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Project Ara gets serious: Dev challenge, 50x speed 3D printer, more

Project Ara gets serious: Dev challenge, 50x speed 3D printer, more

Google is kicking off a Project Ara module developer challenge, offering a $100k bounty for atypical smartphone possibilities while it itself works on a new, super-speed 3D printer to create customized production modules. The challenge, announced at Google IO today, asks developers to come up with a working module for a future Project Ara phone that does something not possible with a current smartphone, and sees Google itself throw out some ideas for what the flexible handset might one day do..

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Chicago light poles to study air pollution, foot traffic

Chicago light poles to study air pollution, foot traffic

It could be a privacy advocate's worst nightmare, but soon the city of Chicago will have lamp posts that are aware not just of its surroundings but also of the people that pass by it. However, in theory, the sensors on these posts will only be taking in environmental data and human numbers to aid the city government in urban planning and nothing else.

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NASA plan to capture, study asteroids will launch in 2020

NASA plan to capture, study asteroids will launch in 2020

NASA wants to play rodeo in the stars. An ongoing project to redirect asteroids to a new orbit for study has yielded some candidates, mostly smaller asteroids with loose density. By capturing the asteroids with a manned spacecraft, then redirecting them to the moon’s orbit, NASA hopes to learn more about asteroids, and possibly protect our Earth from collision.

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Big Bang breakthrough hits dust doubts

Big Bang breakthrough hits dust doubts

Scientists responsible for a "spectacular" discovery earlier this year that could explain Big Bang theory and how the universe was created now admit their evidence may just have been cosmic dust. A Harvard team of physicists announced back in March that it believed it had observed the effects of rapid expansion that would follow the sudden creation of our universe, but the study has gained a vital disclaimer at publication.

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NAO robot gets smarter and stronger (but just as cute)

NAO robot gets smarter and stronger (but just as cute)

Research and entertainment robot NAO is getting faster, smarter, and strong: in fact, it's a good job he only comes up to your knees, as otherwise we'd be worried. NAO EVOLUTION, the handiwork of Softbank acquisition Aldeberan, takes the hobby-bot and boosts its awareness of the surrounding environment - including its emotion-recognizing abilities - as well as how well it can interact with it, thanks to things like defter hands.

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NASA points massive aromatic nose at Titan moon

NASA points massive aromatic nose at Titan moon

NASA is figuring out the flavors of Saturn's moon Titan, cooking up an artificial atmosphere here on Earth to try to replicate the distinctive smog surrounding the yellowed body. The mystery gases surrounding Saturn's largest moon had been stumping researchers, unable to combine the likely mixture of nitrogen and methane that led to the exact spectrometer readings taken by the Cassini spacecraft surveying Titan.

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Made In Space 3D printer for ISS gets NASA nod

Made In Space 3D printer for ISS gets NASA nod

NASA has given the green light to a 3D printer specially designed for the International Space Station, with the microgravity-ready fabricator now expected to blast off in August this year. Made In Space announced plans to put a 3D printer in orbit last year, working with the US space agency on the idea that, rather than ship specific components and parts to the ISS, it makes more sense to produce them on-demand.

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NASA’s Flying Saucer grounded again

NASA’s Flying Saucer grounded again

NASA's "flying saucer" won't be taking to the skies today. with the trials of the distinctive circular craft intended for Mars postponed over weather concerns. The Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) - colloquially known as the Martian Flying Saucer - was to finally test the atmospheric braking systems NASA hopes will allow it to safely deploy larger payloads, including human settlers, to the red planet. However, the path to such testing has not gone smoothly.

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Climate change raises dead as mass graves disturbed

Climate change raises dead as mass graves disturbed

Global warming has disturbed Japanese war graves, with rising Pacific ocean levels blamed for the gruesome resurfacing of 26 skeletons as attention again turns to the cost of rising temperatures. The remains, believed to be a mass grave of Japanese soldiers from World War Two, were found at the Marshall Islands, it was revealed at UN climate talks in Bonn, Germany this week.

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