Will Virgin Galactic's crash end space tourism? - TechCentral

Will Virgin Galactic’s crash end space tourism?

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The crash of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo experimental space plane on Friday, which killed one test pilot and severely injured another, may have wrecked the future of space tourism. “For the industry, the joyride is over,” says attorney Michael Listner of the Space Law and Policy Solutions space law firm. “This is going to mean a lot more regulation. And there is the question of whether the industry will even survive.” Read more…

London police trial gang violence ‘predicting’ software
Police in London have tested software designed to identify which gang members are most likely to commit violent crimes. The 20-week pilot study is thought to have been the first of its kind in the UK, although similar experiments have been carried out elsewhere. It used five years worth of historic data, but the idea would be to analyse up-to-date details if it is deployed. Read more…

World’s fastest network could carry all of the Internet’s traffic on a single fibre
A joint group of researchers from the Netherlands and the US have smashed the world speed record for a fibre network, pushing 255Tbit/s down a single strand of glass strand. This is equivalent to around 32TB/s — enough to transfer a 1GB movie in 31,25 microseconds (0,03 milliseconds) or, alternatively, the entire contents of your 1TB hard drive in about 31 milliseconds. Read more…

The speedy cartographers who map the news for The New York Times
When Malaysia Airlines flight 17 went down over Ukraine in July, the graphics team at The New York Times sprang into action. Because of the ongoing conflict on the ground, they already had lots of maps of the area. But they wanted to show more than just the crash site. This map is the result: MH17 had flown close to restricted airspace, flying at 33 000 feet on a flight route that had been closed below 32 000 feet. Read more…

Tractor beam created in water, gravity guns here we come
A real-world tractor beam has been created for pulling-in and pushing-out objects. The catch? It’s water only, for now. Next step, air control for gravity guns. Both Star Wars and Star Trek agree on one thing the future will hold: tractor beams. And now scientists have taken the hint and begun working on real-world examples. The current creation uses waves in water to move objects on its surface. Water-based tractor beams could be massively helpful at sea for rescuing ships, containing oil spills and more. Read more…

Elon Musk: ‘We are summoning the demon’ with AI
Elon Musk, a chief advocate of cars smart enough to park and drive themselves, continues to escalate his spooky speech when it comes to the next level of computation — the malicious potential of artificial intelligence continues to freak him out. “With artificial intelligence, we are summoning the demon,” Musk said last week at the MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics Department’s 2014 Centennial Symposium. “You know all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water and he’s like… yeah, he’s sure he can control the demon, [but]it doesn’t work out.” Read more…

Self-filling water bottle turns humidity into drinking water for cyclists
Fontus is a self-filling water bottle by industrial designer Kristof Retezár that uses the moisture from humid air to create safe drinking water. It is a device made with cyclists making long journeys in mind, allowing riders to mount it on their bicycle and pedal along their path as the bottle fills itself over time. Read more…

Hacker dreams up crypto passport using the tech behind Bitcoin
If bitcoin’s true believers ever found their tax-free libertarian utopia, Christopher Ellis could be in charge of the passport office. Ellis has built software that lets anyone create what he calls a “World Citizenship” passport. Using PGP encryption software and the bitcoin blockchain — a cryptographically secured public ledger that runs on machines across the Internet — the project creates a mathematically iron-clad identification paper that would be extremely difficult, perhaps impossible, to fake. Read more…

Facebook, Google and the rise of open-source security software
Facebook chief security officer Joe Sullivan says that people like Mike Arpaia are hard to find. Arpaia is a security engineer, but he’s not the kind who spends his days trying to break into computer software, hoping he can beat miscreants to the punch. As Sullivan describes him, he’s a “builder” — someone who creates new tools capable of better protecting our computer software — and that’s unusual. “You go to the security conferences, and it’s all about breaking things,” Sullivan says. “It’s not about building things.” Read more…

Does bitrate really make a difference in music?
While you may have some idea about what bitrate is, the “can audiophiles really tell the difference” argument has raged on for quite some time, and it’s hard to get people to drop their egos and actually explain what these things mean and whether they really matter. Here’s a bit of information on bitrate and how it applies to our practical music listening experience. Read more…

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