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2015 June

June 18, 2015

New Canvas UI unveiled at InstructureCon 2015

Canvas Commons Logo

Logo for the new Canvas Commons released this week at InstructureCon 2015 in Park City, Utah.

This week in Park City, Utah at the annual InstructureCon, Instructure announced some new user interface updates that will soon be available to all Canvas users.

The user interface is being streamlined to decrease some of the confusion surrounding site and course navigation by incorporating more colors and icons. The new interface will also incorporate the new Canvas Commons page where educators can exchange ideas, courses, and parts of courses (modules, assignments, etc.) through the Canvas user community via Creative Commons permissions. Canvas Commons does require administrative permission to be activated for the UO Canvas instance, if you want this activated, send an email here.

For more information about the user interface, click here.

For more on the Canvas Commons, click here.

June 10, 2015

Fly Over Dwarf Planet Ceres

From NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Cal Tech:

A new video animation of dwarf planet Ceres, based on images taken by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, provides dramatic flyover views of this heavily cratered, mysterious world. The images come from Dawn’s first mapping orbit at Ceres, at an altitude of 8,400 mile (13,600 kilometers), as well as navigational images taken from 3,200 miles (5,100 kilometers) away. The images provided information for a three-dimensional terrain model. The vertical dimension has been exaggerated by a factor of two, and a star field has been added in the background.

June 8, 2015

A new satellite prototype has set sail

LightSail satellite

This weekend, the Planetary Society announced that their latest project, LightSail, was a success.

LightSail is a very small satellite┬ácalled a CubeSat propelled by a sail pushed by solar wind. Once in spaces, the solar arrays of the CubeSat open up revealing the interior then four metal booms slowly unfurl four triangular Mylar sails. Each of the sails are 4.5 microns thick – four times thinner than a typical trash bag.

The crowd-funded project has raised $4.2 million via Kickstarter and has been in development since 2012 with the goal of opening up space exploration to a wider global audience.

For more information on the LightSail Project, check out the project page from the Planetary Society

June 2, 2015

Thunderbolt 3 to use USB-C connector

Thunderbolt 3 cable

Thunderbolt 3 will use the USB-C connector as announced June 2.

Due to a press release this morning, Intel’s Thunderbolt Technology Community announced this morning that the new iteration of the standard will feature a USB-C connector.

The goal with this move is to provide faster response for more options. The standard will be able to run at 40 Gbps with the ability to run two 4K displays from one port, provide up to 100W power for charging, and the connector that is standard with the aforementioned USB-C connector, and future DisplayPort and PCI Express ports.

For more information, check on the press release from the Thunderbolt Technology Community.

June 1, 2015

Windows 7 and 8.1 to Windows 10: Some UX differences

Windows Logo

Microsoft announced today that Windows 10 will be launching (via free download) on July 29th. The update will be available in the system tray on that date.

There have been new features highlighted over the last few months but there will be some limitations as well. Windows Media Player and Media Center will be removed, DVDs will require separate playback software, Windows 7 desktop gadgets will also be removed, and Windows Live Essentials will be converted into a more integrated use of new inbox version of OneDrive.

For more information on other feature deprecation and additional requirements for other features, check out this page from Microsoft.