This is the sunshield on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope.
This test unit was unfurled to full-size for the first time last week and “worked perfectly”, according to NASA.

The Sunshield is about the length of a tennis court, and will be folded up like an umbrella around the Webb telescope’s mirrors and instruments during launch. Once it reaches its orbit, the Webb telescope will receive a command from Earth to unfold, and separate the Sunshield’s five layers into their precisely stacked arrangement with its kite-like shape.
The Sunshield test unit was stacked and expanded at a cleanroom in the Northrop Grumman facility in Redondo Beach, California.
The Sunshield separates the observatory into a warm sun-facing side and a cold side where the sunshine is blocked from interfering with the sensitive infrared instruments. The infrared instruments need to be kept very cold (under 50 K or -370 degrees F) to operate.   The Sunshield protects these sensitive instruments with an effective sun protection factor or SPF of 1,000,000 (suntan lotion generally has an SPF of 8-50).

In addition to providing a cold environment, the Sunshield provides a thermally stable environment. This stability is essential to maintaining proper alignment of the primary mirror segments as the telescope changes its orientation to the sun.

This is the sunshield on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope.

This test unit was unfurled to full-size for the first time last week and “worked perfectly”, according to NASA.

The Sunshield is about the length of a tennis court, and will be folded up like an umbrella around the Webb telescope’s mirrors and instruments during launch. Once it reaches its orbit, the Webb telescope will receive a command from Earth to unfold, and separate the Sunshield’s five layers into their precisely stacked arrangement with its kite-like shape.

The Sunshield test unit was stacked and expanded at a cleanroom in the Northrop Grumman facility in Redondo Beach, California.

The Sunshield separates the observatory into a warm sun-facing side and a cold side where the sunshine is blocked from interfering with the sensitive infrared instruments. The infrared instruments need to be kept very cold (under 50 K or -370 degrees F) to operate.   The Sunshield protects these sensitive instruments with an effective sun protection factor or SPF of 1,000,000 (suntan lotion generally has an SPF of 8-50).

In addition to providing a cold environment, the Sunshield provides a thermally stable environment. This stability is essential to maintaining proper alignment of the primary mirror segments as the telescope changes its orientation to the sun.

2% of developers take 54% of app revenue

A survey of 10,000 developers by Developer Economics shows that two percent of app developers take in over $100,000 per month.

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The data also shows nine percent of developers getting $10,000-$100,000 per month, and 88% of developers on under $10,000 per month.

The study chose a ‘poverty line’ for developers of less than $500 per month - a figure which means their app is unsustainable as a business. A huge 50 percent of iOS developers and 47 percent of Android developers are below that line.

Most games — 57 percent of them — make less than $500/month.

To solve that revenue problem, many game developers release more than one app. In fact, the majority of those making over $100,000/month have published a minimum of 11 games in an effort to give themselves more chances at the app store lottery.

Real the full story at Venturebeat.

Watson gets a new job.
After taking on a few small jobs after a successful Jeopary! win, the IBM supercomputer is back at work again, this time advising US soldiers on life choices after service.
The computer analysed thousands of documents related to the topic, and can answer plain, spoken-language questions, according to the USAA, which provides insurance, investment, retirement and other financial services to members of the US armed forces

"Putting Watson into the hands of consumers is a critical milestone toward improving how we work and live," IBM Watson Group senior vice president Mike Rhodin said in a release Tuesday.
"We believe this new service can help men and women who served their country gain timely and relevant insights into the steps they need to successfully move to civilian life."

Watson gets a new job.

After taking on a few small jobs after a successful Jeopary! win, the IBM supercomputer is back at work again, this time advising US soldiers on life choices after service.

The computer analysed thousands of documents related to the topic, and can answer plain, spoken-language questions, according to the USAA, which provides insurance, investment, retirement and other financial services to members of the US armed forces

"Putting Watson into the hands of consumers is a critical milestone toward improving how we work and live," IBM Watson Group senior vice president Mike Rhodin said in a release Tuesday.

"We believe this new service can help men and women who served their country gain timely and relevant insights into the steps they need to successfully move to civilian life."

Possible new design for Steam controller discovered.

As spotted by Facepunch user DevinWatson, the latest update for digital distribution client Steam includes a new picture of the controller at the following location:
[Steam directory]\tenfoot\resource\images\library\alpha_conroller_lines_d0g.png
The analogue stick appears to replace buttons that were on the left side of the controller in its last public iteration.

Possible new design for Steam controller discovered.

As spotted by Facepunch user DevinWatson, the latest update for digital distribution client Steam includes a new picture of the controller at the following location:

[Steam directory]\tenfoot\resource\images\library\alpha_conroller_l
ines_d0g.png

The analogue stick appears to replace buttons that were on the left side of the controller in its last public iteration.

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Baxter is an (almost) affordable industrial robot.

Rethink Robotics industrial robot is notable for being only US$25,000, which is pretty surprising for an industrial robot.

Photo: The Moon, Venus, and Pleiades.
Taken over Arizona by B.G. Boyd, June 24 2014.
Pleiades star cluster is also known as the “seven sisters”:

Comprising 800 stars, the cluster formed about 100 million years ago and is located 410 light-years from Earth in the constellation Taurus. One light-year is the distance light travels in a single year, which is about 6 trillion miles (10 trillion kilometers).

Photo: The Moon, Venus, and Pleiades.

Taken over Arizona by B.G. Boyd, June 24 2014.

Pleiades star cluster is also known as the “seven sisters”:

Comprising 800 stars, the cluster formed about 100 million years ago and is located 410 light-years from Earth in the constellation Taurus. One light-year is the distance light travels in a single year, which is about 6 trillion miles (10 trillion kilometers).

The NES30 is a bluetooth controller that needs to take my money.
I’m not being paid to endorse this thing or anything but damn this looks cool. A completely unofficial knock-off of the classic NES controller that’s wireless, bluetooth connected, and works with Android, Mac, Windows, and IOS (and maybe Wii too looking at their website). It also can be plugged in over USB if you don’t have bluetooth or need to charge - it claims a 20 hour battery life.

The NES30 is a bluetooth controller that needs to take my money.

I’m not being paid to endorse this thing or anything but damn this looks cool. A completely unofficial knock-off of the classic NES controller that’s wireless, bluetooth connected, and works with Android, Mac, Windows, and IOS (and maybe Wii too looking at their website). It also can be plugged in over USB if you don’t have bluetooth or need to charge - it claims a 20 hour battery life.

'Optical cable' created from thin air

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A University of Maryland team has detailed how they created an effect similar to a fiber cable out of thin air.