James Henry

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Butterflies, beetles and banknotes: tuning colour efficiently

Structural colours are more visible and vivid than those that use pigments – as many examples from the natural world demonstrate. But sometimes pure white is what is required<p>In the South American rainforests, a blue flash of colour visible from hundreds of metres away is likely to signify the …

Ask Anything: Why Is The Milky Way A Spiral?

The galaxy getdown<p>The shape of our galaxy is nothing special. Among the other clusters of stars that can be easily observed from our corner of the universe, a few are blobby and egg-shaped, but more than two-thirds are so-called “disc galaxies,” or ones whose stars have settled into flat orbits, as …

Why is the speed of darkness faster than the speed of light?

Michael Stevens explains why darkness moves faster than light in this new episode of Vsauce. I usually find these explainers interesting because they …

Could We Ever Build an Artificial World?

In our cosmic megastructures series, PM explores some of the key engineering and design challenges in constructing gigantic structures for use by humankind in space. Today: the Death Star and replica planets.<p><b>Name:</b> Artificial world<p><b>Selected Science Fiction Portrayals:</b> The two Death Stars from the <i>Star</i> …

Is IBM Making Plans For The End Of Silicon?

As chips get smaller, chipmakers investigate new methods and materials.<p>Since the computer age began, microchips have consistently been shrunk to smaller and smaller sizes. Moore’s Law, articulated in 1965 by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, predicts, fairly accurately to date, that the number of …

As artificial intelligence grows, so do ethical concerns

Now that Google is delving even deeper into artificial intelligence, the minds behind "Don't be evil" might face real questions of right and wrong.<p>This week the Mountain View search titan snatched up DeepMind, which develops artificial intelligence software. The price tag and the specifics of the …

Artificial Intelligence

Bitcoin's Legality Around The World

Last November, the U.S. Senate dove head-first into the world of Bitcoin, prompted by Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Carper, a Democratic senator from Delaware who has become very interested in the digital coin. Representatives from law enforcement and financial agencies …

California threatens to shut down coding bootcamps

Coding bootcamps are scrambling to figure out how they can save their programs, after a California regulator slapped them with cease and desist letters ordering them to shut down, pay a $50,000 fine, and offer refunds to past students. The problem, according to the California Bureau for Private …

To Succeed, Growth Hacking Has To Focus More On Product Development Than Marketing

<b>Editor’s note:</b> <i>Justin Caldbeck is a partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners and invests primarily in the Internet and mobile sectors with a focus on social media, e-commerce and enterprise software. Follow him on Twitter @caldbeckj.</i><p>I can’t think of a buzzier phrase in the tech industry these days …

How Edward Snowden went from loyal NSA contractor to whistleblower

In late December 2001, someone calling themselves TheTrueHOOHA had a question. He was an 18-year-old American male with impressive IT skills and a sharp intelligence. His real identity was unknown. Everyone who posted on Ars Technica, a popular technology website, did so anonymously.<p>TheTrueHOOHA …

Lockheed Martin's autonomous convoy tests bring Skynet one step closer to reality

Drones delivering your latest George R.R Martin instalment? Cute. But the real work of autonomous vehicles is being pioneered in the military. Lockheed Martin has recently completed testing of full autonomous convoys in Fort Hood, Texas. The test is part of the Army and Marine Corps' Autonomous …

Chrome fights back against settings hijackers

Google makes it even easier to reset your browser settings. Apparently, it's the No. 1 Chrome complaint.<p>Google is taking aggressive steps to combat what it says is the No. 1 complaint in its Chrome browser: having your settings hijacked.<p>The company first took measures to address the problem in …

Software