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ForcePhone lets you squeeze your phone to do things

ForcePhone lets you squeeze your phone to do things

When Apple introduced Force Touch and 3D Touch, it expanded the vocabulary of gestures we can use on smartphones by 1. However, it is still touch-based, short of mind control, the number of ways we can interact with our smartphones are basically limited to touch, voice, and some rudimentary Jedi hand waves. Engineers from the University of Michigan are working on yet another gesture, one that is both interesting yet almost comical at the same time. They want you to be able to squeeze your smartphone, not to death, but to control it.

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Evidence of Martian ice age discovered

Evidence of Martian ice age discovered

A team of scientists at the Southwest Research Institute have been pouring over data collected by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and report that they have found evidence of an ice ago in the polar deposits of Mars. The team says that the same forces that drive ice ages here on Earth drive ice ages on Mars. Those forces are long-term cyclical changes in the orbit and tilt of the planet that directly affect how much solar radiation the planet receives at each latitude.

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Team finds mysterious cave circles were made by Neanderthals

Team finds mysterious cave circles were made by Neanderthals

About 176,500 years ago, Neanderthals created a pair of stone rings far within a cave (located in France) from stalagmites cut to similar heights ranging up to 16-inches. Why? No one knows. However, the discovery — which was made back in 1990 — was recently the subject of a study that found the structures date back to a time when Neanderthals would have made them. This further underscores reshaped notions of how intelligent Neanderthals were, and reveals a big mystery surrounding a possible ritual site.

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Modern oceans may be home to massive, seemingly mythical, squid

Modern oceans may be home to massive, seemingly mythical, squid

As if murky water you can't see through wasn't frightening enough, a newly published study suggests there could be massive squid -- the kind you read about in mythological texts and fantasy books -- swimming around present-day oceans. Search squid sizes on Google and you'll see notes about how squids top out around 13m/43ft in length -- according to this study, though, the correct size may be closer to 65ft.

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Google digs self-driving roots in heart of old-school automaker territory

Google digs self-driving roots in heart of old-school automaker territory

Google is setting down roots in traditional automaker territory, announcing plans to open a self-driving technology development center in Novi, Michigan. The news marks a scaling-up of Google's footprint in the region; the company already had some of its autonomous car team based in Greater Detroit, it said today, but this new move will see considerably more resources funneled into the project.

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NASA uses crash dummies in extreme Orion drop tests

NASA uses crash dummies in extreme Orion drop tests

NASA’s Orion spacecraft will eventually make a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean with living astronauts inside — those astronauts will experience “some of the greatest forces on the human body,” according to the space agency. Before that time comes, though, NASA is fitting Orion with crash test dummies and sending them through this rapid deceleration first to see what happens.

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Ancient beer discovery hints China had ‘advanced brewing’ 5,000 years ago

Ancient beer discovery hints China had ‘advanced brewing’ 5,000 years ago

China was home to ‘advanced beer-brewing’ techniques 5,000 years ago, a new study suggests, and it may have been the reason barley was imported and established in the region. Researchers have reached their conclusion based on the analysis of pottery vessel remnants with ancient beer residue inside; this ancient beer recipe includes millet, Job’s tears, tubers, and barley in the ingredients.

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DARPA awards contract for underwater positioning system

DARPA awards contract for underwater positioning system

The U.S. Navy has autonomous watercraft aspirations, and it needs a way for future unmanned (and manned) subs to navigate accurately. Here to help is DARPA, which has selected BAE Systems to create an underwater positioning system for deep ocean navigation (POSYDON). The program will produce a navigation system that eliminates the need to surface for updated GPS data.

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This breathalyzer wearable detects alcohol levels through the skin

This breathalyzer wearable detects alcohol levels through the skin

Wearables can track can track all kinds of health a fitness data these days, but here's one that focuses on something different: how much alcohol you drink. Called BACTrack Skyn, the wristband acts like a wearable breathalyzer, even though you don't technically breathe into it. Instead, it measures blood alcohol levels through you skin using fuel cell technology similar to what law enforcement relies on.

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Superjet desert tests pave way for ultra-fast commercial flights

Superjet desert tests pave way for ultra-fast commercial flights

The future of long-distance travel is looking more exciting than ever -- forget Amtrak, we'll have a Hyperloop. And what about flights? Work has been underway to create a so-called 'superjet' able to travel at ridiculously fast speeds, and that technology was recently successfully tested in the Australian desert. The effort, a collaboration between U.S. and Australian military research teams, involves hypersonic technology able to take planes from Sydney to London in a mere two hours.

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April was the 12th consecutive ‘hottest’ recorded month

April was the 12th consecutive ‘hottest’ recorded month

Every month brings the same news -- that month was the new 'hottest' month on record, edging past the previous month to paint a dire picture for the planet's climate. Soon enough, the record-breaking had formed a trend, and now NOAA has confirmed the news: we’ve officially had a year-long streak of record-breaking warm weather. The temps were detailed in NOAA’s latest State of the Climate report.

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IBM’s 3-bit phase-change memory could combine RAM, flash

IBM’s 3-bit phase-change memory could combine RAM, flash

In an ideal world, computers would only have one type of data storage, but thanks to the laws of physics and businesses, we have two main types (three if you count CPU L caches). There's DRAM or RAM, which is fast, expensive, and doesn't retain its data without power. And then there's regular storage, today represented by NAND flash, which has more capacity, retains its data longer, but is slower in comparison. Combining all those benefits, without the drawbacks, has been one of the holy grails of computing. And IBM might have found its version of the answer in its 3-bit phase-change memory.

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