Blog Archives

The Best of the Physics arXiv (week ending February 18, 2017)

This week’s most thought-provoking papers from the Physics arXiv.

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Insect-Like Robots Walk Faster When They Ignore Nature

If six-legged automatons want to get ahead, they should only leave two feet on the ground.

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Mark Zuckerberg Has Laid Out His Vision of a World United by Facebook

Zuck plans to use his powerful social network to make the world a better place—but the details are a bit sketchy.

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Meltdown of Toshiba’s Nuclear Business Dooms New Construction in the U.S.

The collapse of the Tokyo company’s nuclear development arm puts a likely end to new U.S. plants.

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Who’s Brave Enough to Be a Test Pilot for Flying Cars?

They’re still years off, but airborne automobiles are inching toward reality—and the companies building them are looking for pilots.

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What’s Next for AI Home Assistants

Phone calls, wider integration, and even screens could make our new domestic butlers more useful.

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What a Veteran Film Critic Learned from Watching VR Movies

Traditional movies were the popular art form of the 20th century. Is virtual reality what comes next?

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Solar Installations Soared in the U.S. in 2016

And the rate of new wind installations looks primed for a surge in the next few years.

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Patent Office Hands Win in CRISPR Battle to Broad Institute

The dispute between researchers at UC Berkeley and the Broad Institute over the invention of the powerful gene-editing technique has been decided.

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Companies Plan Tests of “Optogenetic Goggles” to Restore Sight

Visor-like devices combined with gene therapy could help blind people.

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India Now Has the World’s Worst Air Pollution

Industrialization, coal-fired power plants, and a lack of regulation mean the problem is just going to get worse, even as richer nations clean up their air.

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The Download, Feb 14, 2017: VR Storytelling, iPhone 8 Lust, and Mariana Trench Pollution

The most fascinating and important news in technology and innovation delivered straight to your inbox, every day.

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Imagining the Future of VR at Google

The search giant’s filmmaker on what the new medium does that film cannot.

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Siri May Get Smarter by Learning from Its Mistakes

Conversational assistants can learn a lot through positive or negative feedback from humans.

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The Jeff Bezos Retail Laboratory—or Seattle, as the Locals Say

The city’s inhabitants are unwittingly part of a real-life commerce experiment orchestrated by Amazon.

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“The Relentless Pace of Automation”

Artificial intelligence could dramatically improve the economy and aspects of everyday life, but we need to invent ways to make sure everyone benefits.

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The Best of the Physics arXiv (week ending February 11, 2017)

This week’s most thought-provoking papers from the Physics arXiv.

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The Cost of Trump’s Wall Going Up Is Going Up

A new report from the Department of Homeland Security suggests the wall will cost far more than some politicians said it would.

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Data Mining Reveals the Rise of ISIS Propaganda on Twitter

Twitter has closed 25,000 accounts that supported the terrorist organisation ISIS. An analysis of these tweets shows how ISIS emerged with a message of extreme violence.

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First Gene Drive in Mammals Could Aid Vast New Zealand Eradication Plan

Evolution-warping technology applied to mice is a step toward “synthetic” species conservation.

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