Kepler 452b Is The Most Earth-Like World YetIt's a big galaxy, and there are a lot of planets out there. The Kepler Space Telescope has already discovered more than 4,175 possible planets, and today it's adding another 500 to the list--inclu... More >
What's in orbit? An amazing real-time visualisationFrom down here on the ground, space looks like a pristine void. But Earth's orbit is actually crowded with a ton of stuff, from human-made satellites to many smaller pieces of debris whirling ... More >
NASA's giant solar sailWe've all seen Bill Nye's Lightsail expedition, but now our friends at NASA are stepping in to take things a bit further. As in, a sail with a massive, 20 kilometre diameter further. More >
Can we separate pot's highs from its medical lows?Marijuana is getting a lot of love lately, from newly legal recreational users in a few US states, and doctors alike. Researchers are uncovering lots of ways in which THC, the chemical responsible ... More >
Pluto Has Young, Icy, Mountains On Its SurfaceThe first detailed images of Pluto's surface ever captured are in, and they don't disappoint. The dwarf planet's southern tip contains relatively young mountains reaching up to 11,000 feet high, ... More >
Tiny insect drones could be useful for disaster-area surveillance or delivering supplies to people in accessible places. But the technology is still new, and they run a high risk of running into each other in confined spaces. Now researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology have created an artificial eye and navigation system for these drones based on insects' vision, according to a study published recently in The Royal Society Interface.
We don't think much about glass; by its nature, it's meant to be seen through, not seen. And yet the high-tech, high-strength glazing that covers today's supertall buildings – skyscrapers over 1,200 feet, like One World Trade Center and the Burj Khalifa, in Dubai – is as important to the buildings' performance as the steel and concrete inside it.
Apple isn't content with just selling you their phones—they want to be your carrier, too. Business Insider reported today that Apple is secretly testing a mobile virtual network operator service (MVNO), a “virtual” cell service that switches between cell towers depending on the strongest signal. The company has allegedly been in contact with telecommunications companies for years, and would plan to launch the service in both the United States and Europe.
Those of us with unruly, curly manes are constantly searching for ways to tame them. For those who choose to straighten their hair using heat (applied with gadgets like flatirons), getting the desired look without singeing the hair into an amorphous mass is difficult, and the various products that claim to protect hair are a font of misinformation. One curly-haired engineer from Purdue University and her team have taken on the problem; the researchers are presenting their first paper on the heat capacity for different types of hair today at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers' International Design Engineering Technical Conference.
Despite a rocky start, Apple will reportedly unveil their new iteration of the Apple TV this September, along with their annual line of iPhones. It's about time; the last hardware update to the Apple TV was in 2012. That's like 328 billion tweets ago. (~500 million tweets per day for 3 years.)
It all started with a recruiting ad for a tech company, OneLogic, seen in transit stations in the San Fransisco area. It featured a woman in a black t-shirt and glasses against a white background, with a positive quote about the team she works with. Innocuous enough. But then people started commenting about the ad on social media. One Facebook user said: "But I'm curious that people with brains find this quote even plausible and if women in particular buy this image of what a female software engineer looks like."
NASA can afford to set up a permanent, manned station on the moon, according to a recent study. By working with private companies and turning water into rocket fuel, say the study authors, colonizing the moon would practically pay for itself. Such a base would cost 90 percent cheaper than we thought—like, $10 billion instead of $100 billion—and provide fuel for sending astronauts to Mars.
NASA is not allowed to do business with Chinese scientists. That's according to a 2011 ban that makes the scientific endeavor to explore the universe unfortunately political. However, the law doesn't say that private American companies can't work with China in space, and according to the Houston Chronicle, a company called NanoRacks is exploiting that loophole to set up the first Chinese experiment on the International Space Station.
Crossing the Atlantic used to take months, but a new patent for Airbus for a hypersonic jet airliner wants to reduce that time to under five hours. Granted in the middle of last month, the patent --“Ultra Rapid Air Vehicle and Related Method for Aerial Locomotion”-- describes the outline of a plane powered by turbojets, ramjets, and a freakin' rocket, all designed to help propel either 2 or 3 tons of cargo or 20 passengers at speeds of up to Mach 4.5, over distances of roughly 5,600 miles in three hours.
Lexus just unveiled what is by all appearances a working hoverboard. This concept was teased about way back in June. Every story about it comes with an obligatory reference to Back To The Future Part II, that 1989 film set in the distant and far-off future of 2015, which featured an iconic hoverboard chase scene. Here's that hoverboard in action: