At UC Berkeley's Geospatial Innovation Facility software developers are building a Web-based mapping tool to help scientists prepare for the changing climate conditions in California.
The team has culled data from various climate research organizations to project what different climates might look like over a 150-year period. SmartPlanet visited the lab to see a demo of how the tool works.
With an All Nippon Airways charter flight yesterday from Tokyo to Hong Kong the Dreamliner commercial era began, and not a moment too soon.
As anyone who follows aviation knows, the new airplane is one of the most anticipated in history, largely because it is made from composite materials and promises airline customers better fuel efficiency than almost any other plane in the sky. But while excitement for the aircraft is high, there is also a lot of eyes on it because of the fact that it has … Read more
LONDON--Multitouch revolutionized user interfaces, and if Nokia researchers get their way, a mobile device that's sensitive to how it's being flexed could be the next revolution.
At the Nokia World show here, the Finnish mobile phone maker showed off its "Nokia kinetic device" with a flexible display. Gripped with two hands, it would scroll through music collections or photo albums when twisted. Bowing it inward or outward zoomed photos in and out or paused and played music, while tapping the corners panned through photos.
While it was a real computing device with a real OLED display, … Read more
TOKYO--Boeing's long-delayed 787 Dreamliner jet finally began commercial service here today, taking off from Tokyo's Narita airport at 12:42 p.m. on a charter flight to Hong Kong with some 230 passengers.
Operator All Nippon Airways (ANA) will have seven Dreamliners in its fleet by the end of December, ANA President Shinichiro Ito told those attending a press conference marking the event, which included a ceremonial breaking of a barrel of sake.
After receipt in September, ANA is the first airline to operate the plane, billed as the first to be made mostly of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic. ANA will start regular 787 services November 1, linking Tokyo with regional Japanese cities Okayama and Hiroshima, and long-haul Europe services with a flight to Frankfurt on January 21.
Boeing has called the much-ballyhooed Dreamliner "the first all-new airplane of the 21st century." It's supposed to use up to 20 percent less fuel than earlier generations of Boeing jets because about half of its main structure is made of composite materials. … Read more
Students at China's Zhejiang University have been demonstrating a pair of humanoid robots that can play a pretty mean game of table tennis, by machine standards.
Wu and Kong stand 5.2 feet tall and weigh 120 pounds. They have camera eyes that feed real-time images of the ball to their processors at a rate of 120 frames per second.
Incorporating a high-speed industrial-automation Ethernet technology, the droids take some 50 to 100 milliseconds to respond to the ball's speed and trajectory, knocking it back to the other side of the table.
Their margin of error is less than an inch, according to Xiong Rong, head designer at the university's robot lab. … Read more
Sarah Churman is the unlikeliest Internet star. The Texas stay-at-home mom of two little girls has somewhat ordinary interests--she loves to read, watch movies, and attend concerts with her husband of almost 10 years, Sloan.
But on September 26 of this year, Churman was catapulted to YouTube fame due to an intimate, home movie that went viral. She was born deaf. But on that day, she heard her own voice for the very first time. The 91-second video clip brought this viewer goosebumps, tears, and an empathy for this remarkable woman.
When I interviewed Sarah and Sloan Churman at medical offices in San Jose, Calif., she explained to me that the deaf community tends to be divided into two categories: those who want to use technology to restore their hearing and those who try to make the most of life without it. She is very firmly rooted in the first camp and has spent a good deal of her adult life researching the latest hearing devices to come onto the market. In May 2011, Churman heard a radio ad for Envoy Medical's Esteem implant. That set the balls in motion for a summer of hope, frustration, high emotion, and ultimately, success. … Read more
Move over, Zipcar. There's a new car-sharing service in town.
It's RelayRides, which is looking to cut into Zipcar's market share. Unlike Zipcar, where you rent from the company, Relay Rides sets you up to borrow a car from a person who lives near you. SmartPlanet talks to Shelby Clark, founder of the company about his business and how it works.
The Tech Awards, sponsored by The Tech Museum in San Jose, were established in 2001, to recognize 15 projects annually in five categories: environment, education, equality, health, and economic development.
"The tens of thousands of people who didn't have clean water to cook or bathe in Honduras now … Read more