Google+

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.

Continue reading

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

Go Anywhere Elevator

This cable-free, Willy Wonka-style concept, can move multiple cars vertically and horizontally in a single shaft ...
This cable-free, Willy Wonka-style concept, can move multiple cars vertically and horizontally in a single shaft using a magnet-based drive system similar to that of Maglev train technology. (Credit: ThyssenKrupp)

After unveiling its Multi concept in 2014, German engineering conglomerate ThyssenKrupp has made its vision of a cable-free, Willy Wonka-style elevator design a reality. Over the past few years the company has been constructing a 246-m (807-ft) high test tower and refining the technology that would allow multiple cars to move vertically and horizontally in a single shaft using a magnet-based drive system similar to that in Maglev trains. Just last week, after two-and-a-half years of construction, the test tower and first fully functional Multi unit were launched. read more

Weapon Wednesday – First Shot from Laser Weapon

Raytheon mounted a high energy laser on an Apache helicopter similar to those in this image
Raytheon mounted a high energy laser on an Apache helicopter similar to those in this image (Credit: Raytheon)

Laser weapons have been tested on ships, planes, and even armored vehicles, but Raytheon has pushed the envelope further again by successfully testing a high-energy laser mounted on an Apache AH-64 attack helicopter. According to the company, the laser pod flew last April at the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico under the aegis of the US Army Apache Program Management Office and the US Special Operations Command, where it was able to lock onto and hit an unmanned target. read more

Time to Clean up Space

Artist's concept of a magnetic tug nearing a derelict satellite
Artist’s concept of a magnetic tug nearing a derelict satellite (Credit: ESA/Philippe Ogaki)

An ESA-funded scientist is developing a magnetic space tug to combat the growing problem of space debris. The tugs could lock onto derelict satellites and deorbit them before they become a hazard to navigation, and because they use cryogenic magnets, they wouldn’t have to even touch the derelicts and the targets wouldn’t need to be specially modified for towing. read more