Author Archives: Brittany A. Roston


NASA: we’re probably at peak El Niño

NASA: we’re probably at peak El Niño

According to NASA’s Earth Observatory, we’ve “probably reached the peak” of El Niño, though how the coming months will play out isn’t certain. The space agency says it is possible that tropical Pacific waters will be back to neutral by this upcoming summer, or it could play out that we get a La Nina instead, which has happened in the past.

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Researchers find why it’s so hard to break bad habits

Researchers find why it’s so hard to break bad habits

We’re almost a month into those New Year resolutions, but many have already broken them or failed. If you count yourself among those individuals, your lack of success might be due to the seemingly impossible task of breaking a habit — bad or otherwise. It’s well established that changing one’s ways isn’t easy, and researchers have discovered why — you’re literally going against your programming.

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NutriRay3D laser and app scans food, estimates the calories

NutriRay3D laser and app scans food, estimates the calories

The University of Washington has unveiled the prototype of a device called the NutriRay3D, a hand-held nutrition scanner not unlike something out of classic sci-fi movies. The NutriRay3D prototype aims to take the guess work out of calorie counting, keeping track of how many calories as person is consuming simply by scanning the dish and analyzing the calories.

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CogniToys Dino, powered by IBM’s Watson, up for preorder

CogniToys Dino, powered by IBM’s Watson, up for preorder

CogniToys’ Dino, a toy powered by IBM’s Watson, has entered production and is available for pre-order. CogniToys are smart toys that connect to the Internet and, according to the company, “grow alongside your child.” In addition to IBM Watson, the Dino toy — a fun-looking dinosaur that comes in a couple colors — features Elemental Path’s Friendgine tech. The Dino is priced at $99 USD.

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These shoes are ‘knitted’ using a 3D printer

These shoes are ‘knitted’ using a 3D printer

There’s a new pair of shoes pining to get on the market, and they come in a knitted form. Unlike ordinary knitted shoes, though, the JS shoes are created using 3D printers — though you wouldn’t know it by looking at them. According to the shoes’ creator, these are the first 3D knitted shoes ever, and they comes with several benefits, not the least of which are light weights and soft textures.

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Venus flytraps ‘count’ touches to optimize eating bugs

Venus flytraps ‘count’ touches to optimize eating bugs

Venus flytraps are creepy enough on their own — they’re plants that bite down on whatever happens to wonder inside their ‘mouth,’ after all, digesting the poor unwitting creature. As it turns out, though, the plants are more complex than previously known, using a fairly sophisticated ‘counting’ method to determine the size of a bug and how much digestive juices it will take to eat it.

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Facebook COO talks countering extremists with ‘likes’

Facebook COO talks countering extremists with ‘likes’

Facebook and Twitter are two of many online destinations where extremist groups like ISIS share propaganda in an effort to bolster their real-life followers. Critics have accused these online destinations of failing to adequately squash such accounts. In recent days, Facebook unveiled an effort in Europe to help combat hate speech on the social network, and more recently the company's COO Sheryl Sandberg discussed countering extremism with floods of 'likes'.

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DARPA program seeks brain-to-computer translator implant

DARPA program seeks brain-to-computer translator implant

DARPA has revealed details on a new program that is looking to create neural interface implants for transferring data between the digital world and the human brain. According to the research entity, this implant, should it be successfully developed, will serve as a translator for the data between the two, taking data from the brain and translating it into something for computers, and taking data from computers and translating it for the brain.

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Fender in-ear headphones series arrives with 5 models

Fender in-ear headphones series arrives with 5 models

Fender has announced the arrival of its first in-ear headphones, a new product it has rolled out for the 2016 year. Officially called the Fender Pro In-Ear Monitors, this series is comprised of several different earbud models, one of which has an intriguing clear housing. Though they were all launched today, some of the models are listed as "Coming Soon" on the maker's website.

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Samsung wants you to eat with a Gear VR on your face

Samsung wants you to eat with a Gear VR on your face

Imagine the scenario -- you're eating dinner, but it's something you cooked in the microwave and you're sitting at home in your apartment. Yes, a fancy restaurant would be ideal, but that's expensive. The solution? In Samsung's vision of the future, the solution would be strapping one of its Gear VR headsets to your face and eating while surrounded by the virtual version of that aforementioned fancy restaurant.

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Ford Focus door latch issue catches NHTSA attention

Ford Focus door latch issue catches NHTSA attention

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will investigate an issue affecting 2012 and 2013 Ford Focus vehicles that, at times, could prevent the doors from latching properly. The issue is said to affect about 400,000 of the vehicles, and according to some drivers, has at times manifested while the cars are in motion. The NHTSA revealed its plans in new documents released today; this is a similar probe to the one that ultimately lead to Ford and Lincoln recalls in 2015.

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