Dark Sky weather app gets a facelift ↗️

From 9to5Mac:

I recently took a look at the various weather apps for iPhone (read the roundup here). Dark Sky was one of my absolute favorite apps, and today it gets even better. Despite already having the gold standard (in my opinion) of weather data, it now brings one of the best-looking apps to the table as well.

While I didn’t think the old app was bad, in hindsight, it was a little dated looking. The new version combines the current weather and forecast screen into one tab, which I love. These are the most used sections of the app for me, so it makes it even easier to use now.

I love Dark Sky for its amazing accuracy at telling me when I’m about to get very, very wet. Glad to see the new update!

Drone terror plot foiled ↗️

From the Daily Star:

In the plot unearthed 12 months ago, the terrorists were hoping to acquire up to a dozen commercial drones with a range long enough to penetrate airport perimeters.

One source said: “It was a very simple but clever plan. The drones could have been flown into an aircraft from a car park or a car sitting just beneath the flight path.

Good thing that anti-drone systems are being developed!

Researchers throw guilt on contact lens wearers ↗️

From AAAS EurekAlert:

Many people rely on contact lenses to improve their vision. But these sight-correcting devices don’t last forever and they are eventually disposed of in various ways. Now, scientists are reporting that throwing these lenses down the drain at the end of their use could be contributing to microplastic pollution in waterways. The researchers will present their results today at the 256th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

Yet another thing to feel guilty about. Why doesn’t some enterprising company develop biodegradable contacts?

ISS astronaut snaps aurora pics from orbit ↗️

From Space.com

Most of us are lucky to catch a glimpse of a stunning aurora painting the skies once or twice in our lives.

But living on the International Space Stationhas a curious side effect, giving astronauts incredible odds of spotting the beautiful phenomenon. European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst has been aboard the space station since June as part of his second trip to space, and on Aug. 10, he shared incredible photos of the bright green waves as seen from above. “Mind-blowing, every single time,” he wrote in a tweet accompanying the photo.

Stunning. Good thing I’m not aboard ISS because I’d spend all my time at an observation port!

Doing science experiments with a smartphone ↗️

Via Wired:

Everyone already knows that you are carrying around a computer in your pocket. But your smartphone is more than just a computer—it’s also a data collector. I’m going to guess that yours can measure acceleration, magnetic field, sound, location, and maybe more. Many phones also can measure pressure. Oh, and some phones can even make phone calls.

With all of those sensors available, I’m going to go over three fun experiments you can do with your phone. These will probably work on just about any smartphone—and you can probably use a variety of apps to collect the data. For these examples, I’m going to stick with phyphox (http://phyphoxorg). There have been lots of data collecting apps—but this one is the best I’ve seen lately.

This could be a great series of articles, not only for kids but for science-illiterate adults as well.

Skip the Moon, go to Mars ↗️

From Scientific American:

All of this helps make the case for sending astronauts to Mars. A lunar return is neither novel nor particularly challenging. Indeed, fascination with the moon started waning even before the final Apollo mission in 1972; several subsequent missions were canceled. This is not to say that we should never return to the moon, but Mars should be given clear priority in a time where budgetary and political constraints make the sustainability of long-term programs a perennial issue. Concerns about the dangers of such a mission ignore humankind’s uncanny ability to overcome challenges once taken to the limit.

Too bad we can’t do both, but if it’s one or the other, Mars is much more compelling.

Lockheed-Martin’s prototype “RV in deep space” ↗️

From Phys.org:

The capsule is designed to house racks for science, life support systems, sleep stations, exercise machines and robotic work stations, said Bill Pratt, the program’s manager.

“You think of it as an RV in deep space,” he said during a tour of the prototype. “When you’re in an RV, your table becomes your bed and things are always moving around, so you have to be really efficient with the space. That’s a lot of what we are testing here.”

I’m more of the fan of faster and cheaper, so why not beef up the inflatable Bigelow modules that have been tested on ISS?

Drone manufacturer DJI schedules big event for 8/23 ↗️

Via DroneDJ:

In a post on Instagram, Chinese drone-maker DJI calls their “See the Bigger Picture” event their biggest announcement of the year. Of course, we all know what to expect on that day, the official introduction of the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom and Pro models. The event can be followed live at live.dji.com (video) as it starts on August 23rd at 10 am EDT.

A drone with a Hasselblad camera? Yes, please. I’d really like one with built-in VR cameras while we’re at it.

Announcing Listener Support for the Tangible Tech podcast

Yay, Anchor.fm! That’s the podcast creation/hosting/discovery service that’s now responsible for one out of every three new podcasts. Of course, the Tangible Tech podcast is hosted on Anchor, and I was thrilled to see that the company has partnered with payment provider Stripe to allow listeners to support their favorite podcast.

On the podcast profile page, you’ll now see a button like this:

Click that button, and there are three levels of support available:

Select one of the three, and you can support the podcast and this website. I promise to never put ads on this site, so your support helps to pay the bills.