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Google Earth helps put North Korea gulag system on map

January 10, 2013 2:01 pm | by Paul Eckert, Reuters | News | Comments

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt's visit to North Korea this week has been met with sharp criticism and low expectations, but the global Internet search giant indirectly is helping to make history by revealing one of the reclusive country's darkest secrets, say human rights activists

Year of oppressive US heat illustrated in numbers

January 10, 2013 9:03 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Last year was by far the hottest year on record in the United States. Here's 2012's heat by the numbers: - Average annual temperature: 55.32 degrees F, a record. The old record was 54.32 degrees, set in 1998. - Weather stations across the Lower 48 states setting all-time high temperatures: 356.

Inertial measurement unit integrated into autopilot

January 9, 2013 4:47 pm | VectorNav Technologies | Product Releases | Comments

Unmanned Innovation announced that it has partnered with VectorNav Technologies to integrate VectorNav's VN-100 inertial measurement unit (IMU) into its os-Series Autopilots. Unmanned Innovation's os-Series Autopilots offer

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Rocket's Core Gets Rave Review on This Week @NASA

January 9, 2013 3:30 pm | by @NASA | Videos | Comments

"The core stage of NASA's Space Launch System -- America's new flagship rocket -- has successfully completed a major technical review by meeting system requirements within acceptable risk, and fell within schedule and budget constraints.

TWIE 130: Land Mine Sweeper that Blows in the Wind

January 9, 2013 3:26 pm | by Engineering.com | Videos | Comments

TWIE 130: Land Mine Sweeper that Blows in the Wind. This Week in Engineering - Asteroid pulling to lunar orbit; spiked space rovers; dandelion-inspired anti-mine device; robots sterilize hospital rooms; graves with QR codes; and printable record albums.

Engineering Newswire 19: Spikey Spacecraft Headed to Martian Moon

January 9, 2013 3:22 pm | Videos | Comments

Today on Engineering Newswire, brought to you by Interpower, the premier supplier of power system components for worldwide markets, we’re sending spikey little spacecraft to Martian moons, building a creepy little robot toddler, and moving one step closer to robotic telepresence. This episode features:

NASA's Kepler telescope finds 461 potential new planets

January 9, 2013 8:51 am | by Irene Klotz, Reuters | News | Comments

NASA's Kepler space telescope has uncovered another 461 potential new planets, most of which are the size of Earth or a few times larger, scientists said on Monday. The announcement brings Kepler's head count to 2,740 candidate new worlds, 105 of which have been confirmed.

Mock Mars trek finds down-to-Earth sleep woes

January 8, 2013 8:48 am | by SETH BORENSTEIN AP Science Writer | News | Comments

Astronauts have a down-to-Earth problem that could be even worse on a long trip to Mars: They can't get enough sleep. And over time, the lack of slumber can turn intrepid space travelers into drowsy couch potatoes, a new study shows. In a novel experiment, six volunteers were confined in a cramped mock spaceship

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Martian rock from Sahara desert unlike others

January 7, 2013 8:54 am | by Alicia Chang AP Science Writer | News | Comments

Scientists are abuzz about a coal-colored rock from Mars that landed in the Sahara desert: A yearlong analysis revealed it's quite different from other Martian meteorites. Not only is it older than most, it also contains more water, tests showed. The baseball-size meteorite, estimated to be 2 billion years old,

Spaceport wants protections from tourist lawsuits

January 7, 2013 8:53 am | by JERI CLAUSING Associated Press | News | Comments

Spaceport America officials are urging legislators to limit potential lawsuits from wealthy outer space tourists who take off from New Mexico, saying such a bill is crucial to the future of the project. Legal experts, however, say there is no way to know whether the so-called informed consent laws

Vt. Air Guard hopes for jet, but others fear noise

January 7, 2013 8:51 am | by WILSON RING Associated Press | News | Comments

Plans on where to base the U.S. military's next-generation fighter jet, the F-35, concern people in communities from California to Florida to Maine who worry the aircraft are too loud. In Vermont, where the Air National Guard has flown planes from Burlington International Airport for more than 60 years

Our galaxy's 'geysers' are towers of power

January 3, 2013 10:12 am | News | Comments

"Monster" outflows of charged particles from the centre of our Galaxy, stretching more than halfway across the sky, have been detected and mapped with CSIRO's 64-m Parkes radio telescope. Corresponding to the "Fermi Bubbles" found in 2010, the outflows were detected by astronomers from Australia, the USA, Italy and The Netherlands.

After setbacks, Russia boosts space spending

January 2, 2013 4:59 pm | News | Comments

The country that oversaw the launch of the world's first artificial satellite hopes to regain some of its former glory with a big boost in space spending announced by Russia on Thursday after a series of failures.

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Approaching comet may outshine the moon

January 2, 2013 4:54 pm | by Irene Klotz, Reuters | News | Comments

A comet blazing toward Earth could outshine the full moon when it passes by at the end of next year - if it survives its close encounter with the sun. The recently discovered object, known as comet ISON, is due to fly within 1.2 million miles (1.9 million km) from the center of the sun on November 28, 2013....

Would you like to contribute to our Brainstorm section?

January 2, 2013 4:50 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Blogs | Comments

We here at ECN love to hear what you have to say, so for our February issue we’re opening up the Brainstorm discussion to our faithful readers. We want to hear your thoughts about consumer electronics and the future of technology. Typically, the Brainstorm is an editorial section consisting of short commentary....

Top 10 must-see posts for December

December 21, 2012 12:34 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Articles | Comments

Here’s a rundown of the most read, most popular, most awesome articles on the web. Take a look at what you missed the first time around or check up on an old favorite to see the conversation in the comments. Keep checking out the Lead at www.ecnmag.com and follow us on Twitter @ecnonline for our most up-to-date articles.

NASA posts YouTube video debunking Maya "Armageddon"

December 21, 2012 9:11 am | by Irene Klotz, Reuters | News | Comments

NASA is so sure there will be a December 22, 2012, it has already posted a YouTube video titled "Why the World Didn't End Yesterday."Scientists say rumors on social media and the Internet of Earth's premature demise have been prompted by a misunderstanding of the ancient Maya calendar, which runs through December 21, 2012.

2012 another record-setter, fits climate forecasts

December 21, 2012 9:07 am | by SETH BORENSTEIN AP Science Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) -- As 2012 began, winter in the U.S. went AWOL. Spring and summer arrived early with wildfires, blistering heat and drought. And fall hit the eastern third of the country with the ferocity of Superstorm Sandy.

NASA posts YouTube video debunking Maya 'Armageddon'

December 20, 2012 2:52 pm | by Irene Klotz, Reuters | News | Comments

NASA was so sure there would be a December 22, 2012, it posted a YouTube video titled "Why the World Didn't End Yesterday." Scientists say rumors on social media and the Internet of Earth's premature demise have been prompted by a misunderstanding of the ancient Maya calendar, which runs through December 21, 2012.

Defense bill lifts barrier on satellite exports

December 20, 2012 12:34 pm | by Irene Klotz, Reuters | News | Comments

Tucked into the annual U.S. defense budget bill making its way through Congress this week is a long-fought and potentially lucrative reprieve for U.S. satellite manufactures and suppliers to export their products, officials said on Wednesday. Since 1999, spacecraft and their components have been grouped with ammunitions, fighter jets and other defense technologies and subject to the nation's most stringent export controls.

The newest (and most invasive) surveillance technique

December 19, 2012 12:31 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Articles | Comments

Better watch what you say next time you take the bus; somebody could be listening in. We’re all pretty used to the increasing amount of cameras on public transportation, and a lot can be said in their favor. They provide a safer environment for the driver when dealing with unruly passengers.

Three-nation crew blasts off for space station

December 19, 2012 8:16 am | News | Comments

A Soyuz spacecraft carrying a Russian, an American and a Canadian blasted off on Wednesday to the International Space Station (ISS), where the men are to spend half a year in orbit.

A swoosh in space: Merry Christmas from Hubble

December 18, 2012 1:10 pm | News | Comments

Planetary nebulae represent a final brief stage in the life of a star like the Sun. While consuming the last of the fuel in its core, the star expels a large portion of its outer regions, which then heats up and glows brightly, showing intricate structures that scientists are still trying to fully understand.

Hubble telescope spies seven galaxies from baby years of universe

December 18, 2012 12:49 pm | by Irene Klotz, Reuters | News | Comments

Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have found seven galaxies that formed relatively shortly after the universe's birth some 13.7 billion years ago, scientists said on Wednesday, describing them "as baby pictures of the universe."

NASA crashes two probes into a mountain on the moon

December 18, 2012 12:04 pm | by Irene Klotz, Reuters | News | Comments

A pair of NASA moon-mapping probes smashed themselves into a lunar mountain on Monday, ending a year-long mission that is shedding light on how the solar system formed. The Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory, or GRAIL, spacecraft had been flying around the moon, enabling scientists to make detailed gravity maps.

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