Dan Nosowitz
at 09:32 AM Oct 18 2011
Virgin Galactic
Space // 

Virgin Galactic and its thoroughly British CEO, Richard Branson, announced another milestone on their way to opening the world's first commercial spaceport: Construction is finished, and the terminal and hangar have been dedicated.

Rebecca Boyle
at 07:09 AM Oct 18 2011
Universal Pictures
Science // 

So it turns out that Einstein may not have been wrong about the universal speed limit. Not only is special relativity safe, it provides an explanation for those faster-than-light neutrinos. They're not breaking the light-speed barrier; they just appear to be, thanks to the relativistic motion of the clocks checking their speed.

Clay Dillow
at 05:58 AM Oct 18 2011
Barco

Barco, a maker of large-format projector technologies, has just unveiled what it is calling a breakthrough in flight simulator technology, and for all the hardware involved we're inclined to agree that his must be something big. The new flight simulator dome - it's really more like a sphere - offers state of the art high-res visuals and full 360-degree views, allowing fighter pilot trainees to spot other aircraft from 20 kilometres away.

Dan Nosowitz
at 01:03 AM Oct 18 2011
Etronika
Tech // 

Today in "Solutions to Problems Nobody Actually Has," a Lithuanian company called Etronika has created an app for Kinect that allows you to bank without the stress, difficulty, or efficiency of keyboards, mice, or touchscreens. Instead, you gesticulate wildly at your TV to check your balance, pay bills, or send copies of your bills to your phone.

Nick Gilbert
at 23:24 PM Oct 17 2011
Bloomsberries, flickr.com/photos/fabliaux/, Creative Commons
Mobile // 

It appears that phase 2 in what is quickly becoming something of a bona fide patent war has commenced, with Samsung seeking injunctions on the newly launched iPhone 4S, in Japan and right here in Australia, on the basis of a variety of patents held in Japan, and also right here in Australia.

James Bullen
at 14:18 PM Oct 17 2011
Stefano Boeri
Science // 

Many green buildings involve technologies like solar power, recycling of water or natural ventilation. But there's another path of relatively unexplored green potential - literally greening buildings by planting trees on them. The Bosco Verticale, under construction in Milan, Italy, is bridging the gap between this concept and reality.

Nick Gilbert
at 11:47 AM Oct 17 2011
ReillyButler, flickr.com/photos/r-butler/, Creative Commons
Tech // 

You know you're in the future when people start talking about electronics that can rewire themselves on the fly. A team at Northwester University in the United States have developed a new nanomaterial that can move and redirect electrons through itself, which, while not quite allowing your phone to transform into a laptop at a moment's notice, still may open a door to adaptable electronics.

Nick Gilbert
at 10:46 AM Oct 17 2011
Stephen Baker

Traditionally, tracking diseases such as typhoid, and in particular working out where outbreaks begin, has been a little difficult to accomplish. In the case of fighting the disease in a country like Nepal, the problem is two-fold - not only is the rate of spread difficult to track, but because of the lack of a street address system, plotting cases visually has been almost impossible. Fortunately, this is about where Google Earth steps in.

Dan Nosowitz
at 06:02 AM Oct 15 2011
Seth Fletcher
Cars // 

A pretty basic fear of the oncoming electric car boom is a concern that charging will be similar to the old cellphone-charger fiasco. Will the owner of a 2017 Mazda Thundersnake have to find particular Mazda charging stations, or will they be able to pull up behind a Chrysler EnFuego? Those fears can be allayed, mostly: seven major automakers have all agreed to adopt a single, universal charging system.

Paul Adams
at 02:54 AM Oct 15 2011
Space // 

New Mexico's Very Large Array, a giant radio telescope observatory which took a PopSci largeness prize recently, is named in a fine tradition of utilitarian monikers like the European Extremely Large Telescope and the ultimately impractical Overwhelmingly Large Telescope.

Clay Dillow
at 17:00 PM Oct 14 2011
Saarland University

As the world goes increasingly wireless, we've learned to tolerate a certain degree of failure in our wireless systems--like when your computer just won't sync up with the wireless internet at the cafe, or when our phones drop a call. But what about situations when wireless systems simply cannot fail? A failure rate of zero is tough to achieve in any system, but computer scientists at Saarland University in Germany have demonstrated a wireless bicycle brake that works 99.999999999997 percent of the time.

Rebecca Boyle
at 15:22 PM Oct 14 2011
Ji-Eun Kim and Anirvan Ghosh, UCSD/via Kavli Foundation
Science // 

Studying mental illnesses involves complex brain-monitoring technology to watch how neurons and large-scale brain components are functioning or malfunctioning. But researchers are increasingly getting out of their patients' heads, monitoring brain cells in petri dishes instead. This is possible with stem cells, and it could yield plenty of new avenues for psychiatric research.

Nick Gilbert
at 14:16 PM Oct 14 2011
Jonas Pfeil
Tech // 

If you've ever wanted to take an in-the-air panoramic photo - say, in the middle of a bustling town square or out in the wild spaces of nature - but haven't had the equipment, your worries now are over, thanks to a nifty little ball embedded with a set of cameras, making it able to take 360 degree panoramas while in mid air. And there's not a button in sight.

Rebecca Boyle
at 11:51 AM Oct 14 2011
Polyodon spathula
Science // 

Birds and some mammals are able to sense the Earth's magnetic field, using it to orient themselves and even look for prey. Other vertebrates can detect electric fields and use them for the same purpose. Apparently the fish from which humans and most other vertebrates are all descended had this sixth sense, and we just lost it along the way, a new study says.

Clay Dillow
at 11:15 AM Oct 14 2011
Robots // 

San Francisco-based Meka Robotics wants to make robots that are human-safe and human-scale, but their new S2 humanoid head is more anime than animal. And that's not necessarily a bad thing.

 
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