A trifecta of sunsplosions over the past few days has prompted government agencies to once again warn of possible power and communications disruptions. The coronal mass ejections could produce a strong aurora as far south as Minnesota and Wisconsin, according to space weather forecasters at NOAA.
By Andrew RosenblumPosted 08.04.2011 at 3:19 pm 0 Comments
Reed College, a liberal-arts school in Portland, Oregon, has 1,447 students and no graduate schools. But it has its own nuclear reactor. Only 27 schools in the nation have such a thing, and they usually use grad students and pros to run it. Reed entrusts the power of fission to students as young as freshmen, licensing twice as many undergraduate operators as any other university.
By Andrew RosenblumPosted 08.03.2011 at 5:39 pm 0 Comments
Of the 25 to 30 research assistants accepted at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory each year, some are stationed at the Charlottesville, Virginia, headquarters, some at the 27-antenna Very Large Array in Socorro, New Mexico, and some at the 361-foot Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in Green Bank, West Virginia. For those at the GBT, the internship comes with an unusual requirement: no cellphones.
By Andrew RosenblumPosted 08.03.2011 at 4:23 pm 0 Comments
From the Explorer I satellite in 1958 to the new Mars Science Laboratory rover set to blast off at the end of the year, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, has built the country's most ambitious robotic space vessels. And every summer, about 280 undergraduates arrive there to participate in one of 16 internship programs for engineering or science students.
Pour a robot a glass of water, and you quench its thirst for a day. But teach a robot to pour a cup of water and you are somewhere on par with researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology’s Hasegawa Group. Roboticists and software engineers there have implemented a kind of self-replicating neural technology into their robot that enables it not only to perform tasks but also to learn as it goes, integrating prior knowledge into new tasks and environments.
A little more than a year ago, we wrote about an Australian hobbyist named Bruce Dell who was claiming--with video evidence to back it up--that he'd created a new graphics technology that could deliver unlimited power. That is, rather than working with a limited number of polygon shapes (restricted, of course, by computing power), a graphic environment could be built from an infinite number of 3-D virtual atoms, much like the physical world.
Last year at the Black Hat and Defcon security conferences in Las Vegas, a former Air Force cyber security contractor and a former Air Force engineering systems consultant displayed their 14-pound, six-foot-long unmanned aerial vehicle, WASP (Wireless Aerial Surveillance Platform).
We’ve seen plenty of quadcopters and plenty of follow-the-leader ‘bots, but this might be our first brush with follow-the-leader ‘bots that work together to build a mobile landing pad for a quadcopter while it’s in flight. But that’s not even the coolest part about this robotic system from the Georgia Robotics and Intelligent Systems Lab.
With the Chinese firmly in charge of the world's supply of rare earth metals, the Japanese have been hard at work trying to devise means to reduce their reliance on rare earths in the manufacture of things like electric car motors.