Yesterday, President Obama signed an executive order to establish the National Strategic Computing Initiative, intended to advance American research efforts that require high-capacity computing (HCC). The main thrust of the program, according to a blog post from the White House, would be to create the world's fastest supercomputer, which would be 20 times faster than today's fastest supercomputer, China's Tianhe-2. The machine would be called an exascale computer--capable of making a billion billion—or one exaflop—calculations per second.
For over a decade, drones have hunted men abroad. Overseas, Predators and Reapers have flown over war zones, their powerful cameras below looking for threats. Back home, the Air National Guard deployed a Reaper for a far more humanitarian manhunt: a search to find a lost teacher.
People with diabetes may need emergency care if their sugar levels dip too high or too low; those with heart disease must be rushed to the hospital should they have a cardiac event. Now CVS Pharmacy and IBM's cognitive computing system Watson have teamed up to scour the medical records of people with chronic conditions and identify patients most likely to need emergency care—hopefully to prevent it.
The European Space Agency has just released a slew of new images from Philae, the little lander that was supposed to touch down on a comet earlier this year. But the history-making moment didn't go quite as planned. After failing to anchor into Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the spacecraft bounced around a few times until finally skidding to a halt on the rim of a crater. The Rosetta mission team hasn't managed to get a stable communication link with the battered lander.
You'd have to be crazy not to love cereal in milk. But the longer those crispy puffs or flakes sit in that milky bowl, the soggier they become, and our enthusiasm gives way to disgust. Now a researcher from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst has figured out when and how that happens, according to a review study published yesterday in Journal of Food Science.
Yesterday, in Hampton, Virginia, about three hours south of Washington, DC, NASA researchers slung a plane into a harness and then sent it crashing into the ground. The researchers were specifically testing Emergency Locator Transmitters, which notify rescuers in the event of a crash. And what a crash they got!
The galaxy is a pretty big place, so NASA's announcement today that scientists have discovered a solid, rocky planet located just 21 light years away from our own solar system is the cosmic equivalent of suddenly noticing a longtime neighbor just down the street. The world, unflatteringly named HD 219134b, is 1.6 times the size of Earth, but it's 4.5 times as massive. And it's much hotter, with a surface temperature estimated to be about 800 degrees Fahrenheit (427 Celsius), as the AFP reported — far too hot to support life as we know it.
The little spacecraft that couldn't quite land on a comet has nevertheless sent back a wealth of data. The Philae lander was supposed to become the first spacecraft to touch down on a comet in November, after a 10-year journey, but things didn't go as expected. The spacecraft bounced away from its original landing site, eventually coming to rest in a dark area near the edge of a crater. Without enough sunlight to charge its solar panels, Philae operated for about 60 hours on battery power, then entered a long hibernation.
For a long time now, space exploration has been the preserve of a tiny group of highly specialized and highly trained people, funded almost exclusively by public sector organizations. This is in large part due to the fact that space exploration has been prohibitively expensive, but it is also, according to innovators like Burt Rutan and Elon Musk, because politics and bureaucracy have stifled the innovations that would see costs come down.