This is every satellite orbiting Earth - TechCentral

This is every satellite orbiting Earth

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There are more than 1 200 active satellites orbiting Earth right now, taking pictures, relaying communications, broadcasting locations, spying on you, and even housing humans. Thanks to a database compiled by the Union of Concerned Scientists, it’s now possible to show you each one. The satellites are sized according to their launch mass and are coloured by their purpose, country, age and primary user. Read more…

From pixels to polygons: the evolution of videogame graphics
If you’ve been alive in the past 50 years, you’ve played a videogame. It’s a primarily visual art form that uses current-day technologies to provide ever-evolving gaming experiences across generations. “Graphics are absolutely important,” says Brown in the fifth and final video. “They are an essential part of videogames. A window into another world and a prime indicator of the technology that powers it.” Read more…

Living under sea: Japanese visionaries unveil underwater city plan
Will people ever live in underwater cities? A Japanese construction firm says it is possible by 2030. The visionaries revealed a US$25bn deep-sea eco-city plan called Ocean Spiral for 5 000 people that will produce energy from sea resources. Read more…

The line between banks and telcos just got thinner
Africa’s mobile operators, accustomed to fierce competition and a rapidly changing industry, are used to looking over their shoulders. But it isn’t often that their biggest threat comes not from another telecommunications company but from a bank. Read more…

The man who can hear Wi-Fi wherever he walks
I am walking through my north London neighbourhood on an unseasonably warm day in late autumn. I can hear birds tweeting in the trees, traffic prowling the back roads, children playing in gardens and Wi-Fi leaching from their homes. Against the familiar sounds of suburban life, it is somehow incongruous and appropriate at the same time. Read more…

Amazon details how it does networking in its data centres
Amazon shed some light onto what goes on with its networking strategy inside its many data centres on Wednesday at AWS re:Invent 2014 in Las Vegas. James Hamilton, vice-president and distinguished engineer for Amazon Web Services, laid out the networking details during his conference session that also touched on data centres and databases. Read more…

An astronaut reveals what life in space is really like
There’s no way to anticipate the emotional impact of leaving your home planet. You look down at Earth and realise: You’re not on it. It’s breathtaking. It’s surreal. It’s a “we’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto” kind of feeling. But I’ve spent a total of 55 days in space, over the course of five missions for Nasa, and I’ve learned that being out there isn’t just a series of breathtaking moments. It’s a mix of the transcendently magical and the deeply prosaic. It can be crowded, noisy and occasionally uncomfortable. Space travel — at least the way we do it today — isn’t glamorous. But you can’t beat the view! Read more…

Harvard Scientists say it’s time to start thinking about engineering the climate
A vast majority of scientists believe that the Earth is warming at an unprecedented rate and that human activity is almost certainly the dominant cause. But on the topics of response and mitigation, there is far less consensus. One of the most controversial propositions for slowing the increase in temperatures here on Earth is to manipulate the atmosphere above. Specifically, some scientists believe it should be possible to offset the warming effect of greenhouses gases by reflecting more of the sun’s energy back into space. Read more…

The machine that can scan your DNA in 90 minutes
Robert Schueren shook my hand firmly, handed me his business card, and flipped it over, revealing a shortlist of letters and numbers. “Here is my DNA profile.” He smiled. “I have nothing to hide.” I had come to meet Schueren, the CEO of IntegenX, at his company’s headquarters in Pleasanton, California, to see its signature product: a machine the size of a large desktop printer that can unravel your genetic code in the time it takes to watch a movie. Read more…

What to do when a robot takes your job
It’s 2019, and Rosa steps into the law firm she worked at five years ago as a paralegal. It’s a far smaller company than the one she remembers — just a few partners and a small amount of support staff. Back then, she saw the writing on the wall: her employer had started using computer programs to automate the grinding work of reviewing documents she and her colleagues had been hired to do. Read more…

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