SciTech Briefs

Swift planet found

A recently discovered planet orbits its star so closely that a new year comes every 10 hours.
Called SWEEPS-10, the planet belongs to a newfound class of planets called ultra-short-period planets, so called because they have orbits of less than one Earth day.

The Hubble Space Telescope recently spotted five of the swift planets, all about the size of Jupiter. The planets are located in a crowded star field in our Milky Way galaxy as part of an exoplanet survey called the Sagittarius Window Eclipsing Extrasolar Planet Search, or SWEEPS.


University creates robot drummer

The music program at Georgia Tech is marching to the beat of a different drummer, a robot named Haile. The robot is the creation of Georgia Tech professor Gil Win Weinberg and graduate student Scott Driscoll. Weinberg and Driscoll are both involved in the entertainment technology program.

Weinberg and Driscoll wanted their robot musician to be much more than a mere metronome, able to listen and adapt to given music. Haile can listen for changes in beat and rhythm and improvise her own percussion line.

Unlike a stereotypical robot, Haile is made of wood and styled after humans, with a head, two legs, and arms. Audiences on her world tours have been delighted and stunned by Weinberg’s creation, but the professor insists that this is only the beginning of robotics in music.

Source: CNN

Muddy ‘monster’ found in Arctic

Several fossils of plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs were recently uncovered by Norwegian paleontologists on Svalbard, an Arctic island chain.

The ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs, colossal-aqua dinosaurs not unlike the legendary Loch Ness, were among the most complete ever found. One plesiosaur was so large the team nicknamed it “Monster.”

They plan to compare similar British fossils with the new Arctic ones and will attempt to return to the excavation site in the coming summer.

Source: BBC News

Google to possibly acquire YouTube

Google Inc., along with several other companies, is in talks to acquire YouTube Inc., the popular online video website. A YouTube official estimated the price of the acquisition to be near $1.6 billion. The reported price tag is a relatively small portion of the search engine giant’s assets; Google has $10 billion in cash on hand.

YouTube surpassed traffic on Google’s video site in February. By July, about 30.5 million people visited YouTube, compared to only about one-third as many vists to Google Video, according to Nielsen/NetRatings.

Google’s current service already allows users to post video clips online. But unlike YouTube, Google also allows companies to sell video. All YouTube video is free.

Source: MSNBC