IT Trends: Astronaut Tweets From Space; Sunflower Power

Government and social networks; engineers model legged robots after cockroaches.

by / April 1, 2010 0

Astronaut Tweets From Space

NASA astronaut T.J. Creamer became the first person to tweet unassisted from space on Jan. 22. Creamer tweeted via a private Web access, called the Crew Support LAN, which uses existing communication links to and from the station to let astronauts browse and use the Web. The system will provide astronauts with direct private communications to enhance their quality of life during long missions by helping to ease the isolation associated with living in a closed environment. -


Flower Power

President Barack Obama hopes that 25 percent of U.S. energy will come from renewable sources by 2025, but could sunflowers be the solution? Researchers are attempting to map the DNA sequence of sunflower seeds, which they think could be a viable source for ethanol. The project is funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. departments of Energy and Agriculture, and aligns with Obama's vision of creating clean, renewable energy.


Cop Roach

Most people disdain cockroaches, but engineers at Oregon State University are calling the critters "bioinspirations," because of their dexterity and speed. Engineers hope to build the world's first legged robot that can maneuver over rough terrain. If engineers are successful, this will aid military and law enforcement officials investigate dangerous incidents without endangering their lives. -


Media Time

8- to 18-year-olds spend more time with media than any other activity besides sleeping. That's an average of more than 7.5 hours a day, seven days a week, and excludes time spent texting. - Generation M²


Are you Social?

66% of all government agencies currently use some form of social networking - from blogs and wikis to instant messaging and discussion boards, according to the report Social Networking in Government: Opportunities & Challenges.


Karen Stewartson

Karen Stewartson served as the managing editor of Government Technology for many years. She also contributed to Public CIO and Emergency Management magazines.