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Headlines

Friday, September 5th, 2014

White House CTO Comes with Mapping Experience

President Barack Obama has named Megan Smith, a top Google executive who helped oversee some of the search giant’s most daring research, as the country’s next chief technology officer. Smith’s arrival in Washington caps off a lengthy career at Google. With the Google team, Smith worked on the company’s “SolveForX” community effort and its “WomenTechmakers”

Friday, September 5th, 2014

French Imaging Satellites Keep Tabs on Ukraine Crisis

The French Defense Ministry on Sept. 4 strongly hinted that its own satellite imagery confirmed U.S. allegations of a Russian military presence in Ukraine but refused to say so directly. France is the only other NATO alliance member with its own fleet of optical satellites with sufficiently high resolution to distinguish between types of military

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

WorldView-3 Satellite Sees Wildfire Beneath the Smoke

DigitalGlobe promised that the shortwave infrared sensor on its WorldView-3 satellite could see through smoke to track wildfires, and one of its latest images has delivered on that pledge: The picture, captured from an altitude of 383 miles (617 kilometers) last week, reveals the burn line around the Happy Camp Complex fire in California’s Klamath

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Mobile Phone Data Analysis Proves Susceptible to Hidden Bias

Mobile phones have become one of the most important tools for anthropologists hoping to uncover the secrets of modern human behaviour. Every mobile phone call or text triggers the creation of a log that records the time and day, duration and type of communication of the message as well as the cellular tower that handled

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Satellites: Make Earth Observations Open Access

Detailed assessments — regional, global, daily and seasonal — of land use and land cover are needed to monitor biodiversity loss and ecosystem dynamics and to aid in reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. Satellite imagery is the best source of such data, especially over large areas. Observations need to be extensive, regular and

Monday, September 1st, 2014

FAA Dithering Forces Drone Innovators Abroad

Google’s announcement this week that they’ve been testing delivery drones caught the tech world by surprise.  What wasn’t surprising to experts familiar with the industry is that Google conducted all of their aerial tests outside the United States.  That’s because the FAA has utterly failed to create procedures for companies like Google to test their

Monday, September 1st, 2014

Disaster Tech Lab Teams to Use Drones to Save Lives

Galway start-up Disaster Tech Lab is teaming up with a company run by former military aviators to use drones in disaster zones to help save lives. The new venture will see the pair collaborate on building airborne wireless sensor platforms – the drones will be flown over a disaster zone to detect and geolocate signals

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Seattle-based Sensor Company Hopes to Create a West-coast Seismic Monitoring Network

Jerry Paros of Paroscientific, a Redmond-based company that has produced almost 1,000 sensors for monitoring the seafloor off Japan, wants to parlay that success to monitor the submarine fault in his own backyard. Paros envisions a system like those off Japan, with a cable backbone running from Vancouver Island to Cape Mendocino in California, and

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Cellphone Tracking Records for Sale for Surveillance

Makers of surveillance systems are offering governments across the world the ability to track the movements of almost anybody who carries a cellphone, whether they are blocks away or on another continent. The technology works by exploiting an essential fact of all cellular networks: They must keep detailed, up-to-the-minute records on the locations of their

Friday, August 29th, 2014

EU Satellite Fired Into Wrong Orbit by ‘Software Bug’

Two satellites commissioned by the European Union were accidentally sent into the wrong orbit at launch because of a simple software bug – potentially rendering the multi-million pound devices less capable than intended, or even entirely useless. Russian newspaper Izvestia reports that a software error in the upper stage, which was developed by a Russian

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