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‘Bezos Bailout’? Senators spar over more money for moon landers



Blue Origin landers
An artist’s conception reveals the human touchdown system that’s being developed by Blue Origin and its business companions within the foreground, and Blue Origin’s Blue Moon cargo lander within the far background. (Blue Origin Illustration)

The tussle over NASA funding for lunar touchdown programs has touched down within the Senate — with one main senator in search of further funding that would go to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin area enterprise, and one other main senator arguing in opposition to a “Bezos Bailout.”

The senator on the pro-funding facet is Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., who chairs the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. Her amendment to the Infinite Frontier Act may put Kent, Wash.-based Blue Origin and its area business companions again within the operating for billions of of NASA assist for his or her human touchdown system.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., is on the anti-funding facet: This week, he submitted an amendment that will “remove the multi-billion greenback Bezos Bailout.”

This all has to do with NASA’s resolution final month to award a $2.9 billion contract to SpaceX for a Starship lunar lander that’s designed to hold astronauts to the lunar floor for the area company’s Artemis program, as early as 2024.

NASA had been contemplating proposals from SpaceX in addition to from Alabama-based Dynetics and the crew led by Blue Origin (which incorporates Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper). The optimum plan was to pick two aggressive proposals to go ahead, however NASA officers stated Congress didn’t acceptable sufficient cash for 2 groups. So that they went with SpaceX, which submitted the least costly plan.

In response, Blue Origin’s crew and Dynetics filed separate protests with the Authorities Accountability Workplace. The groups stated that their proposals didn’t get correct consideration, and that NASA ought to have dealt with the competitors in a different way with the funds it was given.

The GAO has till Aug. four to rule whether or not the award to SpaceX ought to stand or the competitors ought to be redone. Within the meantime, NASA has held up on the award.

Cantwell’s modification requires NASA to obtain greater than $10 billion in further funding for a second lunar lander contract and different infrastructure wants. Her language is a part of the model of the invoice cleared by her committee this month.

The truth that the additional cash may benefit an area program that’s principally headed by the world’s richest particular person drew the ire of Sanders, a longtime critic of Amazon, Bezos and different billionaires. Lobbyists for Blue Origin and SpaceX are additionally within the thick of the fray, as detailed by The Washington Post.

Figuring out the winner of this newest battle of the billionaires — pitting Bezos in opposition to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, America’s second-richest individual — will in all probability take months. Each homes of Congress need to approve authorizing laws in addition to an precise appropriation. And it’s unlikely that Congress will get all that executed earlier than the GAO’s ruling, which may reset the phrases of the competitors in August.

House Information’ Jeff Foust in all probability had it proper when he tweeted that there’s been “a whole lot of drama a few invoice unlikely to develop into legislation in something like its present kind.”

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On October 25, Apple will release iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1. What we know so far




Apple released important updates for iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 on Tuesday, to address several issues and a severe security hole affecting the two platforms. Now, according to reports, Apple is working on iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1 builds for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPads.

Also, Twitter user named RobertCFO received confirmation from an Apple Product Security Team member about the final build’s release date. On October 25th, according to a leaked email that was then deleted from Twitter, iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1 will be released, a week after Apple holds its conference.

This follows Apple’s general software upgrade policy, which is to release new updates a week after its events.

SharePlay, which allows you to remotely watch and listen to streaming material with your friends via FaceTime, ProRes video support, as well as Covid-19 vaccination document support in the Wallet app, are all expected features of iOS 15.1.

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PSA: Mining Chia on an SSD Will Completely Wreck It in No Time Flat



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When SSDs first started transport in shopper merchandise, there have been comprehensible issues about their longevity. Time, steadily enhancing manufacturing methods, and a few low-level OS enhancements have all contributed to solid-state storage’s popularity for sturdiness. With experiences praising SSDs as provisionally extra dependable than arduous drives even beneath heavy utilization, it’s straightforward to see how individuals may not see the brand new Chia cryptocurrency as a serious trigger for concern.

It’s. Chia is first plotted after which farmed, and whereas farming Chia takes little or no in the way in which of processing sources, plotting it should completely hammer an SSD.

It’s been years since we talked about write amplification, but it surely’s a difficulty that impacts all NAND flash storage. NAND is written in 4KB pages and erased in 256KB blocks. If 8KB of information must be changed out of a 256KB block, the drive might want to learn the unique 256KB block, replace it, write the brand new block to a unique location on the drive, after which erase the earlier block.

Write amplification has been an issue for NAND for the reason that starting and a substantial amount of work has gone into addressing these issues, however Chia represents one thing of a worst-case situation. Right here’s an excerpt from a latest Chia blog post:

Producing plot recordsdata is a course of known as plotting, which requires short-term space for storing, compute and reminiscence to create, kind, and compress the information into the ultimate file. This course of takes an estimated 256.6GB of short-term house, very generally saved on SSDs to hurry up the method, and roughly 1.3TiB of writes in the course of the creation.

The ultimate plot created by the method described above is simply 101.3GB. There seems to be an order of magnitude of distinction between the full quantity of drive writes required to create a Chia plot and the storage capability mentioned plot requires when accomplished.

Motherboard producers have gotten in on the motion, with one Chia-compliant board providing 32 SATA backplanes.

Right here’s what this boils right down to: A number of shopper SSDs are actually unhealthy decisions for mining Chia. TLC drives with SLC / MLC caches will not be really useful as a result of they provide poor efficiency. Low-end and midrange shopper drives will not be really useful, as a result of they don’t provide excessive sufficient endurance. It’s important to watch out through which SKUs you buy and enterprise and enterprise drives are extra extremely really useful normally.

Don’t purchase a QLC drive to mine Chia.

Optane would appear to be a near-perfect match for Chia, given its a lot greater endurance, however I can’t discover any data on whether or not individuals have tried deploying it in massive sufficient numbers to have some concept of what efficiency and endurance seem like beneath the 24/7 load Chia plotters are placing on their hardware. Possibly any individual will put a rig collectively utilizing it, as a lot out of curiosity as the rest.

Past that, ExtremeTech recommends customers not try and plot Chia on any SSD they aren’t snug with dropping, and to not purchase an SSD for the aim until you don’t thoughts throwing it away if it dies far more rapidly than anticipated. Chia plotting is a worst-case situation for SSD longevity and it needs to be handled as such.

One notice of fine information: To this point, Chia mining has had a a lot stronger affect on high-capacity arduous drive costs than on SSDs and smaller drives. Hopefully, this continues to be the case.

Now Learn:

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Microsoft adapts OpenAI’s GPT-Three pure language expertise to mechanically write code



Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella introduces the brand new GPT-Three integration into Energy Apps in a recorded keynote tackle for the corporate’s digital Construct convention.

Microsoft unveiled new tools for automatically generating computer code and formulation on Tuesday morning, in a brand new adaptation of the GPT-Three natural-language expertise extra generally identified for replicating human language.

The aptitude, to be supplied as a part of Microsoft’s Power Platform, is among the fruits of the corporate’s partnership with OpenAI, the San Francisco-based synthetic intelligence firm behind GPT-Three. Microsoft invested $1 billion in OpenAI in 2019.

“The code writes itself,” stated Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, saying the information in a recorded keynote tackle to open the corporate’s Build developer conference.

The characteristic is named Power Apps Ideas. It’s a part of a broader push by Microsoft and different expertise corporations to make software program growth extra accessible to non-developers, often called low-code or no-code growth.

Microsoft fine-tuned GPT-Three to “leverage the mannequin’s current strengths in pure language enter to offer Energy Apps makers the power to explain logic similar to they’d to a good friend or co-worker, and find yourself with the suitable system for his or her app,” says Ryan Cunningham of the Energy Apps staff in a publish describing the way it works.

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