technology

HBO’s ‘Silicon Valley’ inspires real compression algorithm Piper Pied

HBO’s ‘Silicon Valley’ inspires real compression algorithm Piper Pied

In the HBO comedy Silicon Valley, Richard and his team, Pied Piper, accidentally create a lossless compression algorithm, whipping all of the big tech companies of the fictional world into a frenzy over the potential in the inadvertent discovery. Today, at the Disrupt New York Hackathon, a team of siblings, Nancy Ghaly and Peter Ma debuted their own lossless compression algorithm. Taking inspiration from the HBO series, the duo named it Piper Pied. The real-life Piper Pied is a compression algorithm that identifies people's faces and compresses the data around them.

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3D printed iconic Shelby Cobra is all electric under the hood

3D printed iconic Shelby Cobra is all electric under the hood

We've seen some 3D-printed cars evolve from rough, inexpensive designs to dreamy, printed concept cars. In honor of the iconic Shelby Cobra's 50th anniversary, the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory 3D-printed an electric Shelby Cobra. The vehicle's whole body and chassis, even interior details like the headrests, were 3D-printed from lightweight, reinforced ABS. To give the cobra a modern twist, they gave the car a non-printed, electric engine. The DoE created the car, from design inception to final production, in six weeks.

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Super-strong robot pulls 100x its own weight, even climbs up walls

Super-strong robot pulls 100x its own weight, even climbs up walls

If I could carry 100 times my own weight, I'd never need to twist the arms of all my friends to help me move. Until I gain super-strength, I'll have to settle for dreaming of borrowing these tenacious robots. A team of mechanical engineers from California's Standford University developed a collection of tiny robots which can give Marvel's Ant-Man a run for his money. Don't let the size of these tiny robots deceive you. These 'bots are incredibly strong; they can pull 100 times their own weight.

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Japan’s new maglev bullet train is now the fastest in the world

Japan’s new maglev bullet train is now the fastest in the world

Japan Railways' latest mag-lev bullet train just broke its own record as the fastest train in the world. The bullet train travelled at 603 kph (374 mph), blowing through last week's top speed of 590 kph (366 mph). At it's fastest, the train covered a mile in 10 seconds, which is insanely fast. This particular maglev train will be able to carry just over 900 passengers per trip as it levitates above the tracks using electromagnets to create a nearly frictionless ride.

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Disney Labs ‘acoustruments’ create smartphone buttons from sound

Disney Labs ‘acoustruments’ create smartphone buttons from sound

Disney is doing a lot more than 3D-printing fabric. Disney Research Labs have created smartphone accessories called "acoustruments" that can control your smartphone by playing the instrument-like accessories. These little ultrasonic instruments attach to the base of a smartphone and the manipulations of sound can be interpreted like toggles and switches for the smartphone, like pressing a camera shutter in the above photo. The idea is based on the principles of wind instruments like slide whistles and The Legend of Zelda's ocarina.

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Haunting time-lapse inside 1WTC elevator shows panoramic evolution

Haunting time-lapse inside 1WTC elevator shows panoramic evolution

The World Trade Centers in New York will forever be a historic and painful part of history, especially in the US. Its destruction and the lives that were lost have become a sore topic in any conversation or endeavor. That might be the hard lesson that company Legends Hospitality might learn once the One World Observatory on top of 1 World Trade Center opens. Why? Because its elevator ride to the 104th floor includes a 3D time-lapse video of the development of Manhattan's landscape in the past 515 years, which inevitably also shows the original tower come into view and fade into history.

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Google’s QUIC protocol talks UDP for a faster Internet

Google’s QUIC protocol talks UDP for a faster Internet

With today's Internet generation, a delay of a few seconds can already mean lost audiences, and money, for businesses. That's why the industry is always on the lookout for faster connections. But the answer isn't always in faster lines or faster networks, Sometimes, the are solutions in the way we communicate over those lines as well. Google's experimental QUIC protocol is one such new communication method that tries to get data across faster by using a language that is already in use on the Internet but not widely known: UDP.

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MIT’s NailO puts a tiny trackpad on your fingernail

MIT’s NailO puts a tiny trackpad on your fingernail

MIT has a new invention that, upon first glance, looks like a poorly positioned fake thumbnail. The reason is that it is tiny trackpad designed to be mounted on your fingernail, lending perhaps the best yet remote control of your tablet or smartphone. It's one of the more innovative and unusual wearables we've seen in recent months, and though it is odd to behold at first, there are some valid uses for it. Those with certain disabilities might find it convenient, for example, as well as those who want covert control of their phone.

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Tiny camera can power itself and other devices

Tiny camera can power itself and other devices

To innovators envisioning the Internet of Things, wherein everyday devices operate on a wireless, interconnected network, component size and battery life are incredibly important. This self-powered camera was created by a team of scientists from Columbia University, and the prototype may pave the way for future cameras to charge themselves as they capture images, negating the need to a battery pack or charger at all. They claim their discovery is the first self-powered camera that can harvest energy as it takes pictures.

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