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June 2022 News Wire

Kristoffer Trolle on Flickr

Space Weather

We know the weather here on earth: maybe it’s sunny outside, or raining. What about out in space? Turns out space does have weather, much of it created by sun shooting flares. The sun may be 93 million miles from Earth but its weather can damage our satellites and electronic devices. The US National Weather Service has a space weather page that includes links to NASA solar missions.

The Staggering Ecological Impacts of Computation and the Cloud

Computers are everywhere in our daily lives. Not only laptops and desktop computers but also phones, traffic cameras, and other devices. Many are connected to the internet and send data to and from other computers that collect and serve data, for example, collecting video from an intersection with heavy traffic. Turns out our digital world with all these computers has a huge impact on the ecology and climate. This computer infrastructure now has a bigger carbon footprint than airlines..

The Microprocessor at 50: How the 4004 Changed The World

Believe it or not, there was a time when personal computers did not exist. In November 1971, Intel released the 4004 computer chip which was the first highly usable microprocessor. In plain language, the 4004 chips were used to make portable digital calculators. Mechanical calculators became obsolete. Other companies then made their chips to power watches, typewriters, phones, and other devices. Computer chips evolved to power massive computers linked together into networks as well as control satellites and space ships.

Chinese ‘space cleaner’ spotted grabbing and throwing away old satellite

A company that tracks satellites noticed very strange behavior from a Chinese satellite, something out of Star Wars. The Chinese SJ-21 satellite changed its orbit to approach then connect to a long dead Compass Go satellite, changing its orbit. The Compass satellite is a Chinese satellite in a fixed orbit around the Earth. The SJ-21 then tossed the Compass into a graveyard orbit like throwing out trash before the SJ-21 returned to his fixed orbit above the Congo in Africa.

This company says it’s developing a system that can recognize your face from just your DNA

An Israeli company, Corsight, is in the early stages of trying to develop technology that can take a person’s DNA – perhaps from a strand of hair, for example – and construct what their face looks like. It’s currently science fiction but people have tried to figure out the science needed to make this happen. Another company, Parabon, uses DNA to estimate eye and skin color which is less complicated than reconstructing an entire face.

Solar panel-covered Sun Rock will generate 1 million kWh of clean energy per year

A planned Taiwanese building project, called a Sun Rock, is designed to use solar panels to generate massive amounts of power. The building is almost totally covered with solar panels and capable of generating roughly 1 million kWh of energy a year. The building has a round rock-like shape to make the most of the sunlight falling on the building.

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