Airplane passengers are in for an increasingly bumpy ride according to a study released today in the journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences. Climate change is altering the jet stream, making severe turbulence more likely. The study builds on earlier work which found that climate change would lead to bumpier airplane rides. What makes the new research unique is that it quantifies how much different kinds of turbulence will increase—59 percent in the case of light turbulence, a 94 percent increase in moderate turbulence, and 149 percent increase in severe turbulence.
Amazon's Echo is a robot that sits in your house and listens. The virtual personal assistant can be summoned into action by saying its name, Alexa, and will then act on commands, like ordering a dollhouse and cookies when asked to do so by a too-clever kindergartener. And because it works by listening, Alexa is an always-on surveillance device, quietly storing snippets of information. Which has placed a particular Echo unit in an uncomfortable role: possible witness to a murder.
Rumors are circulating on Twitter that NASA is shaking up its schedule for the Space Launch System. According to the scuttlebutt, the rocket's maiden launch may carry astronauts onboard. Popular Science has confirmed with Stuart McClung, an engineer on the Orion capsule that's designed to ride on SLS, that NASA is indeed considering these changes.
Boeing's 787 Dreamliner is a massive jetliner, designed to comfortable carry 280 people across oceans and between continents. Or, for one special customer with millions to spare, it can carry 40 passengers for 17 hours non-stop in what can only be fairly described as a sort of beige opulence.