Category archives for Technology

Next Up in Kinect-Style Motion Sensing: Ultrasound?

Microsoft researchers have been developing a system called SoundWave that emits pulses in ultrasound ranges and detects Doppler-based changes to track human movements. Its creators hope their accidental discovery could improve gesture-based controls. Gesture-based controls have become so widespread they seem almost mundane. We casually flip through photos on our smartphones and have no problem […]

How to Get Started: 3D Modeling and Printing

Thanks to an influx of easy-to-use software, 3D modeling isn’t just for engineers toiling endlessly on CAD programs anymore. New tools built with ordinary people in mind make it possible to design whatever parts or prototypes you can imagine, and bring them to life with the power of 3D printing. There was nothing wrong with […]

3D Printer Prizefight: MakerBot Replicator 2 vs Formlabs Form 1

We take a look at two of the newest 3D printers coming to market to see how they stack up on material quality, printing resolution, and cost. The demand for affordable personal 3D printers has skyrocketed in recent years, with new models and designs popping up all the time. Budget-conscious enthusiasts, designers, engineers, and small-business […]

The great mobile technology leap forward

Sales of smart tech devices are soaring as the traditional PC declines. Observer writers look at their impact, which is already helping children to learn, spreading literacy, improving healthcare, boosting harvests in Africa – and making the web giants sit up A young woman reads a Kindle on the tube. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the […]

Txtr beagle e-reader – review

  An e-reader available next year is small, light and costs just £8 – we look at how a prototype measures up against the Kindle Comparing the beagle and Kindle – size, weight, display A newly announced e-reader called the beagle generated a lot of interest among readers, publishers and the technology-minded last month when […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

New Contact Lenses Reshape Eyes, Preventing Nearsightedness

Designed for kids, these contacts would nip myopia in the bud. Glasses Are Cool MJorge via Flickr Nearsighted kids have to wear glasses to correct their lack of eye focus, but this doesn’t cure the problem and may actually make the problem worse over time. A new type of contact lens refocuses light and coaxes […]

Discovered: the First Major Botnet Living on Smartphones

Motorola Droid John Mahoney We’ve all grown quite used to the idea of botnets stowing away on PCs out there on the Internet, spamming us from hacked inboxes in unknown places. Now, botnets are going mobile. Microsoft researcher Terry Zink says he’s discovered evidence that an illegal botnet has hijacked smartphones running Google’s Android operating […]

FYI: How Can I Protect My Cell Phone Data Records From Law Enforcement Subpoenas?

Our wireless carriers hand over data from millions of users per year. How can we protect ourselves? This Is a Secure Phone toddalert When it came to light that law enforcement has issued millions of annual requests/demands to the wireless carriers (AT&T, Verizon, etc) to hand over user data, we all got a little concerned. […]

Smartphone Accessory Manufacturer Does Not Understand Venn Diagrams

This visualization injustice shall not stand. Speck Venn via 40 Going on 28 Speck is a company that makes cases for smartphones and tablets and things like that. Their stuff is fine. But what’s not fine is the company’s new ad campaign, in which the noble Venn diagram is sullied. Sullied! Look at that ad! […]

The Alien Origins Of Felix Baumgartner’s Attempt To Skydive From 23 Miles Up

Roswell, New Mexico, was the drop zone for some of the first high-altitude skydives, precursors to Baumgartner’s record-setting dive scheduled for Tuesday. Here, from the archives of the UFO Museum, is a look at those early government efforts–and how they created a public panic. The UFO Museum and Research Center in Roswell, New Mexico   […]