IBM and NASA scientists are collaborating on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) expeditions. NASA is developing "MERBoards" to allow mission scientists and engineers to display, capture, annotate, and share information through large interactive displays. The software that facilitates this collaboration operates on a large stand-alone plasma display with a resistive touch screen. The "board" includes a PC with a web browser and custom workspace application for data and file sharing. "It's like having a very large PDA and having instant access to the content you value most," says Daniel M. Russell, the senior manager of the User Sciences and Experience Research group at IBM's Almaden Research Center. IBM's MERBoards will provide the capability to view data, share it on multiple displays in different locations, sketch and make annotations, and distribute that data. The boards supports the team's work-practice of developing scientific hypotheses and related rover activity. NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab manages the Mars Exploration Rover mission. For more information, go to www.ibm.com.
A make-your-own Star Wars Sith Lightsaber hilt is heftier and better-looking than most others out there, according to its maker, Sean Charlesworth. You can 3D print it from free source files, and there's even a hardware kit available -- not free -- so you can build one just in time for Halloween.
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