on Friday, 13 June 2014
NASA scientist and Advanced Propulsion Team Lead Harold White has the kind of job thousands dream of and few achieve — he’s in charge of the space agency’s efforts to determine if a faster-than-light warp drive is actually possible and, if it is, how we might create one. Now, in conjunction with artist Mark Rademaker, White has unveiled a new starship model that illustrates how our consideration of the concept has evolved over the decades.
on Thursday, 12 June 2014
Despite a flood of Sunday morning hype, it’s questionable whether computers crossed an artificial intelligence threshold last weekend. However, the news about a chatbot with the personality of a 13-year-old Ukrainian boy passing the Turing test did get us thinking: Is tricking every third human in a text exchange really the best way to measure computer intelligence?
on Wednesday, 11 June 2014
The promise of virtual reality is true immersion—the idea that we’ll be able to step into a whole new digital world and feel like it’s actually real. This simply can’t be realized if we’re holding a game controller in our hands. Last year, a Canadian startup called Thalmic Labs showed off the Myo motion-sensing, muscle-reading armband, which gets us one step closer to the VR of our dreams—by freeing up our hands. Now the company has a final hardware design for the $149 Myo, and says that it will begin shipping in September.
Imagine owning an upmarket, 25-jewel, Swiss-movement mechanical watch. Now imagine one that that can display text messages, notify you of incoming calls and let you remotely control your smartphone or tablet. That may seem a bit farfetched, but Kairos Watches aims to combine a luxury mechanical watch with the functionality of a smartwatch in one seamless device.
Tired of dragging the mouse every time you want to perform even the most basic tasks on the computer? Here’s help. Did you know, for example, that you don’t need the mouse to select text, switch between programmes, or open and close browser windows?

Research reveals a bright future for a new lighting technology

A flexible, lightweight panel made by GE provides diffuse light. The panel is made of organic light-emitting diodes, or OLEDs. This kind of lighting could be more efficient and versatile than old-style light bulbs.
Flick on a light at home and chances are a glass bulb or tube will start to glow. The two most common types of electric lights — incandescent and fluorescent — have worked pretty well for a long time. Make that too long: Both types are so last century.

The team behind the Department of Energy’s solar program SunShot internally calls one of its projects “the Steve Jobs solicitation.” That’s the one officially named “Plug and Play Photovoltaics,” which is using $21 million to support projects that try to turn the process of installing solar panels on rooftops into an easy, simple and ultimately one-step product — a far cry from the current lengthy and relatively complicated process it is today.
on Tuesday, 10 June 2014
As talk heats up about the expected 3D head tracking of Amazon’s smartphone, don’t count Microsoft out of the handset gestures game. The company is working on a way to navigate around Windows Phone without touching the screen, using Kinect-like gestures to work with apps and games. A Monday morning report from The Verge suggests that Nokia’s successor to the Lumia 1020 (below), codenamed McLaren, will be the first Windows Phone with these features.