Image: NASA’s Xenon Ion propulsion system in testing.
This image shows a cutting-edge solar-electric propulsion thruster in development at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., that uses xenon ions for propulsion. An earlier version of this solar-electric propulsion engine has been flying on NASA’s Dawn mission to the asteroid belt.
This engine is being considered as part of the Asteroid Initiative, a proposal to robotically capture a small near-Earth asteroid and redirect it safely to a stable orbit in the Earth-moon system where astronauts can visit and explore it. This image was taken through a porthole in a vacuum chamber at JPL where the ion engine is being tested.
New look for Google Maps.
I’ve been trying out the new look Google Maps and really like it. Everything seems much less cluttered, and there’s a few new features. For example a search for “Sushi, Boston” shows up with the results labelled directly on a map with the most relevant results in larger print.
Google Now style info-cards show information on any clicked location or business at the side of the map, and a minimal search bar at the top left corner stays out of the way while browsing maps.
Overlays are quickly available to show traffic levels and bicycle-friendly routes. 3D Earth view is also integrated in the browser and can be accessed in a similar way to going into Street View, and a carousel of photos along the bottom gives you more quick ways to view a given location. The carousel offers photos or panoramas uploaded by other users, or street view shots from around the area.
Google also claims that the new Maps will learn from your past searches and preferences and change what is displayed on the map to highlight more information relevant to you at any given time.
New Xbox will get ‘more powerful with time’.
Microsoft have explained how the Xbox One will use streaming technology to allow the console to deliver better graphics by leveraging servers in the cloud.
The company says it has 300,000 cloud connected servers available for the One, which will be able to be used to render background objects and landscapes, streaming them to the user and allowing the consoles computation power to be used solely for rendering better game characters. That number compares to only 15,000 servers for the Xbox 360.
“There are a growing number of transistors in the cloud that you can move the loads onto,” said the company’s director of development Boyd Multerer.
“So over time, your box gets more powerful. We move loads into the cloud to free up resources on the box.”
(Source: The Wall Street Journal)
Glad I’m not the only one who finds the name confusing.
LG showing off 5 inch flexible screen for smartphones.
LG will be showing off their latest flexible and unbreakable 5 inch OLED display at this weeks SID display week in Vancouver.
The plastic display will be shown off alongside other 5 inch and 7 inch HD Oxide TFT panels which have a bezel that’s only 1mm wide, allowing for smartphones and small tablets with virtually no frame or border.