Last we heard from Boston Dynamics' Cheetah, it was coursing along at 18 miles per hour, the fastest a robot had ever run. Now, inspired perhaps by Olympic sprinters, it's cranked that up to a frightening 28.3 MPH.
The Earth's rotation doesn't line up perfectly with our calculation of it, so to keep things consistent, we have to adjust. That's why this weekend will have a leap second. This Saturday, just before midnight Greenwich Mean Time, clocks will count to 60 seconds, instead of 59.
How should you spend that free, unexpected single second? Here are nine ideas.
In pursuit of fleet-footed prey, the northern goshawk wings through thick forest canopies and underbrush at breakneck speeds, dipping and diving to avoid colliding with trees or other obstacles. But it can only go so fast, apparently obeying an unspoken speed limit dictated not by biology, but by the density of its environment — beyond a certain threshold, it is certain to crash into something.
Few people experience the adrenaline spike that a Formula One driver gets tearing down a straightaway at 230 mph. To bring that thrill to the masses, the owners of Ferrari World Abu Dhabi—the world's largest indoor theme park—built the Formula Rossa roller coaster, which opened last October.
If you thought Watson’s “Jeopardy” victory over mankind was painful, check this out. A manufacturing robot wipes the floor with us humans in the popular iPhone game “1to50.”
The Adept Quattro robot takes just 6.6 seconds to complete the game, which requires that you press the numbers 1 through 50 in succession. This is harder than you think, like playing a less complicated, faster version of Sudoku. Quattro now tops the leaderboards, obviously.
Why would a man construct a dining-room table that can cruise down a racetrack at 130 miles an hour and shoot flames into the air? Sheer competitiveness. A record for the world’s fastest furniture existed—92 mph on a sofa—and Perry Watkins wanted to beat it.
The HTC Inspire 4G is part of a new effort on AT&T's part to pad out their lineup with some top-flight smartphones, a smart move now that the iPhone is no longer exclusively theirs. What's especially notable about the Inspire is that it's AT&T's first "4G" phone, running on an HSPA+ network that AT&T promises will deliver super-fast speeds--but what AT&T isn't rushing to tell you is that you probably won't see those speeds yet, even with a 4G phone like the Inspire. All over AT&T's website is an asterisk after mentions of 4G, leading to a note saying that 4G is "available in limited areas." Take that seriously, folks. No one knows where those "limited areas" actually are, and if AT&T does, it's not telling.
Scientists at the University of Maryland at College Park have managed to clock a floating piece of graphene at an unbelievable 60 million rpm, far faster than any other macroscopic object yet measured. Even crazier: Given graphene's strength, one of the scientists says that may only be a thousandth of its possible top speed.