Do you want all eyes in the room focused strictly on you? Do you want vague potential health benefits? Well, kids, toss out those cancer sticks and replace them with a thin tube of plastic containing a lithium-ion battery that heats liquid nicotine into a stream of vapor. Welcome to the future of smoking.
Great white whales. Schools of fish so thick they slowed boats. Sea monsters that could swallow a sailor whole. The last one may still be the stuff of lore, but scientists are using a curious series of census tools to gather evidence of an ocean that, as recently as decades ago, fairly teemed with marine life, far bigger and more plentiful that what's found in today's oceans.
Overeating makes you overweight. I'll pause for a moment to let this mind-blowing scientific finding sink in.
In the annals of Science Confirms the Obvious, there's rarely a zinger like this one. And it's no surprise that the media's had a field day, churning out Onion-esque headlines like, well, the one above.
After decades of work, the Large Hadron Collider went live 143 days ago and went down 139 days ago. Its being offline, however, has hardly put an end to speculation over what exactly will happen when the repairs are completed and the switch is flipped on the world's largest particle accelerator. Scientists from the Universities of Bologna and Alabama recently submitted a paper to Cornelll's arXiv.org exploring the possibility that those (harmless) microscopic black holes we'd heard so much about could stick around longer than previously believed. No matter that their conclusion was basically, still: "so what? Ain't gonna do nothin." News outlets,as SciAm notes, jumped over the story and the anti-LHC kook-contingent resurfaced.
So here's to you, naysayers and doomsdayers alike. After the jump, a very special episode of "Science of YouTube," wherein the LHC goes online and the Earth is destroyed. Enjoy!
About 130,000 people attended CES this year. Gaffers and booth babes, engineers and security guards, drivers and technicians by the thousands devoted months to staging the world's largest consumer electronics show. And by this time today likely nothing more remains in all of Vegas than a lone, abandoned flash drive and some tumbleweeds.
Forget the world's smallest violin, we're going the denial route.
Click here for a look at 26 of our picks and pans—from favorite sleeper debuts and sweetest celebrity shills to the most awful sales pitches and product ideas. Light up an electric cigarette, lean back in your $7,500 recliner and join us. It ain't over till we hit "z"!
A protester with the Electronic TakeBack Coalition.
Almost one year ago to the day, at a CES where energy-efficient gadgets were touted strictly for how eco-friendly they were and not for their budget-consciousness, three of the industry's giants announced a joint e-waste recycling venture. In tough times it is not only the extras that go but the things that are deemed not strictly necessary in that we did not have them before and we managed more or less. E-waste recycling could have become one of those things, indeed still might, but at least at this year's show it looks like the foothold it gained in years past is solid.
"It's evolutionary, not revolutionary" was how one attendee summed up this year's show. And, indeed, the biggest debuts of last week seemed, well, not particularly big. TVs were thinner, cameras zoomier, 3D a step closer to fruition. But game changers were few and far between. And perhaps that's because companies have learned to tone down their promises and time frames.
It's not just big technologies. A few years ago, a grand, gadget-filled future was just around the corner. There'd be cameras that print their own photos! And cell phones with Skype! When you wanted to turn off your TV, you'd just wave your hand and when you wanted to turn on your toys you'd just think hard. And then we waited. And waited. And waited. So it was a pleasant surprise to learn that 2009 was to be the year of fulfilled promise. All those products we'd just about given up hope on were launching at long last. If only we could say it was worth the wait.
Launch the list here for a look at the letdowns.
A universal remote control is only good if it is really, truly universal: something few companies have managed to do thus far. Unify4Life has. Its AVShadow, which launched today for $100, turns a Blackberry into a remote capable of controlling virtually every component of your home entertainment system. TiVos, Blu-Ray players, iPods and VCRs can be launched with a click. Place the minute, Bluetooth-equipped AVShadow next to your entertainment center, download the app and you're done.
Someday soon there'll be a chicken in every pot and a centralized media center in every home. Till then, we're stuck with what we've got; some companies are rising to the challenge. Golden Signals, which debuted DisplayShare this week, is one of the more innovative: its wireless TV-computer linkup utilizes your existing gaming console and router.
Install the $50 software and your computer begins creating a realtime video of every action occurring on the desktop. By simultaneously commanding the console (currently only Playstation 3, but a version that works with the Wii and Xbox 360 is expected by summer) to stream the video on TV, DisplayShare allows you to view anything you'd see on your computer on the big screen.
For five years now the ill and elderly in Japan and Europe have had adorable, furry, sensor-ridden robotic seals to speed recover and improve health. Two months ago PAROs arrived stateside and are gaining traction in nursing homes and hospitals across the country. At $6,000 a pop, they're not cheap, but they also don't smell, bite, require training, or cough up an unexpected hairball. Similar to that other four-letter robot, PARO has sensors that track everything from touch to light to posture and learns from human interaction. Stroke the thing and it remembers what action caused the positive feedback. Smack it, and it won't repeat the "bad" behavior which preceded the beatdown.
Why seals? "People don't have many interactions with them," explained a PARO robots spokesperson. "They won't be let down by any preconceptions they might have."
See the cutie in action, after the jump.