By Andrew RosenblumPosted 08.11.2011 at 2:56 pm 4 Comments
Over the past year, casinos around the world have lost millions of dollars to baccarat cheats. Between the antics of the globe-trotting Cutters syndicate, the Chinese nationals who hacked auto-shuffler machines in Macau, and the South Korean duo who hid a card-switching device up a sleeve at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, baccarat has attracted some very shrewd con men and women. To understand why, it helps to know a bit more about the rules of the game.
Exploring the final frontiers requires a delicate balancing act between competing engineering needs. To probe the mysteries of inhospitable places, from ocean trenches to the blistering atmosphere of the sun, scientific instruments must be tough yet ultra-sensitive — they have to survive their environments but remain exposed just enough to do their jobs. Balancing protection and intentional vulnerability can be a major challenge. A NASA spacecraft launching this morning marks a new leap forward in meeting this balance.
By Matthew YglesiasPosted 08.02.2011 at 5:29 pm 0 Comments
The information-technology revolution that should have made the traditional university obsolete happened in 1439, when Johannes Gutenberg brought moveable-type printing to Europe. Until then, books had been hand-copied and were too expensive for all but the wealthiest seekers of knowledge. Instead, students would listen as a lecturer (from the Latin legere, "to read") recited the contents of these unattainably complex devices. Centuries later, even as the Internet further reduces the cost of knowledge distribution, the lecture hall continues to dominate higher education.
Bill Andrews has spent two decades unlocking the molecular mechanisms of aging. His mission: to extend the human life span to 150 years--or die trying
By Joseph HooperPosted 08.02.2011 at 10:58 am 99 Comments
Bill Andrews's feet are so large, he tells me, that back when he was 20 he was able to break the Southern California barefoot-waterskiing distance record the first time he put skin to water. Then he got ambitious and went for the world speed record. When the towrope broke at 80 mph, he says, "they pulled me out of the water on a stretcher."
As I write this, I'm sipping three aged Scotches that have been fractionated into some nine glasses. It's mid-afternoon. Yes, I am at the Tales of the Cocktail convention in New Orleans again -- one part learning and one part drinking, served straight up. Some people prefer to vary the proportions slightly.
When you drink whisky, you're drinking the wood it was aged in. That's easy to understand in concept, but friend of PopSci Dave Arnold is here to spell it out for our taste buds: He has set up his laboratory evaporator and physically separated out the flavor components in a glass of Glenlivet so they can be sipped individually.
If you're like me and you have a visceral reaction to the image above—if it makes your skin crawl, your hair hurt, and your stomach turn—you can count yourself among the trypophobic. According to its Facebook page, which is more than 4,000 members strong, trypophobia is fear of clustered holes. It is usually small holes in organic objects, such as lotus seed heads or bubbles in batter, that give trypophobics the extreme willies, triggering reactions like itchy skin, nausea and a general feeling of discomfort. (A picture of a candy bar with a pattern of small air bubbles did me in. Goodbye, dear chocolate. For now.)
Apple's newest version of OS X arrived today, with a heap of future-looking features in tow. Here are five of our favorites
By Nick StattPosted 07.20.2011 at 6:15 pm 1 Comment
The newest version of Apple's desktop and laptop operating system, Mac OS X, was released today, as version 10.7--better known as Lion. It's a major overhaul for OS X, blending elements of Apple's mobile iOS operating system and moving the design further away from the cutesy, bubbly visage of its past. But beyond the talk of modal interfaces and the rise of mobile are a whole bunch of new features that are flat-out futuristic--cloud-based downloads, ad-hoc sharing, new uses for multitouch, and more. Here are our five favorite forward-looking features in Mac OS X Lion.
Check out Mac OS X's newest tricks in the gallery.
Towering flames illuminated the pre-dawn darkness, casting shadows on the ship Ocean Intervention III as it floated over the sunken remains of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. The resonant hum of helicopters fused with the roar of fires on either side of the ship, and Chris Reddy could feel the heat on his face.
The night of June 21, 2010, Reddy and colleagues from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution were whisked off their research vessel Endeavor to collect samples directly from the blown Macondo well, which had been spewing oil and natural gas into the Gulf of Mexico for two months. They had 12 hours to do something that had never been done before: Use a robot arm to stick a special bottle directly into the hot hydrocarbons. Now, a year later, their analysis explains just what came out of the well, and sheds more light on what happened to it.
These ten awe-inspiring science projects range from the world's largest undersea observatory to the "ultimate microscope" to a Jupiter orbiter on a suicide mission--but they're all massive, often in both size and scope
To improve our view of a vast and complex universe, scientists are creating increasingly ambitious new tools. The work is not easy. Truly big science requires decades of expensive commitment from multiple nations. But the instruments that result are nearly as awe-inspiring as the new worlds they help us discover. Check out our ranking of the 10 most epic.
On Wednesday, July 13, the Koch Theater at the Lincoln Center was filled with bouncing teenagers and 20-somethings, waving flags, mugging for photographers and singing Kanye West's "All Of The Lights." These same kids, mere minutes before, had been upstairs giving poised interviews and demonstrating the creative technologies they developed to help solve problems like malaria, disability, road traffic accidents and more. What was the most innovation I had ever seen in one place had all of a sudden become the biggest dance party I've ever attended as we waited for the ceremony to start and to find out whose projects would win.