Want to Be an Astronaut? NASA Is More Selective Than Any Top College

It’s not in every job that you wake up where you work, weightless and floating in microgravity, more than 200 miles from the surface of the earth. But a handful of men and women can do just that, gliding regularly past a cupola of windows they can peer through to see the blue planet from above. From this unique perspective, they take in colorful daytime views that look more like abstract art than geography and nighttime snapshots that turn the lights of cities and villages into illuminated connect-the-dots tableaus.

They are NASA astronauts assigned to missions on the International Space Station with their Russian, Japanese, European and other colleagues, performing science experiments, taking spacewalks to fix equipment and advancing space exploration and human spaceflight. And more will soon be joining the team.

NASA received more than 18,300 applications during its most recent round of recruitment between December 2015 and February 2016, roughly three times as many as it got last time for its 2013 astronaut class and greatly surpassing the previous record of 8,000 applications in 1978. The agency does not have a regular application cycle like colleges and universities, so aspiring astronauts must seize the opportunity when it comes around—recently, that’s been roughly every four years.  

Out of that large pool of hopefuls for the 2017 class, NASA is expected on Wednesday to name only eight to 14 “astronaut candidates.” That’s the number the agency believes it needs to bolster its astronaut corps for missions in the coming years. The acceptance rate for astronauts is always miniscule, but for the 2017 class it will be especially so, coming out to somewhere between 0.04 and 0.08 percent. So how does NASA choose?

Related: Stanford Is a Pushover Compared With NASA’s Astronaut Program

To start, the agency has human resources experts do an initial review to determine which applicants meet the basic qualifications, which include a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field (specifically in engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science or mathematics), as well as three years of professional experience in that field, or 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft. Historically, about a third of applicants get weeded out at this stage because they don’t necessarily meet the initial criteria.

“There are a lot of people that apply because they want the rejection letter,” Anne Roemer, NASA's astronaut selection manager, tells Newsweek. She’s often heard of applicants who have framed their rejection letters.

Applicants who pass that first round of scrutiny are then divided by disciplines—such as engineering, biological sciences, medical sciences, physical sciences and pilots—and sent on to corresponding review boards. Reviewers include current astronauts and others who have backgrounds in each field.

“They’re looking for a combination of educational preparation, experience in their technical discipline,” Roemer says, as well as qualities such as leadership and what she calls “followership,” or the ability to work in a group. The core skills that make for good astronauts haven’t changed much over the years, Roemer says. Teamwork and good communication, for example, have always been “paramount.”

By the time the applicants emerge from the discipline-specific review boards, the pack has been whittled down significantly to several hundred “highly-qualified” candidates, Roemer says. NASA’s Astronaut Selection Board invited 120 of those to Johnson between September and November 2016 for first-round interviews, medical and behavioral health testing, tours and meetings with astronauts.

There’s “a lot of previewing of the job” during the visit, Roemer says. “I think a lot of people dream of being an astronaut but few people understand what that really means.” In other words, spaceflight is just a small part of any astronaut’s career. When not on a mission or preparing for one, astronauts are assigned to any number of roles, such as communicating with the crew onboard the International Space Station from mission control.

Finally, after a second round of interviews, the board chooses between eight and 14 men and women to officially name as the next class of “astronaut candidates.” They will have a couple months to leave their current jobs and relocate with their families to Houston before beginning a two-year training in August to make them eligible for initial spaceflight assignment. That includes learning to fly NASA’s T-38 jet trainers, studying robotics and Russian (to facilitate communication with Russian cosmonauts at the space station) and training for spacewalks.

The newest class of astronauts—which NASA will reveal and introduce in a livestream on Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET—could be assigned to missions on the ISS, NASA’s Orion deep-space exploration vehicle or one of two commercial crew spacecraft being developed (Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner and the SpaceX Crew Dragon).

Since astronauts are often the most public faces of NASA, the agency also makes sure they become familiar with activity across the board, beyond human spaceflight. In just the last few years, NASA has sent its New Horizons spacecraft on the first-ever flyby of Pluto, entered Jupiter’s orbit with its Juno spacecraft and set its sights on Mars.

“NASA is closer to sending American astronauts to Mars than at any point in our history,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement when the agency released details of its Journey to Mars plan in late 2015. The goal is to send humans to Mars by the 2030s.

With the American space program focused intently on Mars, this handful of new astronauts could help pave the way for humans to orbit and step onto the Red Planet for the very first time.

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Was North Korea’s Bureau 121 Hacking Group Behind Internet Attacks?

The massive cyberattacks that knocked websites including Twitter, Reddit and The New York Times offline Friday may be a precursor to a “cyber atomic bomb,” experts have warned.

The Department of Homeland Security is currently investigating the attacks on Domain Name System (DNS) provider Dyn, whose systems support major websites and online services, though the perpetrators remain a source of speculation. So far, suspects have ranged from state-backed attackers, to rogue hackers claiming allegiance to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The cyberattacks are the latest in a series of major distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, whereby the target is flooded with web traffic to the point the website overloads and crashes. Several security experts believe the attacks are part of tests designed to probe for vulnerabilities ahead of a much larger attack.

“The attacks are slowly escalating, similar to the way America developed the atomic bomb,” cybersecurity veteran John McAfee, who created the eponymous antivrus computer software, tells Newsweek. “They will analyze this attack and come back later with a more serious attack.

“I believe that this attack was the harbinger of near-future attacks that will be much more devastating. I believe the smaller prior attacks served to identify weaknesses in the internet’s infrastructure. Clearly there are weaknesses. Anticipate that these will be exploited in a big way.”

The latest DDoS attack utilized traffic from devices compromised by malware known as Mirai, which controls tens of millions of internet-connected devices—such as webcams, baby monitors and smart devices—without their owners’ knowledge.

Chinese electronics firm Hangzhou Xiongmai Technology has since recalled some of its devices that it believes were part of the attack, however many other manufacturers are believed to have produced products vulnerable to Mirai.

Security researcher Bruce Schneier speculates that the DDoS attacks are taking place because “someone is learning how to take down the internet,” though he is unable to point to a culprit.

The group New World Hackers, which has previously claimed responsibility for attacks that took down the BBC website in 2015, said that is is behind the attacks. A member of the collective said the group did it in support of WikiLeaks founder Assange, whose internet was cut by Ecuador last week.

“We used supercomputer botnets and IoT [Internet of Things] botnets,” the group tells Newsweek. “We are testing only, we do not wish to attract the attention of feds. We are doing this for a cause.

Such claims have been dismissed by several cybersecurity experts, with security researchers from Flashpoint calling the group “imposters.”

McAfee also questioned the group’s assertions, suggesting that a more sophisticated state-backed actor is responsible.

“Info on the dark web says the Bureau 121 is responsible,” McAfee tells Newsweek. “The U.S. and the FBI claim that North Korea’s cyber capabilities are unsophisticated. That’s incorrect, they are extraordinarily sophisticated and organized. As to why? Who knows why? They certainly have no love for America.”

A Department of Homeland Security worker listens to U.S. President Barack Obama talk at the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, Arlington, Virginia, January 13, 2015. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Little is known about the Bureau 121 hacking group, though a North Korean defector said the agency has around 1,800 members. Former high-profile attacks have included the 2014 hack on Sony Pictures ahead of the launch of its movie The Interview.

Considering the satirical nature of The Interview and its farcical portrayal of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the motive of the Sony attack was clear. With the target of the latest attacks being the U.S., the list of potential suspects is much broader.

“Who would do this? It doesn’t seem like something an activist, criminal, or researcher would do,” Schneier wrote in a recent blogpost exploring attacks against the internet infrastructure.

“The size and scale of these probes—and especially their persistence—points to state actors. It feels like a nation’s military cybercommand trying to calibrate its weaponry in the case of cyberwar.”

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Quora Question: Why Apple Removed the Headphone Jack from the iPhone 7

Quora Questions are part of a partnership between Newsweek and Quora, through which we'll be posting relevant and interesting answers from Quora contributors throughout the week. Read more about the partnership here.

Answer from Brent Royal Gordon, codesmith:

A waterproof iPhone is a big win for users. Apple collects all sorts of data through AppleCare and the Genius Bar about what kinds of problems people have with their Apple devices, and they use this data to improve future products. Perhaps the best known example is the MagSafe adapter: Apple saw many broken laptops which had been pulled to the ground when someone tripped over the charging cable, so they designed a charging cable with a magnetic connector which would harmlessly detach when you sharply tugged on it. But they’ve also used this data in other ways, like selecting more resilient materials for iPhones; their moves from plastic to glass, to various grades and colors of aluminum were driven by seeing what condition iPhones were in when they returned to the Genius Bar after months or years in the wild.

The most common kind of accidental damage for iPhones is probably dropping a phone and shattering the screen. Apple has changed the screen glass a couple of times, and made an abortive attempt at moving to sapphire, but it hasn’t quite fixed that problem yet. But the second most common type is most likely liquid damage. I’m sure you know somebody who’s drowned an iPhone (and probably tried to revive it with a bowl of dry rice)—everybody does.

That’s what the limited waterproofing in the iPhone 7 is really about. It’s not about taking your iPhone for a swim, or in the shower, or even out in the rain. It’s about accidentally dropping it in the toilet or pool, or forgetting it’s in your pants pocket when you do the laundry, or getting splashed when a car drives through a puddle, or any of a hundred other accidents which used to result in an expensive repair that made you less happy with your phone.

So waterproofing (yes, I know, it’s actually water resistance) is something every iPhone user needs, even if they don’t know it. It’s an important feature.

Unfortunately, it’s also a difficult feature. Every part of the phone that interacts with the outside of the phone needs to be redesigned, usually in ways which make them larger. And that’s a problem.

The inside of an iPhone is valuable real estate

There’s a story from the iPod days: examining a prototype one day, Steve Jobs said it was too big, but the engineers told him that making it smaller was impossible. So Jobs dropped the prototype in an aquarium and watched closely as it sank to the bottom, trailing bubbles. “Those are air bubbles,” Jobs said. “That means there’s space in there. Make it smaller.”

Apple’s engineers have long since learned that lesson. Today, iPhones are crammed full of components, with as little wasted space as possible. Most of the space inside an iPhone is behind the display assembly. In this area, the thickness of components is limited; you can put chips and batteries here, but not much else. Access to the outside world is also obstructed—the screen is in front of you and solid aluminum behind.

That means that any component which is nearly as thick as the phone, sends or receives radio signals through the antenna lines, or reaches the front of the case has to be in the bezel areas above or below the screen. That includes antennas, cameras, ports, speakers, sensors, microphones, and the Home button and Touch ID hardware. I’ve labeled an image (from the old marketing website) of the 6S internals to give you an idea of how much stuff is jockeying for space in these couple square inches:

Just eyeballing it, the headphone jack in the 6S probably takes up about 10 percent of the bezel space in the entire phone. (I’m talking about the entire jack assembly—the big whiteish piece in the bottom left—not just the shaft itself.) The only larger bezel components are the speaker, the rear camera, and possibly the earpiece.

Think of real world places with very valuable real estate. In Manhattan, a not-so-profitable gas station occupying a parcel of very expensive land will often be bulldozed to make way for a tall building full of lucrative offices or condos. The inside of an iPhone is valuable real estate, and these bezel areas are especially scarce. Parts that aren’t providing enough value are likely to get bulldozed.

Waterproofing takes a lot of space—especially when it demands a new Taptic Engine

Here’s a similar image of the bottom bezel area of the iPhone 7. You might notice that most of the components are completely different:

The Taptic Engine is much larger and is partially behind the new, non-mechanical Home button. The Home button change is probably both for waterproofing (it’s hard to seal all of those seams) and for reliability (broken Home buttons are another common repair—or at least people think they are); an impulse from the Taptic Engine is now used to make the non-mechanical button “click” the way the old one did.

But the new Taptic Engine protrudes into the space previously taken up by the headphone jack; I estimate it covers about a quarter of the jack’s depth, depending on the purpose of the three prongs just below the Taptic Engine’s main body. And it has to be there, in the bottom left of the phone; it must be near the Home button, and the speaker’s on the right side.

Looking at the rest of the bezel, the speaker is also much larger and fully enclosed. Presumably this makes it louder and improves its waterproofing. There are also water-tight seals all around the rim of the phone. And there are a number of other new components here whose purpose I cannot identify; I’m guessing they’re either new antenna assemblies or watertight versions of the microphone and other components previously in that area.

I don’t know of a similar image of the top bezel, but with a larger rear camera, a second speaker, and the need for similar waterproofing work in that area, I can only assume it’s gotten pretty crowded up there, too. Perhaps the unidentifiable parts in the 7’s bottom include a replacement for the antenna unit at the top of the 6S.

So if the headphone jack couldn’t stay in the lower left, then where else could they have put it? It’s a huge component, it’s only getting bigger if it’s being waterproofed, and it absolutely must be in one of the cramped bezels.

Keep in mind as well that, even with the headphone jack gone, there’s tons of other stuff that still won’t fit in the bezels. The 9.7″ iPad Pro has a really cool “True Tone” display which changes its color temperature to match the lighting conditions. It’s gotten rave reviews, and I thought it was a shoe-in for the iPhone 7. But it didn’t make the cut—it requires two extra light sensors in the bezels, and there just wasn’t room for them.

Ports are especially difficult to waterproof

Besides being literally holes in the phone, ports are also places where electricity is directly exposed to the outside world. It’s well known that electricity and water don’t mix—or rather, that they mix all too well. That means ports need special attention when you’re waterproofing.

The iPhone 6S has two ports: the Lightning port and the headphone jack. Lightning was introduced only a few years ago; given how serious an issue water damage has been and how long Apple’s product cycles are, I suspect they were thinking about waterproofing from the beginning, so this would have been pretty easy to handle.

But the headphone jack is a different story. The headphone jack was ultimately designed a century ago and Apple can’t change its design to make it easier to waterproof. Other waterproof phones have struggled with the headphone jack; they’ve either provided a plug you’re supposed to put in when it’s not in use, or they’ve not proven to be as waterproof as advertised.

That’s not to say it’s impossible to waterproof a headphone jack, or that other manufacturers haven’t done it. But the most dependably waterproof port is the one you removed.

It doesn’t actually do very much

So the headphone jack takes up lots of precious bezel space, is especially difficult to waterproof, and is in the way of the necessary expansion of the Taptic Engine. It’s causing a lot of problems. How much is it bringing to the table? Is it pulling its weight?

Well, the headphone jack has three purposes:

Get stereo audio out of the phone.Get mono audio into the phone.Get volume and play/pause signals into the phone.

All of these are not only redundant, but doubly redundant: the Lightning port and Bluetooth radio can both do all of these things.

The headphone jack can’t really do anything else. You can’t connect other accessories to it. (Well, you can do some simple, passive things like a Square card reader, but this is hacky, insecure, provides a poor user experience, and can be done better through Lightning or Bluetooth.) You can’t provide power through it, so active noise cancellation headphones need separate batteries. You can’t perform media commands beyond the basics provided by the Apple inline remote, or figure out what the phone is playing, or even learn the current volume level.

In fact, before the iPhone, it wasn’t even particularly common for phones to have standard headphone jacks. Most phones before that had proprietary headset connectors. The main reason the iPhone used a standard headphone jack was that the iPod did first. For a dedicated music device, headphone compatibility is pretty much a necessity, but a phone has a lot more on its plate.

The headphone jack is a gas station in Manhattan. There are more valuable things that could be done with the space.

It does half of what it does in incompatible ways

There are actually two standards for stereo-plus-headphones:

The iPhone uses CTIA (except in China, where OMTP is legally required), but some manufacturers use OMTP, and others used to use OMTP but have switched to CTIA. If you plug in incompatible devices, the plug will mechanically fit, but the headset won’t work properly.

Even leaving this issue aside, the play/pause and volume buttons are the Wild West. The only standard in this area, Android’s Wired Audio Headset Specification, appears to have been introduced in 2015, years after every phone manufacturer was already shipping headphones with controls on the cable. By that time, Apple had already shipped hundreds of millions of remotes that could never be made compatible with it.

This whole area is an intractable mess.

Headphone cables Stink

Have you ever noticed that the feel of the plastic in an Apple headphone cable has changed over time? That’s Apple trying to reduce the cable’s tendency to knot in your pocket. Unfortunately, the cable is long enough that it’s mathematically impossible to keep it from tangling, but they can try to make it a little bit better.

Headphone cables also snag (Apple responded to this by making iPods and iPhones pause when the headphone cable is yanked out of them). They end up on the wrong side of clothes and straps. They turn out to be too short or too long. They fray and break. In general, they’re just an overall nuisance.

Lightning cables are the same way, but wireless Bluetooth headphones avoid all of these problems entirely. 

AirPods and other devices with the W1 chip can automatically switch between your different devices, so if you’re listening to music on your computer and then answer a call on your phone, they can seamlessly switch over without you having to unplug and re-plug a cable. That’s really convenient (and it encourages people to buy all-Apple, too).

A headphone-to-Lightning adapter is cheap enough to ship with every iPhone and compatible with all devices supported by the old built-in port. Adapters aren’t ideal, but they’re a good solution for getting us over the hump.

In the long run (once the price drops) Apple believes that Bluetooth is the future for casual headphone use, while Lightning will serve advanced use cases like professional audio equipment. The only real cost, they believe, is the pain of the transition. If we ever want to leave the headphone port behind, that pain will have to be borne eventually. And they believe that now is as good a time as any to get it over with.

Why did Apple remove the headphone jack from the iPhone 7? originally appeared on Quora—the knowledge-sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

More questions:

iPhone 7: Is it worth buying the iPhone 7?Apple: Why do people like Apple products?Technology Trends: What will be the most important unintended consequence of smartphone adoption that we haven't seen yet? 

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Original to Enterprise: 50 Years of 'Star Trek' Crews

After its original run, Star Trek became far more than a TV show as new generations made marks on the Galaxy. Newsweek looks back on the cast and crew for each TV series and notes their time after the final frontier. This article is featured in Newsweek's Special Issue Star Trek 50 Years: Celebrating America's Original Sci-Fi Phenomenon, by Issue Editor Tim Baker.


WILLIAM SHATNER AS CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRKBorn in Montreal, Canada, William Shatner became famous as Kirk but carved out a lasting place for himself in the spotlight with his many talents, including directing, acting, singing and writing. Since Trek, he has been able to parlay the show’s popularity into a spot as one of the most recognizable stars in the world.

LEONARD NIMOY AS SPOCKLeonard Nimoy gained his stardom when he earned the role of the half-human/half-Vulcan Spock in The Original Series after making the character one of the few crossovers from Roddenberry's original pilot, “The Cage.”  His performance earned him four Emmy nominations and a huge fan following. When Nimoy wasn’t playing Spock, he spent his time as a director, screenwriter and photographer.

DeFOREST KELLEY AS DR. LEONARD “BONES” McCOYOriginally offered the role of Spock, DeForest Kelley is most famous for playing the role of Bones in Star Trek. Before he took flight on the Enterprise, DeForest appeared in numerous Westerns, where he often relished playing the villain. His defining role, however, would ironically be as a doctor, the dream profession of his childhood.

JAMES DOOHAN AS MONTGOMERY “SCOTTY” SCOTTJames Doohan was a decorated World War II veteran and father of seven. He earned his part as Scotty in the Star Trek series when he impressed Gene Roddenberry with his ability to imitate foreign accents—one of his finest, a Scottish brogue, was eventually chosen for Trek. 

NICHELLE NICHOLS AS NYOTA UHURANichelle Nichols became an icon through her role as Uhura in The Original Series. Famously the recipient of the first on-screen interracial kiss on U.S. television, Nichols’s Uhura represented the utopian ideal of Trek’s universe. Destined for stardom from the beginning, Nichols first appeared onstage at 16 alongside jazz great Duke Ellington.

GEORGE TAKEI AS HIKARU SULUAs a boy, George Takei’s family was placed in an internment camp for Japanese Americans, not released until Takei was 8. He has enjoyed a career renaissance in recent years, revelling in elder statesman status thanks to his role as Sulu and lending his distinctive baritone to projects of all kinds.

WALTER KOENIG AS PAVEL CHEKOVWalter Koenig is a talented actor and screenwriter who was born in Chicago and grew up in New York. Using a Russian accent for the part based partially on his father’s speech patterns, he played Ensign Pavel Chekov on The Original Series. Proud of his spaceman past, Koenig has a large collection of Star Trek memorabilia with items such as buttons, comic cards and pins.

The crew of the USS Enterprise’s second incarnation represented a new century of Starfleet. From left: Wil Wheaton as Wesley Crusher, Denise Crosby as Tasha Yar, LeVar Burton as Geordi La Forge, Jonathan Frakes as Riker, Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher, Michael Dorn as Worf, Marina Sirtis as Deanna Troi and Brent Spiner as Data. PARAMOUNT TELEVISION/PHOTOFEST


PATRICK STEWART AS CAPTAIN JEAN-LUC PICARDPatrick Stewart is known for his leading role on Star Trek: The Next Generation. He is a skilled performer who acts, writes, directs and produces for both film and TV. An accomplished Shakespearean also at home in goofball comedies like American Dad, Stewart has avoided the typecasting that sometimes plagues his Trek colleagues. 

JONATHAN FRAKES AS COMMANDER WILLIAM RIKERJonathan Frakes is well known for portraying Number One in Star Trek: The Next Generation but has also gone behind the camera for several projects, both within and without the Trek universe. An accomplished trombone player who worked the skill into the character of Riker in several episodes, Frakes has performed onstage with jam-rock mainstay Phish. 

LeVAR BURTON AS LT. COMMANDER GEORDI LA FORGELeVar Burton launched his career with a leading role in the series Roots and became a household name in The Next Generation. Burton also endeared himself to young TV viewers with the educational program Reading Rainbow.

GATES McFADDEN AS DR. BEVERLY CRUSHERThe heir to Bones McCoy’s no-nonsense style of medical practice, Dr. Crusher brought at least two things to the Enterprise that Bones couldn’t: a gentle touch and a son, who became a beloved character in his own right. Wesley Crusher, played by Wil Wheaton, would make his way up the Starfleet ranks as well.

MICHAEL DORN AS LIEUTENANT WORFMichael Dorn was told to “create his own” character after being given a synopsis of Worf’s backstory. The result is one of the most carefully developed characters in any Trek series. Dorn became such a fan favorite in his role that he became one of two characters to completely cross over from Next Generation to Deep Space Nine.

MARINA SIRTIS AS COUNSELOR DEANNA TROIMarina Sirtis went against her parents’ wishes when she decided she wanted to be an actress, moving from London to Los Angeles to follow her dreams. Just as she was about to give up and move back home, she got the part as Counselor Deanna Troi.

BRENT SPINER AS LT. COMMANDER DATABrent Spiner won the hearts of humans everywhere by playing an android, Lt. Commander Data. Offering an updated corollary to Nimoy’s calculating Mr. Spock, Data became an instant fan favorite.

Deep Space Nine saw the Star Trek phenomenon stop boldly going where no one had gone before aboard mighty starships and became a stationary adventure aboard the titular space station, where the action came to the crew and not vice versa. From left: Nana Visitor as Kira Nerys, Alexander Siddig as Dr. Bashir, Colm Meaney as Miles O’Brien, Avery Brooks as Captain Ben Sisko, Cirroc Lofton as Jake Sisko, René Auberjonois as Odo, Armin Shimerman as Quark and Terry Farrell as Jadzia Dax, an old friend of Sisko who takes on a new form before boarding Deep Space 9. MOVIESTORE COLLECTION LTD/ALAMY


AVERY BROOKS AS CAPTAIN SISKOBorn in Evansville, Indiana, on October 2, 1948, Avery Brooks spent his early life as a jazz pianist, singer and stage actor. He would go on to become the first African-American MFA graduate of Rutgers University. He spent the 1990s as the National Black Arts Festival’s artistic director in Atlanta, Georgia, while also playing the beloved Captain Sisko, stalwart Starfleet man and one of the last baseball fans in the galaxy.

RENÉ AUBERJONOIS AS ODOOn June 1, 1940, in New York City, René Auberjonois was born into an arts-embracing family. Prior to making the jump to television, Auberjonois earned a Tony Award for his role in the Broadway musical Coco, in which he played opposite Katharine Hepburn.

CIRROC LOFTON AS JAKE SISKOBorn in Los Angeles in 1978, Cirroc Lofton was still a teenager when he was cast as Captain Sisko’s son, Jake, and he grew up on camera. Aside from his work as an actor, Lofton has also dabbled in the culinary industry by opening and running a café in Culver City, California.

ALEXANDER SIDDIG AS DOCTOR BASHIRAfter joining the cast of Deep Space Nine in 1993 Siddig married and had a child with costar Nana Visitor, though the two divorced in 2001. He has recently appeared in Game of Thrones as Prince Doran Martell.

COLM MEANEY AS CHIEF O’BRIENBorn on May 30, 1953, in Dublin, Ireland, Colm Meaney honed his acting skills at the city’s Focus Company in the 1970s. Meaney has appeared in 14 different seasons of Star Trek—a feat no other actor has achieved.

ARMIN SHIMERMANOn November 5, 1949, Armin Shimerman was born in Lakewood, New Jersey. During filming of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in Los Angeles, an earthquake struck, causing Shimerman to rush home while still in makeup and scaring passersby in the process.

NANA VISITORAS AS MAJOR KIRA NERYSBorn Nana Tucker in New York City on July 26, 1957, Nana Visitor was raised by dancer parents, her father a choreographer and her mother a ballet instructor. Likely due to her celestial affiliation through Star Trek, Visitoras had an asteroid named after her in 2001, the 26733 Nanavisitor.

With Voyager, Trek went back to its roots, pitting the crew of one ship against the unknown horrors of the Galaxy’s Delta Quadrant, home of the deadly Borg and other evil entities. From left: Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine, Robert Beltran as Chakotay, Tim Russ as Tuvok, Kate Mulgrew as Captain Kathryn Janeway, Garrett Wang as Harry Kim, Roxann Dawson as B’Elanna Torres, Robert Picardo as The Doctor and Ethan Phillips as Neelix. UPN/PHOTOFEST


KATE MULGREW AS CAPTAIN KATHRYN JANEWAYThe oldest girl in an Irish-Catholic family of eight, Kate Mulgrew was born on April 29, 1955, and began attending summer acting classes at the age of 12. Mulgrew is now also known for playing Galina “Red” Reznikov on the hit series Orange is the New Black.

ROBERT BELTRAN AS CHAKOTAYOn November 19, 1953, Robert Beltran was born in Bakersfield, California. He began pursuing acting by studying theater arts at Fresno State University and later displayed his skills, even earning a Nosotros Golden Eagle Award for best actor in a television series for Voyager.

ROXANN DAWSON AS B’ELANNA TORRES L.A. native Roxann Dawson got her first big acting break with a role in the Broadway production of A Chorus Line. She would eventually take her talents beyond acting by writing and directing.

ROBERT DUNCAN McNEILL AS TOM PARISWhile he would be raised in Washington, D.C., Robert Duncan McNeill was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, on November 9, 1964. After studying at Juilliard, McNeill landed roles in several television shows including All My Children and The Twilight Zone before taking the part of Tom Paris on Star Trek: Voyager.

JERI RYAN AS SEVEN OF NINEA native of Munich, Germany, Ryan won two Saturn awards for her portrayal of the former Borg drone Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix 01, whose full Borg distinction was eventually dropped in favor of her still-odd (for a human) nickname.

ETHAN PHILLIPS AS NEELIXThe only boy of six children, Ethan Phillips was born on February 8, 1955, in Garden City, Long Island. With a degree in fine arts from Cornell University, he began his career as an actor in Broadway and off-Broadway productions before coming to Star Trek: Voyager in 1995.

ROBERT PICARDO AS THE DOCTORBest known simply as The Doctor, Robert Picardo was born in Philadelphia on October 27, 1953. After graduating with a drama degree from Yale University, Picardo would perfect his craft on Broadway before building an extensive career in television.

TIM RUSS AS TUVOBorn in Washington, D.C. on June 22, 1956,  Tim Russ was born to Air Force officer Walt Russ and his wife Josephine. He grew up on several Air Force bases around the world before beginning his acting career,  which has included roles in television shows such as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and films such as Spaceballs.

GARRETT WANG AS HARRY KIMThe son of Chinese immigrants, Garrett Wang was born on December 15, 1968, in Riverside, California. Only one year after making his TV debut in a guest star spot on the comedy All-American Girl in 1994, Wang landed his breakout out role as Harry Kim on Star Trek: Voyager.

Enterprise saw Star Trek take its most daring leap yet: into the Federation’s past. A look at how Earth made its place among the planets of the galaxy, Enterprise received criticism that didn’t quite match its ambition. From left: John Billingsley as Dr. Phlox, Connor Trinneer as Trip Tucker, Anthony Montgomery as Travis Mayweather, Scott Bakula as Captain Jonathan Archer, Jolene Blalock as T’Pol, Linda Park as Hoshi Sato and Dominic Keating as Malcolm Reed. PARAMOUNT PICTURES/EVERETT COLLECTION


SCOTT BAKULA AS CAPTAIN JONATHAN ARCHERSt. Louis native Scott Bakula was a bit of an oddity for a Trek mainstay in that his voyage on the Enterprise wasn’t his first hit science fiction TV show. Bakula endeared himself to audiences as Dr. Sam Beckett on Quantum Leap and continued after Enterprise with an elder-statesman role on Chuck before taking starring duties on NCIS: New Orleans.

JOHN BILLINGSLEY AS DR. PHLOXCaught by an insatiable desire to act after playing Scrooge in a youth production of A Christmas Carol at 9, Billingsley is a Hollywood journeyman whose credits include Six Feet Under, The West Wing, Prison Break and True Blood. He’s also the founder of a Seattle theater company and studio.

JOLENE BLALOCK AS SUB-COMMANDER T’POLBefore she took the sci-fi world by storm as the beguiling Vulcan sub-commander T’Pol, Jolene Blalock was also an experienced world traveler with several big modeling and acting jobs to her credit. After landing Enterprise, she continued her work in the sci-fi genre as part of the third film in the Starship Troopers franchise. 

DOMINIC KEATING AS LIEUTENANT MALCOLM REEDA English-born actor who’s been working in Hollywood since he made the world unintentionally laugh with his pronunciation of the word “salon” in Vidal Sassoon ads (SNL parodied his part in the 1980s), Keating found his biggest role as Malcom Reed. An Englishman with strong family naval ties, Reed joins Starfleet thanks to a tendency toward seasickness.

ANTHONY MONTGOMERY AS ENSIGN TRAVIS MAYWEATHERThe third time was the Star Trek charm for Anthony Montgomery, who auditioned for two other Trek parts before landing his regular role as Ensign Mayweather. First, he was overlooked for a regular part in Voyager, and then was again turned away after auditioning to play Tuvok’s son in a later episode of the show. Thankfully, he made an impression and was brought back for Enterprise.

LINDA PARK AS ENSIGN HOSHI SATOA South Korean-born graduate of Boston University, Park was able to turn her role on Star Trek: Enterprise into a role in an Oscar-winning picture. As part of the massive ensemble cast of Crash (2005), Park helped tell a story of inherent prejudice in the lives of Los Angelenos.

CONNOR TRINNEER AS COMMANDER CHARLES ‘TRIP’ TUCKER IIIA veteran of the Huntington Theater Company in Boston, Connor Trinneer was a rare combination of BFA recipient in acting and starting member of the football team at Pacific Lutheran College in Tacoma, Washington. After Enterprise, he returned to stage work.

This article was excerpted from Newsweek's Special Edition—Star Trek 50 Years: Celebrating America's Original Sci-Fi Phenomenon, by Issue Editor Tim Baker. For more about the history of the federation and the upcoming movie—Star Trek Beyond, pick up a copy today.

Ken Whitmore/MPTV. Digital imaging by Eric Heintz.

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U.S. Moms Worry About Trips as Zika Virus Spreads

CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. doctors are fielding a spate of calls from expectant mothers who recently traveled to countries affected by the Zika virus and fear possible exposure to the mosquito-borne infection linked to a spike in fetal brain damage in Brazil.

New U.S. treatment guidelines only recommend blood tests for pregnant women with symptoms of infection. But 80 percent of Zika patients show no symptoms, leaving many women no way to know early enough to make an informed choice about their unborn children, leading obstetricians told Reuters this week.

"These effects are not necessarily going to be seen at a time when the mother can decide to terminate the pregnancy," said Dr. Natalie Meirowitz of Long Island Jewish Medical Center.

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is advising pregnant women not to travel to 22 countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean where the Zika virus causing infections. The agency added eight of those countries to the list on Friday.

    Brazil said the number of babies born with microcephaly, a condition marked by an unusually small head, rose 10 percent to 3,893 over a period of 10 days. El Salvador officials have urged women to avoid getting pregnant until 2018 due to Zika.

    The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists estimates its members have received "hundreds, if not thousands" of calls from patients who had traveled to affected regions, a spokeswoman said.

    "It's consuming our lives," said Dr. Laura Riley, president of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine and a specialist in high-risk pregnancies at Massachusetts General Hospital.

    The CDC is trying to determine how many pregnant women may have traveled to affected regions in the past several months. The agency issued interim guidelines this week advising doctors to administer blood tests only for pregnant women with symptoms.

    Some doctors are concerned that the guidelines mean other pregnant women who are at risk would not be identified. That is because 80 percent of people infected by Zika never have symptoms.

    For asymptomatic women, the CDC recommends ultrasounds to check for microcephaly in the fetus, looking for underdeveloped heads or calcium deposits in the brain. But microcephaly typically does not become apparent on ultrasounds until later in pregnancies, often after the 24th week when many U.S. states prohibit abortion.

    "That's the toughest situation that we have with the guidelines right now," said Dr. Emily Landon, an infectious disease expert at the University of Chicago Medical Center, referring to the testing recommendations. "We know women can become asymptomatic and still have Zika."


    With no commercially available Zika tests, only the CDC and some state health laboratories are equipped to detect the virus. Riley, who advised the agency on its guidelines, said testing every woman who visited or lived in affected countries during the outbreak period could "flood the CDC."

    Dr. Denise Jamieson of the CDC, who helped write the guidelines, said lab capacity was just one factor in the decision to only test pregnant women with symptoms. The biggest concerns, she said, were that the tests are hard to interpret and prone to false positive results, which could lead to decisions based on inaccurate information.

Jamieson said the guidelines will be reviewed for their effectiveness.

Riley stressed that asymptomatic women will be offered ultrasounds.

"Ultimately, what patients want to know is whether their baby's brain has been affected," said Riley. "You aren't going to know that without the ultrasound."

The main benefit of testing is to put at ease women at ease, said Scott Weaver, an expert in mosquito-borne diseases at the University of Texas Medical Branch.

A positive test result for Zika in a pregnant woman does not necessarily mean a baby will develop microcephaly, Landon said. Additional ultrasounds would be necessary, and even those may not show evidence of a problem early enough for a woman to take action.

No therapy is available for an infected fetus that has developed microcephaly, obstetricians said.

Meirowitz recently saw a patient who had vacationed in Puerto Rico during her seventh week of pregnancy, and recalls getting a mosquito bite. Because the woman, now 20 weeks pregnant, never got sick, she was not offered a blood test.

"We ruled out microcephaly" after doing an ultrasound, but still had concerns, Meirowitz said. "We know from other viruses that you may not see ultrasound findings showing fetal infection right away, particularly microcephaly. That is what's so difficult."

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InRouter791 Industrial 3G Router

InRouter791 Industrial 3G Router
Key Characteristics
  • Ruggedized 3G HSPA+, EVDO Router
  • Built-in firewall, VPN, access control for securing critical applications
  • Industry standard Modbus TCP and Modbus RTU protocols

  • Centralized monitoring and control with the InHand Device Networks Platform 4.0

  • InRouter700 is an End-of-Life series, please consult with sales for availability. Recommended replacement product: InRouter900


As a proven industrial router, the InRouter791 has been recognized as the industry leader in cellular since 2001. The InRouter791 features industrial electronics hardware design, advanced networking features and industrial serial protocol conversion to support a wide range of RTU and PLC devices while the ruggedized design standards ensure long-term performance in the face of power fluctuations and extreme temperatures. 

The InRouter791 is recognized for years of continuous service by world-class customers and partners including GE Healthcare, Siemens Traffic, Schneider Electric, Rockwell Automation, SKF, Vestas, and China State Grid among others.

Industrial Design
  • Metal housing, IP30 protection class            

  • Class 4 EMC certification            

  • Ethernet port supports 1.5KV isolation protection            

  • Serial port supports 15KV ESD protection            

  • Wide Temperature : -25 ℃ ~ 70 ℃            

  • Conversion between Modbus TCP and Modbus RTU            


Data Security
  • IPsec VPN, L2TP, SSL VPN, CA certificates to guarantee secure data transmission            

  • SPI statefull inspection, Secure Shell (SSH), intrusion protection, ping blocking, DDoS defense, detection prevention            

  • IP-MAC binding functions protect networks from outside attacks            

  • Multi-level user authorization management for different users with different levels of management access             


High Reliability
  • Link layer detection tracks the link condition to automatically redial the wan connection when dropped            

  • ICMP detection tracks the connection status of the layer 3 network         

  • VPN Tunnel Detection ensures VPN tunnel connection stability, and guarantees the continuity of data transmission             


Easy, Efficient Deployment and Management
  • User-friendly Web and CLI configuration tools            

  • Support InHand Device Manager for efficient network management, especially large-scale networks            

InRouter791 Software  Specifications
Internet ConnectionCellularGSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS/EVDO: 850/900/1900/2100 MHz
Internet Access


LAN ProtocolARP
IP ApplicationDHCP Server, DHCP Relay, DNS relay, DDNS ,HTTP, HTTPS, VRRP
IP routingStatic routing
SecurityManagement SecurityAAA (TACACS+/Local) 
Multi-level user management
Firewall ProtectionSPI, anti-DOS attack, filter multicasts  and ICMP, DMZ, access control list (ACL), virtual IP
Data SecurityIPsec VPN, L2TP, PPTP, GRE, CA Certification
ReliabilityLink DetectionReconnects  automatically when a link failure is detected
Embed Hardware watchdogAuto recovers from failures
IntelligenceIntegrated DTU FunctionsTransparent transmission, Modbus TCP/Modbus RTU, IEC101/104, virtual serial port, WP protocol, WN protocol, Trap+Poll, RFC2217
Network Management
ConfigurationHTTP/HTTPS/Telnet, SSH, CLI, InHand Device Manager Cloud, loopback interface
FirmwareUpgradeVia Web interface or InHand Device Manager


Remote logging protocol or local logging
Text Message (SMS)Reboot and inquiry
On-Demand Dial UpOn-demand dialing, data activation, SMS activation
Network ManagementInHand Device Networks Cloud Platform
DebuggingPing, traceroute, speed test
Traffic ManagementSupport bandwidth control/port speed limit
InRouter791 Hardware Specifications
InterfaceEthernet Port1*10/100Mbps Fast Ethernet Ports, LAN Port, 1.5KV isolation protection
Power  SupplyDC 12-48V
Serial Port1* RS-232/485 interface (DB9), 15KV ESD protection 
SIM HolderDrawer Card Holder x1

Pinhole Reset Button

SMA connector

SMA female*1

MechanicalMountingDIN-Rail,  or wall mounting
Dimension (mm)100 x 100 x23
Protection LevelIP30
CoolingNo Fan
Power ConsumptionStandby200mA@12V
EnvironmentHumidity5 ~ 95% relative humidity (non-condensing)
Storage Temp-40  ~ 85°C
Working Temp-25  ~ 70°C
LED IndicatorsPOWERPower indicator
STATUSOperation status indicator
WARNWarn indicator
ModemModule indicator
Cellular Signal3 Levels of Cellular Signal Strength
ERRORError indicator
EMCElectrostatic  Discharge ImmunityEN61000-4-2,level 4
Radio Frequency  ImmunityEN61000-4-3,level 4
Electrical Fast  Transient/Burst ImmunityEN61000-4-4,level 4
SurgeEN61000-4-5,level 3
Immunity to Conducted  DisturbancesEN61000-4-6,level 4
Shockwave  ImmunityEN61000-4-12,level 4
Power Frequency Magnetic Field Immunity

EN61000-4-8,Horizontal/Vertical 400A/m (>level 5)

Free FallIEC60068-2-32
CertificationCE, FCC
Warranty3 years

The InRouter791 is recognized as the industry leading rugged 3G router. In the field, it can provide the network connectivity for serial or Ethernet RTU and PLC devices so that maintenance engineers can access remote devices for programming, remote I/O and SCADA applications. All traffic is tunneled through standard IPsec VPN protocol to provide the encryption and access control for machines and engineers.



Part Number                                    InRouter791< N >< -S >                

N (Network)                    


PH09: (Global)                    

Quad band HSPA+/UMTS: 850/900/1900/2100MHz
Quad band GSM: 850/900/1800/1900MHz


VZ16: (China)                    

EVDO(Rev.A)/CDMA2000 1X: 800/1900MHz                    

S (Serial Type)                < NA >: RS232
485: RS485

IR791PH09-485: 1-port wireless router, HSPA+, RS485 serial port                

發表時間:25日前 | 評論 (0) | 全文