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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.