New Technology

New Engine Could Fly London to Sydney in 4.5 Hours

Posted In Living in Tech
Rocket Plane
The British company Reaction Engines is working on an engine technology that could make air travel faster–much faster. You can’t accuse the developers of false modesty: They call their Sabre engine “the biggest breakthrough in propulsion since the jet engine.” If it manages to do everything that it’s been designed to do, they could turn out to be right. The magic in the Sabre comes from a compressed helium cooling system that’s able to cool air entering the engine from… continue…

These Scientists Will be Ready for Skynet

Posted In Living in Tech
Could Artificial Intelligence (AI) end up dooming the world? Granted, some of its most visible examples–like Apple’s Siri and various automated online assistants–have trouble finding everything from movie times to customer service phone numbers. That makes you wonder how effective AI would be trying to track down the deep bunker of a head of state. Don’t get blase. Slashdot’s Nick Kolakowski writes: But as those systems increase in sophistication, and their amount of stored data accumulates to gargantuan proportions, a… continue…

IBM’s Carbon Nanotubes Keep Moore’s Law Alive

Posted In Living in Tech
IBM Logo
IBM is reporting success with a new fabrication process that puts carbon nanotubes on the surface of a silicon wafer to build chips with more than 10,000 working transistors. Carbon what? Carbon nanotubes. They’re molecules that have long been discussed as a viable successor to silicon. They are extremely thin hollow cylinders made of carbon atoms and have a diameter about 10,000 times smaller than a human hair. Depending on their structure, IBM says, they can be metals or semiconductors.… continue…

Nissan Infinitis Will Soon Steer By Wire

Posted In Living in Tech
Nissan Blog
Nissan is looking to significantly upgrade its Infiniti sedans by adding a steer-by-wire system. Somewhat similar to the fly-by-wire system found in planes, the new tech will mostly dispense with the age-old mechanical apparatus. In steer-by-wire, control signals are transmitted electronically. Since electrical signals are transmitted faster than mechanical instructions, drivers can expect better response time and easier turning. The downside is that if the car’s electrical system fails, so does the steering. Nissan has worked around this by including… continue…

More Companies Seek Skills in Voice Technology

Posted In Looking in Tech
Fraunhofer IIS Full HD Voice
Apple’s Siri and advanced in-car technology have focused the spotlight on voice technology, increasing demand for developers who can help both startups and established companies integrate speech in a range of new ways. Though not new – Carnegie Mellon University has been teaching classes in it for probably 30 years, notes Alan Black, associate professor at the school’s Language Technologies Institute – it’s evolved far beyond the call center systems and medical transcription technology of the past. Now, though, the technology is… continue…

Hitachi Makes Data Practically Eternal

Posted In Living in Tech
Hitachi Glass Storage
A novel long-term data storage technology from Hitachi may be able to preserve binary code for hundreds of millions of years. Hundreds. Of. Millions. The technology uses a high-precision laser to print dots of binary code across a square of quartz glass. The means for reading the data seems somewhat cumbersome, however, involving coupling an optical microscope to a compatible computer. Hitachi claims the technology is practically fireproof — one of the tests involved the retrieval of data after heating… continue…

New Coating Keeps Your Smartphone from Drowning

Posted In Living in Tech
Circuit Cards
by Gabriela Jugaru Dropping your smartphone into the water, spilling your coffee on it or worse yet, having to fish it out of the toilet bowl happens on a regular basis. For the people that own them it can mean the end of the world, especially if you’re one of those who carries your life around on it. As some people would rather cut off their leg (not really) than part with their smartphone, there have been many attempts at… continue…

Tiny Rocket Thrusters Pave Way For Smaller Satellites

Posted In Living in Tech
These small cube-shaped objects are rocket thrusters that can be used to allow a small satellite to roll or adjust its orbit. That might not sound like a big deal but for nanosatellites, it’s huge. The microthruster, which was developed by MIT’s Paulo Lozano, is about the same size as a penny and weighs about as much as a typical computer chip. It’s useless on Earth, but is perfectly capable of repositioning a shoebox-sized nanosatellite in the zero-gravity environment of… continue…

The Science Behind Generating Faces Algorithmically

Mona Lisa Facial Recognition
When I was five years old I was terrified of the power sockets in my great aunt’s house. British power sockets use three pins, and some very old ones use round pins as opposed to rectangular ones. Those in my great aunt’s house looked a bit like faces. Since they were in a dark corridor, I found it very spooky. Interpreting objects as faces is a psychological phenomenon called “Pareidolia,” and is perfectly normal. And it’s not just us — meaning… continue…

Scientists Fake Touch; Fantasies Intensify in Second Life

Posted In Living in Tech
A team of researchers at the University of Illinois is developing devices that allow users to experience the sensation of touch, without actually touching anything. The team calls their devices “electrotactile stimulators.” They work by turning electrical signals into sensation. A flexible circuit is installed onto a pliable, finger-shaped tube which, when it comes into contact with the wearer’s skin, tricks the brain into into thinking they’re touching something. Though tactile feedback devices are nothing new, this product takes it… continue…