Tech news stories

Do’s and Don’ts of Solar Eclipse Viewing Safety
19th August 2017 | | Humans, Space, Tech

Anticipating the serious need for caution during the eclipse, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) released its eclipse guide on Friday, outlining some of the biggest dos and don’ts for this monumental event. This isn’t to say it’s all doom and gloom.  Just keep in mind that you’ll better be able to enjoy the eclipse if you know you’re safe and don’t get fuzzy eyes.

Why This Year’s Solar Eclipse is Such a Big Deal for Scientists
19th August 2017 | | Space, Tech

The sky will go dark. The temperature will drop. Stars will shine in the middle of the day. For the first time in nearly a century, millions of Americans from coast-to-coast will witness a total solar eclipse. Those who have watched the sun suddenly snuff out say it’s an otherworldly feeling. It can be humbling. It can be spiritual. It can change the course of history.  But as the moon passes in front of the sun during the August 21 Great American Eclipse, scientists will be doing some serious work.

Learning a Ton of New Science from 2 Minutes of a Total Solar Eclipse
19th August 2017 | | Space, Tech

The 2017 total solar eclipse is special. Unlike 1918, we now have the technology to study its entire journey over the US.  This short video explains some of what will be gleaned during the event.

Volvo SUV Models Get Free Moonroof Solar Eclipse Viewer Shades
19th August 2017 | | Space, Tech

Volvo doesn’t want you to be among your fellow citizens, marveling in the magnitude of the cosmos. Rather, it wants to you to stay the hermetically sealed environment of its SUV.  The Swedish automaker has manufactured a batch of oversized sun shades that can be clipped on to the 2018 XC60 SUV’s panoramic moonroof using magnets. The shade is made from ISO-certified material, allowing you watch the eclipse without protective eyewear or going blind. Volvo has distributed them to dealerships in states that are in the eclipse’s path of totality, including Oregon, Idaho, Nebraska, Missouri, and South Carolina. The viewers are supposed to be free, which is a small comfort given the overwhelming message of this product flies directly in the face of the communal spirit of the Great American Eclipse.

How to Photograph the Solar Eclipse Without Damaging Your Camera
19th August 2017 | | Space, Tech

Most Americans will at least see some of what was once thought of to be a celestial dragon devouring the Sun.  There are ways you can photograph the Great American Eclipse without damaging your camera or phone (or eyes), but if you do it wrong, you could permanently damage your devices. Looking at the Sun with the naked eye can burn your retinas, even if that star we orbit is almost entirely covered by the Moon. That’s why you need to wear protective glasses or use some other method to view the eclipse safely.

Sky High Solar Eclipse? Here’s What You Might See From an Airplane
19th August 2017 | | Space, Tech

No matter where you are in the contiguous United States on 21 August, if skies are clear, you’ll see something that hasn’t been glimpsed since 1918 – a total solar eclipse visible across the country from coast to coast.  But what if you’re not on the ground? What if you happen to be midair on an airplane during the total solar eclipse?

Google Trained Vizier A.I. Computers with Chocolate Chip Cookies
18th August 2017 | | Tech

Google has turned to an unusual source to train its high-tech AI: chocolate chip cookie recipes. Tasking programmers with helping an AI learn from data through trial-and-error is tedious and time-consuming, so the company has employed a neural network called Vizier to help another neural networks learn via a type of training automation called hyperparameter tuning. To teach Vizier, Google tasked it with formatting the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe, considering taste-tester feedback until it for the recipe just right.

How Eclipses Reveal Information About Alien Worlds Lightyears Away
18th August 2017 | | Space, Tech

On August 21, if you have the opportunity to see the moon totally eclipse our sun, remember that there’s more to eclipses than what happens to our nearest star — eclipses of celestial objects happen all the time, giving us invaluable new insight into objects that we’d otherwise never see.

Watch a Drone Herd Cattle Across Open Fields in California
18th August 2017 | Animal Life, Tech

The popularity of drone use in agriculture has increased over the past few years, and drones are now being used around the world to herd animals like cows and sheep. People who move herds over large swaths of land are saying it’s a more efficient and effective way to get the job done, and it allows them to keep an eye on the land and cattle more easily.

Paris Offers Glimpse of Public Transportation’s Driverless Future
18th August 2017 | Tech

France may be famous for its cheese and wine, but it’s also a longtime leader in driverless transit. Paris boasted one of the earliest models of automatic trains in 1983, when two metro lines ran without a conductor onboard. The push toward driverless public transportation continues in this city, with several upgrades planned before it plays host to the Summer Olympics in 2024.

Augmented Reality Helmet Could Help Firefighters See More Clearly Through Smoke
17th August 2017 | Tech

Limited visibility is a big problem when it comes to firefighting. That’s why an in-visor augmented reality system is being developed that will project an infrared display across a firefighter’s field of vision.  It could mean the difference between life and death.

Behind the Hype of Lab-Grown Meat
17th August 2017 | Animal Life, Tech

Some folks have big plans for your future. They want you—a burger-eatin’, chicken-finger-dippin’ American—to buy their burgers and nuggets grown from stem cells in a Petri dish.  One day, meat eaters and vegans might even share their hypothetical burgers.  Those burgers will be delicious, environmentally friendly, and be indistinguishable from regular burgers.  And they will assure you the ground meat will be real meat, just not from slaughtered animals.

See What the 2017 Solar Eclipse Will Look Like From Anywhere in the US
17th August 2017 | Earth, Space, Tech
The 2017 total solar eclipse is fast approaching, and hordes of sky gazers are scrambling to find a spot where they can see the shadow of the moon completely obscure the sun for a few moments on August 21.  Time Magazine has created an interactive simulation in the form of a Solar Eclipse Map that allows you to see what the eclipse will look like from anywhere in the US.  Scientific methodology of the map’s creation is also explained in this article.
Lidar Imaging Helps Uncover Hidden Historic Sites in New England
17th August 2017 | Ancient, Earth, Tech

Lidar imaging has been used to help preservation groups uncover several hidden historic sites in New England.  Remote-sensing technology cannot put a date on those finds, but has great potential to advance the field of space archaeology by providing a sense of historic geography.  Lidar, coupled with geospatial analysis, provides the ability to answer a whole range of questions that just cannot be done by traditional fieldwork alone.

DC Hot Stick Probe Developed for First Responder and Worker Safety
17th August 2017 | Tech

With more volts than ever before in electric vehicles (EVs) and on solar-paneled rooftops, first responder and electrical worker safety is a growing concern. Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory are addressing the challenge with the development of a probe to accurately detect direct-current (DC) energy.

Inefficient But Picturesque Sailing Fleet Keeps Cornish Oyster Fishery Alive
17th August 2017 | | Humans, Tech

Oyster stocks in a Cornish fishery are sustained thanks to “inefficient” traditional fishing methods, new research suggests.  Bucking the trend of mechanized commercial fishing, this is a unique fishery where the efficacy of traditional practices can be examined and compared with modern industrial fishing.

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