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Bill Gates and Masayoshi Son are backing a plan to have video cameras watch every inch of Earth from space

EarthNow, a new satellite project with some high-profile benefactors, aims to cover our entire planet in detailed, real-time video surveillance. The big names: The firm revealed Wednesday it’s backed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, and Airbus, although the amount of money committed by each party was not yet clear. The details: According to the Wall Street Journal, the company plans to launch a network of about 500 satellites weighing 500 pounds apiece.

Each one will be equipped with some intense onboard computing power, which EarthNow says it will combine with planetside computers equipped with machine learning to interpret what its cameras capture in real time. Big brother is watching: Users will be able to get a live picture of anywhere on Earth with only about one second of delay. EarthNow has yet to divulge much in terms of details, including what the resolution of their images will be (kind of important when taking pictures from space).

But images will have to be detailed enough to at least be useful for some of the applications they propose, like catching illegal fishing, tracking whale migration, and observing conflict zones.

Source:Image credit:

  • NASA | Unsplash

A trauma surgeon explains the bloody reality of keeping gunshot victims alive

This month’s shooting at YouTube‘s headquarters, which left four people injured and one person dead, rattled Silicon Valley. But for Dr. Andre Campbell, a trauma surgeon at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center where three of the victims were taken following the shooting, gun violence is a daily reality.

“Gun violence happens every day throughout the United States,” Campbell told reporters at a press briefing organized shortly after the shooting. “But I don’t see you guys out here — because I’d like to make sure that people know that we got a serious problem that we need to address.”

Campbell, who has worked at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital for over 20 years and is also a professor of surgery at the University of California San Francisco, calls gun violence a public health problem. “We have to figure out a way for the weapons to not cause the damage that they do right now,” he tells The Verge in an interview. “I’m pretty expert at dealing with gunshot wounds, which is not something you want to become expert at.”

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The Verge spoke with Campbell about his job caring for the victims of gun violence, the dangers of unchecked bleeding, and what injuries from high-velocity bullets look like.

The following interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and brevity.

You seemed surprised to see so many journalists at the press briefing after the shooting at YouTube.

Why was that?

The reason why I was surprised is that every day, trauma providers around the country are confronted by people who are gunshot wound victims. A couple weeks before, we had a fairly large shooting where six people were injured and brought to the hospital. But there wasn’t as much attention at the hospital about what happened.

And when I was walking down the driveway to meet the press with our media folks, it just kind of occurred to me that it seemed like an awful lot of cameras, and video equipment for this, and I just wondered out loud about, ‘Wow this is a lot of media attention.’ But the reality is that this happens all the time, and you don’t show up for all that.

You showed up for this, which is fine, it was terrible what happened to these poor folks who got injured, but the reality is that you don’t show up for that all the time.

So I was wondering about that out loud, when all of a sudden people were a little surprised that I even have an opinion about that. And they weren’t expecting someone to basically say what trauma providers around the country and around the world feel: that this is a common problem, and it is something we need to have solutions for.

Has it gotten to the point where you can recognize different guns by the injuries that you see?

The reality is if someone is shot by a high-velocity, high-caliber weapon, it creates massive destruction. I’ve seen some of those, but it’s hard to really tell.

The holes are small going in, and they’re very large coming out. So those are real, severe injuries that folks have, right? But I can’t really tell from looking at the wounds unless it’s something that’s really, really big.

I can tell that most of the people we have who are injured are shot by handguns, and the handguns, they cause a fair amount of injury when you’re shot.

How do the injuries differ for the handguns versus the high-velocity weapons?

One of the ways that it’s described is if a high-velocity [bullet] hits your liver, it basically looks like you have dropped a watermelon from standing position to the ground, and it just basically explodes — it kind of blows up. And that’s what your liver looks like if it hits it. Whereas if you’re shot with a handgun in your liver, there’s a cone of destruction that’s about a centimeter around and it goes through the liver in that fashion.

What’s harder to treat?

When somebody has a high-velocity weapon, it’s much harder.

But everything really depends on where the patient is shot or injured. If they’re shot in a vital organ, it only takes a bullet in a bad position for someone to die. So if you’re shot in a major vessel, like the aorta, or the vena cava, or the carotid artery, or the femoral artery, you can just bleed to death from that.

As a trauma surgeon, what do you wish that people knew about the kind of destruction that bullets can do to the body?

We all go into trauma surgery because we’re trying to save people’s lives and get them back to their family.

And what happens is unfortunately when you are shot with a weapon, this can cause irreparable damage. You can have a head injury, you can have major destruction, you can have loss of function in your arms or legs, depending on if your spinal cord is injured and what [the] location is; you can obviously die if you have a massive hemorrhage, and you have catastrophic injuries to vital organs. Things can happen that can change a life in a second.

We’re pretty good at doing what we do.

But it’s better not getting shot than getting shot and having us fix you. We’re pretty good at taking care of folks when they’re injured, but we’re not perfect.

Say someone comes in with a bullet wound, what is the most important thing to do first?

We evaluate their airway, we look at their breathing, we look at their circulation and we look [at] whether they’re disabled or not. And then we basically expose them, and we look everywhere to make sure that we don’t miss any holes anywhere.

Then we do an assessment from head to toe. Look at their head, look at their neck, look at their chest, look at their abdomen, look at their pelvis and their legs, and we flip them over to see whether or not we have gotten every single area of their body examined.

And then, at that point, then we begin to decide what needs to be done. Does the patient need to go to the operating room?

Do do they go to the CT scanner? If the wound is tangential and they’re stable, do they need to go to radiology or do they need to go to the operating room? So that’s what we are doing, as we’re trying to sort out what happened to the patient.

Before the patient gets to the hospital, is there anything that bystanders can do if someone’s been shot near them?

There are a series of things that happen when there’s a gunshot wound in the vicinity.

The first is thing is that the police have to secure the area, number one. Then the paramedics will come in. The main thing is that people cannot become additional victims after a shooting happens.

You have to basically stay out of the way and make sure you’re not another victim.

Once things are safe, then there are things you can do [with training from a program called Stop the Bleed]. You can compress with a t-shirt, preferably a clean one. You can pack the wound if you can, and then you can apply a well-placed, professional tourniquet if they have extremity — or arm and leg — wounds.

That’s something a bystander can do to help. But you have to have some training, you can’t just do it out of your love for trying to help mankind. You need training, like anything.

You want to do the right thing to try and save people, you don’t want to make anything worse.

Is there anything else that you wish people knew about your job, especially having to do with gunshot victims?

I’m a trauma surgeon, but I don’t work in isolation. We have a very sophisticated trauma system that’s been developed over the last 30 to 40 years. The system consists of paramedics around the field, it consists of firefighters who help the paramedics.

It consists of the emergency department, the operating room, the ICU, and the rest of the hospital. And then after we’ve done everything, the patients then go to rehabilitation where they basically learn how to do the things that maybe were compromised after they got shot — they may have to learn how to walk, they may have to learn to get their strength together. There are all sorts of things that happen after they’re injured.

There are literally hundreds of people involved in the care of the patient when something like this happens. You’re talking to me now, but I am just one of many people who’s involved in caring for these folks after they’ve been injured.

If you had one message about the toll of gun violence, what would you say?

The main thing is that too many people are shot, it’s a public health problem, and this current situation is bad for our patients. That’s the message that I want to say.

Being shot is a terrible thing.

We’ve gotten pretty good at fixing people.

But we can’t save everybody, and that’s the hardest part about doing what I do is that, sometimes I look at somebody and I know I can’t save them, and that’s really hard.

The Best Bridge Cameras of 2018

SLR Looks, Fixed Lens

Big superzoom cameras[1] are still referred to as bridge[2] models in many circles. It’s a vestigial term carried over from the days when the large body style was aimed at photographers who wanted to move up from a pocket point-and-shoot (which, at the time, had limited zoom ranges as a rule), but weren’t quite ready for an SLR. The idea was that a camera like this would bridge that gap, and perhaps encourage the same photographers to eventually move to an SLR.

In 2017, the term makes less sense, but it’s stuck around. Modern bridge models can vary greatly in features and capabilities. Models with smaller image sensors boast incredibly long zoom ranges, while cameras with larger sensors can’t keep up with 30x pocket zoom cameras like the Panasonic ZS50 in terms of absolute zoom range, but deliver images that truly bridge the gap between compact and SLR quality.[3]

Small Sensor, Big Zoom

Some bridge cameras pack the same size sensor that you’ll find in a pocket point-and-shoot[4] or a premium smartphone like the Samsung Galaxy S8.

You’re not going to see a significant jump in image quality when compared with a pocket model, but you will be able to enjoy zoom ratios in excess of 50x power. Our favorite model, the Canon SX60 HS, sports a 65x lens that covers an ultra-wide (21mm) to an extremely narrow telephoto (1,365mm) angle. It also sets itself apart from many pocket models and smartphones by offering Raw capture, a very solid optical stabilization system, and an electronic viewfinder.

You can go longer when it comes to zoom–the Nikon P900’s 83x zoom lens covers a 24-2,000mm range– but image quality at the extreme telephoto isn’t as good as it is at wider angles, and the camera omits Raw capture.

Going in the other direction, the Panasonic FZ300’s lens is a mere 24x power (25-600mm), but it maintains an f/2.8 aperture throughout the entire range, and features one of the best EVFs in its class, along with a weather-sealed design and 4K video capture.

Big Sensor, Shorter Zoom

Sony started putting 1-inch sensors into cameras in 2012 with the pocketable RX100[5]. It didn’t take long for it to follow with the RX10, which marries a sensor that’s four times as large as you’ll find in most point-and-shoots to a 24-200mm f/2.8 zoom lens. Despite the fairly short range, its incredible lens, the image quality delivered by its 1-inch 20MP sensor, and a superb build earned it a rare five-star rating when it was reviewed.

The original RX10 doesn’t stand so far apart from the crowd these days, but it’s still an excellent performer. Its been joined by two sequels, the RX10 II, which keeps the same lens and adds 4K video and a few other tweaks, and the RX10 III, which has an all-new 24-600mm f/2.4-4 lens that makes it the best camera of its type, although one that carries a premium price tag.

Other 1-inch models to consider include the Panasonic FZ1000, which sacrifices some build quality when compared with the RX10, but offers a solid zoom range for its price. Canon also has one long-lens entry in its 1-inch series, the G3 X.

Its 25-600mm f/2.8-5.6 zoom matches the RX10 III in terms of coverage, but its lack of an electronic viewfinder is a downer, as is its slower focus system. The G3 X is priced aggressively, which may be enough to make budget shoppers overlook some of its shortcomings. Nikon announced its own 1-inch bridge model, the DL 24-500, last year.

But production delays have reared their ugly heads, and there’s currently no estimate as to when it’ll hit the market.[6]

Choosing the Right Bridge Camera

The model that’s best for you depends on your budget, your image quality demands, and just how much zoom range you want. If you’re going on a safari and don’t want to carry a heavy kit, a model like the SX60 HS is a solid bet, as it has a long range and image quality is excellent, especially in bright light. If you’re looking for a camera that can handle shooting in lower light, a 1-inch model is likely more your speed.

You may be turned off by the price, especially that of the RX10 III, but some shooters will find that a camera like this is a better fit than an SLR.

If you bought an entry-level SLR and have never moved beyond the 18-55mm starter zoom, you’ll find a 1-inch bridge camera to be a more capable tool for day-to-day photography.[7]


  1. ^ cameras (
  2. ^ bridge (
  3. ^ Panasonic ZS50 (
  4. ^ point-and-shoot (
  5. ^ RX100 (
  6. ^ DL 24-500 (
  7. ^ SLR (

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