Former NASA astronaut who helped build new Boeing spacecraft won’t fly on first mission

Former NASA astronaut Chris Ferguson says he no longer plans to command the first-ever crewed mission of the Boeing Starliner, the spacecraft he’s spent the last decade helping to build.



a man wearing sunglasses: Boeing astronaut Chris Ferguson looks on during a press conference at the Kennedy Space Center, in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019. They will be part of the first crew to fly on the Starliner spacecraft some time next year.


© Terry Renna/AP
Boeing astronaut Chris Ferguson looks on during a press conference at the Kennedy Space Center, in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019. They will be part of the first crew to fly on the Starliner spacecraft some time next year.

NASA and Boeing made the announcement Wednesday morning, saying Ferguson made the decision for “personal reasons.” Ferguson said in a follow-up tweet that he plans to prioritize his family, and he “made several commitments which I simply cannot risk missing.”

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He did not provide further details.

Ferguson, an engineer and veteran of three Space Shuttle missions, left the NASA astronaut corps in 2011 to help Boeing design and build a next-generation spacecraft that could

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What Is Fair Use? Google vs. Oracle Brings Decade-Long Copyright Battle To Supreme Court

KEY POINTS

  • Oral arguments were held before the Supreme Court over the copyright case between Oracle and Google
  • Google stands to pay Oracle nearly $9 billion for 11,000 lines of code in Android software if the court rules in Oracle’s favor
  • Big tech is throwing in behind Google while media and entertainment companies and the Trump administration is backing Oracle

The Supreme Court faces upending the tech industry by determining whether Google stole code from Oracle in building its Android operating system in a case that could redefine the meaning of the fair use doctrine. All eight justices on Wednesday grilled the tech giants’ legal teams as well the U.S. deputy solicitor general in a potentially far-reaching case.

Google said its incorporation of 11,500 lines of Oracle Java code constitutes fair use, while Oracle argued the action violated its ownership rights. The lawsuit has been working its way through the

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Big tech responds to antitrust report

The major tech platforms push back against the House antitrust report, Google Assistant gets a “guest” mode and we interview a freshly minted Nobel laureate. This is your Daily Crunch for October 7, 2020.

The big story: Big tech responds to antitrust report

The House Judiciary Committee released its tech antitrust report late yesterday, concluding that the big tech platforms should face additional regulation. Recommendations include creating new separations to prevent dominant platforms from operating in adjacent lines of business, new requirements for interoperability and data portability and increased restrictions on mergers and acquisitions.

For now, these are just recommendations — and they weren’t endorsed by the committee’s Republican minority. But they have prompted forceful responses from four of the companies targeted by the report: Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.

Amazon, for example, dismissed the committee’s views as “fringe notions” and “regulatory spitballing,” while Apple said it “vehemently” disagrees with

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3 Scientists Win Nobel Physics Prize for Black Hole Research | Science News

By DAVID KEYTON, SETH BORENSTEIN and FRANK JORDANS, Associated Press

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Three scientists won the Nobel Prize in physics Tuesday for establishing the all-too-weird reality of black holes — the straight-out-of-science-fiction cosmic monsters that suck up light and time and will eventually swallow us, too.

Roger Penrose of Britain, Reinhard Genzel of Germany and Andrea Ghez of the United States explained to the world these dead ends of the cosmos that are still not completely understood but are deeply connected, somehow, to the creation of galaxies.

Penrose, an 89-year-old at the University of Oxford, received half of the prize for proving with mathematics in 1964 that Einstein’s general theory of relativity predicted the formation of black holes, even though Einstein himself didn’t think they existed.

Genzel, who is at both the Max Planck Institute in Germany and the University of California, Berkeley, and Ghez, of the University of

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Facebook bans political ads after polls close on Election Day

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We’ve heard a lot about voter suppression as we approach Election Day. So what is it and how does it manifest itself? The Associated Press explains. (Oct. 5)

AP Domestic

With tensions rising between President Trump and his Democratic challenger Sen. Joe Biden, Facebook is taking urgent new steps to keep political candidates and their campaigns from using its social media platforms to cast doubt on the election and its outcome.

The company said Wednesday that it will ban all political, election and social issue ads after the polls close on Nov. 3 for a week or longer. Google adopted a similar rule two weeks ago.

On Election Day, Facebook will notify users of the latest results at the top of news feeds on Facebook and Instagram.

If a presidential candidate or party declares victory before the election is called by major media outlets, those posts will be labeled

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Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University Utilizes AMD EPYC Processors for Scientific Research

AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) and the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University have reported the deployment of AMD EPYC 7702 processors for use in a new high performance computing system.  The EPYC processor will be utilized in a supercomputer to deliver 2.36 petaflops of computing power as the institute plans to use for scientific research.  The Scientific Computing & Data Analysis Section of the institute plans to implement its new supercomputer to support intensive research from bioinformatics, computational neurosciences and physics.

“2020 is a milestone year for OIST with new research units expanding the number of research areas. This growth is driving a significant increase in our computational needs,” said Eddy Taillefer, Ph.D., Section Leader, Scientific Computing & Data Analysis Section. “Under the common resource model for which the computing system is shared by all OIST users we needed a significant increase in core-count capacity to both absorb these

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20 years after Microsoft’s antitrust fight, Steve Ballmer betting that Big Tech won’t be broken up

Steve Ballmer. (GeekWire File Photo / Dan DeLong)

Twenty years after Microsoft waged its own antitrust battle with the U.S. government, former CEO Steve Ballmer is betting that Congress won’t break up Big Tech this time around.

In an interview with CNBC on Wednesday (below), Ballmer was reacting to a U.S. House antitrust subcommittee report released this week that found challenges presented by the dominance and business practices of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.

RELATED: House antitrust probe says Amazon has ‘monopoly power’ over sellers, company slams ‘fringe’ findings

“I’ll bet money that they will not be broken up,” Ballmer told CNBC.

The 450-page report from the subcommittee’s Democratic leaders concludes a 16-month investigation into the four companies as the operators of major online markets. It finds that the market power of the tech giants “has diminished consumer choice, eroded innovation and entrepreneurship in the U.S. economy, weakened the vibrancy

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Apple TV+ Joins ‘Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment’ Anti-Piracy Coalition

Apple’s Apple TV+ division has joined the Motion Picture Association of America’s Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), an anti-piracy group committed to “supporting the legal marketplace for video content and addressing the challenge of online piracy.”


ACE first launched in June 2017 with Netflix and Amazon as founding members, and dozens of movie and content studios have joined like Comcast, Disney, NBC, BBC, AMC, MGM, ViacomCBS, Paramount, Fox, and others.

‌Apple TV‌+ will join the ACE governing board, which includes Amazon, Disney, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Paramount, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., in addition to Apple.

ACE’s goal is to disrupt the piracy ecosystem that harms creators, with streaming piracy representing 80 percent of all piracy today, costing companies as much as $71 billion annually. As noted by Axios, streaming piracy is a greater concern to Apple now that it has original streaming content to protect.

Streaming piracy is a growing

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Crypto For Congress Puts “American-Made” Bitcoin Into The Hands Of Policymakers

This week, the Chamber of Digital Commerce PAC sent all 535 members of the United States Congress about 0.0047 BTC ($50 worth at the time), in an effort to educate the country’s legislators around cryptocurrency and blockchain technology that it calls Crypto For Congress.

Leveraging Federal Election Commission rules that allow for cryptocurrency-based campaign contributions and its own Political Action Committee to make the BTC donations, the Chamber of Digital Commerce ultimately hopes to motivate these lawmakers to embrace the advantages presented by blockchain technology.

“Our industry faces a number of regulatory challenges and it’s important for our government officials to have a working knowledge of how this technology works,” Perianne Boring, founder and president of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, told Bitcoin Magazine. “If you look at tax laws, securities laws, if you look at compliance obligations, there are a lot of examples of regulators and policymakers who

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Body camera video shows brutal attack on Los Angeles officer

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles police released shocking video Wednesday that captured a brutal attack on an officer inside a station last month, including footage from the officer’s own body-worn camera that shows a violent struggle for his gun.

The 21-minute video compilation of the Sept. 26 assault includes footage from a surveillance camera at the station and the body camera of Officer Anthony Freeman, as well as from the body cameras of officers who arrested suspect Jose Cerpa Guzman.

Freeman, a veteran of the department for more than 30 years, survived the attack. He had not yet returned to work as of Wednesday, the LAPD said.


At one point, the graphic footage shows his blood dripping onto the lobby floor of the Harbor Station in the Sen Pedro area of Los Angeles as he shouts for an ambulance, breathing heavily and saying, “I’m starting to black out!”

Guzman,

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