Myrddin R Emrys

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Apple Speeds Into Electric Car Race

iCar may arrive by 2019<p>As traditional car companies are facing the repercussions of recent events, Silicon Valley is cannonballing into the automotive market.<p>The <i>Wall Street Journal</i> reported today that Apple plans to deliver an electric car by 2019, and is in the process of recruiting 1,200 more …

Let The Robots And iPhones Tend The Crops

Cheap, networked technology is transforming agriculture<p>Since Dorn Cox began automating his 250-acre New Hampshire farm four years ago, he has installed dozens of sensors. Some measure moisture in soil around his squash. Some track temperatures in the greenhouse air around his cucumbers. Others …

A 40-Watt Laser Shotgun. Really.

Livin' la vida laser<p>There’s no practical reason why a 40-watt laser shotgun should exist. But it’s not illegal, or—with the appropriate vision and know-how—even that difficult to build. So this past June, DIY laser whiz Drake Anthony, then a college junior, decided to give it a go.<p>Rather than craft …

Tiny Motorized Robots Can Clean Carbon Dioxide Out Of Seawater

Love that flat water<p>In a restaurant you might prefer 'sparkling' carbonated water over the still variety, but in the oceans, carbonated water is a very bad thing.<p>Thanks to our penchant for burning fossil fuels, there are increasing levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, which means there …

Your Baby’s Brain Holds the Key to Solving Society’s Problems

Author’s advice to parents: Quality time with your baby means tapping the three Ts—tune in, talk more, take turns.<p>Try saying pediatric otolaryngologist. Not easy, right?<p>According to Dana Suskind, who holds that title at the University of Chicago, our exposure to rich language in the first three …

Parenting

Cyanogen will get cozy with Microsoft's Cortana

You can use Microsoft's Cortana voice assistant on Android right now, but it's not really <i>integrated</i> with Android. There's only so much the developers can do when they don't control the operating system. If Cyanogen has its way, though, you'll soon see what Cortana can do when the gloves are off. …

12 Predictions Isaac Asimov Made About 2014 in 1964

When sci-fi author Isaac Asimov sojourned to the New York World's Fair in 1964 — according to his writings, he "enjoyed it hugely" — he regretted the …

Isaac Asimov

Crown shyness - when trees don't like to touch each other

This incredible photo is an example of "crown shyness," a phenomenon in which the crowns of trees maintain a little personal space between each …

Homophobic attitudes linked to psychological problems

A study published in the <i>Journal of Sexual Medicine</i> (great name for a soul album) finds that gay haters are more likely to be angry, physically …

Prosthetic limb used to restore 'near-natural' sense of touch, claims DARPA

The US military agency DARPA says it has successfully restored a test subject's sense of touch using a prosthetic hand connected directly to the brain. The research was carried out on an anonymous 28-year-old man, who was paralyzed after suffering a spinal cord injury more than a decade ago. An …

Eric Schmidt says artificial intelligence is 'starting to see real progress'

The Google chairman also took a shot at Apple Music<p>Eric Schmidt is all in on artificial intelligence. In an op-ed for the BBC, the highly opinionated Google — and soon to be Alphabet — chairman wrote that we're closer than ever before to true artificial intelligence, and that continued research …

Human Evolution 101

Find out more about the origins of our species.<p>The origins of humankind have long fascinated scientists and the public alike—but the topic can get confusing. Here are answers to a few common questions.<p><b>Why are scientists certain that human evolution happened?</b><p>For a number of reasons. We share nearly …

World's first all-electric propulsion satellite begins operations

Boeing has announced that the first satellite using fully-electric propulsion has begun operating. Dubbed the ABS-3A, this 4,300-pound telecommunications satellite will provide C- and Ku-band service to South America, the Middle East and Africa. Unlike, well most every other satellite in orbit, the …

‘Red Dragon’ Mission to Bring Mars Rocks Back to Earth Could Launch by 2022

A mission that uses SpaceX's Dragon capsule to help bring chunks of Mars rock back to Earth for analysis could launch as early as 2022, researchers say.<p>This "Red Dragon" project — which remains a concept at the moment, not an approved mission — would grab samples collected by NASA's 2020 Mars rover …

Space Exploration

Chunk of gallium melts in your hand

I already own a chunk of aerogel (aka "frozen smoke"), which I pull from its little plastic container every couple of years to marvel at. I keep it …

ISP wins 11-year battle to reveal warrantless FBI spying

A US district court has struck down an 11-year-old gag order imposed by the FBI on Nicolas Merrill, the former head of a small internet service provider. Originally issued in 2004, it forbade Merrill from revealing that he'd received a so-called national security letter (NSL), a warrantless demand …

The 'Sharpest Picture Yet' of the Higgs Boson

Two experiments at the Large Hadron Collider combine forces to give new precision to the elusive particle's properties.<p>Over three years ago, researchers announced the discovery of the Higgs boson (or a "particle consistent with the Higgs boson," depending on how careful you're being). It was a …

LHC creates liquid from Big Bang

Scientists using the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) have produced tiny droplets of a state of matter thought to have existed right at the birth of the …

Physics

If The iPad Pro Is Jupiter, Here’s Apple’s Full Solar System Of Devices

The long-rumored iPad Pro was revealed last week at Apple’s fall 2015 event. The 12.9-inch iOS device whose smart keyboard and stylus are a bit reminiscent of the Microsoft’s Surface, and mark an important shift in Apple’s tablet efforts. With a new moniker and increased footprint, the iPad Pro …

SpaceX Dragon Capsule Could Bring Soil Samples Back From Mars

But settling the life-on-Mars debate is just the beginning<p>SpaceX’s Dragon capsule has been dutifully carting supplies to and from the International Space Station since 2012. Now a team of researchers wants to send the Dragon capsule to Mars and back.<p>The “Red Dragon” mission concept is just a …

Wait, What? The Most Amazing Ideas From DARPA's Tech Conference

We met robots and jet builders at a one-of-a-kind gathering<p>ST. LOUIS — The housecat-sized robot that brought me a granola bar may not have been exactly what Dwight Eisenhower had in mind when he founded the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Rolling around on four skateboard wheels, the …

How Do You Know If You Have A Tickborne Illness?

Ticks spread more than just Lyme disease. Knowing risks and symptoms could help you get better diagnosis—and treatment.<p>When you think of illnesses spread by ticks, Lyme disease probably comes to mind. It makes sense. After all, it’s arguably the most publicly discussed tickborne illness, at least …

Octopi are aliens that live on Earth

An alien on Earth<p><i>This column is part of a series where Verge staffers post highly subjective reviews of animals. Up until now, we've written about animals without telling you whether they suck or rule. We are now rectifying this oversight.</i><p>Are octopi aliens? Maybe! After all, they’re the most …

Zoology

WATCH: Octopuses Appear To Take Up Arms As Submarine Warfare Escalates

There may be an octopus arms race underway. And that's not even a joke about tentacles: Octopuses are actually fighting, and potentially using weapons.<p>The creatures are hardly team players under the best of circumstances.<p>"Octopuses in general are regarded as fairly solitary animals," says Peter …

Zoology

8 good stocks at bear market prices

The vicious stock selloff has rekindled fears of a bear market: a drop of at least 20% in major indexes from their highs. Standard & Poor’s 500-stock …

Investing

Tiny robots pull objects up to 2,000 times their own weight

The equivalent of a human dragging a blue whale<p>Engineers from Stanford University have created miniature robots named "MicroTugs" capable of pulling and lifting objects more than 100 times their own weight. The strongest of the bots weighs just 12 grams but can pull objects 2,000 times heavier than …

Robotics

The Homer Simpson effect: forgetting to remember

New research suggests that the act of remembering causes forgetting of similar but irrelevant memories.<p>Homer Simpson wasn’t a neuroscientist, but he evidently had some insight into how the brain works. In one episode of the long-running series, he explains why education is wasted on him: “Every …

Ubuntu 15.04 Launches With Support For OpenStack Kilo, New LXD Hypervisor And Snappy Core

Canonical today announced that the next version of Ubuntu, 15.04 Vivid Vervet, will be available for download on Thursday. This release introduces a couple of new features for desktop users, but most of the important updates center around server deployments.<p>It’s no secret that Ubuntu has put quite …

Scientists Target New Painkillers From Spider Venom

Ingredients in venom could lead to new, nonaddictive treatments for chronic pain<p>Scientists in Australia, home to some of the most poisonous creatures on Earth, have made an important discovery about spider venom that eventually could lead to a new class of painkillers.<p>Spiders use their venom to …

Biology