research

Acid-spitting beetle could make ATMs more secure

Acid-spitting beetle could make ATMs more secure

So far, the most frustrating thing about ATMs is when they eat your cash card; however, proposed ATMs that spit acid could end up more of an annoyance, at least if you've got illegal intentions toward their contents. The Swiss team was inspired by bombardier beetles - which can cook up a spray of caustic acid when cornered - to create a new anti-theft feature.

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Rare and bizarre megamouth shark caught and cut up

Rare and bizarre megamouth shark caught and cut up

An incredibly rare megamouth shark has been caught in Japan, a deep water species with a distinctly disproportionately scaled body, of which fewer than 100 sightings have been recorded. The shark - so named because of its huge head, far larger than you'd expect in size given the rest of the body - measured around 13 feet in length, and was the subject of a public autopsy by the Marine Science Museum of Shiuoka, Japan.

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NASA eyes Mach 1.6 airliners with sonic-boom autopilot

NASA eyes Mach 1.6 airliners with sonic-boom autopilot

The return of commercial supersonic flight at faster-than-Concorde speeds could be one step closer to reality, with NASA developing real-time sonic boom prediction that would be essential to minimizing the impact of shockwaves on land. NASA's goal is a smart pilot aid that could help plan faster-than-sound travel for a jet able to fly at Mach 1.6 - or 1,218 mph - at altitudes of around 50,000 feet.

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Three months and 13bn years: Birth of the Universe simulated

Three months and 13bn years: Birth of the Universe simulated

The way the universe evolved in the moments right after the Big Bang has been modeled in the most accurate simulation so far, with supercomputers working for a solid three months to crunch the calculations. The model, developed by a research team led by MIT, not only looks at how 41,416 different galaxies formed from dark matter, but goes on to make new predictions about how the raw ingredients are distributed through space.

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Tablet glee dips: Apple and Samsung battle budget slates

Tablet glee dips: Apple and Samsung battle budget slates

Tablet satisfaction has dropped overall, with low-cost - and underwhelming - slates souring the market despite more predictable performance from the better known brands like Apple and Samsung, new research suggests. J.D. Power's latest tablet ownership study found that, overall, satisfaction has dropped to 835 out of 1,000 in 2014, down 18 points from a year ago. That may well be a side-effect of price playing a greater role than before.

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Ambitious Oculus: Billion-player Facebook MMOs and R&D explosion

Ambitious Oculus: Billion-player Facebook MMOs and R&D explosion

Facebook has ambitious plans to use Oculus Rift to create a billion-player game, Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe has teased, immersing social network users in a quite literally massive multiplayer environment, though in the meantime it will focus on a speedier release of the next headset. Oculus VR may be a $2bn addition to Facebook's roster of acquired companies, but the team is still looking at how it can motivate young coders and students to develop new virtual reality applications.

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Science adding new element 117 to Periodic Table

Science adding new element 117 to Periodic Table

Element Z=117 has been acknowledged this week by a team of scientists, these scientists having successfully created several atoms of said element in a lab. This lovely piece of creation will - once it’s finalized - be element 117, for now it’s code-named Ununseptium. Final confirmation will need to be independently carried out - you can’t just jump in after 3 years of research and declare a new element, after all.

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Robot Love: Inside Dean Kamen’s FIRST Championship 2014

Robot Love: Inside Dean Kamen’s FIRST Championship 2014

The screaming in the stadium is so loud, I can hardly hear the announcer. Enthusiasm spills from the stands in waves; only gets louder when President Obama appears on the big screen for an unexpected address. The Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis isn’t playing host to the Rams as usual, however; instead, the seats are filled with row after row of students from K-3 up to high school age, all here for the FIRST Championship 2014. Brainchild of Dean Kamen - better known perhaps for being the father of the Segway - this is no ordinary robotics competition.

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NASA launches Space Station lifeboat project

NASA launches Space Station lifeboat project

If Sandra Bullock in Gravity proved anything, it's that George Clooney is smug even in space and that having an emergency exit back to Earth is probably a good thing. NASA is now working on the latter, with plans to equip the International Space Station (ISS) with a dedicated lifeboat for the first time in forty years, giving the orbiting crew there a place to not only shelter from incidents on the platform, but a way to escape it should something go seriously wrong.

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SpaceX reusable F9R rocket aces 1,000m safe landing trial

SpaceX reusable F9R rocket aces 1,000m safe landing trial

SpaceX has shared new footage of its Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R) rocket being tested only for the second time, carefully blasting up to 1,000m and then safely returning back to the ground. The rocket quadrupled the height that it reached before descending over the first trial, making a landing that was a whole lot more successful than that of the SpaceX Falcon 9 last week.

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