technology

Google’s self-driving cars rolling out to public roads for testing

Google’s self-driving cars rolling out to public roads for testing

It seems that there is no stopping Google from pushing its autonomous cars into the public's presence, even with recent reports of a number of car accidents involving precisely this type of self-driving vehicle. Starting this summer, Google will be introducing some of its test fleet to public roads for actual "out of the lab" testing. Of course, it will be taking every precaution and will include its safety engineers inside the cars for now. Though given Google's previous sentiment, that could probably cause even more accidents.

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What has an attention span shorter than a goldfish? You, says Microsoft

What has an attention span shorter than a goldfish? You, says Microsoft

Do you ever find yourself starting to read something, but only a paragraph or two into it you have to stop and pop open a new tab, pull out your smartphone for a quick browse, or any other number of distractions? Then it’s right back to whatever you were doing originally, only you’re constantly interrupting yourself with a seemingly endless litany of things, none of which are terribly productive? If that sounds like you, it’s probably because you have an attention span shorter than a goldfish. At least according to Microsoft.

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Hydrographic printing adds detailed paint jobs to 3D-printed objects

Hydrographic printing adds detailed paint jobs to 3D-printed objects

3D printing allows for creating unique and complex objects, but detailed, mechanical painting of such a diverse range of shapes has proven difficult. Water-transfer printing has been used for everything from car dashboards to press-on nails, but the technique falls short when trying to combine "complex shapes" with more detailed paintings. Previously, it was unpredictable how the paid would distort around complex shapes. A new technique for water-transfer printing has been created by a team of researchers from Zheijiang University in China. From knick knacks to 3D-printed leopards and tiger masks, detailed painting of complex objects can now be achieved through water transfers.

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New microbattery can independently power microchips

New microbattery can independently power microchips

As electronic devices keep scaling down, batteries need to find a way to maintain performance under smaller size constraints. Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have created an incredibly thin, high-performance, 3D microbattery, which could be the answer to powering individual microchips apart from any separate power source. The research team printed the tiny power source using a technique combining 3D holographic lithography and 2D photo-lithography. The new technique allows for greater control of the electrode's structure; so, the batteries can easily be tailor-made for various applications. The scientists detail the new fabrication technique in their research paper.

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MIT reseachers remove unwanted reflections from photos

MIT reseachers remove unwanted reflections from photos

Taking photographs through a window can be a mess. Anything behind the camera could be reflected, infiltrating the photograph. It can be difficult to see the intended image due to the photographer's own reflection obscuring the image. In the fictional, TV world of CSI, you could just say, "enhance!" But, until now, it hasn't been so easy to erase photographed reflections in the real world. Thankfully, a group of MIT researchers have figured out a complicated algorithm which can remove undesired reflections from photographs.

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Motion Pro II driving sim: so realistic, crashing it could be fatal

Motion Pro II driving sim: so realistic, crashing it could be fatal

Driving simulators are nothing new. They're specifically designed to let users experience driving and all that it entails from a safe platform. Heck, it can even be used to have some fun. But what if the simulation is so close to reality that a very dangerous crash in the simulator could actually lead to real physical injury? Sounds like a plot for a science fiction piece? Guess again. Virtual and actual reality meet in the Motion Pro II, which is able to accurately simulate even the fatal forces of a car crash.

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Jetman and partner soar through Dubai’s skies with jetpacks

Jetman and partner soar through Dubai’s skies with jetpacks

Flying through the open skies using jetpacks is something almost all of us can only dream of or have only in movies. But these two daredevils have taken that dream and made it into reality. Swiss inventor and daredevil Jetman, known in real life as Yves Rossy, went to new heights, literally, as he took his new partner Vince Reffet through Dubai's skyline, flying over breathtaking scenery covering sand, water, and skyscrapers reaching to the high heavens. And, of course, they survived to tell the tale.

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Survey: 29% of people would sacrifice a finger to keep Internet

Survey: 29% of people would sacrifice a finger to keep Internet

Many debate which is worse: a slow Internet connection or no Internet connection. For some, a complete lack of an Internet connection is something horrifying enough they'd rather sacrifice one of their fingers in exchange for keeping it. At least, that's according to a recent survey in the UK conducted by Cable.co.uk, which asked participants if they'd rather have a finger removed or lose their Internet access. Of those surveyed, 29-percent said they'd rather lose a finger. Hopefully not the use they use to swipe.

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Feeling lonely? Let IBM’s Watson match you with a therapist

Feeling lonely? Let IBM’s Watson match you with a therapist

Therapy can be a useful tool for those with deep-seated issues or anyone who needs a sounding board for life's big decisions. Seeking a therapist is now seen as a way to reach out for help instead of a strange act of narcissism. When it comes to finding a therapist, a good match can make a world of difference. Picking a practitioner from the Yellow Pages is a complete crapshoot; now, IBM's Watson is lending its supercomputing power to creating ideal matches between patients and therapists on Talkspace, an online, licensed therapy provider that you can access from your smartphone.

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NASA’s new radar detects heartbeats, saving 4 lives in Nepal

NASA’s new radar detects heartbeats, saving 4 lives in Nepal

The latest tech from NASA just saved the lives of four people trapped in the rubble left from the recent earthquake in Nepal. NASA's FINDER (Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response) located people by using a microwave radar that could sense and then locate their heartbeats. The prototype devices are a joint effort from NASA and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate. Weighing in at the size of a suitcase, two of the devices were brought to aid the humanitarian effort in Nepal.

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