Science & Technology
The revival of virtual reality is nearly upon us and Microsoft and Facebook have both put a great deal of resources into carving out their place in this new form of entertainment.
Facebook is heavily invested in the Oculus Rift while Microsoft has spent years developing its own version of virtual/augmented reality with its HoloLens.
Google on the other hand has had only a minor presence in VR with its budget-minded Google Cardboard. This could be set to change in 2016 as the company has appointed Clay Bavor, VP for Product Management, to focus his efforts solely on VR.
One of Windows 10 Mobile's truly distinctive and unusual features is Continuum. If you hook a phone up to a screen and, optionally, a mouse and keyboard, you can run desktop-style apps, albeit still powered by the phone. The connection to the screen and other peripherals can be wireless, using Miracast and Bluetooth, or wired, using the USB 3 Display Dock.
If habitable planets can form inside globular clusters, they would make nice homes for advanced civilisations that talk to each other and travel between the stars.
General Motors just beat Tesla Motors in the race to produce a truly affordable electric vehicle with triple-digit range.
Moments ago, GM CEO Mary Barra unveiled the all-electric Chevrolet Bolt at CES, providing the first look at what may be the most significant vehicle the automaker has built in decades. The little EV may look like just another five-door compact, but two figures make it an engineering masterstroke: 200 and 30,000.
Carpenter ants live in a caste system, where some members of the colony grow into large, strong worker guards known as majors and others grow into small, inquisitive food scouts known as minors. Scientists have long been fascinated by how majors and minors come to be. Though the two castes share the exact same genomes (and parents), they look and behave in dramatically different ways. Clearly, these differences must be epigenetic, or triggered by environmental factors that take hold after the ants are born.
A few days ago, Facebook open-sourced its artificial intelligence (AI) hardware computing design. Most people don’t know that large companies such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon don’t buy hardware from the usual large computer suppliers like Dell, HP, and IBM but instead design their own hardware based on commodity components. The Facebook website and all its myriad apps and subsystems persist on a cloud infrastructure constructed from tens of thousands of computers designed from scratch by Facebook’s own hardware engineers.
Life hacks are typically interesting, but let’s be honest, not all of them are entirely useful or all that practical. After all, it’s not like most people really need a life hack to figure out how to fold towels more efficiently in their bathroom.
The various existing models of the Raspberry Pi aren’t exactly expensive. The top of the line device -- the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B -- costs just $35. But if that’s a little too rich for you, how about a model that costs just $5?
If it was the beginning of April, you might expect this to be an April Fool, but the Pi Zero is real, and available now, although it may well have sold out by the time you read this because, at just five bucks (the cost of an over-priced flavored large latte), demand is bound to be high.
“How long can you stay awake?” is a question you probably don’t want to try to answer at home. But in 1964, a high schooler broke that record for science. Randy Gardner stayed awake for 264.4 hours (just a bit more than 11 days) for a science fair, and had his experiment observed by Dr. William Dement, a Stanford sleep researcher. The symptoms they found were fairly predictable—irritability, poor motor control, lack of focus, short term memory loss—but the symptoms only tell half the story.
There's a story going around today that the Web is too slow, especially over mobile networks. It's a pretty good story—and it's a perpetual story. The Web, while certainly improved from the days of 14.4k modems, has never been as fast as we want it to be, which is to say that the Web has never been instantaneous.