tech and geek stuff
Laser weapons are fast becoming a reality - they just need to be shrunk first
Laser guns are a common sight in science fiction, but until recently they've not been seen on real-world battlefields. That's changing, with many of the world's biggest defence companies developing prototypes...
Nasa's new stopwatch measures a fraction of a billionth of a second
In space, things happen very slowly and very quickly. Slow events are timed with technology that we've had for centuries - calendars and clocks. But timing fast events - which happen on the scale of billionths...
UK government seeks stronger anti-laser strike laws through new bill
EnlargeFlickr Creative Commons/Dragonlasers reader comments 10 Share this story In the UK, people caught shining lasers at pilots and bus and train drivers will face harsher punishments if a newly proposed...
Man gets three years in prison for laser strike on police helicopter
Enlarge / Jordan Clarence Rogers fired a laser similar to this one that was aimed upwards in Egypt in 2012.Ed Giles / Getty Images News reader comments 19 Share this story Further ReadingA three-second...
Is the future of 4KTV completely panel-less?
My TV is bigger than your TV. That's always the thrust of consumer electronics exhibitions, and CES 2017 was no different, with 100-inch+ TVs all over the place. Except that this year one manufacturer...
Man who fired laser pointer at Washington ferry to only pay $9,500
Enlarge / Mark Radan was on board the Washington State Ferry Kitsap (pictured) when he fired the laser in October 2015. reader comments 1 Share this story Further ReadingMan who shot laser at ferry slapped...
A three-second laser strike cost Barry Bowser everything
Enlarge / Barry Bowser, seen here in front of the Bakersfield property where he was arrested in 2014.Cyrus Farivar reader comments 33 Share this story Further ReadingMan found guilty in California laser...
Liquid shell gives inertial confinement fusion a smoother burn
The preamplifiers of the National Ignition Facility are the first step in increasing the energy of laser beams as they make their way toward the target chamber. NIF recently achieved a 500 terawatt shot—then...
Researchers create first 'water-wave laser'
Researchers have demonstrated that laser emissions can be created through the interaction of light and water waves. This 'water-wave laser' could someday be used in tiny sensors or 'lab-on-a-chip' devices...
Quantum film sensor stops delivery drones crashing into things
Better navigation with quantum dotsInVisageBy David HamblingA sensor due for launch early next year allows small drones to sense and avoid obstacles with the aid of quantum film. The drone revolution...
Disco-ball sail propelled by laser could fly to a nearby star
Disco-dancing towards the starsChristian Baecke/EyeEm/GettyBy Timothy RevellCone-shaped sails are so last year. If we really want to send probes outside our solar system, spherical sails may be the way...
Britain to develop futuristic laser weapon
The futuristic "energy" cannon is set to be created under a £30m deal being finalised by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).It forms the first part of a programme aimed at showing how pioneering technology,...
Drones get first anti-laser lasers to stop being shot down
Drones now need protectionErik Simonsen/GettyBy David HamblingLasers have entered the arms race. As more countries equip their militaries with high-energy laser weapons, new defences are needed. Enter...
Laser made from human blood could help hunt down tumours
Laser to light up tumoursAlfred Pasieka/SPLThat warm glow inside could be more than a metaphor. Researchers are working on a laser made out of blood that would emit infrared light, allowing doctors to...
Marine Corps wants to put lasers on F-35 (and everything else)
EnlargeLockheed Martin reader comments 47 Share this story At a breakfast with defense reporters this week, Marine Corps Lt. General Robert Walsh, the commanding general of the Corps' Combat Development...
Fluorescent jellyfish proteins light up unconventional laser
Useful proteinsAlexander Semenov/Moment Open/GettyBy Emily BensonSafer lasers to map your cells could soon be in the offing – all thanks to the humble jellyfish. Conventional lasers, like the pointer...
Donald Trump took 12 questions during Reddit AMA, says NASA is “wonderful”
Donald Trump reader comments 17 Share this story Further ReadingTrump University and the art of the get-rich seminarOn Wednesday evening, Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate, took to Reddit...
Making bright X-ray pulses with shapely electron bunches
An undulator, or wiggler, used in a free electron laser.UCLA Particle Beam Physics Lab reader comments 2 Share this story Lots of interesting stuff happens really fast. Think about a chemical reaction,...
Mars rover's laser can now target rocks all by itself
New software is enabling ChemCam, the laser spectrometer on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover, to select rock targets autonomously -- the first time autonomous target selection is available for an instrument...
Humanity Could Be 'Backed Up' On Space Chip
A new project called Voices of Humanity wants to build a sophisticated ground-based laser and robotic telescope.This would allow someone's data to be encoded then transmitted via laser to any target in...
Hard time for man who fired laser pointer at CHP aircraft
demonsparkx reader comments 22 Share this story Further ReadingAfter “egregious” laser strike case, judge hands down 18-month sentenceA Fresno-area man who initially made a baffling attempt to explain...
See world's brightest X-ray laser blast water droplets
It's a cool video -- the world's brightest X-ray laser vaporizes water droplets, scattering them away. Beyond just being a great visual, this moment captured by scientists at the Department of Energy's...
Caught on camera: First movies of droplets getting blown up by X-ray laser
Researchers have made the first microscopic movies of liquids getting vaporized by the world’s brightest X-ray laser. The new data could lead to better and novel experiments at X-ray lasers, whose extremely...
Laser pulses: Conductors for protons
Light can conduct the play of atoms and molecules in the microcosm. Humans manage to interfere with this play. Researchers from the Laboratory of Attosecond Physics (LAP) of the Max Planck Institute of...
Laser Brain Cancer Treatment May Offer Extra Advantage
Neurosurgeons using lasers to treat brain cancer have discovered that the technique breaks down the blood-brain barrier, a finding that could lead to new treatment options for patients with the deadly...
Introducing the disposable laser
Since lasers were invented more than 50 years ago, they have transformed a diverse swath of technology -- from CD players to surgical instruments. Now researchers have invented a way to print lasers that's...
Man who shot laser at ferry slapped with $100,000 fine
MV Tokitae.Bob JensenA man who pointed a high-powered blue laser at a Washington State Ferry last year has been ordered to pay a $100,000 civil penalty by the US Coast Guard in Seattle. The civil penalty...
Four Huge Laser Beams Create Artificial Stars
Four super-powerful lasers have lit up the sky in Chile - creating artificial guide stars to help with space exploration. The most powerful laser guide star system in the world has been switched on at...
After “egregious” laser strike case, judge hands down 18-month sentence
The FBI's new "laser strikes" poster.FBIFurther Reading“Dumb” man gets six months for aiming laser at police helicopterOfficers responding to laser-strike call sustained serious injuries in crash.With...
Scientists discover how to control heart cells using a laser
Scientists have discovered how to control the behavior of heart muscle cells (cardiomyocytes) using laser radiation. The new study will help scientists to better understand the mechanisms of the heart...
World's brightest X-ray laser boosted with $1 billion upgrade
The world's brightest X-ray laser, SLAC's LCLS, has received a $1 billion cash injection to vastly improve its capabilities and our understanding of how the world works on the atomic level.The Department...
New laser to shine light on remote sensing
A revolutionary new type of laser is promising major advances in remote sensing of greenhouse gases. The new work has shown that the new laser can operate over a large range within the infrared light spectrum....
Major upgrade will boost power of world's brightest x-ray laser
Construction will begin on a major upgrade to a unique X-ray laser. The project will add a second X-ray laser beam that’s 10,000 times brighter, on average, than the first one and fires 8,000 times faster,...
World’s most powerful X-ray laser to get a major upgrade
The experimental setups can be very complex, with imaging equipment, other sensors, sample handling hardware, and more all accessing the site where the beam comes through.John TimmerToday, the SLAC National...
Here's a plan for a cloaking device to hide the Earth from scary aliens - CNET
Nothing to see here... NASA What if there is extraterrestrial intelligence out there in the universe, but the aliens turn out to be hostile? Think "Independence Day" rather than "E.T." If that's the case,...
Laser Cloak Could Hide Earth From Aliens
A laser cloak could hide Earth from potential alien invaders. Professor David Kipping, an astronomer at Columbia University in New York, says the relatively simple concept could make the Earth invisible...
Having a fridge laser could spare you from food poisoning
Tomaž ŠtolfaWhile figuring out whether the leftovers in your fridge have gone bad or not, the sniff-test just doesn’t cut it. But unfortunately, there are virtually no consumer-based tests to assure you...
By 'growing' lasers, scientists open the door to lightning-fast computing
Our computers are limited in speed by their interconnects. As our electronics get quicker and more complex, the materials that we make them out of are increasingly struggling to cope.But there's light...
Giant step towards 'holy grail' of silicon photonics
It is believed the breakthrough could lead to ultra-fast communication between computer chips and electronic systems and therefore transform a wide variety of sectors, from communications and healthcare...
These glasses use lasers to help those with poor vision
A new pair of glasses have been developed with a mini-laser in to help those with poor eyesight see better - but could also have benefits to the VR world as well.They look like a normal pair of glasses,...
Putting bubbles on hold to unlock secrets of boiling
It can obviously be proven false if you're willing to wait around long enough, but researchers have added some truth to the old adage that a watched pot never boils. They've managed to put a boiling bubble...
Get Bohm Bluetooth noise-canceling headphones for $69.99 - CNET
CNET's Cheapskate scours the Web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. And find more great buys on the CNET Deals...
Father.IO turns the world into a laser tag playground
The latest real-life take on laser tag uses augmented reality, a small infrared peripheral, and your smartphone's Internet capabilities to put you at war with people both in your area and around the world....
Modified laser cutter prints 3-D objects from powder
An open-source system has been created that uses a laser to melt powdered plastics and biomaterials into intricate 3-D designs. The OpenSLS selective laser sintering system costs about 40 times less than...
Watch a homemade flip-open batarang do some batastic damage - CNET
Sure Batman might have some really cool toys, but it's kind of hard to beat the simple elegance of the batarang. Part boomerang, part ninja throwing star, the whizzing weapon has delivered plenty of "kablooeys"...
Pope's plane reports laser flash
Crew on Pope Francis's flight from Cuba to Mexico last Friday reported a laser beam incident, the airline has said in a statement. The captain, Massimiliano Marselli, reported the laser sighting to the...
Pope’s plane hit by a laser in Mexico City
Pilot flying the pope's plane was hit by a laser beam as the plane landed in Mexico City on Friday.ychamyuenLast Friday, a charter Alitalia plane carrying Pope Francis was struck by a laser beam as it...
Laser strike forces Virgin Atlantic flight to turn back to London
Adrian PingstoneA Virgin Atlantic aircraft was forced to abandon its flight from London to New York after it was "hit by a laser strike." Not long into the flight, a pilot on the aircraft—which had set...
How Dangerous Are Laser Beams To Planes?
As a commercial jet is forced to abandon its course after a laser beam is shone into its cockpit, Sky News looks at high intensity lasers and the dangers they pose to aircraft if used recklessly. The...
Plane turned back by 'laser incident'
A flight heading to New York turned back to London Heathrow Airport after a "laser beam incident", Virgin Atlantic has confirmed. A crew member is recorded saying to Irish air traffic control that they...
NASA's new laser-based modem could revolutionize data-crunching
For years now, fiber optics has been synonymous with super-speed communications and data transfer, but now NASA is working to develop the next generation of high-speed modems using an emerging technology...
Tiniest particles shrink before exploding when hit with x-ray laser
Researchers assumed that tiny objects would instantly blow up when hit by extremely intense light from the world’s most powerful X-ray laser. But to their astonishment, these nanoparticles initially shrank...
First high speed laser communication satellite set for launch
Space-based laser communications are moving out of the testing phase and into orbit as the first satellite in the European DAta Relay System (EDRS), or SpaceDataHighway, prepares for launch at the end...
Defense Department seeks to bring back anti-ballistic missile lasers—on drones
The YAL-1 Airborne Laser platform showed lasers could blow up missiles during boost phase. But it was way too big, too expensive, and had to get too close to launch sites. Drones could solve all three...
“Dumb” man gets six months for aiming laser at police helicopter
Prosecutors say that Johnny Quenga had a laser mounted to an airsoft rifle like this.Eastern District of CaliforniaFurther ReadingMan says he was “dumb” when he fired a laser at police helicopterListening...
A sense for infrared light
Through a lithium niobate crystal the laser physicists generate a few femtoseconds only infrared pulse. The waveform of the infrared light can be analyzed thoroughly by the researchers. Credit: Thorsten...
X-ray breakthrough 'opens door' to controlled nuclear fusion
A new technique to monitor a process called 'fast ignition' has been developed, in what could be a critical step towards a viable method of creating controlled nuclear fusion.Fusion ignition, the point...
Graphene plasmons used to create tunable terahertz laser
(Phys.org)—A team of researchers working at the University of Manchester in the U.K has developed a tunable teraherz laser using the unique properties of graphene plasmons. In their paper published in...
New twists in the diffraction of intense laser light
A discovery by University of Strathclyde researchers could have a major impact on advancing smaller, cheaper, laser-driven particle accelerators – and their potential applications. The research found...
Dozens of children suffer eye damage as a result of lasers
Mr Quhill has treated 10 children who have suffered permanent damage after laser beams were shone in their eyes since 2012 and after contacting other ophthalmologists in the UK, discovered at least another...
Why better technology won’t stop violent videos going viral
Will technology help to combat violent videos on Facebook?Reuters/Dado RuvicBy Chelsea WhyteOn Easter Sunday, a man chose 74-year old Robert Godwin Sr at random on a street in Cleveland, Ohio, shot him,...
Facebook and Apple have spent more on lobbying than they ever have this year
As Facebook has been tinkering with brain-computer interfaces and an augmented reality camera platform, it's also been cultivating some good old fashioned Washington influence. According to federal lobbying...
Facebook is looking to hire a head of news products to combat fake news
Facebook is looking to hire someone to head up its news products, a significant new role charged with helping to combat the proliferation of so-called fake news on its service. Facebook is talking to...
Facebook's moonshots: Making brains type and skin hear
It looks like just another beige office park building next to a dental office in Menlo Park, California. Yet Building 8, across the street from Facebook’s main campus, houses the social network’s biggest...
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