Science Archive

Swarms of tiny, cute robots will one day bring you your phone, like this

Robots are taking over factories and warehouses, but their next stop might be your desktop or kitchen counter. These tiny “Zooids” work together at high speed to act as tools, display information, or move things around like little ants. The bots, named after the individual creatures that make up colonial organisms, were presented earlier this week at the Association for Computing Machinery’s UIST conference. Their …

"Self-control" can be switched off with electromagnetic brain stimulation

University of Zurich researchers used transcranial magnetic stimulation, a noninvasive method of inhibiting activity in parts of the brain, to “turn off” people’s ability to control their impulses. They focused on the temporoparietal junction, an area of the brain thought to play an important role in moral decisions, empathy, and other social interactions. They hope their research could help inform our understanding of …

The perils of polling in a Brexit and Donald Trump world

Over the last decade we’ve witnessed big data tackle issues such as crime, health care, climate change, and even how to select a movie. So, with the availability of ever-growing collections of political data, more sophisticated statistical analysis techniques, and the ubiquitous presence of social media, it is tempting to think that big data should be able to give us a completely accurate prediction of …

Make: "Mad scientist test-tube rack"

Make: “Mad scientist test-tube rack” / Boing Boing John Park, the maker’s maker, explains in detail how to make this glowing mad scientist test-tube rack that you can use as a Hallowe’en decoration and/or household mood light. The project uses a Feather microcontroller to shine UV LEDs into test-tubes filled with water doped with elements that fluoresce under UV.  …

Daniel Martin Diaz's new art show inspired by science and magic opens in San Francisco tonight

Daniel Martin Diaz’s new art show inspired by science and magic opens in San Francisco tonight / Boing Boing My friend Daniel Martin Diaz‘s exquisite paintings lie at the intersection of science, art, and magic to provoke questions about technology, physics, theories of mind, and the nature of reality. He has an exhibition of spectacular new works opening in San Francisco today at the …

Over 170 nations agree to cut global-warming chemical used in refrigerators and air conditioners

A global agreement to cut a heat-trapping chemical used in air conditioning units and refrigerators was announced today, with participation from over 170 nations. “The deal could have a greater impact on global warming than the Paris pact of 2015,” reports the New York Times. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers his keynote addres to promote U.S. climate and environmental goals, at the …

WristWhirl lets you control your smartwatch with hand gestures (and look mad while you do it)

It’s a funny thing: smartwatches are supposed to be the more accessible alternative to your smartphone, but you can operate a phone with one hand, while the watch takes two. Luckily, Dartmouth researchers are on the case, and have engineered a way to use your wrist as a sort of joystick, allowing you to use your smartwatch one-handed. It’s a very hacky project; this isn’t …

Flexible e-paper display is full color but less than a micrometer thick

Reflective displays like those found on e-readers are great for black-and-white text, but color has yet to make a compelling play on them. That may change with the serendipitous discovery of a full-color e-paper material that’s also flexible and power-efficient. Andreas Dahlin and grad student Kunli Xiong, of Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, created the material while investigating combining conductive polymers with nanostructures. The …

Academic paper about 4chan's /pol/ forum

Academic paper about 4chan’s /pol/ forum / Boing Boing “A Longitudinal Measurement Study of 4chan’s Politically Incorrect Forum and its Effect on the Web” is the first UN-sponsored study of one of the internet’s worst places: /pol/. Although it has been a part of the dark underbelly of the Internet since its inception, recent events have brought the discussion board site 4chan to the …

Department of Transportation to provide $165M to make U.S. cities smarter

At the White House Frontiers Conference in Pittsburgh today, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced new funds that will help it roll out smart city technologies in places across the U.S., as part of the White House’s Smart Cities Initiative. $165 million in funding, including $65 million in public funding made available through two new grants, and $100 million in matching funds targeted for advanced …