A massive space rock traveling 25,000 miles per hour will get within 1.7 million miles from the Earth tonight. You'll be able to track its path live during a Slooh Space Camera show, starting at 4 p.m. Pacific/7 p.m. Eastern.
The asteroid, called 2012 QG42, will have about the same amount of brightness as the dwarf planet Pluto. Discovered a couple of weeks ago, 2012 QG42 is estimated to be between 625 feet and 1,500 feet in diameter.
The good news: There's no chance of a collision between the asteroid and Earth … Read more
Geeks everywhere are riveted by the new images of Mars the Curiosity rover is beaming back to Earth. What you might be surprised to hear is just how few megapixels are involved in bringing those photos to us.
The rover sports 12 cameras in all, but the main imaging cameras have measly 2MP sensors. Wait, what? Was NASA trying to discourage the rover from taking too many vacation snapshots?… Read more
This weekend is a rare opportunity to see a space rock the size of a city block go for a joyride past the much bigger space rock we call Earth.
The snappily named asteroid 2002 AM31 will cruise by our planet this Sunday, coming within 13.7 lunar distances, or about 3.2 million miles.
If you consider yourself a bit of a NEO (near-Earth object) groupie, you can watch the whole spectacle online at the Web site of the Slooh space camera (really a network of robotic telescopes around the globe). Webcasts are scheduled for 4:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. PT and will feature live commentary and feeds from telescopes in Arizona and the Canary Islands. … Read more
If you want to get more natural with your pics, Japanese researchers are working on a gesture-based mini camera that lets your hands frame the shot.
The group at the Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences (IAMAS) in Gifu Prefecture recently showed off something they call the Ubi-Camera, a play on "ubiquitous" and "yubi" ("finger" in Japanese).
As the vid shows below, the simple prototype attaches to your index finger while your other fingers form a viewfinder around it. Push a button with your thumb to snap the shot.
Researchers at MIT like what they see so far from a camera that can perform a nifty trick: peer around a corner.
And it captures a 3D image to boot.
The innovative process is called femtophotography, after the incredibly quick laser pulses involved; they're measured in quadrillionths of a second. Those bursts of light bounce around off ordinary doors or walls or floors -- mirrors need not apply -- and make their way back to a picosecond-accurate detector at the camera (picoseconds = trillionths of a second) that records the elapsed time and then does the math on how the light bursts traveled.
The system runs through the drill multiple times in that blink of an eye, with the light bursts traveling several different routes to provide a more complete 3D image.
There seems to be a strange whiff of honesty swirling around the robot policemen known as red light cameras.
In different parts of the world, authorities are wondering whether there is any real benefit in having them at all. Yes, even financial benefit.
In the home of the automobile--no, not Detroit, Los Angeles--the Police Commission is, according to MSNBC, requesting that red light cameras should be removed before the Lakers and Clippers begin their new season.
You might wonder whether these objections are based on curiously moral grounds. Well, some objectors do, indeed, believe that red light cameras are merely … Read more
Getting those Google Maps directions you're viewing on your PC onto your smartphone might soon be as easy as pointing the phone at the screen.
Tsung-Hsiang Chang, a graduate student at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and Yang Li, a Google employee, have developed a system that makes it much easier to transfer certain Web-based computing tasks between devices. To do this, one simply takes a photo of the computer screen that's showing the task. The phone then automatically opens up the corresponding application on the mobile device--at the corresponding stage of the task.
The same process can also work in reverse, moving data from the phone to a computer.
The system, called DeepShot, relies on the fact that many Web applications use a standard format, called the uniform resource identifier (URI), to describe their current states. A typical example of this is the link provided by Google Maps that transfers the exact current location or driving directions to another browser on another computer.
This link consists of a long string of symbols that contain URI-related information such as the addresses of the starting and ending points and codes that indicate their geographical coordinates and the approximate size of the map window. Though URIs are a common feature of many Web applications, the data contained in a URI can vary greatly and is sometimes harder to extract than in the case of Google Maps.… Read more