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NASA declares the Mars InSight digger dead after two years

Mashable

NASA announced on Thursday that a "mole" on Mars has ended its mission after landing on the Red Planet nearly two years ago. The mole -- also called a digger, drill, and probe -- was built by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and deployed by NASA's InSight lander. Its purpose was to drill 16 feet into Martian soil to take its temperature and...well, it never managed to do that. The digger had drilled down merely 14 inches before getting stuck in the first month of its mission. Months later in Oct. 2019, NASA engineers made a plan to put the digger back on track by using a robotic scoop to help refill the 14 inches and support the digger in its next attempt at burrowing down 16 feet.


The 5 best Amazon deals you can get this weekend

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. At long last, the weekend is finally here! To celebrate the three-day break ahead, we've corralled some of the best Amazon deals we could find this weekend. From $200 in savings on an amazing iRobot Roomba vacuum to a more than 50% off one of our favorite pairs of noise-canceling headphones, the price cuts are certainly aplenty today--and you definitely won't want to miss out. Get expert shopping advice delivered to your phone.


Robotics trends at #CES2021

Robohub

Even massive events like the 54th edition of Consumer Electronics Show (CES) have gone virtual due to the current pandemic. Since 1967, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), which is the North American trade association for the consumer technology industry, has been organising the fair, and this year was not going to be any different--well, except they had to take the almost 300,000m${} 2$ from CES 2020 to the cloud. In this post, I mainly put the focus on current and future hardware/robotics trends presented at CES 2021 (because we all love to make predictions, even during uncertain times). "Innovation accelerates and bunches up during economic downturns only to be unleashed as the economy begins to recover, ushering in powerful waves of technological change"--Christopher Freeman, British Economist. With this quote, I start the first session on'my show' of CES 2021, 'Tech trends to watch' by CTA (see their slides here).


DJI's Latest Compact Drone Is a Blast to Fly

WIRED

DJI's Mini 2, as the name suggests, is the second generation of the company's least-expensive, and in many ways most-compelling, drone. What's notable is the new camera, which can now shoot 4K video at up to 30 frames per second and capture RAW still images. Its new motors are more powerful, which gives the Mini 2 more speed and, more important, better performance in the wind. Despite all the new features though, the best thing about the Mini 2 is the same thing I said about its predecessor--it's just plain fun to fly. The Mini 2 looks identical to Mavic Mini it replaces.


Lidar tech on the rise at CES to power future smart cities, autonomous cars

Washington Post - Technology News

The Mini is small, roughly five centimeters long and is meant to detect closer range objects around a vehicle. It's customizable to fit within a vehicle's design scheme, according to the company. The larger Vision Plus can pick up things 650 feet in front of and behind cars with self-driving features. Together, they're designed to enable cars to handle more than one automated task at a time.


Flying cars, smart beds: 5 things I'd actually buy from CES 2021

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Despite the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) taking place online for the first time in its 54-year history, the all-digital 2021 CES still served as a window to the near future, featuring more than 1,800 exhibitors showcasing their wares – virtually speaking. Granted, it can be tougher to assess how impressive these products are without seeing them with your own eyes – like the latest TV technologies or self-driving cars – but the show managed to surprise and delight with several innovative offerings. As an annual tradition during CES, the following is a few gadgets I'd actually shell out money for – even if they're not available for a long while. Galaxy S21 or iPhone 12?:How Samsung and Apple smartphones stack up Teased by Samsung earlier in the week, Bot Handy is a domestic robot that can roam around your home to perform chores – such as picking up clothes from the floor or loading the dishwasher – but my favorite feature is pouring a glass of wine and bringing it to you. After all, after the year we've just endured, who wouldn't want this kind of high-tech pampering.


Glitches, long hours and delays: Inside Cyberpunk 2077's disastrous rollout

The Japan Times

CD Projekt SA Chief Executive Officer Marcin Iwiński made a public mea culpa this week about the disastrous rollout of the video game Cyberpunk 2077 in December. He took personal responsibility and asked fans not to blame the team. In a somber five-minute video address and accompanying blog post, Iwiński acknowledged the game "did not meet the quality standard we wanted to meet. I and the entire leadership team are deeply sorry for this." Iwiński's apology, the second within a month, was an attempt to restore the Polish company's reputation with scores of fans -- and investors -- who had waited eight years for the game, only to discover it was riddled with bugs and performance issues when it was finally released.


AI Might Be the Future. But Can It Also Predict it?

#artificialintelligence

We all know that artificial intelligence has been the hot topic of recent times. But can AI models predict it? By combining the processing of big datasets and using the AI algorithms that drive Artificial Intelligence, an ever-more accurate model of future events can be created.


Data and AI Will Drive Autonomous Future in Banking

#artificialintelligence

The priorities of every financial institution have been impacted by the pandemic, with some firms believing that a greater investment needs to be made in technology, others focusing on new products and services, and still others wanting to improve components of trust and security. The foundation of each of these priorities is a combination of a need to improve customer experiences while managing operating costs in an uncertain economic environment. The reassessment of corporate priorities is being done with the backdrop of consumer standards for engagement that have moved away from one-size-fits-all transactional experiences to contextualized experiences that are personalized across multiple touchpoints and channels. At the same time, as consumers widen their scope of understanding of what can be achieved with digital engagement, more of them will be willing to pay more for services that enhance their financial lifestyle through real-time insights, proactive recommendations and simplified engagement. According to Salesforce's Trends in Financial Services report, there is an urgent need for the industry to transform data and insights into actionable outcomes that are consumer-centric.


The AGI Significance Paradox

#artificialintelligence

As progress accelerates towards AGI, the number of people who realize the significance of each new breakthrough decreases. This is the AGI Significance Paradox. There is a very old metaphor that you can boil a frog in water without it jumping out when you gradually increase the temperature. The fable goes that the frog does not have the internal models to recognize that there is a change in the water temperature. A cold-blooded creature like the frog is thought to have its temperature regulated only by the external environment.