Russia lost control of an orbiting radio telescope

Russia’s astronomy program is facing a significant setback. The country’s orbital Spektr-R radio telescope has stopped responding to commands since January 11th. While it’s still transmitting signals, the satellite effectively can’t be used for future tasks in its current state. The space agency Roscosmos said it would next try to regain control and fix issues […]

Video: How Star Control II was almost a much more boring game

Video shot by Sean Dacaney and edited by Evan Watkin. Click here for transcript. Welcome back to “War Stories,” an ongoing video series where we sit down with game designers and ask them to tell us about game development challenges that almost sank their projects. In previous instances, we’ve been lucky enough to get some […]

‘Air traffic control fault’: Birmingham Airport the latest UK hub to shut down

Birmingham Airport has suspended all services citing an air traffic control fault, becoming the latest British airport to halt its work in days – and heating up conspiracy theories on Twitter in wake of the Gatwick “drone crisis.” A brief statement issued by the airport said it “had to temporarily suspend services due to an […]

What Does a Gun Control Advocate Do in a Pro-Gun State?

As a Stanford mechanical engineering grad in 1990, Bryan von Lossberg joined NASA’s Pathfinder project, building what engineers nicknamed the “Martian Beer Cooler.” The white-cased container protected delicate electronic equipment from extreme temperatures and breakneck speeds. The project succeeded, somewhat miraculously, placing Pathfinder on Mars in 1997, despite a razor-thin budget in space terms — […]

Behind the quest to control a wheelchair with a smile

Facial recognition software has earned a difficult reputation over the past few years, what with its massive privacy implications and ease of being misused by governments and retailers alike, but the technology has just as many beneficial applications. Take the Wheelie 7, for example. While travelling a few years ago, Dr. Paulo Pinheiro was struck […]

Feeling ‘sliced up inside’: Birth control implant Essure led to pain, serious problems for some women

A lack of detailed information about Essure, a permanent birth control implant, and the adverse reactions women were having to it, put some women’s health in jeopardy, a CBC News/Fifth Estate investigation found. The investigation also found that Health Canada, which is responsible for regulating medical devices, hasn’t been transparent about Essure’s licencing or reporting […]

New software will let artists control how light interacts with objects

Enlarge / Clouds contain billions of individual water droplets that are difficult to plot in computer graphics for movie scenes. (credit: Dartmouth Visual Computing Lab) Animators will now be able to precisely control how microscopic particles interact with light in their renderings of objects, thanks to a research collaboration between computer scientists at Dartmouth University and […]

Black box data shows pilots fought control system in Indonesia crash

Enlarge / Cpt Nurcahyo Utomo (head of Flight Mode Indonesian Safety Transportation Committee) during the press conference, in Jakarta, Indonesia, on November 28, 2018. (credit: Donal Husni/NurPhoto via Getty Images) More evidence supporting the theory that faulty sensor data caused the crash of a Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX in October has emerged from the […]