Amp Up a Laser Pointer From Wired How-To Wiki Illustration by Lab Partners Your laser pointer could be doing so much more than highlighting PowerPoint slides and blowing your cat's mind. It could be sculpting ice, sparking campfires, or searing one bad mofo on your leather jacket. This article is a wiki. 1 Disassemble the unit by removing the batteries, opening the housing, and taking out the laser module. 2 Search the circuit board for a variable resistor. 3 To intensify the beam, use a small screwdriver to gently tighten the resistor. 4 Reassemble and aim your potent pointer at safe targets like ice, wood, or plastic. Contributed by Terrence Russell
How to Understand Everything (and why) — Metamodern Too much to know, lots to know about In science and technology, there is a broad and integrative kind of knowledge that can be learned, but isn’t taught. It’s important, though, because it makes creative work more productive and makes costly blunders less likely. Formal education in science and engineering centers on teaching facts and problem-solving skills in a series of narrow topics. Most subjects in science and engineering, however, are narrower than these, and advanced education means deeper and narrower education. To avoid blunders and absurdities, to recognize cross-disciplinary opportunities, and to make sense of new ideas, requires knowledge of at least the outlines of every field that might be relevant to the topics of interest. What are the physical phenomena? And even more fundamental than these are questions of knowledge about knowledge: What is known today? This sort of knowledge is a kind of specialty, really — a limited slice of learning, but oriented crosswise. See also:
Ant executions serve a higher purpose, research shows Natural selection can be an agonizingly long process. Some organisms have a way of taking matters into their own hands, or—in the case of the ant species Cerapachys biroi—mandibles. Researchers at The Rockefeller University and Paris University have found that when a C. biroi ant steps out of line and attempts to lay eggs when it shouldn't, the other ants will drag it out of the nest and bite and sting it until it dies. And in a new study published this month in Current Biology, they believe they've discovered why. Rather than being a competitive behavior between ants over who gets to reproduce more, it appears the killing is a means of keeping the whole colony functioning properly. It's a mechanism, the researchers say, that parallels processes in other areas of biology, even inside a single individual—like when the body attacks cancer cells proliferating out of control. Error loading player: No playable sources found The researchers monitored 11 C. biroi colonies for 13 months.
Light Touch projector makes any surface a touchscreen A previously little-known company from the UK called Light Blue Optics has demoed a projector at CES which allows users to interact with the light image as if it were a touchscreen. The Light Touch throws a 10-inch image at WVGA resolution at incredibly short distances thanks to the holographic projection technology involved. At the same time the infra-red touch sensitive system allows users to interact with social networks, multimedia sharing and any other applications that can use the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth support in the device to connect to the Internet. It comes with 2GB of onboard flash memory, a microSD card slot for expanding the storage and the battery life will last 2 hours. UPDATE: Two years on and although Light Blue Optics doesn't seem to have come up with the goods, others have. - Prodigy projection keyboard iPhone case turns any surface into a keyboard
Bernard Stiegler - La société automatique Nous vivons le temps de l’automatisation généralisée. Et dans ce contexte, certains croient pouvoir parler, en particulier aux Etats-Unis, de post-humanisme. A l’horizon de l’automatisation généralisée, se projettent les figures du Cyborg, ou du Golem. Quoi qu’il en soit, dans ces figures comme celle du Cyborg, les automatismes biologiques et les automatismes psychiques sont réagencés par et avec des automates technologiques. Le sujet dont je vais essayer de vous parler aujourd’hui, c’est celui des nouveaux rapports qui seraient en train de se tramer en ce moment-même, et qui constituent une question politique et économique entre automatismes biologiques, automatismes technologiques et automatismes psychiques, et tels que ces nouveaux rapports pourraient rendre possible aussi bien une augmentation de l’autonomie qu’une régression généralisée. Je dis ça car la technologie, c’est de plus en plus ce qui s’intériorise, et de moins en moins ce qui s’extériorise.
Robot bees designed to take over for declining bee populations in 2015. Photo by JOEL SAGET/AFP/GettyImages. Autonomous robot bugs sound like creatures from a sci-fi flick, but they could be a reality very soon. Scientists at the Universities of Sheffield and Sussex in England are designing the first electronic bees in hopes that they can "supplement or replace the shrinking population of honey bees that pollinate essential plant life," according to the tech blog io9. The Green Brain Project, as the effort is called, will upload real bees' senses of sight and smell into the tiny robots. Along with making the world safe for pollination, these bees don't sting.
TI's Chips Will Make 2012's Tablets Real-Time 3-D Supercomputers Texas Instruments has just outed a chip well ahead of its 2012 availability date, but it's such a hot ticket item it's worth knowing about--because it may enable your tablet PCs of next year to surpass your laptops of this year, with whizbang features like real-time 3-D video. The OMAP 5 chip packs two ARM Cortex A15 cores inside (a tech we've covered before) running at up to 2GHz. So right from the start it'll outperform the single-core 1GHz chips inside the current crop of tablet PCs--including the Cortex A8-based iPad--as well being twice as fast as upcoming A9-based tablets, which may include the iPad 2. But enough about the tech. TI also notes the chip enables "24-megapixel imaging" which would (shoved into a big smartphone or pocket tablet, along with the right lens technology) deal a serious death-blow to the compact digital camera market.
Literal Smart Dust Opens Brain-Computer Pathway to “Spy on Your Brain” Source: Activist Post Some might have heard about Smart Dust; nanoparticles that can be employed as sensor networks for a rangeof security and environmental applications. Now, however, literal Smart Dust for the brain is being proposed as the next step toward establishing a brain-computer interface. The system is officially called “neural dust” and works to “monitor the brain from the inside.” Inventors are attempting to overcome the hurdle of how to best implant sensors that can remain over the course of one’s life. This paper explores the fundamental system design trade-offs and ultimate size, power, and bandwidth scaling limits of neural recording systems. A network of tiny implantable sensors could function like an MRI inside the brain, recording data on nearby neurons and transmitting it back out. Concurrently, there is massive long-term investment in nanotech applications via the National Nanotechnology Initiative 2011 Strategic Plan.
One Per Cent: Cardboard cockroach ranks among world's fastest robots Sara Reardon, reporter Don't stomp on this little robot - not yet, anyway. VELOCIRoACH, a small cardboard hexapod modelled on a cockroach, can run at 2.7 metres per second, placing it among the fastest robots in the world. Boston Dynamics' LS3, which can trot at up to 3.2 m/s, still holds the speed record for a self-powered robot. VELOCIRoACH ties for second with the company's six-legged RHex. But VELOCIRoACH is by far the fastest for its size: in 1 second, it can skitter 26 times the length of its body. Duncan Haldane at the University of California, Berkeley, presented VELOCIRoACH this week at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology meeting in San Francisco. The secret to VELOCIRoACH's speed is its thin, C-shaped legs. Elsewhere at the meeting, Nick Kohut, who works with Haldane, presented a similar robot with an added tail. Haldane says he's now working to improve VELOCIRoACH's body plan so it can withstand an indoor insect's most deadly nemesis: the human foot.
1,000 Core CPU Achieved: Your Future Desktop Will Be a Supercomputer Scientists at the University of Massachusetts Lowell laugh in the face of Intel's weedy handful of cores in its new CPU lineup: They've just squeezed over a thousand processor cores onto a single chip. We've heard a lot about the potential for future desktop-sized supercomputers, but more than anything else this research proves that in the not-too-distant future it's likely to be a reality. Interestingly enough, there's also a green angle to this idea: FPGA chips can be more power efficient than their competitors, and if less computer time is needed to process complex tasks, then the overall power consumption of computers using the tech could be impressively low. The advance was made by Dr. Wim Vanderbauwhede's team, who programmed an advanced chip called a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA).
Hugo de Garis Hugo de Garis (born 1947, Sydney, Australia) was a researcher in the sub-field of artificial intelligence (AI) known as evolvable hardware. He became known in the 1990s for his research on the use of genetic algorithms to evolve neural networks using three-dimensional cellular automata inside field programmable gate arrays. He claimed that this approach would enable the creation of what he terms "artificial brains" which would quickly surpass human levels of intelligence. He has more recently been noted for his belief that a major war between the supporters and opponents of intelligent machines, resulting in billions of deaths, is almost inevitable before the end of the 21st century.:234 He suggests AIs may simply eliminate the human race, and humans would be powerless to stop them because of technological singularity. De Garis originally studied theoretical physics, but he abandoned this field in favour of artificial intelligence. Evolvable hardware Current research
A fish that pushes in the wrong direction solves a mystery of animal locomotion 7-Nov-2013 [ Print | E-mail ] Share [ Close Window ] Contact: Tanya Klein 973-596-3433New Jersey Institute of Technology For nearly 20 years, Professor Eric Fortune has studied glass knifefish, a species of three-inch long electric fish that lives in the Amazon Basin. In his laboratory he tries to understand how their tiny brains control complex electrical behaviors. But in the Nov. 4-8 online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Fortune and a multi-disciplinary team of researchers report that these opposing forces are anything but wasteful. "I read a Navy flight training manual that had a full page dedicated to the inherent tradeoff between stability and maneuverability, says Fortune, an associate professor of biology at NJIT. When an animal or vehicle is stable, it resists changes in direction. And Fortune suspects that the study will inspire young engineers to approach mechanical design in novel ways. [ Print | E-mail Share ] [ Close Window ]
Men: Pee And Wash In The Same Fixture! Lenny Bruce would have had such fun with this, but this just makes so much sense, a sink built on top of a urinal! And designer Yeongwoo Kim has made it look good, too. The theoretical sequence is that you use the urinal, then wash your hands and the washwater rinses the urinal, saving water. Since of course, everybody washes their hands after peeing, right? It makes even more sense in multiple units in mens rooms, saving both space and water. The designer writes on his website: To save water, Eco Urinal is designed to use the water that was used for washing hands to flush the urine. This in some ways makes more sense than a waterless toilet and probably saves as much water. More on urinals:No Splash, No Flush Urinals from KohlerWaterless Urinals Introduced for Home UseUrinals Disguised as Trash Cans: Everyday Objects vs Anti-Social BehaviorPee in Style and Save WaterPopup Pissoir Solves Wee Problem
Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence