science + technology news

So much space, so little time: why aliens haven’t found us yet

January 19, 2007

Rasmus Bjork, a physicist at the Niels Bohr institute, believes he may have solved the Fermi paradox.

Using a computer simulation of our own galaxy, he found that even if the alien ships could hurtle through space at a tenth of the speed of light, it would take 10 billion years to explore just 4 percent of the galaxy.

So what’s with all the dinosaurs?

November 22, 2006

The Creation Museum – motto: “Prepare to Believe!” – will be the first institution in the world whose contents, with the exception of a few turtles swimming in an artificial pond, are entirely fake.

It is dedicated to the proposition that the account of the creation of the world in the Book of Genesis is completely correct, and its mission is to convince visitors through a mixture of animatronic… read more

So Your Roomba Vacuums … Does It Also Take Pictures?

September 9, 2004

A growing breed of “hardware hackers” — computer and electronics savants who rip apart gear to change both form and function — is spurred on by a flood of low-price, highly sophisticated consumer electronics.

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Soaking up carbon dioxide and turning it into valuable products

August 31, 2015

Conceptual model showing how porphyrin COFs  could  be used to split CO2 into CO and oxygen . (credit: Omar Yaghi, Berkeley Lab/UC Berkeley)

Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed a system that absorbs carbon dioxide and also selectively reduces it to carbon monoxide (which serves as a primary building block for a wide range of chemical products including fuels, pharmaceuticals and plastics).

The trick: they’ve incorporated molecules of carbon dioxide reduction catalysts into the sponge-like crystals of covalentread more

Soaring global warming ‘can’t be ruled out’

January 27, 2005

A research project tested thousands of climate models and found that some produced a world that warmed by a huge 11.5°C when atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations reached the levels expected to be seen later this century.

Social intelligence for robots

March 9, 2011

Simon Robot

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have found that they can program a robot to understand when it gains a human’s attention and when it falls short.

With close to 80 percent accuracy, the socially expressive Simon robot was able to tell, using only his cameras as a guide, whether someone was paying attention to him or ignoring him.

“We would like to bring robots into the… read more

Social media and a school death threat

March 5, 2009

A team of Twitter users quickly acted to head off tragedy from a bomb threat in St. Louis Tuesday night.

Social media: five predictions for 2013

December 28, 2012


What does 2013 hold in store for the world of social media? CNET predicts:

1. MySpace relaunches; no one cares (no-brainer)

2. Twitter-Instagram photo rivalry continues to develop

3. Tout (video-sharing service) breaks out

4. Bigger bucks for Twitter (ads possible)

5. Facebook buys RockMelt? (its own browser)

Social networking for locusts

July 15, 2011

Swarming locusts (credit:

Insect swarming is created by the same kind of adaptive-network mechanisms that humans adopt for social networks, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Physics of Complex Systems have determined.

The researchers used ideas from studies on opinion formation in social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, and applied them to a study of 120 locusts marching in a ring-shaped arena in the lab.… read more

Social Networking Hits the Genome

March 27, 2008

23andMe, a personal genomics startup, will offer a social-networking tool that allows customers to compare their DNA.

The company’s ultimate goal is to create a genomic and phenotypic database large enough to be used for research, by asking users to voluntarily provide their medical histories and details on their medical conditions. The database would be similar to what’s collected by government and academic institutions for research, but participants would… read more

Social networking is about to get exponentially more annoying

December 9, 2011

MagnetU (credit: MagnetU)


MagnetU is a $24 device that broadcasts your social media profile to other “nodes” (people) around you, Technology Review Mims’s Bits reports.

If anyone else with a MagnetU has a profile that matches yours sufficiently, the device will alert both of you via text and/or an app. It also links to Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and other online social networks.

Social Networking Moves to the Cellphone

March 6, 2008

The social networks market is teeming with “mobile social networking” companies that want to bring the same phenomenon to the 3.3 billion cellphone subscribers, a number that far surpasses the total of Internet users.

The advantage over computer-based communities, they believe, is the ability to know where a cellphone is, thanks to global positioning satellites and related technologies.

Social networking site for researchers aims to make academic papers a thing of the past

July 16, 2009

myExperiment, the social networking site for scientists, has set out to challenge traditional ideas of academic publishing as it enters a new phase of funding.

Social networking sites to go 3D

April 9, 2008

Vivaty of Menlo Park, California, is creating a hybrid of conventional social networking sites such as Facebook and virtual worlds like Second Life.

To be offered to Facebook users, Vivaty users will get access to a virtual room where they can adorn the walls with photos, watch a virtual television that plays YouTube, invite friends over to join them, and chat via 3D avatars.

Social networking’s good and bad impacts on kids

August 9, 2011

Social media present risks and benefits to children but parents who try to secretly monitor their kids’ activities online are wasting their time, says Larry D. Rosen, Ph.D., professor of psychology at California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Rosen identifies potential adverse effects of social media, including:

  • Teens who use Facebook more often show more narcissistic tendencies, while young adults who have a strong

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