Just two days after it completed flight testing for the 787 Dreamliner, Boeing has received flight certification from the Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency for its new 747-8 Freighter aircraft. The announcement, which came today, means Boeing can deliver the first airplane to launch-customer Cargolux early next month for revenue flights.
Also called the 747-8F, the aircraft is the latest generation of Boeing's iconic 747 family, which has been in production under various forms since 1969. Powered by General Electric GEnx-2B engines, the 747-8F is 16 percent longer than its most immediate predecessor, the 747-400, … Read more
It's not just the threat of another recession that tells us we're destroying ourselves. We express it in every alien movie ever made.
Save the Earth. Save the Earth. A question that, increasingly, offers the question: "Why?"
Still we, cranially deficient as we are, prefer to muse about "when?" and "how?" Well, the earthy Guardian points me to a new report, written by three researchers from Penn State, and published in the journal Acta Astronautica (PDF).
The report suggests that it's just remotely, theoretically possible that the green, blue, and orange … Read more
NASA scientists for the first time can track the effects of a solar storm on Earth, offering new advancements in our ability to predict space weather and how it will impact our satellites, emergency systems, power grid, air traffic control equipment, and more.
New observations from NASA's Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, or STEREO, spacecraft have allowed researchers to observe the sun throwing off immense clouds of material, see how the material interacts with solar wind, and monitor the result as it hurtles toward Earth's magnetosphere.
The result: a first-ever view, end-to-end and in three dimensions, of the impact … Read more
If you're having a bad hair/skin/teeth/nose day, the last thing you probably need is software to tell you you're unattractive.
Yet that's precisely what a computational tool detailed today in the journal PLoS One promises to do. Using machine-learning techniques, it also examines images of faces for other social traits, such as competence, trustworthiness, meanness, dominance, and extroversion.
Needless to say, the software can't scientifically gauge your hotness or how likely you are to pay back a loan. It can only measure how your particular eye shape and grimace might be perceived and interpreted, a reaction that can vary from culture to culture depending on a host of factors.
For example, "the perception of dominance has been shown to be an important part of social roles at different stages of life, and to play a role in mate selection," said Mario Rojas, a researcher from the Autonomous University of Barcelona who worked on the project with a team from Princeton University. If the information on which such evaluations are made could be automatically learned, he said, it could be modeled and used as a tool for designing better interactive computer systems. … Read more
Boeing announced today that it has completed flight certification for its 787 Dreamliner aircraft powered by Rolls-Royce engines. The final flight concluded on Sunday when ZA102, the ninth 787 to be built, landed at Paine Field in Everett, Wash., following a 90-minute flight from Billings, Mont.
The company will now submit the necessary certification materials to the Federal Aviation Administration so the 787 can carry revenue passengers. The first aircraft is set for delivery to launch-customer All Nippon Airways next month (Jon Ostrower of FlightBlogger toured ANA's first 787 earlier this month).
The flight testing and pilot training started … Read more
Who needs soil when you can grow crops on film? Japan's Mebiol is growing a Garden of Eden of sorts on its thin hydro-membranes, which are only microns thick.
As the vid below shows, the firm's Integrated Membrane Culture, or IMEC (PDF), is a technology for farming using a substrate that's made from hydrogels. No soil is needed, as the plants absorb water and nutrients from the film.
The greens can grow considerably if liquid nutrients are given to them from above and below, through the film, according to Yuichi Mori of Mebiol and Waseda University.
The film looks like regular plastic wrap but is full of nano-size holes. It prevents bacteria and viruses from harming the plants, so chemicals aren't needed.
An impermeable ground film prevents any soil contaminants from reaching the plants, so it can be used anywhere. Mori and collaborators even grew tomatoes in the desert of Dubai using the films. … Read more
Full disclosure: I just finished a cup of black coffee, and it was damn fine. (And yes, I make Twin Peaks references wherever possible.)
So it is with vigorous jumping up-and-down motions, aided surely by the caffeine, that I write about a team's findings from the University of Washington and Rutgers University that caffeine can help lower one's chances of UV-associated skin cancer by inhibiting a DNA repair pathway, essentially helping cells die after exposure to sunlight.
I will never, ever let this disembodied robot head sing me to sleep.
And it's not just because she sings like a cross between Actroid F and Alvin and the Chipmunks. It's because she stares straight through you with those unblinking black eyes, looking like she could lunge at your neck with her big robot teeth at any moment.
Our terror aside, the robot head out of Taiwan does have talent. Unlike other singing robots, or even the singing robot mouth, she can read music. She does so by photographing a musical score with cameras built into her eyes. An algorithm extracts the pitch, rhythm, and lyrics and sends it to the robot's voice synthesizer.
And she doesn't just sit there singing robotically, either. Her motor-driven facial expressions apparently change automatically to match the emotions of a song's lyrics. … Read more
E-book readers have bottomed out, Internet TV is nearing the peak of inflated expectations, location-aware apps have emerged onto the plateau of productivity, and augmented reality is beginning a long slide into the trough of disillusionment.
At least these are the conclusions from the Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies 2011, an annual report from market research firm Gartner that positions emerging technologies on a rather dizzying roller-coaster graph from research and development to mainstream adoption.
Each technology starts with a "Technology Trigger" and rides up a "Peak of Inflated Expectations," down a "Trough of Disillusionment," then up a "Slope of Enlightenment" before reaching a "Plateau of Productivity."
Sounds more like a Zen monk's career path or the arc of a Hollywood thriller than a road map for a technology such as e-books.… Read more
Participa una vez por semana por cuatro semanas y obtendrás la oportunidad de ganar US$500 cada semana y ¡otra oportunidad para el premio mayor de US$2,500! *No es necesario hacer compra para participar. Para más detalles sobre este sorteo ve las Reglas.