By Adam Pash
Posted 10.14.2010 at 2:10 pm 0 Comments
It’s time to stop thinking of TVs and computers as separate entities. Practically anything you want to watch, listen to, or play on your TV set can be found in a digital format, and the most convenient place to store it is all together on one hard drive. But whether you’re ripping CDs and DVDs to your drive or downloading media files, there still aren’t a lot of tools that let you manage everything by just pointing your remote at your TV.
Veteran astronaut Franklin Chang Diaz has spent four decades developing his rocket fueled by nuclear reactors and liquid hydrogen. Now NASA just might let it fly
By Sam Howe Verhovek
Posted 10.13.2010 at 3:10 pm 36 Comments
You might expect to find our brightest hope for sending astronauts to other planets in Houston, at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, inside a high-security multibillion-dollar facility. But it’s actually a few miles down the street, in a large warehouse behind a strip mall. This bland and uninviting building is the private aerospace start-up Ad Astra Rocket Company, and inside, founder Franklin Chang Díaz is building a rocket engine that’s faster and more powerful than anything NASA has ever flown before. Speed, Chang Díaz believes, is the key to getting to Mars alive.
Bike-sharing programs across the U.S. are getting an upgrade.
By Jackson Lynch
Posted 10.13.2010 at 12:37 pm 0 Comments
Urban bike-sharing in U.S. cities. Already booming in Europe, these membership-based services start around $5 a month, saving commuters at least $5,000 a year on average over owning a car.
Smartphone apps allow riders to find bikes quickly, and inexpensive radio-frequency-identification or GPS chips help bike companies track the riders remotely. The chips are linked to riders’ credit-card information, so they won’t be tempted to steal the bike.
By Peter Kirn
Posted 10.12.2010 at 3:45 pm 0 Comments
Packing features into an electronic instrument - say, adding a recorder or sampler - tends to make for a bulky device with a seriously complicated menu system. Teenage Engineering's OP-1, part of a category of devices musicians call "grooveboxes," bucks that trend. It fits all the bells and whistles into a trim 11-by-4 inch slab that does away with menu-digging. It's a sophisticated, all-in-one noisemaker you can carry, and play, with one hand.
Three motorcyclists competing in the final race of the international MotoGP circuit this month will have extra injury insurance, in the form of wearable airbags. Alpinestars’s Tech Air Race suit uses an onboard computer to sense the subtle differences between regular track turbulence and the motion associated with an impending crash, and it fires fall-cushioning airbags on the shoulders and collarbone (an oft-injured area for racers) before the biker hits the ground.
By Lawrence Ulrich
Posted 10.07.2010 at 2:44 pm 0 Comments
Carmakers have always struggled with the problem of inefficiency. Internal combustion engines quickly convert the chemical energy in fuel into the kinetic energy that moves cars forward, but even the engine in the Toyota Prius, among the most efficient ever built, uses only 37 percent of that chemical energy — the rest goes to creating unwanted heat and friction.
By Daniel Grushkin
Posted 10.07.2010 at 2:10 pm 0 Comments
The fastest way to spread disease is to pack a lot of sick people in one place. That’s why hospitals are such a health hazard — equipment and personnel move from patient to patient and carry infectious agents in the process. One solution is to keep better track of every patient, wheelchair and IV stand to locate what’s spreading disease and what needs to be sterilized, and one Canadian company is the first to deploy a system to do just that.
This animal, which lives more than a mile and a half below the ocean’s surface, is one of three potentially novel species of acorn worms discovered on a deep-sea expedition in June. Expedition participant Monty Priede and his team from Oceanlab at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland are currently analyzing the creature’s DNA while another member of the expedition,
Nicholas Holland, a marine biologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, compares specimens with two species of acorn worm already described.
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.