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DARPA seeks to develop command and control center for outer space

Artists impression of a next-generation orbital asset control system

The area in the outer reaches of the Earth's atmosphere is a swarm of manmade objects, moving at tens of thousands of miles per hour and traversing a region hundreds of thousands of times larger than all of Earth's oceans combined. This complicates the operation of satellites for military use. DARPA has just announced its plans to come to grips with this chaotic region with the launch of a project aimed at revolutionizing the US military's command and control capabilities in space.

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Category: Space

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Monster electric wind on Venus sends oxygen “kicking and screaming into space”

An artist's impression of the electric wind streaming off Venus

Although you could bake a pizza on its surface today, popular thinking is that Venus was once cool enough to hold water on its surface. Of course, as the planet heated, that water turned to vapor and should now be trapped in the planet's dense atmosphere – but it's not. So where did the water go? According to new research, the likely culprit is likely a super-strong "electric wind" that blows off the surface of Venus carrying ions with it into space.

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Category: Space

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Hand-made guitar dials in MIDI effects with the wave of a hand

A player can alter tones or pitch, or fire MIDI sounds, by moving a hand in ...

Electric guitars that have MIDI control cooked in aren't exactly a new idea, as evidenced by the now up for pre-order Expressiv Infinity Guitar. Heck, even acoustic guitars are muscling into MIDI territory courtesy of the upcoming ACPAD controller. But controlling effects by waving a hand in front of a laser isn't something you see every day. That's precisely what's on offer with one of the three new hand-made Drop guitars from Lithuania's Lava.

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Category: Music

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‘Critical Ops’ FPS Soft Launch Expands to Canada

Here is good news for those of y'all who have been curious about Critical Ops but haven't wanted to nab an iTunes account in the few odd regions where the game was available. The first-person shooter has just been released in Canada along with a 5.2.2 update that tweaks the game balance. But this now

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How We Happy Few makes fitting in a hardcore survival mechanic

We Happy Few, the upcoming, Brave New World-inspired title from Contrast developer Compulsion Games, adds a clever twist to the survival sim genre: In addition to managing different aspects of your health, you also need to worry about how well you're fitting into any given society. In We Happy Few, affluent neighborhoods expect residents to be dressed to the nines and high as hell on Joy, a designer drug that is essentially required to function in society. But Joy is really bad for you, requiring the player to walk a tightrope between maintaining their health and their social status simultaneously.

You can learn more about how the game handles those two mechanics in our E3 impressions video, posted above.

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GM tech reminds drivers to not leave their babies on board

When Rear Seat Reminder is activated, five chimes will sound plus an instrument panel message will ...

It may not happen often, but it's tragic when it does – parents forget that their baby is riding in the back seat of their car, so they leave them in there when they park, and the infant subsequently succumbs to heat stroke. To help minimize the chances of this happening, General Motors is introducing its Rear Seat Reminder.

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Category: Automotive

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Over 90 percent of mammals were wiped out by dino-killing asteroid

An artist's impression of the asteroid that eliminated Earth's dinosaurs and, according to a new study, ...

By now, most people are familiar with the theory that an asteroid that smacked into our planet 66 million years ago caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. But it turns out that dinosaurs might not have been the only casualty of that cataclysmic event. New analysis of the fossil record indicates that a full 93 percent of mammals living at the time also went extinct, a number significantly higher than previously thought.

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Category: Science

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Cutting hedge technology will keep Glastonbury Festival goers online

The topiary structures are sculpted from moss and decorated with silk flowers, ribbons and LEDs

Visitors to the UK's Glastonbury Festival this week will be able to upload festival spam to their heart's content, with tech and comms partner EE offering free Wi-Fi by way of 4G-enabled topiary artworks. The firm says its provision for Glastonbury is the UK's biggest temporary 4G network.

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Category: Good Thinking

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