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Japan agrees to provide important Lunar Gateway components
by Paul Hill
NASA and the Government of Japan have come to an agreement over the Lunar Gateway that will see the east Asian nation provide capabilities for the Gateway’s International Habitation module (I-Hab). The I-Hab is a key component of the modular space station as it includes life support capabilities and additional space where astronauts can live and work during Artemis missions.
According to the American space agency, JAXA’s planned contributions include I-Hab’s environmental control and life support system, batteries, thermal control and imagery components. Once developed, these parts will be integrated into the I-Hab module by the European Space Agency (ESA) which shows just how much of an international effort this new space station is.
Under a previous agreement between JAXA and Northrop Grumman, Japan will supply the batteries that’ll be used in Gateway’s Habitation and Logistics Output (HALO) – the area of the station where astronauts will go first once arriving at Gateway. Japan has also decided to take a look at its HTV-X cargo resupply craft to see whether it can adapt it for use in Gateway logistics resupply missions.
Commenting on today’s partnership, Gateway program manager at NASA’s Johnson Space Center Dan Hartman said:
The Lunar Gateway, which is set to orbit the Moon, will begin launching in January 2024. Initially, the Power and Propulsion Element and the HALO modules will be launched and eventually will be joined many other modules. The I-Hab, which Japan is developing components for under today’s agreement is set for launch in 2026.
By Rich Woods
Microsoft reportedly working on its own custom ARM chips for servers and Surface [Update]
by Rich Woods
According to a new report from Bloomberg, Microsoft is working on its own custom ARM chips, which will be used in servers and Surface products. The plan is to rely less on Intel, coming on the heels of the fanfare around Apple's transition to ARM across its entire lineup. However, according to the report, Microsoft is going to be using Arm's designs, which Apple does not do.
Apple actually calls its processors 'Apple Silicon', because they are, in fact, custom-designed. Rather than licensing the actual designs, Apple just licenses the instruction set, making its own designs. What Microsoft would be doing, assuming that this report is accurate, is more similar to what we see from the likes of Qualcomm, Samsung, and so on.
Microsoft has been offering an ARM flavor of Windows since 2017, but to date, it's only run on Qualcomm processors. The first two generations of the product were repurposed smartphone chips, including the Snapdragon 835 and the Snapdragon 845-based Snapdragon 850.
The Snapdragon 8cx was the first one that was designed from the ground up for PCs, and it was developed by Qualcomm in close collaboration with Microsoft. Later, a slightly modified version of the Snapdragon 8cx shipped in the Surface Pro X, but this time, the chipset had Microsoft branding. The 'SQ' in Microsoft SQ1 stood for Surface-Qualcomm.
Making an ARM chip for Surface is something that really wouldn't make much sense for Microsoft, especially since it would be using the same kind of ARM license that Qualcomm uses, and also since Qualcomm's PC chipsets are already developed in such close collaboration with Microsoft. Microsoft wanting to distance itself from Intel is obvious, but it's unclear why the Redmond firm would be distancing itself from Qualcomm at this point.
Making an ARM chip for servers, on the other hand, makes a lot more sense. Microsoft announced in the past that it had plans to optimize Windows Server for ARM, and Qualcomm isn't as strong of a player in the server chipset market. The company could also use them in its Azure datacenters, and it would be a means of keeping one more thing in-house.
The chip design division inside of Microsoft reports to Jason Zander, who's in charge of Azure, so this should give you an idea on which of the two ideas the team is focused on, servers. If it was a focus on Windows and Surface, the project would fall under Windows and devices lead Panos Panay. Of course, it wouldn't be the first time a product crossed the bridge between Azure and Windows.
The report cited sources that didn't want to be named, and it did not say when we can expect to see these products.
Update: Microsoft has responded to our request for comment with a statement from communications head Frank X Shaw.
"Because silicon is a foundational building block for technology, we’re continuing to invest in our own capabilities in areas like design, manufacturing and tools, while also fostering and strengthening partnerships with a wide range of chip providers."
Amazon Project Zero arrives in seven more countries
by Paul Hill
Amazon has announced that its Project Zero anti-counterfeit tool is now available in seven more countries including Australia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Turkey, and the U.A.E. Project Zero combines Amazon’s “advanced technology, machine learning, and innovation” with brands’ knowledge of their intellectual property to crack down on counterfeit products.
By using Project Zero, over 10,000 brands including Arduino, BMW, ChessCentral, LifeProof, OtterBox, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Veet can ensure that customers always receive authentic products when using Amazon to do their shopping. This, in turn, may encourage customers that have had a positive experience to come back to Amazon to shop in future.
Discussing the product, Dharmesh Mehta, Vice President of Worldwide Customer Trust and Partner Support at Amazon, said:
Businesses that are enrolled with Amazon Project Zero and have an existing trademark in one of the new countries will automatically be able to use Project Zero in these areas. If you’re a brand on Amazon that’s not yet using Project Zero, you can learn more and sign-up on the dedicated page.
By Hamza Jawad
July update for Power BI On-premises data gateway now available
by Hamza Jawad
Last week, Microsoft unveiled the feature summary for the July update of Power BI Desktop. In customary fashion, the company has now announced the latest monthly update for the Power BI On-premises data gateway, only a few days later. With this release, the pathway has been bumped to version 3000.51.7.
For starters, OAuth support via the gateway has now been enabled for SQL Server and Kusto connectors. Azure Active Directory (AAD) credentials can, as such, be used when attempting to create a connection with services acting as data sources, such as SQL Azure. Creating an SQL connection will now provide an OAuth2 authentication method under the data source settings, with the "Edit Credentials" option enabling users to sign in using AAD credentials.
With the standard mode for On-premises data gateway, Azure relays can now be set up with relay details provided by the customer. Previously, these were only automatically provisioned. And finally, as always, an improved version of the Mashup Engine is also included with the latest version, matching the July release for Power BI Desktop. This ensures that reports published and refreshed go through the same query execution logic/run-time as in the service's latest Desktop version.
Those who have been following previous On-premises data gateway updates will recall that in April, Microsoft introduced two different installers corresponding to two different modes. Starting with the releases for that month, every month's updates brings separate variants for each respective mode. The standard mode for the latest version can be downloaded through this link, while the personal mode is available for download here.
by Razvan Serea
Serviio is a free media server. It allows you to stream your media files (music, video or images) to renderer devices (e.g. a TV set, Bluray player, games console or mobile phone) on your connected home network. Serviio works with many devices from your connected home (TV, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, XBox 360, smart phones, tablets, etc.). It supports profiles for particular devices so that it can be tuned to maximise the device's potential and/or minimize lack of media format playback support (via transcoding). Serviio is based on Java technology and therefore runs on most platforms, including Windows, Mac and Linux (incl. embedded systems, e.g. NAS).
There is also a paid Pro edition which further enhances the possibilities of sharing content in your connected household. Free vs Pro comparison.
streams audio, video (SD & HD) and image files in their native format or transcoded in real-time streams content from online sources, like RSS feeds, live audio/video streams, web page content includes a plugin system to support streaming from non-trivial online sources supports most known playlist formats supports subtitles automatically updates the media library when you add/update/remove a media file or a metadata file supports RAW camera images wide array of localized library browsing options supports different editable renderer profiles supports automatic renderer detection and per-IP profile assignment extracts metadata of your media files the way you want it, incl. embedded metadata tags, local metadata files, online metadata sources (in preferred language), XBMC, Swisscenter, MyMovies supports video thumbnails, CD covers, DVD posters, etc. categorizes video files into movie and/or series and marks last viewed episodes of a series integrates with trakt.tv Supported renderers:
Samsung TVs and Bluray players (supports additional features, e.g. subtitles) Sony TVs and Bluray players Panasonic TVs Playstation 3, Playstation 4 Xbox 360, Xbox One LG TVs and Bluray players Toshiba TVs Sharp TVs Philips TVs WDTV Live (supports subtitles) Oppo BDP-83 MusicPal DirecTV DVR Pure Flow devices ROKU Android phones, iOS phones ... and many more Serviio 2.1 changelog:
hide genres and series which are not available for the user; ticket #1125
added support for serving some TrueHD formats without transcoding; ticket #1110
added support for .m4b files; ticket #1133
added profile for Samsung N series; ticket #1122
introduced user.vmoptions file to keep user system properties intact during upgrade (Windows); ticket #1137
fixed not being able to update a user on a renderer; ticket #1121
fixed icon sizes on the MediaBrowser landing page; ticket #1126
fixed null/null in some video titles (requires metadata re-scan); ticket #1132
fixed online feed identifiers overflowing for some large libraries; ticket #1128
fixed looking up movies by year on TheMovieDb.org; ticket #1123
updated Java to OpenJDK 1.8_242
Download: Serviio 2.1 | 124.0 MB (Freeware, paid upgrade available)
View: Serviio Website | Other Operating Systems | Screenshot
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