Tech universe: Tuesday 17 August

By Miraz Jordan

A round-up of the latest technology news from around the globe.

The view from the glass-bottomed hot air balloon.
The view from the glass-bottomed hot air balloon.

WIND BENEATH YOUR FEET: Hot air balloons have been around for a long time now, but never before with a 2 inch thick glass floor in the basket. The glass is for spectacular views over the alps. Even the pilot admitted to being terrified. What good are the views if you're too scared to look? More at SWNS and video on YouTube.

DRIVE BY WIRE: Safety sensors in your car may send data to your car's computer wirelessly. The bad news is that wrongdoers could send false readings to make you you stop the car, leaving you vulnerable to attack. Sigh, it'll be spam next. More at ScienceDaily.

TV GIANTS: Pining for a TV screen the size of a house? A new method of making huge screens uses cheaper, lower-resistance wires in a screen that could be rolled up for transport.

Prices could plummet as a result. Sports larger than life soon. More at NewScientist.

TECHY TEABAG: Fill a teabag with nanoscale fibres to filter out contaminants and active carbon to kill bacteria and you have a cheap but effective water filter. Stellenbosch University have invented filters and reusable water bottles to help the hundreds of millions of people around the world who rely on unsafe water. Add them to the aid packages now. Details at SciDev and video on YouTube.

CRACKER'S DOZEN: Georgia Tech Research Institute has been checking out passwords. They say modern computers are so powerful that 7 characters just aren't enough to keep us safe from brute force attacks. We need 12 characters or more. Start writing your novel now: you'll need it soon to be your password. Details at BBC.

- Miraz Jordan

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