Category Archives: Technology

Pale Blue Dot

On October 13th, NASA’s Juno probe, which is scheduled to arrive at Jupiter on Independence Day 2016, made a ‘slingshot’ flyby of Earth in order to boost its velocity. Using some low-res calibration cameras, it took a time-lapse movie of its approach to the Earth-Moon system. I don’t know why NASA is bothering with Jupiter, […]

You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet

Back in July, I wrote the following: To the conservative, traditions arise naturally from the workings of human nature, as part of the ontogeny and organic development of societies. They are not the result of scientific planning or sociological theorizing — and like biological species themselves, they only come into view in retrospect. They are, […]

The Toothpaste Has Left The Tube

Here’s a 3D-printed 1911. In metal.


This is brilliant. Investors take note.

It’s Not A Bug, It’s a Feature

I’ve been preoccupied, so just a pair of related links for tonight. The topic is ‘biobots’ — i.e., remote-controlled cockroaches — and new ways to use them. Related content from Sphere

Just One Word

Forward-looking, tech-savvy investors knew a while back that 3-D printing was going to be a Big Deal. (Those farsighted speculators have already made handsome returns with companies like 3-D Systems and Stratasys.) The technology is still in its infancy, though — about where personal computing was in 1980 or so — and its truly transformative […]

The Droids We’re Looking For

Here’s another, from DARPA: WildCat. See also: RoboSimian.


A clever idea, this.

Nothing To Do, But What A View

I wish Carl Sagan were alive to see this: a gigapixel panoramic view of the surface of Mars. Don’t forget to click the “full screen” button.

More, More, More

If this is for real, it is a major innovation. Call your broker.

Arms Race

It was inevitable: given that surveillance cameras are everywhere these days, and that facial-recognition software is increasingly cheap and reliable, “privacy” freaks (who obviously have “something to hide”, or why make such a fuss?) are fighting back with a high-tech countermeasure, in the form of goggles that emit a cloaking glare of low-infrared radiation. There’s […]

O Brave New World

This is very impressive indeed.

Ticker Symbol, Please

This is quite a story, if it’s all it’s cracked up to be.


Wow, I love this little guy.


CERN has restored the world’s very first website to its original URL. Here.

Brave New World

This caught my eye: US plan calls for more scanning of private Web traffic, email Non-electronic communication will soon be a thing of the past. It’s interesting that the simplest of technologies — a packet of paper, a drop of wax — made possible, for thousands of years, something that for most people will soon […]

Battery, Parked

Attentive readers may recall that a few years ago we U.S. taxpayers lent $465 million to Tesla, a maker of electric cars. More recently we restructured the loan so that Tesla wouldn’t run out of money. (It is now, after all, a matter of vital national interest that Elon Musk’s entrepreneurial speculations actually pay off.) […]

Spot The Bug

Here’s an clever idea: crowdsourcing of malaria diagnosis, using a simple video game. Have a look.

Machines Making Machines

This is fantastic: Japanese robots making German cars. Hat tip: William Gibson.

Fun With Science

How to make a rail gun. Here.

Down In The Valley…

The Uncanny Valley, that is. Here.

Tech Talk

Forgive me, readers, but I have to make a brief technical digression: for some time now I’ve been grappling with a common but perplexing computer problem, one that appears to have vexed and confounded an awful lot of people. I’ve just found the solution, and I must share it here so that others Googling the […]

The Panopticon Is Here

With a hat tip to the indefatigable JK, here’s the latest on micro-drones. When I was at Singularity University this past April, a recurring theme was that the coming ubiquity of tiny, cheap and efficient sensors will soon have a seismic effect on the technological, and therefore the human, landscape. We like to think that […]

Auxetic Material

Never heard of it? Neither had I. It has a negative Poisson ratio. Here. See also here and here.


A reader brings to our attention a fantastic Google-Maps-based application. Here.

New York To London In 0.00186 Seconds

Here’s another edgy little item: warp drives might be feasible after all. Sharpens up the Fermi paradox even more, if so.

A Map of The Empire Whose Size Was That Of The Empire

Where? Google, of course.




One trillion frames per second, folks.

Middle Of Nowhere

Here’s a stunning 360-degree panorama from Mars, courtesy of the rover Opportunity.

Why Explore Space?

With a hat tip to reader JK: In 1970, a Zambia-based nun named Sister Mary Jucunda wrote to Dr. Ernst Stuhlinger, then-associate director of science at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, in response to his ongoing research into a piloted mission to Mars. Specifically, she asked how he could suggest spending billions of dollars on […]


I like this: our Reconnaissance orbiter snapped a picture of Curiosity descending to Mars last night. Here.

Red Rover, Red Rover

All eyes on Mars tonight! I’ll bet the thing lands on a cat. More here.


Will this thing replace the mouse, do you think? I’m skeptical. It’s a great accessory, but one important feature of using a mouse is that one can rest one’s hand on the desk. Holding your arms up all day to use your computer would be tiring, I think. Related content from Sphere

The New Valkyrie

Autonomous swarming quadracopters. Here.

Control This

In a tart item at NRO today, Kevin D. Williamson points out that eleven times more people die each year from neglecting to fill their heart-disease prescriptions than in gun assaults, and makes the piquant observation that “Gun control isn’t about guns; it’s about control.” Well, here’s something that should enliven the discussion: out there […]

Checking In

From Big Think, a glimpse at the ongoing Graduate Studies session at Singularity U.

Bottoms Up!

For tonight, an interesting item from the frontier of advancing technology. One of the the most promising innovations we discussed and saw demonstrated at Singularity University back in April was 3-D printing, in which a movable printer head builds up solid objects by depositing one very thin layer at a time. The extraordinary thing about […]


This looks promising: touchscreens that can create 3-D buttons as needed.

Better Boners Through Science


Small Step, Giant Leap

Singularity University‘s Peter Diamandis talks about the SpaceX Falcon launch. Here.


Our reader The Big Henry has been sending along some engaging science-related links lately, and he’s just sent me another. This one has to do with the possibility that “biophotons” — light quanta emitted within living cells — may be a channel for some sort of information transfer. I’ve never heard anything about this until […]

Caduceus Ex Machina

From Brad Templeton’s blog: flying telepresence drones as medical first-responders. Here.


Here’s a novel approach to implementing coordinated behavior in a non-hierarchical “swarm” of autonomous machines: Biologists have long puzzled over the ability of bacteria and social insects to sense not only the presence of compatriots but their number and to synchronise their behaviour. It turns out that these creatures perform this synchronisation using a process […]

Oh, Canada!

Attention, teens: if you need some help answering the call of the wild, then make your way to Sex: A Tell-All Exhibition, now running at Ottawa’s Museum of Science and Technology. The exhibit includes floor-to-ceiling photos of nude toddlers, children, teens and adults, and an array of heated, flavoured and textured condoms rolled over wooden […]


I’ve mentioned “exponentially advancing technology” a lot lately. Think I was kidding?

Get Rich Quick

Nothing to it.

Plenty of Room

Longtime readers will know that I’m a big admirer of Richard Feynman. In the nanotech discussions last week at SU, there was frequent mention of his visionary 1959 lecture There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom, which is widely regarded as the genesis of the field. If you aren’t familiar with it, you can read […]

Google Glasses

So: here’s the latest inevitable step toward having our brains permanently jacked into the Internet. Are you going to want a pair of these? In this demo the user talks to his glasses. But what’s the endpoint here? Once the interface is fast and intuitive enough, so that we can send and receive data as […]

Sign Me Up

For one of these.