M33 – Spiral Galaxy in Triangulum
For the first time, more people in the US own a smartphone than a regular talk and text devices, according to a new report from Chetan Sharma Consulting. Smartphone penetration exceeded 50 percent in the second quarter, making the feature phone a shrinking minority among US mobile users.
A Nielsen study found in May reached similar conclusions, revealing that 50.4 percent of US subscribers surveyed owned a smartphone, up from a mere 18 percent in 2009. But while Nielsen’s number are based on polling data, Sharma’s come from the operators’ quarterly reports.
» via GigaOM
This is the first 360-degree panorama in color of the Gale Crater landing site taken by NASA’s Curiosity rover. The panorama was made from thumbnail versions of images taken by the Mast Camera.
Scientists will be taking a closer look at several splotches in the foreground that appear gray. These areas show the effects of the descent stage’s rocket engines blasting the ground. What appeared as a dark strip of dunes in previous, black-and-white pictures from Curiosity can also be seen along the top of this mosaic, but the color images also reveal additional shades of reddish brown around the dunes, likely indicating different textures or materials.
The images were taken late Aug. 8 PDT (Aug. 9 EDT) by the 34-millimeter Mast Camera. This panorama mosaic was made of 130 images of 144 by 144 pixels each. Selected full frames from this panorama, which are 1,200 by 1,200 pixels each, are expected to be transmitted to Earth later. The images in this panorama were brightened in the processing. Mars only receives half the sunlight Earth does and this image was taken in the late Martian afternoon.
[via NASA JPL]
A self portrait with a nice meteor shooting over head.
Just as a reminder, we are still taking your photos of the Perseid Meteor Shower as we had posted earlier.
We’ve been promised for years that robots will soon move from factories into our everyday lives (maybe even white-collar offices), and yet so far, the closest thing we have to Rosie Jetson is the Roomba. In addition to dexterity and the ability to walk, one of the biggest hurdles to personal robotics has been human-machine interaction. For a machine to enter human space, it has to understand certain niceties.(You don’t want a robot chef that can’t tell if you gag when you take a bite of its food, do you?)
And if a robot with social skills can be built, it could have a huge effect on our classrooms.
» via Slate
“The Theory of General Chillativity.”
Enjoy these pictures of Albert Einstein being totally chill.