Star Trek’s George Takei tweaks President Trump over Space Force’s trekky new seal

The seal for Star Trek’s fictional Starfleet Command has some design elements in common with the seal for the U.S. Space Force. (CBS / Space Force Images via Twitter) We don’t know whether Mr. Spock would have cocked an eyebrow over the Starfleet-like U.S. Space Force seal that was revealed by President Donald Trump today, but we’ve found out what Star Trek’s Mr. Sulu would do. Trump has long been a big proponent of the Space Force, which was established last month under the wing of the Department of the Air Force. So it’s no surprise that the president made a big deal over the seal. “After consultation with our… Read More

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After startup burnout, Seattle’s Kyle Kesterson resets on the road and launches a portal for rituals

Kyle Kesterson in Israel. (Photo courtesy of Kyle Kesterson) Dipping into what he called one of the juiciest bowls of guacamole he’d ever come across, Kyle Kesterson emailed from a cafe in Oaxaca, Mexico, days after ringing in the new year at the beach with 150 “amazing humans.” Adventuring is still in full effect for the traveling techie from Seattle, who said he had no idea what his life would look like an hour in front of his face when he left the cafe. It’s been just about two years since Kesterson, the startup veteran and serial entrepreneur, launched a “Get Your Own Kyle” stunt inviting people to tell him… Read More

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Seattle shooting rattles tech leaders and raises concerns about safety of city’s urban core

The scene of a shooting at the corner of Pine Street and Third Avenue in Seattle on Wednesday, as seen from the offices of the tech startup Suplari. (Nikesh Parekh Photo) The deadly shooting Wednesday night in downtown Seattle is prompting tech companies in the area to implement new precautions to protect employees, amid larger questions about the safety of the city’s urban core. “I never thought as a CEO or a tech startup guy that I would have to tell my employees or my team to stay away from the windows,” said Nikesh Parekh, CEO of Suplari, recalling the moment around 5 p.m. when he first heard gunshots on… Read More

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Gates Foundation’s new nonprofit venture will boost innovations for farmers facing climate change

Gates Ag One will focus on accelerating agricultural innovation for smallholder farmers, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. (Gates Foundation Photo) The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is starting up a new nonprofit group that will focus on providing small-scale farmers in developing countries with the tools and innovations they’ll need to deal with the effects of climate change. The nonprofit is known as Bill & Melinda Gates Agricultural Innovations, or Gates Ag One for short. The effort will be headquartered in the greater St. Louis metropolitan area, and will be headed by Joe Cornelius, who’s currently a director within the Gates Foundation’s Global Growth & Opportunity Division. Gates… Read More

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Hardware isn’t hard: A startup playbook for succeeding in a sector where many have failed

Bigstock Photo [Editor’s Note: Anup Chathoth is CEO of Seattle startup Ubi Interactive, maker of virtual interactive whiteboard technology and a graduate of the Kinect Techstars Seattle accelerator. In this guest post, he shares lessons learned in the hardware business.] If you talk to entrepreneurs or investors, or anyone else in the startup ecosystem, the most common refrain when it comes to hardware is that it is hard. There is some truth to this, given the inherent challenges of the hardware business. Hardware requires significant capital expenditure to produce a working prototype. A laptop and a couple of hackers cannot make it happen. You need to build actual physical products,… Read More

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Decoding the Jeff Bezos phone hack: What the rest of us can learn from the forensic report

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Jeff Bezos’ smartphone is back in the news. After days of second-hand reports that the Amazon founder and Washington Post owner’s phone was hacked by none other than Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, aka MBS, we now have access to the full forensic report on the incident. Motherboard has posted a copy here. The report was prepared by FTI Consulting, at the request of Bezos’ investigator. If you’re into computer forensics, it’s a good read and provides the kind of nitty-gritty detail that a good forensics report should have. For example, the report notes that once FTI took possession of the phone, its facilities were… Read More

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Mind-blowing facts and more: Bill Gates shares his 7 favorite tweets after 10 years on Twitter

(@BillGates screen grab) “Hello world,” Bill Gates said when he joined Twitter and tweeted for the first time on Jan. 19, 2010. Ten years later, the billionaire philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder has had plenty more to say — and Thursday he shared some of his favorite tweets from that time period. In a video directed at his nearly 50 million followers, Gates ticked off seven tweets, including a “mind-blowing fact” (about how much cement China uses) and “the most beautiful chart in the world” (about the decline in child deaths). A tweet featuring President Barack Obama made the cut. So did the Ice Bucket Challenge. And true to his mission… Read More

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How to Make Snake Venom Without Any Snakes

The venom glands of snakes are among nature’s most potent weapons. Hans Clevers can now grow them in his lab, mass-producing little disembodied blobs that secrete the same cocktail of toxins as their natural counterparts. When I asked him where the idea of doing this came from, he chuckles. “That is what I asked my Ph.D. students,” he said. A decade ago, Clevers realized that stem cells from a mouse’s gut, when bathed in the right chemicals, could produce organoids—miniature versions of full organs. These lentil-size blobs were simplistic replicas, but they captured many of the important features of their parent organs, from their architecture to the genes they activate.… Read More

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Videos: Here’s how browsing on Microsoft’s dual-screen Surface Duo phone will work

(Microsoft Photo) Information is starting to trickle out about how Microsoft’s Surface Duo — the Android-powered, dual-screen device that marks the tech giant’s return to the smartphone market — will work when it is released in the 2020 holiday season. Yesterday, Microsoft published a software kit to help developers build apps for Duo and previewed plans to release similar tools for its other new dual-screen device, Surface Neo. Several observers hopped on the new developer tools and gave the world a first look at browsing on the device. In context – this feels even more magical. pic.twitter.com/8yLLoioE1K — Jonas Daehnert (@PhoneDesigner) January 22, 2020 Here’s a quick look at some… Read More

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The Most Intriguing Star in the Galaxy

Sometime this week, you might walk outside in broad daylight, look up to the sky, and see a luminous orb as bright as a full moon. Only it wouldn’t be the moon. It would be something far more explosive: the dazzling aftermath of a cataclysm hundreds of light-years away. What you’d be seeing is the light from a supernova—the final, powerful flash of a dying star. Or… you might see the regular old sky. Supernovae are nearly impossible to predict. But astronomers have recently started discussing the rare possibility with a bit more enthusiasm than usual, thanks to some odd behavior elsewhere in the Milky Way. If the supernova did… Read More

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