Step one of the ExoMars mission to find life on Mars launch today

ExoMars 2016 Fairing Release ©ESA–David Ducros
ExoMars 2016 Fairing Release ©ESA–David Ducros

The ExoMars program, a joint endeavor between ESA and the Russian space agency Roscosmos, is planned to launch it’s first phase later today at 08:30 GMT (09:30 CET). The primary goal of the ExoMars program is to address the question of whether life has ever existed on Mars.

The program comprises of two missions, and if everything goes as planned, the first mission will be launched later today. It consists of the Trace Gas Orbiter, and Schiaparelli, an entry, descent and landing demonstrator module. The second mission is planned for launch in 2018 and comprises a rover and surface science platform.

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AMD Revolutionizes External GPUs with AMD XConnect

razer_core_nano3-640x494AMD today announced it’s intending to revolutionize External GPUs for Notebooks with AMD XConnect™ Technology, in collaboration with Intel and Raze. This should make it easier than ever to pair a powerful external Radeon™ graphics card with a compatible notebook or 2-in-1 using Thunderbolt™ 3.

Traditionally, PC gamers have been faced with the problem of choosing between expensive gaming notebooks, but then sacrifice portability for gaming performance, or choose an ultra thin notebooks for best portability, but then in turn sacrificing gaming performance. With this new solution a lightweight notebook or 2-in-1 can bring the best of both worlds to life, as long as it has Thunderbolt 3 support that is compatible with AMD XConnect™ technology.  You can get a conveniently lightweight and portable computer, that when needed connect to an external GPU, giving you serious framerates and image quality of a gaming notebook.

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Scientist wants to use CO2 to generate clean electricity


Today solar and wind power becomes more and more commonplace, but there is still a basic problem that comes with these solutions, how do you store the energy produced to be used at a later time? Scientists at GE Global Research have decided to try and solve this problem by storing some of the heat generated by thermal solar power plants in carbon dioxide.

These power plants concentrate solar rays with vast fields of mirrors and use the heat to generate steam that spins a turbine. The carbon dioxide stored under ground is cooled to a solid dry ice state using excess grid power, and when extra electricity is needed, for instance during night, the heated salt then can be used to warm up the solid CO2 to a “supercritical” state between a gas and solid.

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Philips launch LED replacement for CFL downlights

Philips CorePro LED PLC
Philips CorePro LED PLC

Philips has this week announced the launch of the first direct LED replacement range for compact fluorescent lamps (CFLni) based downlights with 60% energy savings. The new Philips CorePro LED PLC range is the first ever LED alternative to compact fluorescent lamps in down lighting applications that comes in a fully retrofit form factor. It offers both Electro Magnetic (EM) and High Frequency (HF) ballasts compatible versions.

Compact fluorescent lamps are one of the world’s most common lamps used in downlights in general lighting applications in offices, hallways, staircases, receptions and meeting rooms.

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Darkest material so far, gets even darker

Vantablack - Surrey Nanosystems
Vantablack – Surrey Nanosystems

Back in 2014, Surrey NanoSystems introduced a material called Vantablack, that until now was the the darkest, most blackest material ever invented. The company claimed the material was capable of absorbing 99.96 percent of light, but apparently this was not dark enough. This week Surrey NanoSystems announced that they’ve made Vantablack even darker, so dark in fact that spectrometers can’t even measure it.

Vantablack is composed of a forest of vertical carbon nanotubes that absorbs radiation in the visible spectrum. When light strikes the material, instead of bouncing off, it becomes trapped and is continually deflected between the tubes before eventually becoming heat. The heat, that is largely undetectable in most applications, is conducted to the substrate and dissipated

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Samsung launches ProXpress C30 Series MFP printers

Samsung ProXpress C30 Series, © Samsung Press
Samsung ProXpress C30 Series, © Samsung Press

Today Samsung Electronics announced they are launching their new ProXpress C30 series multi-function printers (MFPs) that they claim offer lower operating costs and higher productivity.

The new printers series are optimized for small- and medium-sized company users, especially in business sectors such as professional services and retail, where printing quality and usability at low operation costs are prioritized. The series includes three models: the C3010ND, C3060ND and C3060FR.

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Stretchable Circuits made possible by Liquid Metal


Scientists at EPFL in Switzerland have found a way to turn liquid metal, an alloy of gold and gallium, into a circuit that is flexible and can be stretched up to four times its original size.

Generally electronic circuits are very sensitive to bending and twisting because they are made from brittle metals, this can therefore lead to problems in several applications in the industry. The possibility of flexible electronic circuits could potentially solve a lot of these woes, and hopefully make for more reliable electronic products in the future.

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BLU Products announce the BLU Vivo 4.8 HD Android handset

BLU VIVO 4.8 – (Image credit:

BLU Products, founded in 2009, and one of the fastest growing mobile phone manufacturers in the world, January 24 announced their latest smartphone device in their VIVO Series. The new BLU VIVO 4.8 HD is a midrange Android handset, sporting a 4.8″ Super AMOLED display, and a slim unibody design with a thickness at just 6.9mm. It weighs only 135 grams.

This makes the BLU VIVO 4.8 HD one of the thinnest and lightest devices in the market with a 4.8″ display,

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Time for ESA’s comet-chasing spacecraft Rosetta to wake up

Rosetta orbiter deploying the Philae lander
Artist’s impression of the Rosetta orbiter deploying the Philae lander to comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Credits: ESA–J. Huart, 2013

Later today, 20 January, it’s time for ESA’s spacecraft Rosetta to wake up from a 31 months long deep space sleep. The on-board computer on the Rosetta spacecraft is programmed to re-establish contact with Earth on 20 January, starting with an ‘alarm clock’ set at 10:00 GMT.

As soon as the alarm goes off Rosetta´s  startrackers will begin to warm up, a process that will take approximately six hours. Rosetta will then send a signal to Earth to announce that it is awake. The first window of opportunity to receive a signal is between 17:30-18:30 GMT. ESA will stream the event live from ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany, with full coverage of the day’s historic events as they unfold, starting at 09:15 GMT (10:15 CET)

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Huawei and Bombardier demonstrate wireless rail communication

Bombardier Rail Test Track in Zmigrod, Poland – © All Rights Reserved by RomekA


Huawei, a global leader in information and communications technology solutions, and Bombardier Transportation, a global leader in rail technology, have together successfully demonstrated a new integrated rail security solution, at Bombardier’s rail test track in Żmigród, Poland. The demonstration was presented January 16, to a large number of European Commission representatives, partners and railway stakeholders as well as representatives of the transport authorities and rail police.

The rail security solutions combines Bombardier’s on-board rail security portfolio and wireless gateway solutions, with the broadband data capabilities of Huawei’s eLTE wireless rail communication system.

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