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Flash Crash, Anti-Satellite Missile, Biobots

Dated: 19 Nov 2014
Posted by Christine Chan
Category: International, Technology, Uncategorized
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Flash Crash: Investors, traders, and regulators are investigating an unusual incident that occurred in the US treasury market last month.  On October 15, the yield on the benchmark 10-year US government bond, which moves inversely to price, plunged 33 basis points to 1.86 per cent before rising to settle at 2.13%. While that may not seem like much, analysts say the move was seven standard deviations away from its intraday norm – meaning it might be expected to occur once every 1.6 bn years.

Anti-Satellite Missile: A mysterious object launched by the Russian military is being tracked by western space agencies, stoking fears over the revival of a defunct Kremlin project to destroy satellites. For the past few weeks, amateur astronomers and satellite-trackers in Russia and the west have followed the unusual maneuvers of Object 2014-28E, watching it guide itself towards other Russian space objects.

Biobots: North Carolina State University researchers have developed technology that allows cyborg cockroaches, or biobots, to pick up sounds with small microphones and seek out the source of the sound. The technology is designed to help emergency personnel find and rescue survivors in the aftermath of a disaster.

 

Rosetta, Miniature UAVs, Iran

Dated: 12 Nov 2014
Posted by Christine Chan
Category: International, Technology, Uncategorized
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Rosetta: The Philae probe has landed on the surface of a comet, scientists from the European Space Agency (ESA) announced today. It is the first time a soft landing has been achieved on a comet. Since blasting off in March 2004, Rosetta and its lander Philae have traveled more than 6bn kilometers to catch up with the comet, which orbits the sun at speeds up to 135,000km/h.

Miniature UAVs: The Army Research Laboratory is developing a palm-sized, prototype UAV that, using insect-inspired visual sensing, is designed to navigate a 3D space such as a building on its own while relaying tactical awareness back to a soldier. The quad-copter drone, the result of an ARL collaboration with academia and industry, is expected to be tested at the manned and unmanned teaming, or MUM-T, exercise at the Maneuver Center of Excellence. The prototype is capable of wide-field vision and high update rate—both present in insect vision—and researchers hope to combine those features with 3D mapping and motion estimation to allow it to operate autonomously.

Iran: Russia signed a contract with Iran on Tuesday to build (AP) November 24 deadline to make a deal on its nuclear program with six major world powers.  This comes as the Nov. 24 deadline for Iran and P5+1 to negotiate a comprehensive nuclear agreement, with both sides signaling that there may be an additional extension.