Using the annual Landsat satellite imagery captured since 1984, Google has created dramatic composites, alongside other Google Earth satellite imagery, depicting our changing world, the death and growth of natural lands, and humans' impact on the landscape.
The animated GIFs shown here chronicle the development and destruction of life on Earth, pulsing like a living being, with forests receding, water evaporating, and cities … Read more
A newly released series of dramatic time-lapse satellite images, available at Google's Timelapse Web site, shows just how quickly the world's landscapes have changed in the last 28 years.
The pictures, captured by the series of Landsat satellites and released in conjunction with the U.S. Geological Survey, NASA, and Time magazine, show several startling examples of how humans and natural processes have changed Earth from 1984 to 2012. You'll see the depressing decline of the Columbia Glacier in Alaska, the blossoming of Dubai's epic cityscape, and Las Vegas' urban explosion. There's also an alarming look at the deforestation occurring in the Brazilian Amazon forest. … Read more
One my biggest disappointments with Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" was its failure to include Tom Bombadil, the immortal woodsman who is immune to the One Ring.
The character has a small but intriguing part in J.R.R. Tolkien's trilogy, but of course there's no room for him in a blockbuster film. Not so, however, with this very cool Periodic Table of Middle Earth, which replaces elements with earthly characters from LOTR and "The Hobbit." … Read more
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If you are a registered CNET member, you can sign up for the newsletter yourself (it's listed as "CNET Download.com Software Dispatch" under "Software News and Reviews"), or check back every Tuesday to read our latest roundup.
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A new public alpha release of BitTorrent Sync--for Windows, Mac, and Linux--offers unlimited syncing … Read more
If you wanted to impress on Earth Day, you could do worse than this all-electric motorcycle from Canada.
The Sora superbike from Quebec-based Lito Green Motion is finally hitting the streets after years of development and promos. The Canadian Ministry of Transport recently certified the firm as a motorcycle manufacturer, and the $41,000 bike is getting lots of attention.
The Sora, which means "sky" in Japanese, has a 12 kWh lithium polymer battery and a range of 185 miles on a single charge, which takes 8 hours, or 90 minutes with a quick charger. It can be recharged anywhere using a conventional plug. … Read more
Google Earth has been around for years, but thanks to a new integration with Leap Motion, you can now soar through the digital representation of our planet like never before.
Starting with the release today of Google Earth 7.1, those who use Leap Motion's hands-free 3D gesture control technology will be able to control the exploration tool, "flying" through the software by simply waving their hands.
As of right now, unfortunately, the only people who will be able to benefit from this partnership are the thousands of developers who have already received one of Leap Motion'… Read more
Google is marking Earth Day 2013 on Monday with what might be its busiest animated doodle yet. In fact, its level of involvement led Google to create a checklist to ensure you don't miss anything.
Highlighting the Earth's complexity on the 43rd Earth Day, the doodle offers a snapshot of the four seasons our fragile planet experiences, as well as some of its flora and fauna.
Since 2011 the FTC has required that every TV display a yellow and black Energy Guide label estimating how much it costs to run for a year. The label assumes a price for electricity (11 cents/kWh) and a baseline usage (5 hours per day).
The cost is tiny. A typical label can read anywhere from $6 for 32-inch LEDs to $38 for 65-inch plasmas (PDF). Per year. That's from 50 cents to $3.18 per month. If that's the definition of chump change to you, you're probably not alone.
That's the primary reason I stopped … Read more
Stephen Hawking's mind is reaching out into the far depths of space as he contemplates the survival of humanity over the very long term. He doesn't hold out much hope for us here on Earth. Instead, the famous physicist is looking to the stars for an answer.
"We must continue to go into space for humanity. We won't survive another 1,000 years without escaping our fragile planet," Hawking said in a recent lecture, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The delicate nature of Earth and humanity's propensity for steamrolling over the environment both spell doom as far as Hawking is concerned. He has been talking about the need to colonize space for years, but his latest comments have ramped up the discussion.… Read more