Michael

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Google’s Self-Driving Car Is Real, And It Looks Like A Tiny Bubble-Car

Aw, look, it’s smiling at us. Nice autonomous car!<p>We’ve known Google has been working on self-driving cars for awhile now, but all of a sudden, the project is real: last night, Google revealed a working prototype of its self-driving car. It’s a two-seater that looks something like a mashup of a …

Experimental Google Smartphone Becomes Brain Of Space Robot

NASA has hacked the phone to make an autonomous utility robot for the ISS.<p>Robots excel at the tedious, repetitive tasks that bore humans into ineffectiveness. So NASA has tweaked an experimental Google smartphone called "Project Tango" that takes 250,000 measurements per second to create a 3-D map …

Computer Science

Starwatch: The June night sky

June brings our shortest nights of the year and ones that are bathed in twilight as the Sun makes only a shallow sweep beneath our northern horizon. Indeed, from Orkney and Shetland all but the brightest stars and planets remain submerged in the so-called "simmer dim".<p>Our brightest evening planet, …

Skip the Humans: Drug Discovery by Simulating Cells

Virtual clinical trials would combine big data and computer simulation.<p>The future of medicine, we're often told, will be personalized. We'll have gene therapies, wearables to monitor our vital signs—maybe even new kinds of vital signs—and robot doctors to diagnose our illnesses.<p>But the real promise …

Why smallpox has not been completely destroyed

Our picks of the week from around the web, including why we need to keep a killer, the secret history of hypertext, and who invented the seven-day week.<p>Machines versus lawyers<br>John McGinnis | City Journal | 28 May 2014<br>Machine intelligence will disrupt law firms as fundamentally as the internet did …

The Most Intriguing Stars In The Universe [Infographic]

Here are the stars that get the closest scrutiny from scientists<p>In late 2013, a group of astronomers in the U.S. and France made a new kind of sky map, which charts the how intensely scientists have studied features in the heavens. To build the map, they analyzed a million references to celestial …

The Five Biggest Threats To Human Existence

The big and bad crises that could wipe out humanity<p>In the daily hubbub of current “crises” facing humanity, we forget about the many generations we hope are yet to come. Not those who will live 200 years from now, but 1,000 or 10,000 years from now. I use the word “hope” because we face risks, …

Caliche: the conflict mineral that fuelled the first world war

The active ingredient of war<p>One of the forgotten battles of the first world war was fought for Chilean dirt. It wasn't just any dirt, though – it was <i>caliche,</i> a whitish substance rich in the crucial mineral sodium nitrate. Nitrates are the active ingredient of bombs and bullets, and they became the …

Sleepy brains neglect half the world

Damage to certain parts of the brain can lead to a bizarre syndrome called hemispatial neglect, in which one loses awareness of one side of their body and the space around it. In extreme cases, a patient with hemispatial neglect might eat food from only one side of their plate, dress on only one …