research

Alien life discovery in our lifetime insists SETI astronomer

Alien life discovery in our lifetime insists SETI astronomer

The hunt for alien life will turn up results within our lifetime, a senior astronomer at the SETI Institute has promised the US Congress, though it might not be tentacled monsters or grey-skinned creatures with big eyes. The surprise commitment came at a House Committee on Science, Space and Technology hearing this past week, with SETI's Seth Shostak going on to explain the justification behind his bold prediction.

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Researchers send high-speed broadband to the moon

Researchers send high-speed broadband to the moon

As humankind works towards expanding its presence in space, one day establishing colonies on other planets, questions of communication with Earth become increasingly important. To address this, researchers from MIT and NASA have demonstrated for the first time the ability to beam wireless broadband to space.

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Oculus Rift puts DARPA cyberwar soldiers virtually ringside

Oculus Rift puts DARPA cyberwar soldiers virtually ringside

DARPA, the US government's R&D arm, is looking to Oculus Rift to make cyber-warfare more approachable to the American military, immersing the military in 3D representations of target networks. Part of Plan X, DARPA's ongoing work on reducing the technical requirements for a new age of digital warfare, the Oculus integration is currently only conceptual, though the agency says it has already been briefed on upcoming hardware from the headset company.

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Metaio Thermal Touch uses hot fingers to make anything AR

Metaio Thermal Touch uses hot fingers to make anything AR

A hot finger and a set of smart glasses could change the way we interact with the digital world, with Metaio tackling augmented reality interaction by turning every surface into a virtual touchscreen. The company's Thermal Touch system uses infrared and regular cameras to track the heat signature left when the user touches a surface, whether that be a display or a wall, and then overlays digital content on top.

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NASA plans oxygen alchemy for manned Mars mission

NASA plans oxygen alchemy for manned Mars mission

NASA's manned mission to Mars could take a MacGyver approach to the flight home, potentially relying on oxygen extracted from the red planet's own atmosphere to support crew both during the mission and on the return journey. Dubbed in-situ resource utilization (ISRU), the strategy could mean a very different approach to mission design, particularly when it comes to the planned 2020 robotic rover NASA intends to send to Mars.

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Largest ever dinosaur species unearthed

Largest ever dinosaur species unearthed

Dinosaurs researchers are suggesting could be the largest species ever discovered have been identified from their fossil remains, around 130 feet long and weighing roughly the same as 14 elephants. Despite being considerably larger than a tyrannosaurus rex, the freshly-discovered dinos were herbivores, and belong to the group titannosaurida, or titanosaurs.

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