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Former astronaut Cunningham, member of first crewed Apollo flight, dies at age 90

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WASHINGTON: Former US astronaut Walter Cunningham, who flew to space aboard Apollo 7 in 1968 on the inaugural crewed Apollo mission that paved the way for the first human moon landing nine months later, died on Tuesday at age 90, NASA said.

Cunningham joined crewmates Walter Schirra and Donn Eisele for the 11-day mission, which was conducted in low-Earth orbit. It was the first human test flight of the new Apollo spacecraft, which would ultimately land a dozen astronauts on the lunar surface between 1969 and 1972.

He was the last surviving member of the Apollo 7 crew, following the deaths of mission commander Schirra, one of the original “Mercury Seven” astronauts, and command module pilot Eisele, in 2007 and 1987, respectively.

Cunningham was the flight’s designated lunar module pilot, even though Apollo 7 did not carry the moon landing craft, and he was responsible for all spacecraft systems except launch and navigation.

Blasting off on Oct. 11, 1968, Apollo 7 marked the resumption of NASA’s lunar spaceflight program 21 months after the fire that killed all three members of the Apollo 1 crew — Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee — during a ground-based launch rehearsal in late January 1967.

Prior to his assignment to Apollo 7, Cunningham had been the backup lunar module pilot for the ill-fated Apollo 1 mission and was on the prime crew for Apollo 2 until it was cancelled.

Apollo 7 also was notable for providing the first live television transmission of onboard crew activities, as well as for testy exchanges between ground control and the astronauts, who developed head colds during the flight and openly voiced annoyance with mission directors at times.

Due in part to those tensions, none of the three astronauts went to space again, though Schirra, who by then had flown two previous NASA missions, had already announced plans to retire.

Still, the mission was considered a technical success for proving the capabilities and integrity of systems that would carry Apollo 11 to the lunar surface in July 1969 for the historic first moonwalks by astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin.

Cunningham, who served in the US Navy and Marine Corps, flying 54 missions as a fighter pilot before retiring with the rank of colonel, was selected as an astronaut in 1963 as part of NASA’s third astronaut class, the space agency said.

Between his military service and NASA tenure, Cunningham spent three years as a Rand Corp. scientist, working on classified defence studies and problems related to the Earth’s magnetic field.

“Walt Cunningham was a fighter pilot, physicist and an entrepreneur — but, above all, he was an explorer,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement announcing his death.

Following Apollo 7, Cunningham was assigned to lead the Skylab branch — an early space station program — under NASA’s flight crew directorate, and he retired from the space agency in 1971.

He went on to a post-NASA career as an investor and executive in several business ventures, becoming a frequent keynote speaker and radio talk show host.

Tech

WhatsApp to let users share photos in ‘original quality’

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Meta-owned WhatsApp is once again working on a new update for its users, making their experience smooth and better while chatting with their family and friends. 

The instant messaging app is releasing a new update through which users can send photos in their original quality, WaBetaInfo reported Friday. 

The new update is being introduced through the Google Play Beta Program, bringing the version up to 2.23.2.11. This feature has not yet been introduced as it is still under development. 

It is also not yet ready to be released to beta testers. 

The screenshot above shows that the messaging app “plans to integrate a new setting icon within the drawing tool header which will enable users to configure the quality of any photo”.

The users will be allowed to select an option to send the photos in their original quality in the future. Through this feature, users will have more control over the quality of the pictures they are sending, especially when they need to send pictures in their original quality. 

The feature will be released in the future update of the app.

Voice notes 

Earlier this week, the app tracking website said that WhatsApp is releasing the ability to share voice notes through status updates. 

The new update is being introduced through the Google Play Beta Program, bringing the version up to 2.23.2.8. However, this feature is only available to some beta testers for now and users will have to wait for a future update to get their hands on the feature.

The feature would let users “share a voice note as a status update with a certain audience configured within your privacy settings.”

Users can share voice notes as status updates by “accessing the feature within the text status section, in case it is enabled for them”.

The users can also discard a recording before they share it, hence, gaining more control over their voice recordings. As per the app-tracking website, the maximum recording time for the voice note is 30 seconds.

Moreover, those who want to listen to the voice recordings on status updates need to update their WhatsApp.

Ensuring the privacy of its users, WhatsApp has made the status updates end-to-end encrypted. This will allow users to share the voice notes with the people they choose within their privacy settings.

“Similar to images and videos, voice notes shared via status disappear after 24 hours but users also have the ability to delete voice notes for everyone after they have been posted as status updates: users are always in control over what they share,” said WaBetaInfo.

The feature will be rolled out to more users in the coming weeks. 

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Here’s a ‘new way’ to send voice notes on WhatsApp

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Meta-owned WhatsApp is once again rolling out a new update for its users, allowing them to have a smooth and better experience while connecting with their loved ones. 

The instant messaging app is releasing the ability to share voice notes through status updates, WaBetaInfo reported Wednesday.

The new update is being introduced through the Google Play Beta Program, bringing the version up to 2.23.2.8. However, this feature is only available to some beta testers for now and users will have to wait for a future update to get their hands on the feature. 

The feature would let users “share a voice note as a status update with a certain audience configured within your privacy settings.”

Heres a new way to send voice notes on WhatsApp

As it is shown in the screenshot above, users can share voice notes as status updates by “accessing the feature within the text status section, in case it is enabled for them”. 

The users can also discard a recording before they share it, hence, gaining more control over their voice recordings. As per the app-tracking website, the maximum recording time for the voice note is 30 seconds. 

Moreover, those who want to listen to the voice recordings on status updates need to update their WhatsApp. 

Ensuring the privacy of its users, WhatsApp has made the status updates end-to-end encrypted. This will allow users to share the voice notes with the people they choose within their privacy settings. 

“Similar to images and videos, voice notes shared via status disappear after 24 hours but users also have the ability to delete voice notes for everyone after they have been posted as status updates: users are always in control over what they share,” said WaBetaInfo

The feature will be rolled out to more users in the coming weeks. 

Blocking feature

Last week, the tracking app announced that WhatsApp is working on a block shortcut update right within the notification bar.

The new feature will allow users to block someone when they get a notification of their message on their phones.

“WhatsApp plans to introduce a block shortcut within notifications but not always: the block shortcut is visible only when you receive a message from unknown and untrusted contacts,” said the app tracking website.

The feature is limited to untrusted contacts as users may tap on the block option by mistake when replying to someone through notifications, accidentally blocking their trusted contacts.

The new feature will be available to users in the future update of the app. 

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Amazing WhatsApp tricks for daily use

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Meta-owned WhatsApp has been introducing newer features and making the application’s usage easy for its users.

Despite billions of people using the messaging app, several users are still unaware that WhatsApp has a few tricks up its sleeves that come in handy while texting.

Here are some amazing tricks:

To italicise text: 

Users can use underscore ( _ ) at the start and at the end of the text to italicise their text. 

Trick 1. — Instagram/genuine.knowledge.ig
Trick 1. — Instagram/genuine.knowledge.ig

Bold fonts: 

The users can add an asterisk (*) on both sides of the text in order to bold the text that they want to highlight. 

Trick 2. — Instagram/genuine.knowledge.ig
Trick 2. — Instagram/genuine.knowledge.ig

Monospace font: 

For the monospace texts, users can add three (“`) backticks at the beginning and at the end of the text.

Trick 3. — Instagram/genuine.knowledge.ig
Trick 3. — Instagram/genuine.knowledge.ig

Strikethrough font: 

To make the text strikethrough, add a tilde (~) on both sides.

Trick 4. — Instagram/genuine.knowledge.ig
Trick 4. — Instagram/genuine.knowledge.ig

Combined font: 

The users can make the same text bold, or italic and change its font strikethrough. For that, they can use asterisk, tilde, and underscore at the beginning and end of the text.

Trick 5. — Instagram/genuine.knowledge.ig
Trick 5. — Instagram/genuine.knowledge.ig

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