Lack of international coordination threatens high-tech early-warning systems for tsunamis
By Gregory MonePosted 04.10.2008 at 4:43 pm 0 Comments
While attending a conference in Phuket, Thailand, earlier this year, Eddie Bernard, the developer of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)s tsunami-monitoring network, was surprised to find that most residents had returned to the coastal city after the devastating tsunami of 2004, which killed 8,000 people in Thailand. Not only that, but they seemed prepared for the next one. Speaker towers loomed over the beach, ready to blast a warning in case a wave approached. Signs everywhere told people which way to flee.
By Gregory MonePosted 04.09.2008 at 11:12 am 35 Comments
We've told you all about the Raytheon Sarcos XOS exoskeleton, the smart suit of armor that endows its wearer with super-human strength. Now see it in action, and meet the minds behind both Iron Men—real, and imaginary.
While audiences flood theaters this month to see the comic-book-inspired Iron Man, a real-life mad genius toils in a secret mountain lab to make the mechanical superhuman more than just a fantasy with the XOS Exoskeleton
By Gregory MonePosted 04.09.2008 at 11:11 am 64 Comments
Afghanistan. A hidden bunker. Four men with rifles guard a thick, rusted steel door. Bam! A huge fist pounds against it—from inside. Bam! More blows dent the steel. The hinges strain. The guards cower, inching backward. Whatever's trying to break out is big. And angry.
How the UN is using Google technology to increase awareness of refugee camps
By Gregory MonePosted 04.09.2008 at 9:05 am 0 Comments
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has teamed up with Google to give anyone with Web access a chance to see what life and conditions are like in a refugee camp. The initial iteration centers on Chad, Iraq, Colombia and Darfur.
Web surfers can explore camps through the visual, textual, audio and video information that's layered on top of the bigger picture. Pop-up windows throughout the images of the camps tell you what's going on, and what's needed. You can also move in close enough to examine the infrastructure, including schools and other facilities.
Scientists model a collision between three massive black holes
By Gregory MonePosted 04.09.2008 at 8:58 am 2 Comments
What's cooler than a black hole? Two of them, rotating around and then crashing into one another. And what could be more entertaining than that cataclysmic cosmic dance? Why, one more, of course.
A team of scientists at the Rochester Institute of Technology has simulated the merger of three black holes.
Engineers are testing the parachutes that will slow down the Mars Science Lab as it approaches the surface of the Red Planet
By Gregory MonePosted 04.08.2008 at 9:45 am 0 Comments
The Mars Science Lab, the pricey, SUV-sized next-generation rover, will rush through the Red Planet's atmosphere at twice the speed of sound when it approaches in 2010, and engineers are now hard at work testing the parachute that will slow it down.
Such tests might not sound all that exciting, given that this rover is going to be loaded with high-tech gear, including the equipment necessary to identify, gather and then analyze interesting materials on-board. But they're absolutely critical, since the billion-dollar rover needs a soft landing, and won't have a chance to use any of those cool tools if it doesn't touch down properly.
Massive structure off Northern Ireland will start producing electricity later this year
By Gregory MonePosted 04.08.2008 at 9:39 am 4 Comments
The concept of harvesting the ocean as an energy source is nothing new, but in practice it's rarely utilized. That's beginning to change, though. This week, the first major underwater turbine was installed in Northern Ireland's Strangford Narrows—a body of water known for its fierce currents. SeaGen's twin blades measure 52 feet wide, and instead of intermittent winds, this green electricity generator will rely on the ever-changing tide to produce power for around 1,000 homes. Built by Marine Current Turbines, it will be operational this summer.
Social-networking site's founder has been dogged by accusations he stole idea
By Gregory MonePosted 04.08.2008 at 9:31 am 1 Comment
The New York Timesreported yesterday that Facebook, the hugely successful social-networking site, is going to settle its disagreement with the founders of semi-rival ConnectU. The ConnectU founders all attended Harvard with Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, and say that after they hired him to work on their idea for a kind of dating site called Harvard Connection, he stalled instead, and developed his own project while halting progress on theirs. According to ConnectU, Zuckerberg basically grabbed their idea and turned it into Facebook. Another ex-Harvard entrepreneur has made similar claims, but doesn't plan to sue.
A pair of particle physicists bust up a theory about cosmic rays and global warming
By Gregory MonePosted 04.07.2008 at 9:30 am 8 Comments
Yes, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said that man is at the root of most of Earth's warming in the last five decades. Still, some researchers say the trend can be attributed to natural causes, including changes in the flux of cosmic rays slamming into our atmosphere, but now, according to Physics World, a pair of U.K. particle physicists have dismissed that idea.