Posts

October 22, 2014

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10:00 PM | Sandia Labs Reveals New Sniper Sight [Video]
U.S. Special Forces Demonstrate RAZAR Photo courtesy of Sandia National Laboratories In the tense moments of a long-range gun battle, unnecessary movements can give away a combatant's position, cause them to lose sight of the enemy, and possibly lead to fatalities. For America’s special forces, Sandia National Laboratories has developed a new sniper scope that, with the press of a button, adjusts focus. Called Rapid Adaptive Zoom for Assault Rifles (RAZAR), the lens has […]
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9:15 PM | Coming Soon To A Coast Near You: Vertical Tsunami Shelters
TCF Architecture via GSA What do you do in a tsunami? For people living in areas prone to tsunamis, the advice is simple: get to higher ground as fast as possible. But for one town in Washington, safety will soon be as close as the local elementary school. The artist rendering above might look like an average school building, but it has a second purpose. When it is finished next year, the building in Grays Harbor County, Washington, will be the first vertical tsunami evacuation […]
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8:30 PM | Audi Claims Self-Driving Car Set Speed Record At 149 MPH
A 2014 Audi RS7 According to Audi, a driverless version of this car set a driverless speed record. Sarah Larson, via Wikimedia Commons A major selling point of self-driving cars is what they remove from the road: human error, driver exhaustion, distracted driving because someone has to keep reminding the urchins in the backseat that "No, we’re not there yet, and if you keep asking I'm pulling the car over right now." Less attention has been paid to the new […]
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7:30 PM | New Fabric Softener Tech Promises Clothes That Never Stain
A Sofft Marketing Image Sofft Detergent, prepare to be disrupted. The makers of a new fabric softener, Sofft, say they want our clothes to join us in the fight against stink and stains. While mixing with your clothes in the washing machine, Sofft coats organic and plastic fibers in a thin protective layer of hydrophobic molecules. These chemicals cause common stains like oil and juice to slide right off clothes (at least, that's how it seems in their […]
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6:48 PM | Two Families Of Exocomets Found Circling A Nearby Star
Exocomets Around Beta Pictoris An artist's impression of the two families of exocomets surrounding Beta Pictoris ESO/L. Calçada About 63 light years from our Sun, you’ll find a relatively young star called Beta Pictoris. A mere 20 million years old, Beta Pictoris is surrounded by a very active and eclectic mix of objects – including clouds of gas and dust, as well as a plethora of orbiting comets. Now researchers are learning a little bit more […]
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5:24 PM | Sorry, Cat Haters, Science Isn't On Your Side
"Unfeeling" Cats Jetske via Flickr, CC BY 2.0 Some people just don't like cats. That's okay. Some people don't like pizza. Or dogs. Or Harry Potter. But some cat-haters aren't satisfied with not owning cats themselves. They need to drag the rest of us down with them. "Those who hate the cat hate him with a malignity which, I think, only snakes in the animal kingdom provoke to an equal degree." The first thing you notice when you dig around in the seedy underworld of […]
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4:00 PM | Stegosauruses Were Champion Fighters With Their Spiked Tails
Kabacchi via Flickr With it’s teeny-tiny head and massive spiked tail, the Stegosaurus is instantly identifiable to dinosaur fans. But to predators like the Allosaurus, the Stegosaurus would have been identifiable as lunch.  Unfortunately for the Allosaurus, it turns out that those spikes on the Stegosaurus tail weren’t just for show. Even with a powerful tail, Stegosauruses were assumed to be fairly slow and lumbering, and none too bright, with a brain the […]
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3:00 PM | With Xbox One, You'll Never Watch TV Alone
Live stream Xbox One users will be able to see tweets with hashtags related to the shows they’re watching. Microsoft. We've all done it: you watch the star of your favorite television show do something stupid in the new episode and you can't stop yourself from shouting at the screen, "Come on! She wouldn't do that!" Well, Microsoft is providing an easy way to really get that message out there. In Xbox One’s newest software updates, which roll out in […]
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2:00 PM | Moon Robot Will Broadcast In Virtual-Reality Video
Virtual Rover Andy will send 3-D video back to Earth, which will be experienced through the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. Astrobotic A team of scientists at Carnegie Mellon have built a robot that will send video from the moon to the Earth. And the robot will be controlled by the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, with the 3-D camera on the robot turning to match the head movements of the user. "The vision was simple -- let anyone on Earth experience the […]

October 21, 2014

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9:31 PM | Smart Ice Skate Measures Force Of Intense Triple Axels
Ryosuke Yagi via Flickr Of sports played on ice, hockey tends to get the most attention when it comes to injuries. But figure skaters are also pretty injury-prone, and because of the aesthetic nature of their sport, most figure skaters eschew pads and protective gear while on the ice. This means avoiding injuries can be difficult for practitioners of the sport, in which skaters can exert forces of more than six times their body weight during a […]
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8:19 PM | A Genetic Mutation Renders One Family Unable To Sweat
The Importance Of Sweat Flickr CC by 2.0 In Pakistan, there lives a family of five with a unique – and tragic – condition. Several of their children cannot sweat. It’s an extremely rare disorder called anhidrosis, and while it may seem like a nice trait to have, the ability to sweat is crucial for regulating body temperature. In order to remain cool, the kids spend their days in their house’s cellar, because in daylight, they’d overheat and go […]
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6:50 PM | Does Slacktivism Really Drive Science Forward?
Copper DK Images/Getty Images Social media has spawned the slacker-activist, someone who supports a cause through an audacious public display that actually requires very little effort. This summer, the #IceBucketChallenge clogged newsfeeds with videos of folks dumping ice water on their heads instead of (or often in addition to) donating to the ALS Association. In a single month, the nonprofit collected more than $100 million--36 times what it had raised the previous August--to […]
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5:40 PM | Injection Of Brain Nerve Cells Into Spine Help Paralyzed Man Walk Again
David Nicholls (left) and his son Dan, who is paralyzed. The Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation provided funding for the research. Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation (nsif) Four years ago, Darek Fidyka was stabbed in the back , leaving his spinal cord severed, and his body from the chest down paralyzed. Now, after an experimental treatment, Fidyka has regained some feeling in his lower body and is learning to walk again.  The treatment, developed by researchers in the UK […]
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4:55 PM | Man In Japan Arrested For 3-D Printing Revolvers
ZigZag Revolver Unassembled Screenshot, "3D Printed Guns First in the world 3D Zig Zag Revolver Made in Japan" When the first working gun was 3-D printed in the United States, the government responded not through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, but instead through the State Department. Guns, it turns out, aren’t terribly hard to get in the United States, so a 3-D printed gun doesn’t radically change gun access here. In countries with stricter gun […]
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3:00 PM | Jet Lagged Gut Bacteria Could Contribute to Obesity
tiegeltuf via Flickr After crossing multiple time zones it can feel like your entire body is worn out. And it turns out, that’s true, even down to the bacteria in your gut. In a study published last week in the journal Cell, researchers found that in both humans and mice, the gut microbiome was affected by changes to the test subjects' biological clocks.  The human subjects went on a trip from the U.S. to Israel -- an eight- to ten-hour time zone […]
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2:00 PM | Will Your Next Best Friend Be A Robot?
Pepper Pepper, Japan's first affordable social robot, goes on sale in February. It can read emotions and will be a platform for new apps. Courtesy Softbank The Japanese crowd sits hushed and somber as the character on stage turns away from his co-star, an actress seated on the floor in front of a small table. He lowers his head, then turns to face the audience with a look that is both blank and inscrutable, yet somehow conveys a profound sense of alarm. […]

October 20, 2014

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10:08 PM | What To Wear When You're On The Run From The NSA
CV Dazzle Makeup They may look like high fashion, but these styles are actually designed to fool facial recognition software. Adam Harvey In the documentary film "Citizenfour" by Laura Poitras, it’s revealed that Edward Snowden’s longtime girlfriend Lindsay Mills also left the United States and joined Snowden in Russia. Cheekily, Vogue suggests a trio of outfits for Mills, to match both the climate and the need for discretion that comes with proximity to […]
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8:15 PM | Physics Explains Ingrown Toenails
Fingernails. Neil Milne via Flickr CC By SA-2.0 Humans have been dealing with painful nail problems for a long time. And surgeons have been trying to fix those problems since at least the 7th century, when the Greek physician Paul of Aegina wrote about surgical treatments for nail conditions. Although many of these conditions, such as ingrown nails, are well known, they’re not terribly well understood. In a paper in Physical Biology, scientists have published the first […]
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7:15 PM | Who Loves LED Lights? The Nobel Committee -- And Flying Insects
Drawn Like A Moth To An LED Flickr CC by 2.0 Humans love their LEDs. So much so, they’re winning Nobel Prizes in physics. Given their electrical efficiency and long lifespan, these remarkable light-emitting diodes are being used more and more as primary light sources, and experts argue they could help reduce the world’s overall electricity and material consumption for lighting. It turns out that LEDs' popularity expands beyond just the human species, and […]
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6:20 PM | This Thursday, See A Partial Solar Eclipse At Sunset
NASA via Wikimedia Commons This Thursday afternoon, most of North America will be treated to a partial solar eclipse. If the weather holds, the most dramatic presentation of the eclipse can be seen near Prince of Wales Island in Canada’s Nunavut territory, where 81 percent of the sun will be obscured. For the rest of the continent, regions in the Northwest will have the longest and best views of the eclipse. But over on the east coast, the sunset will interrupt the […]
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4:08 PM | The Editor's Letter From The November 2014 Issue Of Popular Science
Cliff Ransom, Editor In Chief Of Popular Science Marius Bugge About a year ago, Popular Science introduced a robot into the office. One of the many virtues of working at a magazine such as ours is that we’re free to test all sorts of cool stuff. So we called the guys at Suitable Technologies and asked them to send us a BeamPro, the telepresence robot made famous by Edward Snowden (no doubt, he got the idea from us). At the outset, we thought working side by side with a […]
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3:00 PM | Break In Transmission: How Nigeria Took Control Of Ebola
Ebola Is Now Intercontinental Katadikazo, CC BY-NC The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria to be free of the Ebola virus, after six weeks with no new cases being detected. Speaking from the capital, Abuja, WHO representative Rui Gama Vaz told reporters this was a "spectacular success story." The WHO is able to declare a country free of infection if 21 days pass with no new cases, and the most recent case declared in Nigeria was on September 5, according to […]
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12:03 PM | These Are The Sleepiest Parts Of The Internet
New York City is the city that never sleeps, and if a new study from the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering is any indication, it’s home to plenty of active Internet connections around the clock. But there are plenty of places around the globe where the Internet actually does sleep at night. While the United States and parts of southern Africa and Western Europe display pretty much constant Internet connectivity, countries such as Armenia, Georgia, […]

October 17, 2014

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10:05 PM | Apocalypse Coins, Biocakes, And Other Amazing Images Of The Week
Vegetative Consciousness Vegetative patients are usually assumed to have little to no function. But new research shows that some vegetative brains behave like healthy ones. This image show a normal vegetative brain (left), a healthy brain (right) and one of the exceptional ones uncovered in the study (middle). PLoS
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9:59 PM | The Week In Drones: Pregnant Whales, Disaster Mapping, And More
Killer Whales Nuzzling As Seen From A Drone NOAA, Vancouver Aquarium. Here's a roundup of the week's top drone news: the military, commercial, non-profit, and recreational applications of unmanned aircraft. Drones For Claims USAA insures millions of Americans, primarily those serving in the military and their families. Earlier this month, they petitioned the FAA to let them use drones to evaluate claims after natural disasters. An insurance underwriter for USAA told Fast […]
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9:00 PM | The Week In Numbers: Secret Robot Space Planes, Elephant Weathermen, And Suspended Animation
needle Rubén Díaz 10: Percent of people who are frightened of needles. They could benefit from a new technology which may make injections pain-free. 6: Episodes in the first season of a new show called How We Got to Now, which tells the story of simple inventions that shaped the modern world. 200,000: Number of applicants who applied to the Mars One mission, which MIT students recently predicted will end in starvation. 1 atom: […]
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8:15 PM | Earth's Magnetic Field Could Flip Faster Than We Thought
Pole Positions. The ‘north pole’ — that is, the direction of magnetic north — was reversed a million years ago. Starting about 789,000 years ago, the north pole wandered around Antarctica for three thousand years before flipping to the orientation we know today, with the pole somewhere in the Arctic. UC Berkeley The magnetic poles of the earth have switched back and forth many, many times during the 4.54 billion years that the Earth has been […]
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7:24 PM | Lockheed's Fusion Promise: What We Know So Far
Fusion at Lockheed Lockheed Martin announced this week a project designed to make nuclear fusion energy, long a dream of scientists and energy policymakers, a viable power source. Their prototype, pictured here, has drawn significant criticism. Eric Schulzinger/Lockheed Martin Researchers at Lockheed Martin made headlines this week with the announcement that they are on the fast track to building a nuclear fusion reactor. But experts responded with […]
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6:45 PM | Hackett Makes His Own Postapocalyptic Currency [Video]
http://cf.c.ooyala.com/g3ZmszcTqaAXP9Ow7m_lhkaicPXX7dBI/promo237573961 Please enable Javascript to watch this video Money makes the world run—but without a stable government, paper bills will be little more than fire starters, and coins chips of cheap metal. Bartering is inconvenient: If I desperately want the cat food you’ve stockpiled, but you have no need for the fine moonshine I can produce, it will take multiple trades to satisfy us both. A more efficient solution […]
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6:00 PM | Rubber Ducky Comet Site Needs A Catchy Name
The landing area currently known as Site J. ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA The astronomy community isn’t always great at naming things. The Rosetta spacecraft, for example, is currently orbiting a comet with the unsightly name of 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. On November 12, Rosetta will release its lander, Philae—the first manmade object ever to touch down on a comet—and the European Space Agency needs your help to […]
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