TECHNOLOGY UPDATES TODAY


NASA'S KEPLER PROBE ROUSES FROM ITS SLUMBER, UP AND RUNNING AGAIN
NASA’s planet-hunting spacecraft, Kepler, is back scanning the stars after a period of hibernation and repair. After the spacecraft downloaded a wad of data - codenamed Campaign 19 - in late August, it powered down for a snooze in sleep mode. Now, it’s back up and running after NASA has fixed up one of its thrusters.

“The Kepler spacecraft began collecting science data on Aug. 29 for its 19th observation campaign. After being roused from sleep mode the spacecraft's configuration has been modified due to unusual behavior exhibited by one of the thrusters. Preliminary indications are that the telescope's pointing performance may be somewhat degraded. It remains unclear how much fuel remains; NASA continues to monitor the health and performance of the spacecraft,” the space agency announced.

Kepler is on its last legs and has surprised scientists as it continues to plow on, catching light from distant stars. The telescope was launched in 2009 and was expected to last about three and a half years. But it’s still here nine years later, helping scientists to discover thousands of exoplanets.
INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION CREW REPAIR LEAK IN RUSSIAN CRAFT
Astronauts on board the International Space Station have managed to repair a tiny tear in the fabric of a Russian capsule that was letting oxygen leak into space. The ship docked at the orbiting lab in June. Scientists believe the small rip in its shell could have been caused by a fragment of a meteorite colliding with the capsule. When the two-millimetre slash was detected, European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst reportedly put his finger over the hole to try to plug the leak.

“In effect, he literally touched space without a space suit,” the YouTube channel Techniques Spatiale tweeted. As a quick fix the two Russian astronauts on board the ISS patched up the split from inside the craft using sealant and a cloth stuck over the area, after initially covering it with heat-resistant tape while controllers on the ground worked on a longer-term solution.

The module can be detached from the main body of the ISS if the fault cannot be fully repaired. But it is not clear what will be done with the spacecraft if it is damaged. Nasa confirmed the tear had led to a “minute pressure leak” and that the crew were containing the issue.

INSTAGRAM ANNOUNCES PARENT’S GUIDE TO HELP THEM ASSIST TEENS WITH PRIVACY, SAFETY AND TIME
Most parents will want to ensure that their kids are safe online, but that can be tricky when they are unfamiliar with the apps used by their offspring. That’s an issue Instagram set out to address with a new Parent’s Guide …

"In A Parent’s Guide, we focus on three things: how to manage privacy, interactions and time on Instagram. We’ve included the basics of our app, and a description of our tools, plus a discussion guide for how parents and guardians can have an open conversation with their teens about Instagram. The discussion questions were developed in collaboration with education and social media expert, Ana Homayoun, M.A., P.P.S., and are designed to help parents and guardians learn more about how teens are using Instagram and to ensure they’re using the app in a positive way."

Instagram says in a blog post that it sought input from a wide range of organizations in compiling the guide.

"National PTA, Scholastic, ConnectSafely, National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI), National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA), GLSEN, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, PFLAG, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Girl Scouts of the USA, and PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center."

BRITISH AIRWAYS  PROBES CUSTOMER DATA THEFT
British Airways says it is investigating "as a matter of urgency" the theft of customer data from its website and mobile app.

The airline said personal and financial details of customers making bookings had been compromised.

About 380,000 transactions were affected, but the stolen data did not include travel or passport details.

BA said the breach took place between 22:58 BST on 21 August and 21:45 BST on 5 September."The breach has been resolved and our website is working normally," BA said in a statement

"We have notified the police and relevant authorities. We are deeply sorry for the disruption that this criminal activity has caused. We take the protection of our customers' data very seriously." BA said anyone who believed they might have been affected should contact their bank or credit card provider and follow their recommendations.

This is not the first customer relations problem to affect the airline in recent times.

FACEBOOK CHOOSES SINGAPORE FOR $1BN DATA CENTRE
Facebook has chosen Singapore for the location of its new data centre, which is expected to open in 2022. The new facility will cost more than $1bn (£773m) and be located in the west of the country.

It has been designed as an 11-floor structure, in an attempt to conserve space in the crowded nation, according to Facebook.One analyst told the BBC it was another sign of the country's popularity with large technology companies.

The new, 170,000-sq-m (1.8-million-sq-ft) data centre will support "hundreds" of local jobs.

Indian tech blogger Pankaj Mishra said on Twitter that the move was a "snub" to India - one of Facebook's largest user markets. However, Singapore is an ideal location for the data centre, according to Adam Simon at analyst firm Context.

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