Archives for October, 2012

Top 10 Feats of Engineering

Feats of Engineering   It’s easy to take good engineering for granted. After all, it’s the bad engineering that gets the headlines: bridges falling down, buildings falling apart, tunnels collapsing.When done right, good engineering can be beautiful to look at or beautifully functional or just amazing in its scale. Here’s our tribute to a few […]

Top 10 Nostradamus Predictions

Nostradamus Predictions   Michel de Nostredame (aka Nostradamus) was a 16th-century French “seer.” We don’t have many seers these days. Nostradamus studied astrology and various “occult” sciences and used those to predict the future. He’s best known for The Prophecies, a collection of French quatrains published in 1555. So are these prophecies worthy predictions of […]

Top 10 Scientific Discoveries Coming in 2012

Top 10 Scientific Discoveries Coming in 2012   Science has spoiled us. Whether it’s a new planet that seems a lot like Earth, wireless technology innovations or the cloning of extinct creatures, we have become accustomed to brilliant minds bringing us new wonders. It’s hard to understand them, or even keep up. So we have […]

Top 10 Nostradamus Predictions

Michel de Nostredame (aka Nostradamus) was a 16th-century French “seer.” We don’t have many seers these days. Nostradamus studied astrology and various “occult” sciences and used those to predict the future. He’s best known for The Prophecies, a collection of French quatrains published in 1555. So are these prophecies worthy predictions of the future or […]

Awesome New Electronics Can Dissolve and Disappear When They’re No Longer Needed

“Transient electronics” could deliver drugs, monitor buildings and more. Could they be an eco-friendly solution for obsolescent tech? Dissolving Circuit As soon as it comes in contact with water, the circuit starts to break down. Fiorenzo Omenetto A new class of electronics can dissolve and disappear on a pre-set schedule, within a few minutes or […]

The Wellcome Collection’s Best Science Photography Of 2012

The best of the 2012 Wellcome Image Awards take viewers under the microscope, under the human cranium, and inside an avian embryo. Caffeine Crystals Captured in false-color scanning electron micrography, these caffeine crystals are just 40 microns in length. ANNIE CAVANAGH AND DAVID MCCARTHY via Wellcome Images View Photo Gallery Wellcome Images owns one of […]

Russia is Building the World’s Largest Nuclear-Powered Icebreaker

As global warming softens ice in the arctic, Russia hopes to carve new sea lanes with the biggest ‘universal’ nuclear powered icebreaker the world has ever seen A Russian Icebreaker Towing an American Supply Vessel in Antarctica, 2006 via Wikimedia Russia already has a huge fleet of both diesel-powered and even nuclear icebreakers, but it […]

Microsoft Dodges $210,000 Fine By Wasting Millions Of Watts Of Electricity

After overestimating its energy needs, the software giant allegedly strong-armed a small-town utility into reducing a six-figure penalty by threatening to needlessly burn millions of watts. Facebook’s Massive Prineville, Ore., Data Center Server farms like these contain all of the data users store in “the cloud,” putting huge strains on local, usually small-town power grids. […]

Brilliant 10: Greg Nielson Shrinks Solar Cells To The Size Of Glitter

The same output of electricity, now with 100 times less silicon Greg Nielson Courtesy Greg Nielson Greg Nielson pushes a small jar full of rubbing alcohol across his desk at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico. In the jar float shiny Solar Cells the size of glitter. “If you have panels of these on top […]

Your Clothes Could Soon Scrub Pollution Directly From The Air

A new laundry additive turns ordinary garments into wearable air-scrubbers that pull nitrogen oxides from the atmosphere. Field of Jeans CatClo works particularly well on denim. DED Associates Your washing machine and dryer are both energy intensive machines, but soon your rinse cycle could start giving something back. A liquid laundry additive called “CatClo” (for […]

A New Rooftop Coating Makes Buildings ‘Sweat’ To Cut Cooling Costs

By absorbing moisture when it rains and expelling it as vapor when it becomes warm, buildings can essentially sweat just like humans. Sweating Rooftops In tests on model homes using an infrared camera, the house on the right (covered in the “sweating” polymer) remains cool while the house on the left (covered in a regular […]

Don’t Buy A DSLR

Just getting into photography? Great! When you’re looking for a camera, keep on walking past those DSLRs–as of now, their moment is over. Gaaaah What Is This Nikon You want to get more into photography. You’ve got somewhere between a few and several hundred dollars to spend on a camera. You want to learn a […]

Russia Wants a New Long-Range Bomber That Cracks Mach 5

Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Wants a Hypersonic Bomber A.Savin via wikimedia There’s a new arms race brewing, and this one is destined to be very, very fast. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin is calling for the development of a hypersonic long-range bomber to ensure Russia is not “falling behind the Americans.” He […]

Amazing Avian Photos Captured By Strapping Cameras To Birds

Not only that, but John Downer also creates replicas of birds and fires them into the sky to capture real birds. The results are incredible. Strapped to a Bird Courtesy of Discovery Our friends over at Popular Photography have an interview with director John Downer, whose project Winged Planet premieres tomorrow on the Discovery Channel. […]

FYI: What Kind of Gas Mileage Can You Get From a Naval Warship?

Destroyer Stocktrek/Getty Images A hulking Arleigh Burke–class destroyer might typically burn a minimum of about 24 barrels (1,000 gallons) of fuel per hour, but this figure conceals so many factors and variables that the Navy doesn’t really use it the way we use “miles per gallon.” Wind and current can have a major effect on […]

Smartphones Will Become the Only Device Hardcore Gamers Need

The Pocket Console Alison Seiffer When Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo introduces a new videogame console, its obsolescence within six years is more or less assumed. Nintendo is likely to release the new Wii U later this year, and other console makers are rumored to be working on next-generation systems. But as early adopters line up […]

We Asked Our Readers Why They Love the Samsung Galaxy Note

I didn’t care for the Galaxy Note at all–too big, unable to be either a great phone or a great tablet. But it’s been a huge success. Here’s why Big Phones Dan Bracaglia Nobody expected the enormous, 5.3-inch Samsung Galaxy Note to be anything more than a joke. Many gadget reviewers hate big-screened phones. When […]

How Invisible Nano-Coatings Can Make Any Phone Waterproof

Phone Sploosh Claire Benoist More cellphones meet their demise from exposure to moisture than from any other cause–so we’ve all got a vested interest in waterproof phones. In the past, a user who wanted to protect his phone had to buy a watertight case, and thus double the size of the device. Last year, the […]

There Will Be Enough Giant Phones Sold in 2015 to Pave Monaco

Samsung Galaxy Note at Window Dan Nosowitz A firm of analysts has just issued a report predicting that shipments of giant smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy Note, will reach a completely bonkers 208 million in 2015, which, if our math is correct, is only a few years away. That’s actually not that crazy of a […]

Artificially Intelligent Gamer Bots Convince Judges They’re More Human Than Humans

The first-ever winners of the BotPrize, a contest to design a gaming bot that can fool opponents into thinking it’s a human player. BotPrize Fight The UT^2 game bot faces off against an opponent. Courtesy of Jacob Schrum Two virtual gamers have convinced a panel of judges they were more human than the humans they […]

The World’s Steadiest Binoculars

On the Level Brian Klutch Peering through binoculars can make an impossibly faraway object look close enough to touch, but with a trade-off: Any little jostle can knock a view out of frame. Most consumer binoculars have a built-in image-stabilization system that uses an accelerometer, a processor, and a small motor to compensate for user […]

Today On Mars: Curiosity Checks In On Foursquare

The Mars rover gets a Foursquare account and checks in from the Red Planet. Mayor of Gale Crater The Curiosity team posted this photo to the rover’s new Foursquare page. Foursquare/NASA The Mars rover Curiosity checked in on Mars using Foursquare yesterday, the first check-in from another planet. Foursquare users can keep up with the […]

Coming Soon: Robot Sea Turtles That Carry Cargo in Their Shells

Naro-Tartaruga can carry plenty of payload and still move through the water with ease. Turtle Power! Turtlebot One of the concept designs for the naro-tartaruga robot looks like a full-size sea turtle. ETH Zurich The makers of quadrocopters and other fun robots at ETH Zurich may be landlubbers, but that does not stop them from […]

FYI: Is It Legal To 3-D Print A Handgun?

The backers of the Wiki Weapons Project want to create a free, opensource digital file for printing a working handgun at home. But can they do so legally? Gun With Printed Lower Receiver Defense Distributed Earlier this week, the Wiki Weapons Project–an initiative to create a 3-D printed handgun  and distribute the digital design file […]