Supersonic X-Plane Will Tear Through the Sound Barrier with 'a Gentle Thump'

Listen closely: A quiet, supersonic jet capable of blasting through the sound barrier without emitting a sonic boom could pass over your home as soon as 2022. A decade later, you might even be able to ride in one. NASA and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. are working together to build an experimental plane (or "X-plane") called the Low-Boom Flight Demonstration (LBFD), which will reduce the sonic boom synonymous with high-speed flight to "a gentle thump," NASA representatives said at a news conference today (April 3).

Faces Boycott from Artificial Intelligence Experts

The artificial intelligence (AI) community has a clear message for researchers in South Korea: Don't make killer robots. Nearly 60 AI and robotics experts from almost 30 countries have signed an open letter calling for a boycott against KAIST, a public university in Daejeon, South Korea, that has been reported to be "develop[ing] artificial intelligence technologies to be applied to military weapons, joining the global competition to develop autonomous arms," the open letter said. In other words, KAIST might be researching how to make military-grade AI weapons.

Talking about Virtual Reality, What's the deal?

QUESTION ❓ Has all the hype about virtual reality intrigued you? What’s going on with this virtual reality stuff anyway? By now, virtual reality (VR) has probably made it on to your radar screen in some way. Maybe you’ve only heard about it in bits and pieces, or maybe you’ve tried it yourself. Whatever the case, virtual reality feels like it could be the new generation of advanced technology. So, what’s going on with virtual reality? How does it work? What impact is it having on your brain?

Saving the Rainforest with Old Cell Phones

How do you go about saving the rainforest with old cell phones? After a visit to the rainforests of Borneo, physicist and engineer Topher White was struck by the sounds of the forest. In particular, the noises he couldn’t hear. While on a walk, White and others came across an illegal logger sawing down a tree just a few hundred meters away from a ranger station.
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