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Advantages of video promoting:
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Thermometers can be pretty invasive: You stick them in your ears, your mouth, and occasionally in other places. Not this one. The Withings Thermos reads your temperature when you place one end on your forehead—that’s it.
The Withings Thermo takes about two seconds to read your temperature once it’s pressed against your forehead. Your body temperature reads out in a dotted LED display. A small light on the front will blink green if your temp is registered as a healthy rate. If you have a fever, a red light flashes notifying that you’re in poor health.
The companion app keeps track of your temperature over time, which can come in handy especially when you’re sick. You can also keep a log of any medication that you’re taking in a chronological view, so you know whether your temperature is cooling after taking any health products. The app stores profiles of several people, lasts on 2 AAA batteries for about two years. The Termo retails for $100 and will be available in March.
Pushed into water, the robot looks like nothing so much as a giant carrot, puttering about a vast ocean. Named “EMILY”, the machine is a tethered and remotely piloted life preserver, designed and built by Hydronalix. The name awkwardly stands for “EMergency Integrated Lifesaving lanYard”, and we praised an early version of the product in 2010 as the Best Of What’s New. Now, to help save refugees on capsizing boats in the Aegean and Mediterranean, Greece’s Coast Guard is testing the robot rescuers.
The robots made their way to Greece through the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue at Texas A&M University and the work of Roboticists Without Borders. As Wired reports:
In fact, NGOs on the island [of Lesvos, in Greece] had already been thinking about using UAVs to aid rescue efforts, says Robin Murphy, the Texas A&M roboticist running the project. “In the meantime we were saying, ‘You’re talking about people drowning,’” Murphy says. “There’s this new technology, EMILY, these robots that are life preservers.”
The EMILY robots can pull a rescue line up to 2,400 feet, and can carry up to five people. Once the people have
Across the globe, more than 100 buildings have reached a height of 300 meters (the approximate height of the Eiffel Tower) or higher, putting them in a category architects call “supertall.” Many of them sprang up in the past dozen or so years, which could be considered the supertall era. But according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, as reported by Dezeen, supertall is SO last decade. Now we’re entering the regime of the megatall skyscraper, a category reserved for behemoths taller than 600 meters.
At the moment, only three buildings qualify as megatalls: Dubai’s 2,717-foot (828-meter) Burj Khalifa (completed in 2010), the 2,073-foot (632-meter) Shanghai Tower (completed in 2015), and Mecca’s 1,972-foot (601-meter) Makkah Royal Clock Tower (completed in 2012). But that number is expected to more than double by 2020, as four more join the list: Shenzhen’s Ping An Finance Centre, Wuhan’s Greenland Center, Jakarta’s Signature Tower, and Jeddah’s Kingdom Tower. When the latter is completed in 2018, it will reach over 3,200 feet (about a kilometer) in height and become the new tallest building in the world. Photos and illustrations of all
Two University of California, Riverside assistant professors of physics are among a team of researchers that have developed a new way of seeing electrons cool off in an extremely short time period.
The development could have applications in numerous places where heat management is important, including visual displays, next-generation solar cells and photodetectors for optical communications.
In visual displays, such as those used in cell phones and computer monitors, and photodetectors, which have a wide variety of applications including solar energy harvesting and fiber optic telecommunications, much of the energy of the electrons is wasted by heating the material. Controlling the flow of heat in the electrons, rather than wasting this energy by heating the material, could potentially increase the efficiency of such devices by converting excess energy into useful power.
The research is outlined in a paper, “Tuning ultrafast electron thermalization pathways in a van der Waals heterostructure,” published online Monday (Jan. 18) in the journal Nature Physics. Nathan Gabor and Joshua C.H. Lui, assistant professors of physics at UC Riverside, are among the co-authors.
In electronic materials, such as those used in semiconductors, electrons can be rapidly heated by pulses of light. The time it takes for electrons to
Two MIT researchers have developed a thin-film material whose phase and electrical properties can be switched between metallic and semiconducting simply by applying a small voltage. The material then stays in its new configuration until switched back by another voltage. The discovery could pave the way for a new kind of “nonvolatile” computer memory chip that retains information when the power is switched off, and for energy conversion and catalytic applications.
The findings, reported in the journal Nano Letters in a paper by MIT materials science graduate student Qiyang Lu and associate professor Bilge Yildiz, involve a thin-film material called a strontium cobaltite, or SrCoOx.
Usually, Yildiz says, the structural phase of a material is controlled by its composition, temperature, and pressure. “Here for the first time,” she says, “we demonstrate that electrical bias can induce a phase transition in the material. And in fact we achieved this by changing the oxygen content in SrCoOx.”
“It has two different structures that depend on how many oxygen atoms per unit cell it contains, and these two structures have quite different properties,” Lu explains.
One of these configurations of the molecular structure is called perovskite, and the other is called brownmillerite. When more
Quantum physics is increasingly becoming the scientific basis for a plethora of new “quantum technologies.” These new technologies promise to fundamentally change the way we communicate, as well as radically enhance the performance of sensors and of our most powerful computers. One of the open challenges for practical applications is how to make different quantum technologies talk to each other. Presently, in most cases, different quantum devices are incompatible with one another, preventing these emerging technologies from linking, or connecting, to one another. One solution proposed by scientists is to build nanometer-sized mechanical objects that vibrate back-and-forth, just like a tiny vibrating tuning fork. These “nanomechanical devices” could be engineered such that their vibrations are the mediator between otherwise different quantum systems. For example, mechanical devices that convert their mechanical vibrations to light could connect themselves (and other devices) to the world’s optical fibre networks, which form the Internet. An outstanding challenge in quantum physics has been building a nanomechanical device that convert quantum-mechanical vibrations to quantum-level light, thus allowing one to connect quantum devices to a future quantum Internet.
Researchers led by Simon Gröblacher at TU Delft and Markus Aspelmeyer at the University of Vienna have now
If you’ve ever experienced a bad sunburn, you know the damage that ultraviolet (UV) light can cause to living cells (like your skin). Out in space, where the level of radiation from the sun can be even higher, it can damage sensitive electronics aboard in-flight spacecraft.
The dangers of UV light have prompted scientists to search for versatile materials that block UV and can withstand long radiation exposure times without falling apart. Now a group of researchers in China has developed a new method to create transparent, glass-based materials with UV-absorbing power and long lifetimes. The team demonstrated that the new glass effectively protects living cells and organic dyes, and believe it could also be developed as a transparent shield to protect electronics in space. They describe their results in Optical Materials Express, a journal of The Optical Society.
The researchers used a metal oxide –cerium (IV) oxide (CeO2)– well-known for its ability to absorb UV photons to craft the composite glass-based UV absorber.
Other key features of the final composite material are the optical transparency of the glass and the material’s ability to suppress the separation of photo-generated electrons and holes. The later feature slows down a light-induced reaction
Ivano-Frankivsk was supposed to be far from the Russian front. The city and province of the same name are on the far western side of Ukraine, away from the Russian-backed breakaway province of Donetsk in the east. Donetsk has seen almost two years of fighting on stalemated trenches. Yet last month, it was Ivano-Frankivsk that appears to have suffered from a new attack: malware, planted by hackers in several power stations, left hundreds of thousands without electricity in subzero conditions. Cyberwar, it seems, is an attack best served cold.
From Ars Technica:
According to [researchers from antivirus provider] ESET, the Ukrainian power authorities were infected using booby-trapped macro functions embedded in Microsoft Office documents. If true, it’s distressing that industrial control systems used to supply power to millions of people could be infected using such a simple social-engineering ploy. It’s also concerning that malware is now being used to create power failures that can have life-and-death consequences for large numbers of people.
The health hazards of power outages in winter are well documented. In a study on ice storm impacts over time, David A. Call of Ball State University wrote “Power outages also cause secondary effects, such as carbon monoxide poisoning and fire,
Since the 1960s, computer chips have been built using a process called photolithography. But in the past five years, chip features have gotten smaller than the wavelength of light, which has required some ingenious modifications of photolithographic processes. Keeping up the rate of circuit miniaturization that we’ve come to expect — as predicted by Moore’s Law — will eventually require new manufacturing techniques.
Block copolymers, molecules that spontaneously self-assemble into useful shapes, are one promising alternative to photolithography. In a new paper in the journal Nature Communications, MIT researchers describe the first technique for stacking layers of block-copolymer wires such that the wires in one layer naturally orient themselves perpendicularly to those in the layer below.
The ability to easily produce such “mesh structures” could make self-assembly a much more practical way to manufacture memory, optical chips, and even future generations of computer processors.
“There is previous work on fabricating a mesh structure — for example our work,” says Amir Tavakkoli, a postdoc in MIT’s Research Laboratory of Electronics and one of three first authors on the new paper. “We used posts that we had fabricated by electron-beam lithography, which is time consuming. But here, we don’t use the electron-beam
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, as mentioned in our review, introduced many important new characters, but the fan favorite may have been the soccer ball droid BB-8. What many consider to be R2-D2 for the 21st century, BB-8 offers a lot to love: a slick orange-and-white design, a quick top speed and a magnetic dome that’s bound to tilt heads. Those wanting to take part in the magic could have their very own BB unit thanks to Sphero. Now owners of the toy will see the force awaken within themselves. This fall, Sphero’s BB-8 wearable will enable mid-air gestures.
Get those midi-chlorians ready.
Sphero is calling its device the Star Wars Force Band. “[The wearable] takes it that much further with the notion of using the Force,” Keegan Shoutz, Sphero’s public relations person, tells us. “The use of gestures gives it a more interactive consumer experience than [controlling BB-8] through a screen on a tablet.”
Sphero stresses at CES 2016 that this is still far from consumer release. “We were just excited to show off what we’d done,” says Jeff Wiencrot, embedded systems engineer for Sphero. But despite the alpha model shown at CES, the company has firm plans to bring
Working as an archeologist can be long and grueling–sifting through the dirt out in the field, then fitting together tiny shards of shattered artifacts in the lab.
The British Museum and others are trying to make artifacts and archeology more accessible by digitizing their collections and making them available to the public, and now a new software named Presious in development by the European Union could help make the laborious task of fitting the pieces of the past together much easier.
A digital copy of an artifact has some advantages that a physical copy doesn’t. It can be enlarged or shrunk to show details, making it easier to compare artifacts found at different sites or in different countries, and be transported all over the world without risking sanctions. It can also be put through the wringer, run through computer simulations showing its decay over time without actually harming a physical object. But getting an object from the physical to the digital world is difficult.
Uploading an artifact into a digital database isn’t as fast as uploading a picture. Researchers have to input all kinds of data about the artifact’s shape, size, and construction. It’s a long, boring process that can take hours, costing
Google Street View is downsizing. They’ve taken us deep into the seven seas and up perilous rock faces but now, they’re taking us somewhere very small: Hamburg’s Miniatur Wunderland, a huge model train set.
The best part is, you can immerse yourself in this miniature Wunderland without drinking any sketchy potions.
The model train set currently covers nearly 14,000 square feet with over 8 miles of miniature train tracks running through scenes in Europe and the United States. There’s even a tiny space shuttle at Cape Canaveral. Currently, there is an Italy-themed area under construction, with France, Great Britain, and Africa soon to follow. The 930 trains, along with buildings, a state-of-the-art airport and lights are controlled by 46 computers.
To immerse us in the tiny world, Google developed a set of tiny cameras that they sent onto the tiny roads and train tracks.
It began, as these stories tend to, with an enthusiastic prankster and a little knowledge of the internet. It ended, fortunately, with a modest legal battle and a lenient judge. In the middle, it put a kid in jail on Christmas eve, 2014. Ryan Pickren, the Georgia Tech student at the heart of this saga, shared his story today on Facebook, and it’s as much a cautionary tale about overzealous reactions to online attacks as it is about the danger of pranks.
The setting is a friendly rivalry between the University of Georgia and the Georgia Institute of Technology. The rivalry even as a name: “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate”, and a weirdly extensive entry on Wikipedia. Pickren, a Georgia Tech student whose grandfather also attended the school, was poking around the University of Georgia website the week before Thanksgiving when he made a striking discovery.
The UGA master calendar was unsecured, and with a simple POST command, he was able to add an event that read “Get Ass Kicked By GT” at the time of the rivalry football game. A couple weeks passed, seemingly without incident.
Here’s what happened next, in Pickren’s words
Little did I realize the firestorm that I had started. The University
In the future, your local public works department might use a small, wheeled robot to repair potholes on city streets—assuming this recent Harvard graduate’s idea gets funded.
Robert Flitsch is the inventor of the Addibot, a 3D-printing robot that uses raw material to build surfaces up layer by layer, much like a boxy, desktop 3D printer would, but without the same space constraints. It can steer itself, or be driven via remote control.
“One of the main limitations with 3D printers is you typically have it printing inside this box, and you can really only print objects of the size of the workspace you’re printing in,” says the 22-year-old Flitsch, a mechanical engineer who graduated from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences last May. “If you take additive manufacturing implements and make them mobile, you can print objects of arbitrary size.”
Underneath the chassis of an Addibot is an array of nozzles that, ostensibly, would lay down materials as needed to repair a variety of surfaces. Flitsch, a longtime hockey player, first tested his Addibot on ice, the idea being that such a robot could deposit water, with a temperature just above its freezing point, into the cuts
In the fossil halls of New York’s American Museum of Natural History, visitors take a journey through millennia of life on Earth. In each room, you walk among leviathans of bone. The iconic Tyrannosaurus rex and apatosaurus, followed by ancient mammals—Giant sloths, mastodons and many others. All hulking, all awe-inspiring. But on the fourth floor, starting today, resides a new resident that somehow makes all the others seem small by comparison: the titanosaur.
This specimen, so new it has yet to be named (Titanosaur is the family of dinosaurs it comes from), is one of the largest dinosaurs ever discovered, and one of the largest creatures ever to be displayed in the AMNH. The immense 122-foot-long cast of its skeleton is so long, in fact, that it can’t quite fit into the Ira D. Wallach Orientation Center in which it’s housed. Its head stretches out of the room, almost ten feet off the floor, cocked sideways and peering down upon all who enter with one eye and a big toothy grin. “Hospitably welcoming visitors,” said a smiling museum President Ellen V. Futter at a media preview yesterday.
The gigantic life-size cast is the end product of a journey begun in Argentina in
With an electronic tether descending from the ceiling above, the ATLAS robot at the the Institute for Human & Machine Cognition (IHMC) in Florida looks like a cybernautic riff on an old deep sea diver. Initially developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is one of the most advanced humanoid robots in the world, recently placing second in the DARPA Robotics Challenge. And yet, it still can’t figure out how to hold a broom quite right.
In a video released by the IHMC this week, ATLAS demonstrates a variety of “whole-body coordinated motions.” Specifically, a bunch of household cleaning tasks, like vacuuming the square of carpet, sweeping up the Nerf darts, and putting trash into a trashcan and then putting that trashcan on a table. The video shows them at 20 times their normal speed, which highlights just how awkward and inefficient the movements are.
With every task It looks like a human in a giant clumsy suit struggling to complete basic tasks. The Jetson’s robotic maid Rosie this certainly isn’t. ATLAS isn’t built to be a robot housekeeper, which is a job the disk-shaped Roomba robot family does much better anyway. But performing the tasks is still a way
On face value, Dave Levin and Loay Malahmeh are creating a makerspace and innovation center for refugees, but their real goal is much more ambitious. “Much of what we’re doing is trying to disrupt the whole nature of humanitarian relief, of civil defense, perhaps of warfare itself,” said Levin.
Levin and Malahmeh are on top of a non-profit network of technologists, aid workers, and entrepreneurs that are trying to hack some of the challenges Syrians, inside and outside of conflict zones, encounter every day, from connecting to the internet to fighting barrel bombs. The consortium, “Refugee Open Ware (ROW),” ties together several different initiatives and groups and has received political, financial, and technological support from numerous diverse backers, everyone from a particle physicist at CERN to even the Royal Hashemite Court (the leadership of Jordan).
“Much of what we’re doing is trying to disrupt the whole nature of humanitarian relief, of civil defense, perhaps of warfare itself.”
Manufacturing tools were strewn across Levin and Malahmeh’s small makerspace in Amman, Jordan when I visited late last year. One of a dozen 3D printers was buzzing, left on overnight to print a part. On a table there was a Raspberry Pi, a soldering iron,
iPhone and iPad users have seen some interesting features added to their devices after purchase through Apple’s free wireless software updates, and the latest update could offer a quick way to help you sleep better.
With the upcoming release of iOS 9.3, people who use their iPhone or iPad in the late hours of the day will benefit from Night Shift–a feature that will change your screen’s color to account for the time of day to make it easier on your eyes, similar to f.lux, a popular third-party app.
Hawk-eyed Reddit user nickjosephson notes that on Apple’s preview page for iOS 9.3, the company has included an official rendering of the updated Control Center pane containing the new option. The icon contains a lamp shade, indicating the feature is meant to be used at night time when indoors.
iOS 9.3 Night Mode
Control Center toggle
Many have pointed to this feature of iOS 9.3 being highly similar to functionality provided by the f.lux app, which has been around for several years. That app, made by an independent software
“You’re going to start seeing a lot more 360 degree video on your News Feed,” Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer told Popular Science last week at the Future of AI conference at NYU.
And he was right.
Today, Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook’s engineers released information about how they’re making 360 degree video up to 80 percent smaller than the original file, to make streaming the content easier on computers.
The answer lies in geometry. Facebook’s engineers explain that instead of thinking about 360 degree video as a sphere, it’s better to think of the final product as a cube, a shape with 6 equal sides. That equality means less inherent distortion than a sphere, which is geometrically dissimilar than the sensor the image is being captured on. This is great for viewing on a flat screen, but not in virtual reality.
For VR, videos uploaded to Facebook start as a sphere. But Facebook’s software deals with spherical video by putting it into a pyramid, which as a tetrahedron can represent 3 dimensions. Then the software “unfolds” the pyramid, and crops it, making it into one part of the cube. This is inherently a visual process, so let this GIF make it easier to understand.
Over the past year, cell phone users have been sharing photos of some wonky pinky fingers. The pinkies are curved or at an angle from the rest of the fingers, and users claim that the shape of their hands has changed from over-using their smartphones. A headline from an article posted today on the Daily Mail screams, “People share shocking photos showing how their hands have been left deformed by the way they hold their gadget.” Others though, including some surgeons who specialize in hand surgery, aren’t quite as convinced.
That’s probably not what’s going on in those photos, says Rachael Rohde, the chair of the Public Education Committee for the American Society for Surgery of the Hand. “It would be pretty hard to deform any of your fingers just by holding a cell phone,” she says adding that it would probably take many years of gripping a phone really hard to make any noticeable change. “As a hand surgeon, I think it’s more likely there’s something going on here to begin with, another condition, that they didn’t realize [they had] and thought it might be related to the phone.” She suggests the culprit might be Dupuytren’s contracture, a condition that