Australian Popular Science News news from, 28 Jul 2016 12:50:05 +100010The US Military Is Patrolling Djibouti With Robot Golf CartsAt the best of times, military patrol duty is equally boring and important. Physically being in a place reminds others that the military is there, armed and ready to take action. It's a good way to watch a lot of space for signs of hostile activity, but it also commits a lot of people to the work of patrolling, and puts them at risk. What if, in many situations, a robot could do the actual driving around and watching part of patrolling, and armed troops could travel quickly into the danger when it arose?,431576Wed, 27 Jul 2016 10:14:40 +1000Olympic Runners Supplement Training with Brain-Stimulating HeadphonesThis year's Olympics, though plagued with Zika news, has actually produced interesting technological advances. High-tech gear is helping athletes go faster and farther and also helping to protect them. Now, some athletes are turning to a pair of headphones to help them improve their skills through brain stimulation.,431575Wed, 27 Jul 2016 10:14:40 +1000Facebook Releases Open Source Software For Its Surround 360 CameraFrom the day that Facebook announced its 360-degree camera, the Surround 360, it promised that the project would be open source. Today, they delivered -- sort of.,431574Wed, 27 Jul 2016 10:14:39 +1000Why This Climate Change Scientist Still Has Hope <a href=";src=syn" target="_blank">Ted Scambos</a> has been studying our climate for well over 25 years &#8212; even venturing out on what might have been the slowest road trip ever across Antarctica to gather data. He is the lead scientist at the <a href=";src=syn" target="_blank">National Snow &amp; Ice Data Center</a>, and as he's gathered data and published papers over the years focused on our climate and climate change, he's been faced with a deluge of messages from climate change deniers.,431573Wed, 27 Jul 2016 10:14:39 +1000A New York Restaurant Is The First To Serve 'Bloody' Veggie BurgersI'm sorry, but burgers suck. Sure, juicy meat pucks may be among my favorite stomach stuffers, but meat has so many guilt-inducing problems. Are there any restaurants where I can ingest the greasy bovine disks I crave without killing cows, the environment and myself, all without forfeiting the beefy goodness? One joint is answering my prayers with a bloody veggie burger.,431572Wed, 27 Jul 2016 10:14:38 +1000Possible New Whale Species Discovered In Pacific OceanSince the 1940s, Japanese whalers have spoken of a rare whale variety, a smaller and darker version of the Baird's beaked whale. They called the animal <em>karasu</em>, or raven, and said that you could only see them at the Namuro Strait between April and June.,431571Wed, 27 Jul 2016 10:14:38 +1000Swedish Man Builds Flying Chair With Eight RotorsThis flying machine can't properly be called a drone, as the pilot sits inside the vehicle. Yet the eight small rotors, the simple open-air construction, and vertical takeoff all make it seem drone-inspired. The Swedish maker behind the &#8220;amazingdiyprojects&#8221; Youtube channel built himself an eight-engined platform that flies. Like this:,431570Wed, 27 Jul 2016 10:14:37 +1000Most Americans Are Still Wary Of Becoming SuperhumansThe desire to enhance human beings past our mental and physical limits has a long history in science (and science fiction). But recent advances like the revolutionary genome editing tool CRISPR have brought the prospect of superhumans and designer babies into the spotlight.,431569Wed, 27 Jul 2016 10:14:37 +1000Nintendo's Newest Console Allows At-home And On-the-go GamingNintendo's next console, the Nintendo NX, will be a portable gaming system with detachable controllers, according to <a href=";src=syn" target="_blank">Eurogamer</a>.,431568Wed, 27 Jul 2016 10:14:36 +1000Spider Silk May Inspire Better SemiconductorsAudiophiles and renewable energy wonks, rejoice. Arachnophobes, brace yourselves: recent studies published in <a href=";src=syn" title="&quot;Nonlinear Control of high-frequency phonons in spider silk&quot;" target="_blank"><em>Nature Materials</em></a> may lead to spider silk inspired materials to manipulate sound and heat much as semiconductors manipulate electrons, according to <a href=";src=syn" target="_blank"><em></em></a>.,431567Wed, 27 Jul 2016 10:14:36 +1000Can Body Tracking Tech Find The Next Steph Curry?During the annual <a href=";src=syn" target="_blank">NBA Draft</a> (which for 2016, concluded last month), teenagers become millionaires. They do this primarily with their bodies, which are measured and tested in the weeks surrounding their selection. But nowadays, the methods for evaluating burgeoning pro-basketball players' bodies are undergoing seismic shifts.,431566Wed, 27 Jul 2016 10:14:35 +1000Harmful Bacteria May Hitch A Sea Cruise On Microplastic ParticlesIn all our oceans, particles of broken-up plastic -- microplastic smaller than 5 millimeters in size -- float throughout, where they're known as a problem for animals that eat them.,431565Wed, 27 Jul 2016 10:14:34 +1000This Is What Humans Would Look Like If We Could Withstand Car WrecksThere's something a bit grasshopper-like about Graham. This man-sized sculpture sports a head that melds right into his torso, which is supported by a pair of strong, springy legs. But Graham's fleshy, if oddly proportioned, body is definitely human. He's just better adapted to life on the roads than the rest of us.,431564Wed, 27 Jul 2016 10:14:00 +1000Google Lets You Listen To 3D Virtual Reality Audio In Your Headphones<a href=";src=syn" target="_blank">Today</a>, Google announced a new open source project for what it deems "a key element for an immersive virtual reality experience": spatial audio. In other words, placing sound where it should be in three-dimensional space.,431443Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:34:25 +1000China Unveils Giant SeaplaneThere is more water than there are runways. For places that have access to the sea, or lakes, or large, calm rivers, it might be easier to use a seaplane than building a runway for a plane designed to land on, well, land. China's state media today announced the completion of the first AG600. It's the world's largest functional seaplane and made by China itself.,431442Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:34:25 +1000Did Our Oldest Common Ancestor Live In Volcanic Hot Springs? Researchers are still trying to nail down the particulars of how life started on this planet. But now, we might just have a little better idea of what early life's existence was like.,431441Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:34:24 +1000Lockheed Martin Will Build New Shallow Submarine For Navy SEALsTraveling underwater offers Navy SEALs a lot of advantages. Troops are hard to see below the waves, and until they reach the shore they're no louder than the ocean itself. The problem is all the water. The current &#8220;swimmer delivery vehicles&#8221; used by the Navy's elite special forces require them to wear scuba gear the entire time, because they're exposed to the sea itself. A new submarine, from Submergence Group LLC and defense giant Lockheed Martin, will instead carry SEALS covertly, underwater, and inside an enclosed submarine.,431440Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:34:24 +1000World's Largest Atom Smasher Lab Treats Every Unattended Bag Like A BombIf you find yourself visiting the Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest atom smasher, at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, make sure you keep all your stuff in sight. Otherwise, it might get smashed.,431439Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:34:23 +1000'Star Trek: Beyond' Is A War Story In A Universe Without War"This is starting to feel a bit episodic," bemoans Captain James T. Kirk, played by Chris Pine, early on in <em>Star Trek: Beyond</em>. Kirk is returning from a minor diplomatic mission, an attempt at Federation-negotiated peace between two minor civilizations. The joke is a nod to Star Trek's long and enduring history as a staple of television. The <em>Original Series</em> premiered 50 years ago, and the sixth television show in the franchise, <em>Star Trek: Discovery</em>, is set to debut on CBS in January, 2017.,431437Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:34:22 +1000The New York Botanical Garden's Corpse Flower Is About To BloomWhile smelling some things through a TV screen would be great (chocolate chip cookies, brownies, pasta), others can stay on their own side of the broadcast. In the case of the aptly named 'corpse flower', we're very glad that smell-o-vision hasn't taken off.,431436Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:34:21 +1000Happy Birthday To The "Dark Lady Of DNA"Twist up some DNA-shaped balloons: Rosalind Franklin was born on this day 96 years ago.,431435Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:34:21 +1000Apple Has A New Overseer of Its Secret Car ProjectA few days after Apple reportedly pushed back the cryptic Project Titan, the company has recruited the former executive Bob Mansfield to head the project.,431434Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:34:20 +1000The AI Bots Are About To Get Emotional We already interact with artificial intelligence in our daily lives. Furby and Clippy were early forms; driverless cars and Facebook's chatbots pick up the mantle today. But if AI is to continue its evolution, it'll have to get more convincingly human. Right now, its capacity for emotional depth is seriously lacking.,431433Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:34:20 +1000This Italian Robot Wants To Be KickedIf the robot rebellion ever happens, it'll be because we're always <a href=";v=aR5Z6AoMh6U" target="_blank">bullying</a> our machines. But a robot named Taekwondo Personal Trainer (TPT) is actually designed to be kicked.,431432Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:34:19 +1000Vibrating Boots Could Help Astronauts Stay On Their FeetWalking on the surface of Mars, where the gravity is one-third of Earth's, won't be easy. If you dumped a wheelbarrow of rocks into a bounce-house, then jumped in with shoeboxes tied to your feet and a fishbowl on your head, you'd be getting close to how astronauts might feel exploring the Red Planet's surface.,431431Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:34:18 +1000New 3D Movie Screen Could Let Viewers Ditch Glasses At The TheatreIt's summer blockbuster season, where there are ample choices of what movies to see and how to see them. Do you just go for the regular viewing experience, or spring for 3D? Or do you stay home and watch Netflix?,431430Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:34:18 +1000A.I. Mirror Turns Your Reflection Into A Picasso PaintingStand in front of the &#8220;Cubist Mirror,&#8221; and you'll see your face looking back at you. But it's a version of your face as Picasso might paint it.,431429Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:34:17 +1000Popular Science's Spaceship Design Contest Winners!This past April, we put out a call for your ambitious spaceship designs. The only real rules were that we wanted to see an image, and that "the ideas must meet a certain threshold of seriousness, relying on technology that is available today or seen as feasible in the next decade." Ultimately, four badass designs stood out, as selected by the staff here at <em>Popular Science.</em>,431428Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:34:17 +1000Who Hacked The Democratic National Committee?In the middle of a presidential campaign, a group of foreign spies infiltrates the information network of a political party. And then, another group of spies from that same foreign nation infiltrates the same network, but in a much clumsier way. The political party finds out and goes public.,431427Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:34:16 +1000The New CBS 'Star Trek' Series Is Called 'Star Trek: Discovery'Showrunner Bryan Fuller <a href=";src=syn" target="_blank">announced</a> earlier today that CBS' new <em>Star Trek</em> series, which is due out in January 2017, will be called <em>Star Trek: Discovery.</em> The announcement came during the 50th anniversary <em>Star Trek</em> panel, which was moderated by Fuller. Fuller and CBS also gave fans their first look at the show's ship, the U.S.S. Discovery.,431425Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:34:15 +1000Watch The First Slurpee Delivery By DroneNevada is one of the states leading America into a drone-filled future. With special FAA permissions and a permissive testing environment, it makes sense that companies looking to test drone delivery would start there. And what better way to show off drone in the Nevada desert than by flying a nice, tall, sugary, 7-Eleven Slurpee out to a home in Reno? That's exactly what drone delivery startup Flirtey did.,431424Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:34:14 +1000Glowing Green Juice Could Change How We Examine IntestinesIf you've ever had to throw back a big glass of chalky barium sulfate liquid before an x-ray of your guts, this will sound like a delightful trip to Smoothie King.,431423Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:34:14 +1000Update: Dark Matter's Mysteries Remain ElusiveAfter three years of searching for invisible dark matter inside a mile-deep hole in South Dakota, scientists emerged to announce that they had found nothing.,431422Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:34:13 +1000A Sea-Slug-Powered Robot, Zuckerberg's A.I. Toaster, And Other Amazing ImagesFor a long time, the surface of Venus remained a mystery to scientists. The planet's unusually thick atmosphere prevented researchers from being able to see what was underneath. But in <a href=";src=syn" target="_blank">a recent paper</a> published in the <em>Journal of Geophysical Research</em>, researchers took advantage of this handicap by using infrared light and radar to penetrate through the surface and see beneath. They found that Venus' surface, as seen in the image above, is similar to Earth with mountains, canyons, valleys, and plains. And like Earth, these features influence its unique weather patterns.,431421Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:34:13 +1000Roach Milk: The Next Superfood?Joining the ranks of pigeons and spiders, cockroaches are the latest animal of questionable merit to get milked in the name of science.,431438Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:34:00 +1000Pangea Broke Apart As Fast As Fingernails GrowHang on to your land masses: we now know that the continents split apart in a big hurry. University of Sydney researchers studying seismic data from hundreds of millions of years ago found that tectonic plates experience fast and slow periods of motion.,431426Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:34:00 +1000Why Did the Mercury 13 Astronauts Never Fly in Space?Jerrie Cobb kicked off her black pumps and crossed her stockinged feet on the floor. It was an unusual thing to do during a public hearing before a special subcommittee of the House Committee on Science and Astronautics, but natural for Cobb. And it was a relaxed gesture that belied her stress. That July day in 1962, she was fighting tooth and nail to claim her rightful place in space alongside the Mercury astronauts.,431012Tue, 19 Jul 2016 09:30:17 +1000Clouds Of Water Detected Outside The Solar SystemAstronomers have located water clouds around the coldest-known object outside the solar system, a brown dwarf 7.2 light-years from Earth.,430439Mon, 11 Jul 2016 12:12:12 +1000Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano Continues Its Beautiful FlowThe Hawaiian volcano Kilauea has been erupting continuously <a href=";src=syn" target="_blank">since 1983</a>, gently spewing molten rock out onto the surface of the Earth.,430438Mon, 11 Jul 2016 12:12:12 +1000'Super Sniffer' Mice Engineered For Ultra-Powerful Sense of SmellScientists have just given rodents' already formidable noses a boost. A team in New York City has genetically engineered mice that can pick up scents way below the concentrations normal rodents can detect. These &#8220;super sniffer&#8221; mice have extra sensors for certain smells, and could one day sniff out explosives, smuggled cargo, or illness.,430437Mon, 11 Jul 2016 12:12:11 +1000Philando Castile Video "Glitch" May Actually Have Been PoliceThe Minnesota police may have been the real reason behind the removal of the Facebook Live video of Philando Castile's death on Wednesday, <a href=";src=syn" target="_blank">according to UK news site The Register</a>.,430436Mon, 11 Jul 2016 12:12:11 +1000Police Used Bomb Disposal Robot To Kill A Dallas Shooting SuspectIn the wake of post-protest shootings that left five police officers dead and seven others wounded, along with two civilians, police traded gunfire last night with a suspect inside a downtown Dallas parking garage. Eventually, law enforcement sent a "bomb robot" (most likely shorthand for a remotely controlled bomb disposal robot) armed with an explosive, to the suspect's location, then detonated the explosive, killing the suspect.,430435Mon, 11 Jul 2016 12:12:10 +1000A Rat Muscle Ray, A Room Full Of Tetris, And Other Amazing ImagesSoftware engineer James Newman built a 16-bit Tetris-playing microprocessor the size of a room. It's thirty feet long and six feet high, weighs a thousand pounds, and cost $50,000 to build. Newman hopes the processor will find a new home where it can be used for educational purposes.,430434Mon, 11 Jul 2016 12:12:09 +1000Next Year, Biologists Will Be Able To Track Animals In Real Time Using The ISSWe can see a lot from space. Satellite imagery has gotten to the point where saying that something is "big enough to see from space" doesn't really mean much anymore. But there are some things that still elude us, like the day-to-day tracking of small animals in real time from above our atmosphere.,430432Mon, 11 Jul 2016 12:12:08 +1000Typhoon Nepartak's Supercharged Spin CycleTyphoon Nepartak is veering toward Taiwan, delivering sustained winds upwards of 170 mph and waves over 40 feet high. The storm could be the <a href=";src=syn" target="_blank">most powerful</a> to make landfall in almost half a century. Parts of the country will see more rainfall than New York City <a href=";src=syn" target="_blank">gathers in a year</a>.,430431Mon, 11 Jul 2016 12:12:08 +1000Combine Pok&#233;mon Go And Google MapsThe augmented reality game Pok&#233;mon Go has finally been released around the world on iPhone and Android. The title, created by Niantic with the help of the Pok&#233;mon Company, lets you walk around the real world to capture in-game pocket monsters.,430430Mon, 11 Jul 2016 12:12:07 +1000Japan's Air Force Will Include 100 Stealth FightersOnly a few nations have ever built stealth fighters. The United States dominates in that arena, with the retired F-117, the in-service F-22, and the soon-to-be-in-service F-35, but it's not alone. Russia and China are both developing stealthy fighters of their own, and several nations, including Israel and the United Kingdom, joined with the United States to develop and field the F-35. Japan is slowly joining the exclusive stealth club, and it might turn to an indigenously designed plane to do it.,430429Mon, 11 Jul 2016 12:12:07 +1000Explore an Infinite Library from HomeAppropriately called the "infinite monkey theorem", it's one of the more visually amusing demonstrations of statistics and probability. It has been attributed to &#201;mile Borel in 1913, but since that time, technology has advanced in leaps and bounds. Computers are now able to handle such fantastically impossible tasks, and it just doesn't make sense to have that many monkeys around. I do not envy the HR rep who has to give an infinite amount of exit interviews.,430428Mon, 11 Jul 2016 12:12:06 +1000This Could Be The Strangest Exoplanet Found YetImagine a planet, like Jupiter, but four times heavier. And it's got a huge orbit, maybe twice as wide as Pluto's. Oh, and it has three suns. That planet is real, and it's only 320 light years away. Meet HD 131399Ab.,430427Mon, 11 Jul 2016 12:12:06 +1000A Bio-Hybrid Stingray Robot Powered By Rat MuscleNature-inspired robotics is a hot field these days. We've reported on robots designed to mimic cockroaches, salamanders, cheetahs, sea snakes, among others. Basically, if it's alive, somebody out there is trying to make a robot version. So a robot inspired by a stingray might sound like more of the same. Not so.,430426Mon, 11 Jul 2016 12:12:05 +1000