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Watch three new crew members launch to the International Space Station this afternoon

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This afternoon, a new group of astronauts is set to launch to the International Space Station, taking the place of three crew members who departed the orbiting lab earlier this month. NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba, along with Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin, are scheduled to take off from Kazakhstan in a Russian Soyuz rocket at 5:17PM ET. About six hours after launch, they’ll rendezvous with the ISS, where they’ll stay for the next five months.

Both Misurkin and Acaba are spaceflight veterans, while this will be the first flight for Vende Hei. The trio will join Expedition 53 commander Randy Bresnik from NASA, cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy, and Paolo Nespoli of the European Space Agency, who are already onboard the…

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Asia’s richest man Jack Ma dances to Michael Jackson at Alibaba anniversary

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Today’s Apple launch event should take notes from Alibaba’s chairman and China’s richest man Jack Ma, who kicked off his company’s 18th anniversary with a dramatic Michael Jackson dance. Ma sat on a motorcycle onstage while wearing a mask and outfit that resembles Jackson’s outfit on his Dangerous World tour. He danced along to the opening notes of Jackson’s “Billie Jean,”and then got into a Beyoncé-esque “Formation” with his backup dancers. He performed for a crowd of about 40,000 employees.

This isn’t the first time Ma has danced his shoes off onstage. During the 2009 anniversary, Ma got real weird with a blonde wig and a punk rock getup as he danced along to The Lion King. Here is the photographic evidence.

Ma…

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These robots mind meld when they need to work together

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We’re a little closer to getting all-purpose robots that change shape depending on the job, thanks to researchers who created a way for machines to mind meld.

Shapeshifting robots already exist; they either have a centralized “nervous system” that controls where each unit is, or each of the units works by itself and they sometimes link up. But centralized systems are weak and can’t scale, while self-organizing robots are hard to control and clumsy. Researchers created a new robot that has the strengths of both: the individual units can control themselves — but they can also connect to each other and become a single, precise robot. The study was published today in the journal Nature Communications.

Photo: Marco Dorigo…

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New Bluetooth vulnerability can be exploited to silently hack Android phones

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This morning, Armis security published details of a new Bluetooth vulnerability that could potentially expose millions of devices to remote attack. Dubbed Blueborne, the attack works by masquerading as a Bluetooth device and exploiting weaknesses in the protocol to deploy malicious code, similar to the Broadcom Wi-Fi attack disclosed earlier this year. Because Bluetooth devices have high privileges in most operating systems, the attack can be executed without any input from the user. Blueborne doesn’t require devices to be paired with the malicious device, or even be set in discoverable mode.

Any iPhones running iOS 10 are immune to the attack, and Microsoft deployed a patch to fix the bug in July. That leaves Android devices as the most…

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