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Updated: 1 year 3 days ago

In the virtual cockpit: What it takes to fly a drone

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 10:18am
Drone pilots escape the physical demands and dangers of a traditional cockpit. There's no g-force pinning them to their seats, no uncomfortable pressure suit to wear and no panic because the aircraft they are sitting in is spiraling out of control. Instead of soaking in sensory information through their eyes and ears and fingers, drone pilots spend hours watching their crafts through their compute...    

New Twitter music app expected to launch

Fri, 04/12/2013 - 7:36pm
Facebook isn’t the only social media giant launching something new today. Following its acquisition of music service We Are Hunted, Twitter could be quietly rolling out a music of its own.Twitter hasn’t made any official announcements, but a new Web page at music.twitter.com went live on Friday morning. The website is pretty bare at the moment—it just contains the Twitter logo and text that ...    

Two-headed pig born in China

Fri, 04/12/2013 - 6:30pm
On the heels of recent news about a two-headed bull shark, a two-headed pig has been born in a village in east China's Jianxi province, according to the news reports.The photo shows a pig with two snouts, two ears and what appears to be a shared eye. A local veterinarian told the AFP news agency the animal is suffering a deformity and is unlikely to survive.The deformity may be the same condition,...    

Old Faithful's underground cavern discovered

Fri, 04/12/2013 - 5:47pm
By Becky Oskin, OurAmazingPlanetOld Faithful's underground plumbing looks more like a bagpipe than a flute, a new study of the Yellowstone National Park geyser finds.A big chamber sits about 50 feet underground, located southwest of Old Faithful, researchers report in a study published online March 30 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. The exact size can't be determined, but they est...    

Video: Squishy virtual creatures 'evolve' walking behaviors

Fri, 04/12/2013 - 5:36pm
Simulating creatures has been a staple of biological science for years, but this video shows advances in the field that are both interesting and a little creepy. These virtual "soft robots" evolved bizarre but somehow natural-looking gaits over thousands of generations.A team of researchers, led by Jeff Clune at the University of Wyoming's Evolving AI Lab, created a new way of simulating and evolv...    

Warming means more forests toppled by windstorms

Fri, 04/12/2013 - 4:30pm
By Larry O'HanlonDiscovery NewsClimate change could likely lead to more wind-fallen trees and damaged forests, say researchers studying how forests grow, mature then fall apart in big wind storms. The connections to climate change are easy to miss, however, because trees often live longer than humans.“When you think like an ecologist and you realize that the lifespan of trees are multiples of huma...    

Verizon to extend phone-upgrade waiting period

Fri, 04/12/2013 - 4:19pm
Verizon Wireless, the country's largest cellphone carrier, on Friday said that it is extending the time it takes to earn a subsidized phone upgrade from 20 months on contract to 24 months.The move will save Verizon money, since it subsidizes each new smartphone by as much as $400 to get the price down to $199 or lower. With less frequent phone upgrades, it will pay out less in subsidies. In a sta...    

BlackBerry wants probe on reports of phone returns 

Fri, 04/12/2013 - 3:30pm
TORONTO — BlackBerry plans to ask securities regulators in Canada and the United States to probe what it said is a "false and misleading" report that consumer return rates for its new Z10 smartphone have been high.The Canadian company, which has pinned its turnaround hopes on its new BlackBerry 10 line of smartphones, went on the offensive on Friday after the report from little known Boston-based ...    

Facebook Home now available to download (if your phone runs it)

Fri, 04/12/2013 - 3:29pm
Facebook's new Android skin, Home, is now available for download from the Google Play Store, although you'll need to have a fairly state-of-the-art phone to run it.Right now only a handful of phones are able to download Facebook Home, including the HTC One X, One X+, and Samsung Galaxy S 3. Some upcoming phones, like the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S 4, will also be compatible, as well, of course, ...    

We'll soon say goodbye to summer ice in Arctic

Fri, 04/12/2013 - 3:13pm
By Becky OskinLiveScienceBy the time today's babies graduate college, there's a very good chance they could celebrate with a cruise across the North Pole.That's according to the latest study on Arctic summer sea ice, the frozen pack that lingers through the Northern Hemisphere summer. In past decades, there's been less summer ice, and it's growing thinner.The research, published online Feb. 21 in ...    

An ugly Michelangelo portrait? It may not be his

Fri, 04/12/2013 - 2:29pm
By Megan GannonLiveScienceMichelangelo's portrait of Cleopatra holding an asp to her breast has been celebrated as an ideal Renaissance composition of an idealized woman. With pearls, braided hair and a slender neck, the last pharaoh of ancient Egypt faces her death by snakebite with a detached, elegant gaze.Curators had suspected there was another Michelangelo sketch on the black-chalk drawing's ...    

Facebook Home may disable Android lockscreen

Fri, 04/12/2013 - 2:13pm
Facebook's Home Android app appears to disable PIN or pattern locks on the HTC First, the first phone to come with the app pre-installed. We set our trial handset of the HTC First to use a PIN lock, then a pattern lock. We were able to completely bypass the lockscreen and get into the user's email and Gmail accounts immediately, and into other apps as well. There do not appear to be any securit...    

Microsoft security update may break Windows 7

Fri, 04/12/2013 - 1:56pm
A security update that Microsoft pushed out earlier this week crashes some Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista machines, forcing them into an endless cycle of reboots that can only be stopped by repairing the operating systems. Microsoft recommends that all Windows 7 users uninstall the security update. The update came as a part of Patch Tuesday, Microsoft's longstanding traditi...    

This program plays 'Super Mario Bros.' better than most gamers 

Fri, 04/12/2013 - 1:56pm
There's already software out there that can make video games for you. But what about playing them? For most of video games' short history, this was left to people and their stubby fingered, imperfect human reflexes. But now thanks to enterprising programmer Tom Murphy (also known as Tom 7), soon gamers may be able to sit back and watch the games unfold before them too.For this year's SIGBOVIK rese...    

Congress wants private help in asteroid hunt

Fri, 04/12/2013 - 1:56pm
By Miriam KramerSpace.comIt is time for the private sector to aid in the search for potentially city-destroying asteroids and meteors, lawmakers said during a hearing Wednesday.The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology made the call while hearing from NASA scientists and private-sector asteroid hunters during a hearing titled "Threats from Space," with both groups agreeing that somethin...    

North Korean arsenal holds few proven threats

Fri, 04/12/2013 - 1:13pm
By Mike WallSpace.comAngered by economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations after a nuclear-weapons test in February, North Korea has been doing much saber-rattling lately. The Pyongyang regime has threatened to turn major American cities into "seas of fire" and announced that it had authorized a potential nuclear strike against the United States.While North Korea's missile program is shroude...    

Putin sets first manned spaceflight from Russian soil in 2018

Fri, 04/12/2013 - 12:50pm
By Alissa de CarbonnelReutersVOSTOCHNY COSMODROME, Russia - President Vladimir Putin told astronauts in orbit on Friday that Russia will send up the first manned flights from its own soil in 2018, using a new launch pad he said will help the once-pioneering space power explore deep space and the moon. Speaking by video link with the International Space Station's crew from the building site, Putin ...    

'Minecraft' creator is second most influential person in world, says Time vote

Fri, 04/12/2013 - 12:01pm
Having already conquered the PC gaming market, what's next for the indie game wunderkind "Minecraft?" Apparently, the world. At least, that's according to the readers of Time magazine (or, really, anyone on the Internet with an interest in promoting a particular candidate), who have made "Minecraft" creator and Mojang co-founder Markus "Notch" Persson the second most influential person in the worl...    

Feline fanciers uncover cat's secret second life, thanks to GPS and science

Fri, 04/12/2013 - 12:01pm
When Tibia the house cat went missing from his comfortable San Francisco home in 2009, his doting owner Caroline Paul thought he was dead. Five weeks later Tibby came back, fat and content. "I think most people would be happy," Paul's partner Wendy MacNaughton, who was brought up with small dogs, told NBC News. But "that's when Caroline went a little crazy."The mysteries of cats' second lives hav...