TIME space

The First 3-D Printer in Space Prints Its First Object

3-D Printer Space First Object
International Space Station Commander Barry “Butch” Wilmore holds up the first object made in space with 3-D printing. Wilmore installed the printer on Nov. 17, 2014, and helped crews on the ground with the first print on Nov. 25, 2014. NASA

The printer's goal is to make spare parts and tools for the International Space Station

The first 3-D printer in space has borne its first object, NASA said Tuesday, and it’s a bit self-fulfilling.

The object, a replacement faceplate for the printer’s casing that holds its internal wiring in place, is one of about 20 objects that will be printed aboard International Space Station (ISS) over the coming weeks, the space agency said. The objects will then be sent down to Earth for analysis, the final step in testing the 3-D printer before establishing a permanent 3-D printing facility aboard the space station.

“This is the first time we’ve ever used a 3-D printer in space, and we are learning, even from these initial operations,” said Niki Werkheiser, project manager for the ISS’s 3-D printer. Creating the faceplate demonstrated how the printer is able to make replacement parts for itself, the agency added. “As we print more parts we’ll be able to learn whether some of the effects we are seeing are caused by microgravity or just part of the normal fine-tuning process for printing.”

Before its launch in June to the ISS, the 3-D printer had successfully completed a series of tests evaluating its ability to withstand take-off forces and to function properly in zero gravity. The goal is to create spare parts and tools to make the ISS less dependent on expensive resupply ships, in addition to improving crew safety.

TIME Media

Spotify Still Doesn’t Make Any Money

SWEDEN-MUSIC-COMPANY-SPOTIFY
This photo illustration shows the Swedish music streaming service Spotify on March 7, 2013 in Stockholm, Sweden. Jonathan Nackstrand—AFP/Getty Images

Music streaming service lost $80 million in 2013

Music streaming service Spotify likes to crow about how it hands 70% of the revenue it generates right back to artists in the form of royalty payments. Such a massive expense has led the company to be wildly unprofitable in recent years — but Spotify may be slowly crawling its way out of the red.

A new regulatory filing released in Luxembourg shows Spotify had revenues of 747 million euros (around $1 billion) in 2013, up 74% from 2012, according to The New York Times. The startup posted a loss of $80 million, but that was smaller than its $115 million loss in 2012.

Spotify has long claimed that as it gains more users, it will be able to both pay artists more handsomely and begin earning some profits itself. The company’s financial trends indicate that the plan may actually work, assuming they can keep adding new users at a steady clip.

But Spotify’s biggest threat is growing dissatisfaction in the music industry with the service’s free tier, which allows users to listen to Spotify’s entire song library while hearing a few ads in between tunes. It was this free offering that compelled Taylor Swift to remove her catalogue from the streaming service, while a Sony Music executive recently expressed concern that the free version of Spotify might deter people from signing up for paid subscriptions. The new financial figures show why Swift and others are wary of the ad-supported model: Spotify made just $90 million in revenue from its ad business in 2013, less than 10% of its overall revenue. That’s despite the fact that free users outnumber paid users on Spotify by about four to one.

Spotify maintains that many free users are eventually converted into paying customers, so the free offering serves as a valuable gateway. But it’s likely that industry players are going to become increasingly fixated on the growth in paid subscribers instead. That’s where the money is.

TIME Web

Study: Most Americans Don’t Understand How the Internet Works

Pew Web IQ
Getty Images

Though most Internet users are familiar with basic technology concepts

Most American Internet users aren’t familiar with the concepts underpinning the Internet and common technology, a survey released Tuesday found.

Pew Research Center’s Web IQ Quiz polled Americans with 17 questions relating to the web and technology, varying in technicality from where hashtags are used to the what Moore’s Law means, according to the survey. While the majority of quiz takers correctly defined common Internet terms like net neutrality, most respondents struggled to correctly answer other questions about the infrastructure behind the Internet, like whether “Internet” and “World Wide Web” are the same.

The survey also found that only 44% of respondents were aware that a company’s privacy policy doesn’t necessarily mean the firm will actually keep users’ information confidential.

Younger Internet users performed the best on the quiz, with the lowest age bracket (18-29) answering on average 10.1 out of the 17 questions correctly (about 60%). The highest age bracket (65+) answered on average 7.8 out of the 17 questions correctly (about 45%).

 

TIME Gadgets

Here’s a Dedicated Hashtag Keyboard Key for Reasons We Don’t Fully Understand

HashKey HashKey

Pound it, bro

Do you love hashtags but worry about getting hand cramps when you hold shift and press three simultaneously so often every day? Then you’ll love the HashKey, a new Kickstarter project to add a dedicated hashtag key to your computer via a USB accessory.

From the Kickstarter page:

HashKey is a unique one-key keyboard dedicated solely to the awesome hashtag. No more wondering how to do a hashtag on your computer or having to press two keys to make it happen! We want to save social media nerds around the world valuable seconds and celebrate the mighty hashtag’s contribution to digital communication!

The HashKey is a London-based project, so all the donation levels are in pounds — appropriate given that’s what the # symbol was known as until “hashtag” stole pound’s thunder. Pledging £17 or more plus shipping gets you a HashKey when they start shipping by the estimated date in March of next year. So far, 20 backers have pledged £327 towards a £15,000 goal, but 26 days remain before the Kickstarter timer runs out.

TIME geeky

You Can Now Buy Actual Star Trek Klingon Bloodwine

Star Trek
Seen here, John Colicos as Kor (a Klingon) in the STAR TREK episode, "Errand of Mercy." CBS Photo Archive—CBS via Getty Images

It's a drink best served chilled

Today is a good day to dine, Star Trek fans — you can now buy bottles of Klingon Bloodwine.

While actual Klingon Bloodwine was pretty much deadly to humans, this new Bloodwine is a perfectly drinkable blend of Malbec, Syrah and Petit Verdot shipping not from the Klingon homeworld but from Paso Robles County, California. It’s also meant to be served a bit chilled, while the real stuff was meant to be delivered hot as a Klingon’s temper.

The Bloodwine has the CBS stamp of approval, so it’s an official Trek product. The bottle’s label sports a Klingon bat’leth sword and the phrase “Celebrate, tomorrow we may die!” But hopefully not!

Want to get your hands on some Klingon Bloodwine? Set course for Vinport, where you’ll find bottles on sale for $19.99 starting Tuesday.

TIME legal

The Supreme Court Is About to Make a Big Decision About Facebook Free Speech

Facebook Threats Supreme Court Case Elonis
Till Jacket—Getty Images/Photononstop RM

The case could have big implications for how we use social media

The Supreme Court on Monday will consider whether violent language posted on social media is covered by the First Amendment’s protection of free speech.

The case, Elonis v. United States, hinges around the question of whether a Facebook message can be considered a “true threat,” or a threat a reasonable person would determine to be real. That would be an important distinction, because “true threats” don’t get First Amendment coverage. But it won’t be an easy problem to solve: While it can be easy to call a threat “true” if it’s given verbally, making that call gets harder when threats are posted online, where they lack the context, tone and other indicators of intent present in verbal communication. It’s also arguably easier to make threats online, especially if it’s done anonymously.

What happened?

A lower court had sentenced Pennsylvania man Anthony Elonis to about four years in federal prison over several Facebook posts threatening his estranged wife. The posts included, among other things, raps about slitting his wife’s throat and about how her protection order against him wouldn’t be enough to stop a bullet.

A sample:

There’s one way to love you but a thousand ways to kill you. I’m not going to rest until your body is a mess, soaked in blood and dying from all the little cuts.

But how is that not a “true threat?”

Elonis contends his posts weren’t a threat to his wife but rather a therapeutic form of expression. It’s commonly accepted that violent images are often part of rap music and other media, and artistic expression is protected under the First Amendment, explaining Elonis’ legal strategy. Still, the issue of whether Elonis had the intent to threaten is not necessary for a threat to be deemed a “true threat.” That requires only for a reasonable person to believe a threat is authentic.

“The dividing line here is whether we’re judging the threat based on the intent of the speaker, or on the reaction of the people who read it and would’ve felt threatened. That’s really the key question,” said William McGeveran, a law professor at the University of Minnesota.

What if the court upholds Elonis’ conviction?

Several experts agree that such a decision could stifle freedom of speech online and offline, particularly among artists. If the court rules against Elonis, artists could be more hesitant to share anything that could be perceived as threatening — a slippery slope. On the other hand, such a ruling could increase the number of online harassment cases aggressively pursued by law enforcement. And there could also be a censorship effect on social media companies like Facebook.

“You have the potential for creating a chilling effect both on the part of speakers, but possibly even more on the part of entities that host potentially threatening speech,” said Paul Levy, an attorney at the Public Citizen Litigation Group. “If intent [to threat] isn’t needed [to prosecute], then it seems that the Facebooks of the world have to worry that they, too, can be prosecuted. It could have a serious censoring effect.”

What if the court rules in Elonis’ favor?

Some experts agree this is probably what the Court will do. In the past, the Supreme Court has demonstrated a commitment to protecting all kinds of speech, however vile or unpopular, by citing the First Amendment to protect everything from a filmmaker’s “animal crush” abuse videos to the Westboro Baptist Church’s anti-gay public speech.

“The First Amendment is one of the strongest protections of free speech in the whole world, and it’s a very rare thing to have a law that actually makes it a crime to express certain ideas,” said Marcia Hoffman, an attorney and special counsel to digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation.

But if the Court chooses to overturn Elonis’ conviction, that move might not provide a clearer definition of which online threats constitute a “real threat.” That would leave us legally in the dark when it comes to abuse over the Internet.

“Society is still struggling to really figure out how the Internet works and how it affects people, both users of the Internet and subjects of the speech on the Internet,” said William Marcell, a law professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. “I think the court might want to buy a little bit more time to see if a threat over the Internet is really as serious as one face-to-face.”

TIME Video Games

Some PlayStation Vita Owners Will Get Refunds After FTC Settlement

Either a $50 voucher for select merchandise or a $25 cash or credit refund

Sony Computer Entertainment America will issue refunds to customers who bought its PlayStation Vita handheld video game system before June 2012 to settle false advertising claims brought by the Federal Trade Commission, the agency said Tuesday.

The FTC claims that Sony misled consumers about “game changing” features of the Vita, including the ability to seamlessly begin playing any PlayStation 3 game immediately on the handheld Vita. That feature only worked as advertised for certain games, the FTC acknowledged.

Customers who bought the Vita before June 1, 2012, are entitled to either a $50 voucher for select video game merchandise or $25 cash or credit refund. Given sales of the PS Vita in the U.S. at the time, total refunds paid out could reach $14 million. Sony will notify customers who qualify for the refunds via email.

The FTC also claimed that Sony’s advertising agency, Deutsch LA, deceived consumers by having its employees try to generate hype for the gaming system on Twitter without disclosing their association with the product. The agency is banned from such practices in the future.

Sony is the latest in a growing list of tech companies that have been accused of misleading customers by the FTC. Apple, Amazon, Google, AT&T and T-Mobile have all had to contend with FTC settlements or lawsuits this year. A Sony spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

TIME Gadgets

These Are the Best Turkey Fryers You Can Buy This Thanksgiving

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Turkey Frying in an Outdoor Deep Fryer Thomas Shortell—Getty Images

Get your cranberry sauce ready

If you’re looking for a change of pace from the typical roast turkey, frying is a great way to go. You’ll get moist meat, extra-crispy skin and tons of flavor—at least if you use the right fryer. The wrong models will simply leave you with a greasy mess and a soggy bird. I reviewed the options available on the market and identified three that are the top performers in their categories.

For traditional outdoor deep frying, the Bayou Classic 3025 30-Quart Aluminum Turkey Fryer Pot & Bayou Classic Single Burner Patio Stove is the way to go. No other model gives you the results this one will as far as a crispy bird and short cooking time. Just be prepared to shell out for about three gallons of peanut oil and brave the cold while it cooks. (Unless you’re fortunate enough to live in warm weather environs.)

Want to do your frying indoors? The Masterbuilt 23011014 Butterball Indoor Gen III Electric Fryer does its job, while you stay warm. And for oil-less “frying,” the Char-Broil Big Easy TRU Infrared Smoker, Roaster & Grill gives a better-than-roasted result without the cost and mess from gallons of oil.

Best Turkey Fryer: Bayou Classic 3025 30-Quart Aluminum Turkey Fryer Pot with Accessories & Bayou Classic Single Burner Patio Stove

This combo from Bayou gives you exactly what you need for proper turkey frying at a very affordable price. The 30-quart pot is large enough to hold up to a 20lb turkey. It includes the accessories you’ll need, including a 12-inch stainless-steel thermometer for maintaining oil temperature and a rack and hook for moving the turkey. The companion Bayou Patio Stove is made from a heavy-duty steel frame and has four legs for extra stability. (Many burners have a three-leg configuration.) It runs on standard propane tanks.

Owners on Amazon love both products, giving each 4.4 out of 5 stars. And this combo was also the top pick from The Sweethome. Would work well for a lobster boil in the summer, too!

Best Indoor Turkey Fryer: Masterbuilt Butterball Indoor Gen III Electric Fryer

Standing outside in sub-freezing weather is not my idea of fun. And if it’s raining on Thanksgiving, an outdoor fryer is completely out of the question. The Masterbuilt 23011014 Butterball Indoor Gen III Electric Fryer gives you results that are a step below the Bayou in terms of crispiness, but makes up for that with convenience, including thermostat temperature control and a front drain valve for easily removing the oil. And hey, you can actually talk to your party guests while the turkey is frying! The Butterball Gen III comes in two sizes: large for turkeys up to 14lbs and X-large, for turkeys up to 20 pounds.

Consumer Reports was very fond of the Butterball Fryer’s performance in its testing and Amazon reviewers give it an excellent 4.5 out of 5 stars. And the Butterball Fryer can be used as a deep fryer year-round to give your arteries a constant workout.

Best Oil-less Turkey Fryer: Char-Broil Big Easy TRU-Infrared Smoker, Roaster & Grill

Okay, I get it. If it’s “oil-less,” it’s not really frying. But the “infrared” heating of the Char-Broil Big Easy, powered by propane, provides a better-than-roasted result in faster time, just like frying — all while saving you the calories, cost and mess from gallons of peanut oil. And the 25lb capacity is larger than either of the frying models. It’s also the most versatile of the “fryers,” doubling as a grill or smoker.

Serious Eats tested the smaller model of the Char-Broil Big Easy (16lb capacity, roasting only, no smoker or grill) with solid results. And Amazon reviewers love the larger model, too, giving the Char-Broil Big Easy 4.6 out of 5 stars.

This article was written by Josh Kirschner and originally appeared on Techlicious. More from Techlicious:

Passwords Often Reveal People’s Deepest Secrets
Doctors 3D Printing Replacement Parts for the Human Body
Best TVs under $500

TIME Gadgets

This Is the Death Star Bluetooth Speaker You’ve Been Looking For

Death Star Speaker iHome

That's no moon, it's a bluetooth speaker

Are you bored of boring old bluetooth speakers that just aren’t strong with the force? Then this Death Star bluetooth speaker is for you.

On sale over at ThinkGeek for $59.99, the superweapon-shaped speaker from iHome connects to and plays music from any Bluetooth-capable device, like a smartphone or computer. And, just in case you find your office’s lack of indoor lighting disturbing, the speaker lights up, too. This thing’s operational!

TIME Companies

Apple’s Market Cap Just Hit $700 Billion for the First Time

Apple Unveils iPhone 6
People attend the Apple keynote at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts at De Anza College on Sept. 9, 2014 in Cupertino, Calif. Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

The number has doubled since Tim Cook took over as CEO from Steve Jobs three years ago

Apple hit a major symbolic milestone Tuesday morning as its market capitalization topped $700 billion for the first time.

The tech giant’s market cap has doubled since Tim Cook took over as CEO three years ago when Steve Jobs stepped down from the role. The company’s stock has hit several new record highs lately on the heels of September’s wildly successful launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Apple shares have jumped by 21% since the company unveiled the new smartphones at a product event that also heralded the arrival of the much-hyped Apple Watch and the new Apple Pay mobile payments system.

The Apple Pay service became available last month, while the Apple Watch will go on sale in 2015.

But, the latest iterations of the iPhone have been driving up the company’s value since they went on sale in September and posted a record opening weekend by selling more than 10 million units. Apple is expected to keep selling those phones at a swift pace over the holiday season, with at least one analyst forecasting 71.5 million iPhone shipments in the fourth quarter.

At this point, Apple’s market cap is higher than the gross domestic product of all but 19 of the world’s countries, coming just behind Saudi Arabia (GDP of $745 billion) and ahead of Switzerland ($650 billion), according to data compiled by the World Bank.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

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