Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Darren Quick

The UK spaceport would court commercial spaceflight operators, such as Virgin Galactic (Ph...

The commercialization of space travel is picking up pace with companies like SpaceX and Virgin Galactic leading the way. In a bid to ensure it doesn't miss out on the potential economic benefits of commercial spaceflights, the UK is looking to construct its first spaceport, with a shortlist of eight potential sites announced at the Farnborough Air Show.  Read More

The first experimental evidence has shown that clusters of 40 boron atoms form a molecular...

Buckyballs (or Buckminsterfullerene), the soccer ball-like structures of 60 carbon atoms, have a new playmate. Previously only theorized, researchers from Brown University in the US and Shanxi and Tsinghua Universities in China have been the first to experimentally observe a boron "buckyball."  Read More

Boeing's Space Bins will stow six bags, two more than the current pivot bins installed on ...

Seasoned travelers know the benefits of restricting luggage to carry-on, letting them smugly cruise past the suckers waiting at baggage claim at the end of a flight. But with the number of people going carry-on only, finding space in the overhead compartments can be a hassle. Boeing's new Space Bins overcome this problem, with each storing two more bags than the current bins.  Read More

Still images drawn with the 'nano-pixel' technology that each measure around 70 micrometre...

The Retina displays featured on Apple's iPhone 4 and 5 models pack a pixel density of 326 ppi, with individual pixels measuring 78 micrometers. That might seem plenty good enough given the average human eye is unable to differentiate between the individual pixels, but scientists in the UK have now developed technology that could lead to extremely high-resolution displays that put such pixel densities to shame.  Read More

LG Display's new flexible OLED panel can be rolled up to a radius of 3 cm

After unveiling the world's first flexible OLED TV at CES earlier this year, LG has gone a step further with the unveiling of two new 18-inch OLED panels: the first is a transparent display, while the second can be rolled up. Although both fall short of the 77-inch flexible TV on show at CES, the company says the new panels prove that it has the technology to bring rollable TVs with screens in excess of 50 inches to market in the future.  Read More

Sandia’s Daniel Dedrick visits a station in Oakland,  California, as part of a study into ...

Hydrogen fueled vehicles, such as Toyota's FCV and Hyundai's Tuscon Fuel Cell, face a chicken or egg predicament: consumers are rightfully hesitant to invest in such vehicles if they don't have a convenient way to refuel them, and energy companies don't want to cough up dollars for costly infrastructure without significant numbers of such vehicles on the road. But a study by researchers at Sandia National Laboratories says that more existing gas stations in California could readily integrate hydrogen fuel than previously thought.  Read More

UC Riverside researchers have developed a lithium-ion battery with superior performance us...

Conventional lithium-ion batteries rely on anodes made of graphite, but it is widely believed that the performance of this material has reached its zenith, prompting researchers to look at possible replacements. Much of the focus has been on nanoscale silicon, but it remains difficult to produce in large quantities and usually degrades quickly. Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have overcome these problems by developing a lithium-ion battery anode using sand.  Read More

The Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) has been established to standardize Internet of Thi...

The flood of smart devices aimed at hooking into the Internet of Things (IoT) seems to be turning into a flood of consortia of industry heavyweights looking to standardize the IoT. First we had the AllSeen Alliance, which was followed by the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) and now we have the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC), which boasts Atmel, Dell, Broadcom, Intel, Samsung and Wind River as members.  Read More

Astronomers have disproved the existence of two exoplanets thought to orbit Gliese 581 in ...

Those packing their bags for a trip to the two potentially habitable exoplanets previously claimed to be orbiting the red dwarf star Gliese 581 had better rethink their travel plans. Astronomers at Pennsylvania State University say the planets, Gliese 581 d and Gliese 581 g, don't actually exist.  Read More

KIST researchers have developed a material that has properties similar to graphene but is ...

For all the attention graphene gets thanks to its impressive list of properties, how many of us have actually encountered it in anything other than its raw graphite form? Show of hands. No-one? That's because it is still difficult to mass-produce without introducing defects. Now a team at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) has developed a graphene substitute from plastic that offers the benefits of graphene for use in solar cells and semiconductor chips, but is easy to mass-produce.  Read More

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