The Dirty Little Secret About Ellen’s Oscar Selfie

ellensad

You know, this one: It was a wacky, seemingly spontaneous moment in which Ellen and a bunch of stars took a selfie, and then she urged people to make it the most retweeted photo ever. And they did! I think it got almost 3 million retweets. That’s the only reason I even know about: it [Read More...]

Child’s Heart Surgery Aided By 3D-Printed Model

Michael Clevenger/The Courier-Journal

Kentucky heart surgeon Erle Austin knew that fixing 14-month-old Roland Lian Cung Bawi’s heart would be a delicate process, and he wanted as much information as possible before going in. He went to the engineering school at University of Louisville help with a computer model of the boy’s heart, and they were able to use a 3D printer to [Read More...]

The Astrolabe [Beautiful Machines]

astrolabe2

When I was asked to come up with a header for this blog, I submitted two ideas to Patheos: a robotic riff on Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam, and an image of an astrolabe. Unable to choose between the two, I suggested that the art department just combine them, and the striking image above was born. I first encountered [Read More...]

Technology Turned Against Kiev Protestors

ukraine-protests-2

Kiev is exploding in protests as Ukraine’s president attempts to move the country away from EU membership and closer into the Russian orbit. On Tuesday, anyone in the vicinity of the protests received the following message on their phones: “Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance.” Registered. Got that? We [Read More...]

Eye Cells From an Inkjet Printer

Close-up of retinal ganglion cell (yellow arrow) in a jet.

Promising news from the world of biotech: Using an inkjet printer, researchers have succeeded in printing adult eye cells for the first time. The demonstration is a step toward producing tissue implants that could cure some types of blindness. Scientists have previously printed embryonic stem cells and other immature cells. But scientists had thought adult [Read More...]

Simulating the Mundane, And What It Means

Garbage Truck Simulator

One of the stranger backwaters of gaming is niche simulation: using lush 3D engines and expansive environments to simulate everyday tasks like driving a bus, fixing an airplane, collecting garbage, or planting corn. These are not training simulators (which are a different thing), but entertainment products. I don’t mean strategy games, which have a puzzle-like [Read More...]

Which New Game System Should You Buy: Xbox or PlayStation?

PS4 vs Xbox One composite

I’ll keep it short: neither. In a year, maybe, you can consider getting into the new generation of consoles by buying either an Xbox One or a PlayStation 4. From what I’ve seen, I’d lean towards the Xbox One, because I prefer the Microsoft ecosystem, it has better multimedia features, and Microsoft has a better [Read More...]

Amazon Air and Our New World of Drones

Amazon plans to take over the world with flying barbecue grills.

The story about Jeff Bezos unveiling a new drone-based delivery system made big headlines this weekend after it was revealed in a surprise 60 Minutes segment. Here’s what it will look like: It’s neat, but is it real? I wouldn’t say I’m skeptical about it. Betting against Bezos usually isn’t wise. They’ve made their mistakes, but [Read More...]


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