David Szondy is a freelance writer based in Monroe, Washington. An award-winning playwright, he has contributed to Charged and iQ magazine and is the author of the website Tales of Future Past.
Flotation vests save thousands of people from drowning every year, but they aren't of any use if they aren't actually worn. Despite their utility, many people choose not to wear such vests for reasons of comfort, fashion, or space, so Kingii is marketing what is calls the world’s smallest inflatable as an alternative. The focus of an Indiegogo campaign, the wrist-worn device is aimed at swimmers, surfers, sailors, and others who like getting their feet wet.
Like a racehorse stumbling at the finish line, NASA's New Horizons deep space probe gave mission control a moment of anxiety on July 4 as communications were temporarily lost. The unmanned nuclear-powered spacecraft, which is only nine days from its historic flyby with the dwarf planet Pluto, lost contact with the Deep Space Network at 1:54 pm EDT before coming back online at 3:15 pm.
With its large tidal range, Britain's Bristol Channel has a huge potential for generating tidal electric power. The problem is that, until now, schemes for tapping that power have required building dams and barrages so gigantic they would have given even the most wild-eyed Victorian engineer pause. As a more economical alternative, Kepler Energy has announced plans for a 30 MW tidal energy fence to be built in the Channel. With an estimated cost of £143 million (US$223 million), the underwater fence would be built in the water somewhere along the line between Aberthaw and Minehead and could be operational by 2021.
The lateral leap of shipping containers from goods movers to ready-made housing, offices, and restaurants has opened up new possibilities for architects, event planners, and relief workers. But the very standard sizes that make such containers so useful also impose limits. Having developed containers that can load and unload themselves, Excalibur Shelters has continued to think outside the box with the creation of a standard size shipping container that unfolds into very large shelters and pavilions.
The counterfeiting of goods is a major worldwide problem that affects everything from Rolex watches to corn flakes. The Rémy Martin Club Connected Bottle combats the problem using NFC technology to authenticate its upmarket contents and warn when it has been opened.
Solar Impulse 2 has landed in Hawaii after completing its record-breaking
longest leg of the Round the World Solar Flight, that began last March
in Abu Dhabi. With pilot André Borschberg at the controls, the
solar-powered, single-pilot aircraft touched down today at Kalaeloa
Airport just west of Honolulu on the island of Oahu at 5:55 HAST (15:55
If a NASA experimental program pans out, the first aircraft on Mars
could be a flying wing. Under development at NASA Armstrong, the
Prandtl–m is a flying wing glider designed to fly piggyback with a
future Mars rover mission to provide low-altitude reconnaissance. It's scheduled to begin test flights later this year.
When the unmanned CRS-7 flight blew up in midair yesterday en route to the International Space Station (ISS), it destroyed a lot more than a shipment of freeze dried shrimp cocktail. It also meant the loss of dozens of experiments. One of more exotic of these was Sidekick; a project by NASA and Microsoft that uses the latter's HoloLens technology to provide astronauts with their own holographic augmented reality.
Solar Impulse 2 has resumed the longest leg of its round-the-world flight. After being grounded for almost four weeks, the single-pilot craft rolled out discretely from Nagoya, Japan today in the hope of taking advantage of improved weather conditions over the Pacific Ocean as it heads for Hawaii.
Having taken on everyone from chess grandmasters to chefs, computers are further exploring their artistic side with computer scientists demonstrating how artificial neural networks can create works of art reminiscent of William Blake on opium. The surreal images produced by a technique called "Inceptionism" are part of a process to better understand how such networks operate and how to improve them.