Science & technology

How Microsoft Has Leveraged Xbox Kinect's Technology Into Brilliant New Business Areas

The areas are as diverse as healthcare, education, retail and business-to-business product demos. What Microsoft has done with Xbox Kinect beyond video games highlights two important aspects of new product innovation I think more firms should engage in: 1. Cross-pollination of ideas and technology from one industry into another. 2. “Open Innovation” through tool-enabling development kits that allow brilliant minds around the globe and in different industries to come up with new uses for great technologies.

NASA's RXTE Satellite Decodes the Rhythm of an Unusual Black Hole

Astronomers have uncovered rhythmic pulsations from a rare type of black hole 12 million light-years away by sifting through archival data from NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) satellite.

NASA to Air Panel Discussion about Ancient Earth and Habitable Planets

NASA Television will live broadcast a discussion Wednesday, Aug. 20, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. EDT, with leading science experts describing what is known about our ancient Earth and how that information can guide the search for habitable planets orbiting other stars.

US troops beat the heat with new personal AC units

Military aircrews may no longer have to choose between staying safe and staying cool. The U.S. Army's new personal cooling systems, worn underneath body armor, can help troops beat the heat, without removing their protective gear.

Amazon looks to gain liftoff for drone delivery testing

Amazon is going on the offensive as it seeks federal approval to test its planned Prime Air drone delivery system. You are not likely to get a Prime Air drop on your porch anytime this year, or even next, but the online retailer, which announced plans for drone delivery last December on 60 Minutes, is making moves to spur development.

Image overload: Help us, NASA says

NASA is trying to catalogue thousands of images. Hundreds of volunteers have stepped up so far, classifying almost 20,000 photos, but NASA says multiple individuals should review each image to ensure accuracy.

Polar research: Six priorities for Antarctic science

In April 2014, the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) convened 75 scientists and policy-makers from 22 countries to agree on the priorities for Antarctic research for the next two decades and beyond. This is the first time that the international Antarctic community has formulated a collective vision, through discussions, debate and voting.

How Murray State is Introducing Kids to Emerging World of Robotics

NAO, by Aldebaran Robotics, challenges students and teachers to use their creativity and critical thinking skills in the classroom, applied through the medium of a 58-cm tall humanoid robot. Through NAO, students get hands-on experience in the basics of computer programming, engineering and robotics from elementary drag-and-drop tools to detailed C++ and Python coding.

Harvard Scientists Devise Robot Swarm That Can Work Together

To give robots that kind of hive intelligence, Dr. Rubenstein and his colleagues developed a programming formula that allowed a very large group of robots to find each other and collaborate on a task, without requiring detailed moment-to-moment instructions.

FFC Announces Funding for Rural Broadband Experiments, NTIA Releases Reports on Impact of Broadband Grants

The FCC intends for these grants to be the next step for the Connect American Fund program. Grants will be made to support rural broadband experiments to explore how to structure the Phase II of the Connect American Fund’s competitive bidding process in price cap areas and to gather information about interest in deploying next generation networks in high-cost areas.

Monitoring meteor showers from space

The Meteor investigation will help scientists better understand the asteroids and comets crossing Earth's orbit and how these celestial objects have affected our planet. It also could help protect spacecraft and Earth from potential collisions with this celestial debris.

5 Uses for the Surveillance Robot of Tomorrow

A Silicon Valley startup is building a surveillance robot that it hopes will help security and law enforcement personnel detect trouble while remaining out of harm's way. Here's a closer look at five ways advanced robots can monitor commercial, public and private spaces.

Hackers seek scores for electronic car wars

A group of hackers in the United States has called on car-makers to start ranking vehicles according to how well they stack up against the threat of electronic attack. “Dependence on technology in vehicles has grown faster than effective means to secure it.”

'Street view' goes undersea to map reefs, wonders

U.S. government scientists are learning to use specialized fisheye lenses underwater in the Florida Keys this week in hopes of applying "street view" mapping to research and management plans in marine sanctuaries nationwide. Some of the rotating and panoramic images will be available online as early as this week, including a selection on Google Maps, giving the public a window into ecosystems still difficult and costly to explore for long stretches of time.

The Artificial Rat Brain Built Like A Jam Donut

The 3D-tissue cultures, made from rat cells, which have been kept alive for up to two months “could lead to an acceleration of therapies for brain dysfunction, as well as offer a better way to study normal brain physiology,” said Dr David Kaplan, director of the tissue engineering resource centre at Tufts University in Boston and lead author of the story in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


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