GaS news — what happened next: March 2013

Continuing our look back at later developments to stories we brought you on Geeks Are Sexy this year, we turn our attention to March. Dennis Tito, the first commercial space tourist, announced plans to fund a 501-day trip for a couple to orbit Mars. To keep weight down, the urine and fecal liquid of the passengers would be filtered to provide drinking water while the dehydrated faeces would be added to a radiation shield in the wall of the craft.

In November this year Tito testified before Congress in an appeal for public funding for the trip. He suggested a take off on January 5, 2018 with an August 2018 Mars orbit and a May 2019 return to Earth, noting the alignment of planets meant this would be the last time a craft could reach Mars so quickly until 2031.

CERN announced that it only had one factor to eliminate (whether the “spin” was 0 or 2) before confirming that a particle discovered in the Large Hadron Collider in July 2012 matched the theoretical Higgs boson. Only a week or so later, CERN confirmed that was indeed the case. Professor Peter Higgs and Francois Englert went on to share this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics though Higgs, who doesn’t own a mobile phone and has never sent an e-mail, only found out about the award from a passer-by in the street.

The rebooted SimCity had a disastrous launch with many players unable to get a server connection, something that was needed even to use single-player mode. Many players also complained the area available in which to build a city was too small. Maxis considered increasing the space but eventually confirmed this would not be possible without further performance problems. Another high profile game, GTA V, also had major problems with its online launch, though the outrage was less thanks to single player mode still working and the developers making it clear in advance that teething troubles were inevitable.

A West Virginia politician introduced a bill that would make it an offense to use ” a wearable computer with head mounted display” while driving, wording intended to cover Google Glass. Nine months on, the bill is still in the committee examination stage. In October a California driver received a ticket for using Google Glass. Cecil Abadie insists the device was switched off as she drove and only activated when she lifted her head to look at the traffic cop. She’s now confirmed she will fight the case in court.

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