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Ben Coxworth

Purdue University's new app could keep unsuspecting travelers from ordering dishes such as...

Once when I was visiting Montreal, I went into a restaurant and discovered that the menu was entirely in French. Not wanting to admit that I couldn’t read the language, I was instead forced to order the only two things I recognized the names of: Caesar salad and calamari. Had smartphones been around at the time, I definitely could have used Purdue University’s new food translator app. It not only translates the names of foreign-language dishes, but it also tells you what they are and what’s in them.  Read More

Newly-developed superconductive sapphire wires are reportedly about to carry 40 times more...

One of the limitations of traditional copper electrical wiring is the fact that the metal’s resistance causes the wire to heat up, and some of the energy being carried through the wire is lost in the form of that heat. Wires made from superconducting materials, however, would have no resistance, so could transfer much more energy. While previous attempts at the technology have proven too fragile or expensive, researchers from Tel Aviv University have now developed a new type of cost-effective superconductive wire, that they claim can carry 40 times more electricity than copper wiring of the same size.  Read More

A simulation of a magnetic nanocontact shows how it causes spin waves to spread like rings...

The microwave technology used in applications such as mobile phones and wireless networks may be on its way to being replaced - with parts that are smaller, less expensive, and that consume less resources. Instead of microwaves, devices of the future may use spin waves, which are nanoscale magnetic waves. For almost ten years, it has been theorized that spin waves could be propagated using magnetic nanocontacts. Recently, scientists from the University of Gothenburg and the Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden, became the first people to demonstrate that the theory meshes with observable phenomena.  Read More

Nike is auctioning off 1,500 pairs of NIKE MAGS, as featured in the movie 'Back to the Fut...

Well, you may have heard rumblings about hints made at a mysterious press event that just took place in Los Angeles, but now it's official: Nike will be auctioning off 1,500 pairs of NIKE MAG high-top sneakers, just like the ones worn in the year 2015 by Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future II. While it isn't clear if the shoes automatically fit themselves to the wearer's feet (as Marty McFly's did), they are at the very least exact visual replicas of the kicks from the movie.  Read More

Contour has released its latest actioncam, the ContourROAM, which is simpler to operate an...

Amongst the various actioncam brands currently in existence, Contour is certainly one of the better-known. Today, the company introduced a new addition to its family, the ContourROAM. Like its predecessors the Contour+ and ContourGPS, it has a rugged cylindrical aluminum body, and a swiveling lens that users aim via two laser beams on either side. Unlike those cameras, however, it can be taken in the water, and goes from being powered off to recording with the push of one button.  Read More

The Flybus consortium is set to start testing its prototype flywheel hybrid bus

Gas/electric hybrid vehicles tend to be pricier than their conventional counterparts, and many people still worry about the limited range of all-electrics. If you want to move away from purely petrol-powered vehicles, though, is there any alternative? The four-company Flybus consortium would definitely say there is. It recently rigged up a bus with a prototype flywheel-based energy recover system, that stores the energy that would be wasted when the vehicle brakes, then returns that energy to the drivetrain when the bus accelerates. The researchers claim that it could deliver hybrid-like fuel economy, at a fraction of the price.  Read More

Audi's all-electric A2 concept car

This Monday, we presented some background information on Audi's all-electric A2 concept car, along with some sketches. Since then, however, the German automaker has released additional details about the vehicle, along with some more lifelike renderings - it seems that the actual, physical car won't be revealed until its appearance at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt next week. Among the new things we've learned about the A2: its body is made partly from carbon fiber-reinforced polymer; it features braking, shifting and steering by wire; and it can operate semi-autonomously in slow-moving traffic.  Read More

The FiLMiC Pro app allows film-makers to manually control various aspects of their iPhone'...

So, you’ve put a DSLR lens on your iPhone’s camera, added directional stereo mics, and mounted the whole shebang on a miniature camera dolly ... what more could you do to turn your iPhone into a little movie camera? Well, you could gain some manual control over the way in which it captures video – after all, serious film-makers usually don’t just leave everything set on auto. That’s where the FiLMiC Pro app comes in.  Read More

The Apollo 12 landing site, as photographed by LROC

True story: when I was a little kid and was at an observatory looking at the Moon through a telescope, I loudly proclaimed "I think I can see one of the moon buggies!" Everyone laughed, and I felt stupid. Well, several decades later, I've been somewhat vindicated. Although it's not an earthbound telescope, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) did recently capture images of the Apollo 12, 14 and 17 landing sites. The Apollo 17 lunar rover is indeed visible, as are the descent stages of the three spacecraft, and foot paths made by the astronauts.  Read More

The Motorola Droid Bionic smartphone will be available to consumers starting tomorrow

First unveiled this January at CES, Motorola’s flagship Droid Bionic smartphone will finally be available to consumers as of tomorrow. Featuring a dual-core 1 GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM and a 4.3-inch qHD display, the Android phone utilizes Verizon's new LTE 4G network, which is claimed to be the fastest in the U.S. Its other specs aren’t too shabby, either.  Read More

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