Tech news stories

Historians Claim to Have Found the Twin of Giza’s Great Sphinx
16th October 2017 | Ancient, Tech

NASA satellite photo shows an obvious underground anomaly near the Great Sphinx.  Egyptologist Bassam El Shammaa has applied for permits to dig in the anomalous mound next to the Sphinx to look for its long lost twin. In addition, the article shares this telling quote from an interview with historian author Gerry Cannon: “The Sphinx had to have been carved when there was no sand there. You can’t carve a rock when it’s under sand. When it was not under sand was about 12,000 years ago and Egyptians weren’t there.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Article mentions “NASA’s Endeavor Satellite” but there is no such satellite with that name.  Endeavor was a Space Shuttle orbiter which flew missions between May 1992 and May 2011. It deployed 3 satellites during that time, and had its own onboard cameras. So it is unclear what the article’s author is referring to as the source of the crucial aerial Giza photograph.

Apple Smart Watch Notification Helps Save Man’s Life
16th October 2017 | Humans, Tech

An Apple Watch notification from the HeartWatch App helped save man’s life in New York after it alerted him to needing immediate medical attention for a blood clot in his lungs.  Some doctors are now recommending both the watch and the app to their patients.

Pioneering Vet’s New Bovine TB Test May Put an End to Britain’s Badger Culls
15th October 2017 | | Animal Life, Tech

Research at a secret location in Devon, UK, may help eradicate bovine tuberculosis without a single badger being killed, says leading veterinarian.   A pioneering farm using cutting-edge science is helping to solve the hugely controversial, multimillion-pound problem of bovine tuberculosis may save the lives of 33,500 badgers per year.

Nebraska Archaeologists Bring Ancient Mezoamerican City to Life with Futuristic Technology
15th October 2017 | Ancient, Tech

To bring Ancient Copán to life, a team from University of Nebraska-Lincoln used a variety of technologies, including geospatial and 3-D mapping software, which gives the data collected on site a spatial reference point.  Airborne LiDAR, photogrammetry and laser scanning performed at the ruins allowed them to collect not just information on individual buildings and roadways, but entire landscapes. They were able to digitally peel away vegetation and reveal covered over surfaces as they would have appeared over a thousand years ago.  Article contains a short YouTube video of their virtual reality MayaCityBuilder rendering.

English Cathedrals Hope Apprenticeship Schemes Will Save Ancient Skills
15th October 2017 | | Ancient, Humans, Tech

Cathedrals in England are attempting to save ancient crafts by training apprentices in bell repair, stone masonry, and needlework. The skills have seen a revival in the past three years as new funding allowed cathedrals to expand their works yards and hire more apprentices.

New Headphones Will Allow You to Understand 40 Languages
13th October 2017 | | Tech

Google has revealed a pair of wireless headphones containing built-in language translation software with the ability to translate between 40 different languages — in real time.  The headphones work in conjunction with its Pixel 2 handset.

The Pop-Cultural Heritage of Terrorism, Treasure Hunting, and Trafficking
13th October 2017 | | Humans, Tech

The looting and destruction of antiquities and archaeological sites has plagued countries facing conflict and instability for decades.  As with any monumental global challenge, the recent crises have become the topics of popular culture stretching from television comedies, to drama, and even videogames.

Dutch Company Training Crows to Trade Littered Cigarette Butts for Treats
13th October 2017 | | Animal Life, Earth, Tech

Worldwide, about 4.5 trillion cigarettes are littered on streets each year.  A Dutch company is training crows to drop cigarette butts in a ‘Crowbar,’ which scans the item to confirm it’s a cigarette butt, and then gives the crow a food reward to reinforce the behavior.

Proposed Green Eco-Resort in Philippines Merges Science with Beauty
13th October 2017 | | Earth, Tech

A Paris architect has unveiled a plan for a new eco-resort preserving ecology in the Philippines while respecting the area’s unique ecosystems and indigenous cultures. Perched on the edge of a gorgeous cove, the imaginative Nautilus Eco-Resort takes inspiration from the seashell, and is built in a pleasing series of spirals that spin out into the water. Even the hotels and apartment towers themselves are seashell shaped, all of which adheres to the Fibonacci sequence, a symbol of balance and harmony.

Hadrian’s Cavalry: Unique Wind Powered UK Sculpture Mimics Sounds of 500 Galloping Horses
12th October 2017 | | Ancient, Tech

At the site of an ancient Chester’s Fort in England, an artist has managed to honour history, bringing back the ghosts from the past through an installation that plays with sound and renewable energy.  Called Hadrian’s Cavalry 360°, the piece is a large circle inside which visitors can stand and hear the simulated sound of 500 horses galloping, as an ode to the cavalry stationed at Hadrian’s Wall in the 2nd century. Article contains a short YouTube video of the unique device in action.

Australia Gives Its Newest Icebreaker Aboriginal Name for Southern Aurora
11th October 2017 | | Earth, Tech

Meaning southern lights in palawa kani, the language of Tasmanian Aboriginal people, the name Nuyina was suggested for the newest icebreaker ship still under construction by students near Perth in Western Australia.  The name continues a tradition of naming Australia’s Antarctic ships after the evocative atmospheric phenomenon that produces curtains of colourful weaving lights over the frozen continent.

Project Loon: Google Sends Solar Powered Balloons to Bring Cell Service Back to Puerto Rico
11th October 2017 | | Tech

Puerto Rico continues to slowly recover from Hurricane Maria’s severe hit. Much of the electricity remains off for the island territory, meaning that cellphone coverage is down by 80 percent. Google hopes to drastically increase that low coverage with balloons equipped with tower-like connection gear to reach all parts of the devastated island.

Egypt’s New Farm City Will House 50,000 Smart Greenhouses
11th October 2017 | | Earth, Tech

Egypt and South Korea are teaming up to build a large agricultural complex that’s full of renewable energy and smart greenhouses. The new city will be located in Egypt near the Mediterranean shore. With the massive growth of middle-class consumers coming into the country over the next decade, this new area will provide a wealth of sustainability.

Staying Longer at Home was Key to Stone Age Technology Change 60,000 Years Ago
10th October 2017 | Ancient, Tech

Sibudu, a rock shelter near Tongaat in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, has a long and diverse archaeological sequence.  A new study by scientists at the University of the Witwatersrand suggests that about 58,000 years ago, Stone Age humans began to settle down, staying in one area for longer periods. The research also provides a potential answer to a long-held mystery: why older, Howiesons Poort complex technological tradition in South Africa, suddenly disappear at that time.

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