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We can now watch Pluto rotate in space

We can now watch Pluto rotate in space

As New Horizons begins its final approach toward Pluto, NASA presents a Google Earth-mapped surface of the spinning space body. The final approach toward the planet has begun - this NASA-led mission will get within a few thousand miles of Pluto on the 14th of this month. Today we get our first spherical map of the planet as placed with Google Earth onto our own planet. Strange as that may sound, it provides as accurate a visual for the planet as we've ever seen. You've seen the flat images before - now watch Pluto spin in space.

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Apple Watch to be tested as learning tool in Penn State University research

Apple Watch to be tested as learning tool in Penn State University research

Researchers at Penn State University have said they are planning a research program that will look how wearables can be used as learning tools for students, with the Apple Watch serving as the basis. The school's Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT) program says it wants to explore the effect devices like smartwatches have on human behavior, and see how effective they can be at improving students' study habits and learning achievements.

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Study hints kids are future cord-cutters

Study hints kids are future cord-cutters

The television industry has been scrambling to stave off the pressure it feels from services like Netflix and the subscribers it is losing to them. Its efforts may prove to be in vain, however, at least according to a recent study. Miner & Co. Studio conducted research and has found that 57-percent of kids prefer watching videos on their tablet or smartphone rather than on a television. In addition, a common parental discipline might be driving kids further away from television, causing them to associate it with punishment.

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NuSTAR uncovers five new black holes and a galaxy full of potential

NuSTAR uncovers five new black holes and a galaxy full of potential

Using NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), researchers have uncovered five new supermassive black holes and the potential for many more. This research, led by astronomers at Durham University, United Kingdom, suggests that not only are there five supermassive black holes that'd been previously undiscovered. They also suggest that there's a whole galaxy of black holes that are just lying in wait, clouded by dust, awaiting the eye of NuSTAR to de-dust or otherwise see through their guise to uncover them.

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HoloLens courts academics to give AR a serious spin

HoloLens courts academics to give AR a serious spin

HoloLens might be fun as an augmented reality gimmick, but Microsoft clearly knows that without software the fancy headset will die in short order. The company has put a call out among academics to come up with potential applications for holographic computing, whether that be novel teaching methods, building art installations that bridge the real and the virtual, or new opportunities to get inside big data. To sweeten the proposal, meanwhile, Microsoft is looking to hand out ten HoloLens prototypes and a total of $500,000 among five universities.

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Self-driving cabs could slash emissions 90%

Self-driving cabs could slash emissions 90%

Autonomous taxis could have a huge impact on environmental emissions, with new research suggesting cuts of as much as 90-percent versus private ownership. Although self-driving projects have for the most part focused on the safety and convenience handing over the wheel to a computer would allow, the team at the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory looked instead to per-mile greenhouse gas emissions. The potential for greener driving, they discovered, was far greater when a smarter taxi system could take into account just how many people they'd need to be transporting.

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New Horizons Pluto mission blinks out just days from goal

New Horizons Pluto mission blinks out just days from goal

Before you start having a heart attack at the idea that we won't get any closer to Pluto, take heed - New Horizons is now back online. For just a short period of time - right around an hour - the craft blinked offline. This was a radio communications glitch that seemed to fix itself - somehow or another - by 3:15pm EDT on the 4th of July, when everyone was out at the beach sipping on brewskies. Except NASA engineers, of course, who were on the task at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, making certain this wasn't an error that'd have the craft offline just days before it reaches its closest point to Pluto.

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Rosetta comet unlikely to carry life, despite scientist claims

Rosetta comet unlikely to carry life, despite scientist claims

One set of scientists suggest this week that Rosetta's comet could have micro-organic life - another says no. Nearing the end of its ten-year journey to catch up with comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, Rosetta's met with some controversy this week. Several astrophysicists from Cardiff and Buckingham Universities have spoken up at the National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno, suggesting that 67P appears to have frozen lakes embedded within. This, they say, could mean that the comet could have organic debris on it. Not all scientists agree with this hypothesis.

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Babibasiliscus alxi “Jesus Lizard” ran on water 50-m years ago

Babibasiliscus alxi “Jesus Lizard” ran on water 50-m years ago

A new (rather old) lizard has been discovered by scientists who suggest it was the first "Jesus Lizard" in the world. This isn't the only lizard in history to have the ability to run across the water. This creature's very distant cousins still skim the surfaces of lakes today. The Babibasiliscus alxi, or "Babi", is now the most ancient known lizard to be able to appear to use superpowers to run across bodies of water where most any other creature would quickly sink.

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