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World’s largest aircraft damaged on 2nd test flight

By on August 24, 2016 at 7:30 PM.

World’s largest aircraft damaged on 2nd test flight

The developer of the world’s largest aircraft says the blimp-shaped airship sustained damage after it made a bumpy landing Wednesday on its second test flight in eastern England.

Hybrid Air Vehicles said it is trying to figure out what caused the rough landing of the 302-foot (92-meter) Airlander 10 during its 100 minute flight Wednesday in Bedfordshire, north of London.

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Jellyfish Squid Artificial Skin Material

New ‘jellyfish’ material means the Apple store will always know about your water damage

By on August 22, 2016 at 10:00 PM.

New ‘jellyfish’ material means the Apple store will always know about your water damage

Jellyfish and squids are inspiring creatures of the sea and researchers already created a material that mimics some of the properties of their skins. The material could be used to display hidden messages, such as telling an Apple genius that your iPhone was submerged in liquid for a certain amount of time, regardless of what your version of the story is.

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FreeSense Wi-Fi Router Indoor Tracking

New invention could let your home Wi-Fi network track your every move

By on August 22, 2016 at 4:25 PM.

New invention could let your home Wi-Fi network track your every move

Whenever we see the word “tracking,” we expect to find out more details about a covert NSA operation that was unearthed in a new series of Snowden leaks, a story about an application that may have breached your privacy, or an online service that found novel ways of tracking its users. That is the future we live in. And that future is only getting better when it comes to smart connected devices able to perform magical tricks at home.

But for them to automate some of the smart home controls we set up, they’ll need to be able to figure out whether we’re present in a room. So, a team of researchers created a Wi-Fi tracking system that can recognize a person in a room by the way he or she interacts with Wi-Fi signals.

A laptop connected to a dumb Wi-Fi router would be able to tell exactly who it is at home with the help of the new invention. More →

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Olympics Doping Scandal

The US wins Olympic gold in doping

By on August 17, 2016 at 4:29 PM.

The US wins Olympic gold in doping

All the focus is on Russia’s state-sponsored doping program at these Games, but as the Olympics has a long and storied history of athletic prowess, it also has a long and storied history of people getting juiced up to win. As this graphic shows, Team USA has been at the forefront of the Olympic underbelly since doping first became a thing.

Stat put together a visual history of Olympics and doping. They traced the first substance violation to 1968 and Swedish pentathlete Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall, who used alcohol to go faster.

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Terrafugia Flying Car

Company promises autonomous flying car, coming soon

By on August 13, 2016 at 12:00 PM.

Company promises autonomous flying car, coming soon

Which will come first: flying cars, or self-driving cars? Both are technologies that have been in the works for some time, but neither one is remotely ready for mass market. So why not just combine both?

That’s the thinking behind Terrafugia, a flying car company that has already been around for 10 years, and now wants to make an autonomous flying car. I guess no one can accuse them of thinking small!

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Grobo: Growing Weed at Home

This cabinet wants to make growing ‘special plants’ at home easy

By on August 10, 2016 at 10:00 PM.

This cabinet wants to make growing ‘special plants’ at home easy

Gardening at home can be tricky. If you’re growing things indoors, there’s all sorts of pitfalls to consider: lighting, nutrients, space, the cops busting down your door. The last one is kinda hard to deal with, but a new product wants to try and take care of everything else for you.

Grobo is a large cabinet that’s meant to handle every aspect of growing virtually any kind of plant. The founders of the Canadian startup describe it as “Keurig for plants,” only this uses seeds instead of coffee pods. Also, the results take months not minutes.

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Soylent Coffeist Preview

Would you replace breakfast and coffee with this weird-looking shake?

By on August 9, 2016 at 9:00 PM.

Would you replace breakfast and coffee with this weird-looking shake?

Four strips of bacon, pan-fried. Two-egg omelet with cheese, a couple fried tomatoes, and a stack of pancakes. Top with orange juice and coffee, and that sounds like a good breakfast to me.

Instead, Silicon Valley meal-replacement cult Soylent thinks you should just drink this shake and be done with it.

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Zika-Killing Mosquito

The government is deploying mutant super-mosquitoes to flight Zika in Florida. No, really

By on August 5, 2016 at 5:30 PM.

The government is deploying mutant super-mosquitoes to flight Zika in Florida. No, really

The genetically-enhanced super-insects are normally what end up killing the humans in just about every sci-fi dystopia ever. But the FDA doesn’t appear to seen that memo, so on Friday morning, the “What Could Go Wrong?!” department green-lit the use of genetically modified Zika-killing mosquitoes in the Florida Keys.

On Friday morning, the FDA officially approved field trials of a genetically modified mosquito made by biotech company Oxitech. The FDA concluded the trials “will not have significant impacts on the environment.”

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Nanbots Build Carbon-Fiber Hammock

These creepy wall-climbing robots can build entire structures from carbon fiber

By on August 3, 2016 at 8:00 PM.

These creepy wall-climbing robots can build entire structures from carbon fiber

I’ll just say it: a wall-climbing “spiderbot” that spins incredibly strong webs from carbon fiber strands is not the kind of thing I want to be fighting when the robots rise up. But death-by-robotic-web aside, these wall-climbing swarm construction robots mark a breakthrough in robotic construction and bots working together.

The proper name for the spiderbots is the “Mobile Robotic Fabrication System for Filament Structures,” and it’s designed by the Institute for Computational Design at the University of Stuttgart. As Dezeen explains, the system relies on multiple Roomba-esque robots, which climb up walls, passing around a spool of carbon fiber to weave an intricate structure.

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Zika Florida

The CDC has issued a travel warning for Miami over Zika outbreak

By on August 1, 2016 at 4:50 PM.

The CDC has issued a travel warning for Miami over Zika outbreak

Last week, we got news that Zika is being spread by mosquitos in Florida. That marks the first time that the virus has been contracted in the US, rather than being contracted abroad and brought back.

Today, we’ve got another first: the CDC has issued a travel warning for somewhere inside the United States. Specifically, don’t plan a trip to Miami if you’re going to get pregnant any time soon.

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Ice Bucket Challenge ALS Research

The ice bucket challenge stunt actually led to major ALS research discovery

By on July 28, 2016 at 7:30 AM.

The ice bucket challenge stunt actually led to major ALS research discovery

Remember the ice bucket challenge stunt that went viral almost two years ago? It turns out it was more than a gimmick, as it helped not only spread out awareness about ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), but also provide key funding that allowed researchers to discover one of the genes involved in the disease.

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