Animal Planets New Show Cat Whisperer

Animal Planets New Show Cat Whisperer

The Dog Whisperer was, and still is a huge success. Even for those who aren’t fans, most people have heard of the show. South Park even spoofed Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer. Now Animal Planet is introducing a new show, My Cat From Hell. It’s basically the Cat Whisperer. Jackson Galaxy is a cat behaviorist and helps cats and their guardians – that’s right not owners, but guardians.


Read more:

Tour the Solar System with Dazzling Astronomy App

Tour the Solar System with Dazzling Astronomy App


Have you ever dreamed of traveling through space? Alas, you might never be able to do it for real. But luckily, there’s an app for that.

Solar Walk, an app for the iPad, let’s you explore the solar system in 3D on your tablet. No need for rockets, spaceships or zero-gravity. Now you can see a reproduction of Jupiter’s rings from the comfort of your couch. And it’s not just about exploring, the app has a lot of information on every planet and satellite to satisfy the appetites of the space geeks out there.

You can also plug your iPad to your 3D HDTV and explore the universe in stunning 3D on your TV. All you need is an HDMI cable and an adapter.

Developed by Vito Technology, the app is available for $4.99 on the App Store. To find out more about this exciting app, check out the video above.

Photo courtesy of Vito Technology

Read more:

French Cat Henri Visits The Vet

French Cat Henri Visits The Vet

The last time we left him, Henri the dissatisfied French cat was complaining about his everyday life and rituals. Shockingly, his attitude has not changed much.

And if he wasn’t happy lying around, Henri is definitely not going to have a good time at the vet. The week old video has over 110,000 views, and is featured on Fark, DailyPicks, and BlameItOnTheVoices.


Read more:

SpaceX Files Protest Against Air Force Over National Security Launch Monopoly

SpaceX Files Protest Against Air Force Over National Security Launch Monopoly

This morning, Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX announced that he has filed a lawsuit against the United States Air Force due to an inability to compete for future launches for the Department of Defense. This comes after exhausting other avenues to be able to compete for the contract and break the monopoly.

Back in December, a US government contract was awarded to the United Launch Alliance (ULA), which is a collaboration between Boeing and Lockheed Martin for national security launches. The ULA charges the government about $3.5 billion annually to perform these launches, though Musk claims SpaceX could do the same job and save taxpayers at least $1 billion each year. That amount of savings could fund 12 F-16 squadrons for an entire year. 

Musk also confirmed that the Falcon 9 rocket launch for NASA last week had a successful soft landing, bringing them a step closer to the creation of a reusable rocket. A rocket capable of a targeted landing onto its legs could be reset to launch the same day. Aside from the convenience factor, this represents a huge savings in the cost of the launch, as rockets don’t come cheap. Musk also added another perk of SpaceX rockets over the competition: “We have the advantage that our rocket was designed and built in the 21st century, whereas [the vehicle used by the ULA] was designed in the 90s, with roots going back to the 70s and 80s.”

In addition to the savings SpaceX could offer the taxpayers, Musk noted yet another advantage his company had over ULA: domestic production. The SpaceX rockets are designed, manufactured, and launched in America. The ULA gets about half of their rocket components from overseas and the main engine itself is actually from Russia. Currently, the US government has sanctions against Russian collaboration due to the conflict between Russia and the Ukraine, though ULA CEO Michael Gass claims to have two years worth of engines stockpiled.

Though SpaceX has accomplished what they needed to in order to gain certification to compete, they were not given the chance. “The Air Force said we had to do three launches and we did,” Musk said. “Then they told us they’d done an uncompeted award to ULA. That’s wrong.” The formal protest seeks for the government to rescind that contract and allow competition. “We’re just protesting and saying these launches should be competed,” he explained. “And if we compete and lose, that’s fine, but why were they not even competed?”

Musk testified before congress in March against the ULA’s monopoly contract for national security launches. He brought up SpaceX’s 12 mission, $1.6 billion contract with NASA. “If our rockets are good enough for NASA, why aren’t they good enough for the Air Force?” Musk asked. “It makes no sense.”

Read more:

Hypersonic Test Flight Brings High-Speed Travel Dream Closer To Reality

Hypersonic Test Flight Brings High-Speed Travel Dream Closer To Reality

A small step has been taken towards the dream of hypersonic travel, and cheap satellite launches, that supersonicair-breathing engines could make possible.

In the Australian desert a rocket has been fired into space, reaching 7.5 times the speed of sound (9,200 km/h or 5,750 mph) and 278 kilometers (173 miles) in height. In the days of space travel this is commonplace, but on the way down the payload provided valuable data about the stresses hypersonic planes will need to combat in order to operate.

The success of this test launch takes us one step closer to the realisation of hypersonic flight, said Australia’s Chief Defence Scientist Dr. Alex Zelinskyin a statement.

At the moment our fastest travel, be it into space or sending missiles across the globe, depends on rockets. But in theory there is a better way:Supersonic CombustionRamjets or “scramjets“.Rockets are weighed down by the oxygen they must carry to combine with fuel. By drawing oxygen from the atmospherescramjets, would carry much less weight, making room for other things.

Naturally scramjets won’t work in space, and initial designs depend on a rocket to boost them to supersonic speeds. Nevertheless, Professor Michael Smartof the University of Queensland told IFLScience that by replacing the second stage of a rocket launch,scramjets could make satellite launches far more efficientand they could fly back and land much more gracefully than Space X.

An even more exciting aspect of the scramjet dream is for horizontal travel in theory, scramjet-powered aircraft could fly from Sydney to London or New York in 2hours. We’re still a long way from that. This week’s test is part of the Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation (HiFiRE) Program, a set of 10planned launches scattered over several years. Smart told IFLScience the intention is that the last HiFiRE will involve more than ten seconds of horizontal scramjet flight.

Even at scramjets’ astonishing speed, this will only cover approximately 30 kilometers (18 miles), and certainly won’t be carrying passengers or satellites. However, Smart argues that once horizontal scramjet flight has been demonstrated it will be up to a Boeing or a Branson to make it commercial.He told IFLScience space tourism is likely to be a much earlier application than visiting the other side of the world before your legs have time to get cramped.

The other nine HiFiRE flights are about making the tenth one possible, collecting data either on how scramjets operate while plummeting to Earth at hypersonic speeds, or, as in 5b’s case, studying the drag and heating an airplane-shaped object would experience at these extraordinary speeds. We’re building up the technology in small steps, he told IFLScience.

The test is 5b because the second stage rocket of HiFiRE 5 failed, but Smart said the second trywas entirely successful. We haven’t analyzed the data, but we’ve seen that we got everything we were looking for.

Read more:

Its Back To The Future Day Today  So What Are The Next Future Predictions?

Its Back To The Future Day Today So What Are The Next Future Predictions?

When Doc and Marty travelled forward in time from 1985 and landed the DeLorean on October 21, 2015, they found a world of flying cars, hover boards and 3D holographic technology.

Some of the technologies predicted are now a reality of sorts, but the world of Back to The Future II is not quite what we see around us today. The movie makers didnt envisage the abundance of smartphones and other technologies that dominate our lives today.

But Hollywood is always a little hit or miss when it comes to future predictions.

So lets see if the tech experts of today are any better. The Conversation asked what they would predict for the technologies in use 30 years from now, on October 21, 2045.

A reminder of the movie

Michael Cowling

Senior Lecturer & Discipline Leader, Mobile Computing & Applications, CQUniversity Australia

Back to the Future II envisioned a connected future that is almost here, but it didnt go far enough!

By the year 2045, the word computer will be a relic of the past, because computers as we know them will be built so seamlessly into every facet of our lives that we wont even notice them anymore.

Every device around us will become a possible input and output device for us to access a seamless computing experience customised to our own particular needs, and fed from our own personal repository of information stored privately and securely in what we today call the cloud, but in the world of 2045 might simply be our digital essence.

Its hard for us to imagine it now, surrounded by individual devices like our phone, tablet and laptop that each require separate configuration, but by 2045 those devices will be much less important, and we will be able to move away from these individual personal devices towards a much more ubiquitous digital existence.

The world of 2045 will be a world of truly ubiquitous, continuous computing, with the personal smartphone and tablet as much of a novelty as the paper sports almanac was to Marty in 2015!

Philip Branch

Senior Lecturer in Telecommunications, Swinburne University of Technology

The video conference where Needles goads Marty Snr into participating in a scheme that gets him fired got things about right, although Marty would be more likely to use Skype or something similar today. So what might telecommunications look like in another 30 years?

Perhaps Doc Browns brain-wave analyser will be perfected, making telepathy a feasible network interface. This technology is surprisingly advanced. It has been possible for some time to control machines through brain control.

Perhaps we will have those contact lenses from Torchwood that transmit everything the wearer sees. There have been some developments that might make them possible.

But perhaps change will continue at a much slower pace than the past few decades. Maybe we will see a return to evolutionary rather than revolutionary change and the technologies we have now will still be around much faster, more sophisticated and ubiquitous of course, but still recognisable. Or maybe some combination of economic, social and environmental apocalypse will cause the collapse of existing infrastructure and telecommunications will be back to pencil and paper or something even more primitive.

As many people have pointed out, it is hard to make predictions, especially about the future.

The DeLorean time-machine that brought Doc and Marty to today. Universal Studios

Hamza Bendemra

Research engineer, College of Engineering and Computer Science, Australian National University

Flight vehicles are mostly represented in the form of flying cars as opposed to commercial aircraft in Back to the Future II. Looking forward to 2045, commercial aviation is likely to have seen significant changes between now and then thanks to breakthroughs in several industries including electronics, software engineering, materials research, jet propulsion and automated manufacturing.

Cutting-edge technology being researched today in many cases with Australian researchers involved will have matured by 2045. Advances in fly-by-wire and computer software will likely have made pilots obsolete in 2045. Flying will become a hobby as opposed to a profession, the same way that today we ride horses for fun rather than transport.

Airplanes will be lighter with structures consisting of composite materials and embedded with sensors that will allow smart aircraft structures to monitor their structural integrity and repair themselves in the case of damage. The use of petroleum-based gasoline will be considered primitive, if not illegal, and sustainable biofuels will have emerged as a widely used clean alternative.

Jet engines will reach new heights in efficiency, making flying cheaper and more accessible to the masses. The mega-rich of 2045 may have scramjet-powered airplanes that can break the sound barrier multiple times over and result in a London-Sydney flight taking less than one hour.

The price of oil may also increase to record levels and result in the collapse of the aviation industry as we know it! The price of crude oil has a significant impact on airlines’ bottom line as fuel costs typically makes up about 30% of an airlines operating costs. Hence, the major driver of reduced profitability for airlines are rising oil prices. Finding alternative fuel sources will be key for a greener and safer future for the commercial aviation industry.

Thas Nirmalathas

Professor of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Melbourne

Our world in 2045 will be fully connected: constantly and autonomously keeping us in sync with the people in our lives, the places where we live and work, and the things we control. These connections enable people to concurrently engage with a multitude of different people, places and things, with people becoming digitally everpresent.

Each individual will have a unique global digital identity containing dynamically adjustable privacy-transparency settings. These settings can be adjusted depending upon the level of trust within the environment. Individual lives will be captured digitally and security platforms will actively protect against unauthorised digital access.

Data will be owned by the individual who creates it. There will be a property right within data allowing individuals to trade, share and volunteer their data for personal gain such as providing data to receive targeted advertising and product discounts or, in aggregate, providing demographic information to assist in policy development.

Digital everpresence will disturb existing political systems enabling individuals to transcend territorial boundaries and wield digital influence outside of the nation state. Everpresent personas will disrupt domestic political orders transforming the Earth.

Todays date with the future. Universal Studios

Justin Zobel

Head, Department of Computing & Information Systems, University of Melbourne

Interfaces will have become seamless by 2045 and are accessed continuously through familiar, unconscious actions.

During your morning run, body radar triggers a gentle vibration against your skin; someone is approaching around a blind corner.

In the kitchen, active contact lenses create the illusion that your friend is with you, by generating an image and overlaying it on the room. The image is stable, no matter how your head and eyes move. In conversation, she is present but also thousands of kilometres away.

At your desk, the contact lenses create the illusion of a screen in front of you. Its actions are controlled by finger gestures, while your rapid, subtle muscle movements are interpreted as a stream of text to be captured in an email.

Through your neural implants, you are aware of activity in your networks. These are not sounds, or images, or touch but some mingling of them into a new form of sensation. You try to contact your mother, but she is offline, perhaps sleeping. No matter, her house can sense her and assures you that she is well.

You decide to go offline yourself for a while, and your sensors fall quiet. As always, it feels like a kind of blindness like closing ones eyes for sleep, but so much more acute. You are surrounded by just the peaceful emptiness of reality.

Robert Merkel

Lecturer in Software Engineering, Monash University

Where were going, we wont need roads at least, not all of the time.

By 2045 the much-mocked flying car (or, more accurately, a flying taxi) is likely to be widely available. Furthermore, my own discipline of software engineering is key perhaps even the key to making it happen.

Even today, we could mass-produce personal helicopters at an affordable financial cost, but at a terrible human one. Helicopters are extremely difficult to learn to fly, and even with extensive pilot training are arguably the riskiest form of transport we use.

The science of a solution is already to hand. We dont walk the family dog with a drone mini-helicopter, as depicted in the 2015 of Back to the Future II, but drones are a widely available commercial product.

Developing the software that controls these miniature flying cars to the point where it is both reliable and robust enough to control much larger vehicles in real-world conditions including handling hardware failures will take years of testing and revision. Convincing conservative air safety regulators will probably take years more.

But my educated guess is that these problems will be overcome by 2045. The result wont look like a hot-rodded DeLorean, and it certainly wont double as a time machine. But, finally, humanity just might have the freedom of the skies.

Toby Walsh

Professor of Artificial Intelligence at UNSW and research group leader at Data61 (formerly NICTA)

My background is in artificial intelligence so Ill stick to predicting where AI might be in 2045.

In 2030, Apple releases the latest version of its platform wide operating system, iOS 20 which delivers true artificial intelligence in all the major languages of the world to our phones, tablets and computers. Google responds with its latest version of Android which offers similar capabilities but has a cheekier sense of humour.

You want to go out for dinner? You simply tell your smart phone: Book me a table for 8pm at that restaurant I read reviewed in the paper last weekend and let my wife know. Problem solved.

And by 2045, Apple and Googles AI operating systems are competing to control seamlessly our cars, homes, phones and offices.

In the morning, you walk to your car, which is already nice and cool as the front door said you were on the way. The car then drives you to work autonomously. But due to heavy traffic en route, your calendar pushes back your first appointment 15 minutes. The technology is pro-active, anticipating requests, and smoothing your life.

But then some robot digger repairing the road digs up the NBN cable by mistake and the cloud goes down.

So you walk home and kiss your wife on the cheek. Shall I see if we can still fire up the barbecue?

Back to the BBQ

Michael Cowling, Senior Lecturer & Discipline Leader, Mobile Computing & Applications, CQUniversity Australia; Hamza Bendemra, Research Engineer, College of Engineering and Computer Science, Australian National University;

This article was co-authored by:Justin Zobel, Head, Department of Computing & Information Systems, University of Melbourne; Philip Branch, Senior Lecturer in Telecommunications, Swinburne University of Technology; Robert Merkel, Lecturer in Software Engineering, Monash University; Thas Ampalavanapillai Nirmalathas, Director – Melbourne Networked Society Institute, Professor of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Co-Founder/Academic Director – Melbourne Accelerator Program, University of Melbourne, and Toby Walsh, Professor of AI, Research Group Leader, Optimisation Research Group , NICTA

Read more:

Incredible New Map Of Mercury Revealed

Incredible New Map Of Mercury Revealed

This has been a good week for Mercury. Millions of people around the world observed the little planet transit across the solar disk on Monday, and now NASA has released the first topographic model of the planet.

The digital elevation model (DEM) was constructed from data taken by the MESSENGER probes Mercury Laser Altimeter, and it shows a large variety of interesting features. The highest point on Mercury is 4.48 kilometers (2.78 miles) above the average elevation, with the lowest being 5.38 kilometers (3.34 miles) below average, found within the Rachmaninoff basin.

The MESSENGER mission studied Mercury from 2011 to 2015, and NASA has so far shared more than 10 terabytes of data, including nearly 300,000 images and millions of scientific measurements. Among the many discoveries madeby the probe was the first visual evidence of extensive volcanism in Mercury’s recent past.

A view of Mercurys northern volcanic plains from the new map areshown in enhanced color to emphasize different types of rocks on Mercurys surface. NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

A map of the lava-covered terrain in the north pole of the planet was released together with the DEM. The lava deposit is about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) thick and it covers an area equivalent to 60 percent of the continental United States. Another important feature of Mercurys north pole is the presence of organic molecules and water ice in its permanently shadowed craters.

This has become one of my favorite maps of Mercury, Nancy Chabot, one of MESSENGERs scientists, said in a statement.Now that it is available, Im looking forward to it being used to investigate this epic volcanic event that shaped Mercurys surface.

The latest information about Mercury was released by the Planetary Data System, whose job is to archive and distribute all of the data collected by NASAs missions to other planets. MESSENGERs mission ended last year when the probe was deorbited (as planned) and crashed on Mercury. While the mission is complete, there’s still muchhiding in the data.

MESSENGERs scientists and engineers hope that data from the mission will continue to be utilized by the planetary science community for years to come, not only to study the nature of the innermost planet, but to address broader questions about the formation and evolution of the inner Solar System more generally, added MESSENGER Principal Investigator Sean Solomon, director of Columbia Universitys Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

Photo Gallery

Read more:

Mysterious Extra-Long Gamma Ray Bursts Baffle Astronomers

Mysterious Extra-Long Gamma Ray Bursts Baffle Astronomers

An extraordinarily long Gamma Ray Burst is creating excitement among astronomers as a possible portal into the way very large, very early stars died.

As the name suggests, Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs) are short blasts of very high energy radiation. Most last two seconds or less often leaving astronomers with a precious afterglow to study

However, a class of GRBs known as long Gamma Ray Bursts last from 20 to 50 seconds. The most popular theory is that short GRBs are the product of two objects merging, be they black holes or neutron stars, while long bursts come from stars collapsing to form black holes.

What then to make of a burst measured not in seconds, but hours? GRB 130925A lasted 1.9 hours. Intense and variable X-Rays were seen by the Swift Telescope for six hours before a steady fadeout began.

“GRB 130925A is a member of a rare and newly recognized class we call ultra-long bursts,” said Eleonora Troja of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “But what really sets it apart is its unusual X-ray afterglow, which provides the strongest case yet that ultra-long GRBs come from stars called blue supergiants.” 

GRB 130925A is not the longest lasting GRB. GRB 111209A lasted an astonishing seven hours, and NASA established a symposium for rival teams to debate the most likely cause. 

Naturally an event as extraordinary as GRB 130925A has drawn plenty of interest, with attempts to explain it coming thick and fast.

Troja is one of the authors of a paper in The Astrophyiscal Journal suggesting GRB 111209A must have come from a blue supergiant with low proportions of elements heavier than helium, which astronomers refer to as metals. 

This is an intriguing possibility, because the first stars were very low in metals. Each generation of stars form metals as they expire, creating an increased concentration in younger stars.GRB 130925A is not far enough away to have occurred when the first generation of stars was common through most of the universe, but some galaxies have lagged behind and GRB 130925A may have come from one of these, providing insight into the earliest stars..

Troja’s theory holds that when the core of the star turned into a supernova its outer atmosphere was so large it took two hours to fall into the hole, generating gamma rays throughout. After the initial burst GRB 130925A was unusually consistent in its afterglow, which indicates a fairly empty area of space around it, rather than one filled with thrown-off gasses, also consistent with a blue giant, but not most other very large stars.

The most unusual feature of GRB 130925A, the repeated X-Ray flaring, was also the hardest to explain. The paper proposes a high-energy jet boring through the collapsing star, heating the cooler stellar gas as the collide. The warmed gas flowed down the sides of the jet and created an X-Ray-emitting sheath. The cocoon appears to have remained intact as the jet left the star, which the authors attribute to magnetic fields.

“This is the first time we have detected this thermal cocoon component, likely because all other known ultra-long bursts occurred at greater distances,” said lead author Luigi Piro of the Institute for Space Astrophysics and Planetology.

Read more:

Nearby Stars Provides A Snapshot Of The Future Of Earth

Nearby Stars Provides A Snapshot Of The Future Of Earth

A planet has been discovered around L2 Puppis, a red giant star 208 light-years from Earth. The star is just your average red giant, but it has something very special for us. It used to look a lot like our Sun.

An international team of astronomers has been studying this system by using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile, and they believe this offers a unique view to the future of the Solar System and our planet in particular. The discovery was published in the journalAstronomy and Astrophysics.

We discovered that L2 Puppis is about 10 billion years old, Ward Homan, from the KU Leuven Institute of Astronomy in Belgium, said in a statement.Five billion years ago, the star was an almost perfect twin of our Sun as it is today, with the same mass. One-third of this mass was lost during the evolution of the star. The same will happen with our Sun in the very distant future.

The planet orbits 300 million kilometers (186 million miles) from its star, which is twice the distance between Earth andthe Sun. The planet itself is not a good model for Earth, being 12 times the mass of Jupiter, but the astronomers are curious about the interactions between the planet and its star.

Five billion years from now, the Sun will have grown into a red giant star, more than a hundred times larger than its current size, said co-author Professor Leen Decin, also from the KU Leuven Institute of Astronomy.It will also experience an intense mass loss through a very strong stellar wind. The end product of its evolution, sevenbillion years from now, will be a tiny white dwarf star. This will be about the size of the Earth, but much heavier: one teaspoon of white dwarf material weighs aboutfive tons.

content-1481216355-en-l2pup-sphere-alma-Annotated image with the ALMA observation. P. Kervella/CNRS / U. de Chile / Observatoire de Paris / LESIA

The red giant Sun will be so bloated that it will easily expand almost to our own orbit, destroying Mercury and Venus in the process. But the impact that this phase will have on Earth remains in large part unclear.

We already know that our Sun will be bigger and brighterso that it will probably destroy any form of life on our planet, said Decin. But will the Earth’s rocky core survive the red giant phase and continue orbiting the white dwarf?

The team will continue to study L2 Puppis, asthe system might reveal something new about our own star.

Read more:

NASA Explains What Exploded Over Russia

NASA Explains What Exploded Over Russia

The world was shaken when a giant meteorite hit the mountains of Ural, Russia last week. Now that all the dust has finally settled, Science At NASA has analyzed the data, and explains what exploded over Russia in this new trending video. 

Gizmodo, GeekoSystem, and EarthSky all cover the video in greater detail. 


Read more: