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ProgrammableWeb

Google Spurns Chrome Extensions Developers with Deprecation of Web Store Payments API

In January of 2020, Google discovered a wave of fraudulent transactions that were taking place on the Chrome Web Store. As a result of these actions, Google suspended the ability to publish or update any commercial Chrome extensions and later suspended use of the platform’s payment API while their security teams looked for a solution. On Monday Google surprised everyone by announcing the deprecation of the Chrome Web Store API.

The Chrome Web Store API is used by Chrome extensions publishers to allow for them to process subscription payments and one-time fees. By removing access to this API, developers will need to transition to third-party payment services to process these transactions. Sadly, for extension publishers, the hassle of switching payment processors is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. There is no way for publishers to migrate their userbase to a new payment system, and Google doesn’t provide access to user email addresses. This means that developers will have to find a way to notify their users of the change and hope that they sign up again for the same level of service.

Google provided a timeline for the changes:

Developers are now officially on the clock, with January 2021 looming as the time when all payments will be disabled via the API. 

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Author: <a href="https://www.programmableweb.com/user/%5Buid%5D">KevinSundstrom</a>

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ScienceDaily

Hubble captures crisp new portrait of Jupiter’s storms

The latest image of Jupiter, taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope on Aug. 25, 2020, was captured when the planet was 406 million miles from Earth. Hubble’s sharp view is giving researchers an updated weather report on the monster planet’s turbulent atmosphere, including a remarkable new storm brewing, and a cousin of the famous Great Red Spot region gearing up to change color — again.

A unique and exciting detail of Hubble’s snapshot appears at mid-northern latitudes as a bright, white, stretched-out storm traveling around the planet at 350 miles per hour (560 kilometers per hour). This single plume erupted on Aug. 18, 2020 — and ground-based observers have discovered two more that appeared later at the same latitude.

While it’s common for storms to pop up in this region every six years or so, often with multiple storms at once, the timing of the Hubble observations is perfect for showing the structure in the wake of the disturbance, during the early stages of its evolution. Trailing behind the plume are small, rounded features with complex “red, white, and blue” colors in Hubble’s ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared light image. Such discrete features typically dissipate on Jupiter, leaving behind only changes in cloud colors and wind speeds, but a similar storm on Saturn led to a long-lasting vortex. The differences in the aftermaths of Jupiter and Saturn storms may be related to the contrasting water abundances in their atmospheres, since water vapor may govern the massive amount of stored-up energy that can be released by these storm eruptions.

Hubble shows that the Great Red Spot, rolling counterclockwise in the planet’s southern hemisphere, is plowing into the clouds ahead of it, forming a cascade of white and beige ribbons. The Great Red Spot is currently an exceptionally rich red color, with its core and outermost band appearing deeper red.

Researchers say the Great Red Spot now measures about 9,800 miles across, big enough to swallow Earth. The super-storm is still shrinking as noted in telescopic observations dating back to 1930, but the reason for its dwindling size is a complete mystery.

Another feature researchers are noticing has changed is Oval BA, nicknamed by astronomers as Red Spot Jr., which appears just below the Great Red Spot in this image. For the past few years, Red Spot Jr. has been fading in color to its original shade of white after appearing red in 2006. However, now the core of this storm appears to be darkening slightly. This could hint that Red Spot Jr. is on its way to turning to a color more similar to its cousin once again.

Hubble’s image shows that Jupiter is clearing out its higher altitude white clouds, especially along the planet’s equator, where an orangish hydrocarbon smog wraps around it.

The icy moon Europa, thought to hold potential ingredients for life, is visible to the left of the gas giant.

This Hubble image is part of yearly maps of the entire planet taken as part of the Outer Planets Atmospheres Legacy program, or OPAL. The program provides annual Hubble global views of the outer planets to look for changes in their storms, winds, and clouds.

The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and ESA (European Space Agency). NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore conducts Hubble science operations. STScI is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy in Washington, D.C.

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Materials provided by NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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Grants.gov

ROSES 2020: SAGE III/ ISS Science Team

Funding Opportunity ID: 327711
Opportunity Number: NNH20ZDA001N-SAGEIII
Opportunity Title: ROSES 2020: SAGE III/ ISS Science Team
Opportunity Category: Discretionary
Opportunity Category Explanation:
Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative Agreement
Grant
Category of Funding Activity: Science and Technology and other Research and Development
Category Explanation:
CFDA Number(s): 43.001
Eligible Applicants: Others (see text field entitled “Additional Information on Eligibility” for clarification)
Additional Information on Eligibility: Proposers must be affiliated with an institution at nspires.nasaprs.com/ and, in general, NASA provides funding only to US institutions. Organizations outside the U.S. that propose on the basis of a policy of no-exchange-of-funds; consult the Guidebook for Proposers (http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/procurement/nraguidebook/) for specific details. Some NRAs may be issued jointly with a non-U.S. organization, e.g., those concerning guest observing programs for jointly sponsored space science programs, that will contain additional special guidelines for non-U.S. participants. Also reference the Guidebook for Proposers for special instructions for proposals from non-U.S. organizations that involve U.S. personnel for whom NASA support is requested.
Agency Code: NASA-HQ
Agency Name: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASA Headquarters
Posted Date: Jun 16, 2020
Close Date: Nov 06, 2020
Last Updated Date: Jun 16, 2020
Award Ceiling: $0
Award Floor: $0
Estimated Total Program Funding:
Expected Number of Awards:
Description: Please note that this program requests Notices of Intent, which are due via NSPIRES by September 18, 2020. See the full posting on NSPIRES for details. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Science Mission Directorate (SMD) released its annual omnibus Research Announcement (NRA), Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) – 2020 (OMB Approval Number 2700-0092, CFDA Number 43.001) on February 14, 2020. In this case “omnibus” means that this NRA has many individual program elements, each with its own due dates and topics. All together these cover the wide range of basic and applied supporting research and technology in space and Earth sciences supported by SMD. Awards will be made as grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, and inter- or intra-agency transfers, depending on the nature of the work proposed, the proposing organization, and/or program requirements. However, most extramural research awards deriving from ROSES will be grants, and many program elements of ROSES specifically exclude contracts, because contracts would not be appropriate for the nature of the work solicited. The typical period of performance for an award is three years, but some programs may allow up to five years and others specify shorter periods. In most cases, organizations of every type, Government and private, for profit and not-for-profit, domestic and foreign (with some caveats), may submit proposals without restriction on teaming arrangements. Tables listing the program elements and due dates, the full text of the ROSES-2020 solicitation, and the “Summary of Solicitation” as a stand-alone document, may all be found NSPIRES at http://solicitation.nasaprs.com/ROSES2020. This synopsis is associated with one of the individual program elements within ROSES, but this is a generic summary that is posted for all ROSES elements. For specific information on this particular program element download and read the PDF of the text of this program element by going to Tables 2 or 3 of this NRA at http://solicitation.nasaprs.com/ROSES2020table2 and http://solicitation.nasaprs.com/ROSES2020table3, respectively, click the title of the program element of interest, a hypertext link will take you to a page for that particular program element. On that page, on the right side under “Announcement Documents” the link on the bottom will be to the PDF of the text of the call for proposals. For example, if one were interested in The Lunar Data Analysis Program (NNH20ZDA001N-LDAP) one would follow the link to the NSPIRES page for that program element and then to read the text of the call one would click on “C.8 Lunar Data Analysis (.PDF)” to download the text of the call. If one wanted to set it into the context of the goals, objectives and know the default rules for all elements within Appendix C, the planetary science division, one might download and read “C.1 Planetary Science Research Program Overview (.PDF)” from that same page. While the letters and numbers are different for each element within ROSES (A.12, B.7, etc.) the basic configuration is always the same, e.g., the letter indicates the Science Division (A is Earth Science, B is Heliophysics etc.) and whatever the letter, #1 is always the overview. Frequently asked questions for ROSES are posted at http://science.nasa.gov/researchers/sara/faqs. Questions concerning general ROSES-2020 policies and procedures may be directed to Max Bernstein, Lead for Research, Science Mission Directorate, at [email protected], but technical questions concerning specific program elements should be directed to the point(s) of contact for that particular element, who may be found either at the end of the individual program element in the summary table of key information or on the web list of topics and points of contact at: http://science.nasa.gov/researchers/sara/program-officers-list. Not all program elements are known at the time of the release of ROSES. To be informed of new program elements or amendments to this NRA, proposers may subscribe to: (1) The SMD mailing lists (by logging in at http://nspires.nasaprs.comand checking the appropriate boxes under “Account Management” and “Email Subscriptions”), (2) The ROSES-2020 RSS feed for amendments, clarifications, and corrections to at http://science.nasa.gov/researchers/sara/grant-solicitations/ROSES-2020, and (3) The ROSES-2020 due date Google calendar. Instructions are at https://science.nasa.gov/researchers/sara/library-and-useful-links (link from the words due date calendar).
Version: 1

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ProgrammableWeb

GitHub Modifies Authentication Methods for REST API

GitHub has announced that beginning on November 13th, 2020, they will require that developers using the GitHub REST APITrack this API use token-based authentication. This will now be required for all authenticated operations in replacement of the previously allowed account password access.

GitHub explained the reasoning behind this decision, with a balanced perspective based on security advancements made over time and a longing to do right by legacy users.

“In recent years, GitHub customers have benefited from a number of security enhancements to GitHub.com such as two-factor authentication, sign-in alerts, verified devices, preventing the use of compromised passwords, and WebAuthn support. These features make it more difficult for an attacker to take a password that’s been reused across multiple websites and use it to try to gain access to your GitHub account. Despite these improvements, for historical reasons customers without two-factor authentication enabled have been able to continue to authenticate Git and API operations using only their GitHub username and password.”

GitHub further outlined that they see value in authentication tokens because they are unique, revocable, limited, and random. Each of these attributes allows GitHub to ensure that the platform is a safe place for developers to operate. 

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Author: <a href="https://www.programmableweb.com/user/%5Buid%5D">KevinSundstrom</a>

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ScienceDaily

Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover Mission to Red Planet successfully launched

NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission is on its way to the Red Planet to search for signs of ancient life and collect samples to send back to Earth.

Humanity’s most sophisticated rover launched with the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter at 7:50 a.m. EDT (4:50 a.m. PDT) Friday on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

“With the launch of Perseverance, we begin another historic mission of exploration,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “This amazing explorer’s journey has already required the very best from all of us to get it to launch through these challenging times. Now we can look forward to its incredible science and to bringing samples of Mars home even as we advance human missions to the Red Planet. As a mission, as an agency, and as a country, we will persevere.”

The ULA Atlas V’s Centaur upper stage initially placed the Mars 2020 spacecraft into a parking orbit around Earth. The engine fired for a second time and the spacecraft separated from the Centaur as expected. Navigation data indicate the spacecraft is perfectly on course to Mars.

Mars 2020 sent its first signal to ground controllers viaNASA’s Deep Space Networkat 9:15 a.m. EDT (6:15 a.m. PDT). However, telemetry (more detailed spacecraft data) had not yet been acquired at that point. Around 11:30 a.m. EDT (8:30 a.m. PDT), a signal with telemetry was received from Mars 2020 by NASA ground stations. Data indicate the spacecraft had entered a state known as safe mode, likely because a part of the spacecraft was a little colder than expected while Mars 2020 was in Earth’s shadow. All temperatures are now nominal and the spacecraft is out of Earth’s shadow.

When a spacecraft enters safe mode, all but essential systems are turned off until it receives new commands from mission control. An interplanetary launch is fast-paced and dynamic, so a spacecraft is designed to put itself in safe mode if its onboard computer perceives conditions are not within its preset parameters. Right now, the Mars 2020 mission is completing a full health assessment on the spacecraft and is working to return the spacecraft to a nominal configuration for its journey to Mars.

The Perseverance rover’s astrobiology mission is to seek out signs of past microscopic life on Mars, explore the diverse geology of its landing site,Jezero Crater, and demonstrate key technologies that will help us prepare for future robotic and human exploration.

“Jezero Crater is the perfect place to search for signs of ancient life,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at the agency’s headquarters in Washington. “Perseverance is going to make discoveries that cause us to rethink our questions about what Mars was like and how we understand it today. As our instruments investigate rocks along an ancient lake bottom and select samples to return to Earth, we may very well be reaching back in time to get the information scientists need to say that life has existed elsewhere in the universe.”

The Martian rock and dust Perseverance’s Sample Caching System collects could answer fundamental questions about the potential for life to exist beyond Earth. Two future missions currently under consideration by NASA, in collaboration with ESA (European Space Agency), will work together to get the samples to an orbiter for return to Earth. When they arrive on Earth, the Mars samples will undergo in-depth analysis by scientists around the world using equipment far too large to send to the Red Planet.

An Eye to a Martian Tomorrow

While most of Perseverance’s seven instruments are geared toward learning more about the planet’s geology and astrobiology, the MOXIE (Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment) instrument’s job is focused on missions yet to come. Designed to demonstrate that converting Martian carbon dioxide into oxygen is possible, it could lead to future versions of MOXIE technology that become staples on Mars missions, providing oxygen for rocket fuel and breathable air.

Also future-leaning is the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, which will remain attached to the belly of Perseverance for the flight to Mars and the first 60 or so days on the surface. A technology demonstrator, Ingenuity’s goal is a pure flight test — it carries no science instruments.

Over 30 sols (31 Earth days), the helicopter will attempt up to five powered, controlled flights. The data acquired during these flight tests will help the next generation of Mars helicopters provide an aerial dimension to Mars explorations — potentially scouting for rovers and human crews, transporting small payloads, or investigating difficult-to-reach destinations.

The rover’s technologies for entry, descent, and landing also will provide information to advance future human missions to Mars.

“Perseverance is the most capable rover in history because it is standing on the shoulders of our pioneers Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity,” said Michael Watkins, director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. “In the same way, the descendants of Ingenuity and MOXIE will become valuable tools for future explorers to the Red Planet and beyond.”

About seven cold, dark, unforgiving months of interplanetary space travel lay ahead for the mission — a fact never far from the mind of Mars 2020 project team.

“There is still a lot of road between us and Mars,” said John McNamee, Mars 2020 project manager at JPL. “About 290 million miles of them. But if there was ever a team that could make it happen, it is this one. We are going to Jezero Crater. We will see you there Feb. 18, 2021.”

The Mars 2020 Perseverance mission is part of America’s larger Moon to Mars exploration approach that includes missions to the Moon as a way to prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet. Charged with sending the first woman and next man to the Moon by 2024, NASA will establish a sustained human presence on and around the Moon by 2028 through NASA’s Artemis program.

JPL, which is managed for NASA by Caltech in Pasadena, California, built and will manage operations of the Mars Perseverance rover. NASA’s Launch Services Program, based at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is responsible for launch management, and ULA provided the Atlas V rocket.

Learn more about the Mars 2020 mission at:

https://www.nasa.gov/mars2020

For more about America’s Moon to Mars exploration approach, visit:

https://nasa.gov/topics/moon-to-mars

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3D Printing Industry

PostProcess Technologies’ 2020 Post-Printing Trends Survey is now live

PostProcess Technologies has just launched the 2020 iteration of its annual Additive Manufacturing Post-Printing Industry Trends Survey. After a successful debut in 2019, the post-printing (aka post-processing) specialist is again looking to share insights into the 3D printing industry’s most common post-printing methods, most frequently faced challenges, and growth plans. This year’s survey is packed […]

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Author: Kubi Sertoglu

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ProgrammableWeb

Amazon Alexa Live 2020 Embraces Deep Linking for Alexa for Apps

This week at Alexa Live 2020, Amazon announced a handful of improvements to the Alexa voice assistant. Updates to the assistant include streamlined access to mobile apps via skills, new AI-driven dialogue management, and a new API for gaming. 

With the introduction of a preview for Alexa for Apps, developers will now be able to enhance custom Alexa skills to allow users to interact with iOS and Android applications directly via Alexa. Amazon notes that adding this functionality is simple for any application that is already taking advantage of deep links. Alexa for Apps is already being used by TikTok, Yellow Pages, Uber, and more. 

Alexa Conversations, released this week via beta, is designed to provide an easy way for developers to make conversations with Alexa feel more authentic. Amazon notes that this is possible because:

“Alexa Conversations uses AI to bridge the gap between what you can build manually and the vast range of possible conversations. You provide a few sample dialogs showing your ideal dialog paths and templates for the APIs you’ll need called, and AI extrapolates the spectrum of phrasing variations and dialog paths for you.”

Additionally, Amazon announced the general availability of the Alexa Web API for Games. This API brings voice games to Alexa via all Echo Show devices and select Fire TV devices. Using the API developers can develop games using HTML5, Web Audio, CSS, Javascript, and WebGL. 

Make sure to check out the full list of newly announced features from this week’s event. 

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Author: <a href="https://www.programmableweb.com/user/%5Buid%5D">KevinSundstrom</a>

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3D Printing Industry

The ten additive manufacturing experts receiving AMUG’s 2020 DINO Awards

The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) has presented the 2020 DINO Awards (Distinguished Innovator Operator) to ten select individuals. The prestigious award is intended to mark and celebrate expertise and service in the field of additive manufacturing (and is, quite fittingly, in the shape of a brachiosaurus). Instead of the usual on-stage ceremony at the […]

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Author: Kubi Sertoglu

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ProgrammableWeb

Microsoft Moves Call Records API to General Availability

Back in March of 2020, Microsoft released a beta version of the Call Records API as a part of the Microsoft GraphTrack this API. This API, which has now moved to general availability, provides information on calls and online meetings that includes usage and diagnostic information.

ProgrammableWeb originally reported the beta release back in March, with Eric Carter noting that “API resources include callRecord, session, and segment. The callRecord resource represents one peer-to-peer call or a group call. A session exists between a participant and a service endpoint. A peer-to-peer call contains a single session. A group call can contain one or more session. Within sessions, exist segments. A segment is a media link between two endpoints.”

With the transition to GA, developers can now find information on documentation and support here. 

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Author: <a href="https://www.programmableweb.com/user/%5Buid%5D">KevinSundstrom</a>

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3D Printing Industry

Formnext launches 2020 3D printing Start-up Challenge 

Formnext, 3D printing’s largest European-based trade show, has launched the 2020 edition of its Start-up Challenge. Since it was announced earlier this month that Formnext 2020 will go ahead as expected, albeit with updated safety precautions due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, preparations have begun for this year’s contest.  The competition is once again inviting […]

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Author: Paul Hanaphy