PopSci is is back at the now twice-annual travelling DIY circus that is Maker Faire. The Bay Area iteration was a blast earlier this year (see our coverage here) but this time, not only is the sweet smell of BBQ mingling with the solder fumes here in Austin, TX, we've also brought along some of PopSci's finest makers—staff photographer John Carnett, who has brought along his amazing all-in-one beer-brewing Device as well as the welded-steel vintage Arcade Table, and Theodore Gray, author of our PopSci-meets-Mr. Wizard "Gray Matter" column (check out his latest work here). We'll also be raffling off some original creations from our main project man Dave Prochnow.
Stay tuned right here for the best of Maker Faire Austin, starting Saturday, October 20. —John Mahoney
By Sean CaptainPosted 10.05.2007 at 11:50 am 3 Comments
Screen resolution is so early-2007. At the CEATEC show in Japan this year, the big TV news is contrast—the difference in brightness between the lightest and darkest parts of the screen. The higher that difference, the easier details are to see and the more images pop off the screen. Nearly every TV maker is trying to push contrast higher, and they are doing it in many different ways.
Rappel up a wall at an astonishing 10 feet per second with the Atlas Powered Rope Ascender
By Gregory MonePosted 05.14.2007 at 2:00 am 20 Comments
How do you prevent insurgents from shooting down choppers? How do you keep a cast from itching? How do you reinvent the brick? You sketch. And then you work: nights, weekends-for years, if you have to. You blow all your money, then beg for more. You build prototypes, and when they fail, you build more. Why? Because inventing is about solving problems, and not stopping until your solution becomes real.
In honor of our new How 2.0 group on Instructables—the place to be for the coolest step-by-step DIY guides on the Web—we're launching what will likely be the first of many contests. And we're definitely kicking things off right—the winner will bag a new Canon 8-megapixel digital SLR and have their project featured in the How 2.0 section of an upcoming issue of PopSci!!
What kind of projects? you may be asking. It's simple. If you're like us, you're probably surrounded by all kinds of sci-tech detritus. Stuff that may be broken, outdated, random, whatever—it's all too cool to throw out but too weird to have any particular use on its own. Now the time has come to breathe new life into your old tech toys. Take any tech junk you've got around the house, bolt it together, and come up with something new and useful again (preferably while bellowing "It's alive! It's alive!" at your hunchbacked assistant).
If you've seen the "Repurposed Tech" feature in the pages of How 2.0, you know what we're talking about. More info is available over at Instructables, including the official rules and regulations for entering and examples of projects that would work. You've got until April 1, so get hacking! —John Mahoney
Link - Contest Instructions and Rules
Once upon a time, the mantra for scientific success was "Think big." Nowadays, it's all about the ongoing mission to make things really, really small. Here, a look at the latest in Lilliputian developments
By the Headlines StaffPosted 03.05.2007 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
By Jonathan CoultonPosted 01.16.2007 at 5:44 pm 6 Comments
Dear PopSci readers:
Welcome to yet another of the PopSci blog's fantastic new features!
Every Tuesday, starting now, contributing troubadour Jonathan Coulton
will beam down an episode of his "Podcast from the Moon," along with a
witty commentary on what the heck he was thinking when he called Dr.
So-and-so (always a scientist or investigator featured in this month's issue
of Popular Science) and teased him about his research. Just
click on the "subscribe" button after the post below to get free episodes delivered to
your iTunes account each week.
Do you find it hard to stay away from the Internet for several days at
a time? Do you stay online longer than intended often or very often?
Yeah, me too. I used to have a problem with the Internet, but then I
got a phone that can be used as a Bluetooth modem: problem solved! I said, "Problem solved!" Is this thing on?
This week I rationalize my way out of my addiction to the Web. Some researchers at Stanford University conducted a study to find out whether there is such a thing, and their results suggest that at least some of us may want to scale back a bit. (Hey Agathon of Gorgamosh! Put down the broadsword and pick up your baby, OK?)
Sometimes I think this office-on-the-moon business might work against me. Maybe it's because they're "serious about their work" or whatever, but the scientists who ran the study didn't really want to answer my tough questions or laugh politely at my feeding-tube jokes. Instead I spoke to PopSci contributor Jebediah Reed (who was more than happy to do both) about his take on their results. —Jonathan Coulton
Forget rockets. All you need to launch a satellite is a sled and a giant magnetic slingshot
By Stephen HandelmanPosted 12.19.2006 at 2:00 am 1 Comment
Astronauts are trained to withstand as much as nine times the force of gravity. (Three Gs, by comparison, could make the average guy pass out.) But even the toughest among them fall out of the running when it comes to a launch concept from a small civilian company in Goleta, California. To survive the ride on Launchpoint Technologies´s invention, the payload has to be able to survive a brain-splattering 10,000 Gs.
The design calls for a high-speed accelerator that whips a projectile as heavy as 220 pounds around a circular 1.5-mile-radius vacuum tunnel.
You've reached the home of PopSci.com's coverage of the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the biggest tech trade show in the world. Our team of editors will be scouring the floors for incredible innovations, surprise standouts and the tech trends that will affect you directly in '07. This blog will be the jump-off for daily posts, photo galleries and video features live and direct from the gadget frontier.
It all gets going on January 8th, so check back after the holidays. Vegas baby, yeah!