Light Start — The littlest rocket, Infinity War, 4G 3310, and flying with your face

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Japan uses the smallest rocket possible to launch the Tricom-1R satellite into space

The trend of late when it comes to rocket engines has been bigger and badder, with SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy due to lift off this Tuesday. But sometimes size doesn’t matter. Japan have gone the other route, using their smallest possible rocket to send the Tricom-1R satellite into Earth orbit. The rocket, a modified SS-520 sounding rocket (which is usually used for sub-orbit experiments and readings), had been converted to a three-stage rocket and successfully launched to put its CubeSat payload into orbit over the weekend. An earlier attempt using the same variation of the modified SS-520 failed due to an equipment failure. Still, never let anyone tell you that your mere 10-metre rocket can’t be useful.

Source: SciNews (YouTube)

Here is your latest Avengers: Infinity War teaser — all 30 seconds of it

It’s amazing how much excitement can be crammed into 30 seconds, which is good considering that with Super Bowl advertisements, 30 seconds is all advertisers get… for a hefty, hefty fee. Marvel’s new Avengers: Infinity War teaser packs in a look at every character (just about) who will be turning up to battle Thanos for control over the Infinity Stones — which, if you haven’t been paying attention, have been turning up in various Marvel movies over the past decade or so. That’s a long lead time and a lot of payoff in the making. Here’s hoping that having a monster cast will result in an epic movie. In other words, please don’t be Iron Man 2.

Source: Marvel (YouTube)

An improved Nokia 3310 might be making it to MWC 2018

Part of the appeal of the Nokia 3310 was that it was very uncomplicated, mostly due to the fact that it was only outfitted with 2G and couldn’t do much to get online — at least not with today’s networks. The States has a 3G model of the revamped classic and there’s talk of something a little different in the works for this year’s MWC conference taking place in Barcelona at the end of February — a 4G-capable Nokia 3310. The handset exists, being available in China and running a forked version of Android, so seeing a 4G 3310  turn up later this month for the rest of us might address some of the complaints we had about the phone — namely that we’re not quite as nostalgic as we’d like to think when it comes to connectivity. Also: apps.

Source: via Digital Trends

Ready-Aim-Fly is teaching drones to fly based on user’s facial expressions

What good is all this facial recognition tech if you’re not going to use it? Some folks are, like the team using image recognition to give orders to drones. The project, called Ready-Aim-Fly, has taught drones to recognise their user and to respond to a trigger facial expression in order to execute a pre-programmed task — in this case, to fly in a straight line, keep the user in view, and take a photograph of an oversized teddy bear. Not the most useful of tasks, but its a stepping stone to greater things. To a new human-computer interface perhaps, one that sees a drone-mounted AI cheerfully interacting with its human buddies in the real world. There’s no chance that someone’s going to use this for something evil, after all…

Source: via Digital Trends

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