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Solar-Powered Aircraft Completes First All-Night Flight

This morning, the Solar Impulse solar-powered aircraft touched down at Payerne air base in Switzerland after its first all-night flight which lasted more that 26 hours. The aircraft, which weighs about 3,500 pounds, reached a maximum speed of 68 knots and a maximum altitude of 8,564 meters above sea level.

This was the first ever all-night flight by a solar-powered aircraft. The energy is collected and stored on 12,000 solar panels on the plane’s wings during the day and is used to power four electric motors. So, what’s next for the Solar Impulse? Circumnavigating the globe in 2010? Maybe.

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Science:

Researchers in Brazil Innovate Offshore Oil Spill Cleanup Method

Researchers in Brazil, a global frontier in deepwater oil exploration, have developed a method for cleaning up offshore oil spills that avoids the use of chemical dispersants and hazardous burn-offs.

Scientists say they can use glycerin, a chemical often used in soap and cosmetics, to collect oil in offshore spills and recover it for later use.

That technology may come in handy for Brazil, which is driving forward with its campaign to tap billions of barrels of deepwater crude despite concern over offshore operations sparked by the massive BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The process converts glycerin into a powder that when thrown on top of an oil spill turns into a plastic-like substance that absorbs oil.

“It’s a natural phenomenon that takes place to absorb the oil, because both substances are equally hydrophobic so they both flee the water at the same time,” said Fernando Gomes de Souza, a chemistry professor at the Institute of Macromolecules at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

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last update: August 1, 2014

Mobile:

FCC Looks to Satellite Spectrum for Broadband

U.S. regulators proposed easing restrictions on satellite companies in a move aimed at freeing more airwaves to feed the growing demand for wireless broadband services.

The Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously on Thursday to seek comment on a plan to let satellite companies partner with other business seeking to build land-based networks or to lease their spectrum to other companies in a secondary market.

The FCC also sought public comment on allowing satellite companies to relinquish spectrum in return for proceeds from future airwaves auctions.

The plan could affect about 90 megahertz of spectrum, held by companies such as SkyTerra Communications Inc, TerreStar Corp and Globalstar Inc, that is particularly suited to broadband delivery.

The FCC’s National Broadband Plan aims to open up 500 megahertz (MHz) of airwaves by 2020.

The FCC is also trying to persuade broadcasters to relinquish about 125 megahertz of spectrum under a voluntary plan.

The satellite move comes after the FCC in late March approved an application by Harbinger Capital Partners to acquire SkyTerra, a mobile satellite services company.

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Social:

8 Creepy Places to Check Into on Foursquare

If you don’t know what Foursquare is then you must have been in a coma for the past few months, because it’s everywhere. Brands are even using Foursquare on some of their biggest campaigns. Over at Asylum, they’ve got a pretty humorous post about the creepiest places to check in on Foursquare. Here’s the first one below, but be sure to visit the post on Asylum for the rest.

Mobile:

Samsung Galaxy S Review

Well, Samsung was nice enough to send me their new Samsung Galaxy S phone to review so before I start I wanted to say that this review is 100% my opinion, they just asked me to give an honest review. So… here goes!

First of all, I would like to talk about how it looks. The phone is awesome. It’s slick, almost as thin as the new iPhone 4 but not as flat, which I kind of liked a bit more while holding the phone to make calls or play with all the apps. The device looks to be a little less than a quarter of an inch taller and the same wider, but it definitely still has that small phone feel. The screen however, has about a half an inch more property vertically and maybe a tiny fraction of an inch horizontally, which for me is a big seller. And as for in-hand feel, it did feel pretty lightweight, making it seem a little bit more plastic-y. Then again, some may see that as a good thing — less weight to carry around and stuff in your pocket, etc.

Then of course, there’s Samsung’s Super AMOLED Display (Active-Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode) which basically translates to: one vivid, ultra-bright display. They even boast 80% less reflection, which was hard to compare to my iPhone 4, but the phone sure was clear and crisp.

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Mobile:

Apple to Hold iPhone 4 Press Conference Friday

Apple Inc has called a surprise press conference for Friday to talk about the iPhone 4, as the company continues to deal with fallout from reported reception problems on its popular smartphone.

Apple spokesman Steve Dowling said late on Wednesday the company would hold the event at 10 a.m. on Friday at its headquarters in Cupertino, California.

He declined to provide further details, or to say whether the event will address the signal-strength problems that some people have reported having with the iPhone 4 when the device is held in a certain way.

Apple has faced mounting criticism from analysts and consumers over its handling of complaints about the reception issues on the newest iPhone, which was launched last month.

Analysts say Apple has created a public relations headache for itself by appearing to dismiss or ignore the problem, allowing a minor issue to be turned into headline news.

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Lifestyle:

Emoticon Vinyl Shower Curtain

Who wouldn’t want emoticons on their shower curtain? I don’t know either. This new vinyl shower curtain is full of smileys, from the super smiley :-)) to the drooling smiley =p~ yeah, that’s a smiley. Enjoy!

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Gadgets:

REPORT: Apple Acquires Poly9 Mapping Company

Rumor has it that Apple has just acquired mapping company, Poly9. If that’s the case, this will be the second mapping acquisition by Apple which may confirm for some, Apple’s intentions of getting up in Google’s space. The report comes from a translated publication which mentions that Poly9 employees have relocated to Apple’s headquarters in California. Right now, the Poly9 website is down, maybe due to changes they’re making to reflect the acquisition?

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