 Wall Street.

“Boeing led the way at Farnborough, demonstrating value for our customers, capturing important new business in products and services, and announcing the unique strength of our strategic partnership with Embraer,” Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said in a news release.

“We also invested in our European communities and launched our new Boeing NeXt organization — proving the future is built here, at Boeing,” Muilenburg said.

Looking longer-term, Boeing gave a 4.1 percent boost to its 20-year airplane market outlook: The company estimates that commercial jetliner demand will call for 42,730 new planes valued at $6.35 trillion between 2018 and 2037. When the estimated demand for $8.8 trillion in services is added in, the total figure exceeds $15 trillion.

The market projections don’t directly factor in dramatic departures from the trend line — either on the upside due to innovations such as autonomous flight or electric propulsion, or on the downside due to trade tensions.

At the air show, Muilenburg told CNBC that “the aerospace marketplace thrives on free and open trade around the world.”

“We are concerned about some of the talk about tariffs and trade restrictions,” he said.

Such concern is reflected in the fact that hundreds of this week’s orders and commitments were attributed to undisclosed customers.

It’s standard practice for mystery buyers to account for some sales: Boeing and Airbus want to make their air-show numbers look good even if all the details of every deals aren’t firmed up. But the trend was much more noticeable this year, leading one attendee to tell Reuters that Farnborough was “more of a UFO show.”

Some of Airbus’ mystery deals were said to involve Chinese customers who wanted to avoid exacerbating Beijing’s trade battle with Washington.

“The world today is governed by the tweets we receive every morning from one side of the Atlantic,” Bloomberg News quoted Airbus’ Eric Schulz as saying at an investor presentation. “So, you know that that is putting a lot of pressure within the airlines, it’s putting a lot of pressure within the governments.”

On Boeing’s side of the ledger, undisclosed Chinese customers may be hanging back in the shadows while they wait to see how trade negotiations turn out. It could take months to see how much of the Farnborough afterglow endures.

As big as this week’s air show was for Boeing, next year’s Paris Air Show could be bigger: By then, Boeing could take the wraps off plans for its New Mid-Market Airplane, also known as the NMA or the 797.

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg will be one of the featured speakers at the GeekWire Summit in October. Check out the GeekWire Summit webpage for details as well as information about sponsorship and registration.

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The gift of grunge: Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture to receive Chris Cornell statue from singer’s family

Chris Cornell
Chris Cornell in Los Angeles in 2009. (BigStock Photo)

Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture is home to exhibits and iconic pieces of memorabilia celebrating everything from comics to rock ‘n’ roll. At the end of next month, it will receive a gift in tribute to Chris Cornell, the late lead singer of Soundgarden and a son of the city’s definitive grunge history.

Vicky Cornell announced Friday, on what would have been her husband’s 54th birthday, that she is having a life size bronze statue commissioned of the rock icon and that she will be donating it to MoPOP.

Sculptor Nick Marras will create Cornell in one of his signature poses, with boots, dog tag, layers and long locks, according to a news release.

“Even though Chris’ music touched the lives of millions around the world, there is no better place than Seattle to honor and celebrate both his contribution to music history, as well as Seattle’s unique place in popular music, with an enduring symbol of a beloved artist, father, and husband,” Vicky Cornell said. “Our children and I are deeply moved by the continued outpouring of love, compassion, and support, and this is our gift to the Museum of Pop Culture and to Seattle — our gift back to the tight-knit community that gave him his start.”

Cornell took his own life after a concert in Detroit on May 18, 2017. He was 52.

MoPOP, originally founded by Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen as the Experience Music Project, sits at the base of the Space Needle at Seattle Center. The curvy, colorful structure designed by architect Frank Gehry opened in 2000.

PREVIOUSLY: Ever-changing Seattle mours the loss of another touchstone in Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell

“MoPOP is honored to receive this gift from the Cornell family and pay tribute to one of the most powerful and important voices in popular music,” Jasen Emmons, artistic director at MoPOP said in a statement. “MoPOP serves to celebrate the Seattle music scene and the luminaries who have emerged from the Northwest and Chris was a key figure who has made a lasting impact on generations worldwide.”

The statue, which will be dedicated in a public ceremony on Aug. 29, will be located in front of MoPOP’s gold south entrance, facing 5th Avenue.

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Geek of the Week: Slalom’s Jeremiah Dangler helps find solutions to big problems as Hackathon leader

Jeremiah Dangler, practice area lead at Slalom, points to a drone with CEO Brad Jackson during the development of a search and rescue solution at a Slalom hackathon. (Slalom Photo)

Jeremiah Dangler came to technology later than many who make a career out of it. But at Slalom, the business and consulting firm headquartered in Seattle, Dangler said he has been given incredible opportunities to apply his craft.

A practice area lead at Slalom, Dangler leads a team that designs and builds products to help clients improve workflow and efficiency. He also leads Slalom’s Hackathon Program, where the three- to five-month long-form hackathons are open to everyone working at the company. Dangler is also GeekWire’s new Geek of the Week.

“I grew up and spent most of my life in the Georgia and Tennessee region where I married my high school sweetheart,” Dangler said. “We heavily relied on each other as we made our way through school and into our careers. I was a late adopter of technology and returned to school in 2007 to complete a bachelor’s and master’s degree in applied computer science while my wife started and finished pharmacy school.”

Just over three years ago, Dangler said his and his wife’s careers were stalling a bit and they we wanted to make a big change and live in a different area of the country.

“After some searching, we moved our son and family dog to Seattle, one of the greatest tech hubs in the world,” he said. And the family has grown to include a 2-year-old girl.

The most recent hackathon at Slalom was focused on social good, with 275 employees participating. The Hack for Social Good featured teams across 18 Slalom offices with 26 not-for-profit organizations. Each team identified a problem statement, and developed a solution for issues ranging from homelessness to human trafficking.

Learn more abut this week’s Geek of the Week, Jeremiah Dangler:

What do you do, and why do you do it? I’m a Practice Area Lead at Slalom where I work in a group that builds products for our customers across the globe. This group is currently known as the Delivery Network and has six centers across North America where we form teams to design and build products using Agile and DevSecOps best practices. My role includes leading product engineering teams, driving a culture of curiosity, collaboration, and continuous exploration; and encouraging growth of my team to be great engineers and leaders. The product engineering teams that I run challenges me to use my technical skills to build cloud native solutions while mentoring engineers and architects around me. The most impactful project definitely has to be our work with Teradata.

My other passion at Slalom is driving our culture. One way that I do that is by leading our Hackathon Program where we run long-form hackathons that last three to five months. These hackathons are open to everyone at Slalom, allowing all team members to contribute to building a solution, not just developers and engineers. Our latest hackathon was titled Hack for Social Good, where more than 275 employees formed teams across 18 offices, partnered with 26 not-for-profit organizations, identified a challenge they were experiencing, and developed a solution. One example is how a team helped local nonprofit, All Home, by developing an app for their annual county-wide count of those experiencing homelessness. Previously relying on pen and paper, the app will not only improve accuracy and efficiency of the count, but also compile the data in minutes compared to the months it previously took.

What’s the single most important thing people should know about your field? Product engineering is 90 percent enterprise systems that run the world. They are not the flashy apps or world changing innovations you want to read about in the news. It’s the products that make our lives easier and the world a better place. It may not always be sexy, but it can have a positive impact in our communities.

Where do you find your inspiration? In the people around me. The one thing that drives me to push the boundaries is the people I work with every day. It’s been amazing to find a place full of smart, motivated people that really love doing what they do.

What’s the one piece of technology you couldn’t live without, and why? My phone, not because I like to talk on the phone, because I don’t. It allows me to record notes and to-do items quickly, check emails and respond to message instantly, and gives me access to the books and applications I love.

(Photo courtesy of Jeremiah Dangler)

What’s your workspace like, and why does it work for you? I like to keep my workspace clean with the exception of a few mementos from past projects. I’m fortunate enough to work in an environment like Slalom’s, where there is a lot of space for fun activities throughout the office, like shuffle board and arcade games. So, keeping my desk clear of clutter lets me focus on the project at hand.

Your best tip or trick for managing everyday work and life. (Help us out, we need it.) Turn off notification and app badges. It’s been amazing how much less stress I have not seeing those. I check my email a just few times a day now.

Mac, Windows or Linux? Mac — I’m a developer at heart. After doing development on all three platforms, the Mac environment has been the most enjoyable.

Kirk, Picard, or Janeway? Janeway — did you see her persevere without support from the rest of Starfleet on the other side of the universe? She was leader on her own!

Transporter, Time Machine or Cloak of Invisibility? Time Machine — have you seen “Avengers: Infinity War”? So powerful.

If someone gave me $1 million to launch a startup, I would … Build a tech innovation lab open to young people to explore new technologies and ideas with the support of great minds from around the world.

I once waited in line for … all three “Lord of the Rings” movies. I grew up reading about Tolkien’s world and loved seeing it come to life on the big screen. I managed to watch each movie three times in the theater.

Your role models: I’ve had many over the years. I’ll mention a few here. To start, my father who taught me compassion and patience as he raised my sister and me. He was always involved in our lives and put us above everything else. My mother who taught me perseverance and love through all the difficult times. Her unyielding dedication to family is an inspiration.

A few historical role models include Gen. Patton for his ability and skill to lead through action. Patton always led from the front gaining the trust of his troops. Another historical role model includes John Adams. He was always challenging the status quo and striving to make this country a better place. When it comes to software engineering and computer science I look up to Donald Knuth for his desire to teach others to be life-long learners.

Greatest game in history: I’m going to go analog here with the table top game Agricola. No game has engaged me the same way Agricola has. This game requires your full attention and forces you to maximize your moves.

Best gadget ever: AirPods. I used them for calls more than music and it’s been amazing.

First computer: Dell Dimension 4500. That seems so long ago!!

Current phone: iPhone.

Favorite app: Feedly — it’s a great way to consume news without the distractions of what modern websites bombard you with.

Favorite cause: Supporting non-profits and government organizations through innovation. The latest hackathon I ran at Slalom created solutions to help law enforcement stop human trafficking.

Most important technology of 2018: Serverless — this approach has really unlocked how companies build cloud-native solutions. Serverless has allowed companies to go to market quicker with lower cost entry.

Most important technology of 2020: Artificial Intelligence — with each year AI is easier and easier to use and integrate with. We will see business solution implement AI in subtle but powerful ways.

Final words of advice for your fellow geeks: Growth and comfort don’t coexist — always look for opportunities for growth and never stop learning! Reflect on what you’re doing every week to determine if you’re growing your skills or learning something new.

Twitter: @jdangler

LinkedIn: Jeremiah Dangler

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Amazon opening 1st distribution center in Eastern Washington, 4th overall in home state

Amazon’s Fulfillment Center in DuPont, Wash. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

Amazon said it will open a fulfillment center in Spokane, Wash., the state’s second largest city.

The 600,000-square-foot facility, which Amazon says will employ more than 1,500 people is the company’s first distribution center in Eastern Washington, and its fourth overall in the state. The company says humans will work alongside robots to pick, pack and ship items to customers such as games, housewares, school supplies and pet toys.

Amazon highlighted its investment in Washington in the announcement, saying it has poured $37 billion into its home state since 2011, including infrastructure upgrades and employee compensation. Amazon employs 50,000 people across the state in its Seattle HQ campus and fulfillment centers.

Amazon’s distribution centers are a key piece of its logistics and delivery strategy. Amazon recently went a step further, announcing in June a new program to help entrepreneurs start and run their own delivery operations — dropping off items purchased on Amazon.com in distinctive blue Prime-branded shirts and vans.

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