Virgin Galactic Reaches Space Again In Highest, Fastest Test Flight Yet

"If you're willing to spend $250,000 for a quick trip to space, that option is getting closer to reality," reports CNN. VSS Unity, Virgin Galactic's rocket-powered plane, climbed to a record altitude of nearly 56 miles during a test flight on Friday, marking the second time Richard Branson's startup has reached space. Two pilots, and for the first time, an additional crew member, were on board. Beth Moses, Galactic's chief astronaut trainer and an aerospace engineer, rode along with the pilots. The trip allowed her to run safety checks and get a first look at what Galactic's customers could one day experience. Moses has logged hundreds of hours on zero gravity aircrafts, and she described the G Forces aboard the supersonic plane as "mildly wild." Some moments were intense, she told CNN Business, but it was never uncomfortable. "I was riveted and I think our customers will be as well." Unity took off from a runway in California's Mojave Desert just after 8 am PT and cruised to about 45,000 feet attached to its mothership before it broke away and fired its rocket motor. The plane then swooped into the upper reaches of the atmosphere, 295,000 feet high, at supersonic speeds. It's top speed was Mach 3. At the peak of its flight path, Unity experienced a few minutes of weightlessness and looked out into the black skies of the cosmos. Moses said she was able to leave her seat and take in the view. "The Earth was beautiful -- super sharp, super clear," she said, "with a gorgeous view of the Pacific mountains." America's Federal Aviation Administration says they'll now award commercial astronaut wings to all three members of the crew, and CNN reports that this second successful test flight suggests Galactic "could be on track" to start flying tourists into space this year. "About 600 people have reserved tickets, priced between $200,000 and $250,000, to fly with Galactic. And the company says it wants to eventually lower prices to broaden its customer base."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Microsoft's Cloud Evangelist Adds 'Clippy' To Their Business Card

An anonymous reader quotes Business Insider's update on Microsoft Clippy, the animated cartoon paperclip that was Office's virtual assistant until the early 2000s, that "everyone loved to hate." After 18 years, has it become retro chic? When Chloe Condon, a newly hired Microsoft cloud evangelist, ordered new business cards, she avoided the standard corporate look and instead went with Clippy-themed cards and tweeted them out... They've got a picture of Clippy on the front and on the back they say, "It looks like you are trying to get in touch with Chloe," with her contact info listed below... Naturally, the Clippy The Paperclip Twitter account loved these cards. He tweeted, "@chloecondon It looks like you're using my likeness on your new business cards. Would you like help with WAIT I'M ON BUSINESS CARDS NOW?!" And then former Microsoft exec Steven Sinofsky, the man credited for developing Microsoft Office into a massive hit, noticed the cards and tweeted, "I suppose if you live long enough, others will wear your failures as a badge of honor...." After four years of scorn, Clippy was officially retired in 2001. Sinofsky tells Business Insider that the company even issued a funny press release about it.... Microsoft even held an official retirement party for him in San Francisco, too. Sinfosky shared a photo from that party with us... If you look closely, you'll see unemployed Clippy is actually using the party thrown in his honor to collect charity for himself and beg for food.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

12-Year-Old Boy Reportedly Builds A Nuclear Fusion Reactor

An anonymous reader quotes the Guardian: An American 14-year-old has reportedly become the youngest known person in the world to create a successful nuclear reaction. The Open Source Fusor Research Consortium, a hobbyist group, has recognised the achievement by Jackson Oswalt, from Memphis, Tennessee, when he was aged 12 in January 2018.... The enterprising teenager said he transformed an old playroom in his parents' house into a nuclear laboratory with $10,000 (£7,700) worth of equipment that uses 50,000 volts of electricity to heat deuterium gas and fuse the nuclei to release energy. "The start of the process was just learning about what other people had done with their fusion reactors," Jackson told Fox. "After that, I assembled a list of parts I needed. I got those parts off eBay primarily and then oftentimes the parts that I managed to scrounge off of eBay weren't exactly what I needed. So I'd have to modify them to be able to do what I needed to do for my project...." [S]cientists are likely to remain sceptical until Oswalt's workings are subject to verification from an official organisation and are published in an academic journal. Still, the teenager may now have usurped the previous record holder, Taylor Wilson, who works in nuclear energy research after achieving fusion aged 14.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

ShareX 12.4.0

Versie 12.4.0 van ShareX is uitgekomen. Met dit opensourceprogramma kunnen zowel statische als bewegende beelden worden afgevangen, waarna er vervolgens verschillende bewerkingen op los kunnen worden gelaten. Wanneer je tevreden bent met het resultaat kan het worden uitgevoerd naar zo'n tachtig bestemmingen, zoals Flickr, Pastebin, Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3 en Streamable. Ook kan de functionaliteit verder uitgebreid worden met zelfgeschreven uploadmodules om dit onderdeel naar je eigen hand te zetten. De changelog voor deze uitgave kan hieronder worden gevonden: Changes in ShareX version 12.4.0

Buddhist Necropolis, Koyasan, Japan

zeitzeichen has added a photo to the pool:

Buddhist Necropolis, Koyasan, Japan

5 a.m., before the tourists come. On the way to Okunoin, the last resting place of Kobo Daishi, the founder of Shingon Buddhism. More Than 200.000 graves line the path to the mausoleum, making it the largest grave yard in Japan. Among the graves are many company graves. One of them belonging to a pest control company, dedicated to the insects that were killed by their products.

How to Make Dramatic Photos with Backlight

The post How to Make Dramatic Photos with Backlight appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Mat Coker.

Most people don’t notice light. But visual artists do. Light is one of the essential ingredients in your photographs.

Light can be tricky to deal with until you understand camera settings. But once you’re familiar with your camera, light is wonderful to play with in your photos.

Personally, I love backlight. It adds a sense of drama and beauty to your photography.

I’ll show you examples of backlight with food, landscape, and portrait photography (studio and outdoors).

In order to achieve backlight in your photo, have the main light source behind your subject coming toward your camera. In this photo, you can actually see the warm setting sun as the source of backlight.

What is backlight good for?

I love backlight because it adds depth and drama to an otherwise flat, two-dimensional photo.

Backlight helps to bring out the texture of objects that you photograph (sidelight is good for this as well). Texture is created through a combination of highlights and shadows. Since photographs are two dimensional, texture adds depth to your photo.

A strong burst of backlight adds drama to your photo. Think about the bursts of light at a rock concert or other performances. The temperature of the backlight (warm or cool) adds to the drama of the photo.

The backlight source might be in your photo along with your subject (as with the sunset photo above). Or the light source can be outside of the frame (as long as it illuminates your subject).

Any source of backlight can be used creatively, but sunlight, windows, and strobes are among the most popular.

The principals of backlight are the same no matter what camera you’re using, even your phone.

This ice-covered tree is backlit by the sun. Without backlight shining through the branches, this tree would not have stood out so much.


It’s great to begin practicing backlight with food. Backlight can be used to illuminate steam and bring out the texture of the food.

While any light source will work, many photographers love using window light to illuminate food.

The light source is not visible in this photo, but there is a window backlighting the food and making the steam visible.


This food was photographed while still in the oven. The warm backlight is coming from the oven light.


This is an example of soft backlight produced by a large window. I wanted to bring out the texture in the cookies. An iPhone 4s was used to capture the image and Lightroom was used to process it.

Your food photos will be less flat and have more pop to them when you use back (or side) light. Just look for a window or any other light source. Get creative and use the light from fridges, stoves, and lamps.

The great thing about practicing backlight with food is that if you can’t reposition the light source, you can easily reposition yourself and the food.

Landscape and Nature

Once you get the hang of backlight with food, use it to add drama to your landscape photos. In most cases, you won’t be able to reposition your backlight source since it will likely be the sun. However, you can always reposition yourself in relation to the sun and your subject.

I saw this scene as I looked in the rearview mirror. I couldn’t resist pulling over to take a photo. The setting sun is the light source for this scene. You can’t see it in the frame but it’s behind the trees to the left. Notice how the electricity wires are shining and standing out from the dark trees in the background.


The setting sun behind this crab apple tree caught my eye during a walk. I came back with my camera and found a perspective where the sun was visible filtering through the tree. An aperture of f/11 was used to create the starburst effect.


A combination of backlight and water droplets on the lens created this special effect. I don’t recommend letting your lens get wet, I was using a waterproof case. The case was still wet from using my camera underwater.


I love to incorporate backlight into portraits to accent the emotion. Beautiful or intense moments are brought out even more with the use of backlight.


The best part about backlight in a studio is that you can position your light source any way you like.

Two off camera flashes were used to produce this dramatic backlight.


Superheros are dramatic characters by nature. Using harsh backlight instead of soft front light is better for bringing out the nature of the subject.


Natural light

When using natural light, you’ll have to position yourself and your subject according to the light source.

This little guy is backlit by the setting sun, while the big open sky in front of him illuminates his face.


One of the biggest problems about backlight is that your photo may turn out as a silhouette when you don’t want it to.

You’re likely using a semi-automatic setting such as aperture or shutter priority. Your camera sees the bright backlight and meters itself accordingly. You can use exposure compensation to help you avoid unwanted silhouettes. Try setting your exposure compensation to +1 or +2. You’ll need to experiment according to the light conditions.

If you’re experienced then manual mode might be the best option for you.

The main light source is the sky in the background. The sun has not risen over the horizon yet.

Practice backlight with everything

Once you get the hang of it, you can introduce backlight into all sorts of situations. Use it to bring out texture and to heighten dramatic moments.

Concerts are a wonderful place to have fun with backlight. The rapidly changing lights will create a challenge for you. Take lots of photos and be happy with the few that work out.

I love how golden hour can add a nostalgic feel to photos.

Use a combination of low angles and backlight to make your photo more exciting.

I always wait until evening to visit the beach. That way the sun isn’t shining straight down onto the sand. Instead it shines down at a lower angle, creating texture through shadow and highlight.


I love my little guy’s hair. There is a window just above him as the source of backlight.

The post How to Make Dramatic Photos with Backlight appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Mat Coker.

Wiet gaat bier verslaan

Alcoholprobleem opgelost

Droogleggingen, publiekscampagnes, leeftijdsgrenzen, reclamebeperkingen, accijnzen en alle andere overheidspogingen ten spijt: het pijpje pils wordt uiteindelijk gewoon verslagen door EEN PLANT. Een groene plant. Een mooie plant. Een welriekende plant. Een grote en sterke, ja een nuttige plant. Het gaat over de Cannabis Sativa Hollandica Americana. Moeder Aarde gaat met gezondere alternatieven Vader Alcohol terug in de kelder kicken, en wordt weer de baas in de keuken. Als ze tenminste uit de bank kan komen met d'r aartsluie, netflixende, paprikachips graaiende reedt natuurlijk want van wiet wordt je wel chiller maar niet sneller. Veertig procent van de Amerikaanse 21-plussers (= legal drinking age) is al aan de pot-plant en "cannabis presents substantial opportunities across consumer industries, including new occasions that alcohol cannot and will not play. Consumers will continue to look to cannabis products over alcohol for occasions when they are feeling creative, need to get motivated, or seeking health, medical or wellness benefits.” Lumineus idee: why not both?

Zin in bier nu


KNVB komt PEC tegemoet en huurt zaaltje af op 2 maart

In reactie op de verontwaardiging van PEC Zwolle over het uitstellen van de uitwedstrijd tegen Ajax heeft de KNVB de Zwollenaren een handreiking gedaan. De voetbalbond heeft op de originele speeldatum een zaaltje afgehuurd in Zeist.

Jan Bluyssen, die er ook voor zorgde dat de wedstrijd tegen Ajax is verzet naar woensdag 13 maart, heeft de spelers zelf het goede nieuws verteld. Voorafgaand aan de wedstrijd tegen De Graafschap heeft hij een bezoekje gebracht aan de kleedkamer van PEC. “Wij snappen de frustratie van die jongens, die willen natuurlijk gewoon lekker een potje ballen op zaterdag. Dus hebben we een alternatief voor ze geregeld”, zegt de manager competitiezaken van de KNVB. “Kunnen die knapen toch nog lekker voetballen.”

De KNVB heeft de zaal voor twee uur afgehuurd. Bluyssen: “Helemaal op kosten van de KNVB. Het zou wel fijn zijn als de jongens zelf even wat hesjes en een bal meenemen.”

Ontvang uw dagelijkse dosis betrouwbaar nieuws via Whatsapp

Samsung Galaxy S10+: What’s great and what’s not (so far)

Samsung's Galaxy S10 family was only announced a few days ago, but we got one just in time to bring along to Barcelona. It's a beautiful device, and clearly represents Samsung at the peak of its smartphone-building prowess, but there's a bigger quest...

A look back at Samsung's Galaxy S lineup

Earlier this week, Samsung officially announced the Galaxy S10 (and S10+), the company's latest and greatest Android flagship. Somewhat obviously, the S10 is also the tenth-generation Galaxy S, which means it's been ten years since the very first Gal...