27
Jan 13

IBM Predicts Computers Will Touch, Taste, Smell, Hear And See In 5 Years

In five years, IBM thinks computers will touch, taste, smell, hear, and see. Sensing devices will aid online shoppers (touching products), parents (interpreting the sound of baby cries), chefs (cooking a perfectly tasty and healthy meal), and doctors (smelling disease). No word on a sixth sense, as yet the sole domain of humans.

via IBM Predicts Computers Will Touch, Taste, Smell, Hear And See In 5 Years.

1
Jun 12

Vandenberg AFB prepares for return of US military space plane after more than a year in orbit - The Washington Post

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — An unmanned U.S. Air Force spaceplane that has been in orbit for over a year is coming back to Earth.The Pentagon’s experimental craft, which resembles a mini space shuttle, is slated to land at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The exact date depends on weather and other conditions, but the Air Force said Wednesday it expects the landing to occur in early to mid-June.

via Vandenberg AFB prepares for return of US military space plane after more than a year in orbit - The Washington Post.

27
May 12

Scientists capture rainbow using 25,000 miniscule 'invisibility cloaks | Mail Online

While the idea of an invisibility cloak may seem more science fiction than actual science, a group of American researchers are well on their way.

Researchers from Towson University and the University of Maryland used 25,000 individual cloaks 30 micrometres in diameter to slow down light to the point where it is stopped, causing a ‘trapped rainbow’ effect.

Placed on a gold sheet only 25mm per side, these ‘invisibility cloaks’ have the power to stop light, causing it to separate into different colour components.

via Scientists capture rainbow using 25,000 miniscule 'invisibility cloaks | Mail Online.

25
Apr 12

Swiss scientists demonstrate mind controlled robot | World news | The Guardian

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Swiss scientists have demonstrated how a partially paralyzed person can control a robot using brain signals alone.

The team at Switzerland's Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne says the experiment takes them a step closer to enabling immobile patients to easily interact with their surroundings through a robot 'avatar.'

Tuesday's demonstration involved a partially tetraplegic patient at a hospital in the southern Swiss town of Sion who imagined lifting his fingers to direct a robot at the university 100 kilometers (62 miles) away.

Similar experiments have taken place in the United States and Germany but they either involved able-bodied patients or invasive brain implants, while the Swiss team used only a simple head cap to record the brain signals.

via Swiss scientists demonstrate mind controlled robot | World news | The Guardian.

7
Mar 12

A Year Later, Mysterious Space Plane Is Still in Orbit | Danger Room | Wired.com

The Air Force’s secretive X-37B space plane gets more mysterious by the day. Designed to spend up to nine months on unspecified errands in Earth’s orbit, the second copy of the Boeing-made craft, known as Orbital Test Vehicle 2, has now been in space for a year and two days — and is still going strong. The endurance milestone is unqualified good news for America’s space force at a time when its funding and future missions are in doubt.

via A Year Later, Mysterious Space Plane Is Still in Orbit | Danger Room | Wired.com.

4
Mar 12

Run away the ray-gun is coming : We test US army's new secret weapon | Mail Online

A square transmitter as big as a plasma TV screen is mounted on the back of a Jeep.

When turned on, it emits an invisible, focused beam of radiation - similar to the microwaves in a domestic cooker - that are tuned to a precise frequency to stimulate human nerve endings.

It can throw a wave of agony nearly half a mile.

Because the beam penetrates skin only to a depth of 1/64th of an inch, it cannot, says Raytheon, cause visible, permanent injury.

But anyone in the beam's path will feel, over their entire body, the agonising sensation I've just felt on my fingertip. The prospect doesn't bear thinking about.

via Run away the ray-gun is coming : We test US army's new secret weapon | Mail Online.

2
Mar 12

New speech-jamming gun hints at dystopian Big Brother future | ExtremeTech

Japanese researchers have created a hand-held gun (pictured above) that can jam the words of speakers who are more than 30 meters (100ft) away. The gun has two purposes, according to the researchers: At its most basic, this gun could be used in libraries and other quiet spaces to stop people from speaking — but its second application is a lot more chilling.

via New speech-jamming gun hints at dystopian Big Brother future | ExtremeTech.