The Earth’s atmosphere bears precious little resemblance to what it looked like at the start of the Industrial Revolution. As radio technology has advanced and spread, the signals that transmitters produce — specifically the Very Low Frequency (VLF) variety — have changed the way that the upper atmosphere and the Van Allen Radiation Belts interact, according to a study recently published in the journal Space Science Reviews. In effect, these radio waves may be enveloping the globe like an electromagnetic comforter, protecting it from satellite-frying space radiation.
The Department of Homeland Security is considering banning all carry-on laptops on flights from Europe to the United States. This rule change would represent an expansion of previous regulations banning carry-on laptops and tablets on flights from some Middle Eastern and African countries.
The next time you go under the knife for retinal surgery, it may not be a human hand holding the blade. That’s because a revolutionary surgical system developed University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, which just passed its first set of clinical trials, is able to perform these intricate operations better than even the steadiest surgeon.
After former President Obama reopened America’s diplomatic relations with Cuba, businesses started looking for opportunities to make inroads to the island nation. Google was one of these, with Obama himself announcing it would come to help set up WiFi and broadband access there. Cuba’s national telecom ETECSA officially inked a deal with Google back in December, and today, they finally switched on the service, making the search giant the first foreign internet live on the island.
It’s a tragic time for both music and technology. Ikutaro Kakehashi, best known as the founder of Roland Corporation, has died at 87. The engineer turned corporate leader got his start making electronic drums and rhythm pattern generators, but it was after he founded Roland in 1972 that he hit the big time. His company quickly became synonymous with electronic music effects, and the machines built under his watch didn’t just become popular — they changed the cultural landscape.
It didn’t take long for Intel’s 3D Optane storage to reach a product you can realistically buy. The chip maker has introduced Optane modules designed to boost the performance of your desktop PC. They’re strictly cache drives that only hold 16GB or 32GB (the server module packs 375GB), but don’t let that dismay you. In theory, the combination of extremely low latency (under 10 microseconds) with solid state drive speeds (at least 900MB/s in peak sequential reads) should dramatically reduce loading times across the board.