Search-and-rescue missions come with a built-in irony. Intended to save lives, they often occur in deadly conditions, where crews put their own lives at risk to rescue the endangered.
During maritime search-and-rescue operations, aircraft are often held back by gale winds and rough seas. But thanks to a prototype unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) being tested in Cyprus right now, the search part of search-and-rescue could soon be done via remote control.
A few months before its five ski resorts open for the season, the Colorado-based Vail Resorts has unveiled a preview of something called Epic Mix, a set of Web and mobile apps based on skiers' activity as logged by radio frequency (RF) readers around its resorts.
It'll go live when the first of Vail's resorts, Keystone, opens for the season in early November. Vail Resorts' season passes and lift tickets are already RF-enabled, but with Epic Mix, interested skiers can unlock "pins" in the manner of Foursquare badges, get ranked on a vertical-feet leaderboard, post all manner of ski-related updates to Facebook and Twitter, and--via a mobile app--see their friends' activity on the slopes in real time so that it gets way easier to meet up for beers at the lodge. There's also a kid-oriented site for children under 13, which limits sharing to the kids' parents and has its own set of kid-friendly pins.
A skier can turn off RF functionality entirely if he or she so chooses, the company explained.
Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz said in a New York press event Monday that the company had ruled out partnerships with existing "check-in" companies, or an emulation of those services, because of the fact that he said they did not want to require any additional behavior to participate--"We don't think that works while you're on vacation," he said.
Geminoid F, the uncannily lifelike fembot we saw in April, is back in a new PR vid from Kokoro, a Tokyo-based entertainment company that collaborates with Osaka University's Hiroshi Ishiguro in the creation of androids both feminine and creepy.
Geminoid F was so named because it's a nearly exact replica of a human female model, seen here. In the new video, the robot calls itself "Actroid F," as it has joined the ranks of other Actroid robots produced by Kokoro.
The air servo-powered fembots can be rented for trade shows and other events. While Actroid F … Read more
Thursday, I took a virtual flight in Boeing's 787 Dreamliner simulator. In the midst of madly shooting photos--which, I must add, was difficult to do while sitting in a jump seat and juggling a notebook--I managed to capture some quick video of the takeoff with CNET's iPhone 4.
Sitting on the right in the first officer's seat is Gregg Pointon, a Boeing pilot trainer. He talked us through the takeoff roll down runway 16 Left at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and the rotation--or liftoff point--as we took to the skies above the Seattle area and the Puget Sound. … Read more
SEATTLE--Just hours after it showed its 787 Dreamliner simulator and Customer Experience Center on Thursday, Boeing announced another delay for its newest airplane. According to press release issued Thursday night, delivery of the first aircraft will move from the end of this year to the first quarter of 2011.
"The delivery date revision follows an assessment of the availability of an engine needed for the final phases of flight test this fall," the statement said. "While Boeing works closely with Rolls-Royce to expedite engine availability, flight testing across the test fleet continues as planned." The company … Read more
NASA's Kepler spacecraft, hunting for distant worlds by measuring the slight dimming of starlight as planets pass in front of their parent suns, has found its first multiplanet solar system, researchers announced Thursday.
The Kepler-9 system includes two Saturn-class worlds orbiting in gravitational lockstep close to their star and a possible third planet just a bit larger than Earth that whirls through a hellish "year" in just 1.8 days.
The announcement came just a few days after a European team, using a different technique with a ground-based telescope, revealed the discovery of a solar system with … Read more
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla.--A $2 billion, 7.5-ton physics experiment bound for the International Space Station aboard the last planned shuttle flight in February arrived at the Florida launch site Thursday after a busy summer of work to replace the magnet at the heart of the costly particle detector.
With Nobel laureate Samuel Ting, the lead scientist of the AMS project looking on with shuttle commander Mark Kelly and his crew, an Air Force C-5 transport jet taxied to a stop at the Shuttle Landing Facility after a flight from Geneva where the payload was assembled and tested.
This one is giving Orson Welles' 1938 radio production of The War of the Worlds a good run for its money.
For the seventh consecutive year, phony messages are filling up e-mail inboxes around the world warning that on August 27, Mars will approach Earth and grow to the size of a full moon. "NO ONE ALIVE TODAY WILL EVER SEE THIS AGAIN," the e-mail declares--all in capital letters.
And no, it's not true.
But the Mars hoax has reached such epidemic proportions that NASA saw fit to send out an e-mail late Tuesday night, reminding people … Read more
Six students from Rice University have spent the past month in Morocco figuring out how best to capture drops of water in the foggy Atlas Mountains so that nearby villagers have better access to safe drinking water.
Working in Sidi Ifni, Morocco, with the Dar Si Hmad Foundation--which was founded by 1998 Rice graduate Jamila Bargach--the students used structures resembling volleyball nets with a polyethylene mesh to capture tiny droplets of water that drip down the nets into tubes and then (thanks to gravity) down larger pipes that lead to a water storage tank at the bottom of the … Read more