The electron has been good to us. It has christened an entire field of both theoretical exploration and practical devices -- electronics -- and has allowed us to leverage its most simple property, charge, to create complex devices and processing methods. But a group of researchers in Colorado think we're selling ourselves short. By tapping the more complex properties of entire atoms, the field of atomtronics could completely rewrite the book on information processing.
Using homemade software and a standard computer port, a team of scientists has figured out exactly how easy it is to hack into a modern car -- scary news for motorists already wary of faulty brake and accelerator systems.
The research team wrote code that allows them to turn off the brakes in a moving car, change the speedometer reading, blast hot air or music on the radio, and lock passengers inside the car, PCWorld reports.
In every issue we pick the dozen or so coolest gadgets to hit that month--looking beyond the fare being pushed by your friendly neighborhood Best Buy sales teen, we highlight the gear that's better, faster or completely different than what's out there now. Click the gallery thumbnails below to dive in:
Silicon chips are on the way out, at least if Duke University engineer Chris Dwyer has his way. The professor of electrical and computer engineering says a single grad student using the unique properties of DNA to coax circuits into assembling themselves could produce more logic circuits in a single day than the entire global silicon chip industry could produce in a month.
Anyone looking for work these days knows how hard it is to get your resume into the hands of a human. Fortunately, perhaps, it may soon be possible to get hired without that step.
Freelancer.com, an Australian jobs site, is using software algorithms that allow computers to automatically recruit, hire and pay workers to do a wide range of tasks, New Scientist reports.
"Software can now simply post a job and hire one, three, or 500 humans; software can now literally assemble an army overnight to solve complex problems," says Matt Barrie, Freelancer.com's CEO, in a press release.
If you like to think of the processor running your smartphone as the nerve center of your device, wait until you see what Steve Furber's got in mind. The computer engineer, probably best known for his work on the BBC Micro and ARM microprocessors, has begun construction of a 1-billion-neuron simulated brain made from thousands of the widely available chips used most commonly in e-book readers and smartphones.
You might think Google knows all there is to know, but apparently Google doesn't think so. The company is now seeking to know the unknowable, having just sunk an undisclosed amount of capital into Cambridge, Mass.-based Recorded Future, a startup that analyzes the "past, present and the predicted future," according to Google's investment arm, Google Ventures.
North Carolina State researchers have made a big breakthrough in data storage tech, and it's all thanks to some very tiny dots. Using nanodots – tiny nanoscale magnets – the team has manufactured chips that can hold an unprecedented amount of information using surprisingly little real estate. Each dot contains a single bit of data; a one square-inch chip can store over one billion pages of information.
A team of researchers from Japan and Michigan have built a molecular computer whose operation mimics a human brain. The tiny circuit, comprised of organic molecules on a gold substrate, is capable of super-fast concurrent calculations that rival the firing of neurons.
Earth Week is upon us, and NASA has prepared a very special gift for the blue planet. Dwarfing the iPods that we customarily give each other to celebrate another year of existence, NASA put together NEX, a planetary data-crunching tool that uses a 56,832-core, 128-screen supercomputer to blend global satellite data and sophisticated modeling software with an online collaborative culture aimed at helping scientists work together toward better climate change research.