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The world can be powered by alternative energy, using today’s technology, in 20-40 years

January 27, 2011


If someone told you there was a way you could save 2.5 million to 3 million lives a year and simultaneously halt global warming, reduce air and water pollution and develop secure, reliable energy sources – nearly all with existing technology and at costs comparable with what we spend on energy today – why wouldn’t you do it?

According to a new study coauthored by Stanford researcher Mark Z.… read more

The world of wearable computers

May 20, 2013


(Credit: Credit Suisse)

“The next big thing” is the rise of sophisticated wearable technology, such as smart watches, and other accessories, according to Credit Suisse semiconductor analysts, Fortune reports.

The wearables market is perhaps $3 billion to $5 billion today, rising to perhaps $30 billion to $50 billion over the next three to five years, the analysts forecast, adding that there may… read more

The World Wide Translator

September 24, 2001

Will Web-wide “translation memory” finally make machine translation pay off? Computer-assisted translation typically involves two steps. First, a rules engine parses the original sentence, attempting to identify the relationships between the words. The engine then translates each word within the context that it believes to be correct.

This second step remains the most time-consuming and expensive aspect of translation, often requiring expertise in a specific technical field as well… read more

The World’s Biggest Laser Powers Up

March 26, 2009

The National Ignition Facility (NIF), a laser system designed to produce nuclear fusion reactions that release more energy than used to produce them, is now up and running.

By 2010 or 2011 the NIF’s 192 lasers will be able to deliver 1.8 megajoules of energy in a few billionths of a second to one 2-millimeter sphere filled with hydrogen isotopes. The energy will ignite a fusion reaction and generate… read more

The world’s deadliest distinction: why aren’t the oldest living people getting any older?

July 27, 2011

Jeanne Calment at age 121

Raising the upper bounds of the human lifespan is turning out to be trickier than increasing the average person’s life expectancy. In the past few years, the global count of supercentenarians — people 110 and older — has leveled off at about 80.

And the maximum age hasn’t budged. Just seven people whose ages could be fully verified by the Gerontology Research Group have ever made it… read more

The world’s first 3D-printed guitar

October 12, 2012


Scott Summit created a 3D model of his ideal guitar and sent the computer design to 3D Systems, which used its massive 3D printers to transform the graphic model into an actual acoustic instrument that Summit can play, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.

As far as anyone seems to know, this is the first 3D-printed guitar on the planet, and it raises all kinds musical possibilities. “It’s rich and full and… read more

The world’s first photonic router

A step toward building quantum computers
July 17, 2014

Illustration of the photonic router the Weizmann Institute scientists created. At the center is the single atom (orange) that routes photons (yellow) in different directions. (Credit: Weizmann Institute)

Weizmann Institute scientists have demonstrated the first photonic router — a quantum device based on a single atom that enables routing of single photons, a step toward overcoming the difficulties in building quantum computers.

A photonic switch

At the core of the device is an atom that can switch between two states. The state is set just by sending a single particle of light — or… read more

The World’s First Powered Ankle

May 11, 2007

Hugh Herr, director of the biomechatronics group at the MIT Media Lab, unveiled his latest design at an MIT conference on Wednesday: a novel prosthesis modeled on the human ankle.

The world’s largest domed city

Will include a 3 million sq. ft. wellness zone with rejuvenation services
July 15, 2014

Image from the planned Mall of the World. (credit: Dubai Holding)

Dubai Holding plans to build the world’s largest domed city: Mall of the World, in Dubai. The temperature-controlled city (also a first) will occupy a total area of 48 million square feet — the largest indoor theme park in the world. It will be covered by a glass dome that will be open during the winter months.

The project will also house the largest shopping mall in the world,… read more

The world’s largest solar thermal power plant

May 28, 2012


The outlines of a massive solar thermal power plant — the largest ever — are starting to appear in the wilderness outside of Las Vegas. The $2.2 billion project, being built by Oakland, California-based Brightsource, stretches over 3,600 acres near Ivanpah, California. When it’s finished, it will generate 370 megawatts of electricity on sunny days.

But the future of solar thermal power plants is in doubt. That’s in large… read more

The world’s lowest noise laser

January 27, 2008

Max Planck Institute researchers have set a new record for photon noise control in a laser beam, creating a laser that has the precision to be used as a gravitational wave detector.

The world’s smallest 3-D full HD display

May 24, 2011

Ortus Tech

A prototype of the “world’s smallest 3-D full HD display” using thin film transistor (TFT) has been developed by Ortus Technology, a Japanese firm.

At 4.8 inches, the screen features glasses-free 3-D effects. It’s so dense at 546 pixels per inch (229 pixels per inch in 3-D mode) that the human eye can’t actually discern one pixel from another, creating a seamless, realistic image, claims Ortus.… read more

The World’s Smallest Crime Lab

March 4, 2008

George Mason University researchers have built a microwave smaller than an ant that can heat pinhead-size drops of liquid to precise temperatures–critical for the kind of lab-on-a-chip devices investigators could someday use in the field.

One big potential payoff: a portable DNA-analysis kit that could use crime-scene evidence, such as a drop of blood, to produce the genetic fingerprint of the culprit.

The World’s Technological Capacity to Store, Communicate, and Compute Information

February 11, 2011

A study appearing Feb. 10 in Science Express calculates the world’s total technological capacity to store, communicate and compute information, part of a Special Online Collection: Dealing with Data.

The study by the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism estimates that in 2007, humankind was able to store 2.9 × 1020 optimally compressed bytes, communicate almost 2 × 1021 bytes, and carry out 6.4 ×… read more

The world’s first 3D-printed gun is a terrifying thing

July 26, 2012


Gun enthusiast “HaveBlue” has documented in a blog post (via the AR15 forums) the process of what appears to be the first test firing of a firearm made with a 3D printer, The Next Web reports.

Actually,. the only printed part of the gun was the lower receiver. But, according to the American Gun Control Act, the receiver is what counts as the firearm.

HaveBlue reportedly… read more

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