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Towletech v.125: Drones, Bendgate, Earthships, Exoplanet H20, GoPro for Dogs

Sparked

BY KYLER GEOFFROY

A weekly round-up of the best tech, science, and geek-related news from around the web.

DroneRoad Lots of drone-related news this week, as Facebook revealed further plans for the creation of thousands of jumbo jet-sized, internet-connected drones come 2015. "The team is focused on developing countries, prioritizing the number of people who are not connected. Maguire cited India as an example, where more than 15% of people don't have any connectivity whatsoever. They've identified a set of about 21 countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia, which actually affect how the planes are designed — that is, how the sun hits the solar panels."

Road Similarly, Cirque du Soleil is also branching out into the world of drones with 'Sparked' - a new flying dance performance featuring quadcopters. Check out the mesmerizing video below: 

 

Road Aiden Gillen (aka Game of Thrones' Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish) joins Maze Runner sequel as its villain. 

Pied piperRoad Openly gay supervillain/superhero Pied Piper has been confirmed for a "midseason" appearance in the upcoming The Flash television series starring Grant Gustin as the titular speedster. 

Road Comcast president Neil Smit admits it "may take years" to improve the company's crappy customer service reputation. 

Road The fan-favorite Pixar Theory - the theory that all Pixar films are connected and occur in the same universe - now has a video explanation

Road Apple CEO Tim Cook says tackling global warming is a "core value" of the company - “The long-term consequences of not addressing climate are huge, I don’t think anyone can overstate that.”

Road In other Apple news: you've likely heard about Bendgate - the "controversy" over the malleability of the newly released iPhone 6 Plus. YouTube user Lewis Hilsenteger has already demonstrated how relatively easy it is to bend the deluxe sized smartphone, but he's back now with a new video to show how the competition holds up under the pressure (including the regular iPhone 6). Check out his video below:

 

Road How to tell if that letter you received in the mail was written by a robot or human. 

EarthshipsRoad Are Earthships - sustainable solar homes made from old junk - the future of green living

Road Ridley Scott says Prometheus 2 will be completely devoid of Aliens

Road Scientists have discovered water vapor on a Neptune-sized planet 124 light years away from Earth, the first time an exoplanet smaller than Jupiter has been found with H20. 

Road Behold, the perfectly engineered ice cream scoop

Road Solar power, vehicle automation, and 8 other technologies that will revolutionize car manufacturing

Road FetchFind out what the world looks like from your dog's perspective with Fetch - a GoPro harness that enables your pet to become a little Steven Spielberg of his or her own.

Road Introducing the latest addition to the growing wearable tech field: drone bracelets

Road South Africa will soon be able to "Share Happiness" over the internet, as Coca-Cola has started sticking wi-fi hotspots inside the country's vending machines.

Road Watch Wolfram Alpha search engine creator Stephen Wolfram explain why humans will one day be able to live forever


Towletech v.124: Made in Space, Black Holes, MacWorld, Net Neutrality, Oculus Rift

Interstellar

BY KYLER GEOFFROY

A weekly round-up of the best tech, science, and geek-related news from around the web.

Road New Interstellar posters tease plot details of the upcoming Christopher Nolan-helmed sci-fi blockbuster. 

Road Early this morning, NASA launched the first 3D printer into space. The demo printer, created by California-based Made in Space, is off to the International Space Station to help aid in the understanding of the long-term effects of microgravity on 3D printing. Said Made in Space CEO Aaron Kemmer: “This is more than a 3D printer. It’s more than a machine shop in space. It’s a landmark for humanity. For the first time in the history of our species, we will be manufacturing tools and hardware away from the Earth. Now that we’ve made this breakthrough, the sky is no longer the limit for additive manufacturing – the era of off-world manufacturing has begun.” Check out a CNET video on the historic moment below:

Road X-Men spinoff film Deadpool gets a February 12, 2016 release date - with Ryan Reynolds expected to reprise his role as the "Merc with a Mouth."

Road Longtime Apple magazine Macworld will be shutting down its print publication. 

BlackholeRoad Hubble Space Telescope finds supermassive black hole at the center of the smallest galaxies ever discovered. Via NASA: "The finding implies there are many other compact galaxies in the universe that contain supermassive black holes. The observation also suggests dwarf galaxies may actually be the stripped remnants of larger galaxies that were torn apart during collisions with other galaxies rather than small islands of stars born in isolation."

Road Study finds over 99 percent of the 3.7 million comments submitted to the FCC about net neutrality were in favor of net neutrality. 

Virtual reality company Oculus Rift had its first ever keynote event yesterday - where the company announced its new prototype: the Crescent Bay and teased what the future holds for VR. Check out the conference below:

 

Road Scientists are re-engineering photosynthesis to grow more food. 

Road If you've ever flown Southwest Airlines, it can be a little jarring not having assigned seats on your flight. But as a recent episode of Mythbusters proves - there's a method to the madness. Gizmodo reports: " In another test, they boarded the plane in free-for-all fashion, without assigned seats, and found it took the least amount of time at 14 minutes, 7 seconds. Passengers gave it the least favorable score in comparison to the other methods tried. Southwest has been using this method since 1971."

AlpsRoad Check out this amazing aerial footage from the top of the Swiss Alps taken by drones.

Road 5 tech startups that could radically transform our world

Road Tesla and Space X CEO Elon Musk says self-driving automobile technology still has another 5 to 6 years before full implementation - but once it's here, we can expect our roads to be much safer. 

Road Check out this visual breakdown that shows why moon landing conspiracy claims are completely bogus. 

Road Mystery Science Theater 3000 has arrived on Vimeo. You owe it to yourself to check out (or revisit) this cult classic. 

Road Shocker: Texas is considering middle school textbooks that misleadingly teach students that there is significant scientific disagreement about the cause of climate change. Wonder if the Exxon Mobil logo will be on the front cover? 


Towletech v.123: Mars, Apple, 3D Printed Cars, Robot Writers, Windows 9, Chewbacca Dog

Stormtrooper

BY KYLER GEOFFROY

A weekly round-up of the best tech, science, and geek-related news from around the web.

Road Batman V Superman director Zack Snyder is having fun with his friendly Twitter crossover competition against Star Wars: Episode VII director J.J. Abrams. 

Road Space X founder and eccentric billionaire Elon Musk has long-term plans to "establish a city on Mars." No word yet if he's taking name suggestions yet. 

Road After two years and nearly five miles of driving, the Mars Curiosity rover has finally reached the base of Mount Sharp. One of the rover's primary goals now is to study the mountain's clay-rich lower layers that could reveal information about the planet's  past - a past that may even indicate signs of life. Check out a video on the milestone below:

 

Road Turns out the U.S. would rather side with the Galactic Empire than the Rebel Alliance. At least, everywhere except North Dakota (rebel scum...)

StratiRoad Clash of the Titans: Apple's newly unveiled iPhone 6 vs Google's Nexus 5? And how does the Apple Watch stand up against the smartwatch competition?

Road RIP iPod Classic

Road Check out the Strati - the world's first 3D printed car that just made its debut at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago.

Road The rise of artificially intelligent journalism. "Automated writing will soon be showing what it can really do, when it merges with another technological advance: individual tracking of billions of consumers, thanks to their purchases, internet browsing habits, mobile communications and such. 'One day President Obama explained to the media that if Americans made sure their tyres were properly inflated they could save 7% on fuel. This claim went unheeded because folks didn’t want to do the math. But in the future your favourite news website will explain things differently: it’ll know who you are, the make of car you drive and how much it consumes, how far you travel every week, the type of fuel you buy, and so on. It’ll draft an article specially for you, telling you exactly how many dollars you’d save if your tyres were properly inflated,' Hammond says. The same approach could be used in countless other sectors, from healthcare to politics. 'One day, there will only be a single reader for each article.'"

Road Apple CEO Tim Cook shares why he thinks TV is stuck in the 1970s in a recent interview with Charlie Rose below: 

 

Road A first look at the upcoming Windows 9 multi-desktop display. 

Road Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor says the American public should be more concerned about drones. "There are drones flying over the air randomly that are recording everything that’s happening on what we consider our private property. That type of technology has to stimulate us to think about what is it that we cherish in privacy and how far we want to protect it and from whom. Because people think that it should be protected just against government intrusion, but I don’t like the fact that someone I don’t know…can pick up, if they’re a private citizen, one of these drones and fly it over my property."

ChewdogRoad This adorable 'Chewbacca Dog' looks ready for next year's Star Wars: Episode VII.

Road 7 times Batman bent his "no guns" rule. 

Road Will advances in technology lead many of us to live in nomadic, tech-savvy communities? "Living in tiny but technologically advanced mobile houses, we’ll form ad-hoc communities with individuals who share similar interests, in a manner similar to subreddits. 'Mass digital nomadism will act a little bit like Reddit: agglomerating geeks together in proto-cities (gamers, psychonauts, artists, vegans, nudist, queers), and create super cool homogenous communities,' said Logomachy’s Guillaume Dumas, adding that this system would make it easier for individuals to find friends and potential partners."

Road PHOTOS: Patrick Stewart surprises child Star Trek fan who has life-threatening illness.

Road Audi is set to debut in the near future a semi-autonomous car - one that includes a system that drives itself in stop-and-go urban traffic. Wonder if it will also includes horn-honking and road rage simulation features?


Towletech v.122: Pixar, Donkey Kong, Deadmau5, Neutron Stars, Smartwatches, Net Neutrality

Pixar

BY KYLER GEOFFROY

A weekly round-up of the best tech, science, and geek-related news from around the web.

Road A Chinese lawyer and activist has launched the first-ever lawsuit against the country's widespread internet censorship. Ironically, the attorney for the state-owned Internet service provider was unable to answer questions from the judge in the case because of worries about what can and cannot be publicly said on the subject of state censorship. 

Road Bill Murray has given his blessing to the all-female Ghostbusters reboot. 

Road To call the Pixar team anything less than masters of their craft would be a gross understatement. And one of the many components that goes into the animation studio's visual storytelling is the use of the color to convey emotions. Check out the video below to see how:

 

Road The Donkey Kong world record for highest score has once again been beaten - this time by competitive gamer Robbie Lakeman. 

Deadmau5 mickeyRoad Deadmau5 and Disney are currently embroiled in a rather nasty trademark dispute - with Disney arguing that the progressive-house music producer's "mau5-head" logo is too similar to Mickey Mouse to trademark. 

Road The possible future Internet scenarios if net neutrality is axed. 

Road Mark Zuckerberg hopes that the WhatsApp - the messaging service app that Facebook purchased back in February for a cool $19 billion - becomes the "global messaging platform" of tomorrow. 

Road Reddit has banned "The Fappening" - the subgroup that became a depository for the hacked nude celebrity photos over this past week. At its peak, the group had over 100,000 live viewers from around the world.

Road Neutron stars are one of the most extreme and fascinating things in the entire universe - with one cubic centimeter of the stellar remnant containing the same mass as Mount Everest. For more on these bizarre stars and how get the way they do, check out the nifty video below: 

 

Road Bryan Singer's X-Men: Apocalypse to begin shooting in Montreal next April.

Road The International Space Station has been launching its microsatellites into orbit entirely on its own - as in, without being commanded to by actual humans. "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that"

DreadnaughtusRoad Behold Dreadnoghtus schrani - a newly unveiled supermassive dinosaur that may claim the title of "Largest Land Animal Ever" Dreadnoughtus, meaning “fears nothing,” seems like an apt description. 

Road Yada Yada Yada: Seinfield recreated in Sims form. 

Road In an effort to increase accountability and transparency the New York Police Department has announced that it will start equipping officers with wearable body cameras. 

Road Hands on with the Moto 360 and Samsung Gear S smartwatches. 


Towletech v.121: Game of Thrones VFX, Mars Rocket, Google Cars, 3D-Printed Castles, Apple iWatch

Attenborough

BY KYLER GEOFFROY

A weekly round-up of the best tech, science, and geek-related news from around the web.

Road A new Jurassic Park set photo reveals a tribute statue for John Hammond - the park's eccentric founder played by actor Lord Richard Attenborough who passed away Monday at the age of 90.

Road 'Spiral of silence' - Facebook users are shying away from discussing hot-button political/social issues out of fear that others will disagree.

Road Even video game characters are taking the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Road If you're as big of a Game of Thrones nerd as me, you'll love this behind the scenes video of how the show's Emmy-award winning visual effects come to life. 

Road NASA sets a 2018 launch date for the rocket that will eventually take us to Mars.

ComicRoad The GOP has a retro-style new video game that helps teach you why it's so important for them to retake the Senate in this year's midterm elections.

Road The world's most expensive Superman comic just sold for $3.2 million on eBay. 

Road A Shutter Island TV series is being developed by HBO. 

Road Amazon to buy livestreaming video platform site Twitch for nearly $1 billion. 

Road Reports are hinting that Apple's iWatch may be coming to stores early 2015. 

Road How virtual reality could lead to an explosion in "immersive journalism" content: 

Road Star Wars' new, streamlined canon has offically begun with the release of the new book Star Wars: A New Dawn

Road Avoiding potholes, navigating through rain and four other simple things that Google's self-driving cars still can't handle

CastleRoad Engineer builds gorgeous 3D-printed castle in his backyard garden. No word yet on any dragon sightings. 

Road Liam Neeson wants to reprise his Batman Begins role as Ra's Al Ghul on the Arrow TV series.  

Road Check out the incredible hi-resolution imagery coming soon to Google Maps. 

Road Smartphone "kill switch" becomes law in California. 

Road Nintendo has a new 3DS handheld coming to Japan. 

Road Apparently Thor, the God of Thunder, has found himself working for Amazon's customer support line during his down time between films. 


Towletech v.120: Drones, Patrick Stewart, Doctor Who, Matrix California, Quantum Mechanics

Cooper

BY KYLER GEOFFROY

A weekly round-up of the best tech, science, and geek-related news from around the web.

Road Anderson Cooper to make his Marvel Comics debut in an upcoming "Black Widow" storyline. "'It’s Anderson doing what he does best: looking for the truth and reporting on events. We imagine that in Black Widow’s world, as would be the case with many other Avengers, things she does can’t be ignored by the media and all it takes is somebody who knows how to ask the right questions to make her world very uncomfortable for her but in a way that is perhaps not unjust.”

 Road Amazon may be launching its drone delivery service as early as this October....in India. 

 Road Patrick Stewart adds some class to the Ice Bucket challenge. 

 

 Road Matthew McConaughey is reportedly up to play the villain in the long-gestating adaption of Stephen King's The Stand

Who Road 5 reasons not to worry about artificial intelligence destroying humanity. 

 Road Texas gay couple's Doctor Who-themed engagement photo goes viral - just in time for the Season 8 premiere tonight.

 Road Economic theorist Jeremy Rifkin explains his concept of The Internet of Things and its potential role in the future fall of capitalism. 

Controversial video-hosting site LiveLeak bans ISIS following their release of the James Foley execution video. 

 Road Google is testing its self-driving car in a complete virtual "Matrix California" - "According to the Guardian, this virtual world is housed inside computers at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, and provides a complete map of California’s entire road network. It even throws in some real life obstacles to trip the cars up, like overzealous motorists and jaywalking pedestrians.

 Road An informative little video explaining quantum mechanics and quantum entanglement - featuring adorable kitties!

 

 Road Indicted Texas Gov Rick Perry, expressing concern that ISIS could come in through Mexico, is hoping to get more drones patrolling the US-Mexico border

CavillRoad Henry Cavill on set in his full superhero suit for the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

 Road Verge looks at how the U.S. goverment's online presence could use an upgrade: "Imagine a single, central website that could answer any question you had about government and whether it can help you. One portal where you could log in, and with a tool as familiar as Google search, ask: "how can I apply for a passport?" "is it illegal to fish without a license in Washington, DC?" "where do I vote?" "what do I do if my disability claim is taking too long?" "what forms do I need to establish my business?" No matter your query, you are met with an actionable answer, or a way to contact a human being who can help you with your request."

 Road Another way to prove Moon landing hoax conspiracy theorists wrong: moon dust

Road Check out what a circa 1987 Apple thought the world would be like a decade later

Road How does the iPhone 5 camera hold up against Fujifilm's X-T1?


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