Science and IT news

NASA show 4K video-tour on ISS

A soothing new 18-minute video from NASA lets you float through the nooks and crannies of the International Space Station in ultra high definition.

World's smallest nuclear power plant: China is developing a reactor so tiny that it can fit in a shipping container

China is developing the world's smallest nuclear power station, which could go into operation within five years, according to new reports.   The tiny power plant would fit inside a shipping container and could generate 10 megawatts of heat - enough to power 50,000 households.   The mini reactor could be placed on an island in the disputed South China Sea.   Known as hedianbao, or 'portable nuclear battery pack', the tiny power plant would measure just 20 feet (6.1 metres) by 8.5 feet (2.6 metres), reports Stephen Chen for the South China Morning Post.   The lead-cooled reactor could potentially run for years or even decades before needing to be refueled.   The research is being carried out by the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Nuclear Energy Safety Technology and is being partly funded by the People's Liberation Army.   'Part of our funding came from the military, but we hope – and it's our ultimate goal – that the technology will eventually benefit civilian users,' Professor Huang Qunying, a nuclear scientist ­involved in the research, told the South China Morning Post.   The miniature power plant would enable the researchers to desalinate large amounts of seawater for use as freshwater.   However, there any concerns that any incidents at the plant causing leakage of radioactive material could be catastrophic.   Not only would the surrounding countries be affected, the area's strong currents would spread any contamination further afield.   Experts have also expressed concern that any rise in the surrounding sea temperature potentially resulting from the power plant's placement, could dramatically affect the local marine life.   Researchers believe that that the 'fast reactor' - one that uses fast neutrons to split fuel atoms - offers safety benefits over other types of reactor   However, Professor Huang Qunying believes that convincing the public of the plant's safety will still be a challenge, reports the South China Morning Post.  

Self-propelled suitcase or luggage that will catch up with you myself.

In this world of fully “Automatedness”, carrying your luggage with you and taking care of it like your own child is agonizing. Here comes the fully automated briefcase from Travelmate Robotics which always follows you. Let us have a look at what this product is all about. Autonomy This autonomous suitcase comes with smart technology that makes it follows you always. This suitcase comes along with integrated dynamic artificial intelligence which helps in making decisions on its own. Because of this feature, it can follow you even in a densely crowded place or in any complicated situations. This suitcase will align the wheels so that it can avoid any obstacles or being run over by people. Sensors, that come with this suitcase always track your movement and based on your movement the suitcase moves along with you or comes to stand still. This suitcase comes along with the Smart Lock system. So you can lock the suitcase using your smartphone app. {source}<script src=''></script>{/source} Battery Most important aspect when it comes to this kind of electronic gadgets is Battery charge. According to the official website, battery lasts for up to 4.15 hours in continuous autonomous usage. This battery is removable and you can use this battery to charge other electronic devices like smartphones, iPads or iPods. This Li-Ion battery features a fast charging feature and can provide 5 V. Material Let alone this suitcase, when we purchase an ordinary suitcase we always check the material used and based on the material we estimate the durability. This suitcase comes with ABS+Polycarbide and is expected to last for a rough and tough usage. Motion and Speed This suitcase can move up to 11 kmph making it fast enough to catch an average running person. The inbuilt accelerometer and the gyroscope adjust the speed and the turning radius dynamically. Smartphone app This suitcase comes with a smartphone app. This app is compatible with ios 8.0 or above and Android 4.4 or above. You can track the location of the suitcase using the inbuilt GPS module. So no more worry about losing the suitcase. The suitcase can be tracked on the Smartphone app anytime anywhere. A point to be noted is that the software is open source. Luggage Excluding the space for your packaged luggage inside the suitcase, this suitcase can also carry an extra luggage on top of it, when used in the horizontal mode. Other features This suitcase also comes with a LED lighting which will help you find your suitcase even in a darker environment. These LED lights are also useful as indicators. You can customize the color of the LED using the smartphone app. The motor used in the suitcase is very quiet and also energy efficient. Regulations This product adheres to TSA standards Summary Taking all the features into considerations, this suitcase is almost ideal for any kind of traveler. Smartphone connectivity is a plus point.

Real holographic displays are becoming a thing

I saw my first hologram display this past summer from a company called Looking Glass. Now another company is working on a similar product called the Holovect, which just launched on Kickstarter. Both products aim to bring holograms to developers and then eventually consumers. Well, technically, Holovect says it doesn't peddle a hologram display. It's in the business of "volumetric vector images." Okay Holovect. We get it. The products differ in their presentation. Volume is a box, whereas the Holovect projects more out in the open. Neither seems incredibly convenient or discrete, but both seemingly accomplish the goal of finding a way to display holograms. {source} <iframe width="853" height="480" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> {/source} The other key difference between the two options is that Volume isn’t crowdfunded; it’s available for preorder starting at $1,199 for a full range of color. Holovect starts at $899, but a version that comes with a full color spectrum costs $1,800. It hasn’t yet been funded, and we haven’t checked out a prototype in-person. From what I've seen from Volume, the quality of holograms isn't great yet. It isn't that they can't be, but rather that it would just be too dang expensive to create a perfect quality image. I wish I could compare Holovect quality to Volume, but I can't. All I can say is that I'm ready for this hologram future.