By Rena Marie PacellaPosted 02.14.2011 at 1:10 pm 0 Comments
Last December, New York University art professor and technophile Wafaa Bilal had a magnetic camera mount installed in his head in a painful two-hour procedure. The device is held in place by three titanium posts and a subdermal plate placed one fifth of an inch beneath his skin. Once a minute for the next year, a coin size USB camera will photograph the often mundane view from the back of his head—525,948 photos in all, which can be seen at www.3rdi.me.
If you consider a meticulously curated sandpit in a Moscow suburb a destination, then the Mars500 team has finally arrived. After more than 250 days confined to a wood-paneled simulated space capsule, the international crew put down its landing craft on the “Martian” surface over the weekend and, donning Russian Orlan spacesuits, executed its first walk on the red planet today.
The Michigan State University Engine Research Laboratory is usually calm, but by midmorning on this August day, everyone is on edge. Then, a few minutes before noon, assistant engineering professor Norbert Müller gets the call they’re all waiting for: The most influential man in energy research is here to see Müller’s work.
If you could put all the data in the world onto CDs and stack them up, the pile would stretch from the Earth to beyond the moon, according to a new study. The world’s technological infrastructure has a staggering capacity to store and process information, reaching 295 exabytes in 2007, a reflection of the world’s almost complete transition into the digital realm. That's a number with 20 zeroes behind it, in case you're wondering.
If the RoboCop saga has any lasting lessons, maybe it's that politicians shouldn't mess around with Twitter.
What started out as a joke on the social media site has mushroomed into a nationwide effort to build a statue of RoboCop in the beleaguered city of Detroit. Earlier this week, someone in Massachusetts sent a tweet to Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, suggesting RoboCop would be a great mascot for the city. Philadelphia has a Rocky statue, and RoboCop would "kick Rocky's butt," he pointed out.
The trend toward commercialized space is reaching into military communications and even a human expedition to Mars. Advocates say such public-private partnerships could bring down mission costs and speed up the process.
Since its inception (okay, since the early 1960s) the United States has been the world leader in space travel and exploration, taking the lead in crafting mankind's vision and agenda for humanity's role in space. So it made sense when NASA and DARPA announced their joint "100-Year Starship" study last year to explore the possibility of a one-way manned mission to another planet.
Tapping a bit of frat-boy ingenuity, researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) have devised a new way for an old space exploration instrument to suck down large volumes of vaporized particles and analyze rocks for their compositions using an ion funnel, a process that could speed analysis, lighten instrument loads, and improve the odds of finding signs of life.
Several cities have developed apps that allow citizens to report things like downed tree branches, breaches of city ordinance, or potholes in roadways, but the city of Boston is trying to take the human out of the process. An app called Street Bump will take advantage of smartphones’ GPS data and accelerometers to automatically report potholes to city authorities without the user having to raise a finger—if it actually works, that is.