GeekHive Fun Friday Five July 27
July 27, 2018
It’s Friday—your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to kick off your weekend with the GeekHive Fun Friday Five! (#GHFF5) It’s our regular roundup of fun science- and tech-related reads from around the Interwebs, just in time to kick your weekend off right. If Tom Cruise had access to some of these high-tech goodies, he wouldn’t need to keep tackling Missions Impossible! Be sure to stay cool and enjoy the weekend…this blog will self-destruct in 5 seconds: 5, 4, 3, 2….
1. READY FOR INTERNET BALLOONS?!
Getting internet access for communities in remote places can prove to be a logistical impossibility—until now. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, recently deployed internet-relaying balloons in Kenya as part of a deal with a local telecom company. The solar-powered balloons—which fly 60,000 feet above sea level and deliver internet connection at LTE speed—will provide high-speed access to rural areas across the country. These balloons were first successfully tested in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, and provided basic internet connectivity, despite the island’s infrastructure suffering massive damage. Now the only thing to worry about is high-flying birds… (Check out the full story.)
2. IRON MAN ARMOR IRL!
Got a cool half-mil laying around burning a hole in your pocket? Now you can live out that comic book fantasy you’ve always dreamed about and take home your own version of Tony Stark’s Iron Man armor—and it’s available at British department store, Selfridges! British inventor Richard Browning constructed a jet-propelled suit that’s comprised of five jet engines, a 3D-printed structure and includes a heads-up display for flight functions. You won’t need a pilot’s license to fly it, and Browning claims that you can pick up the basics in just a few minutes’ worth of training. Now, does it come with repulsor rays and a force field? (Check out the full story.)
3. CRACKING THE HARRY POTTER WAND CODE
Kano’s Kickstarter-backed Raspberry PI coding kids have become a full-fledged STEM toy hit, and now the company’s latest offering shows it’s still got that magic touch. Kano recently announced a licensing deal to create the Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit, a build-it-yourself high-tech wand that allows the user to interact with the on-screen content. Users write different lines of code to make the wand execute various functions. Then, the would-be magicians must complete various Potter-themed challenges to complete the fun. The Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit—compatible with iOS and Android—will be out on Oct. 1, just in time for the holidays, but you can pre-order yours now and take it home for $100. No need to be a muggle any longer! (Check out the full story.)
4. SPACE…IT’S FULL OF STARS
The final frontier provides an infinite backdrop for astronomy photography. Each year, the Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year contest celebrates those images, organized by the Royal Observatory Greenwich. Over 4,000 photos were submitted this year, but only 25 images make it to the shortlist. The winners will be announced on Oct. 23, 2018, so here’s your chance to review the entries before someone takes the grand prize home. Settle in, dim the lights, and bask in some of the best space photography of the year. (Check out the full story.)
5. THE ROBOTS ARE COMING…TO SAVE US?
The robots are coming for our jobs…the robots are taking over! Such doom and gloom. The reality is, robotic technology has never been more important in the field of search and rescue. Drones have been used to find lost climbers on the world’s highest peaks, and an underwater robot was deployed in the rescue efforts to save the Thai soccer club trapped in a cave. There’s a host of high-tech rescue options being used to save lives all around the world, and we’re not only amazed but grateful the tech exists. Check out some of this amazing new rescue tech in action. So try hugging a robot next time to let ‘em know you care! (Check out the full story.)
That’s all we’ve got for this week’s edition of the GeekHive Fun Friday Five. Thanks for hanging with us and geeking out. Now it’s time for our very own Mission: Impossible—getting a toddler down before midnight. Got any tips for that, Ethan Hunt?
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