April 18, 2014

9:08 PM | An Invisible Barn And Other Amazing Images From This Week
Invisible Barn What do you get when you wrap a barn in mylar? You get nothing. stpmj via Co.Design
3:30 PM | Here Is Apple's iOS For Your Car
CarPlay Volvo Do you own an iPhone? Have you used your iPhone? Have you driven a car? If yes, you are prepared to use CarPlay, Apple's dashboard operating system—essentially, a pared-down version of a few apps, with a heavier focus on voice control.   We saw Volvo's version at the New York Auto Show, but it's essentially the same idea across vehicles: hook up your iPhone to your car, and your car becomes the medium for controlling your stuff. A display shows your […]

April 17, 2014

5:00 PM | Land Rover's New Concept SUV Doesn't Have Door Handles
Discovery Concept Land Rover Look closely at Land Rover's latest SUV concept and you might be able to see something missing: the door handles. The Discovery, you see, has evolved beyond the need for human hands—it will now allow you to enter and exit the vehicle only when its anatomically superior petrol-brain decides it is time.  No, kidding. The doors are gesture-controlled—you open them with a wave of the arm. Although, along with that, Land Rover […]
4:00 PM | Toyota Has A Tron Bike
I have made this comparison before, and perhaps will again, but, damnit, this is a Tron bike, right? That is, inarguably, what this is. The FV2 is a concept motorcycle from Toyota, set up only a little ostentatiously at the New York Auto Show. Instead of a steering wheel, the cycle turns when a driver leans into a curve. Instead of tires, it has flashing UFO discs.  And it'll probably never hit the road. The plans for it are—we'll say ambitious. The cycle would learn […]

April 15, 2014

8:00 PM | Snowboarder Glides With Handheld Airplane Thrusters
Dreamscience Propulsion Dreamscience Propulsion's snowboard thrusters are difficult to describe. It's like: if you stuffed airplane engines in American Gladiator batons? It's like: if you took a boom mic and used it to swat a drone out of the air? Words fail me. But, here they are: The thrusters, created by the U.K.-based company, let snowboarders—or surfers, or skateboarders—semi-automate their sport. Just hold on to the stick, and you get propelled along. The jet […]
6:53 PM | Finally, A Way To Harvest Hydroelectric Energy From Toilet Flushes
    The average American flushes 24 gallons of water down the toilet daily, while—don't get me wrong, toilets; we appreciate all of your hard work—maybe some of the energy used in a flush could be put to an additional use. Here's one way: harvest some of the energy from the water and use it for power. A team of researchers in South Korea have created a transducer that translates water motion—from toilets, raindrops, or other […]

April 11, 2014

5:13 PM | Sound Waves Sculpted On Walls And Other Amazing Images From This Week
Sculpted Waves Artist Loris Cecchini freezes wave forms on walls with paint and resin. Maybe we can see Sgt. Pepper instead of listening to it. Loris Cecchini via Visual News

April 09, 2014

4:20 PM | The Myth Of The Incredible Antique Violin
Antonio Stradivari Wikimedia Commons Even non-musicians might be familiar with the tale of the Stradivariuses, stringed instruments built in the 17th and 18th centuries renowned for their gorgeous tones, supposedly unparalleled, even by today's finest craftsmen. But is that just a romantic, apocryphal idea? The answer is: yes, probably. Over at Live Science, there's a good rundown on how the myth was recently tested. In 2010, researchers pitted the antiques against […]

April 08, 2014

2:31 PM | Machine That Makes You Mingle Before Coffee Is An Introvert Torture Device
    Good morning! Have you enjoyed a cup of caffeine yet? No? Then perhaps you would prefer not interacting with people, lest your office turn into the set of a Maxine cartoon or something. But what if I told you: interact with someone, or coffee will be withheld from you. Great idea, right? Surely this would serve to facilitate human interaction and not result in two bumbling messes chit-chatting awkwardly about the weather while they wait for a paper cup of […]

April 04, 2014

7:32 PM | Castles Etched On Grains Of Sand And Other Amazing Images From This Week
Sandcastles On Grains Of Sand Artist Vik Muniz and scientist Marcelo Coelho teamed up to laser tiny pictures of castles on individual grains of sand. The process sounds excruciatingly difficult. But, clever! Vik Muniz and Marcelo Coelho via Colossal     

April 03, 2014

3:59 PM | USAID Chief Defends 'Cuba Twitter' Program, Says It Had Congressional Approval
Flickr/Corvair Owner Today, the Associated Press released a bombshell story on a United States-led program to foster government dissent in Cuba. Using a Twitter-like social media service, U.S. operatives planned to grow a user base, then have the program spread messages that would inspire Cubans to undermine the communist government. The plan, according to documents obtained by the AP, went so far as to suggest creating "smart mobs" to "renegotiate the balance of power between […]

April 02, 2014

7:14 PM | NASA Is Severing Ties With Russia
According to an internal memo obtained by The Verge, NASA will be severing ties with Russian government officials over the country's "violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity."  The memo says all meetings between NASA employees and Russian officials have been banned. That extends to personal visits, phone calls, and even emails. The only exception being made is for "operational International Space Station activities." (Right now, the U.S. buys trips to the ISS […]
4:01 PM | The Weird Way Captain Crunch Makes You Love Him
Flickr/Mike Mozart No surprise: The Brands want you to want them. What's odd are the lengths—often subliminal—they'll go to make you a repeat customer.  Researchers at Cornell's Food and Brand Lab recently studied the cereal aisle. It's already been established that boxes are placed to maximize the chances of being bought; the kid cereals are on the lower shelves, for example, while the adult cereals are higher up. The Cornell team went even more granular. They […]

April 01, 2014

6:15 PM | Robots Teach Each Other How To Play Pac-Man
Flickr/Ryan Somma Here's a slight improvement to drunkenly shouting over your friend's shoulder while they play a round of Pac-Man at the bar: Researchers at Washington State University have created computer programs that teach each other how to play Pac-Man. In a new study, the researchers explain how they built one teacher-like computer and one student-like computer; as the student computer fumbled, the teacher helped the student slowly improve at Pac-Man and the […]
4:15 PM | Why We Haven't Built A Better Black Box
Flickr/André Gustavo Stumpf Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is all but certainly sunk in the Indian Ocean, yet time is running out to unravel its tragic story. The plane's flight recorder, or "black box" (which isn't actually black), sends out a detectable sonic ping for about 30 days; if investigators don't find it in that time, the chances of ever finding it plummet.  We have the ability to take photos on Mars and then download the […]

March 28, 2014

8:45 PM | A Gigantic Volcano Telescope And Other Amazing Images From This Week
Volcano Telescope The gigantic Thirty Meter Telescope will officially be coming to Hawaii after multiple hold ups. The volcanic digs only make it look more super-villain-y. TMT via Gizmodo     

March 24, 2014

7:15 PM | Giant Robot Crab Walks, Is Probably Coming Right For You
    The Crabster CR200 is a 1,400-pound behemoth of a 'bot soon being sent to the ocean floor—for both scientific and commercial use. Up until now, we've mostly seen it in action through still photos and animations, but here it is, menacingly lumbering into video.  The machine you see here isn't complete; it's without the outer shell the Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology team will be adding. But earlier this year the goal was to […]
5:30 PM | Neil DeGrasse Tyson Likes The Video That Makes Him Sound Stoned
    Astrophysicist and new Cosmos host Neil deGrasse Tyson speaks quickly, efficiently, and entertainingly about the biggest ideas in the universe. But slow down his speech and he sounds absolutely stoned out of his gourd, as a recent video proved. ("How does that work?" he says midway through, hilariously, before counting his fingers.) Tyson, far from being offended, liked the video, too; he played it at a lecture in Toronto this weekend for a giggling audience. I […]
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