Weird Tech: Schoolboy forces NASA to check sums

NASA scientists predict a one in 45,000 chance of a deadly asteroid hitting Earth

Scientists at NASA were forced to check their sums this week after a German schoolboy accused them of miscalculating the chance of a deadly asteroid hitting Earth. While boffins at the space bureaucracy had predicted a one in 45,000 chance of a collision, the 13-year-old boy recalculated the likelihood as closer to one in 450.

But no sooner had the media swooped in on the story than it came to light that the boy was, in fact, wrong after all.

Fortunately for us, the student's estimates were reportedly based on the asteroid hitting a satellite in 2029. "However, the asteroid will not pass near the main belt of geosynchronous satellites in 2029, and the chance of a collision with a satellite is exceedingly remote," NASA spokesman Dwayne Brown told AFP.

YouTube video provokes lawsuit

In other news from the weird world of tech, staff at a Philippine government hospital could have their licences revoked after a video clip of a former patient’s rectal surgery found its way onto YouTube.

The clip shows nurses and surgeons "laughing and cheering" as a blue canister was removed from the male patient's rectum during the operation in January, AFP reported.

The unnamed patient has threatened a lawsuit, saying that he and his family suffered humiliation and ridicule after the clip filmed by giggling medical staff was passed around between mobile phone users and posted on the video-sharing website.

And finally…

Another week, another story of GPS-induced foolery – this time involving a bus carrying a high school girl’s softball team. According to reports, the driver was so engrossed in his satnav device he failed to notice an impending concrete footbridge.

Safe in the knowledge that the GPS unit had been programmed for a bus, he casually drove pass a set of flashing warning lights before ploughing into the century-old structure. The 11-foot 8-inch high vehicle miserably failed to clear the 9-foot bridge, sheering off its roof in the process. All passengers escaped unharmed.

Julia Sagar
Content director, special projects

Julia specialises in ecommerce at Future. For the last four years, she’s split her time between leading TechRadar’s crack team of deal editors - covering all the biggest sales of the year including Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Amazon Prime Day - and helping the audiences of Future’s consumer tech and lifestyle brands (TechRadar, Tom's Guide, T3, Marie Claire, Woman & Home and more) find the best products and services for their needs and budget.

A former editor of global design website Creative Bloq, she has over 15 years’ experience in online and print journalism, and was part of the team that launched TechRadar way back in the day. When she isn't reviewing mattresses (she’s tested more than she cares to remember), or sharing tips on how to save money in the latest sales, she can usually be found writing about anything from green energy to graphic design.