Author Archives: Technology

New Detector Brings X-ray Scans Into Living Color For the First Time

Like Dorothy coming to Oz, doctors might finally be experiencing their world in color.

A new scanner, using technology developed by CERN for detecting subatomic particles, can produce color X-ray scans of the inside of the body, allowing doctors to … Continue reading

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Glimmering Skylines Could Double as Solar Farms With New Tech

How many windows are there in New York City?

However you answer this classic interview day curveball, imagine if we devised a way to use each of those windows to convert the sun’s rays into electricity. Whoa.

William Rankine, a noted 19th centur… Continue reading

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This Device Makes You Invisible to Thermal Imaging

Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak seemed to do a good job of hiding him for many adventures after curfew, but what if the professors patrolling Hogwarts had thermal imaging technology? Would Harry’s cloak have obscured his body heat as well?

If… Continue reading

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This Video Game Lets You Explore Mars’ Actual Surface

Alan Chan grew up thinking humans would be living in space and exploring Mars by now. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Instead, he decided to explore space on his own by creating a video game that allows people to drive around the Red Planet’s… Continue reading

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How to Turn Wetsuits Into ‘Artificial Blubber’

Even with a wetsuit, a cold water dive can be a bone-chilling experience. In Arctic waters, divers typically last only an hour, and even that short time can lead to numb, painful extremities.

But, by improving on a design already used in nature, res… Continue reading

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Watch a Magnetic Material Skitter Around

We’re around magnets so much, it’s easy to forget they’re kind of magic. Not only do magnets make for fun toys, they can attract or repel objects from a distance through an invisible force, they can create electricity (and vice versa) and they… Continue reading

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Real ‘Westworld’ Haptic Vests Better Than Fiction

Most of the HBO show “Westworld” focuses on artificial intelligence and android robots that seem indistinguishable from humans. But the show has also occasionally snuck in some real-world technology that seems futuristic enough to blend in with th… Continue reading

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‘Westworld’ Science Advisor Talks Brains and AI

One of many hats that neuroscientist David Eagleman wears in real life is science advisor for HBO’s science fiction show “Westworld.” The show takes place in a futuristic theme park staffed by robotic hosts who seemingly exist only to fulfill the dar… Continue reading

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‘Psychopath AI’ Offers A Cautionary Tale for Technologists

Researchers at MIT have created a psychopath. They call him Norman. He’s a computer.

Actually, that’s not really right. Though the team calls Norman a psychopath (and the chilling lead graphic on their homepage certainly backs that up), what they’ve… Continue reading

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Google Decides Not to Renew a Military AI Contract

Google recently bowed to employee protests by deciding to wind down involvement in a U.S. military initiative called Project Maven next year. The Pentagon project focuses on harnessing deep learning algorithms–specialized machine learning tec… Continue reading

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Debunking the Biggest Myths About ‘Technology Addiction’

How concerned should people be about the psychological effects of screen time? Balancing technology use with other aspects of daily life seems reasonable, but there is a lot of conflicting advice about where that balance should be. Much of the discus… Continue reading

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Autonomous Flatcars Could Help Drones Deliver Goods

A research company is seeking funding to build a prototype autonomous, battery-powered flatcar that would serve as a platform for package-delivery drones.

Cambridge Research & Development in New Hampshire has applied for a patent for the concep… Continue reading

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Robotic Insect Finally Flies Wirelessly

We’ve seen robot insects fly, land and even swim. But they weren’t doing that all by themselves. Until now, a tether of wires held them back.

A group of researchers from the University of Washington made the first wirelessly powered robotic insec… Continue reading

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US Program Aims to Open Airspace to More Drones

Many stories about drones are sensationalized. It’s easy to use broad language that gives the impression that drones will soon be zooming over us delivering goods. That’s not true.

Now that I’ve beaten down your dreams, let me build you up jus… Continue reading

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New App Lets You Invent A Language for Science

Phone apps often get a bad rap for being distracting time-wasters (I’m looking at you, Reddit), but some seek to challenge the minds of their users and put the resulting data to good use. And maybe even invent a new language in the process.

The Co… Continue reading

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Updated Secret Code Hides Messages in the Letters Themselves

I remember passing notes in grade school. Oh, the thrill of exchanging “secret” messages with friends. In reality, teachers and classmates saw it happening and were probably super annoyed. Not to mention the repercussions if the message were inte… Continue reading

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Researchers Reconstruct Videos Just From Neural Signals

Using artificial intelligence techniques, researchers successfully took signals from the retinas of rats and reconstructed movies of what they saw, a new study finds.

The retina is the layer of cells at the back of the eyeball that helps the eye sen… Continue reading

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Why Scientists Taught A Spider to Jump on Command

Spiders may give you the creeps, but they’re pretty cool critters. They create silk that scientists are still learning from, and use them to spin webs that are natural works of symmetric art.

And, uh, some spiders can jump. That might not seem as … Continue reading

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Boycott Threat Terminated ‘Killer Robot’ Project

Notable tech leaders and scientists have signed open letter petitions calling for a ban on lethal autonomous weapons powered by artificial intelligence technologies. But a group of AI researchers recently went a step farther by using the threat o… Continue reading

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Drones Defy Commands During Light Show, Still Break Record

Drones have flown over blowholes and detected heartbeats from the sky. They’re also good entertainers.

Ehang, Chinese drone manufacturer known for its autonomous flying taxi, flew 1,374 drones over the Xi’an City Wall. The company reclaimed th… Continue reading

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Future Wear

If one MIT researcher has his way, our fabric could be the next great technological frontier. Continue reading

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College AI Courses Get an Ethics Makeover

Years after it became a running gag on HBO’s show “Silicon Valley,” the idea of companies automatically “making the world a better place” through profit-driven technological development has lost much of its shine. The next generation of computer … Continue reading

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Now We Can 3-D Print Circuits Right Onto Our Skin

The concept of body hacking has been gaining popularity in recent years — the practice of integrating technology into our physical bodies to gain new abilities. It’s interesting, but the procedures involved are usually pretty intense — think get… Continue reading

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Your Next Pilot Could Be Drone Software

Would you get on a plane that didn’t have a human pilot in the cockpit? Half of air travelers surveyed in 2017 said they would not, even if the ticket was cheaper. Modern pilots do such a good job that almost any air accident is big news, such as t… Continue reading

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Tiny Alcohol Monitor Sits Just Beneath the Skin

A tiny chip implanted just under the skin could be the Breathalyzer of the future.

Researchers from the University of California, San Diego reported today that they had created a tiny chip that can read levels of alcohol in the body and relay that … Continue reading

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How the USB Taught North Korea to Love K-Pop

A seemingly cheap and ordinary technology may have paved the way for a cultural exchange breakthrough that saw South Korean K-pop idols receive an unprecedented welcome from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

It was not the first time that democratic… Continue reading

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Award-Winning Drone Photos Balance Beauty, Tragedy

Explore the winning drone photos from the DJI Drone Photography Award, including images of Spain’s abandoned houses and more. Continue reading

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Don’t Blame Me, Blame My Brain Implant

Mr. B loves Johnny Cash, except when he doesn’t. Mr. X has watched his doctors morph into Italian chefs right before his eyes.

The link between the two? Both Mr. B and Mr. X received deep brain stimulation (DBS), a procedure involving an implan… Continue reading

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Fastest Delivery Drone Starts Lifesaving Flights

Delivery drones can be game changers if they go beyond merely offering convenience to becoming lifesaving technologies on a daily basis. That has already become reality in Rwanda, where a Silicon Valley startup called Zipline uses delivery drone… Continue reading

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The Fantastic Bionic Flying Fox

Flying foxes — also known as fruit bats — have an elastic membrane that stretches from their fingers (they also have thumbs) to their toes, making them incredibly aerodynamic and agile while flying. For the engineers at Festo, a German automati… Continue reading

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