Intel’s foundry roadmap lays out the post-nanometer “Angstrom” era

Earlier this year, Intel got a new CEO and kicked off a new business plan that would open its foundries to other chip-design firms, just like how TSMC and Samsung Semiconductor operate. At its “Intel Accelerated” event today, the company laid out a roadmap for its future as a for-hire foundry. Besides the future of ever-smaller process nodes, the company also announced it has scored one of the world’s biggest chip designers, Qualcomm, as a future foundry customer.

As part of entering the foundry market, Intel will start naming its process nodes more like its rivals. The process-node numbers used for chips like “5nm” started out life as a measurement of transistor size, but eventually the marketers got hold of them and companies started cheating down their numbers to look more advanced. Intel says its new naming scheme will better align with how TSMC and Samsung talk about their foundry technologies. Gone are the days of “Intel 10nm Enhanced Super Fin”—instead, the node is called “Intel 7.” It should have a comparable density to the TSMC and Samsung 7 nm nodes and will be ready for production in Q1 2022 (TSMC and Samsung are currently shipping “5nm” products). “Intel 4″—which Intel previously called “7nm”—is now said to be equivalent to TSMC and Samsung’s 4 nm node, and it will begin manufacturing products in 2023.

If you’re wondering what happens when we run out of “nm” numbers, Intel’s sales pitch for that is the “Angstrom” era, a unit of measurement that is one-tenth of a nanometer. In 2024, the company wants to ramp up the “Intel 20A” process node (so a “2nm” equivalent, but Intel was calling this node “5nm” previously, but remember these are marketing numbers and not really units of measurement). In early, 2025 the company will be working on “Intel 18A.”

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Source: Ars Technica – Intel’s foundry roadmap lays out the post-nanometer “Angstrom” era

COVID surge in unvaccinated is pushing US to more mandates, masks, mitigation

Signs requiring masks line the entrance to a grocery store.

Enlarge / People shop at a grocery store enforcing the wearing of masks in Los Angeles on July 23, 2021. (credit: Getty | Chris Delmas)

The ongoing COVID-19 surge among unvaccinated people is pushing the US toward more vaccine mandates, renewed mask use, and other mitigation efforts.

With around 51 percent of the country not fully vaccinated and the hypertransmissible delta variant spreading rapidly, the country’s pandemic outlook is grim and getting grimmer. Cases are still increasing in all 50 states and up 170 percent in the last two weeks, with the pace of case increases also accelerating.

COVID-19 is thriving in places with relatively low vaccination rates. Arkansas and Louisiana have the highest rates of new cases, and both states have only 36 percent of their residents vaccinated. Florida, Missouri, and Mississippi are also seeing surges among the unvaccinated.

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Source: Ars Technica – COVID surge in unvaccinated is pushing US to more mandates, masks, mitigation

Spiral shark intestines work like Nikola Tesla’s water valve, study finds

A CT scan image of the spiral intestine of a Pacific spiny dogfish shark (<em>Squalus suckleyi</em>). The beginning of the intestine is on the left, and the end is on the right.

Enlarge / A CT scan image of the spiral intestine of a Pacific spiny dogfish shark (Squalus suckleyi). The beginning of the intestine is on the left, and the end is on the right. (credit: Samantha Leigh/California State University, Dominguez Hills)

In 1920, Serbian-born inventor Nikola Tesla designed and patented what he called a “valvular conduit“: a pipe whose internal design ensures that a fluid will flow in one preferred direction, with no need for moving parts, making it ideal for microfluidics applications, among other uses. According to a recent paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the Tesla valve also provides a useful model for how food moves through the digestive system of many species of shark. Based on new CT scans of shark intestines, scientists have concluded that the intestines are naturally occurring Tesla valves.

“It’s high time that some modern technology was used to look at these really amazing spiral intestines of sharks,” said co-author Samantha Leigh of California State University, Dominguez Hills. “We developed a new method to digitally scan these tissues and now can look at the soft tissues in such great detail without having to slice into them.”

The key to Tesla’s ingenious valve design is a set of interconnected, asymmetric, tear-shaped loops. In his patent application, Tesla described this series of 11 flow-control segments as being made of “enlargements, recessions, projections, baffles, or buckets which, while offering virtually no resistant to the passage of fluid in one direction, other than surface friction, constitute an almost impassable barrier to its flow in the opposite direction.” And because it achieves this with no moving parts, a Tesla valve is much more resistant to the wear and tear of frequent operation.

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Source: Ars Technica – Spiral shark intestines work like Nikola Tesla’s water valve, study finds

Nagasaki Training Casino Resort Staff

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — Although there is at least half a decade before it potentially opens its doors, Nagasaki is getting serious about human resources development for its prospective Integrated Resort (IR) including a casino at the Huis Ten Bosch theme park in Sasebo.

The Kyushu Nagasaki International Tourism Human Resource Development Consortium Preparatory Committee will be holding its second human resources development seminar this coming Saturday, July 31, featuring four main speakers.

The intention to establish this educational consortium was first revealed in late April. It is being launched by four inaugural members—Nagasaki International University, the University of Nagasaki, the Nagasaki prefectural government, and the Sasebo municipal government. It may be expanded to other institutions in the Kyushu region in the future, should Nagasaki be licensed to construct an IR.

At Saturday’s event, the main presentation will be delivered by Professor Hideya Inoue, head of international tourism studies at Nagasaki International University, before turning the floor over to three guests with specialized knowledge about the casino and IR industry.

Joji Kokuryo of Bay City Ventures and Chris Wieners of Hogo Digital will share their experiences working for companies in the gambling and tourism hospitality industries, and also touch upon how their involvement and exposure to international business has helped them develop skills in running their own companies.

Mototsugu Asada of KPG Resort & Hotel will provide specific examples about the importance of hospitality in the food, beverage, and restaurant management segments, and also relate stories from his time running Mizumi, the main Japanese restaurant at Wynn Palace in Macau.

Nagasaki is one of four local governments competing for the three possible IR licenses that the central government is expected to issue next years. At present, its three likely competitors are Yokohama, Osaka, and Wakayama.

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VPN servers seized by Ukrainian authorities weren’t encrypted

A tunnel made of ones and zeroes.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

Privacy-tools-seller Windscribe said it failed to encrypt company VPN servers that were recently confiscated by authorities in Ukraine, a lapse that made it possible for the authorities to impersonate Windscribe servers and capture and decrypt traffic passing through them.

The Ontario, Canada-based company said earlier this month that two servers hosted in Ukraine were seized as part of an investigation into activity that had occurred a year earlier. The servers, which ran the OpenVPN virtual private network software, were also configured to use a setting that was deprecated in 2018 after security research revealed vulnerabilities that could allow adversaries to decrypt data.

“On the disk of those two servers was an OpenVPN server certificate and its private key,” a Windscribe representative wrote in the July 8 post. “Although we have encrypted servers in high-sensitivity regions, the servers in question were running a legacy stack and were not encrypted. We are currently enacting our plan to address this.”

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Source: Ars Technica – VPN servers seized by Ukrainian authorities weren’t encrypted

Internal Activision Blizzard petition rebukes “abhorrent, insulting” leadership

Photoshopped image from a video game shows a person in an Activision Blizzsard hoodie confronted barrels filled, presumably, with gasoline.

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson | Getty Images)

In the wake of a sexual harassment and pay-disparity lawsuit filed against Activision Blizzard, an internal petition has begun circulating at the gaming company. Its text, as independently verified by multiple outlets, comes down against leadership’s public and private response to the suit’s allegations.

Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier and Kotaku’s Ethan Gach reprinted content from the same petition, and both reporters claim that the petition has racked up “over 1,000 signatures” from current and former Activision Blizzard staffers as of press time. The petition begins by describing a public company statement offered in the wake of July 20’s lawsuit, and a private, staffwide memo sent by Activision executive vice president Frances Townsend, as “abhorrent and insulting to all that we believe our company should stand for.”

“We will not be silenced”

Activision Blizzard’s statements from lawyers and executives last week alleged that the California State’s lawsuit’s allegations were “distorted, and in many cases false,” and the petition aims its words squarely at that characterization. The letter argues that such a corporate response “creates a company atmosphere that disbelieves victims” and “casts doubt on our organizations’ ability to hold abusers accountable for their actions and foster a safe environment for victims to come forward in the future.”

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Source: Ars Technica – Internal Activision Blizzard petition rebukes “abhorrent, insulting” leadership

Valve promises Steam Deck will run “the entire Steam library” at 30+ fps

Valve expects that its recently announced Steam Deck portable gaming console will be able to run “really the entire Steam library” on its 1280×800 LCD screen at frame rates of 30 fps or higher.

That’s according to a recent IGN video interview in which Valve Hardware Engineer Yazan Aldehayyat said that “all the games that we wanted to be playable had really good [performance], a really good experience” in Steam Deck testing. Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais expanded on that statement by saying that “all the games that we wanted to be playable” means “really the entire Steam library.”

“We haven’t really found something we could throw at this device that it couldn’t handle yet,” he added.

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Source: Ars Technica – Valve promises Steam Deck will run “the entire Steam library” at 30+ fps

UK worries Starlink and OneWeb may interfere with each other, plans new rules

Illustration of many satellites orbiting the Earth.

Enlarge / Artist’s impression of low-Earth-orbit satellites like those launched by SpaceX and OneWeb. (credit: NOIRLab / NSF / AURA / P. Marenfeld)

A UK government agency is worried that OneWeb, SpaceX’s Starlink, and similar low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite-broadband systems could block each others’ signals.

Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator, proposed new rules today in a report that details its interference concerns. Ofcom also said it intends to amend satellite licenses already issued to SpaceX and OneWeb to require coordination of frequency use. Without new requirements, the risk of interference could prevent competition by shutting new players out of the market, Ofcom said.

Non-geostationary satellite orbit (NGSO) systems are more complex than the traditional geostationary type because they use hundreds or thousands of satellites, Ofcom noted. “Satellite dishes need to track these satellites as they move across the sky, unlike existing satellite networks, where the dishes are fixed pointing at a single satellite which is stationary in the sky,” the Ofcom report said. Because so many low-Earth-orbit satellites are being launched, “there is a risk of satellites from two different operators appearing to be in the same part of the sky,” causing interference known as “in-line events” in which multiple operators’ satellites are lined up in the sky, Ofcom wrote.

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Source: Ars Technica – UK worries Starlink and OneWeb may interfere with each other, plans new rules

iOS 14.7.1 and macOS 11.5.1 arrive with one bug fix and one security fix

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Source: Ars Technica – iOS 14.7.1 and macOS 11.5.1 arrive with one bug fix and one security fix

Tesla earned a profit of $1.1 billion after delivering 201,250 cars in Q2

A Tesla logo superimposed over a mess of numbers and figures.

Enlarge (credit: Tesla / Aurich Lawson)

Earlier in July, Tesla announced that it delivered 201,250 electric vehicles in the second quarter of 2021. On Monday, the US automaker filled in the rest of the gaps with its Q2 financial disclosure. Q2’s deliveries were a record for Tesla, earning the company $1.1 billion in profit. Tesla ended Q2 2021 with $619 million in free cash flow and $16.2 billion in cash and cash equivalents.

Tesla said in its presentation to investors that its output and deliveries were significant factors in the profitable quarter. The company also said it successfully launched a subscription to its highly controversial FSD feature, where owners can pay $199 per month for the driving assist feature as opposed to a single payment of $10,000. And regulatory credits made a much smaller contribution to the bottom line in Q2 at just $354 million.

We reported Tesla’s Q2 production results when they were announced several weeks ago, but to recap: the company built 2,340 Models S and X and delivered 1,890 of them, 18 percent of which were leased. The cheaper mass-market Model 3 sedan and Model Y crossover did the heavy lifting in Q2. Tesla built 204,081 of these models, delivering 199,360 of them. (Seven percent of Models 3 and Y were leased.)

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Source: Ars Technica – Tesla earned a profit of .1 billion after delivering 201,250 cars in Q2

Report: The iPhone 14 will be a major upgrade, and it will be made of titanium

The side of the iPhone 12 Pro with the volume buttons

Enlarge / The back of the iPhone 12 Pro. (credit: Samuel Axon)

A new investor note from JPMorgan Chase seen by AppleInsider and MacRumors claims that Apple’s high-end iPhone models will soon use titanium alongside or instead of aluminum or stainless steel. It also provides new insights about what to expect from 2022’s iPhone lineup.

Drawing from supply line sources, the note says the materials change is coming in 2022 and that Foxconn will be Apple’s exclusive supplier for the titanium components. The Pro model phones from that year are likely to use a titanium alloy, which is stronger and more resistant to scratches than the stainless steel used in current iPhone models.

While the analyst report does not specify, it’s very likely that we’re talking about the metallic band around the edge of the iPhone, not the front and the back. The front is expected to still be glass, and given that Apple continues to introduce new MagSafe and wireless charging products and features, we expect the back to remain glass as well.

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Source: Ars Technica – Report: The iPhone 14 will be a major upgrade, and it will be made of titanium

Bezos says he is now willing to invest in a Moon Lander—here’s why

Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith (black hat) walks with Jeff Bezos after his flight on Blue Origin’s New Shepard into space.

Enlarge / Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith (black hat) walks with Jeff Bezos after his flight on Blue Origin’s New Shepard into space. (credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Jeff Bezos published an open letter to NASA Administrator Bill Nelson on Monday morning and offered to pay more than $2 billion to get the agency’s Human Landing System program “back on track.” In effect, the founder of Blue Origin and world’s richest person says he will self-invest in a lunar lander because NASA does not have the money to do so.

NASA’s Artemis Program aspires to land humans on the Moon by 2024 and establish a sustainable settlement on the surface. As part of this project, the agency is seeking reusable, affordable transportation to the Moon and back. It conducted a competition for a human lander (HLS) and announced in April that it would move forward with SpaceX and its Starship proposal. NASA had wanted two providers for such a lander, but due to low appropriations from Congress, it could afford only one.

Now, three months later, Bezos is offering to make up the difference out of his pocket. “Blue Origin will bridge the HLS budgetary funding shortfall by waiving all payments in the current and next two government fiscal years up to $2B to get the program back on track right now,” Bezos wrote. “This offer is not a deferral but is an outright and permanent waiver of those payments. This offer provides time for government appropriation actions to catch up.”

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Source: Ars Technica – Bezos says he is now willing to invest in a Moon Lander—here’s why

Bitcoin surges as Amazon job posting suggests retailer may accept cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin surges as Amazon job posting suggests retailer may accept cryptocurrencies

Enlarge (credit: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto)

Amazon posted a job opening late last week that suggested the e-commerce giant may be considering accepting cryptocurrencies as a form of payment.

The posting sent bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies surging, with bitcoin and ethereum up 12 percent and 9 percent, respectively, over the past 24 hours. The development also came on the heels of an event last Wednesday where crypto boosters Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey reiterated their support for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Amazon is looking for a “Digital Currency and Blockchain Product Lead,” who will be a member of the Payment Acceptance and Experience Team, which the posting says is “responsible for how Amazon’s customers pay on Amazon’s sites and through Amazon’s services around the globe.”

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Source: Ars Technica – Bitcoin surges as Amazon job posting suggests retailer may accept cryptocurrencies

Here’s the first credible Microsoft Surface Duo 2 leak

The Surface Duo was one of the biggest hardware flops in recent memory, but Microsoft is still charging ahead with a sequel to the device, and now we have the first credible pictures of it. The story here is kind of weird. We’re not actually sure where the pictures are from (they’ve been uploaded to this random YouTube channel with other uncredited content), but Windows Central’s Zac Bowden says the images are legit, and since he has had an impeccable history of nailing Surface Duo rumors, his affirmation is good enough for us. Bowden calls the two devices shown off in the leak “near-final prototypes.”

The most obvious change in the pictures is a huge camera bump on the back of the device. The bump houses three cameras, along with what looks like an LED flash to the right and one more sensor, perhaps laser autofocus, just below the flash. The standalone fingerprint reader on the side is gone (Windows Central speculates it will be integrated into the power button), and the USB-C port on the bottom is now centered. Sadly, we don’t know what the inside looks like yet.

The Surface Duo 1 never had a good camera solution—in fact, it didn’t have a rear camera at all. Cameras are one of the biggest thickness demands on a phone body (hence the camera bumps), and the Surface Duo, being one of the thinnest phones ever made (at only 4.8 mm thick for each half), simply didn’t have room for a good camera. The device only got one low-quality front camera, and since the phone was foldable, it could pull double-duty as a rear camera, too.

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Source: Ars Technica – Here’s the first credible Microsoft Surface Duo 2 leak

Come talk with us about machine-learning experiments gone right—and wrong

Come talk with us about machine-learning experiments gone right—and wrong


We’ve spent the past few weeks burning copious amounts of AWS compute time trying to invent an algorithm to parse Ars’ front-page story headlines to predict which ones will win an A/B test—and we learned a lot. One of the lessons is that we—and by “we,” I mainly mean “me,” since this odyssey was more or less my idea—should probably have picked a less, shall we say, ambitious project for our initial outing into the machine learning wilderness. Now, a little older and a little wiser, it’s time to reflect on the project and discuss what went right, what went somewhat less-than-right, and how we’d do this differently next time.

Our readers had tons of incredibly useful comments, too, especially as we got into the meaty part of the project—comments that we’d love to get into as we discuss the way things shook out. The vagaries of the edit cycle meant that the stories were being posted quite a bit after they were written, so we didn’t have a chance to incorporate a lot of reader feedback as we went, but it’s pretty clear that Ars has some top-shelf AI/ML experts reading our stories (and probably groaning out loud every time we went down a bit of a blind alley). This is a great opportunity for you to jump into the conversation and help us understand how we can improve for next time—or, even better, to help us pick smarter projects if we do an experiment like this again!

Our chat kicks off on Wednesday, July 28, at 1:00 pm Eastern Time (that’s 11:00 am Pacific Time and 17:00 UTC). Our three-person panel will consist of Ars Infosec Editor Emeritus Sean Gallagher and me, along with Amazon Senior Principal Technical Evangelist (and AWS expert) Julien Simon. If you’d like to register so that you can ask questions, use this link here; if you just want to watch, the discussion will be streamed on the Ars Twitter account and archived as an embedded video on this story’s page. Register and join in or check back here after the event to watch!

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Source: Ars Technica – Come talk with us about machine-learning experiments gone right—and wrong

Archimedes the AI robot | HackSpace #45

When we saw Alex Glow’s name in the latest issue of HackSpace magazine, we just had to share their project. HackSpace #45 celebrates the best Raspberry Pi builds of all time, and we remembered spotting Alex’s wearable robotic owl familiar back in the day. For those of you yet to have had the pleasure, meet Archimedes…

archimedes owl on maker's shoulder
Archimedes taking a perch on his maker’s shoulder

Back in 2018, Hackster’s Alex Glow built Archimedes, an incredible robot companion using a combination of Raspberry Pi Zero W and Arduino with the Google AIY Vision Kit for its ‘brain’.

An updated model, Archie 2, using Raspberry Pi 3B, ESP32-powered Matrix Voice, and an SG90 micro-servo motor saw the personable owl familiar toughen up – Alex says the 3D-printed case is far more durable – as well as having better voice interaction options using Matrix HAL (for which installer packages are provided for Raspberry Pi and Python), plus Mycroft and voice assistant software.

archimedes owl insides laid out on table
Owl innards

Other refinements included incorporating compact discs into the owl’s wings to provide an iridescent sheen. Slots in the case allowed Alex to feed through cable ties to attach Archie’s wings, which she says now “provide a lively bounce to the wings, in tune with his active movements (as well as my own).”

archimedes owl wing detail
Raspberry Pi getting stuffed into Archimedes’ head

HackSpace magazine issue 45 out NOW!

Each month, HackSpace magazine brings you the best projects, tips, tricks and tutorials from the makersphere. You can get it from the Raspberry Pi Press online store or your local newsagents.

Hack space magazine issue 45 front cover

As always, every issue is free to download from the HackSpace magazine website.

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MS Flight Simulator on consoles: Finally, a next-gen game for Xbox Series X/S

When I think of the history of game consoles, I think of flight simulators.

Nintendo in particular has leveraged the “Pilotwings” name not once, not twice, but thrice to show off brand-new tech over various generations. I have long loved that approach. Pilotwings games err on the side of minimal challenge and maximum relaxation, arguably to let players calmly absorb the newest 3D-rendering tricks of each era.

I think about that strategy now because Microsoft Flight Simulator is launching on Xbox Series X/S this week. Since it’s roughly eight months out from those consoles’ launches, it doesn’t count as a “launch” game. But Microsoft Flight Simulator is honestly the first true “next-gen” first-party console game in Xbox’s latest era. Part of that next-gen quality is because this game, unlike other first-party fare, has no “backwards compatibility” path to the older Xbox One family.

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Source: Ars Technica – MS Flight Simulator on consoles: Finally, a next-gen game for Xbox Series X/S

Notable Japan Space Industry Startups

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — The space race in Japan is gaining momentum as a myriad of startups have been established to industrialize and commercialize space ventures.

Some of the notable fledgling companies in Japan include Astroscale, Axelspace, Gitai, Infostellar, Interstellar Technologies, ispace, Skygate Technologies, Spacetide, and Synspective.

Astroscale was founded in 2013 by Nobu Okada in Singapore. This company works on the removal of debris from orbital space and the retrieval of end-of-life satellites. Some of its recent ventures include collaboration with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to remove orbital debris.

Axelspace was established in 2008 and is currently run by President Yuya Nakamura. This company designs and produces microsatellites and related components. The most significant project of Axelspace is its 2013 launch of the world’s first commercial microsatellite to monitor the Arctic Ocean. Since then, the firm has launched five more microsatellites for private businesses and for JAXA.

Spacetide intends to commercialize the space industry through the dissemination of information. The company was established in 2015, and it strives to normalize the integration of space into daily lives with a vision of driving the future of human society through the space industry.

ispace, founded in 2010 by Takeshi Hakamada, focuses on the sale and survey of Moon surface data. The company also conducts research and development for space resource development with the aim of constructing a sustainable Earth and Moon ecosystem. Some recent projects of the firm include its collaboration with JAXA to send a tiny robot to the Moon that will collect and convey data.

Gitai is another startup that focuses on this same field, including robotics in space development. Gitai was founded in 2016, and aims to reduce operation costs for travel to the Moon and Mars, as well as to construct space colonies.

Infostellar, established in 2016, is a cloud-based ground station platform that offers satellite operators a means to communicate with their satellites from a varied range of antennas from anywhere using an interface.

Synspective and Skygate Technologies, established in 2018 and 2020 respectively, specialize in similar facets of the space industry; namely, assistance of data recovery and delivery.

Interstellar Technologies, founded in 2003, is working to build a launch vehicle for small satellites under 100 kilograms. The company’s aim is to lower the costs and to commercialize space launch services. It’s most recent success was the launch of a space rocket called the Momo7, its third rocket to reach space.

Recent Space Industry Related Articles

Momo7 Rocket Launches Successfully

JAXA to Send Tiny Robot to the Moon

ispace Awarded NASA Contracts

Japan Startup Aims to Colonize the Moon

MHI Launches Emirates Mars Mission

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Source: Akihabara News – Notable Japan Space Industry Startups

Odaiba’s Medieval Europe Faces Destruction

SNA Travel (Tokyo) — Those who explore the many shopping malls in Odaiba, the manmade island in Tokyo Bay across the majestic Rainbow Bridge, may happen upon a surprise–an indoor area constructed to resemble a medieval European city. It won’t be around for long, however, because it faces imminent closure.

VenusFort, located nearest to Aomi Station on the Yurikamome Line, is the venue for the unusual construction, with the second floor of the facility, called Venus Grand, serving as the ground floor for a mock European city.

It comes complete with an overhead sky, in addition to the southern European architecture, which changes color at different “times of day.” The effect is very similar to The Venetian, for anyone who has visited this casino hotel in Macau or Las Vegas.

VenusFort is operated by Mori Building, and it opened in its original form in August 1999.

However, news has emerged that VenusFort is soon to fall victim to redevelopment. A new commercial facility and sports arena has been earmarked for the land where VenusFort now stands.

While the exact nature of the new commercial facility is still under discussion, the sports arena is expected to become home to the Alvark Tokyo professional basketball team, backed by the Toyota Motor Corporation.

The current schedule calls for VenusFort to close on March 27, 2022.

Recent Tokyo Redevelopment Articles

A Look at Tokyo Torch

Harry Potter Theme Park Opening in Tokyo

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Zombies are coming to SyFy with first Day of the Dead series trailer

At this year’s Comic-Con@home, SyFy dropped the first trailer for its new series, Day of the Dead—the ultimate love letter to the godfather of zombies, George A. Romero.

Somehow I missed the news last February that SyFy had greenlit a TV reboot of George A. Romero’s classic 1985 zombie horror film, Day of the Dead—just before the widespread onset of a deadly global pandemic, no less. And somehow the series managed to get into production despite all the shutdowns. SyFy dropped the official trailer for the ten-episode series during a panel at Comic-Con@home, with a planned premiere date this October, just in time for Halloween. You can watch the full 45-minute panel here.

The original Day of the Dead was the third in a trilogy of films that launched a franchise, preceded by Night of the Living the Dead (1968) and its sequel, Dawn of the Dead (1978). Romero originally envisioned Day of the Dead as the Gone With the Wind of zombie movies, but disagreements with the studio over a proposed R-rating—Romero wanted the film to be unrated—meant that the director ended up with half his original budget (about $4 million). He was forced to scale back his vision substantially, so much of the film takes place in a secure underground bunker in the Everglades, where tensions rise between the scientists and soldiers on-site.

Romero has said that Day of the Dead is his favorite within the franchise, although it has the lowest “fresh” rating (83 percent) on Rotten Tomatoes of the initial trilogy. It only grossed $34 million worldwide (mostly from VHS, DVD, and Blu-Ray releases), but it still left its mark on popular culture. The pseudo-civilized zombie “Bub” made a cameo on a S4 episode of The Walking Dead as one of the “walkers” encountered in a railroad tunnel. And in Stranger Things S3 (set in 1985), the teens all sneak into a mall theater to watch an early screening of Day of the Dead. Three more films in the franchise were released in 2005, 2007, and 2009, and Night of the Living Dead II is currently in production, slated for a 2022 release. Three of the original cast members from Day of the Dead will reprise their roles in that film.

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Source: Ars Technica – Zombies are coming to SyFy with first Day of the Dead series trailer