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David Szondy

Music Review

Review: JBL Flip3 and Xtreme aren't afraid of the water

Portable speakers are a great way to take the party anywhere, but many lack in the robustness department to the point where taking one to the beach is like using a Faberge egg as a rugby ball. To keep the tunes going even on a rainy day, JBL's Flip3 and Xtreme speakers not only boast exceptional sound quality, but are also so water resistant that you can rinse them off under the tap. We recently got hold of each of them and put them through the figurative wringer.Read More

Space

New Horizons begins massive "treasure trove" data downlink

When NASA's New Horizons probe made its historic flyby of Pluto on July 14, it gathered a wealth of information about the dwarf planet and its moons, but at a distance from Earth of over 3 billion mi (4.8 billion km), retrieving that data will take a very long time. To speed things up, NASA has begun an intensive download from the unmanned spacecraft that will return tens of gigabits of data over the next 12 months.Read More

Space

Spiky Hedgehog robots to hop around asteroids and comets

As demonstrated by the bumpy landing of ESA's Philae lander on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, exploring comets, asteroids, and small moons can be difficult due to their low gravity. Not only can landing on one be like trying to alight on a trampoline, but roving around their surfaces is next to impossible because the negligible gravity offers practically no traction. To overcome this, a team of engineers is developing Hedgehog, a completely symmetrical robot rover for low-gravity exploration that moves by hopping.Read More

Space

One year Mars mission simulation underway in Hawaii

Six people have begun a year-long mission to Mars without ever leaving Earth. Last week on the slopes of Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii, the volunteers sealed themselves inside a dome habitat where they will live in isolation for one year on a simulated space mission. The fourth Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS 4) aims to study how deep space missions can maintain morale on prolonged voyages.Read More

Military

Startpoint project imagines the pride of the Royal Navy in 2050

In 1906, the battleship HMS Dreadnought entered into service with the Royal Navy. With her 12-in (305 mm) guns, high speed capabilities and other innovations, she rendered all other major warships obsolete. Inspired by this revolutionary design, the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) think-tank project Startpoint has unveiled its vision of a Navy vessel 35 years from now with the Dreadnought 2050 – an automated fusion-powered surface warship equipped with lasers, hypersonic missiles, a high-tech composite hull, and torpedoes that can travel at over 300 knots (345 mph, 555 km/h).Read More

Automotive

Land Rover's Transparent Trailer concept keeps the rear view clear

Last year, Land Rover unveiled its Discovery Vision concept with its Transparent Bonnet, which used cameras and virtual technology to make the front of the car appear "transparent" to the driver. It was a clever idea for eliminating blind spots, but what if you're hauling a caravan or a horse box? To help eliminate this massive rear blind spot, the company has developed a prototype "Transparent Trailer" system, which extends virtual translucence to the rear.Read More

Space

World's most powerful digital camera gets the go-ahead

A smartphone with a 16-megapixel camera may seem cutting edge, but it won't impress astronomers now that the US Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has given the green light to start construction of the world's largest digital camera. With a resolution of 3.2-gigapixels (enough to need 1,500 high-definition television screens to display one image), the new camera is at the heart of the 8.4-meter (27.5-ft) Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) now under construction atop Cerro Pachón in Chile.Read More

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