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Hawaii is shooting lasers at birds and it’s for their own good

Hawaii is shooting lasers at birds and it’s for their own good

Filling the skies with laser beams and hoping birds fly into them doesn't, at first glance, seem the best way to prevent endangered species from dwindling in number even further, but it's exactly what one Hawaiian island is doing. The light grids - made up of thirty focused green lasers - are being mounted on electricity poles by service operator Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, in the hope that they'll prevent birds from crashing into the cables.

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NASA’s climate change satellite launches to watch Earth breathe

NASA’s climate change satellite launches to watch Earth breathe

NASA's latest rocket has blasted off successfully, beginning a new and potentially controversial study into carbon dioxide gas in Earth's atmosphere which could have broad implications on climate change research. The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) promises hitherto-unmatched precision measurements from 438 miles above our planet, carrying instruments that NASA says are capable of counting individual molecules.

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NASA’s flying saucer gets wet happy ending

NASA’s flying saucer gets wet happy ending

NASA's "flying saucer" has had a wet but happy landing, with the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) finally taking to the skies after several launch delays, and giving positive early signs for potential future Mars technologies. The Saturday flight took place in Hawaii, with the distinctive saucer-shaped craft being dropped 120,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean and then taking thirty minutes to descend into the waves.

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Facebook psych experiment explained, Andreessen chimes in

Facebook psych experiment explained, Andreessen chimes in

Facebook is, unsurprisingly, embroiled in yet another scandal. Surprisingly, it isn't directly related to privacy but comes quite close. The social networking giant has been revealed to have manipulated their news feed ever so slightly in order to see the effects on the moods of its users. Sounds almost harmless until you learn that the findings were recently published in a Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) paper.

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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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