Neil Blomkamp's new film CHAPPiE, which hits US theaters this weekend, follows the unlikely transformation of a defective robot into a one-of-a-kind conscious machine. The movie inserts the audience into a Johannesburg, South Africa, that's protected by a fully robotic police force. The brilliant designer of these bots, Deon Wilson (played by Dev Patel), isn't quite satisfied with soulless automatons--so he secretly works after-hours to instill his creations with consciousness.
In the past year, Apple, Sony, and Home Depot were targeted in notorious criminal hacks. But not all hackers are bad. Pablos Holman, an inventor and hacker at patent firm Intellectual Ventures' (IV) Laboratory, breaks electronics every day—and he thinks more people should be doing the same.
The latest security vulnerability to make the rounds, aptly dubbed FREAK, shines a spotlight on why it's maybe not such a great idea to weaken the technology behind the security that we all rely on. Turns out that we're still paying for the mistakes of the 1990s--and I don't mean acid-washed jeans.
Designing an inch-long robot is tricky: there are lots of small moving parts, and it's hard to get a tiny enough battery that can still power the entire system. Instead of designing a whole new robot body, scientists at Texas A&M University instead hijacked an existing, efficient form: cockroaches. Using an implant that plugs into the roach's nervous system, they were able to steer the cockroach in the correct direction 60 percent of the time.
Let's face it: Storage devices aren't exactly the most exciting pieces of hardware. They either work or they don't. And when they don't work, they can cause major headaches. For the last decade, SanDisk has prevented those type of headaches by providing some of the most reliable storage devices on the market. Now it's going a step further by providing the highest capacity microSD card in the world.
Fumbling for a cell phone that rang during a meeting can be pretty embarrassing, and tapping out an email on a smartwatch is always a frustrating experience. To make mobile devices even simpler to control, a team of German and American computer scientists has created a patch called the iSkin that turns your epidermis into a digital interface. Just place the patch on your preferred body part, and with a few simple taps, you can answer calls, raise or lower music volume, or type on a bigger smartwatch keyboard without having to grope for the phone in your pocket or bag.