Adding to its revolutionary navigation service, Google is planning to release a new version of the Google Maps program, offering users a 3D aerial-mapping technology that provides details capable of showing objects just four inches wide. But as U.S. technology companies race to produce aerial maps with greater detail and visibility, critics are posing privacy concerns and warning that America is quickly becoming a surveillance society.
In terminating the Gravity and Extreme Magnetism Small Explorer (GEMS) project, an X-ray telescope mission that was launched to study black holes and various space-time theories, NASA has left taxpayers with a bill worth $43.5 million. The program’s overall price tag was initially marked at $119 million (not including the rocket that was to be launched into orbit), but the space agency has already doled out tens of millions of dollars, and the project was 20 to 30 percent over budget, according to briefing charts received by SpaceNews.com.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is being sued by environmental groups for withdrawing New Jersey from the 10-state cap and trade compact. Over the last two years, Christie has been forced to veto legislation that would reinstate New Jersey's position in the cap and trade scheme. The latest push is now coming from environmental groups National Resources Defense Council and Environment New Jersey and will give Christie an opportunity to solidify his position in court.
House Republicans passed two amendments on a spending bill Tuesday that would bar the federal government from imposing light bulb standards that critics say are too meddlesome. Passed through a voice vote, the provision would amend the Energy and Water spending bill for 2013 by preventing the Energy Department from spending money to enforce bulb efficiency regulations that were established in a law passed during the Bush administration.
Under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the phase-out was slated to commence in January 2012, which banned the sale of all 100-watt bulbs, as well as the sale of all 75-watt bulbs by July 2013. But a spending bill passed last December stalled the mandate until this October.
Last Friday, Boeing debuted a high-powered, high-altitude drone — the Phantom Eye — in the sky over Edwards Air Force Base.