The ZTE Reef gives Virgin Mobile two things it never had before: a water-resistant phone that can take a long swim and a handset made by ZTE. What it doesn't get, however, is a device that runs the latest version of Android or a phone that supports the carrier's 4G LTE network. This isn't the first time we've had to compromise between a durable design and the latest features, but that doesn't make it completely right, either. The truth is, I could live without one or the other, but the loss of both Android 4.… Read more
SAN FRANCISCO -- Google and its partner The Catlin Seaview Survey need help from developers to document the world's coral reefs and save them from extinction.
During a session at the Google I/O developer conference, Richard Vevers of the Catlin Seaview Survey and Jenifer Austin Foulkes, a business product manager for Google Earth & Maps, talked up Google's efforts to bring underwater panoramic images to Google Maps.
Google first started virtually mapping the ocean floor four years ago, and in September the company launched its first 360 degree panoramic street views of the ocean. Google partnered with … Read more
Head underwater at the Great Barrier Reef with Google Maps, and you'll notice something deeply saddening: instead of the vividly colored corals you would expect, vast swathes of the reef are dull brown -- dying, thanks to pollution, fishing, and climate change. This is a situation repeated the world over, with 20 percent of the world's reefs dead, and another 50 percent under immediate threat.
Although coral reefs, when left alone, can regenerate, those closer to human habitation aren't so lucky. It seems hopeless; short of drastic intervention, such as the cessation of fishing and dropping waste into the sea, how on earth could we combat this?
Humans have been trying to help. Fragments of Hope is a coral nursery in Belize that sends divers down to plant pieces of healthy coral in the dying reefs to speed up the recovery process. This work is painstaking and slow, however, and -- perhaps most pertinently -- subject to the limitations of the human body. There are places where humans cannot dive, and human endurance has a limit.
The Coral-bot Team from the U.K. has proposed that robots go where humans can't tread. The team has designed and built a series of robots that could autonomously navigate the depths and continue the work of planting coral. … Read more
Google is bringing the undersea world to the Internet's landlubbers.
The Web giant today launched an expansion of its Map tool to take users on an adventure that includes colorful reef fish, coral forests, and rare turtles. The goal of the program is to allow people around the world to explore the ocean while also conducting the first detailed study of the composition and health of coral reefs.
"With these vibrant and stunning photos you don't have to be a scuba diver -- or even know how to swim -- to explore and experience six of the … Read more
It's no easy task birthing a cell phone, but despite the hard work that goes into designing and manufacturing these handsets, things can go (very) awry. If you've been thinking about picking up one of the following phones the next time you head out of the house, well, you might want to reconsider.… Read more
The burning of fossil fuels and the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere don't affect just the air--it also impacts the Earth's oceans, according to U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Oceans absorb the carbon dioxide, which in turn changes the water's pH acidity levels. What this means is that coral reefs are growing at a slower rate and the survival of marine species is decreasing, according to NOAA.
Now, the speed at which ocean pH level is changing is faster than any time in the last 300 million years, according to a new … Read more
Imagine if Google Earth could take users under the ocean. People on laptops sitting hundreds of miles away from any body of water could dive down and spot colorful reef fish, coral forests, sea snakes, and rare turtles. A program just like this was officially announced today.
In a partnership with Google, the global insurance company Catlin Group Limited and nonprofit Underwater Earth launched the Catlin Seaview Survey. The goal is to let people explore the ocean from afar and also carry out the first detailed study about the composition and health of coral reefs. The mapping expedition is expected … Read more
Cats like iPads and laser pointers and can carry around their own tracking sensors. Dogs dig treadmills and have translator devices that turn woofs into words. Now fish are getting in on the gadget action, too.
Fish aren't yet ordering iPhones or hooking up HD television sets underwater, but a recent paper published in Coral Reefs, the journal of the International Society for Reef Studies, dove into some interesting behavior from an enterprising black spot tuskfish.
A diver at the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia observed a tuskfish breaking open cockleshells on an anvil to get at the tasty tidbits inside. A series of images show the clever critter in action. … Read more
Now this, friends, is one invention worth crowing about: a self-cleaning fish tank. It's something that practically every parent must endure at some point, when a child brings home that first goldfish from the school carnival.
Unlike standard aquariums, the "biOrb" has a special ceramic system that "provides a massive home for filter bacteria," according to its U.K. distributor, Reef One. The only maintenance required is a regular changing of the cartridge in the aquarium's built-in filter.