How To Watch The U.S. Presidential Debates Online


ReadWriteWeb | 

We’ve come a long way since 1960. That was the year of the first televised debate between two U.S. presidential candidates. Fifty-two years after Kennedy and Nixon verbally sparred onstage, this political traditional continues, but with more ways of watching than ever before.

Much has changed even in the last four years. In 2008, watching the debates without a cable subscription involved streaming them from a clunky player on CNN’s website, which could kinda-sorta be full-screened to fit onto your television, if you were so ambitious as to plug your laptop into your HDTV. Good news: This year, things are going to be much easier. (And not just for watching online, but also for interacting with other political junkies.)

On October 3, October 16, and October 22, CNN will stream presidential debates between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney live on its website, just as it did last time around.

In a new interactive twist, the network’s Web interface will allow viewers to select specific clips from the debates and share them over Facebook and Twitter.CNN’s livestreams will also be available on many of the connected gadgets we’ve all spent the last four years purchasing.

Most live feeds in CNN’s mobile apps require a cable subscription to access, but the debates will be freely available on iPads, iPhones and Android devices.

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SpaceX Wins $440 Million NASA Contract to Replace the Space Shuttle


ReadWriteWeb | JON MITCHELL

Aerospace firm SpaceX announced Friday that it won a $440 million contract from NASA to modify its Dragon capsule for human space flight as a private-sector successor to the Space Shuttle. The plan is to launch the first Dragon flight carrying American astronauts by 2015.

The Dragon capsule can carry seven astronauts, and it launches aboard the 227 foot-tall SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. These vehicles proved themselves in May in an unmanned mission in which Dragon became the first private spacecraft to dock with the International Space Station.

Since that mission, SpaceX has undergone tests to ensure that the vehicles are ready for manned spaceflight. On July 17, Dragon passed NASA’s design review, which outlined its new launch pad emergency procedures, its life-support systems, cockpit design and propulsive landing system. While the unmanned Dragon splashed down in the ocean, the piloted version will have thrusters to guide it to a landing.

“This is a decisive milestone in human spaceflight and sets an exciting course for the next phase of American space exploration,” SpaceX CEO and Chief Designer Elon Musk said in a press release. “SpaceX, along with our partners at NASA, will continue to push the boundaries of space technology to develop the safest, most advanced crew vehicle ever flown.”

See also: Profile of SpaceX Founder Elon Musk