tech and geek stuff
Odd properties of water and ice explained: Water exists as two different liquids
Most of us know that water is essential for our existence on planet Earth. It is less well-known that water has many strange or anomalous properties and behaves very differently from all other liquids....
Artificial whisky taster has the palate of a connoisseur
Could you spot the fake?Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesBy Timothy RevellAfter robots take your job, they could drink your whisky too. A synthetic tongue can pick out different qualities in...
Virtual Reality Lets Us Travel in Space and Time
An increasing number of museums and exhibition halls around the world use virtual reality technology to transport visitors to different spaces and different time. London's Somerset House recently opened...
Plastic caterpillars reveal global predation
The study, which is published today in Science, shows that it is much more dangerous to live in the tropics and at a low elevation than it is in cooler climates.The bright green plasticine models of the...
Bionic hand that can see for itself makes things easy to grasp
Learning to liftNewcastle UniversityBy Timothy RevellAn artificial hand is using artificial intelligence to see with an artificial eye. The new prosthetic can choose how best to grab objects placed in...
'Seeing' bionic hand created with 99p camera
The hand was developed by bioengineers at Newcastle University who modified a standard NHS myoelectric hand with a cheap camera to provide upper-limb amputees with a more functional prosthetic.Myoelectric...
Best travel apps 2017: make travelling a joy
Google TripsFreeiOS, AndroidGoogle Trips is the travel planning app from the search giant. Where Google Trips is different from the other travel planners is that you don't actually book through Trips...
Elevate Credit pops 21% in trading debut, after pricing IPO below expectations
But net losses also swelled to $22.4 million by the end of 2016, up from $19.9 million the prior year. The effective annual percentage rate (APR) on the company's loans have fallen about 42 percent since...
The best Australian Chromecast deals in April 2017
The Google Chromecast is not only one of the most useful and innovative gadgets of the last few years, it's also dazzlingly cheap. And if you're looking to pick one up for the cheapest possible price,...
Movado Connect is a sleek new Android Wear 2.0 watch
Luxury watch brand Movado has shown off the first look of the Movado Connect, a sleek and stylish wearable designed just for Android Wear 2.0.Originally announced earlier this month, the Connect is compatible...
Bad luck may play a big role in cancer—but prevention tactics still matter
Cancer cells in culture from human connective tissue, illuminated by darkfield amplified contrast, at a magnification of 500x. NCI, Dr. Cecil Fox reader comments 8 Share this story What causes cancer?...
Special glasses give people superhuman colour vision
Now you see it… Metameric colours as they look through special filters (top, middle) and unfiltered (bottom)Mikhail Kats and Brad GundlachBy Chris BaraniukIt’s sometimes practically impossible to tell...
This 3D display is made from laser-generated bubbles
Most 3D displays use a variety of methods to trick the brain into thinking it's seeing a three-dimensional object. These usually involve showing slightly different images to different eyes.But now, optical...
Hens that can lay eggs from other species could save rare birds
Chicks saved foreverNorrie Russell Roslin Institute By New Scientist staff and Press AssociationGenetically modified hens that can lay eggs from different poultry breeds are helping create a “frozen aviary”...
Printed ‘lab on a chip’ costs a penny and catches disease early
Rahim Esfandyarpour helped to develop the diagnostic “lab on a chip”Zahra Koochak/Stanford School of MedicineBy Matt ReynoldsYour diagnostic kit is downloading. A “lab on a chip” system costs less than...
Super Bowl ads normally avoid politics, but not this year
NEW YORK — As the New England Patriots edged out the Atlantic Falcons on the field in Super Bowl LI, Airbnb touted inclusiveness with an ad showing faces of different ethnicities and the copy: We all...
On Risk and Failure: Silicon Valley Vs. Asia
The state of California is experiencing what could be considered a modern-day gold rush, though markedly different from the one that took place in the mid 1800s. The new gold: technology and successful...
We may control the next generation of smartwatches by breathing on them
Engineers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a collection of new ways to interact with smartwatches that offer more control than a chubby finger.Using LG and Sony watches, the researchers...
Can shopping online make you a victim of price discrimination?
If you went to your local coffee shop and learned you’d be charged four dollars, when the guy in front of you was only charged three, because the shop had been studying your buying behavior, you’d probably...
Evolution of brain and tooth size were not linked in humans
A new study found that whereas brain size evolved at different rates for different species, especially during the evolution of Homo, the genus that includes humans, chewing teeth tended to evolve at more...
Wikipedia ‘facts’ depend on which language you read them in
Bias is geographicalVASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty ImagesBy Matt ReynoldsLike Facebook and Twitter, Wikipedia could have its own filter bubbles. A new website lets you uncover geographical biases in Wikipedia...
The Moon’s magma ocean was wetter than we thought
NASA reader comments 1 Share this story Early in our Solar System's history, the Earth was slammed by a Mars-sized body. The collision effectively disassembled both bodies and created a swirling mass...
Smoking a pack a day for a year causes 150 mutations in lung cells
Scientists have measured the catastrophic genetic damage caused by smoking in different organs of the body and identified several different mechanisms by which tobacco smoking causes mutations in DNA....
How a fluctuating brain network may make us better thinkers
For the past 100 years, scientists have understood that different areas of the brain serve unique purposes. Only recently have they realized that the organization isn't static. Rather than having strictly...
What Aussie TV will be like in 2020
Virtual reality will allow TV viewers to go inside a program for a truly immersive experience. Picture: AFP PICTURE donning a virtual reality headset to watch the football from a player’s perspective,...
Microsoft prepares for Skype world domination with cross-platform client
Microsoft is a company with a plan as far as Skype is concerned, and apparently that plan is to get rid of the sprawl of existing Skype clients, instead producing one single app which works across all...
Astronomers shed light on different galaxy types
Scientists have taken a critical step towards understanding why different types of galaxies exist throughout the Universe. The research, made possible by cutting-edge instrumentation, means that astronomers...
Grand Theft Auto is being used to teach the driverless cars of the future
Grand Theft Auto's speeding, drive-bys and frequent crashes might not seem like an ideal model to base driverless cars on, but that hasn't stopped several groups from using the game in their research....
First Egg-Shaped Drone Flies into the Future
A drone with a dramatically different design will be soaring into the hands of consumers starting in October. The egg-shaped flying robot called PowerEgg is also different from other drones because it...
5 smartphones with wacky, unusual features
Almost every smartphone these days contains the same bag of tricks. Sure, one might have a bigger screen, more storage and other specs that help us tell one phone from another. But on the whole, you’ll...
Space Hulk: Deathwing is an FPS dungeon crawler in spaaaace
Space Hulk: Deathwing got a deeper showing at Gamescom 2016. reader comments 20 Share this story COLOGNE, Germany—Both developer Streum On Studio and publisher Focus Home Interactive seem unwilling to...
Single mutation changes a species’ mating
Tao lab, Emory University reader comments 2 Share this story When evolution hits on a solution that works, that solution tends to get reused. Researchers have found that genes that play key roles in development...
Almost every Volkswagen sold since 1995 can be unlocked with an Arduino
Frank Derks reader comments 21 Share this story Over at Wired, Andy Greenberg reports that security researchers have discovered how to use software defined radio (SDR) to remotely unlock hundreds of millions...
Imaging software predicts how you look with different hair styles, colors, appearances
How can we predict if a new haircut will look good without physically trying it? Or explore what missing children might look like if their appearance is changed? A new personalized image search engine...
Making magnets flip like cats at room temperature
Heusler alloy NiMnSb could prove valuable as a new material for digital information processing and storage, report scientists. Similar to the ability of a cat to flip itself in the air by twisting different...
Newborn ducklings can acquire notions of 'same' and 'different'
Scientists have shown that newly hatched ducklings can readily acquire the concepts of 'same' and 'different' -- an ability previously known only in highly intelligent animals such as apes, crows and parrots....
Pokemon Go: A complete beginner's guide
Pokemon Go: A complete beginner's guidePokémon Go has taken the world by storm and all you need to play it is a smartphone and a willingness to get outside, but just what is it? And why should you...
Saturn’s Moon, Titan, Could Support Life
Titan, one of Saturn’s moons, could support a very different kind life, according to a new study. Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from Cornell University say...
Can you crack this mind-bending illusion?
WHAT IS HAPPENING READY to have your mind blown? A finalist in the Best Illusion of the Year Contest 2016 (yes, apparently that’s a thing) has racked up more than three-quarters of a million views on YouTube...
Robots and humans see the world differently – but we don't know why
A few years back, artificial intelligence reached the point at which it could recognise objects in images and answer questions about them. It's the technology that powers Google Photos and other similar...
Calculating the costs of adding storage to renewables
A dam with a pumped hydro storage reservoir in Pennsylvania.Army Corps of EngineersThe two fastest growing sources of renewable energy, wind and solar, are intermittent—they don't always generate power...
The social life of health information
Most Americans go online for information and support about health-related issues. But what exactly are they looking for? Researchers shed light on this in a new study that examines how different people...
Top auto regulator: Nimble rules needed for self-driving cars
The top U.S. vehicle safety regulator said on Wednesday the government needs to be more nimble in designing rules for self-driving vehicles.The industry "is on version 238.32 by the time we get regulations...
Wiretapping the senses
Sensory information enters the brain at the primary sensory cortex, where they are processed by different layers of cells in ways that ultimately influence an animal's perception and behavioral response....
Finger-specific key presses could speed up computer interaction
If you're looking for a way to use a computer more efficiently, researchers may have a solution for you. Researchers have recently filed a patent that would allow computer users to trigger different shortcut...
Ex-Top Gear trio’s new Amazon show will be called The Grand Tour
Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond have announced that their new Amazon motoring show will be called The Grand Tour, or GT for short. Amazon still hasn't confirmed when the show will be aired;...
Quick Tip: Use Background White Noise for Greater Productivity
In this age of endless information and clutter, productivity Nirvana has been searched for by so many, yet achieved by so few. While there is no ultimate solution that fits everybody, there are various...
Scientists claim breakthrough in hunt for Planet Nine
Scientists working with data captured by Nasa's Cassini spacecraft have identified a region of the Solar System that they say is most likely to conceal Planet Nine.Matthew J. Holman and Matthew J. Payne...
Photochemical metallization allows the manufacture of touchscreens in a single step
In order for touchscreens on smartphones and tablets to function, microscopically fine conductor paths are required on their surfaces. When the users' fingers tip on or wipe over them, electrical circuits...
Watch this 3D-printed robot walk out of its printer
This 3D-printed robot has been created with both solids and liquids at the same time. It also doesn't need any assembly.Computer scientists at MIT developed the hydraulically-powered robot to be created...
Uncharted 4: A Gameplay Evolution
For fans of the Uncharted series, the idea of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End being its swansong is a hard pill to swallow, but rest assured – Developer Naughty Dog is making sure that the franchise goes out...
2017 Toyota Corolla Release Date, Price and Specs - Roadshow
If you're not a fan of the current styling on the Toyota Prius, you may want to avert your eyes, or put on sunglasses or something. The Toyota Corolla, one of the industry's pillars of sensibility, straightforward...
How Bose's bad speaker system changed audio forever
The result: Three different glowing reviews from three different writers at three major publications, Jacob said. After that, sales took off. The company was always privately held, mostly by Bose himself....
Holidays on the moon: Time to pack your bags?
"On the moon village, we would like to combine the different capabilities of space-faring nations, be it robotic or be it human, to look also for different activities, be it pure science, be it also business,...
GDC 2016: The wonderfully weird games of GDC 2016
IntroductionThere's always plenty of interesting stuff to see at GDC. There's also some weird stuff - none more so than what you'll find in Crtl.Alt.GDC, an area of the expo dedicated to showcasing the...
What is your cat saying? Swedish scientists launch five year project to find out
To work out what the various sounds mean, the team will be recording up to 50 cats in different locations to see how their mood affects their meowing when they are content, friendly, happy, hungry, annoyed...
Mental abilities are shaped by individual differences in the brain
Everyone has a different mixture of personality traits: some are outgoing, some are tough and some are anxious. A new study suggests that brains also have different traits that affect both anatomical and...
Revealing the details of planetary construction zones
The dust around the binary star system HD 142527.ALMAArs at AAAS 2016 Treatment saved ~90% of terminal cancer patients, but it has scary side effects Neutrinos continue run of odd behavior at Daya Bay...
How Netflix technology is improving data centre efficiency
What do recommendation engines for Amazon and Netflix have to do with better cloud computing? Thanks to a groundbreaking system from Stanford University, one is inspiring the other.When faced with their...
DIY scratched screen repair: Magic and myths - CNET
Magic erasers are usually used for cleaning up messes, but could they clean up scratches? Since different brands of magic erasers have different types of cleaners, I went to the source. It turns out that...
Nokia 6, Moto E4 and more get big discounts through Amazon Prime
Amazon's in-house smartphones could've been better, but that's not stopping the online retail giant from selling discounted handsets as a way to promote its premium Prime service.Amazon Prime members...
Darden CEO: 'Believe it or not, millennials still want to come to restaurants'
Darden Restaurants isn't afraid of tech giant Amazon. The restaurant company — which owns Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, among other brands — doesn't think that Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods...
Amazon's new Echo has a really creepy feature
Amazon's new Echo Show, which begins shipping to customers this week, has a really creepy feature. It's called "drop in" and lets pre-approved users suddenly appear on your Amazon Echo for two-way video...
The best smart home devices for 2017
The best smart home devices are dramatically bringing your dumb household into the future, letting you control everything from the front door lock to the bedroom lights with a phone, tablet or even a...
I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its component fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers. That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark