NASA’s Mars ‘Opportunity’ Rover May Be Lost in Massive Dust Storm

It outlasted its 90-day initial mission by over 14 years, but a massive Martian dust storm could put an end to the solar-powered Opportunity rover’s travels. The storm has blanketed 14 million square miles of Mars, or about a quarter of the planet, which is currently inhabited only by active and inactive robots.

Opportunity began its lonely sojourn Jan. 25, 2004, and helped Earth-bound scientists examine meteorites on the Meridiani Plains, and discovered traces of ancient acidic lakes.

NASA says the solar-powered craft stopped responding on June 12, but all hope isn’t lost. The agency expects Opportunity shifted into a “low power fault mode,” which disables all systems except the mission clock, reducing power usage from scarce energy stored in its batteries.

The clock will regularly wake an onboard computer to check power levels. If power ever returns to an operational level, the rover will slowly bring itself back into service—or at least start communicating.

While the craft derives its energy from the sun, it’s critical for it to charge its batteries fully enough to run heaters that keep components from failing in the cold, ironically including the batteries. Mars’ average temperature—its average!—is -81°F.

Scott Maxwell, a former Mars rover driver who led the team driving Opportunity and its twin Spirit for the first several years, says via email to Fortune, “I refuse to believe that anything can kill Opportunity—I half think she’ll still be roving Mars when humans are forgotten!”

Maxwell, who left NASA in 2013 for Google, notes in the spirit of anthropomorphizing common to those involved with rovers, “She did more than anyone expected from her or ever could have expected from her, and if we can all say that at the end of our lives, then we’ll be as lucky as she is.”

NASA’s Curiosity rover is elsewhere on the planet, on the edge of the current dust storm, but it also doesn’t need sunlight. It relies on radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTGs): plutonium-powered devices that convert the heat of radioactive decay into electricity.

This isn’t Opportunity’s first dust rodeo. In 2007, just a few years into its extended mission, a planetary dust storm blocked the sun for two weeks, during which time the craft stopped responding as well. However, the current storm is twice as opaque as the 2007 one, providing even less marginal sunlight.

Opportunity landed with a twin craft, Spirit, which stopped communicating in 2010. Spirit is believed to have given up the ghost due to a failed wheel and being mired in soft sand, which led to a bad position relative to the sun for charging. Without enough power, Spirit likely froze too deeply to revive itself.

The agency has plenty of eyes on Mars that may help it discover Opportunity’s fate if it doesn’t wake from slumber. Besides Curiosity and Opportunity on the surface, a whopping six orbiters circle the red planet, gathering data for NASA, the European Space Agency, Russia’s Roscosmos, and the Indian Space Research Organization.

More help is on the way, too. NASA recently launched towards Mars the Insight lander—and two tiny CubeSats, satellites that are 14.4 by 9.5 by 4.6 inches when packed tight. Unfurled, they contain full propulsion systems. The CubeSats, named Mars Cube One and Two, won’t collect science data or land, but they’re tests for future small-scale deployments.

NASA says it will be several days after the storm abates before Opportunity’s fate becomes clear.

Biggest Surprises (and Missed Opportunities) of the E3 Press Conferences

It’s Tuesday, which means the E3 show floor is now open. It also means we’re finally at the end of a four-day slog of press conferences from some of the gaming world’s largest publishers. While Activision Blizzard still doesn’t do its own pre-E3 event, just about everyone else does, which means these 96 hours have been a deluge of announcements and reveals that we did our best to get our arms around. We didn’t even cover them all: the Square Enix press conference was basically devoid of new information, and the PC Gaming Show, while compelling, was mostly a long list of indie game announcements—some of which we’ll be getting to later this week.

So, for now, here’s everything you need to know about every press conference you need to know about. Get through this, and you’ll be ready for all the other E3 news that starts….well, now.

Electronic Arts

E3 kicked things off on Saturday (yes, Saturday) with a quiet, largely uneventful press conference from Electronic Arts, broadcasted from their annual EA Play event at the Hollywood Palladium. The presser opened with Battlefield V, set during World War II, which will have heavily destructible environments and a Battle Royale Mode a la Fortnite. Respawn Entertainment gave up some details about their in-progress Star Wars game—more on that shortly—and a bit of an update on the ongoing service for Star Wars: Battlefront II.

In new games, EA revealed Unravel 2, a follow-up to its game about a precocious, cuddly little yarn man (this time, he has a friend!) and Sea of Solitude, a compellingly brooding small game introduced by a compellingly earnest German developer. The publisher also took the wraps announced a mobile Command & Conquer game and gave a lengthy demo of Anthem, BioWare’s upcoming shared-world mech game that seems to be aiming to be a Destiny killer. Even better, Anthem now has a date: February, 22, 2019. (Also FIFA was there, because FIFA is always there.)

Biggest Surprise: We got a name for Respawn’s new Star Wars game: Jedi: Fallen Order. Respawn has made great first-person shooters with the Titanfall series, so it’ll be interesting to see what they can do with the Star Wars license.

Biggest Missed Opportunity: Jedi: Fallen Order was announced sans logo or even concept trailer, which felt like a letdown. It’s hard to get excited about a name, even when it’s a good name.

Microsoft

Microsoft’s last couple of Xbox press conferences haven’t exactly succeeded at articulating the future of the Xbox—even if that future is unexpectedly bright. This year, then, was a pleasant surprise: Microsoft brought a lot of material, and a lot of surprises.

First, the publisher has quietly been getting very acquisition-happy, and is hoping to bolster its first-party games with a slew of studios that they now own. These include Ninja Theory, who made last year’s Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, Undead Labs (State of Decay), Playground Games (Forza Horizon), and Compulsion Games (We Happy Few). It’s hard to say whether or not acquisitions like this are good for studios; creators get a payday, but history is riddled with instances of big publishers buying small studios and slowly running them into the ground. Time will tell whether or not this is good for gaming, but it’s certainly a good move for Microsoft.

Then, there were games. A lot of games. There’s Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, a game about ninjas from the developers of Dark Souls, coming in 2019. Forza Horizon 4, a new installment that takes the racing franchise to Britain. The Division 2, which brings the shared world shooter to Washington, DC. Devil May Cry 5, with the franchise’s original creator back at the helm. Dying Light 2, a sequel to my favorite zombie parkour game. Gears of War 5, a Gears of War tactics game, and a Gears of War themed, uh, Funko Pop game. And Halo: Infinite, a new installment in the Halo franchise that we know just about nothing about. Also, fans got a new trailer for Kingdom Hearts 3, which is officially coming out January 25, 2019.

Biggest Surprise: Halo: Infinite could be a big deal, as could the expanded effort into Microsoft Game Pass, a subscription service that gives subscribers the Netflix-like ability to download and play a swath of the Xbox library for a flat monthly fee. But after Microsoft made so much noise about the PC at last year’s press conference, this year’s relative silence spoke volumes.

Biggest Missed Opportunity: Offering just about no details on a new Halo title made the announcement fall pretty flat.

Bethesda

The Bethesda E3 Showcase was huge this year. We got a closer look at Rage 2, a massive open-world shooter co-developed by id Software and Avalanche Studios, complete (?) with an on-stage appearance by Andrew WK. A short trailer played for Doom Eternal a sequel to the excellent Doom 2016 reboot; just like the old-school Doom 2, Eternal is apparently set on Earth. QuakeCon in August should provide many more details in that realm.

There will also be a new Wolfenstein game next year, set in an alternate-universe 1980s and starring the twin daughters of Nazi-murder-machine BJ Blaskowicz. And then there’s the big stuff: a lengthy look at Fallout 76, an impressive-looking, fully online, open-world Fallout game coming November 14; Elder Scrolls Blades, a mobile phone game that strives to be a fully featured, complete Elder Scrolls experience; and two projects much farther out on the development pipeline, sci-fi title Starfield and Elder Scrolls VI. Both are unlikely to show up on the current generation of consoles.

Biggest Surprise: Any glimpse at Elder Scrolls VI is a bit of a surprise, actually. As was the jokey-but-maybe-real Announcement of Skyrim: Very Special Edition for the Alexa.

Biggest Missed Opportunity: Andrew WK, whose presence seemed to confuse and even tranquilize the crowd. (To be fair, this is mostly a missed opportunity for Andrew WK.)

Ubisoft

Ubisoft’s presser opted for meatiness, giving fans a long look at Beyond Good and Evil 2, which looks to be a huge earthy space opera, though detail are scarce about gameplay or release. As Microsoft also revealed, The Division 2 will be set in Washington, DC, and will feature raids and free DLC as it tries its hardest to become the Tom Clancy-verse Destiny-killer it aspires to be.

New properties showed up as well. There was a lot of Skull & Bones, a gritty pirate adventure in a shared online world, and Starlink: Battle for Atlas, a sci-fi toys-to-life game (think Skylanders) bringing its dogfight-heavy combat to the Nintendo Switch—and featuring Fox from Star Fox. Finally, there was a big look at Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, which takes place in Ancient Greece and lets the player choose between two characters. Also, you can talk to Socrates, so … there’s that. Odyssey comes out October 5.

Biggest Surprise: Unlike the past couple of years, Aisha Tyler didn’t host. Aisha! Where’d you go? (Probably one of your gazillion jobs.)

Biggest Missed Opportunity: Despite teasing it with recent DLC for Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Ubisoft did not announce a new entry in the Splinter Cell stealth game franchise. Color me disappointed.

Sony

Sony’s Monday-night press conference this year was a bit odd. It started in a small “church” set, which ended up being a recreation of a location from The Last of Us, Part II, which was also the first game shown of the night. The showcase focused on lengthy demos for a handful of major Sony titles: The Last of Us; Ghost of Tsushima, a samurai game developed by Sucker Punch, which looks like a Kurosawa fan’s dream game; Death Stranding, Hideo Kojima’s surrealist eco-pocalypse starring mo-capped digital versions of Norman Reedus and Mads Mikkelsen along with what was, frankly, a weird number of babies; and Insomniac Games’ Spider-Man, which is looking like quite a romp.

Between each of these big showcases, we got canned commentary along with other announcements: A Resident Evil 2 full HD remake, coming next January 22; va sequel to the samurai Souls-like Nioh 2 developed by Team Ninja; and Control, a fascinating-looking game from Remedy Entertainment (Alan Wake) about the director of a supernatural agency. There was also another Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer, showcasing a Pirates of the Carribean world, which brought the week’s KH3 trailer total to three (so far).

Biggest Surprise: The footage of The Last of Us, Part II, along with being just as dizzyingly hyperviolent as its predecessor, featured what might be the first and only lesbian kiss ever featured on an E3 stage. The presentation of queerness in a game by a company like Sony isn’t without reproach by any means, but that’s honestly still pretty cool.

Biggest Missed Opportunity: Fair warning: I’m not going to stop hollering about Bloodborne 2 until they release Bloodborne 2.

Nintendo

Nintendo’s press conference somehow felt both huge and underwhelming. First, we got some new announcements, in the form of Daemon x Machina, a neat-looking mech action game, coming in 2019; some DLC for Xenoblade Chronicles 2; a new snazzy-looking Fire Emblem; and Super Mario Party, which will include the novel feature of linking together two Switch consoles to make one big board-game simulation. Next: that game you like is coming back in style! Yes, it was the Nintendo Switch port montage, featuring a ton of games, like Dragon Ball FighterZ, Hollow Knight, Wasteland 2, and the JRPG classic The World Ends With You (which we’d heard about but was still nice to see).

The rest of the show was devoted to one title, and one title only: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which arrives for the Nintendo Switch December 7. They ran down the characters (all of them, from every Smash Bros game ever, are here), and went over a long list of very detailed changes that are sure to delight hardcore fans but might have been a bit dull to everyone else. And that was, uh, it.

Biggest Surprise: Ridley, the giant dragon alien baddie from Metroid, is coming to Smash Bros, which seems like a logistical nightmare for the developers.

Biggest Missed Opportunity: Nintendo completely failed to mention Metroid Prime 4, which the company had announced last year, or their online service, which is supposedly still slated for this fall and yet is still a huge unknown.


More Great WIRED Stories

Deliveroo steps up Just Eat battle, letting restaurants use own riders

LONDON (Reuters) – Deliveroo will allow restaurants to use their own riders for orders placed through its takeaway food app, in a move which will boost the number of available outlets by 50 percent as it intensifies a battle with rival Just Eat.

FILE PHOTO: Deliveroo food delivery bags are seen in Nice, France, June 5, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

All orders currently placed on the platform in Britain are delivered by one of the firm’s 15,000 riders, well-known for their distinctive black and teal jackets and delivery boxes emblazoned with its kangaroo logo.

Just Eat, however, works with restaurants which mainly supply their own drivers in Britain, and in limited cases uses third-party couriers.

Deliveroo hopes the change, which is called Marketplace+ and comes into effect in July, will boost the number of available restaurants from 10,000 to 15,000 by the end of the year with thousands more riders likely to be taken on.

Restaurants will be able to accept orders and assign them to either their own drivers or those on Deliveroo’s platform.

“Traditionally we’ve been unable to work with those restaurants … because they already have their own delivery fleet and so they thought ‘well we don’t really need Deliveroo,’” co-founder and Chief Executive Will Shu told reporters.

“We’re changing the game. We’re enabling these restaurants to tap into our delivery fleet,” he added.

Just Eat said in March it would spend an extra 50 million pounds ($67 million) this year to battle competition from rivals such as Uber Eats and Deliveroo, in a fiercely competitive market which has burgeoned in recent years.

Since making its first delivery in London in 2013, Deliveroo has expanded into 11 other countries with new markets due soon, prompting questions about whether the firm will pursue an initial public offering (IPO) as it continues to grow.

“An IPO – I’m not saying it’s off the cards,” said Shu. “It’s definitely something that we’ll consider but just not now. We’re not in any rush, we’re heads-down on trying to really grow this business,” he said.

Editing by Stephen Addison

Craigslist Founder Donates $20 Million To Endow Journalism Program

Craig Newmark, founder of the online classifieds site Craigslist, donated $20 million to the endowment of the graduate journalism school at the City University of New York (CUNY), which is changing its name to the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.

The school has focused on ways to instill more trust in journalism, including a program Newmark helped underwrite, the News Integrity Initiative, to which he gave $1.5 million, and which ultimately raised $14 million. The school will continue to pursue that initiative, as well as hire more faculty, and create new programs. The school says Newmark will not be involved in choosing how money is spent. A relatively new school, it can’t yet rely on donations from alumni.

This may seem like an ironic gift for a man who newspaper publishers once railed against as the destroyer of classified ads, a high-margin pillar in broadsheet and tabloid profits. Craigslist, founded in 1995, gained steam as the decade progressed, and a 2013 report in the journal Management Science estimated papers lost $5 billion to Craigslist between 2000 and 2007.

Newmark, however, has nourished an interest dating back a decade in better understanding the future of journalism, partly by funding investigations into that topic, and by underwriting non-profit reporting organizations and academic institutions and publications. In recent years, he has donated millions to investigative news site ProPublica, the Sunlight Foundation, the Columbia Journalism Review, Data & Society Research Institute, and others. In 2015, Newmark founded Craig Newmark Philanthropies, through which these gifts now flow.

His operational involvement with Craigslist has been minimal for many years, though he remains a key shareholder in the privately held firm. Some estimates suggest the site nets hundreds of millions of dollars a year from charging small fees for jobs, apartments, and a few other categories. Forbes lists him as a billionaire, but Newmark hasn’t commented precisely on his wealth.

Though Newmark has no direct history with CUNY, he does with Jeff Jarvis, a professor at and director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the CUNY journalism school, as a key influence in guiding his understanding of the field. The center focuses on researching a viable financial future for journalism and training students in creating sustainable editorial ventures.

Newmark has credited Jarvis, a veteran journalist and editor, and at CUNY since 2005, with providing an education for him as newspapers faltered following the rise of Internet-based advertising and information sources. Jarvis, in a blog post today, knocked the idea to the side that Newmark deserved blame (or credit) for the shift in cost for short ads and its impact on the news business: “Craig didn’t invent the internet. He created the most prominent example of what the internet could do in directly connecting buyers and sellers, reducing inefficiency in a market.”

New Microsoft Surface Leak Reveals 'Secret' Codenames

More evidence of Microsoft’s move into lower-cost tablets has come to light, as codenames for both the tablet and the attachable keyboard have been reported. The USB-C equipped tablet is ‘Lex’, while the keyboard cover attachments will be ‘Gibs’.

Ewan Spence

Microsoft’s previous lower-range tablet, the Surface 3 (Image: Ewan Spence)

Microsoft’s Surface range has always allowed the Redmond-based company to not only experiment with form and factor, but to also use the brand as a visual signpost to manufacturers on what it would like to see in the market. It also shows off the Windows 10 environment in a ‘pure’ format. In that sense the Surface range’s closes association is that of the Nexus and Pixel smartphones from Google.

As I noted the last month in Forbes, the move towards a lower-cost Surface tablet challenges Apple’s iPad in the educational market, but with the benefits of a much more open operating system.

While Windows 10 in its many variants also maintains a connection to Microsoft’s cloud based services, these potential new Surface machines will have a significant advantage – they will be open to third-party programs outside of a walled garden, huge amounts of legacy support, and the machines will be easily transferable between users.

As Apple moves towards narrowing the options on the tablet front, Microsoft is using its Surface line-up to promote a similarly priced product that takes a more open look at the ecosystem.

All of this requires a low-priced Surface tablet – similar to the Surface 3 – to exist. The initial reports of such a unit came from Bloomberg, and have now been followed up with details on the internal builds and codenames. Mayank Parmar reports:

We already know that Microsoft’s affordable Surface tablet will target Apple iPads in the tablet market, and now a new report provides us with a closer look at the device.Today, Microsoft enthusiast Walking Cat discovered that the affordable Surface device is internally codenamed Lex, and Microsoft is also working on a type-cover codenamed, Gibs.

As well as Apple’s iPad, the other educational comparison that an affordable Surface/Keyboard combination will draw is with the various Google-powered Chromebooks from a number of manufacturers. Just like Microsoft ties Windows 10 to its cloud, so does Google with ChromeOS. The hardware is the on-ramp to services, and Microsoft’s focus on education is a late arrival… but one that could have significant impact if played correctly.

Now read more about another lightweight portable Windows 10 design from Microsoft… the Surface Laptop…

iPhone Exclusive: Apple's Radical Design 'Confirmed'

In May my exclusive story confirmed Apple’s new iPhone line-up and one cancellation. Now, I can reveal the designs of the most exciting models and the radical move Apple will make… 

Working in collaboration with popular accessories maker Ghostek, a partnership which previously saw me leak Samsung’s final Galaxy S9 design in December, I have obtained schematics for both the so-called ‘budget iPhone X’ and the super-sized iPhone X Plus. And while I expect the former to be the bestseller, it is the latter which will shake-up the smartphone world.

Let’s break them down.

Ghostek, Gordon Kelly

iPhone X Plus schematics show a triple rear camera

iPhone X Plus – A Triple Threat

The headline news is the schematics show iPhone X Plus will introduce triple rear camera. Huawei beat Apple to market with this technology in the excellent P20 Pro, the iPhone X Plus will be the handset to bring it to the masses.

Apple’s triple lens setup is currently unknown, but it would make sense to copy Huawei’s approach of a monochrome camera aiding the primary and telephoto modules. This produced class-leading low light photography. Low light is also an area where Apple has struggled against rivals (one in particular) over recent years.

Interestingly, I understand the second generation iPhone X will stick to two cameras so – once again – Apple will save its flagship photography for the largest (and most expensive) model.

In addition to this, the schematics show Apple has managed to cram a massive 6.5-inch display into the iPhone X Plus yet kept its footprint smaller than the 5.5-inch iPhone 8 Plus: 157.2 x 77.1 mm (6.18 x 3.03-inches) compared to 158.4 x 78.1 mm (6.24 x 3.07-inches). That said, its steel chassis means it should weigh more than the 202g aluminium iPhone 8 Plus.

‘Budget’ iPhone X – Goodbye Mini iPhone X

In my May exclusive, I revealed there would be no ‘mini-iPhone X’ and again these schematics show Apple is thinking big.

Ghostek, Gordon Kelly

‘Budget’ iPhone X schematics confirm size and a single rear camera

The budget iPhone X (which I believe will simply be called ‘iPhone’), will measure 147.12 x 71.52 mm (5.79 x 2.81-inches) which is longer and wider than the current 5.8-inch iPhone: 143.6 x 70.9 mm (5.65 x 2.79-inch).

Yes, as widely rumoured, this will be a 6.1-inch phone.

Its budget roots can be seen in the single rear camera (it will also lose 3D Touch), while you’ll note the notch looks more pronounced.

To this end, I have been told the budget iPhone X will have first generation Face ID technology while the new iPhone X and iPhone X Plus have gen two. But take that with a pinch of salt as it comes from an unproven source.

Of course, the real appeal of the budget iPhone X will be the cost with Apple expected to slash prices across the range by as much as $300 compared to last year.

Needless to say, this far out it is possible for designs to change but with mass production taking several months to ramp up there would be no time for anything other than the most minor of tweaks.

So, ladies and gentlemen, you are indeed looking at two of Apple’s most exciting iPhones in years…

___

Follow Gordon on Twitter, Facebook and Google+

More On Forbes

Exclusive: Apple’s Massive New iPhones Revealed

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Apple Leak Explains Surprisingly Large OLED Budget iPhone

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Apple iOS 11.4: Should You Upgrade?

iPhone Exclusive: Apple's Radical Design 'Confirmed'

In May my exclusive story confirmed Apple’s new iPhone line-up and one cancellation. Now, I can reveal the designs of the most exciting models and the radical move Apple will make… 

Working in collaboration with popular accessories maker Ghostek, a partnership which previously saw me leak Samsung’s final Galaxy S9 design in December, I have obtained schematics for both the so-called ‘budget iPhone X’ and the super-sized iPhone X Plus. And while I expect the former to be the bestseller, it is the latter which will shake-up the smartphone world.

Let’s break them down.

Ghostek, Gordon Kelly

iPhone X Plus schematics show a triple rear camera

iPhone X Plus – A Triple Threat

The headline news is the schematics show iPhone X Plus will introduce triple rear camera. Huawei beat Apple to market with this technology in the excellent P20 Pro, the iPhone X Plus will be the handset to bring it to the masses.

Apple’s triple lens setup is currently unknown, but it would make sense to copy Huawei’s approach of a monochrome camera aiding the primary and telephoto modules. This produced class-leading low light photography. Low light is also an area where Apple has struggled against rivals (one in particular) over recent years.

Interestingly, I understand the second generation iPhone X will stick to two cameras so – once again – Apple will save its flagship photography for the largest (and most expensive) model.

In addition to this, the schematics show Apple has managed to cram a massive 6.5-inch display into the iPhone X Plus yet kept its footprint smaller than the 5.5-inch iPhone 8 Plus: 157.2 x 77.1 mm (6.18 x 3.03-inches) compared to 158.4 x 78.1 mm (6.24 x 3.07-inches). That said, its steel chassis means it should weigh more than the 202g aluminium iPhone 8 Plus.

‘Budget’ iPhone X – Goodbye Mini iPhone X

In my May exclusive, I revealed there would be no ‘mini-iPhone X’ and again these schematics show Apple is thinking big.

Ghostek, Gordon Kelly

‘Budget’ iPhone X schematics confirm size and a single rear camera

The budget iPhone X (which I believe will simply be called ‘iPhone’), will measure 147.12 x 71.52 mm (5.79 x 2.81-inches) which is longer and wider than the current 5.8-inch iPhone: 143.6 x 70.9 mm (5.65 x 2.79-inch).

Yes, as widely rumoured, this will be a 6.1-inch phone.

Its budget roots can be seen in the single rear camera (it will also lose 3D Touch), while you’ll note the notch looks more pronounced.

To this end, I have been told the budget iPhone X will have first generation Face ID technology while the new iPhone X and iPhone X Plus have gen two. But take that with a pinch of salt as it comes from an unproven source.

Of course, the real appeal of the budget iPhone X will be the cost with Apple expected to slash prices across the range by as much as $300 compared to last year.

Needless to say, this far out it is possible for designs to change but with mass production taking several months to ramp up there would be no time for anything other than the most minor of tweaks.

So, ladies and gentlemen, you are indeed looking at two of Apple’s most exciting iPhones in years…

___

Follow Gordon on Twitter, Facebook and Google+

More On Forbes

Exclusive: Apple’s Massive New iPhones Revealed

Apple Leak Exposes Larger iPhone Designs

Apple Leak Explains Surprisingly Large OLED Budget iPhone

Apple Warns iPhones Have A Serious Problem

Apple iOS 11.4: Should You Upgrade?

The U.S. Just Reclaimed the World’s Fastest Supercomputer Mantle From China

The United States has retaken first place in a major metric of technological heft – the world’s fastest supercomputer is once again American.

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a branch of the U.S. Department of Energy, unveiled the new computer, called Summit, on Friday. The system, according to the department’s announcement, is rated to perform 200,000 trillion calculations per second, or 200 petaflops. That makes it eight times more powerful than America’s former fastest supercomputer, the Titan, and gives it a substantial edge over China’s 93-petaflop TaihuLight, which had been the world’s fastest supercomputer since 2016.

Summit will be used for research in fields including energy, advanced materials, and artificial intelligence. According to supercomputing news site Top500, it was built by IBM using IBM’s Power9 CPUs and Nvidia Tesla V100 GPUs.

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Advances in computing power have been described as a 21st century equivalent of the Space Race between America and the U.S.S.R., though the primary contenders this time around are the U.S. and China. The debut of Summit is a step towardswhat might be called that competition’s moon landing – an exascale computer, capable of a billion billion calculations per second. The U.S. has set a goal of developing an exascale computer by 2021, but according to DoE, Summit can already reach exascale speeds for “certain scientific applications.” The Chinese Academy of Sciences has said they’ll deploy an exascale supercomputer by 2020.

Like the space race, the development of such incredibly powerful computers will spread innovation across many sectors, and could confer long-term competitive advantages to the nation in the lead. The most dramatic competition may be in the development of artificial intelligence, but much attention is also focused on Summit’s application in health sciences. The ability to search and collate vast amounts of data is expected to speed the discovery of new medicines and advanced treatments, such as by correlating diseases to genetic markers, or developing individually customized treatments for each patient.

Tempted to Drop a Project That Isn't Working? Here's a Quick Way to Know Whether You Should Give Up or Push Through

Have you ever hit a wall in a project and wonder if you should push harder or give up? How do you know if you are facing inner resistance or seeing a sign that you should shift gears and change direction? There may be times when you give up too soon and change strategies before you had given a project a chance to work. The easy guide to the right decision is to gauge your passion about the project.

In established companies, giving up on a project could mean costs burned with printing of unusable marketing materials, loss of time and money in training staff in a new program, advertising dollars and more. Some CEO’s find it almost easier to justify moving forward than abandoning the plan just for the chance to get the investment back. If it fails, the loss can be made up from other divisions and not make or break a company.

Smaller companies face bigger risks when testing new strategies. We do most of our marketing online which makes it is easy to shift gears and test new strategies without much loss of investment. The problem is that it can be too easy to jump ship at the first sign of failure. Many entrepreneurs get caught up in the shiny object syndrome and move from strategy to strategy too quickly without measuring or understanding the results.

In a new start-up, it can be difficult to predict the future and avoid bad mistakes. A fool-proof measurement is looking at the amount of passion you have for the project. When you really believe in a project you will do whatever it takes to make it work. You will use your mind to focus, you won’t give up on a small setback and keep pushing through. The passion will motivate you to overcome the obstacles.

If you don’t have the drive and feel ready to give up at the first sign of resistance, you are not emotionally invested enough to see the project succeed. If you are driven by money alone, you may not feel connected to your personal passion and lack enough energy to break through challenges.

One time we had a project that hit some roadblocks and the program was not selling. We were at a crossroads on whether we should drop it or keep trying to make it work. We checked in and realized that were not too enthusiastic about it to take the extra steps toward getting the sales. When we shifted to something that we were excited about creating, success seemed to follow us effortlessly. Even when small hiccups occurred, they did not stop us and the new project exceeded our expectations.

Most projects worth pursuing have a passionate motivator. Ask yourself if the project is going to help move the company forward in a big way or something that would be challenging and meaningful to test out.

The key question to ask yourself is “If I put myself all in this and it still did not work, would I still be glad I tried?”

Just having a passion toward something does not guarantee a good result. Sometimes the best projects are the ones that you know may fail but there is something driving you to move toward it even if it seems impossible. These passion projects always lead to something more and many times take you to new, unexpected opportunities.

Entrepreneurs, especially in start-ups do a lot more testing than more established companies. You have to face a lot of unknowns and have little data or history to back up decisions. When you don’t have the numbers to measure the risk, you have to rely on measuring your passion. Even if your passionate project does not bear immediate fruit, you will gain more information and data by going all the way that will help you with your next big idea.

The Essential Life Lesson We Can Learn From Anthony Bourdain and 'Parts Unknown'

Anthony Bourdain is dead at 61, of an apparent suicide, while in France filming the next episode of Parts Unknown. Bourdain was already a TV star and bestselling author when he launched his latest series, but it won accolades, and award after award for the fascinating way it brought unknown and possibly scary places, from the Congo River in Africa to Antarctica to the broken-down neighborhoods of Detroit. 

Bourdain once described the show as asking different people around the world some very simple questions: “What makes you happy? What do you eat? What do you like to cook?” Finding the answers to those questions resulted in an equally simple message: Don’t be afraid. Just because a place is remote and completely unlike anyplace you know, just because the people there look different and have different beliefs and everyday lives from you, just because someplace or someone is completely unfamiliar–don’t be afraid. Instead, be curious. Learn more. Take a bite.

To my husband, for whom Bourdain was a beloved figure, who usually leaves Parts Unknown streaming on Netflix from one episode to the next as he prepares meals for us, this fearlessness was Bourdain’s biggest gift to us all. “If I was going to go to Ecuador or someplace I wouldn’t be as afraid because of him,” he says. 

And indeed, from the book that launched him into stardom right through Parts Unknown, fearlessness was the one thing you could always count on from Bourdain. When he flipped over an ATV and had it roll over him during an episode of No Reservations, or when he went to Lebanon but brought along the wound-stopping product Quick Clot at the insistence of the U.S. military, he was perhaps annoyed or embarrassed, but–at least outwardly–he was never afraid.

Look at any image of Bourdain you can find. He’s nearly always standing or sitting square to the camera, looking it (and you) right in the eye, chin up, his expression a combination of an ironic smile and a challenge. The shot that you always see, again and again, in every one of his shows is Tony walking, through some burned-out war zone or lavishly wealthy neighborhood, ambling confidently along, unhurried but unhesitating, shoulders back. The man had incredibly good posture. If anything ever intimidated him, most of us will never know what it was.

That’s the other lesson from the life and untimely death of Anthony Bourdain. However much we may think we know a public figure, however authentic and truly himself he may seem in front of the camera or on the page, and however much we may love him, we can’t ever truly know what’s going on in someone else’s mind, let alone someone we have never actually met. His friends mostly report that he seemed happier than he had in a long time.

But his fellow globe-trotting TV chef and close friend Andrew Zimmern also shared a truth that many successful people know: Having your ambitions fulfilled does not necessarily lead to happiness and relaxation. It usually leads to even longer hours and greater exhaustion as you work at the thing you love, running in place to stay fresh, stay relevant, and keep getting better–and Bourdain did all those things.

Zimmern says that when he and Bourdain met up, they would talk about “wanting to get off this crazy roller coaster, but at the same time knowing that this was our work,” he told The New York Times. “The world has lost a brilliant human being and I’ve lost one of the few people I could talk to about some of this stuff.” Apparently there was a darker side to Bourdain and to the life he lived. It’s an odd coincidence that Bourdain was found dead three days after designer Kate Spade took her own life, also by hanging, and two days after the Centers for Disease Control released a report showing that suicide rates in American have increased throughout this century

Please don’t be part of this growing epidemic! If you feel you need help or just want to talk about the topic, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 1-800-273-8255. 

CNN is collecting memories about Bourdain from anyone who cares to share them (you can do so here) and posting many of the responses on its site. Scroll through and read how many people say he inspired them to take a chance–quit a job they hated to travel the world, or write a book, or both. That’s the man’s best legacy and the best way to remember and honor him: by doing something you’ve been afraid to do or going somewhere you’ve been afraid to go, going somewhere you’ve been afraid to go–even if it’s just an ethnic neighborhood in your own home town.

The network is airing a tribute to Anthony Bourdain at 10 pm Eastern tonight and a series of his favorite Parts Unknown episodes through the weekend. Here’s the schedule: