Presenting the ugliest car at the New York Auto Show
By Seth FletcherPosted 03.20.2008 at 4:04 pm 4 Comments
digg_url = 'http://digg.com/autos/When_Automotive_Design_Goes_Bad;
Later well be posting a gallery of the most attractive, noteworthy, and technologically advanced cars from this years New York International Auto Show (watch our auto show coverage page here). But for now, I present you with the most unfortunate piece of automotive design on the showroom floor: The Toyota Yaris Club Five Axis Design.
A zirconium dioxide coating could provide real protection for an airplane's engine
By Matt RansfordPosted 03.20.2008 at 3:31 pm 0 Comments
Kids arent the only ones who think fake diamonds are hot. Engineers at Ohio State University are using zirconium dioxide (the ceramic from which we get synthetic diamonds) to protect jet engines from high-temperature corrosion.
So far 65 teams have signed up to compete for a piece of the $10 million prize
By Seth FletcherPosted 03.20.2008 at 3:25 pm 5 Comments
Strange as it might seem, the Automotive X-Prize—which will award a $10 million prize to the team(s) that develop production-ready cars that get the equivalent of 100 miles per gallon—wasn't official until this afternoon. But today at a press conference at the New York International Auto Show, X-Prize honcho Peter Diamandis fired the starting gun (see Diamandis talk about the competition in the video above).
Thanks to advances in fluid mechanics, "futbol" may become even more fun to watch
By Brett ZardaPosted 03.20.2008 at 12:26 pm 1 Comment
In its raw form, d3o looks like slime and molds like Play-Doh, but take a hammer to a clump and it changes to a stiff rubber. This curious substance introduced itself in the 2006 Olympics as a safety lining for the Spyder skiing suits, and that same year, d3o's protective ski hat won PopSci's Best of What's New Award.
By Matt RansfordPosted 03.20.2008 at 11:11 am 5 Comments
Everybody remember the promise of the paperless office? Anyone in front of a monitor can testify to just the opposite having taken hold. The ubiquity of the personal computer was supposed to free us from the chaotic sea of paperwork washing over our desks every day, and yet all it seems to have done is open the floodgates further.
A new online mapping system gives Google a run for its money
By Matt RansfordPosted 03.20.2008 at 10:05 am 0 Comments
Wired recently reported on a newcomer to the street-level imagery map game. Theyre called MapJack, and if they can expand quickly enough to cover the ground Google has already claimed, theyll give them a good run for their money. The concept is the sameyou click around on a map and see photos of the streetbut beyond that, the two diverge. MapJacks imagery is many times sharper, larger, and more dynamic than Googles. The site offers a sophisticated array of controls, both in navigating the street and the view and in controlling the image display. I found it much more responsive and vibrant than Google Maps. Lining up a particular address or orientation is a snap, like it should be.
New software predicts where structures could crack under strain
By Gregory MonePosted 03.20.2008 at 9:50 am 0 Comments
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Florida International University have developed a technique that enables them to identify the weak spots in a structure from afar.
The program they developed, Scan and Solve, uses 3D data of an object to predict where it is most likely to fracture, and how its faulty spots will be affected by outside forces such as gravity or other forms of strain.
The possible detection of methane in the atmosphere of a distant planet could be the next big step in the search for life outside our solar system
By Gregory MonePosted 03.20.2008 at 9:42 am 11 Comments
Everyone seems to be double-extra-cautiously optimistic about this finding, so dont go running out to your telescope tonight looking for greetings from friendly space creatures.
But in work reported today in Nature, astronomers say they used the Hubble Space Telescopes infrared imager to pick up signs of methane in the atmosphere of a Jupiter-sized planet orbiting a star some 63 million light years from Earth. And methane, an organic molecule, is an indicator of the possible presence of life.
By Laura AllenPosted 03.19.2008 at 5:32 pm 0 Comments
When I went from footloose freelancer to sessile nine-to-fiver in a huge building, I made a rule: unless an open elevator was waiting, always take the stairs. This is because I knew it was the healthy thing to do.
Go figure—Im right, says a new JAMA study. But not only does the research show that taking fewer steps is unhealthy, it can actually cause disease.