Launch an 80,000-Pound Sled off an Aircraft Carrier? Sure!

Launch an 80,000-Pound Sled off an Aircraft Carrier? Sure!

Since the sled is launched horizontally, the starting vertical velocity is zero meters per second. If I had the height of the flight deck, I could use that and the vertical motion to find the time it takes to hit the water.

Google's Making It Easier to Encrypt Even Cheap Android Phones

Google's Making It Easier to Encrypt Even Cheap Android Phones

"The design is solid, based on trusted components, and likely to adequately protect users of the products integrating this new algorithm." The Google researchers says that they are confident in Adiantum's integrity, and they hope it will help call attention to the importance of storage encryption for IoT and other low-resource devices.

Can Drones Help Stop the Spread of Kenya’s Invasive Cactus?

Can Drones Help Stop the Spread of Kenya’s Invasive Cactus?

Photo © Gustavo Lozada/TNC Some call it a green hell: As the invasive cactus species Opuntia engelmannii spreads in Kenya, it covers everything. Photo © Gustavo Lozada/TNC Mapping Cactus Just as Lozada surmised, the cochineal insects are an extremely effective biocontrol.

This App Lets Kenya's Farmers Monitor Crops From Eyes in the Sky

This App Lets Kenya's Farmers Monitor Crops From Eyes in the Sky

Using free satellite data from the UN, PlantVillage can monitor biomass on a plot of land, giving small-scale farmers insight into how their crops are developing.

Big Tech Is Here to Help You Fight Excessive Phone Use—Kinda

Big Tech Is Here to Help You Fight Excessive Phone Use—Kinda

But neither company has done much to address the persuasive design of those apps, or help people move beyond what was already possible to do by manually changing a few settings in your phone.In other words, Google and Apple used the banner of "digital wellness" to re-package tools that already existed, without changing much of anything about your phone."Time Well Spent was never about giving users features to set time limits on their phones, it was about changing the game from which companies compete," says Harris.

It's Not a Myth: Quantum Messages Really Can Travel Faster

It's Not a Myth: Quantum Messages Really Can Travel Faster

“We are the first to show a quantum advantage for transmitted information that two parties have to share to perform a useful task,” said Eleni Diamanti , an electrical engineer at Sorbonne University and a co-author of the result along with Iordanis Kerenidis , a computer scientist at Paris Diderot University, and Niraj Kumar .

No Caribou for Christmas: A Disappearing Herd Now Down To One

No Caribou for Christmas: A Disappearing Herd Now Down To One

“It’s disappointing to be honest,” says Norm Merz, South Selkirk Caribou Management Plan coordinator and Kootenai Tribe of Idaho wildlife biologist. More time than caribou have, but there is a plan for the South Selkirk herd.

Amnesty Report Finds, Yes, Twitter Is Toxic for Women

Amnesty Report Finds, Yes, Twitter Is Toxic for Women

“We have the data to back up what women have long been telling us—that Twitter is a place where racism, misogyny and homophobia are allowed to flourish basically unchecked.”The study looked at 778 women journalists and politicians in the US and UK, and found that 7.1 percent of tweets sent to them last year were abusive or problematic.

Startup Founders Think Real Progress on Diversity Is Years Away

Startup Founders Think Real Progress on Diversity Is Years Away

According to the survey, most startup founders think it’ll take more than a decade for the tech industry to become representative of the general population when it comes to gender and racial diversity.

Self-Driving Cars: The Complete Guide

Self-Driving Cars: The Complete Guide

By the 2007 Urban Challenge, the vehicles were not just avoiding obstacles and sticking to trails but following traffic laws, merging, parking, even making safe, legal U-turns.When Google launched its self-driving car project in 2009, it started by hiring a team of Darpa Challenge veterans.

The Science of Growing a Perfect Christmas Tree

The Science of Growing a Perfect Christmas Tree

"Basically, how can we identify species and seed sources that are going to lead to better Christmas trees, and how can growers manage their farms to produce better trees," he says.The research Cregg and his colleagues are conducting today will likely influence what type of Christmas tree you buy from your local lot a decade from now.Consider Cregg's cold-hardiness experiments, one of which he's currently performing inside a chest freezer in the basement of MSU's Plant and Soil Sciences Building.

Security News This Week: Did Quora Get Hacked? Top Answer: Yes

Security News This Week: Did Quora Get Hacked? Top Answer: Yes

The hack probably should have been the biggest news of the week, but for a little distracting—and important!—thing called the Mueller probe.In expectation of Robert Mueller making big moves in the investigation before the holidays, Garrett Graff spells out the 14 questions about Trump and Russia that Mueller knows the answer to.Also this week, veteran Kristofer Goldsmith revealed that foreign trolls are targeting vets on Facebook.

A SpaceX Delivery Capsule May Be Contaminating the ISS

A SpaceX Delivery Capsule May Be Contaminating the ISS

The crystals also significantly changed in frequency when the next Dragon docked, and the report estimates that this mission may have left behind up to 32 times the rule-abiding amount of extra matter on one sensor.The presentation was put together by the Space Environments team, a NASA and Boeing collaboration dedicated to understanding how the harsh realities of space mess with instruments and humans.

Cities Have Turned Into Fire Bait—But We Can Fix Them

Cities Have Turned Into Fire Bait—But We Can Fix Them

High winds blow embers perhaps miles in advance of a blaze, firebrands that land on clusters of pine needles or leaves on roofs, quickly triggering hundreds if not thousands of house fires, as appears to have happened in Paradise.Part of what makes the destruction of Paradise so shocking is that we tend to assume that cities just don’t burn anymore.

Vital for life, heat and power – what you never knew about salt water

Vital for life, heat and power – what you never knew about salt water

To prevent the worst effects of climate change we need to extract carbon dioxide (CO₂) from the air and store it on a huge scale. Deliberately exposing large volumes of air to water containing potassium ions (similar to salt water) can effectively capture CO₂ very cost-effectively.

Melinda Gates' New Research Reveals Alarming Diversity Numbers

Melinda Gates' New Research Reveals Alarming Diversity Numbers

This group will coordinate to direct their giving collectively, with the twin goals of creating a set of guidelines that will revamp the computer science major to appeal more to women of color and while building dedicated communities that will support these women within the industry, among other things.Gates has long contended that collecting data is critical to addressing the social challenges she has spent the second part of her career tackling as a philanthropist; companies may say they care deeply about problems, but until the research exists to show them exactly what the problem looks like, how it’s changing, and what measures have been shown to be effective in addressing it, not much changes.

EU climate law could cause 'catastrophic' deforestation

EU climate law could cause 'catastrophic' deforestation

The climate law could suck in as much imported wood as Europe harvests each year because it will count energy created from the burning of whole trees as “carbon neutral”, according to several academics including a former vice-chair of the UN IPCC.

A 600-Meter-Long Plastic Catcher Heads to Sea. But Scientists Are Skeptical

A 600-Meter-Long Plastic Catcher Heads to Sea. But Scientists Are Skeptical

The free-floating Ocean Cleanup system may well snag the bits at the surface, but with a screen made of woven polyurethane that hangs down 3 meters at its lengthiest, it’s limited in what it can reach.“There's also the fact that you're collecting and aggregating plastics, and so that's actually going to attract more animals to it,” says Martini.

Melting glaciers increasing risk of landslide-triggered tsunamis, study reveals

Melting glaciers increasing risk of landslide-triggered tsunamis, study reveals

Melting glaciers could be triggering a ripple effect of natural disasters that culminates in massive tsunamis, according to new research. This problem is likely to be exacerbated along the icy coastlines of Greenland, Patagonia and Norway, where huge chunks of rock smashing into the water can create towering waves.

Free Speech Is Not the Same As Free Reach

Free Speech Is Not the Same As Free Reach

Free Speech Is Not the Same As Free ReachJabin Botsford/The Washington Post/Getty ImagesThe algorithms that govern how we find information online are once again in the news—but you have to squint to find them.“Trump Accuses Google of Burying Conservative News in Search Results,” reads an August 28 New York Times headline.

How Self-Driving Supergroup Aurora Plans to Make Robocars Real

How Self-Driving Supergroup Aurora Plans to Make Robocars Real

But now that it’s looking build up its team (currently about 160-strong), it has published a blog post laying out its approach to robo-driving.WIRED sat down with Urmson, Aurora's CEO, to go over its key points—including the role of machine learning, measuring progress, and proving safety—and how he and his cofounders are handing their second lap around this track.Teaching the MachineIn developing this technology, it’s tempting to fall into what Urmson calls “ladder building.” For example, if you’re working on bringing the car to a stop, you want to keep making it smoother and smoother.

Climate Change DEAD ZONE: Scientists warn clock is ticking as ‘oceans suffocate’

Climate Change DEAD ZONE: Scientists warn clock is ticking as ‘oceans suffocate’

Oceanographers from the University of East Anglia (UEA) came across their finding after deploying a team of robot submarines in the Gulf of Oman.Their collected data found a monstrous dead zone the size of the US state of Florida – and the area is unfortunately spreading.Dead zones, or Oxygen Minimum Zones, are areas with extremely low levels of oxygen in bodies of water such as oceans and large lakes.Dr Bastien Queste from UEA’s School of Environmental Sciences said: “Dead zones are areas devoid of oxygen.

Turns Out Cities Can't Sue Oil Companies for Climate Change

Turns Out Cities Can't Sue Oil Companies for Climate Change

That case had the same outcome, this time from Judge William Alsup of the Northern District1 of California: “Although the scope of plaintiffs’ claims is determined by federal law, there are sound reasons why regulation of the worldwide problem of global warming should be determined by our political branches, not by our judiciary,” he writes.

Bosch Says It's Made a Breakthrough That Can Save Diesel Engines

Bosch Says It's Made a Breakthrough That Can Save Diesel Engines

Robert Bosch GmbH said its engineers have developed a new diesel-exhaust system that cuts emissions far below legal limits taking effect in 2020 and can help automakers avoid potential driving bans in Europe that threaten to doom the engine technology.