Science & Technology
US military: Robot wars
When historians come to write about technological innovation in the first half of this century, they are likely to pay special attention to a US Navy drone called the X-47B — otherwise known as the Salty Dog.
Congress Says NASA’s Mars Plan Is Lost in Space
NASA aims to send humans to Mars by the 2030s, but lawmakers are skeptical whether the space agency has a quality plan or enough money for the 140-million mile mission from Earth to the Red Planet. During a hearing February 4th of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, promised to support NASA’s funding needs for space exploration but criticized the Obama administration for having lofty goals without concrete plans the next president can follow.
Comcast To Roll Out Gigabit Cable Service to 5 U.S. Cities in 2016
Following successful tests of new-generation DOCSIS 3.1 modems in Philadelphia and Atlanta last month, Comcast announced Feb. 2nd that it plans to roll out DOCSIS 3.1-enabled high-speed Internet service to Atlanta and Nashville early this year. Deployments in Chicago, Detroit and Miami are scheduled for the second half of the year. The service coming to Philadelphia and Atlanta will be a world first for DOCSIS 3.1, according to Comcast.
Apple releases second OS X 10.11.4 beta
The second OS X 10.11.4 beta preview is now available via the Mac App Store for testing. The first version of this El Capitan beta added new features including Live Photo viewing and sharing through iMessage using the Messages app as well as secure password support for individual notes in the Notes app.
NASA's next great space telescope: The quest begins
Earlier this month, the space agency announced that it is forming four working groups to investigate possible concepts for a large-scale space mission that would likely launch in the 2030s. One of the four mission concepts is focused on direct imaging of the surfaces of exoplanets, to potentially search for signs of life.
Cisco to Buy Jasper for $1.4 Billion, Adding IoT Management
Cisco Systems Inc., the largest maker of networking equipment, said it will acquire closely held Jasper Technologies Inc. for $1.4 billion, bolstering its offerings in the growing market for technology that lets people manage devices like jet engines and vending machines over the Internet. Jasper’s products let customers connect appliances, electronics and other products over cellular networks, then manage them through software.
NASA's James Webb Space Telescope Primary Mirror Fully Assembled
The 18th and final primary mirror segment is installed on what will be the biggest and most powerful space telescope ever launched. The final mirror installation Wednesday at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland marks an important milestone in the assembly of the agency’s James Webb Space Telescope.
34 million Americans lack access to broadband service, FCC says
According to the most recent Broadband Progress Report released by the FCC, 10 percent of Americans (34 million) continue to lack access to advanced, high-quality voice, data, graphics and video offerings. The report is conducted to ensure compliance with Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which requires the FCC to report annually on whether advanced telecommunications capability “is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion,” and to take “immediate action” if it is not.
Curiosity Self-Portrait at Martian Sand Dune
This self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows the vehicle at "Namib Dune," where the rover's activities included scuffing into the dune with a wheel and scooping samples of sand for laboratory analysis. The scene combines 57 images taken on Jan. 19, 2016, during the 1,228th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars. The camera used for this is the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) at the end of the rover's robotic arm.
Apple Developing Wireless-Charged Phone For As Soon As Next Year
The report indicated that Apple is exploring cutting-edge technologies that would allow iPhones and iPads to be powered from further away than the charging mats used with current smartphones. The iPhone maker is looking to overcome technical barriers including loss of power over distance with a decision on implementing the technology still being assessed.