[PHOTO] Lightning And Rainbow Captured Together In Once In A Lifetime Shot

rainbow-lightning-together-one-photo-greg-mccown-1

Julija Televičiūtė writes: It’s been 7 years since Greg McCown has been trying to photograph a lightning bolt and rainbow in one shot. The spectacular image the 42-year-old- real estate salesperson saw once when driving to work in Arizona left such an impression that he knew he had to shoot it someday. He finally succeeded….(read more)

Source: Bored Panda


Google Expands Self-Driving Car Testing to Washington State

WASHINGTON (Reuters) David Shepardson reports: Alphabet Inc said Wednesday its self-driving car project will expand testing to Kirkland, Washington later this month, the third city where it is testing autonomous vehicles.

 “We’re looking forward to seeing the cars on the road and understanding more about how self-driving cars might someday improve safety and provide traffic relief.”

— Washington Governor Jay Inslee

The company’s Google unit has conducted autonomous vehicle testing for six years in Mountain View, California, where it is based, and it expanded testing to Austin, Texas last summer.

Google said in a statement that one reason for the new site in the northwest United States is to gain experience in “different driving environments, traffic patterns, and road conditions.”

Kirkland has significant seasonal rain that allows for wet weather testing, along with hills that will allow testing of sensors at different angles and elevations.

Google began a few weeks ago driving a single Lexus RX450h SUV around a few square miles in North Kirkland to create a detailed map of the streets. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] How to Fold an Origami F-16 Plane

In this instructable, I will teach you how to fold the plain awesome origami F-16! This model is not nearly as hard to fold as it looks, so don’t be deterred by its complex appearance.

Despite the sad fact that this particular plane doesn’t fly too well, it never fails to impress. If you want to see my youtube video on how to make this same model, just click How To Fold an Origami F-16 to see a tutorial that is slightly easier to follow. So lets get started!

My printer paper is standard 8.5×11 inch. Fold it in half lengthwise, or hotdog style as some people call it, then unfold….(more)

See the rest here.

Source: instructable.com


Japan, Inc.: World’s First Robot-Run Farm will Harvest 30,000 Heads of Lettuce Daily

⑤棚アップ (1)

Spread’s new automation technology will not only produce more lettuce, it will also reduce labor costs by 50%, cut energy use by 30%, and recycle 98% of water needed to grow the crops.

 reports: The Japanese lettuce production company Spread believes the farmers of the future will be robots.

So much so that Spread is creating the world’s first farm manned entirely by robots. Instead of relying on human farmers, the indoor Vegetable Factory will employ robots that can harvest 30,000 heads of lettuce every day.

“The use of machines and technology has been improving agriculture in this way throughout human history. With the introduction of plant factories and their controlled environment, we are now able to provide the ideal environment for the crops.”

— J.J. Price, a spokesperson at Spread

Don’t expect a bunch of humanoid robots to roam the halls, however; the robots look more like conveyor belts with arms. They’ll plant seeds, water plants, and trim lettuce heads after harvest in the Kyoto, Japan farm.

⑦検査

Spread: A worker at the Kameoka Plant. Not a robot.

“The use of machines and technology has been improving agriculture in this way throughout human history,” J.J. Price, a spokesperson at Spread, tells Tech Insider. “With the introduction of plant factories and their controlled environment, we are now able to provide the ideal environment for the crops.”

[Read the full story here, at Tech Insider]

The Vegetable Factory follows the growing agricultural trend of vertical farming, where farmers grow crops indoors without natural sunlight. Instead, they rely on LED light and grow crops on racks that stack on top of each other.

④棚

In addition to increasing production and reducing waste, indoor vertical farming also eliminates runoff from pesticides and herbicides — chemicals used in traditional outdoor farming that can be harmful to the environment. Read the rest of this entry »


Remembering the Apollo 1 Disaster: How 3 Astronauts were Killed 49 Years Ago Today 

nasa-apollo-1

The crew of Apollo 1 were the first fatalities in America’s space programme, but they will forever be remembered as pioneers of manned space exploration.

Gemma Lavender writes: Following the success of the Mercury and Gemini missions in the 1960’s, NASA set about planning a series of manned missions to the Moon that would become known as the Apollo missions, under direction of John F. Kennedy to land a man on the moon by 1970. Apollo 1 was to be the first manned mission and, although it would not travel to the moon itself, it was intended to test important technologies in Earth orbit with Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee on board. Tragically, however, the spacecraft was destroyed in a cabin fire during a launch pad test 47 years ago on 27 January 1967.

Each of the three astronauts had been influential during NASA’s space exploration program in the run-up to Apollo 1. Gus Grissom was the second American in space aboard Liberty Bell 7, the second Project Mercury flight, in 1961. He later became the first American to fly in space twice, piloting the Gemini 3 spacecraft in orbit in 1965.

The Apollo 1 crew are pictured here during water egress training. Image Credit: NASA

The Apollo 1 crew are pictured here during water egress training. Image Credit: NASA

Edward White was the first American to walk in space during the Gemini 4 spaceflight, also in 1965, when he spent 36 minutes outside the spacecraft. Roger Chaffee was the only one of the three who had not flown in space before. He was chosen in NASA’s third pool of astronauts in 1963 and served as capsule communicator on the ground alongside Grissom for White’s Gemini 4 mission. Read the rest of this entry »


Apple Reports Slowing Growth for iPhone Sales

tim-cook-apple-NYT

SAN FRANCISCO —Katie Benner reports: Apple’s iPhone has officially entered a slow-growth period.

Apple on Tuesday said that it sold 74.8 million iPhones in its fiscal first quarter, which ended Dec. 26, up less than 1 percent from the 74.5 million sold a year ago. That represented the slowest year-over-year rate of growth for the device since it was introduced in 2007.

“There will be some speed bumps ahead until we get to the iPhone 7 mega-product cycle later this year.”

— Daniel Ives, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets

The iPhone, Apple’s flagship product, is closely watched by investors because the smartphone accounts for two-thirds of the company’s annual revenue.

In total, Apple’s revenue for the quarter was $75.9 billion, up 1.7 percent from a year ago, and lower than Wall Street forecasts of $76.6 billion. Net profit was $18.4 billion, up from $18 billion a year earlier.

Apple’s rate of growth is not set to improve anytime soon. The company, based in Cupertino, Calif., also issued a lower-than-anticipated forecast for the current quarter, which ends in March. Apple projected revenue of $50 billion to $53 billion, down from $58 billion from a year earlier and lower than the $55.4 billion forecast by Wall Street, according to S&P Capital IQ.

The results and forecast reflect how Apple, under its chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, is grappling with becoming a maturing tech company. While Apple once delivered high double-digit revenue gains on the back of soaring sales of the iPhone and other devices, growth rates have slowed as the iPhone has begun saturating the market and the company has not introduced a new blockbuster device.

Investors are already treating Apple more like a value stock than a growth stock, associating the company with predictable business results and a reliable dividend rather than runaway revenue growth.

In the period leading up to the earnings announcement, investors had lowered expectations for the quarter based on the belief that demand for Apple’s latest iPhones, the 6S and 6S Plus, had been weak. Read the rest of this entry »


The 1953 Studebaker Commander Starliner

The 1953 Studebaker Commander Starliner was influenced by this concept design.


Jeb! Gets! Phone! Call! On! His! Apple! Watch!

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush was doing an interview with The Des Moines Register when his Apple Watch started going crazy. USA Today caught a video of Jeb’s reaction. “My watch can’t be talking,” he said incredulously….(read more)

Source: TechCrunch


Mysterious ‘Space Balls’ Investigated

spaceball

The metal balls fell from the sky, scaring local residents.

Vietnam’s military is investigating the appearance of three mysterious metal balls — believed to be debris from space — which landed in the country’s remote north, a senior army official said Friday.

Two metal balls were discovered in northwestern Yen Bai province on January 2, army spokesman Lieutenant General Vo Van Tuan told AFP.

Later a larger ball weighing some 45 kilograms (100 pounds) landed in a maize field in neighbouring Tuyen Quang province, he said.

“We are still identifying where they came from,” he said, adding the army had determined they did not contain explosives or hazardous material.

The metal balls fell from the sky, he said, scaring local residents.

“Before and after these objects were discovered, the Vietnamese army was not conducting any military activity in the region,” Tuan said.

 Witnesses told state-run media that they heard what sounded like thunder before the balls plunged to the earth.

Read the rest of this entry »


OH NO THEY DIDN’T: Apple Has Dumped $100B in Market Value in Past Month 

Tim Cook

Apple Inc. AAPL, -4.22%   shares fell below $100 for the first time in 15 months, gripped by Thursday’s sharp market declines and signs of slowing growth in the two pillars of the company’s recent success: the iPhone and China.

“Signs of weakness in the iPhone, its best-selling and most profitable product, come after new, larger-screen models propelled Apple to record results in its fiscal year ended Sept. 26.”

The Cupertino, Calif., company’s 4.2% drop on the day was greater than the overall market’s slide and the 3% slump in the Nasdaq Composite, which closed down 10% from its May peak. Since early December, Apple has shed $100 billion in market value.

apple-store-foster-and-partners-staircase

Buoyed by China’s rising middle class, Apple’s Greater China sales in that period grew 84%, and the company overall posted revenue of $233 billion for the year. Now, both of those growth engines appear at risk.”

Signs of weakness in the iPhone, its best-selling and most profitable product, come after new, larger-screen models propelled Apple to record results in its fiscal year ended Sept. 26. Buoyed by China’s rising middle class, Apple’s Greater China sales in that period grew 84%, and the company overall posted revenue of $233 billion for the year.

[An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.]

Now, both of those growth engines appear at risk. The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Apple has cut order forecasts to iPhone suppliers in recent months, according to people familiar with the matter. And China’s economy is slowing sharply, dramatized by plunging stock markets. Read the rest of this entry »


[PHOTO] Apollo 9 Command Module

The Apollo 9 Command Module


Space: The Visionaries Take Over

Charles Krauthammerkrauthammer-sm writes: Fractured and divided as we are, on one thing we can agree: 2015 was a miserable year. The only cheer was provided by Lincoln Chafee and the Pluto flyby (two separate phenomena), as well as one seminal aeronautical breakthrough.

On Dec. 21, Elon Musk’s SpaceX, after launching 11 satellites into orbit, returned its 15-story booster rocketupright and intact, to a landing pad at Cape Canaveral. That’s a $60 million mountain of machinery — recovered. (The traditional booster rocket either burns up or disappears into some ocean.)

The reusable rocket has arrived. Arguably, it arrived a month earlier when Blue Origin, a privately owned outfit created by Jeffrey P. Bezos (Amazon chief executive and owner of this newspaper) launched and landed its own booster rocket, albeit for a suborbital flight. But whether you attribute priority to Musk or Bezos, the two events together mark the inauguration of a new era in spaceflight.

musk

Musk predicts that the reusable rocket will reduce the cost of accessing space a hundredfold. This depends, of course, on whether the wear and tear and stresses of the launch make the refurbishing prohibitively expensive. Assuming it’s not, and assuming Musk is even 10 percent right, reusability revolutionizes the economics of spaceflight.

[Read the full story here, at The Washington Post]

Which both democratizes and commercializes it. Which means space travel has now slipped the surly bonds of government — presidents, Congress, NASA bureaucracies. Its future will now be driven far more by a competitive marketplace with its multiplicity of independent actors, including deeply motivated, financially savvy and visionary entrepreneurs. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Derby the Dog: Running on 3D Printed Prosthetics

See how unique, custom 3D printed prosthetics allow Derby the dog to run for the first time.


[VIDEO] Predictions 2016: Tech That Will Change Your Life


AIRBAGS FOR BIKERS: Inflatable Motorcycle Suit Provides Instant Crash Protection

airbagsuit

Three motorcyclists competing in the final race of the international MotoGP circuit this month will have extra injury insurance, in the form of wearable airbags. Alpinestars’s Tech Air Race suit uses an onboard computer to sense the subtle differences between regular track turbulence and the motion associated with an impending crash, and it fires fall-cushioning airbags on the shoulders and collarbone (an oft-injured area for racers) before the biker hits the ground. These bags are nearly 10 times as effective at preventing injury as other armor. With foam pads, the impact at 200 mph is still more than 4,000 pounds of force; when this suit’s bags are inflated, that number is cut to 450 pounds—the difference between a collarbone fracture and a bruise.

Alpinestars anticipates that its consumer-grade suit—with two 2-quart bags, like those currently on pro tracks—will go on sale next year, with airbag-equipped jackets for everyday riders rolling out around 2013.

How To Cushion A Fall

A 1.1 pound computer set between the rider’s shoulder blades collects G-force, vibration and tilt data from seven sensors throughout the suit every two milliseconds….(read more)

Source: Popular Science


Japan Grows an Island to Check China’s Territorial Ambitions 

Robin Harding reports: China’s artificial islands are fuelling a new struggle for control of Asia’s oceans, but while the regional superpower dredges military bases out of the ocean, Japan is growing an island in a bathtub.

The island is called Okinotorishima, or “distant bird island”; a remote, storm-wracked coral atoll in the Philippine Sea, where two small outcrops protrude at high tide. Japan regards the atoll as its southernmost point; China says it is no island, merely a rock.

“Our experiments with planting coral on Okinotorishima are ongoing. We’ve made progress in expanding the area of coral planted, but the death rate of the transplanted coral is high, so we can’t yet say the amount of coral on the island is increasing.”

— Makoto Omori, emeritus professor at the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology.

For millennia, as the land beneath it sunk, layers of coral grew on top and kept the atoll’s head above water. But now Okinotorishima is dying. Climate change is raising the sea level and killing the coral. Typhoons bite at what remains.

“The ecotechnology established in Okinotorishima can be applied to all the small atoll islands in the Pacific and Indian Ocean. We have almost 500 atolls in the world, and some island countries such as the Marshalls, Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Maldives are completely formed of atolls.”

— Hajime Kayanne, a professor at the University of Tokyo.

Japan is therefore on a desperate quest to regrow the reef. The results will decide the fate of a strategic redoubt, with legal repercussions in the South China Sea, and could offer hope to other atolls threatened by climate change.

The bathtub, full of baby coral growing on iron plates, sits in a greenhouse at the Deep Seawater Research Institute on the island of Kumejima. Workers explain how they brought coral from Okinotorishima and harvested eggs. They will grow the baby corals in this laboratory for a year then transplant them back to the atoll.

South China Sea map

For the scientists working on the project it is a battle with the ocean. They have successfully cultivated coral from the reef and transplanted it back to the island, but it is not enough. “The next technology . . . is keeping up with the rising sea by coral growth and accumulation of coral gravels and sand,” says Hajime Kayanne, a professor at the University of Tokyo.

[Read the full text here, at FT.com]

“Our experiments with planting coral on Okinotorishima are ongoing,” says Makoto Omori, emeritus professor at the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology. “We’ve made progress in expanding the area of coral planted, but the death rate of the transplanted coral is high, so we can’t yet say the amount of coral on the island is increasing.”

No amount of transplantation can revive a reef by itself, says Mr Omori. Rather, the goal is for the transplants to spread across the atoll. Working in such a remote place is challenging because it is hard to monitor the coral.

For the scientists, rescuing Okinotorishima means saving the world’s coral, and the many islands that exist because of it. In the past four decades, 40 per cent of the world’s reefs have died. Read the rest of this entry »


[PHOTOS] NASA Has Released More than 8,000 Images of the Apollo Mission


‘Four Times Greater Than Solyndra’: DOE Gives TheDCNF 1,200 Pages Redacted Docs On Green Loans 

climate-freakout

Michael Bastasch reports: The Department of Energy recently turned over more than 1,200 pages of heavily redacted documents in response to a records request about a subsidized biofuels company from The Daily Caller News Foundation.

In October, TheDCNF filed a FOIA request with the Energy Department, asking for email records from government officials regarding federal loan guarantees given to Abengoa, a Spanish-based green energy company. The request came on the heels of reports Abengoa was running into big financial problems, despite being given generous taxpayer-backed loans…(read more)

Source: The Daily Caller


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