Thayne Price

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Polk Audio Striker Zx For Xbox One Gaming Headset Review -- Affordable Immersion

Polk Audio has existed successfully in the home audio space for 40 years, but they’re a relative newcomer to the gaming audio scene. That’s no easy market to crack when positioned against console mainstays like Turtle Beach or Mad Catz, but between the affordable N1 Surroundbar for Xbox One (it’s …

How Iron Dome is Changing Warfare—Whether it Works or Not

If Israel's Iron Dome is as good as Israel says it is, then it could change the way the world looks at missile defense.<p><b>The 20-ft Fajr-5 rocket leaves its launcher in</b> Gaza in a hurry, gaining speed as it streaks east. Its warhead is carrying 200 pounds of high explosives toward the Israeli capital, …

Watch an Audi RS7 Drive Itself Around a Track at 150 MPH—with Nobody Inside

The thought of a driverless car hurtling itself around a track at 150 mph sounds like a bizarre racing disaster: What happened to the driver? But just before the DTM season finale at Hockenheim, Audi is making it happen, sending an autonomous RS7 sports sedan careening around the track with nary a …

Psychedelic Drugs, Art, Music, and Other Drugs: An Interview with Finn McKenna

I talked to Terence McKenna's son, Finn, about a wide range of topics including LSD, H.P. Lovecraft, London, visionary art, and "a revolutionary musical video game that will immerse players in a psychedelic experience."<p>Last week in this column, I interviewed Terence McKenna's daughter, Klea. This …

Psychedelic Drugs

One World Trade Center: how New York tried to rebuild its soul

You see it when you whip over the Brooklyn Bridge, or look downtown crossing Sixth Avenue: eight isosceles triangles of blue glass, taller than anything else on the skyline. One World Trade Center, finally approaching completion after 13 years of trauma and backbiting, has become a familiar, serene …

The $3.2 Billion Man: Can Google's Newest Star Outsmart Apple?

Google is betting big on Nest CEO Tony Fadell, who helped invent the iPod and iPhone. Here, a look inside his design revolution.<p>Lounging poolside in 93-degree July heat as Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” thrums through the patio speakers, Tony Fadell takes a sip of nonalcoholic beer and sinks far enough …

Mobile Devices

China, the Climate and the Fate of the Planet

As the sun rises in mid-july over andrews Air Force Base near Washington, D.C., Secretary of State John Kerry climbs quickly – he’s positively …

Climate

New Oculus Rift prototype brings out the best in virtual reality

Presence. It's the ability of VR headsets to fool your mind and body into thinking that you are actually in a virtual world, and that experience is what Oculus seeks to deliver with its latest prototype. Code-named Crescent Bay, it's an evolution of the DK2 headset that only recently started making …

Drone Brain Makers Want To Create The DOS Of Flying Robots

Cloud compatibility in the actual clouds.<p>Drones soon may be bound together by a common code. Airware, a commercial drone software company with MIT roots, hopes to unify drones in a shared code architecture. Airware already makes an autopilot, but that’s just the first step to creating a drone …

The Bike That Never Needs Repairs

Engineered to be maintenance-free<p>Every mechanic knows that moving parts break down over time, and David Weiner, founder of Priority Bicycles, knows it better than most. Weiner spent six years as a bike mechanic in his hometown of Walnut Creek, California, and much of his job was spent fixing the …

A Spacecraft That Packs The Punch Of A Warhead

Hayabusa 2 could be the first to intercept and blast an asteroid.<p>After a dysfunctional Hayabusa mission returned to Earth in 2003 with a measly 0.1 milligram of asteroid dust, Japan's Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) didn't give up--it doubled down. In December, the $310-million Hayabusa 2 will …

The Quest To Harness Wind Energy At 2,000 Feet

High-altitude wind contains enough energy to power the planet. A Boston start-up wants to be the first to bring it down to Earth.<p>Nothing about the grooved, inflatable body taking shape inside Greentown Labs in Somerville, Massachusetts, resembles a wind turbine. It looks more like a jetliner's …

The Rise Of Open Source Hardware

Hardware has always lagged behind software in the open source movement. But one website is beginning to change that.<p>Emile Petrone founded Tindie for selfish reasons. “The basic idea was that there wasn’t a marketplace for the things I was interested in,” he says. At the time, those things were his …

Light Forms Crystal-Like Structure On Computer Chip

Light that's truly crystal clear<p>Princeton researchers have managed to cause light to behave like a crystal within a specialized computer chip, according to a recent paper. This is the first time anyone has accomplished this effect in a lab.<p>Here's why it's so hard: Atoms can easily form solids, …

Lockheed Laser Brings Turrets Back To Airplanes

Might the Laserfortress replace the Stratofortress?<p>In World War II, mighty bombers came equipped with gun barrels, manned by gunners at the ready to protect the plane from attacking fighters. The B-52 Stratofortress even came with a tail gun for self defense and last used it in combat over Vietnam …

Aviation

Throwback Thursday: Bullet Trains, Floating Toilets, And A Really Big Bridge

Important things from September 1964<p><i>On this Throwback Thursday, we go back 50 years to the _Popular Science</i> of September 1964_.<p>What To Do When Your Brakes Fail<p>"You start down a long, steep mountain grade at a fast clip, and suddenly find you have no brakes." Our September 1964 cover story explained …

Solar Car Powers Your House When It's Parked

Meet Stella, a practical family sedan that generates net energy<p>Her flat roof, squashed teardrop shape, and low profile don’t scream “showroom-ready family car,” but Stella, which I saw at the 2014 Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress in Detroit, is indeed the world’s first four-seat …

Self-Driving Cars: A Marketer's Dream?

The automated car of the future could become a haven for an advertising nightmare.<p>Picture this: You're on a cross-country road trip with your kids, passing through some dusty corner of Nevada in your self-driving 2030 Chevrolet Lumina. Your car then sends an invisible message across the desert:</i> …

The Week In Numbers: Origami Microscopes, Laser Turrets, And A Bit More Than One Texas

It's been a bumper week for algae.<p><b>50:</b> number of cameras researchers are using to study penguin populations in the Antarctic. You can help researchers identify penguins in adorable photographs, all while helping to train their artificial penguin-spotting intelligence.<p><b>1/2 millimeter:</b> width of a huge …

The Brilliant Ten of 2014

For the 13th year, Popular Science honors the brightest young minds reshaping science, engineering, and the world.<p>Each year, <i>Popular Science</i> goes through a six-month selection process to identify the most inspired young scientists and engineers—researchers whose ideas will transform the future. Here …

As World’s Population Booms, Will Its Resources Be Enough for Us?

New projections of escalating growth increase the tension between humanity’s expanding needs and what the planet can provide.<p><b>There are more than 7 billion people on Earth now, and roughly one in eight of us doesn't have enough to eat. The question of how many people the Earth can support is a</b> …

Worms' Bright Blue Death Could Shed Light On Human Aging

Last year, researchers at University College London's Institute of Healthy Ageing were looking through their microscopes when they saw something amazing.<p>David Gems, professor of biogerentology, was part of the team looking for answers to big questions about human aging in small, squishy little …

Why the Incas offered up child sacrifices

<i>These children [to be sacrificed to the mountain and other gods] would be collected from all over the land and would be carried in litters together … They should be very well dressed, paired up female and male.</i><p><b>Juan de Betanzos, 1551</b><p><i>Human nature would not allow them to kill their own children … if</i> …

New to nature no 111: Typhleotris mararybe

Most of the 150 or so types of cave fish pale in comparison to a newly discovered species from an isolated karst sinkhole in south-western Madagascar. Fish living in perpetual darkness typically share a syndrome of convergent features, including the loss of eyes and pigmentation accompanied by …

Apple's Craziest, Most Futuristic Patents Show How Insanely Ambitious Its Thinking Is

Luckily it's often possible to get a hint of what Apple has in the works, just by looking at its many patent applications.<p>It's important to note that Apple files for many more patents than it will actually use, employing a protective strategy that quickly annoys those tired of legal patent battles …

The New Google/Motorola Moto X Smartphone Is A Quiet Delight

The difficulty and virtue of quiet is too often overlooked.<p>The new Moto X smartphone, Motorola's first start-to-finish project after its acquisition by Google last year, is here.<p>"Motorola's Moto X Must Be Game-Changing -- Or Else," writes Tim Stenovec, threateningly, at the Huffington Post. "With …

DARPA Pushes Bionic Arm Boundaries

The Revolutionizing Prosthetics program has led to two parallel research paths investigating new ways to build arm prostheses that users can control with their brains.<p><b>Former Army Staff Sgt. Glen Lehman</b>, standing tall in a white tank top and jeans, takes a blue piece of tulle in his left hand and …

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How Oculus Rift will Change the World Beyond Gaming

From virtual tourism to Matrix-style virtual learning.<p>What's the best scene in The Matrix? The lobby shoot-out, the helicopter escape, the rooftop …