Time to learn German for Wednesday's tech news roundup:… Read more
NASA's Curiosity rover, giving earthlings a glimpse of its ultimate target, has beamed back spectacular high-resolution photos of the rugged foothills of Mount Sharp, showing a khaki-colored landscape marked by towering hills, gaping canyons, and sand dunes reminiscent of the American Southwest, scientists said Monday.
In one view, the rover photographed a scientifically intriguing transition from relatively flat rock beds made up of water-influenced minerals to steeply inclined unhydrated layers marking a dramatic, geologically sudden discontinuity that signals a major change in martian history.
But for sheer visual impact, it was a zoomed-in view of the Mount Sharp foothills … Read more
It seems like only yesterday that Angry Birds blasted into space. Now it seems they've made contact with Martians.
The episode comes as part of a free update that went live yesterday in the App Store and Google Play store.
In these 20 new levels, the pigs have hijacked the Curiosity Mars Rover. As always, it's up to the birds to save the day.
Speaking of which, Red Planet introduces no new fowl … Read more
Thursday's tech news roundup is feeling square:
In the search for more money, YouTube is adding video commercials to play before videos on smartphones and tablets. These ads will play for five seconds before users can skip right to the video. As we spend more time on mobile devices, it's only natural for advertising to migrate. Android users will be the first to see pre-roll ads, since the YouTube iPhone app cannot show ads. But that will change in the next YouTube app version for iOS 6.
You thought you knew all about the Curiosity rover's Mars landing. You looked at the photos. You watched the NASA folks explode with delight on video. You proposed to Mohawk Guy on Twitter.
Then along comes a new look at the landing. The Curiosity Rover Twitter feed just unleashed an HD video mashup of the landing with play-by-play audio from our favorite space nerds at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory mission control.… Read more
If you happen to see a family in Southern California with kids ages 8, 10, and 13 at the beach just before midnight or perhaps bowling at 4 a.m., they're not related to Edward Cullen or any other vampires. They're just living on Martian time.
It's all part of NASA engineer David Oh's grand experiment to allow his family to share in an adventure of planetary proportions he's been involved in at work lately. Oh is the flight director for the Curiosity rover, currently wheeling its way along the surface of the Red Planet and occasionally blasting a Martian rock with a laser every now and then.… Read more
In a major milestone, the six-wheel Curiosity Mars rover took its first baby steps today, rolling about 15 feet forward, performing a slow 120-degree pirouette, and then backing up 8 feet to prove the $2.5 billion science lab is, in fact, mobile -- and ready to rove.
The short test drive began at 7:17 a.m. PT and took about 16 minutes to complete. The actual drive time was about a third of that, but the rover was programmed to stop and take multiple pictures of its tracks in the dusty, pebble-strewn soil of Gale Crater.
The move … Read more
On August 19, 2012, NASA's Curiosity rover used the ChemCam, its laser-camera combo unit, for the first time on Mars, firing an energy beam at a small rock called "Coronation."
Having excited the atoms in a target rock into an ionized, glowing plasma with its million watt laser, ChemCam can then use its telescopic camera to watch the light emitted and analyze it with three spectrometers for information about elemental composition.
This first firing of the laser was primarily for target practice and calibration, but the ChemCam team expects to eventually take about a dozen compositional measurements … Read more
NASA's Mars Science Laboratory, better known as the Curiosity rover, landed on the surface of the fourth planet from the sun on August 5, and it brought more cameras than even the most fanatic visitors to the Grand Canyon.
The space agency has been sharing many of the best from the thousands of pictures being sent back by Curiosity, and I went through NASA's public collections to compile the most incredible and insightful views of the Martian surface, and of the rover itself. … Read more
Tuesday's tech news roundup honors our future robot overlords:
AT&T is being accused of data-plan discrimination and breaking FCC rules regarding new iPhone FaceTime options. AT&T recently announced that iPhone customers could use FaceTime video chat service over a cellular network if they have the new shared data plan. (Previously, FaceTime was limited to Wi-Fi.) But several groups have spoken out about the limit and questioned if it follows FCC guidelines. AT&T responded saying it does not believe this breaks any FCC rules, since FaceTime was offered to all customers over Wi-Fi and … Read more