November 9, 2015

space swarms

Usual selection of recent technology stories I’ve had a hand in:

Space telescopes are huge, heavy, and vastly expensive, so a fairly radical alternative idea is emerging from the blue-skies end of JPLs project portfolio: Orbiting Rainbows, a swarm of micron-sized reflective particles in Earth orbit, shaped into a working optical mirror by lasers. Fair to say it won’t be launching tomorrow, but quite a concept.

Established biomedical techniques don’t make the jump into consumer goods very often, but OCT might be about to arrive in smart-phones, tablets, and anything that tries to verify your fingerprint.

One problem with laser brain surgery: skulls are not transparent. Solution: do something about that.


Science


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in the land of pound kingdom I wrote about some parts of this year’s Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival for Sight & Sound. The international programme fared a bit
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skeletal I watched Spectre for Critic’s Notebook, and also said some things about it out loud in a podcast for the Bristol Film Critic’s Circle. The Bonds