Rebecca Boyle
at 07:45 AM Aug 27 2011
Juramia sinensis
Science // 

This pointy-nosed shrew, a new fossil find from China, may be the earliest grandmother of all placental mammals, scientists report in a new study. Or perhaps she is the oldest great-aunt. Either way, it's another big find this week in paleontology.

Rebecca Boyle
at 06:44 AM Aug 27 2011
Hello Turkey To via Flickr
Tech // 

Social media can be problematic for professionals who don't want their bosses to see unflattering uni party photos. But it's even worse for people whose livelihood literally depends on anonymity, like undercover cops. What happens if the gang you've infiltrated finds your grinning mug in Facebook photos from the police union annual picnic?

Dan Nosowitz
at 05:49 AM Aug 27 2011
Wikimedia Commons

Researchers at IBM's Almaden, California research lab are building what will be the world's largest data array--a monstrous repository of 200,000 individual hard drives all interlaced. All together, it has a storage capacity of 120 petabytes, or 120 million gigabytes.

Rebecca Boyle
at 03:47 AM Aug 27 2011
Wikimedia Commons
Science // 

Doctors whose bodies are regularly exposed to x-rays may be adapting at the cellular level to protect themselves against radiation, according to a new study. The research hints that humans could adapt to withstand radiation exposure.

Dan Nosowitz
at 01:48 AM Aug 27 2011
Mitchell Feinberg
Tech // 

This 8x10-inch sensor--about 60 times the size of a full-frame DSLR sensor--is the creation of photographer Mitchell Feinberg, who was sick of spending thousands of dollars on expensive film previews of his work. The sensor (which, he says, cost as much as "a good-sized house--before the housing crash") replaces the Polaroid backs that many photographers use to test exposure. But since these professional-grade Polaroids are so expensive these days due to their huge size and scarcity, he created this sensor (named the Maxback), which lets him see exactly how his shots would look on film, but in only 30 seconds and with no added cost. It's not to be used for regular photography--the resolution is too low for a regular print spread--but to properly simulate how his shots would look on (gigantic) film, a DSLR just wouldn't cut it. You can read more about it at Popular Photography.

Denise Ngo
at 01:19 AM Aug 27 2011
Tech // 

When it comes to practicality, geodesic domes are a contractor's worst nightmare. Where can you get windows that conform to hexagonal panels? Where should you install the pipes? Would a chimney look out of place? In spite of all these questions, we spent a good portion of the 1970s and '80s touting geodesic structures as the next big suburban fad.

Rebecca Boyle
at 00:00 AM Aug 27 2011
Juramia sinensis
Science // 

This pointy-nosed shrew, a new fossil find from China, may be the earliest grandmother of all placental mammals, scientists report in a new study. Or perhaps she is the oldest great-aunt. Either way, it's another big find this week in paleontology.

Clay Dillow
at 23:58 PM Aug 26 2011
Christine Daniloff via MIT News
Mobile // 

The perceived future of driving tends to revolve around a networked traffic infrastructure in which cars, traffic signals, and other roadway implements talk to each other electronically to optimise traffic flow and make driving more efficient all around. But MIT researchers think we can do many of these things on an existing network: the one that ties all of our smartphones together. A network of camera-equipped mobile devices mounted on dashboards could crowd source information about traffic signals and tell drivers what speed to maintain to avoid waiting at traffic lights. The idea stems from an already popular smartphone setup in which drivers perch their smartphones in dashboard brackets and use them as navigation devices. The MIT team built their SignalGuru app to take advantage of the camera on the other side of the phone by collecting stoplight data as cars drive around and feeding it back to a central system that then builds a larger picture of a city's traffic flow.

Clay Dillow
at 07:16 AM Aug 26 2011
DARPA

Back on August 11th DARPA launched, then lost, its Falcon hypersonic vehicle, also known as HTV-2. Today we found it. Not the actual glider, but a video of it streaking through the sky over the Pacific Ocean as captured by a crew member aboard a tracking ship. And as you can see in this video, it is indeed moving fast.

Dan Nosowitz
at 06:30 AM Aug 26 2011
Apple
Gadgets // 

In 1996, when Steve Jobs came back to Apple after a decade-long exile, the company's products took a dramatic turn. The next 15 years would be a whirlwind of monstrous success after monstrous success--iMac, iPod, iTunes Music Store, Intel-based MacBook, iPhone, MacBook Air, iPad. Jobs's resignation as CEO yesterday has led to some excessive hand-wringing about Apple's future, near and far, but the Jobsian philosophy--in which the consumer is king, in which there is one right way to do things, in which it is always preferable to trim than to add--will hopefully have permeated Apple enough to weather his departure. It's already had an effect on the world at large.

Clay Dillow
at 05:09 AM Aug 26 2011
BBC
Gadgets // 

There are a lot of people out there dealing with some degree of hearing disability--one in six, by some estimates--and that audience is typically underserved when it comes to cinematic experience. Some films are screened with subtitles, but often at odd times. But Sony is working up a fix in its UK lab: a pair of glasses that places subtitles right in the user's field of view.

Clay Dillow
at 03:12 AM Aug 26 2011
Murdoch University
Science // 

Attention hipsters and other people seeking hipness: there's a new fad catching on in Western Australia's Shark Bay, and you won't want to be the last to to post pictures of yourself imitating it to your Tumblr feed. "Conching" is a method by which Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins are trapping small fish in conch shells, bringing the shells to the surface, and then shaking them with their rostrums to clear out the water and dump the fish into their mouths. More remarkably, the trend appears to be spreading throughout an entire population of dolphins, and fast.

Clay Dillow
at 02:04 AM Aug 26 2011
Michael Jastremski via Wikimedia
Science // 

Not content with just stirring the pot in particle physics, CERN has embarked on an experiment aimed at addressing whether or not comic rays from deep space might be seeding clouds in Earth's atmosphere, influencing climate change. The early findings are far from deciding the issue of whether climate change is man made or otherwise, but they have borne some interesting results. It turns out that cosmic rays could be influencing temperatures on Earth. Perhaps even more groundbreaking, it turns out they also might not. Welcome to climate science.

Rebecca Boyle
at 01:11 AM Aug 26 2011
Miss Mimee via Deviantart
Tech // 

Whether we're engrossed in an activity or the alarm clock simply fails to chime, we've all been in situations when we say we've lost track of time. But our brains have not really lost track at all. A specific group of cells in the brain's memory center is encoding for the passage of time, researchers report. These "time cells" are key to our perception of sequences of events.

Clay Dillow
at 00:01 AM Aug 26 2011
Clay Dillow
Science // 

The offer came simply via the subject line of an email: "Want to fly a drone?" It was from Todd Backus of DATRON, a maker of--among other things--military grade radio communication systems and tactical data networking setups based in Vista, Calif. It was a question that didn't require a whole lot of consideration on my part--if there were drones to fly at AUVSI's massive unmanned systems show in Washington D.C. last week, I was going to fly them.

 
Sign up for the Pop Sci newsletter
Australian Popular Science
ON SALE 30 MARCH
PopSci Live