Science & Technology
Why does Bitcoin work? Fraudsters should have left it in cinders years ago, and might have done, if it wasn’t for two things: spam and the Byzantine Empire.
A Bitcoin is basically an entry in a ledger that is distributed across a network of computers. Bitcoins are transferred between parties by noting the transaction in the ledger. This might sound just like any other banking system except there’s a crucial difference: no one is in charge of the ledger.
With so many incredible advances in mobile technology, it can sometimes feel like progress in battery technology isn't exactly keeping up. While our mobile devices can do so much more today than simply make calls and send text messages, many of us often struggle to get through the day on a single battery charge when we make full use of our handset’s capabilities.
LEGIONS of disembodied brains floating in deep space threaten to undermine our understanding of the universe. New mathematical modelling suggests string theory and its multiple universes may just provide our salvation – and that could win the controversial theory a few more backers.
Physicists have dreamed up some bizarre ideas over the years, but a decade or so ago they outdid themselves with the concept of Boltzmann brains – fully formed, conscious entities that form spontaneously in outer space.
Quantenna today announced an 802.11ac Wi-Fi chipset that pushes 1.7Gbps of data over four wireless streams.
The first chips based on the 802.11ac standard hit 1.3Gbps last year by creating three streams of 433Mbps each. (With the older 802.11n standard, the maximum throughput for a single stream is 150Mbps.) Quantenna's QSR1000 chips based on 802.11ac are thus a minor evolution over what was already available, using Multi-user MIMO technology with four spatial streams to hit 1.7Gbps.
Turns out, that old "practice makes perfect" adage may be overblown. New research led by Michigan State University's Zach Hambrick finds that a copious amount of practice is not enough to explain why people differ in level of skill in two widely studied activities, chess and music.
In other words, it takes more than hard work to become an expert. Hambrick, writing in the research journal Intelligence, said natural talent and other factors likely play a role in mastering a complicated activity.
In the age of ubiquitous computing, we've grown fairly used to infrastructure, objects, and even furniture that adapt to the presence of humans. But what if you could control the behavior of a wall or room simply by thinking harder?
A Russian spacecraft containing 45 mice, 8 gerbils, and 15 newts returned to Earth on Sunday. The spacecraft, a modified Bion-M life sciences satellite, was launched in April 2013 and was intended to study the biological effects of long-term weightlessness. However, due to a combination of equipment failure and what scientists referred to as "the stresses of space," fewer than half the mice (and none of the gerbils) remained alive after their month in space. The newts were fine, though.
Is there anything more annoying than infrastructure that turns on you?
For years we've been warned about the specter of hacker-induced nuclear power plant meltdowns, breached electric-grid control systems or Samsung TVs that let hackers watch you. We've even heard we could lose our data to juicejacking, when all we want is an emergency phone charge.
Google has an image of the future of search, and it's a bit sci-fi.
Google developers envision users talking to their computers much like the characters on Star Trek did. Want to know where the closest grocery store, or planet system, is? Simply speak your question to the computer. And it will speak its answer to you.
Anointed the next Steve Jobs by some admirers, Twitter inventor and Square CEO Jack Dorsey is one of the few people who can get the Silicon Valley press corps to roll out of bed early to hear what he has to say. Unlike Jobs, Dorsey spoke from a table at Blue Bottle Coffee near Square’s San Francisco headquarters, not the stage of the convention center down the street. Also unlike Jobs, he didn’t announce a product that at first glance seemed ready to detonate our digital lives and rearrange the pieces in a fundamentally new way.
Instead, Dorsey unveiled a cash register stand.