A 50-foot-long pliosaur is the largest yet discovered
By Gregory MonePosted 02.29.2008 at 11:22 am 0 Comments
A team of paleontologists led by Joern Hurum of the University of Oslos Natural History Museum last year excavated the skeleton of an enormous 150-million-year-old pliosaur; after months of piecing bones together, they now are confident it is largest of its kind ever discovered. Typical pliosaurs—tear-shaped swimmers with short necks—were about 20 feet long, but the paleontologists guess that this monster stretched to some 50 feet in length.
Budgeting for the most complex rover to date proves equally tricky
By Gregory MonePosted 02.29.2008 at 11:20 am 2 Comments
The Mars Science Laboratory, that souped-up rover thats due to launch for the Red Planet next year, turns out to have a larger price tag than expected. The project has already gone $165 million over its $1.8 billion price tag, and now NASA says it may take an additional $30 million to get things right.
How much portable Linux goodness can you get for $400?
By John MahoneyPosted 02.28.2008 at 7:16 pm 8 Comments
When Asus unveiled their ultraportable, ultra-cute EeePC in October of last year, they may not have anticipated launching a whole new product category, but judging by the overwhelmingly favorable reaction of users online and strong sales numbers, that's exactly what they've done. The slimmed-down, no-nonsense, Linux-powered ultraportable category that the Eee currently presides over, and that Everex's recently released Cloudbook hopes to capitalize on, is just one instance of a greater tech trend we're seeing across the board: an emphasis on shrinking form-factors and streamlined usage. In an industry that has always been about more power, more size, more capability—more everything—this is notable.
The biggest sheet of nanotubing holds promise, but is it strong enough to one day lift a space elevator?
By Nicole DyerPosted 02.28.2008 at 4:52 pm 7 Comments
Nanocomp Technologies Inc. of Concord, New Hampshire has managed to make the largest sheet of carbon nanotubing ever, rekindling the long-standing dream of a fantastical space elevator that lifts us into orbit along an ultra-light yet ultra-strong carbon nanotube cable. Sure, at 18 square feet, the sheet is smaller than a beach blanket but it contains a billion billion nanotubes, which makes it 200 times as strong as steel and 30 times less dense.
A formula change leads to a more effective PowerBar—but it's not for just anyone
By Brett Zarda Posted 02.28.2008 at 4:48 pm 1 Comment
While most folks are not quite sure whats in that solidified mush known as a PowerBar, athletes have long sworn by its energy-boosting qualities. So, why then, after years of commercial success, did PowerBar announce this week that its changing its formula? The answer lies in research published in this months issue of the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.
Citizens of Philadelphia, beware: You may see a grown man whizzing by you on a skateboard, doing 20 mph. That would be PopSci staff photographer John Carnett, and in case you don't get a good look, it's a souped-up, motorized board he built from the ground up.
At this week's TED conference, Microsoft announced a groundbreaking software that will bring the farthest regions of the universe to your desktop—but will it soon be the only way to see the night sky?
By Matt RansfordPosted 02.28.2008 at 2:15 pm 4 Comments
World Wide Telescope
The World Wide Telescope will let users zoom and pan through distances stretching to the farthest reaches of the known universe and stop in for a closer look at just about any object they encounter.
Playing with Google Earth is an immensely gratifying experience. You swoop in like a superhero and pan around as though you're hovering over your own house. Imagine if you were able to do all that in the other direction, out into space. This spring, Microsoft is poised to release the World Wide Telescope, which promises to do just that and more, on a scale of galactic proportions.
Microsoft has assembled an application of tremendous depth and breadth using data from the Hubble and land-based telescopes around the world.
After failing to comply with an anti-trust decision, Microsoft reaps a massive fine
By Gregory MonePosted 02.28.2008 at 1:58 pm 2 Comments
The European Union slapped Microsoft with a $1.3 billion punishment yesterday for what it says amounted to unfair practices. Regulators contended that Microsoft charged developers who were hoping to make Windows-compatible products unreasonable fees for information about its software.
Foreign countries and local industry alike are increasingly courting investors interested in that other green
By Gregory MonePosted 02.28.2008 at 1:48 pm 0 Comments
The Cleantech Forum, an annual conference bringing together green-focused companies and investors, has acquired a distinctly global appearance this year. Business leaders launched a new organization designed to boost green startups in India; and Singapore and Abu Dhabi courted investors, suggesting theyd be ideal locations for this "industry of the future" to grow.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, its a seriously hot business—green companies won nearly 50 percent of a total of $3.95 billion venture capital funding last year.
The ISS gets a new line of delivery ships thanks to the European Space Agency
By Gregory MonePosted 02.28.2008 at 1:32 pm 1 Comment
Soon, NASA's shuttle wont be the only workhorse servicing the International Space Station. In a little more than a week, it will be joined by the European Space Agencys Automated Transfer Vehicle, the Jules Verne, which is entering the final preparations before launch. The Jules Verne is the first of a series of such supply ships that will lift food, air, water, science supplies and other equipment to the ISS roughly once a year. ESA likens the ATVs to tugboats or river barges, albeit incredibly advanced ones.