Editor Jake Ward demonstrates how to use an old plastic container and a can of air to take a beer from lukewarm to mountain-stream cold in just a few seconds. (For another video of this project, visit sonicIntoX’s channel at Metacafe.)
California’s Central Valley, that blistering flatland of artichoke fields criss-crossed by the occasional four-mile straightaway, would seem the perfect place to open up a big engine. But as I arrived in Davis, California, on the day my parents moved there from Seattle, I was hit with the sudden realization that I had, in fact, chosen the perfectly wrong trip on which to test BMW’s monstrous M6.
Davis, it turns out, is possibly the bike-friendliest town in the nation.
Caffeine wakes you up, rock stars die young and long ambulance rides aren't ideal. Sound obvious? You bet. But there's more than meets the eye here. On this week's episode of Cocktail Party Science, the writers and editors of PopSci's "Science Confirms the Obvious," talk to host Chuck Cage about the studies that make you say "duh" and why they're worth a second look.
Sure, external hard drives aren't exactly scarce these days, but while the price point has come down a lot, they're still not cheap. Enter the hard drive case. For just a fistful of dollars, you can pick up a case that (almost) instantly transforms your old internal hard drive into a new storage unit. As Deputy Editor Jake Ward demonstrates here, putting it together is a piece of cake. In the end, you'll have a great-working hard drive, not to mention a few dollars more. Just, keep an eye out for the tiny screws.
Peter Semmelhack freaks out the freaks at SXSW Interactive
By Jacob Ward
Posted 03.10.2008 at 5:14 pm 0 Comments
You've never seen a group of programmers and designers flip out over someone like they did over Peter Semmelhack, CEO of open-source gadget company Bug Labs, at SXSW this morning. (That is, unless you were at Jonathan Coulton's show at the PopSci.com party last night. Grown men pulling their thinning hair and jumping up and down, that sort of thing. But Semmelhack's crowd came close, and they were sober.)
What makes investors do the wrong thing, all together, pretty much all the time?
By Robert Armstrong and Jacob Ward
Posted 02.19.2008 at 5:54 pm 3 Comments
There's just no nice way to say it: You're stupid with your money. You may fancy yourself a shrewd investor, but if you have normal human instincts—if you stand up and cheer at sporting events, if you follow the crowd toward the exit at the theater—then you have the instincts that make investors alternate between delirious greed and inconsolable fear. Like most of your peers, you are wired to buy high and sell low, and that's why Richard Peterson is about to become one very rich psychiatrist.
By Jake Ward
Posted 10.08.2007 at 12:54 pm 1 Comment
The New York Times reports today that Google and IBM are sinking $30 million into a two-year project to build remote data centers that can handle sophisticated computing research remotely. No World of Warcraft player will again be safe now that students can crunch probabilities with the 1600+ processors Google is installing in an undisclosed location.
But seriously: the two companies—along with six universities (Carnegie Mellon, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Maryland and the University of Washington)—are cooperating to get an inadequately funded area of research off the ground. The Times succinctly defines "cloud-computing" as a "new kind of data-intensive supercomputing" that "often involves scouring the
Web and other data sources in seconds or minutes for patterns and
insights." It's typically used by major corporations to analyze web traffic and refine big systems, but now any university kid with a password will be able to create programs and software that can take advantage of the horsepower Google and IBM are providing. —Jacob Ward
By Jake WardPosted 08.31.2007 at 12:38 pm1 Comment
I've heard of guys who will drive their families hours out of the way to catch a glimpse of a certain train in motion, who gather with others of their kind for a night of beers and train sounds on the stereo, who talk about superconducting tracks the way I talk about a great steak. But I never knew they were an actual market. For the Bobby Bacala in your life, here's Railfan: Taiwan Takatetsu, a PS3 train sim title (and a sequel, by God) which overlays animated cockpit graphics and readouts atop HD video shot from the nose of real trains. Sounds boring to me, but evidently some dudes will shell out fifty bucks for the experience of piloting a Taiwanese bullet from Taipei to Zuoyong Station. —Jacob Ward
And they're off. George Hotz, New Jersey blogger and hacker extraordinaire, gets his name in the paper (and in our hearts) for pulling off a network transfer on an iPhone. In his YouTube footage you can clearly see the T-Mobile insignia (the iPhone runs AT&T, if you didn't know).
How he did it I don't understand. But it means that not only those of you stuck with T-Mobile now have a shot at the iPhone, but now anyone anywhere in the world can buy a prepaid GSM card and use Apple's holy grail.
It takes a few steps to pull off (and a lot of Red Bull), but heck if the kid hasn't done what Apple should have done in the first place. —Jacob Ward
(p.s. Classy kid. He takes time to thank his friends and fans at the outset, and Mom raised him right — he thanks "the dev team for a great product.")
By Jake WardPosted 08.23.2007 at 12:18 pm1 Comment
Whatever. With all the brain-splattering and thuggery of my gaming life, I think my wife would approve of my ignoring her in the name of getting a sprinkler to tip a bowling ball into a slingshot instead. Besides, it's good training for any entries I might want to submit to Purdue's Rube Goldberg Machine Contest. —Jacob Ward
By Jake Ward
Posted 07.26.2007 at 5:12 pm 0 Comments
Sure, it's easy for some independent health panel to poo-poo what turns out to be a high incidence of pre-flight cocktails among NASA astronauts. (The study, obtained by Aviation Week & Space Technology and published on their website, found that on at least two occasions, astronauts were so intoxicated that flight surgeons warned that the crew members were a risk to the safety of the flight.)
NASA's standard 12-hour "bottle to throttle" minimum evidently isn't as
strictly observed as the space agency would like (NASA said it will
issue a reaction to the findings on Friday), but here's the thing, Mr. Health Panel: You try facing a Monday spent atop 47,000 gallons of rumbling jet fuel, and see if you don't need an extra Bloody Mary before reporting for work. —Jacob Ward
By Jake WardPosted 07.11.2007 at 6:42 pm4 Comments
As long as the people who make games continue to be limited to the type of people who play games, they'll never succeed in making the games look cool to the rest of us. But this Halo 3 ad, which debuted during E3 this week, would turn even my grandparents on.
A massive ship blots out the sun in the distance—there's a bit of To Live and Die in L.A. in the cinematography—and earth begins arming itself for war. We're whisked inside the military-industrial complex of tomorrow, where robots forge steel into 22nd-century rifles and floating warships. Then, of course, they have to go and muck it up by throwing in real live human actors dressed for futuristic battle (they instead look like they're in line for a comic-book convention), but hey. It's a step toward Hollywood's movie/videogame/cartoon future. —Jacob Ward
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.