Meet the post-modern Prometheus. It's not a monster made out of cadaver parts that University of Southampton scientists have brought to life with the power of lightning, but a rather smaller target: the Nokia 925 smartphone.
Nokia recruited a team led by Neil Palmer, manager of the Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory, for the undertaking. Using the lab's equipment, the team created artificial lightning bolts, which were captured, tamed, and channeled into the smartphone's battery. … Read more
The European Union has been pushing for a universal cell phone charger for years, and on Thursday it took another step forward in this process.
The European Parliament's internal market and consumer protection committee unanimously voted on a legislative resolution to create a law requiring all companies to make the same type of charger. One of the reasons for this resolution is to cut down on e-waste.
"We urge member states and manufacturers finally to introduce a universal charger, to put an end to cable chaos for mobile phones and tablet computers," rapporteur Barbara Weiler said in … Read more
Academia.edu, an Internet startup trying to bring the social dynamics of LinkedIn and Facebook to researchers' professional communications, has raised $11.1 million in a second round of funding.
The company's mission -- to overhaul not just how researchers publish results but also how they judge the quality of one anothers' work -- won over Khosla Ventures for the Series B funding. Khosla led the round, Academia.edu said Thursday, and earlier investors Spark Capital and True Ventures also participated. Ben Ling of Khosla will join Academia's board of directors, and Khosla founder Vinod Khosla will become … Read more
Insects' hemispheric eyes have a wide field of view and high resolution. What if they could be combined with the focusing abilities humans enjoy?
This lens from Ohio State University is a hybrid of both. It has a wide field of view as well as depth of field, and could allow smartphones to take dSLR-level images and or surgeons to see inside their patients more clearly.
Presented earlier this year at an IEEE Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) conference, the prototype lens expands and contracts like the muscles of a human eye to change its shape and focus. … Read more
Deploying robots in dangerous or combat situations can save the lives of human soldiers. The bots can be used for reconnaissance, scouting, search and rescue, detection, even defusing bombs, with the idea being that losing a robot is a far more acceptable outcome than losing a human soldier.
But some soldiers, researcher Julie Carpenter has discovered, develop strong emotional bonds with their mechanized helpers, to the point of experiencing frustration, anger, and grief when the robots are destroyed on the battlefield -- and even holding funerals. … Read more
Dinosaurs are cool. Wind tunnels are cool. Put the two together, and you get an experiment that is immensely cool. Researchers at the University of Southampton in the UK placed a full-scale, anatomically accurate model of a Microraptor into a wind tunnel to learn more about how bird flight evolved.
The Microraptor was a five-winged beastie from the early Cretaceous 120 to 125 million years ago. That's three more wings than we're used to seeing in birds today. It hit that total by having feathers on its arms, legs, and tail. This anatomy has led to debate among scientists about how flight worked for these dinosaurs.… Read more
"Had a few drinks, went straight home."
If you get any of these texts -- and if they're a little longer in coming than usual -- it's very possible that your Chosen One is lying.
No, I don't want to break up your relationship. Well, not unless you need my help. But I've been poring over research from Brigham Young University that tries to discover whether lying texters have a behavior pattern.
You might think that you can spot a liar very easily.
Tom Meservy, … Read more
For the first time in the US, a surgeon wearing Google Glass transmitted video of a surgery, live from the operating room, to a colleague and students miles away.
Dr. Christopher Kaeding was the participating surgeon in the landmark moment, which occurred on August 21 during a routine ACL surgery at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio. Kaeding, director of sports medicine at the university, wore Google Glass while repairing 47-year-old Paula Kobalka's knee, which she injured while playing softball.… Read more
Traditional Japanese archery, or kyudo, involves drawing a bow that can be taller than the archer himself.
You wouldn't think a long flexible bamboo pole makes for a great gaming interface, but Masasuke Yasumoto of Tokyo University of Technology would disagree.
He developed a game called Light Shooter that makes use of a traditional bow, or yumi, as a shooting device. … Read more