In our ever growing quest to privatize the space industry and create a “Utopia” where space flight becomes relatively cheap, thank to competition and the invisible hand of the market, Google decided to step in and try to speed up the process. In 2007, they started the Google Lunar X-prize, also known as GLXP, where there are over 30 million dollars in rewards for the team/teams that can launch a spacecraft that will land on the moon, and then travel another 500 meters under it’s own power, after which it must transmit high quality video and images from the surface. Also, the teams must get no government funding, whatsoever, so it it must be completely privatized.
As the new term rolls around, we must pay our annual dues to the hierarchy that is UVU. Thanks to the wonderful symbiotic relationship UCAS has with them, we don’t have to carry the main weight– tuition itself. All we need to do is pay the (relatively) small fee for each one of our credit hours. But how do you know how much to pay?
It’s a simple question, with a pretty simple answer. Go to google (or Bing if you’re a masochist), and search for “My UVU”. Login, and you should see on the left side a “students” tab. Scroll down to “Paying for my education” and click on that. In the middle of the page you should see a link labeled “account summary by term”. Click on it, and look for the term “2017 Spring”. Now here, don’t panic if you see a lot of numbers, particularly ones with many 0’s after them. Just look for the item that is labeled “concurrent enrollment tuition”, and that is the amount you need to pay.
Following tech giants such as Facebook, and Google, Verizon is taking to the skies in an attempt to create unmanned “flying cell phone towers” to patch up areas in the sky where cell reception is lacking. While its long term dream is to create a steady 4G LTE network across every part of the country, its immediate goal is to increase the range for first responders and emergency crews to pick up signals of people lost in the middle of nowhere. Verizon has named their experimental aircraft beacon ALO (Airborne LTE Operations), and they have been working on the project for around 2 years now.
Edward Snowden. While the name might not ring a bell for a few readers, his effect in our country involving data and technology is unrivalled. In the early parts of June, 2013, Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the NSA (National Security Agency) spying into our everyday lives. Every text that we sent, every picture that was posted on the internet, they stored in mass storage facilities, one being right here in Bluffdale, UT. And we would not have known any of it if it was not for Edward Snowden.
Aerospace enthusiasts Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard were able to take on the challenge of building the world’s first solar plane that runs on its self-created energy alone. They went through two prototypes, Solar Impulse 1 and Solar Impulse 2. Solar Impulse 2 being the largest success. The plane is entirely run on solar energy and can sustain flight for 21 hours and 58 minutes. Solar Impulse went on to achieve feats.
It took almost 9 years of buildup for Solar Impulse Inc. to develop and construct the craft. Apart from having to design high-efficiency photovoltaic panels (a fancy word for solar panels), they also had to create them in such a way that they could be molded into the shape of the custom made wing. As well as getting the power source up to speed, Solar Impulse Inc. also had to work on creating a lightweight alternative to generators/motors, to transfer the electric energy into a mechanical/rotational force to turn the propeller blades. They finally produced 4 custom electric motors that were powered by 4 21 kWh Lithium-ion batteries, and that produced an entire 10 horsepower together.
Most of us hear about the affects of global warming over the radio, television, or news all the time. We all believe global warming is occurring, right? Well recent polls show a large amount of people, even at UCAS, either don’t believe global warming exists, or don’t see it as a problem. As per slate.com, only about 40% of Americans think that Global warming exists. Global warming is in fact real, and not a conspiracy by the Chinese (looking at you Trump). The Earth’s temperature has been steadily rising since the Industrial Age, and ever since we started burning fossil fuels, the rate of increase has sky rocketed, and we don’t have a plan to deal with it.
A lot of us are getting to the point where we are starting to own and use credit cards. However, a lot of us dont think about the security/ I mean, they are just a card, right? They actually have a little chip embedded in them known as an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chip, and the scanners that you use to swipe the card, read the magnetic strip, and scan the RFID chip. But thieves can use the same process to steal your money. In fact, it’s so easy someone with a powerful enough scanner can get all the information on your card, without even coming within 1 foot of you. That’s why MIT and Texas instruments have worked to make “Unhackable” RFID chips.
I’m sure we all know about what happened at the Iowa Caucasus elections, thanks to Mr.Barksdale’s class. In case you live under a rock, or just so happen to not have Mr.Barksdale, here is a quick summary of what happened. On Monday, February 1st, there was a statewide voting that occurred, for both the Democratic and Republican parties. They were voting to see who would win the nomination for each party. From the Democrats, there were only 2 runners, Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton won by an actual razor thin margin of just 4 extra votes. On the republican side, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and a few others were running. Ted Cruz won by a landslide, with over 5,000 votes ahead of the runner up. Donald Trump had an embarrassing defeat coming 2nd to his primary competitor, Ted Cruz.
We all know we want one. A self driving car that would be legal on the roads. While we have all heard about Google and Apple’s endeavors in self driving cars, we have never expected one to debut in the streets so soon. This summer “Ultra Pods” will take to the roads of London as a new public transportation system. This system will not require any human intervention to work. It will be fully automated, and the cars will be able to transport people around the city in, quite possibly, the safest manner.
A common occurrence in the sci-fi genre is robots who have the ability to read, and communicate with humans. For many years now, researchers at the New York, Toronto, and MIT universities have worked in partnership to figure out a way for a computer to be able to recognize not only letters, but to also b able to manipulate these characters in such a way that it seems almost as if a human is speaking. We have seen many ways the programmers have tried to mimic this, an example being the Evie Bot, where the robot just pick out key words, and looks for a response that seems to match those words,but most have ended in failure. For example, if someone asked the robot, “How is the weather today?”, the robot would pick up key words such as how, weather, and today. It would then formulate a response along the lines of “The weather is good today”. As we can see, the robot is not truly thinking about a response like a human would, and is instead, picking random responses that could work for the question.