News, Technology

Most powerful laser weapon blasts car a mile away

Lockheed demoed a high power laser which destroyed a vehicle's engine (seen above), rendering it useless. Image: Lockheed

A 30KW high-power laser was demonstrated by Lockheed Martin after it was used to disable a vehicle more than a mile away. One of the great perks of laser weapons is their phenomenal accuracy. To showcase this, the weapon was directed specifically on the hood of the vehicle, where it fried the engine. The beam from the Advanced Test High Energy Asset, or ATHENA, is believed to be most powerful ever documented in a laser weapon.

News, Technology

Self-driving cars might generate hundreds of billions in revenue

self-driving simulator

Some people waste hours each day driving their car, time they could have otherwise spent better. You’ll still be trapped on the road in a self-driven car, but the added benefit is that you’ll be free to do other stuff – anything but stare into your windshield non-stop. According to a study made by McKinsey & Company, self-driving cars could generate billions of dollars a year in revenue from mobile internet services and products, even in situations where occupants only save a couple of minutes. Of course, we had it coming. What did you thought people would do with their spare driving time? Surf the internet, of course.

Environmental Issues, Technology

Company to Start Building Transoceanic Canal in Nicaragua

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A private company in Hong Kong known as the Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Company (HKND) has been given the green light to start the $50 billion work on a canal that will connect the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean through Nicaragua. The project, which will be significantly longer than the Panama canal could bring huge economic benefits, saving a lot of time and resources, but it also raises major environmental concerns.

News, Physics, Technology

UC Santa Barbara and Google Scientists create self-correctable quantum device

Mathematical representation of a qubit. Image credits: University of Strathclyde.

Scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and at Google reported on Wednesday in the journal Nature that they are one step closer to developing a true quantum computer – they have developed a quantum device the art of checking and correcting its own errors.

News, Technology

Paralyzed woman flies fighter jet with nothing but her thoughts

A paralyzed women controlled a F-35 simulator with her thoughts. AFP Photo / HO

A crowd gathered for the New America Foundation’s first annual Future of War conference was told by DARPA’s director that a woman was able to control F-35 flight simulator without touching the joystick. The woman controlled the simulation only with her thoughts, which were relayed and processed to the simulator by a neural implant embedded in her left cortex.

News, Technology

Google’s AI beats pro gamers at classic ATARI video games – yes, this is actually important

ATARI's classic arcade video game Breakout. Image: Emuparadise.com

A complex artificial intelligence program developed by DeepMind, a London-based company which was acquired by Google last year for $400 million, mastered classic ATARI video games, like Breakout, Video Pinball, and Space Invaders. It was so effective that it outperformed professional game testers in 29 of the 49 games it tried out. As is the case with such demonstrations, there’s more to it than just humiliating humans. The same algorithms could be used to develop and improve autonomous robots or self-driving cars.

Health & Medicine, News, Technology

Three Austrian men become real-life Cyborgs

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Bionic hands – artificial limbs controlled through thought power – they’re as awesome as they sound, and they’re now a reality. Three Austrian men have become real-life cyborgs after having losing their hands to injury and then undergoing innovative surgery.

Design, News, Technology

MIT Creates Beautiful LED Origami Robot Garden

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In an attempt to make programming more attractive, MIT has developed a stunning “robot garden”, dozens of fast-changing LED lights and more than 100 origami robots that can crawl, swim, and blossom like flowers. I’ll tell you, if this doesn’t make kids want to code… nothing will! The “garden” was created by a team from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab