Technology

Supersonic passenger jet firm raises $100 million, aims for 2019 test flights

Boom Supersonic Founded in 2014, Colorado-based Boom Supersonic says it has been making steady technical development toward the return of supersonic civilian travel. Now it has some considerable resources, as well. On Friday, the company announced that it has raised $100 million in Series B financing, bringing its total funding to more than $141 million. “This new …

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Bandersnatch: The spoiler-filled, choose-your-own-opinion review

Netflix After catching up on post-holiday news and emails, Ars staffers got together in our staff chat room to talk about Netflix’s weirdest one-off film yet: Bandersnatch, the Black Mirror “event” that launched on December 28. We’d all seen it, some alone and others in groups, and we all felt a mix of delight, confusion, …

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LG’s new OLED TVs: true 4K/120Hz, variable refresh rates, HDMI 2.1, more

LG LG has announced its TV lineup in the lead-up to the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) next week. As in other recent years, the company has split its lineup between LCD and OLED models, and the OLED models are generally the most interesting. This year, LG’s OLEDs and certain high-end LCD TVs will support …

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Machine learning can offer new tools, fresh insights for the humanities

Enlarge / Composite image based on Jacques-Louis David’s unfinished painting, “Drawing of the Tennis Court Oath” (circa 1790). (credit: Association of Cybernetic Historians) Truly revolutionary political transformations are naturally of great interest to historians, and the French Revolution at the end of the 18th century is widely regarded as one of the most influential, serving …

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Renewables, led by wind, provided more power than coal in Germany in 2018

Enlarge / Gode wind farm off the coast of Germany. (credit: Ørsted) According to the Fraunhofer Institute, Germany’s renewable power sector produced more electricity than coal in 2018 for the first time ever, with renewables providing 40 percent of the year’s produced electricity and coal providing 38 percent. Of course, “renewables” include an aggregate of …

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Fixing photosynthesis by engineering it to recycle a toxic mistake

Enlarge / A scientist transplants engineered tobacco for testing. (credit: Brian Stauffer/University of Illinois) The vast majority of life on Earth depends, either directly or indirectly, on photosynthesis for its energy. And photosynthesis depends on an enzyme called RuBisCO, which uses carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to build sugars. So, by extension, RuBisCO may be …

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FCC gets a new Democrat, is back to full slate of five commissioners

Enlarge / Democrats vs. Republicans. (credit: Getty Images | Linda Braucht) The Federal Communications Commission will once again have a full lineup of five commissioners, with three Republicans and two Democrats. The FCC has had three Republicans but only one Democrat since Mignon Clyburn left the agency in May 2018. Democrat Geoffrey Starks has been in …

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