Darth Vader is going digital
Image: Disney
After an illustrious career spanning more than 45 years on screens large and small, James Earl Jones is hanging up his red lightsaber and stepping down from one of his most memorable characters. And who can blame him? At 91 years old, we’d be “looking into winding down this particular character” as well. That doesn’t mean Darth Vader is going with him. Nor does it mean, Disney will try to quietly recast the iconic villain and hope no one notices.
Instead of casting some would-be Jones impersonator, Disney has turned to the power of AI. Specifically, a Ukrainian startup called Respeecher. With Jones’s blessing, the company collaborated with Lucasfilm and will use archival footage and past recordings of Jones’ voice along with a proprietary algorithm to faithfully recreate Vader’s baritone voice. This isn’t slated for some distant future film either. If you’ve seen Disney’s Obi-Wan you would’ve already heard the new AI Vader. Could you tell the difference?
Source: Engadget
Artemis 1 to arte-miss the next launch window (again)
Image: NOAA
NASA’s struggle to launch its Artemis 1 mission continues. The American space agency has attempted to launch the first of the Artemis lunar missions twice before – with the third and current attempt scheduled for 27 September – and both times the Space Launch System rocket and Orion space capsule have remained on the launch pad.
This time around, the launch attempt was scrapped before it even began, thanks to Tropical Storm Ian and the possibility that it could turn into a full-blown hurricane. NASA engineers thought better than to risk it. The biscuit (moon) isn’t going anywhere.
The 2nd of October is the backup date for the latest launch window but if NASA decides to wheel its very expensive rocket back to the safety of the Kennedy Space Center’s Vehicle Assembly Building and save it from hurricane-strength winds on the launch pad, it can kiss that launch date goodbye too.
Source: Space.com
Starlink satellite internet speeds slow down as more sign up
SpaceX’s Starlink satellite speeds are apparently getting slower, according to Ookla’s Q2 2022 report. Average download speeds in the US sat at 62.5Mbps in Q2 2022, down from 90.6Mbps in the previous quarter. Average upload speeds also dropped from 9.3Mbps to 7.2Mbps. According to the report, “Starlink speeds decreased in every country [Ookla] surveyed over the past year as more users sign up for service,” but went on to say “Starlink still reached a median download speed of at least 60Mbps in North America during Q2 2022, which is more than enough for at least one connected device to do most everything on the Internet.”
While we’d agree that 60Mbps is ‘fast enough’, the average latency has increased a little, from 43ms to 48ms. Some might not have such a good time in online gaming with that ping. Unless you’re used to EU servers. We feel sorry for those people. That being said, for those in locations that don’t offer stable fixed line speeds or coverage at all, the decreased Starlink speeds are better than nothing. Or so we think. Last we checked, the service’s launch date for South Africa is still unknown.
Source: Ars Technica
Alleged GTA 6 hacker allegedly arrested
UK police announced last Friday (via Twitter) that they had arrested a 17-year-old “on suspicion of hacking” in Oxfordshire. Former Reuters journalist Mattew Keys’ sources have indicated the arrest could have something to do with the recent Rockstar Games hack that led to the leak of early footage of GTA VI. Although that is still unconfirmed at this time.
If you’ve been keeping up with the years’ hacking news, you’ll notice that’s the same place where the hacker and one of the alleged leaders of international hacking group Lapsus$ were arrested. That’s probably not because Oxfordshire is the world’s new hacking capital but because they’re the same person, allegedly. That alleged hacker was also allegedly responsible for a March hack against Microsoft and another targeting Nvidia, followed by a third recent attack on Uber’s systems. Allegedly.
Source: Engadget
The post Light Start: Darth Vader retires, Artemis 1 (still) grounded, alleged GTA 6 hacker arrested, and Starlink slows down appeared first on StuffSA.