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Science, Space & Robotics Posts - Page 51

1950 FBI memo confirms flying saucers crashing in New Mexico, disclosure FTW

By: Array

For years people have wondered, talked about, made movies about, created successful businesses locally and internationally, sold goods and accessories, all around the Roswell incident involving UFOs that crashed. Files have now appeared on the FBI's "vault" website that was once devoted to classified documents have now become public.


The memo is brief but it's from an Air Force informant about "flying saucers". The memo has FBI agent Guy Hottel saying what an "investigator for the Air Forces" told him about what is called "the Roswell incident", Hottel says:


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Three so-called flying saucers had been recovered in New Mexico . . . they were described as being circular in shape with raised centres, approximately 50 feet in diameter . . . Each one was occupied by three bodies of human shape but only 3 feet tall, dressed in a metallic cloth of a very fine texture. Each body was bandaged in a manner similar to the blackout suits used by speed flyers and test pilots.

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MIT Labs Develops Kinect-Based Teleconference Interface

By: Array

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Lining Yao, Anthony DeVincenzi, Ramesh Raskar, and Hiroshi Ishii from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab have developed a prototypal teleconference interface demonstration using Microsoft's Kinect sensor array.


Featured in their demo video, Lining (Lizzie) and Anthony (Tony) show off some of the features they managed to successfully implement. In their interactive interface, speakers will be given time-bubbles that pop up over their respective heads, tracking the length of time that each is speaking. Amazingly, the clock stops as soon as the person stops speaking, meaning the program is recognizing voices individually. A cool feature (that may need a bit of tweaking, but cool nonetheless) they also included is the automation of focus- when a person is speaking, the focus of the camera changes, ensuring that everything but the speaker is blurry. This wasn't as successfully implemented as the time-tracker, but a very interesting idea, especially for someone like me with rampant ADD.


Speaking of ADD, I have many problems when it comes to not answering or responding to portable phone vibrations, so this next feature made me sigh in relief that someone was actually working on it. The MIT team developed a way that a person in a teleconference can actually freeze an image of themselves, for instance sitting at a table with a rapt...


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Carbon Nanotubes make the world's lightest material weigh even less

By: Array

Aerogel is a material that is a solid but has a tiny bit of weight to it making it the lightest solid material in the world. The translucent nature of the material has led to it being dubbed frozen smoke. The aerogel has been redesigned by researchers to make it even lighter weight using carbon nanotubes. The new material is called multiwalled carbon nanotube aerogel.




The researchers think that the material might be useful in electronics, inside chemical reactors, and to detect toxic substances. Traditional aerogels are made from silica, metal oxides, and other materials. Making an aerogel from carbon nanotubes has been tried before and is difficult to do.


The researchers that created the new material started with a liquid solution of carbon nanotubnes and then removed the liquid from the wet gel leaving behind the aerogel with a huge surface area. If all the nanotubes inside a one-ounce cube were unraveled and laid side to side and end to end they would cover three football fields.


RR Auction sells off some really cool space memorabilia with Astronaut autographs

By: Array

I was born too late to be part of the golden age of space flight. The first thing I remember about space was the Challenger disaster when I was in grade school. I think it was cool that with the tech of the era we were able to put men on the moon. If you are a fan of auctions and the golden age of space flight, you can get your hands on some really cool space related items, if you have the loot.




The coolest item in the auction in my book is the little American flag that went to the moon on Apollo 11. The flag is mounted on a special card and has autographs by Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins. The card is autographed by Armstrong to a sports shop owner from Texas named Rooster Andrews.


Apparently, Rooster was an astronaut pal. You can also get yourself an autographed 60's Playboy centerfold pic that orbited the Earth if that is more your style. There are all sorts of items in the auction including some really old freeze-dried food.


Google send an Android into Space - no one hears it scream

By: Array

Google have sent their mascot, the Android, into space. The 30, 000m trip was done with a Nexus S and recorded various data with it's GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer.



A few super-powers of the Nexus S were found in the process. The Nexus S can function up to an altitude of 18, 000m and temperatures of as low as -50c.


Voyager 1 to exit our solar system soon

By: Array

NASA's Voyager 1 began it's journey in 1977 leaving Earth for the unknown. It has been surfing the solar winds for this entire time taking pictures along it's journey and slowly updating it's Facebook status update.


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It's now on it's way out of our solar system and nearing the edge of the Heliopause (the official edge of our solar system). Voyager 1 is currently a staggering 10-billion miles away and it issuing out "solid zeroes" which means it's not detecting any more outward movement from solar winds.


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NASA shuttle PC's sold with sensitive data on HDD

By: Array

Want secret NASA data? Want the FBI chasing you down? Want to be on the run and live a life of looking over your back? Look no further than your trusty TweakTown news post.


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NASA has sold a bunch of PC's and components from NASA's shuttles from four different centers - Kennedy and Johnson Space Centers as well as Ames and Langley Research Centers. The various bits had reportedly "failed sanitization verification testing" or, weren't tested, period.


Continue reading 'NASA shuttle PC's sold with sensitive data on HDD' (full post)

SpaceX becomes first privately owned company to put capsule in space

By: Array

Space X has successfully launched a large capsule into Earth's orbit today, with this success it makes them the first private corporation to reach this milestone.


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Elon Musk made a fortune by co-founding PayPal and lives the kind of life Tony Stark (aka Iron Man) but, in real life. He's a billionaire who is also the founder of Space X. He is also the co-founder of Tesla Motors and has spent $400 million of his own fortune to advance Space X to it's current point in time.


Continue reading 'SpaceX becomes first privately owned company to put capsule in space' (full post)

Japanese battery invented that makes power from vibration

By: Array

I want my notebook and smartphone to perform well with lots of speed for games and other uses, but I also want the battery to last a really long time. Some of the biggest advances in technology over the next few years will be in the battery market as makers seek to improve the battery to make it last longer and charge quicker. Researchers from Japan have shown off a new battery device that is much more powerful than other batteries of the type.




The little battery is actually a power generator that is able to make power by harnessing vibrations. The battery is made from an alloy of iron and gallium called galfenol that changes shape when exposed to a magnetic field. The little battery is able to generate 20x more power from vibrations that similar devices of its size.


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NASA finds new type of life - here on Earth

By: Array

Not directly tech related - but more "science" related and I thought it would appeal to tech fans, but I'm sure you've heard NASA was set to make an announcement based on a form of life not yet known to our race.


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Obviously people thought this was from another planet, or something "out there" where the truth is (nodding to you X-Files fans here). But, NASA found DNA which consists of arsenic right here on Earth and more precisely in California. Please note - there is no other life on this planet whose DNA consists of Arsenic, period.


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