Flying Communications Before The Invention of Headphones

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We take headphones for granted, but back in the days of the World War I flying aces (Red Baron, anyone?) there were no such thing. So how did flying student and instructor communicate over the noise of the airplane’s motor? With this contraption invented at the British flying school at Gosport, England: … device whereby […]

Free Online AI Course Draws 70,000 Student Hopefuls

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Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (AI 101), a course offered through a partnership with the Stanford School of Engineering for free online from October 10 through December 16, has received more than 70,000 pre-registration sign-ups. Participants will be allowed to register in late summer, according to ai-class.com. The instructors, Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig are rockstars […]

Technology is neutral: cops and robbers both benefit from BlackBerries

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Social networking and mobile phones have been blamed by some for fuelling last week’s riots in the United Kingdom. But now police say they were able to use the technology to head off attacks at high-profile targets. While some of the less academically gifted rioters published their intentions on Twitter or Facebook, some ringleaders communicated […]

Music-Reading, Singing Robot Head Not Even a Little Creepy… Really [Video]

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I’d like to start by acknowledging that this is a great achievement robotics–this machine can read and translate notes and rhythm from regular sheet music. That’s pretty awesome. But the weird Plasticine skin and jerky facial movement is straight out of every nightmare I had between the ages of four and ten. Chyi-Yeu Lin and colleagues […]

The History of Mobile Productivity [Infographic]

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For a larger version, click here. [companionlink]

Inside the Google Robocar [Video]

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YouTuber jurvetson got to ride in one of the Google Robocars on  and according to him, “it was thrilling.” It looks like a good time, anyway, and based on research of driving habits, autonomous vehicles aren’t really as scary as the idea of autonomous vehicles. No need to look for a parking space; just let the car […]

Microbots Are Frighteningly Lifelike [Video]

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These millimeter-long microbots can swim and move other, heavier objects. Made up of grouped microparticles and powered by magnets, they arrange into tiny little starbursts and kind of swim around… then, because they can, the microbots unhinge their jaws(?!) and grab non-magnetic objects and move them about. In fact, it’s eerily similar to watching a […]

30 Years of the PC: an Infographic Timeline

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PC Mag is celebrating the PC’s third decade (and the 30th year of its own publication, too) with an illustrated history of the technology and magazine, including notable names, hardware and benchmarks along the way. Follow along with our timeline as we point out a few of the important folks, products, and waystations in this […]

Building blocks come into the 21st century

Sometimes the free market produces products that fill a genuine need at a sensible price. But sometimes it produces stuff that’s just plain neat. Today marks the sales launch of Sifteo Cubes, which were first unveiled back at January’s CES show. They are simply 1.5 inch cubes with an electronic display, wi-fi connection and three-dimensional […]

Facebook gets into mobile messaging

Facebook has launched an all-in-one messaging app that blurs the line between social networking and texting. The standalone app, available for both iPhone and Android handsets, is set-up to be logged into a Facebook account. Users can then send a message to one friend or multiple people at once. To select recipients, the user simply […]

Now that’s what I call a point-and-shoot camera

Two hackers have built a home-made version of an Israeli grenade-launcher camera. It doesn’t actually work, but hey you can’t have everything. Vlad Gostom and Joshua Marpet were the latest pair to show off their work at the DEF CON event in Vegas. They took their idea from a device that’s been developed by an […]

OutRun: The Augmented Reality Version [Video]

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Garnet Hertz’s video game concept car combines a car-shaped arcade game cabinet with a real world electric vehicle to produce a video game system that actually drives. OutRun offers a unique mixed reality simulation as one physically drives through an 8-bit video game. The windshield of the system features custom software that transforms the real […]