Harry Potter Hogwarts Acceptance Up For Auction

Auctions houses often have collections of movie props, but one coming up on September 27 may be the motherload. Lots include Harry Potter’s Hogwarts acceptance letter, Christian Bale’s Batman outfit, Marlon Brando’s Apocalypse Now shirt, the Terminator’s shotgun and nearly 600 others. The auction takes place at the BFI Imax theater in London and those of […]

Megabus Straddles Two Lanes Of Traffic

A bus tested in China this week carries 300 passengers without getting in the way of cars. That’s because it straddles the road leaving a two meter high, two lane gap for cars to drive through. The electrically-powered Transit Elevated Bus is 72 feet long and 25 feet wide and is designed to perform the […]

One Step Closer to Skynet: IBM Uses Blu-Ray Tech For Artificial Brain

IBM has created artificial neurons that work in a way much closer to a human brain than previous efforts. It’s a step closer to creating computers that learn in the same way as humans. The project is the latest attempt to overcome the biggest weakness of computers: that in principle a processor can only do […]

Apple Replaces Gun Emoji With Water Pistol

Apple has replaced an emoji of a handgun with one of a toy water pistol. It hasn’t commented on why it made the change. The water pistol is one of “More than one hundred new and redesigned emoji characters” coming to iOS10 in the fall. While Apple hasn’t publicly confirmed this, The Guardian cites unnamed sources […]

Uber To Make Its Own Maps

Uber is to invest in its own set of maps rather than relying on Google. It’s not just a cost issue: the company says a new approach will be needed for autonomous vehicles. While Google does charge for commercial use of its maps, Uber’s move isn’t necessarily a case of cost-cutting. It’s said to be […]

Microsoft Marries Minecraft With Oculus Rift

Microsoft has announced Oculus Rift support for Minecraft. It’s for the Windows 10 version of the game, though whether suspension of disbelief will be possible remains to be seen. The announcement appears to be timed as a last-minute push for the free upgrade offer for Windows 10 that Microsoft says will end today (July 29.) […]

Pokemon No: Backlash Goes Nuclear

The operators of the Fukushima power plant have warned Pokemon Go players to stay clear of nuclear stations despite game characters being (virtually) located there. The call comes from the Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, which says it tested the game at three of its power stations and found characters. The stations include Fukushima Daiichi, […]

Ice Bucket Challenge Pays Off Big Time

The ALS Association says the money raised by the ‘ice bucket challenge’ craze has helped researchers identify a gene that contributes to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. That could provide a new route for providing therapy for the incurable disease. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. […]

Movie Theaters Could Get 3D Without Glasses

MIT researchers have designed a movie theater screen that would allow every viewer to watch in 3D without needing glasses. However, they stress their prototype is not market ready right now. While glasses-free 3D already exists, it isn’t practical for movie theaters. The main version used on TVs involves tiny “parallax barriers” across the screen […]

Digital Copyright Law Could Be Challenged

One of the key elements of US copyright law in the digital age may be challenged in the Supreme Court. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) claims the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) breaches the first amendment. The DMCA, introduced in 1998, includes a controversial measure that reads “No person shall circumvent a technological measure that […]

Mozilla: Flash’s Firefox Days Are Numbered

Mozilla has become the latest browser maker to start phasing out support for Flash. It will start blocking some elements next month before a total block next year. The developer says it has already tweaked Firefox to reduce the reliance on plugins for features such as video streaming and microphone access. But it says its […]

Scientists Find Gold Makes Titanium Even Tougher

Researchers have unintentionally created an alloy that’s four times harder than pure titanium. It could be an unexpected solution to knee and hip implants wearing out. The alloy is beta-Ti3Au, a combination of titanium and gold. A team lead by Professor Emilia Morosan of the Rice University in Houston originally created it as an experiment […]