News, Technology

Audi gets California’s first autonomous driving permit

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Audi announced that it will be the first auto manufacturer to receive an autonomous driving permit from the state of California. Driverless cars are big right now – so big that the University of Michigan is building a fake city just to test them out. But what’s even more interesting is California’s law about driverless cars – the state of…

Materials, News, Technology

Quantum materials may replace silicon in transistor construction

A common transistor.

In today’s world, silicon has few materials which actually contest its status as the king of electronics. However, that may change in the not so distant future. A group of Harvard researchers have used a quantum material called correlated oxide to make better, more efficient transistors. The strategy for building better and more advanced processors is pretty simple – even rudimentary:…

Biology, Offbeat, Videos

Watch: The Inside of a Huge Wasp Colony

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Some wasps decided to build their colony next to the window of Youtube user Vang Tsal. Naturally, he was spooked – wasps are mean, and can be quite difficult to deal with. But instead of panicking and attempting to destroy the hive, he filmed it – and the results are spectacular: The colony now offers a perfect perspective of wasp…

Genetics, News

Human face diversity may have evolved to make us look unique

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While you might find people sometimes resemble each other, if you look close enough you’ll soon find unique features and facial characteristics that sets them apart. It’s remarkable how diverse human faces are across the billions alive today and the countless billions that used to live in this world. Scientists at University of Berkeley now believe they understand why this…

News, Physics, Videos

Watch liquid metal morph into shapes. How long until the T-1000?

The T-1000; above: from the movies, below: a worthy try. Image: Carolco Pictures and Michael Dickey

In the cult blockbuster Terminator 2 we’re introduced to a new series of killing bots – the T-1000. More than just “cybernetic organism, living tissue over metal endoskeleton”, the T-1000 could turn into liquid metal then morph into any shape, be it another person or an oversized man-spike. It also made the T-1000 freaking hard to kill! For a long…

News, Technology

Software makes phone pics clearer and sharper without changing hardware

A software corrects blur and makes photos taken with the same smartphone a lot clearer and sharper. The technology allows for lens designs to be less complex, smaller, lighter and cheaper. Image: Algolux

There aren’t that many people who imagined that in only a couple of years we’d see smartphones with 40MGpx cameras. Amazingly as that may sound, manufacturers are nearing a stand-still as far as optics miniaturization is concerned and even so, high end camera phones don’t come near the quality of a dedicated optical hardware. A new software developed by a…

News, Tech, Technology

Google set to build its own quantum computing hardware

Refrigerator for a Quantum Processor Part of the cooling unit that keeps the D-Wave Two's processor near absolute zero NASA Ames / John Hardman

For some time, Google scientists have been experimenting with artificial intelligence using quantum devices provided by D-Wave. According to Google, the company’s  Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab will soon develop their own quantum hardware, most probably in a bid to secure novel technology. Quantum computers are set to be the next generation of computing devices capable of computations order of magnitude above what…

Inventions, News

Engineers create the first unstealable bike

Image via Yerka.

Depending on where you live, bike stealing can be a distant threat or a constant worry, but in most parts of the world, people would rather be safe than sorry, tying their bikes to trees or fences or whatever they could find. But that may very well change in the near future: three engineers from Chile have developed a bike…

Chemistry, News

Chemists uncover powerful reactivity, paving the way for a new class of molecules

Professor Sharpless. Image via Scripps Research Institute.

Chemists led by Nobel laureate K. Barry Sharpless have used what is called click chemistry to uncover unprecedented, powerful reactivity. This opens a new “chemical galaxy” of molecules, potentially paving the way for making drugs, plastics and unprecedented smart materials. Click chemistry is a term applied to chemical synthesis tailored to generate substances quickly and reliably by joining small units together. It is…