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Take us to your leader. (HANDOUT/NASA)
Take us to your leader. (HANDOUT/NASA)

NASA gets a new space suit, Google Glass parts worth $80 and Snapchat adds ephemeral texts Add to ...

Who says your vote doesn’t count? The people have spoken in the next-generation NASA space suit design contest and the clear winner is: Tron.

At least, Tron style is what seems to be at work in the “Technology” option, which the space agency says received 63 per cent of the votes cast by fans. But don’t expect to see this at the next launch press conference, it’s just part of the planning for getting to Mars:

“NASA’s Z-2 suit is the newest prototype in its next-generation spacesuit platform, the Z-series. With the agency laser focused on a path to Mars, work to develop the technologies astronauts one day will use to live and work on Mars has already begun. Each iteration of the Z-series will advance new technologies that one day will be used in a suit worn by the first humans to step foot on the Red Planet.”

Google Gla$$

To get early access to the “Explorer” program for Google’s face-computer wearable you had to shell out $1,500 for what was essentially a prototype. But if you were one of the early adopting GlassHoles you got ripped off, at least according to Teardown.com, a site with the mission of stripping apart pricey gear and explaining the origin and costs of the components.

According to them the priciest bit is the $13.64 processor, a Texas Instruments OMAP4430; the Bluetooth, GPS, gyroscope and accelerometer sensor pack come in second at about $10.79. All together, including assembly and test? Teardown estimates it only costs Google $79.78 for the prototype. While it may give current Glass owners sticker shock, that might actually be good news for Google’s plans to sell a commercial version of the wearable headset in the future: a sub-$200 price-point seems possible even assuming an upgrade in components and manufacturing.

The complete teardown is also worth checking out to for the pretty pictures of not-so-pricey tech getting busted into little pieces.

If you thought Snapchat was for sexting before...

Snapchat is known for its single-purpose ephemeral photo-sharing service: You take a picture, you send it, then it disappears (mostly). The Verge’s Ellis Hamburger sat down with founder Evan Spiegal to talk about the latest update to the service and found a few interesting things:

  • The new text messaging system in Snapchat’s latest update is ephemeral too, meaning the conversation disappears when you close the session.
  • It includes things like notifications if the jerk on the other end tries to screenshot your soon-to-vanish words.
  • There is also video calling, but it looks a little different than Skype because Snapchat thinks the existing metaphors for “calling” and even “phones” makes no sense in a the smartphone era.
  • Snapchat uploads more photos a day than Facebook, about 700 million snaps are sent daily.
  • Spiegal, 23, wears a bowtie to interviews.

There’s a lot more, the update actually sounds pretty nice if you’re into having the kind of online communications you wish would disappear forever (sorta) as soon as you finish them.

Security corner:

Good news, looks like IT pros are super worried about Heartbleed vulnerabilities on a wide variety of industrial machines and controllers, as Re/code writer Arik Hesseldahl reports:

“They’re known as SCADA systems – it stands for supervisory control and data acquisition – and they’re basically computers that sit on top of pretty much any kind of industrial equipment you can imagine, from machinery in factories to pumps and generators at energy utilities to pretty much any kind of public infrastructure.”

The beat goes on when it comes to that story.


Hey, if you want us to follow up any of these stories for more detail or info, let us know on Twitter @Globetechnology or in the comments. We’ll update with more reporting on the story of your choice.

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