Weekly Tech Roundup #8
"I see technology as being an extension of the human body." - David Cronenberg
SpaceX and Nasa postpone launch of Crew Dragon spacecraft due to bad weather
Nasa was forced to abort a planned mission to the International Space Station on Wednesday afternoon due to poor weather, delaying a historic event that would have marked the first crewed launch from US soil in almost a decade.
Astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley boarded a Crew Dragon capsule built by Elon Musk's California-based company SpaceX with a view to taking off at 9.33pm UK time, but the mission was called off 17 minutes before the launch time.
Crews had begun to fuel the Falcon 9 rocket carrying the capsule before the decision was taken to cancel due to cloudy skies and rain. They are set to try the launch again on Saturday afternoon, with another backup time on Sunday.
Winget: How to use Windows 10's new native Package Manager
Microsoft has finally revealed a long requested feature; a Windows package manager called Winget that allows you to easily install applications from the command line.
Commonly used in Linux to install new applications, package managers are tools that automate the installation, upgrading, and deletion of applications.
It does this by looking through configured repositories, or sources as Microsoft likes to call them, for applications. If the application is available, it will download it from the repository and install it onto the computer.
What makes package managers so desirable is that they also manage dependencies before installing the requested program.
Apple and Google roll out their new exposure notification tool. Interest seems limited.
The Apple-Google exposure notification tool, announced on April 10, is one step closer to being launched. The two companies released software that will help public health authorities build apps that incorporate their exposure notification tool. Apple, specifically, rolled out a software update to iOS devices that some users could download immediately. This big public unveiling raises a couple very important questions: Will any government agencies actually build those apps? And will anybody use them?
Scientists built a bionic eye that could give blind people sight
Scientists from the US and Hong Kong have developed a synthetic eye that functions a lot like the real thing. With sensors that mimic the photoreceptors found in a human eye, the new “bionic” prototype could one day be used to restore vision in individuals that have lost their sight.
Referred to as a “biomimetic eye” by the research team, the device is a marriage of modern technology and nature’s own designs. It consists of a hemispherical artificial retina and an array of sensors that capture and relay a live image. Getting it to interface with a human brain is, well, pretty complicated.
New jailbreak tool works on Apple’s just-released iOS 13.5
A new tool by hacking group Unc0ver can jailbreak iOS 13.5, the just-released version of Apple’s mobile operating system, Wired reported. The group says the jailbreak, which works on iOS 11 and higher, is built on a zero-day vulnerability, doesn’t drain a device’s battery life, and doesn’t affect the use of Apple services or undermine the iOS sandbox security, according to Wired.
Unc0ver’s lead developer told Wired the jailbreak adds exceptions to existing rules, and “enables reading new jailbreak files and parts of the filesystem that contain no user data.” The jailbreak tool is not open source, and the group didn’t say which vulnerability in iOS it exploited to build the tool.
Jailbreaking gives a user more control over a device’s OS, allowing customization and the installation of apps that Apple would otherwise restrict. It also can be used by would-be attackers to compromise a device’s security.
What is Microsoft Edge's Link Doctor feature, and how to disable it
Microsoft released Microsoft Edge 83, a new stable version of its Chromium-based web browser last week. The new major version of Edge introduced several new and interesting features including extension synchronization and automatic profile switching.
A feature that Microsoft calls Link Doctor found its way into the stable version of Edge as well. It is designed to assist users when sites cannot be opened in Microsoft Edge.
The browser displays a "Hmmm... can't reach this page" error, cause for the error, error code, as well as an alternative and an option to search for that particular site name using web search engines.
Docker announces tighter integration with Azure Container Instances and Visual Studio Code
Microsoft and Docker today announced extended collaboration to simplify cloud development for developers. As part of this extended collaboration, Docker today announced closer integration with Azure Container Instances and Visual Studio Code.
5G, AI, cybersecurity and renewable energy set for investment boost under EU coronavirus recovery plan
The European Commission is proposing to direct billions of euros of financial relief into high tech and green investments to help the bloc recover from the coronavirus crisis.
Technologies such as 5G, AI, cloud, cybersecurity, supercomputing and renewable energy look set to benefit from a €750BN pan-EU support package set out today — aligning with the Commission’s pre-existing policy priorities before the pandemic struck the region, causing thousands of deaths and major economic damage.
Gmail’s latest update makes it easier to change the look of your inbox
Accessing the plethora of settings hidden in Gmail can be a pain, but it’s about to get a little easier. Google is rolling out a quick settings menu, which offers a sampling of options that let you adjust the look of your inbox without leaving the page. Once this new tweak arrives on your account, it will activate automatically, and you won’t have to leave the page to see the visual changes you make to your inbox.
The quick settings menu contains an option to change the density of information displayed (between default, comfortable, or compact). It also lets you choose which emails you want to have prioritized in your inbox. Another option lets you add a reading pane so you can see an email’s contents without actually opening it. Lastly, you can adjust your Gmail theme from the quick settings menu.