Highlights from the 2015 Geneva Motor Show

Heidi Hoopes

Heidi Hoopes
Heidi measures her life with the motley things she's done in the name of scientific exploration. While formally educated in biology and chemistry, informally she learns from adventures and hobbies with her family. Her simple pleasures in life are finding turtles while jogging and obsessively winnowing through her genetic data.
Top Articles by Heidi Hoopes
  • Fleet of eBee drones capture the immensity of the Matterhorn

    Explorers have mapped the surface of the iconic Matterhorn painstakingly by foot, by satellite, and now by drone, thanks to a small fleet of eBees launched by senseFly and Drone Adventures. The mission not only proved the eBee’s capabilities, but gen...

  • E-volo’s 18-rotor electric Volocopter makes maiden flight

    E-volo recently celebrated the maiden launch of the newest prototype of its electric two-passenger Volocopter, sporting eighteen rotors. The company champions its difference from traditional helicopters, pointing to its ease of flying, green energy s...

  • Nanoparticles found to violate second law of thermodynamics

    Hotter things always release heat to their colder environments, correct? Researchers show that particles on a nanoscale actually fluctuate more than we expect on a macro scale and develop new procedures to test what exactly is happening on the level ...

  • Apps to easily encrypt your text messaging and mobile calls

    Encrypted phone calls and texts are no longer just the domain of the expert or the "bad guy." Gizmag looks at free or inexpensive apps designed to secure your texts and phone calls from man-in-the-middle attacks, provider backdoors, and the weaknesse...

  • Scientists challenge economics of storing renewable energy

    It's easy to assume that renewable wind and solar energy should be stored when production exceeds what the grid is using. But scientists at Stanford have done the math to find when storing energy is better than "wasting” it, and their findings aren't...

Google's new machine learning algorithm was put to the test in 49 classic Atari 2600 games...

In an old school gaming party to end all parties, Google's new deep Q-network (DQN) algorithm is likely to mop the floor with you at Breakout or Space Invaders, but maybe take a licking at Centipede. Provided with only the same inputs as a human player and no previous real-world knowledge, DQN uses reinforcement learning to learn new games, and in some cases, develop new strategies. Its designers argue that this kind of general learning algorithm can crossover into discovery making in other fields.  Read More

Graphene oxide seems to interfere at the cellular membrane level, targeting and neutralizi...

While well known for its unique electromechanical properties, graphene may also prove key in preventing cancer tumor recurrence. A drawback of traditional cancer treatment with radiation and chemotherapy is that the primary developmental source of future tumors is not eradicated. Cancer stem cells, or CSCs, can survive treatment and give rise to recurring tumors, metatasis, and drug resistance after repeated treatments. Researchers from the University of Manchester and the University of Calabria have discovered that graphene oxides targets and neutralize CSCs in a manner that is not yet fully understood.  Read More

Sony's Smart Eyeglass is now available in a Developer's Edition for the creation of applic...

In September, Sony announced its augmented reality wearable Smart Eyeglass, but at that time only the Software Development Kit (SDK) was available for those interested in creating apps for this new Sony platform. Now developers can get their hands, ears, and eyes on the Developer Edition of Sony's chunky AR specs.  Read More

Canary Watch lets you know if a given website has been required to release user data  (Pho...

The idea of a warrant canary in information privacy is the story of one clever workaround and one small paradox, a paradox the newly-launched Canary Watch database aims to track. If an ISP or content provider were required by American national security programs to turn over user data, such as Verizon being forced to release ongoing batches of phone call data under the Patriot Act in 2013 (and furthermore being gagged from warning its users) how would anyone know?  Read More

The Fungi Mutarium is both beautiful and alien, creating edible fungus products out of pla...

"Fungus", "plastic", and "edible" are three words you probably wouldn't think would go together, but Austria-based Livin Studio is keen to make you think again. It is responsible for the Fungal Mutarium, a prototype terrarium that uses bioremediation techniques to destroy plastic while creating edible fungus creations in the form of little pods that can be flavored and filled.  Read More

The Danalock electronic lock installs over existing deadbolts and allows multiple users vi...

I’ve had a basic electronic lock on my door for a few months now, so when Poly-Control offered me the more sophisticated Bluetooth- and Z-Wave-enabled Danalock to review, I was curious to see what it could do. Danalock allows any existing deadbolt to be retrofitted into a system allowing multiple users different levels of access to one or multiple locks, and the Z-Wave compatibility allows incorporation into a larger home automation system. In practice, the promise of the sleek Danalock is slightly quenched by buggy iOS and Android apps, with features that simply don’t work, but the core of the lock still remains functional and appealing.  Read More

Encapsulated toxin-producing stem cells (in blue) help kill brain tumor cells in the tumor...

When it comes to new tumor-fighting treatments, it’s often as much about location, location, location as it is the actual drug interaction. Cytoxin-producing stem cells produced by scientists at Harvard University lodge at the site of brain tumor removal to continually attack remaining tumor cells. As an alternative to drug treatments that can be invasive or ineffective, the researchers saw promising results against glioblastomas, which hold the dubious distinction of being the most common and most fatal brain cancer.  Read More

The arguably cheap iBox Nano prints small but argues that most users only want to print sm...

Bigger is better is generally the mantra when it comes to consumer 3D printers. This is despite the majority of users likely to be only printing smaller objects anyway. Targeting such users, iBox is introducing the smaller-scaled iBox Nano, a portable resin-based 3D printer designed specifically to print cheaply, easily, and quietly at a price far below larger UV-based resin machines, while still maintaining a good print quality.  Read More

The Arduino/Sharebot Materia 101 3D printer

Arduino may be known for revolutionizing open source hardware platforms, but this week enters the 3D printer market with the small and (relatively) affordable Materia 101. Produced in partnership with fellow Italian company Sharebot, the printer is targeted towards educators, beginners, consumers, and makers.  Read More

Free or inexpensive apps to secure your mobile communications (Image: Shutterstock)

Mobile phone users are becoming more savvy to the potential security risks of standard, unencrypted text messaging and wary of government intrusion into everyday communications. Some consumers require encrypted phone calls for information-sensitive business requirements and others just don't like the idea of others prying into their personal lives. Gizmag takes a look at a sampling of the apps available for iOS and Android (and sometimes desktop) to encrypt mobile communications, both text messaging and phone calls.  Read More

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