tech e blog

Nanowire Battery

University of California, Irvine researchers used gold and some new-fangled materials to create a nanowire battery that maintains power levels even after hundreds of thousands of charging cycles. Normal rechargeable lithium ion batteries lose charge over time, while this new nanowire-based battery material endured a 3-month testing period - charged 200,000 times - and didn't show any loss in power capacity. Continue reading for a video and more information.

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Real World Illusion

Photo credit: Mail Online

Cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman believes that our reality is just an illusion being generated in real-time, similar to The Matrix, but far more complex. "Neuroscientists tell us that they are creating, in real time, all the shapes, objects, colors, and motions that we see. It feels like we're just taking a snapshot of this room the way it is, but in fact, we're constructing everything that we see. We don't construct the whole world at once. We construct what we need in the moment," said Hoffman during a TED Talk. Continue reading for another video and more information.

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Stephen Hawking Aliens

Stephen Hawking announced today that he's partnered with Russian billionaire Yuri Milner and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to launch project "Breakthrough Starshot". This $100-million endeavor will utilize 'nanocraft' flying technology, or in other words, sails pushed by beams of light through the universe. Their goal is a 20-year mission to reach the Alpha Centauri star system, located 25-trillion miles away, in search of intelligent alien life. Continue reading for another video and more information.

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KELT-4ab

Astronomers have discovered a new planet with three suns, KELT-4Ab, one in which they call a "hot Jupiter", or a huge gas planet that orbits closer to its parent planet than Mercury does to our Sun. The KELT-4 system itself is located only 680 light-years away, enabling researchers to probe the system further for potential answers as to why it does exist. The ESA's Gaia satellite will also study the system and measure the orbiting paths of the three suns, providing insight into how KELT-BC could have interacted with KELT-4Ab to propel it closer to the parent star. Continue reading for one more picture and additional information.

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Thermite Launcher

Inventor Colin Furze is back at it again, and this time, he's created a Steampunk-style thermite launcher that will burn anything in its path, literally. For those who aren't familiar with the substance, Thermite is basically a pyrotechnic composition of metal powder fuel and metal oxide. When ignited by heat, thermite undergoes an exothermic reduction-oxidation (redox) reaction. Most varieties are not explosive but can create brief bursts of high temperature in a small area. Continue reading to watch the two-part "making of" series.

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Wind Powered Skyscraper

The team at Paolo Venturella Architecture wanted to create a unique structure designed to fight global warming, so they unveiled plans for a "Global Cooling Skyscraper". This unique structure extends into space to provide a barrier between the Earth and Sun in the form of a greenhouse. Accumulating heat propels air to flow, thus generating wind to cool the planet and provide clean energy for all. Continue reading for more pictures and information.

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Doomsday Seed Vault

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, better known as the Doomsday Seed Vault, is basically a secure seed bank on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen near Longyearbyen in the remote Arctic Svalbard archipelago, 810-miles from the North Pole. Approximately 1.5 million distinct seed samples of agricultural crops are thought to exist. The variety and volume of seeds stored will depend on the number of countries participating - the facility has a capacity to conserve 4.5 million. The first seeds arrived in January 2008. Five percent of the seeds in the vault, about 18,000 samples with 500 seeds each, come from the Centre for Genetic Resources of the Netherlands (CGN), part of Wageningen University, Netherlands. By 2013, approximately one-third of the genera diversity stored in gene banks globally was represented at the Seed Vault. Click here to view more pictures of the Doomsday Seed Vault. Continue reading for two more videos and additional information.

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Exploding Star Shockwave

Type II Supernovae, like the one above, happen when a star runs out of internal fuel and collapses on itself, thanks to gravity. NASA's research team, lead by astrophysics professor Peter Garnavich, have reconstructed this event into footage to reveal the bright shockwave that occurred in the early part of the supernova event of a massive star 500-times the size of our sun located 1.2 billion light years away. Continue reading for another video and more information.

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Triton Gills

We've covered Triton before, but these special gills have now gone from concept drawings to reality. The company states that when users inhale, oxygen flows in, while the microporous hollow fiber keeps water out. Air gets stored in a powerful micro compressor run by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery once inhaled. This $300 device is claimed to offer up to 45-minutes of underwater time. Click here to view the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading for the five most popular viral videos today, including one of mind-blowing magic magnets.

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Metamaterial Invisibility Cloak

Photo credit: Mail Online

Scientists have created a metamaterial-based invisibility cloak that replicates how cephalopods, such as squid or octopus, blend in with their environment and avoid predators. Basically, one side of the cloak has thousands of tiny light-sensitive cells that can detect surrounding colors, thus triggering electrical signals to imitate them by using heat-sensitive dyes, with the entire process taking a mere 2-3 seconds. "I have high hopes for its use in military camouflage. At the moment the military spends millions of dollars developing new camouflage patterns but they're all static right now, they don't change. If you put a pattern designed for the forest into the desert, it is not going to function. Dynamic camouflage would allow soldiers and their vehicles to adapt to their surroundings instantly," said engineering professor Xuanhe Zhao, at MIT. Click here to view the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading for the five most popular viral videos today, including one of a nuclear submarine breaking through thick ice in the Arctic Circle.

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