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:
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.
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...
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bit of a fun post here - but Superman, if you're reading this, please email me as I'll require a meeting with you (and no I won't be wearing the same lingerie Lois wore in the original movie, sorry).
These matches are earth proof, water proof, boot-smashing proof, puddle of water/boot smash/dirt proof. They won't die. Ever. In the above video, they are put through torture tests and just as you think it's going to go out and you are about to scream "HAHA TweakTown your news poster is fai...... wait, what!" and yes, they are back on fire.
It wasn't all that long ago when it was thought to be impossible for man to set foot on Mars. But that hasn't stopped the likes of NASA researching continuously to find out if there's a way to accomplish it without kicking the bucket (short or long term).
However, recent studies have determined that a mission to the Red Planet would be a significant health concern for those willing to suit up for the 3 year return trip (if a one year stay on the planet is factored in).
Researchers at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin have taken samples of tissue from nine US and Russian astronauts who spent around six months on the International Space Station. Biopsies were taken 45 days before launch and again on the day of return. The results showed dramatic muscle atrophy which was caused by a prolonged period in zero gravity.
Ever say a few choice words after installing eight batteries into a device and having to redo it because you stuck one in the wrong way? Microsoft is looking to save you from that kind of hassle with InstaLoad, a new battery technology that will allow you to install batteries without having to worry about those pesky positive and negative signs. Instaload's patented contact design doesn't require expensive circuitry or drain battery power while sitting on the shelf and will be compatible with most of the battery types you use every day: CR123, AA, AAA, C or D size.
When it comes to electricity most of us in the well established countries of the world take our electric power for granted. In some countries like Africa, electricity is still not stable and often simply not available.
A cool green gadget called the sOccket looks like a soccer ball and is able to generate power from being kicked around. The company behind the device wants to give it to kids in Africa.
Gizmag's week in emerging technology - roll-up screens, high-tech punching bags and some remarkable technology firsts
Sick of squinting at that tiny screen on your mobile phone? It's a problem that comes hand-in-hand with the shrinking size consumer electronics devices and Sony may well have an answer with this super-flexible full color OLED display. Could we soon see mobile phones with pencil form factors and roll out displays?
MIT researchers have also taken up the challenge of improving the human computer interface - this time in the arena of gesture recognition. The researchers have developed coloured gloves that, although they may not win any fashion awards, can be used with a standard webcam and some clever software to create a cheap solution for on-screen commands or control gestures.
If you stay up late enough to watch Jimmy Fallon on The Late Show, you know Fallon is a pretty big geek and likes his tech. Intel was on his show last night showing off mind reading technology that it was a part of.
The tech isn't as out there as it sounds and Intel can't read you mind. The tech uses MRI imaging along with machine learning techniques to translate brain activity letting a computer figure out what people are thinking.
Our wrap-up of emerging technology news this week starts with some significant developments from the world of aviation. An MIT led research team has presented a radical aircraft concept called the D "double bubble" which promises a 70 percent improvement in fuel economy, reduced noise, lower nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and the ability to use shorter runways. The design is part of a NASA project which looks forward to what we can expect to see in the skies around the year 2035.
Computers will eventually out-think, out-perform and out-drive humans and this clip of autonomous supervehicle Stanley performing a spectacular James Bond-style parking manoeuvre shows just how far we've come.
While not quite as spectacular, another innovative slice of automotive tech we have covered this week might turn out to be just as significant. It's the D-Drive infinitely variable transmission and as Loz Blain explains in our in-depth video, it could have huge implications in everything from cars, motorcycles...
The human race needs to clean up its act when it comes to producing and consuming energy and several groundbreaking technologies have come to light at Gizmag.com this week which could lend some serious weight to the cause.
U.S researchers have discovered an inexpensive new catalyst that promises to significantly reduce the costs of producing hydrogen, while across the Atlantic scientists have found a way to store surplus electricity from wind and solar systems as natural gas. Our own waste is also set to find its way into the grid, with a pilot project in the U.K that aims to produce biomethane gas from human waste for use in kitchens and heating.
There's also been some movement on the kinetic energy front - the nPower PEG portable generator which recharges your phone, media player or camera as you move about in your daily life has hit the market and a piezoelectric generator small enough to be embedded in the sole of a shoe has also surfaced.
On the green transport front, Volkswagen has unveiled an electric bicycle that folds to the size of a spare tyre and Lexus has announced details of its own e-bike Concept which we first spied tucked away at last year's Tokyo Motor Show.
So where will all this green energy be going? One technology that will definitely chew through some juice this year is 3D television. While it's been a big hit in cinemas of late and it's now well on its way into our living rooms, 3D technology is also set to appear on huge posters that can be seen from the other side of the street (without special glasses) and come June, U.K. newstands will host the world's first 3D newspaper.
In taking another swipe at Intel, NvIDIA's own VP Bill Daily has felt the need to express his opinion on why he feels Moore's Law is pretty much dead in the water and parallel computing (using a GPU, surprise surprise) is what will save the future of computing.
For those of you who have no idea what Moore's Law is, this stemmed from a paper that was published by Gordon Moore (co-founder of Intel) 45 years ago which is basically a prediction that the transistor count per area on a circuit would double every 2 years (later decreased to 18 months).
With die shrinks becoming more problematic, Bill Daily does have a point in saying that the serial process oriented workings of a CPU is inevitably reaching a limit, but putting NVIDIAs GPUs up on a pedestal and shouting out the word CUDA is hardly the answer either.
Microsoft Research works on all sorts of features and offerings that often never see the light of day. The company is showing off a new input method using pen and touch that it calls "Manual Dexterity" that looks promising.
Today most devices can either accept input from pen or from touch, but not both. The new Microsoft concept does both and the combination works very well.
I can certainly see this input being used on future machines. I like the demo of the person moving things around with their hand while writing on things with the pen, it's cool. Check out the video below.