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Weapon Wednesday – Patriot Missile System Gets an Upgrade

Lockheed Martin’s radar technology demonstrator is designed to operate within the US Army Integrated Air & ...
Lockheed Martin’s radar technology demonstrator is  designed to operate within the US Army Integrated Air & Missile Defense (IAMD) framework (Credit: Lockheed Martin)

The radar at the heart of US Army’s Patriot missile system is getting a bit long in the tooth, so Lockheed Martin has announced the debut of its next-generation air and missile defense radar demonstrator. The 360⁰ capable Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar for Engagement and Surveillance (ARES) will be unveiled to the public at the 2017 Space & Missile Defense Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama. read more

An Autonomous Helicopter Air Taxi

German automobile firm Daimler and other investors have has invested more than $29 million dollars (25 million euro) in aviation start-up Volocopter.

Volocopter plans to use the money to invest in further developing its electrically powered, autonomous Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft and ‘conquer’ the market for flying air taxis.

Volocopter’s ‘Volocopter 2X’ is a fully electric VTOL with 18 quiet rotors and a maximum airspeed of 100 kilometers (62 miles) per hour – and it can transport two passengers without a pilot.

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Volocopter announced that in the fourth quarter of 2017, it will work with Dubai's Road and Transport Authority (RTA) to conduct tests of its vehicle as an autonomous air taxi. The trial operations and certification program is expected to continue for five years

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First Test of Hyperloop One

Phase 2 of testing has seen the XP-1 put through its paces at Hyperloop One's 500-meter ...
Phase 2 of testing has seen the XP-1 put through its paces at Hyperloop One’s 500-meter (1,600 ft) tube in the Nevada desert

A few weeks back, Hyperloop One revealed a prototype of a pod that it hopes will eventually ferry passengers through near-vacuum tubes at around the speed of sound. Today, the company has announced the first successful tests of this futuristic capsule, in which it levitated above a test track en route to speeds of more than 300 km/h. read more

Weapon Wednesday – USS Gerald R. Ford Shows Off Two New Systems

An F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 flies over USS ...
 An F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 flies over USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) (Credit: US Navy/Erik Hildebrandt)

The USS Gerald R Ford scored a double first less than a week after commissioning, as the nuclear-powered supercarrier launched and recovered a fighter plane for the first time using an electromagnetic catapult. On July 28, an F/A-18F Super Hornet piloted by Commander Jamie Struck was launched from the flight deck by the ElectroMAgnetic Launch System (EMALS) shortly after arrival, when it made the first arrested landing with the Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) system. read more

My PC Isn’t Fast – So What

You may have heard of something called Moore’s Law with regards to computing power. The most simplistic way to describe this is that computing power doubles roughly every year to year and a half. This prediction has pretty much held up fairly well over the last thirty years. Now, with computing power doubling over every year and a half over thirty years means that today’s computers are roughly a million times faster than the first personal computers.

This may seem like a great thing to have a PC that is extremely fast but if you look a bit more closely at how the average PC is used, much of this performance is wasted as the system sits idle for more than 95% of the time. With the processor sitting idle, it isn’t generally necessary for a consumer to buy the most powerful system out there. Instead, it is generally better to buy a more affordable option that will give you roughly the same overall level of experience in the software you will be running. After all, you don’t need a massive eight core processor if your PC is going to be used just to play minesweeper. This article takes a look at how the average PC is used and then tries to point buyers to what would best suit their computing needs. read more

Does TV Resolution Matter

To Know About 720p and 1080p

Video Resolution Chart - 480i to 1080p

Video Resolution Chart – 480i to 1080p. mage via Wikimedia Commons – Public Domain

How 720p and 1080p Are Similar and Different

Although 4K gets all the buzz these days as the ultimate high-resolution video format available, 720p and 1080p are actually both high definition video display formats. In addition, the other characteristic 1080p and 720p share in common are that they are progressive display formats (that is where the “p” comes from). However, this is where the similarity between 720p and 1080p ends.

  • 720p is 1,280 pixels displayed across the screen horizontally and 720 pixels down the screen vertically. This arrangement yields 720 horizontal lines on the screen, which are, in turn, displayed progressively, or each line displayed following another.
  • 1080p represents 1,920 pixels displayed across the screen horizontally and 1,080 pixels down the screen vertically. This arrangement yields 1,080 horizontal lines on the screen, which are, in turn, displayed progressively, or each line of pixels displayed following another. In other words, all lines are displayed progressively, providing a very detailed high definition video image.

The main difference between 720p and 1080p lies in the number of pixels that make up a 720p image and 1080p image. For 720p the number of pixels that make up the image is about 1 million (equivalent to 1 megapixel in a digital still camera) and about 2 million pixels for 1080p.

This means that a 1080p image has the potential to display a lot more detail than a 720p image.

However, how does this all translate to what you actually see on a TV screen? Shouldn’t it be easy to see the difference between a 720p and 1080p TV? Not necessarily.

Besides pixel density of 1080p vs 720p, there are also the factors of screen size and seating distance from the screen to take into consideration.

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New Amphibious Beach Buggy

According to Lazareth, the amphibious Moke can be registered as a dinghy
According to Lazareth, the amphibious Moke can be registered as a dinghy (Credit: Lazareth)

If you’ve been to the Caribbean or various other tropical vacation spots, then chances are you’ve seen a Mini Moke. Built from 1964 to 1993 in several parts of the world (and recently resurrected as an electric car), the diminutive open-top vehicle was made mainly from Mini parts, and is still popular for use as a beach buggy. read more

New Meaning to Harvest Moon

The 2020
The 2020 “Harvest Moon” expedition will be the first commercial operation to send lunar rocks back to Earth (Credit: Moon Express)

The private race to the moon just kicked up a notch with Moon Express revealing in detail its plan to begin commercially harvesting moon rocks by 2020. The company is set to become the first commercial presence on the Moon sending back lunar samples as well as establishing a permanent lunar research outpost. read more

The Outrageous Aston Martin Valkyrie

The Aston Martin Valkyrie could be headed to a public road near you
The Aston Martin Valkyrie could be headed to a public road near you

The bespoke AM-RB001 Valkyrie became one of the most talked about cars in the world when Aston Martin and Red Bull announced it in Melbourne last year, and the hype hasn’t faded in the intervening 18 months. We’ve now been given a detailed look at the road-legal version of the Valkyrie, complete with unbelievably intricate underbody aerodynamics and a stunning, pared-back interior. read more