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May 9, 2015

Secret Air Force Space Plane Gets Darth Vader-Style Engine

Posted by in categories: engineering, military, space travel

By Kelsey D. Atherton - Popular Science

6 kW laboratory Hall thruster

The Air Force’s secret robot space plane is going to try out a new engine. The X-37B has so far spent a total of 1367 days tooling around in Earth’s orbit, doing classified things. Yesterday, the Air Force Research Lab announced that on its fourth flight, the X-37B will come with a new fuel-efficient engine for maneuvering in space. Read more

May 9, 2015

Stackable Brain Specimen Coasters Reveal a 3D View of the Human Brain

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

— Colossal

brains2

The brilliant minds at ThinkGeek just launched this set of 10 glass coasters printed with sequential illustrations of the brain. When stacked in the correct order they reveal a complete three-dimensional “scan” of human brain. Available here. (via Laughing Squid)

May 8, 2015

Bitcoin’s Problem With Women

Posted by in category: bitcoin

By — Mother Jones

Nathaniel Popper’s new book, Digital Gold, is as close as you can get to being the definitive account of the history of Bitcoin. As its subtitle proclaims, the book tells the story of the “misfits” (the first generation of hacker-libertarians) and “millionaires” (the second generation of Silicon Valley venture capitalists) who were responsible for building Bitcoin, mining it, hyping it, and, in at least some cases, getting rich off it.

The tale is selective, of course: Not everybody involved with Bitcoin talked to Popper, and the identity of Bitcoin’s inventor, Satoshi Nakamoto, remains a mystery. But Popper did talk to most of the important people in the cryptocurrency crowd, and he tells me that he put real effort into trying “to find a woman who was involved in some substantive way.” Read more

May 8, 2015

Chinese scientists genetically modify human embryos

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, genetics

David Cyranosk & Sara Reardon  - Nature.com

In a world first, Chinese scientists have reported editing the genomes of human embryos. The results are published1 in the online journal Protein & Cell and confirm widespread rumours that such experiments had been conducted — rumours that sparked a high-profile debate last month2, 3 about the ethical implications of such work. Read more

May 7, 2015

Drone Strikes Reveal Uncomfortable Truth: U.S. Is Often Unsure About Who Will Die

Posted by in category: drones

NYTimes.com

Barack Obama inherited two ugly, intractable wars in Iraq and Afghanistan when he became president and set to work to end them. But a third, more covert war he made his own, escalating drone strikes in Pakistan and expanding them to Yemen and Somalia.

The drone’s vaunted capability for pinpoint killing appealed to a president intrigued by a new technology and determined to try to keep the United States out of new quagmires. Aides said Mr. Obama liked the idea of picking off dangerous terrorists a few at a time, without endangering American lives or risking the yearslong bloodshed of conventional war. Read more

May 7, 2015

How One Man Crashed the Stock Market

Posted by in category: business

Michael Maiello — Daily BeastOn Tuesday in the United Kingdom, United States law enforcement arrested futures trader Navinder Singh Sarao and froze more than $7 million of his assets in banks around the world. The Department of Justice says that Singh manipulated commodities markets and partially caused the May 6, 2010, “Flash Crash” that sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunging 1,000 points in minutes.

Read more

May 6, 2015

Elon Musk Had a Deal to Sell Tesla to Google in 2013

Posted by in category: business

Bloomberg Business —

On May 8, 2013, Tesla Motors shocked just about everyone by posting its first-ever quarterly profit, reporting higher-than-expected demand for its Model S electric sedan. That moment marked the beginning of a turnaround for Elon Musk’s tumultuous automaker. The next year would see the Model S win most of the automotive industry’s major awards and Tesla’s share price rise roughly fivefold, to more than $200. The 2013 profit announcement was fortuitous. Just weeks before, Tesla had been on the verge of bankruptcy. Read more

May 6, 2015

Alex Jessup Detailed Future Soldier Concept Art and the real military TALOS and Warrior Web projects

Posted by in category: military

Next Big Future

Operator Suit, or TALOS, project, according to an announcement from the company. With this latest award, Ekso will now have garnered $35 million in contracts in the four-phase project, the company said. Its Phase 2 work is expected to be completed later this year. Read more

May 5, 2015

Your Water Footprint Is Bigger Than You Realize

Posted by in category: water

Laura Bliss | CityLab

water footprint
“Many of us are only dimly aware of how much water we use throughout the day. Last year, an Indiana University survey asked more than one thousand Americans to estimate the amount of water it takes to flush the toilet, wash clothes, and other kinds of normal household uses. On average, participants underestimated their use by a full factor of two.” Read more

May 5, 2015

Why 3D food printing is more than just a novelty; it’s the future of food

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, food

Kyle Wiggers | Digital Trends

3D Printed color flavored sugar
“The Star Trek replicator comes to mind when many people think about food synthesizers, but such a device would hardly be practical — a simple vegetable, like a tomato, would likely require tens of millions of different ingredient cartridges alone.” Read more