Jul 25, 2014

Feeling powerful increases how much time you think you have

posted by Larra Morris

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A new study titled "Power and Time Availability" by the University of California Berkeley has found that the more power you possess, the more time you feel like you have at your disposal. The study asked a few hundred people, some primed as "bosses," and others as "employees," to fill out surveys about how much time they felt they had to complete a specific set of brain teasers. They found that the "bosses" often thought they could pack more tasks in to a finite amount of time,

"Four studies experimentally demonstrated that power increases perceptions of available time, and that perceived control over time underlies this effect," write the study's authors Alice Moon and Serena Chen. In other words, your boss thinks they have more control over time, and thus feels like they have more time to spend.
via The Verge

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Jul 25, 2014

Mayfly swarm shows up on weather radar

posted by Larra Morris

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The forecast for La Crosse, Wisconsin, is for continuing mayflies. According to the National Weather Service, conditions are perfect for the emergence of mayflies along the upper Mississippi River, and the area teems with them every year. The swarm this year is thick enough to be caught on weather radar. What does it look like on the ground? Like this:

1406206431-0.jpgvia Neatorama

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Jul 25, 2014

Future phones could house a terabyte of memory

posted by Larra Morris

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You may think that the 3GB of memory in your new smartphone is hot stuff, but that pales in comparison with what Rice University has in store. Its scientists have detailed a form ofresistive RAM (RRAM) that can be made using regular equipment at room temperatures, making it practical for everyday gadgets. The trick is the use of porous silicon oxide where metals (such as gold or platinum) fill the gaps. Using the silicon material doesn't just give manufacturers something familiar to work with; it requires much less power than previous techniques, can last through 100 times as many uses and isn't fazed by heat. It's also far denser than earlier RRAM, storing nine bits per cell where even conventional flash storage stops at three. The result should be an easy-to-make RAM chip with the kind of capacity that you'd normally expect from much larger permanent storage, like an SSD -- as the company Crossbar hinted when it first discussed this approach, you could stuff 1TB into a component the size of a postage stamp.
via Engadget

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Jul 25, 2014

These weird meals are actually clever data visualizations

posted by Larra Morris

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Susanne Jaschko, an author and curator, and Moritz Stefaner, a data viz specialist, are exploring with Data Cuisine, a workshop based entirely around the unlikely intersection of figures and food. At two sessions—one in Helsinki, one in Barcelona—they challenged participants to come up with dishes that reflected some sort of fact, stat, or data point.

In Barcelona, for example, a pair of cakes addressed the issue of national science funding. The first was made from a standard recipe; the second used 34% less sugar—the precise amount that science funding is being cut in Spain this year. In that case, the dish turned an abstract budget cut into something much more palpable—the drop in funding literally left a bad taste in your mouth.
via Wired

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Image:  FERRAN VAL

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Jul 24, 2014

Sainsbury’s supermarket to be powered entirely by its own food waste

posted by Larra Morris

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It's an unfortunate fact that every day around the world, supermarkets throw out tons of food that has spoiled before it could be purchased. While it would be best if that spoilage could be avoided in the first place, British grocery chain Sainsbury's is taking what might be the next-best approach – it's about to start using that unsellable food to power one of its stores.
via Gizmag

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Jul 24, 2014

5 man-made things you can see from space

posted by Laura Domela

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Which of mankind’s marvels can we actually spot from the final frontier? This question calls for a little perspective. Space is big. Sure, you might be able to gaze at the Amazon River while hovering a few hundred miles above sea level. But from the moon, you could barely even make out the continents! And our whole planet looks like nothing more than a dinky blue splotch from Mars’ surface. Still, astronauts traveling in Low Earth Orbit or on board the International Space Station can see quite a bit using nothing but their naked eyes.
via Mental Floss

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Image: Nicole Stott, via Universe Today

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Jul 24, 2014

The ice-diving robot that could look for alien life on Jupiter's moon

posted by Larra Morris

The search for extraterrestrial life begins, often enough, on Earth. In this case, it's an Alaskan glacier, where the robot VALKYRIE is proving its ice-chomping abilities in a field test. VALKYRIE is supposed to one day land on Jupiter's moon, Europa, where it will drill through miles of ice to reach the liquid oceans that could harbor alien life.
via Gizmodo

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Jul 24, 2014

Fly-inspired tech could find use in better hearing aids

posted by Larra Morris

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When it comes to animals with good hearing, flies might not be the first one you'd think of. The Ormia ochracea fly, however, has a unique hearing mechanism that allows it to precisely determine the location of a cricket based on its chirps ... it then deposits its larvae on the cricket, which ultimately consume the poor insect. Scientists at the University of Texas Austin have now duplicated that mechanism, with hopes that it could find use in applications such as next-generation hearing aids.
via Gizmag

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Image: Jpaur 

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Jul 23, 2014

Government turns to robots for security interviews

posted by Larra Morris

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When you apply for security clearance, you first have to fill out a form that requires you to disclose all past drug use, crimes and mental health issues. Those same subjects are then revisited with an actual human, but the NCCA thinks it might be more effective to jump straight to an interview with a computer. In a study Army trainees were put through a mock interview with a racially ambiguous avatar. Turns out the pretend applicants were much more likely to admit to mental health problems or alcohol abuse when speaking to the computer than they were when filling out a form. Not only that, but at the end of the interview they simply volunteered additional info after being asked if their was anything else they'd like to talk about.
via Engadget

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Jul 23, 2014

Build your own singing Tesla coil

posted by Laura Domela

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When it comes to science toys, few have the cachet of cool of the singing Tesla coil: a tower of copper wiring topped by a hollow metal toroid that fires out bolts of electricity in time to music. Building one, however, is a little on the complicated side for anyone who doesn't have the tools and the know-how; and buying one pre-made can get expensive.

Enter tinyTesla, currently seeking Kickstarter backing, a small, affordable singing Tesla coil that comes with all parts and build instructions necessary included in one handy kit, created by a team of MIT students who created oneTesla, a company to provide hands-on engineering education in the form of kits.
via cnet

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Tags : toys, science, physics,    0 comments  
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