Inventions on Flipboard

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As MapReduce fades, Apache Spark is now a top-level project

MapReduce was fun and pretty useful while it lasted, but it looks like Spark is set to take the reins as the primary processing framework for new Hadoop workloads. The technology took a meaningful, if not huge, step toward that end on Thursday when the Apache Software Foundation announced that …

The weird, wacky & cool energy ideas coming out of labs across the US

A fuel cell for space. Batteries that use air. A way to tap pine trees and extract biofuels like maple syrup from a maple tree. These are just some of the “out-there” energy innovations that researchers and entrepreneurs are hard at work building in labs across the U.S., and which were on display …

Energy

Drug lets blind eyes 'see light'

A drug can restore the ability of the eye to sense light after blindness, animal studies show.

Reacting to light is the job of the rods and cones in the retina, but these can be destroyed by disease.

A study, in the journal Neuron, showed a chemical could give "support-duty cells" in the eye the …

How a pomegranate inspired a new lithium ion battery design

The lithium ion battery could get a boost from the humble pomegranate. According to researchers at Stanford, including Amprius founder Yi Cui, and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, clustering tiny silicon particles in a hard carbon rind — like seeds in a pomegranate — could be a helpful …

Batteries

Harvard researchers look to termites as inspiration for autonomous building robots

Termites may be among the most repellent and invasive insects on the planet, but they've also provided the inspiration for a set of swarm-based construction robots designed by a group of Harvard researchers. The TERMES robot project is based on the behavior of actual termites: while the insects may …

Robots

Tiny Sensors Are a Game Changer at Toy Fair 2014

Every year the toys at the American International Toy Fair in New York get a little bit smarter, and this year did not disappoint. Crayola has infused augmented reality into its new products, robots are now considered toys and Nerf guns can keep track of scores with RFID-capable smart darts.

This …

Robots

Google Launches Project Tango Smartphone To Experiment With Computer Vision And 3D Sensors

Google today announced Project Tango, an Android-based prototype 5″ phone and developer kit with advanced 3D sensors out of its Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) hardware skunkworks group.

Using its sensors, the phone doesn’t just track motion, but it can actually build a visual map of rooms …

Google

Google's Tango phone has human-like understanding of space

Google is launching yet another crazy moonshot project. This one is a prototype called "Project Tango," which squeezes 3D computer vision technology -- similar to that used in the Xbox Kinect -- into a smartphone. The device is being cooked up by Google's Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) …

What Should You Do With the World’s Most Powerful Laser? Study Proteins, Naturally

Could unlock secrets to a quarter of all varieties with huge benefits to drug research

Forget about making James Bond wince or shooting down drones, scientists have found a much more appropriate use for the world’s most powerful laser — understanding proteins. Researchers have employed the …

Scientific Research

Kenguru is a tiny electric hatchback for wheelchair users

Kenguru's electric car has no seats, and you drive it by putting your hands on motorcycle-style handlebars. It's built for wheelchair users, who can roll right through the rear hatch of the car into the driver's area. The Austin-based company is preparing to launch its first product, which has an …

Hatchback

This new material could eradicate battery fires

Lithium-ion batteries are at the heart of the phones, tablets, cars, and planes we use every day, but they have an inconvenient habit of occasionally bursting into flames. Now, a team of scientists have found they can replace the unstable, fire-prone chemicals in batteries with an exceptionally …

Stem cell 'major discovery' claimed

Stem cell researchers are heralding a "major scientific discovery", with the potential to start a new age of personalised medicine.

Scientists in Japan showed stem cells can now be made quickly just by dipping blood cells into acid.

Stem cells can transform into any tissue and are already being …

These molecule-sized wires could stop the computer industry from hitting a brick wall

In case you missed it, the end of the age of ever-faster computers is nigh. In his speech (pdf) at last summer’s Hot Chip conference, Bob Colwell, Intel’s former chief architect, said Moore’s law—the prediction that computer power doubles every 18-24 months, which has held largely true since Intel …

Computer Hardware

This $75 synthesizer will turn anything into an instrument

Yuri Suzuki, the designer that brought you cabs that create music from street noise and helped Disney turn your earlobe into a speaker, is launching a Kickstarter through his company Dentaku for a circuit board that turns anything and everything into a musical instrument. Calling Ototo a circuit …

Synthesizers

In a distributed world cache is king. Why routers are becoming the new server.

Much like Amazon(a amzn) sparked a revolution in not just corporate IT but also in how companies build out their infrastructure (you could probably credit VMware’s virtualization software with a role in this as well), the rise in connected sensors and devices will rock the world of information …

Cisco Systems

Using Leap Motion And Oculus Rift, This Game Tries To Correct Lazy Eye

Diplopia has raised more than $20,000 on Indiegogo.

James Blaha had spent years dreaming up ways to fix his strabismus, a condition more commonly known as crossed eyes. He had contemplated using two projectors with polarized filters and lenses to send different images to each eye, but when the …

IBM's speedy graphene chip could lead to super-efficient mobile devices

Chips with graphene inside are theoretically quicker than plain silicon designs, but they've been slow in practice; the manufacturing process often damages the graphene, stripping away its speed advantage. That won't be a big problem with IBM's prototype radio receiver, though. The company inserted …

Key quantum computing components squeezed onto a single chip

Researchers are a little bit closer to a practical quantum computer after a University of Bristol team discovered how to produce and control photons — a key component of quantum computing — on the same chip as other essential parts. They published their work in Nature Photonics today.

Before now, …

Quantum

World's first carbon fibre 3D printer on sale next month

The £3,000 desktop printer can manufacture carbon fibre parts that are 20 times stiffer and five times stronger than plastic parts

An American firm which manufactures components for race cars has spun-out a startup to bring the world’s first carbon fibre 3D printer to market.

The $5,000 (£3,000) Mark …

Carbon Fiber

Genetic Weapon Against Insects Raises Hope and Fear in Farming

Scientists and biotechnology companies are developing what could become the next powerful weapon in the war on pests — one that harnesses a Nobel Prize-winning discovery to kill insects and pathogens by disabling their genes.

By zeroing in on a genetic sequence unique to one species, the technique …

Genetics

The Weight-Loss Pill That Turns Into a Balloon to Fill One's Stomach

A novel treatment in clinical trials

This is the Obalon system. It is a pill that has a balloon inside. Obalon is a weight-loss device, marketed as an alternative to bariatric surgery, that claims to help people eat less and "push back from the table sooner."

Obalon begins to work when you swallow …

Balloons

Teenage hacker creates next-gen crypto-platform

Most people think of bitcoin as a form of money, if they think of bitcoin at all. But 19-year-old hacker Vitalik Buterin sees it as something more -- much more. He sees it as a new way of building just about any internet application.

The bitcoin digital currency is driven by open source software …

First Android bootkit malware spotted; reportedly found on over 350,000 mobile devices, most in China

A new trojan for Android has been discovered that resides in the memory of infected devices and launches itself early on in the OS loading stage. Even if some elements of the threat are removed successfully, at least one component will still reside in the protected memory area and will reinstall …

Could Apple be using sapphire glass for a solar-charging iPhone 6 screen?

There’s been a lot of talk about sapphire glass since Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down for an interview with ABC News last week. But aside from confirming that a new manufacturing plant the company purchased in Mesa, Arizona last year will be used to produce sapphire glass, no other details were …

Bitcloud wants to replace the internet

"We want to replace YouTube, Dropbox, Facebook, Spotify, ISPs, and more with decentralised apps based on proof of bandwidth."

This was the bold statement announced last week from Bitcloud, a distributed autonomous corporation that hopes to "decentralise the current internet" so it can "create a new …

Google hires creator of Aether encrypted social network

Burak Nehbit, the 23-year-old author of the well-liked Aether content-sharing network, has accepted a job with Google. After revealing the news on Twitter over the weekend, Nehbit told The Verge that he still very much intends to keep Aether development going, noting that he managed to keep it out …

Google

2 million mirrors let Glyph project games from its headset to your retina

Glyph, a mobile personal theatre concept, has garnered more than $725,000 in Kickstarter pledges (around £440,000).

The technology uses a head-mounted display not dissimilar to the Oculus Rift but claims a sharper image and was originally aiming for the military market.

Using a "virtual retinal …

How new tech can help lawyers rethink their jobs in the big data age

The legal profession is inherently conservative when it comes to adopting new technologies and practices, but firms and lawyers that want to stand out in an evolving field might want to jump on the big data bandwagon sooner rather than later.

Law firms took a beating during the peak of the recession …

Data

Europe's RoboEarth - sort of a Wikipedia for robots

Eindhoven, Netherlands --

Let the robot race begin.

Expectations are high for RoboEarth, a new European-funded system to speed the development of human-serving robots. Scientists from five major European technical universities gathered in the Netherlands last week for its launch and to demonstrate …