With diverse content, the 3D movement begins to establish itself
By Gregory MonePosted 04.07.2008 at 9:19 am 1 Comment
So it's not happening quite as quickly as we'd been told in previous stories on the subject, but the 3D revolution does seem to be coming. One of the hold-ups has been convincing theater owners to upgrade to projection and display systems that can handle this new wave of 3D tech—it takes around $75,000 to switch over an old theater. But the 3D companies have been arguing that this upgrade enables theaters to become more than just movie houses: They can show concerts, sporting events, even operas in 3D, and charge more per seat.
Gamers port popular shooter game onto iPhone and iPod touch
By Gregory MonePosted 04.07.2008 at 9:17 am 0 Comments
A few enterprising gamers have managed to port the popular shooter game Quake 3 onto the iPhone and iPod Touch. A YouTube video recently put into circulation shows how they've taken advantage of the devices' built-in accelerometers and touch-screen capability. Basically, you move around by tilting the iPhone or iPod, and tap the screen to blast bad guys. They've set it up so that multi-player games are possible, too.
ESA proudly announces that the Jules Verne ATV has successfully completed the first phase of its mission
By Gregory MonePosted 04.04.2008 at 10:53 am 0 Comments
The European Space Agency's Automated Transfer Vehicle, Jules Verne, successfully linked up with the International Space Station yesterday. The ship's mission is to deliver cargo, fuel, water and oxygen. But yesterday's success is also a coup for ESA in that the space agency has finally joined "the club": Now Europe can get to the ISS on its own, without help from Russia or NASA.
Boeing announces that one of its pilots recently cruised in a fuel-cell-powered aircraft
By Gregory MonePosted 04.04.2008 at 9:58 am 0 Comments
Yesterday Boeing announced that one of its pilots recently took to the air in an airplane powered by hydrogen fuel cells. This marks the first time a manned aircraft running on fuel cells has ever successfully completed a flight, though robotic drones have done so in the past.
Intel debuts its newest low-cost laptop, which boasts a few key improvements
By Gregory MonePosted 04.03.2008 at 11:27 am 0 Comments
Intel rolled out its new low-cost laptop model yesterday, and the machines will boast bigger, 9-inch screens, 30 GB of storage and integrated Web cameras. These new Classmate PCs, which will go on sale in April for somewhere between $300 and $500, are the second iteration of Intel's answer to the One Laptop Per Child organization's cheap laptop, the XO.
A remotely-operated undersea robot that clears trenches to bury pipelines and cables
By Gregory MonePosted 04.03.2008 at 10:18 am 0 Comments
One of the world's biggest underwater robots, the new UT-1 Ultra Trencher weighs 60 tons on land, stands 18 feet tall, and measures nearly 26 feet wide. The remote-controlled Ultra Trencher can also rumble along at 2 to 3 knots, but its main job is cutting trenches for oil pipelines or telecommunications cables.
Marine biologists discover octopuses that engage in unexpectedly complex mating rituals
By Gregory MonePosted 04.03.2008 at 9:42 am 1 Comment
UC Berkeley scientists have found a species of octopus whose members flirt, hold "hands", and ward off rival suitors as part of a complex mating ritual. Previously, researchers thought octopuses were fairly boring on the dating front, and didn't engage in complex behavior (which would be kind of a bummer, given that both male and female die not too long after mating). But the new work, published in Marine Biology, reveals that these slinky creatures have got their own moves.
Engineers copy a toxic-jet-spewing beetle to design better drug-delivery devices, fire extinguishers and more
By Gregory MonePosted 04.02.2008 at 11:13 am 0 Comments
The bombardier beetle spits out a dangerous jet of venom to ward off predators, and scientists are now figuring out how it expels the toxic stuff.
According to an article in April's issue of Physics World, the beetle's abdomen essentially harbors a small chemical lab and combustion chamber. The gases react inside the confined chamber, eventually cranking up the heat and pressure to a point at which a valve is forced upon, and the toxic jet spurts out.
NASA releases preliminary estimates of potential job cuts due to the end of the shuttle program
By Gregory MonePosted 04.02.2008 at 10:45 am 4 Comments
When the shuttle retires in 2010, as many as 8,000 NASA contractors could lose their jobs. After a request from lawmakers, NASA released these numbers yesterday, but added that this could be a worst case scenario. The Kennedy Space Center would suffer the biggest losses, with 80 percent of its contract workers losing their jobs by 2011.
Congress holds a hearing on the potential—for good and ill—of virtual worlds
By Gregory MonePosted 04.02.2008 at 10:33 am 1 Comment
Congress held a hearing yesterday on the potential influence of Second Life and other virtual worlds, complete with a screen that showed avatars following the event from that increasingly popular alternate reality.
A few lawmakers showed off their own avatars, including Rep. Ed Markey, pictured here, and experts talked about the benefits of these virtual world—nonprofits, for example, are using them as a way to raise funds and fight for their causes.