This week, Amazon announced its new 3-D printing store. We were immediately giddy, imagining the endless possibilities of being able to upload any design and, in Amazon fashion, have it shipped to us in solid form overnight. But the online book purveyor that has diversified to sell basically everything on the planet seems to have squandered its opportunity to transform the 3-D printing movement; the products in its new online marketplace are not customizable, fairly expensive, and slow to be delivered.
Last month, online television company Aereo lost in a major case before the Supreme Court. The Court's 6-3 decision in ABC v. Aereo treated the company, and its unique antenna arrays, as just another cable network. In court documents filed yesterday, Aereo argues that it's allowed to keep operating. Only this time, Aereo will explicitly be a cable company.
In the wake of a mysterious disaster that destroys human civilization, a poisonous mist has spread over the land. The only way to gain immunity to the deadly miasma is by consuming spirulina, called the "Viridis," a blue-green algae loaded with protein and nutrients. Spirulina can be cultivated, so your mission is to scout this devastated world and scavenge the needed materials to build and manage a new algae farm. But you'll need the help, or at least the cooperation, of fellow survivors.
Bzzz bzzz! Who are researchers calling in this video? It's not a person. It's a thin little electronic tag. The call activates the tag's display, which then shows some graphics. The tag's makers think it's the first all-printed electronic label that's able to communicate directly with a cellphone.
The market for wearable gadgets will reach about $1.8 billion within the next four years, according to Juniper Research, a firm that specializes in mobile telecommunications. Trouble is, it’s hard to wear a gadget without looking like you’re wearing a gadget. Plastic or silicone fitness monitors, such as the Fitbit and Nike Fuelband, practically scream “activity tracker!” And smart watches are large, heavy, and obvious—the calculator watches of the 21st century.
Mountain bikers need suspensions with dual personalities: Barreling downhill, they want a soft suspension to absorb bumps; chugging uphill, they want stiff shocks so that their energy transfers to forward motion, not bobbing up and down. Finding that balance usually requires riders to make several manual adjustments. The Float Fit iCTD electronic suspension from California company Fox lets them make changes in half a second.
By feeding mice a genetically modified version of E. coli, a bacterium that naturally lives in human and mice guts, scientists were able to prevent the animals from gaining as much weight as mice not given the treatment. The microbes were designed to express a substance called NAPE (or N-acylphosphatidylethanolamine), which the bodies of mice and humans convert into a hormone produced when food is digested. This hormone then moves through the bloodstream to the brain, and reduces appetite. The idea is that mice with this new bug in their guts thought they were eating more than they were, without any apparent ill effects.