RIP Loon, Google’s balloon-based cellular network

The balloons used solar energy to power their on-board systems, but had no engines. (Project Loon/) It always seemed like an idea that was cool, far-fetched, and possibly helpful: Balloons, high above the earth, sending cell signals to people down below. The giant polyethylene flying machines could transmit LTE signals to people in disaster zones […]

Chemical reactions high in Mars’ atmosphere rip apart water molecules

Mars’ water is being skimmed off the top. NASA’S MAVEN spacecraft found water lofted into Mars’ upper atmosphere, where its hydrogen and oxygen atoms are ripped apart, scientists report in the Nov. 13 Science. “This completely changes how we thought hydrogen, in particular, was being lost to space,” says planetary chemist Shane Stone of the […]

Rip out your computer’s brain and turn it into an external hard drive

If you’re into photography or any other hobby that requires you to save big files, having an additional external drive can only mean good news. (Whitson Gordon /) It’s easy to skimp on storage when you’re buying a computer. You think there’s no way you’ll ever need more than 256GB, but there you are, one […]