With the Space Shuttle now officially grounded, NASA has been researching alternatives for ferrying astronauts from Earth to the International Space Station, orbiting some 230 miles above the planet. One such vehicle has made its way from Boeing’s HQ to the National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, where a full-size model is on display for conference attendees. Externally, the spacecraft appears very similar to the reentry modules of yesteryear, measuring 14.5 feet with room for up to seven people. The craft is designed to make its way through the atmosphere mounted to an Atlas V rocket, and is rated for up to 10 roundtrip missions. As is typical with spacecraft, it looks like astronauts won’t be traveling with first-class accommodations — things will likely feel quite cozy when the CST-100 is at capacity — but such conditions come with the territory. There’s no date set for delivery, but the craft could be making its way to space as early as 2015, and has reportedly been tested in the Nevada desert as recently as this month.
Um… yet aNOTHER API?! o.O
Admit it, you don’t have nearly enough opportunities to talk back to your phone. AT&T is giving you more. The company today announced that it will be offering its Watson real-time speech-to-text software to developers as APIs aimed at a number of different application types — things like web search, question and answer apps and anything that uses AT&T’s U-Verse TV services. A number of additional varieties are also in the works, including gaming and social media. Check out a cheery informational video after the break.
Continue reading AT&T opens Watson API up to developers
Mutated shrimp from Al Jazeera’s video report
Al Jazeera‘s report on seafood in the Gulf Coast reads like a horror story: eyeless shrimp, fish with oozing sores, clawless crabs. Unfortunately these deformities are very real and disturbingly common two years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. Chemical dispersants used by BP to “clean up” the oil spill are the likely cause.
Deformities happen even in ordinary circumstances, but scientists and fishers are seeing them in unprecedented scales in Gulf marine life. For example, half the shrimp caught in a Louisiana bay lacked eye sockets, according to fishers interviewed by journalist Dahr Jamail.
“Some shrimpers are catching these out in the open Gulf [of Mexico],” [commercial fisher Tracy Kuhn] added, “They are also catching them in Alabama and Mississippi. We are also finding eyeless crabs, crabs with their shells soft instead of hard, full grown crabs that are one-fifth their normal size, clawless crabs, and crabs with shells that don’t have their usual spikes … they look like they’ve been burned off by chemicals.
Perhaps the most troubling line in the whole article is this: “Questions raised by Al Jazeera’s investigation remain largely unanswered.” When Jamail …
from Discover Magazine
Could it be… asteroid farming?!! LOL… Time to bring out the ol’ “Asteroid” game!
I’m overwhelmed with work right now prepping for a half dozen different things, but I had to make some comment on a press release I just got in the mail.
Here’s the important bit [emphasis mine]:
Join visionary Peter H. Diamandis, M.D.; leading commercial space entrepreneur Eric Anderson; former NASA Mars mission manager Chris Lewicki; and planetary scientist & veteran NASA astronaut Tom Jones, Ph.D. on Tuesday, April 24 at 10:30 a.m. PDT in Seattle, or via webcast, as they unveil a new space venture with a mission to help ensure humanity’s prosperity.
Supported by an impressive investor and advisor group, including Google’s Larry Page & Eric Schmidt, Ph.D.; film maker & explorer James Cameron; Chairman of Intentional Software Corporation and Microsoft’s former Chief Software Architect Charles Simonyi, Ph.D.; Founder of Sherpalo and Google Board of Directors founding member K. Ram Shriram; and Chairman of Hillwood and The Perot Group Ross Perot, Jr., the company will overlay two critical sectors – space exploration and natural resources – to add trillions of dollars to the global GDP. This innovative start-up will create a new industry and a new definition of ‘natural resources’.
Well now, what could that mean? What natural resources are there …
from Discover Magazine