This Week in Interesting Engineering News: June 12-18

Trevor English


Technological advancements happen so fast that each week there are endless amounts of discoveries and news about those on the cutting edge. Interesting Engineering tries to bring you the top technical content from around the web, and now we are rounding everything up that happened this last week! From the end of SpaceX's Falcon 9 landing streak to a Googling grandmother that made us all smile, check out the top tech news that happened in the last 7 days!

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Crashes

Elon Musk and SpaceX have had their share of crashes, but recently their landing attempts of the Falcon 9 onto their drone ship have been very successful. However, following the successful launch and delivery of two satellites into orbit, their Falcon 9 rocket crashed into their drone ship in what was possibly the hardest landing to date for SpaceX.

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Nice Grandmother Gets Reply from Google

Most of us are probably used to using Google on a daily basis, but many in the older generations are still learning. There have always been great stories of people not used to modern technology using it in odd or unusual ways, but one grandmother’s Google search is putting a smile on everyone’s face. Ben Eckersley’s grandmother added ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ to the beginning and end of her search in hopes that the answer would be found faster.

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U.S. Launches Secret Spy Satellite

US National Reconnaissance Office successfully launched another top secret satellite into space today after previously being grounded due to poor weather conditions. The top secret payload consisted of the Satellite NROL-37  which was launched into space last Saturday aboard the world’s most powerful rocket–  the United Launch Alliance’s (ULA) Delta IV Heavy Rocket.

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Scientists Encode Data into Living Cells

Scientists at Harvard University have just developed a gene editing technique that allows information to be permanently stored in living cells. Using the CRISPR/Cas9 editing tools, the information was encoded, so permanently, in fact, that it can be passed down to successive generations of cells. Encoding information into DNA isn’t completely new, but encoding information onto DNA of a living organism definitely is.

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China Tests Glass Bridge with Sledgehammer

China is becoming famous for building glass pedestrian bridges, but many are still too scared to ever walk across the precarious pathways. Whether you think they are good ideas or not, the glass bridges are quite the adrenaline rush to walk across, especially when they crack while people are on it, like the last bridge did. In order to prove to everyone their safety, crews designing the new bridge decided to invite BBC to come swing a sledgehammer into a pane, while standing on it.

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Texas Man Buys a Dam to Protect Home

The recent flooding across multiple counties in Texas forced thousands to evacuate their homes. However, one man decided not to let his house be destroyed by the millions of gallons of water threatening its way inland thanks to a great purchase he found on the internet. Randy Wagner of Rosharon in Brazoria County gambled on a product he discovered online called the AquaDam.

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Hacker Stole $50 million from the DAO

Early this morning a hacker stole $50 million worth of digital currency called Ether from the DAO:

“Bad news….apparently The DAO is under attack and is leaking eth in huge amounts. Yet Vitalik proposed a solution to rescue the funds.” -The DAO 

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Self-learning Robot Escapes for 45 Minutes

In the recent frenzy of questionable robotic motives, a Russian self-learning robot escaped a training compound before engineers were able to bring it back home. Artificially intelligent (AI) robots have demonstrated some incredibly peculiar traits between Microsoft’s AI bot turning into a racist-human-hating robot in 24 hours and DARPA announcing their plan for a 132-foot “stalker” warship to hunt the seas for enemies. Whatever the case may be, the age of robotic automation has begun.