News & Updates For Hardcore Tech Fans

No one should buy a Pixel smartphone from Verizon

Verizon is the major carrier partner for Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL. But that doesn’t mean it’s your only option for getting a device. Google will also sell Pixels directly from its own storefront — and if you care at all about system updates, unlocked bootloaders, or avoiding crapware, then the Google version of the device […]

This week in space: Boeing challenges Musk, Bezos to a ‘Mars-off’ while SpaceX investigates destroyed rocket

There’s a new, private space race on. Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenberg means to ride his dark horse straight to Mars, beating NASA, Elon Musk, and everybody else to the Red Planet. Bloomberg reports that Muilenberg, speaking at the Atlantic’s “What’s Next” conference in Chicago, said he’s “convinced the first person to step foot on Mars […]

Top tech cars for 2017

If you’re shopping for a new car in 2017, you’ll find many tech improvements. More cars will offer Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, providing a cheap way to get navigation. More midsize and compact cars will offer adaptive cruise control and it will be stop-and-go. Rear cameras are near-universal. Odds are you’ll find two USB jacks […]

Theranos will stop operating labs and fire 40% of its workers, plans to sell devices instead

Embattled medical testing firm Theranos has made the decision to get out of the laboratory testing industry. This is a major reversal for the company, following government scrutiny that resulted in a 2-year ban on CEO Elizabeth Holmes running a laboratory. Instead of running labs, Theranos will try selling its testing equipment to companies that […]

The 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics goes to mathematicians working in Flatland

The 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to David J. Thouless, Duncan Haldane and J. Michael Kosterlitz for “theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter.” Their work represents a set of mathematical insights about exotic phases of matter like superfluids and superconductors, but it also applies to regular old […]

Scientists develop a memristor that can be conditioned just like a real synapse

An international collaboration of researchers from UMass Amherst, HP, and the Air Force have built a proof-of-concept memristor that could lead to real-world neuromorphic chips. The memristor is made of a silicon-oxygen-nitrogen material laced with clumps of silver nanoparticles at the electrical terminals. When current is applied across the memristor, the silver nanoparticles shuffle around within their parent oxynitride matrix, […]

Your next car may be the most powerful computer you own

Mobile computing originally meant laptops, then smartphones. Increasingly, though, new cars are powerful computing platforms — and starting to pack more compute power than laptops and even desktops. That trend is set to explode with the introduction of more-extensive automated safety features and self-driving options. Stuffed with CPUs, GPUs, cameras, sensors, and networking hardware, cars are […]

MIT is 3D printing custom robot bumpers

Robots are many things to many people — including expensive and, shall we say, imperfect. Put those latter two together and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. But researchers at MIT are hoping to make robots more resistant to damage with 3D printed shock-absorbing skins. By varying the stiffness of material as it’s made, scientists […]

The 2016 Cadillac CT6 makes rear seat entertainment cool again with streaming media, 4G LTE

Inexpensive laptops, tablets, and portable DVD players nearly killed the market for factory-installed DVD players that cost $1,000 to $2,000. Now comes Cadillac with a reason to think again about integrated infotainment systems: high-speed internet, a Wi-Fi hub, big back seat displays, an HDMI jack, and reclining seats allow streaming media players and enjoyable entertainment. There’s […]

Specialized processors might reignite performance scaling, but they’ll also change the nature of computing forever

Modern CPU scaling has largely flatlined, thanks to a combination of scaling challenges, intrinsic limits to silicon performance, and a general shift in the market towards lower power devices. Chip designers who want to continue to push the limits of what computers are capable of need to look to specialized architectures and custom designs. That […]

Researchers find no evidence ‘brain training’ games offset aging, cognitive decline

Several years ago, so-called “brain training” games from companies like Luminosity were all the rage. The various companies that brought these products to market claimed they could be used to offset the aging process by slowing or even reversing age-related cognitive declines. In 2014, two groups of scientists released two competing letters. One group argued […]

Top tech cars of the 2016 Paris Motor Show

Whether it’s the Paris Motor Show (even years) or Frankfurt (odd years), the industry’s major September/October auto show this decade has showcased electric vehicles, hybrids, and self-driving cars alongside supercars for the affluent — such as the Ferrari GTC4Lusso T (top), Ferrari’s first four-seater V8 car, and an obvious bargain at $260,000 since it undercuts […]

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