Jaguar’s $1.1M Hybrid Supercar

By Chuck Squatriglia Jaguar has leapfrogged Porsche in the race to build the world’s most expensive, if not extreme, hybrid. The venerable British automaker announced today that it is working with Williams F1 to develop the C-X75, the spectacularly gorgeous supercar that dropped jaws at the Paris auto show last fall. Jag promises a car … Continue reading

What Would You Do With 80 Million Pixels?

by Jon Snyder Cameras are like paintbrushes — they’re just creative tools with no inherent magical powers. No amount of megapixels or sexy German lenses will make you a better photographer. But you can certainly make some pretty badass pictures with a $50,000 paintbrush. Meet the IQ180, the new digital back from Phase One, a … Continue reading

Ultrafast fibre optics set new speed record

by Jeff Hecht THINK your broadband internet connection is fast? Two separate research groups have just lapped the field, setting a world record by sending more than 100 terabits of information per second through a single optical fibre. That’s enough to deliver three solid months of HD video- or the contents of 250 double-sided Blu-ray … Continue reading

This Tech Bubble Is Different

Tech bubbles happen, but we usually gain from the innovation left behind. This one—driven by social networking—could leave us empty-handed By Ashlee Vance As a 23-year-old math genius one year out of Harvard, Jeff Hammerbacher arrived at Facebook when the company was still in its infancy. This was in April 2006, and Mark Zuckerberg gave … Continue reading

New MIT Media Lab Director Joichi Ito

By Sam Gustin Joichi Ito, tapped as only the fourth director of the MIT Media Lab, says having a bio that seems “scatterbrained” will make the 25-year-old institution — already famous for its unorthodox research approach — seem just like home. Ito is a well-known thinker, writer, venture capitalist and entrepreneur, with a broad record … Continue reading

Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen Talks Tech, Bill Gates, Chemo and Guitars

By Sam Gustin Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen at the annual Allen & Co. media summit in Sun Valley, Idaho, July 10, 2009. Photo: Nati Harnik/AP The United States must do a better job of educating its young people in science and technology if we’re going to compete with China and India over the next century, … Continue reading

Apple to Samsung: Stop Stealing Our Ideas

By Brian X. Chen Apple claims the Galaxy Tab (right) is a shameless copy of the iPad (left). Photo: Jon Snyder/ Apple says it’s sick and tired of Samsung ripping off the iPad and iPhone, and the Cupertino, California, company is filing papers. In a lawsuit filed Friday, Apple accused Samsung of committing patent and … Continue reading

Apple exploring hybrid e-ink/LCD display for iDevices

By Chris Foresman A recently published patent application suggests Apple is exploring ways to incorporate e-ink display technology into its iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. And unlike other e-ink devices, Apple’s hybrid system would be able to display sharp text in a range of lighting situations without sacrificing the ability to display full color, video, … Continue reading

No More Privacy Paranoia

By Farhad Manjoo Last week the Federal Trade Commission and Google signed a broad privacy settlement that requires the search company to submit to "privacy audits" every two years. The agreement ended a dispute that began last year, when Google launched Buzz, the ill-fated social-messaging system built into Gmail. According to the FTC, just about … Continue reading

Now You’re Talking!

Google has developed speech-recognition technology that actually works. By Farhad Manjoo If you’ve got an Android phone, try this: Hit the microphone icon on the home screen, then ask, "How many angstroms in a mile?" Use your normal speaking voice—don’t speak slowly or strain to over-pronounce "angstrom." So long as you have a good Internet … Continue reading

Motorola Xoom, Atrix Too Pricey for the Public

By Mike Isaac Motorola’s Xoom remains the Android tablet to beat, but the high price may be scaring off the public. Photo: Jon Snyder/ Motorola’s 2011 Android lineup looked like it would give Apple a run for its money. But high prices and second-place product reviews may be defeating Motorola while its feet are barely … Continue reading

Ford’s Future: Voice-Activated Gadgets in Electric Cars

By Maurizio Pesce HANNOVER, Germany — Eyes on the road, hands on the wheel is Ford’s mantra as it brings its voice-activated Sync infotainment system to Europe and responds to polemics about the dangers of distracted driving. CEO Alan Mulally (pictured) kept repeating the mantra this week as Ford finally brought Sync to Europe. It … Continue reading

‘Game On’ for In-Car Mobile

By Chris Preuss One quick stroll around this year’s Consumer Electronics Show made clear it’s “game on” for in-car connectivity, as mobile devices collide head-on with the automobile. But if you think this is about telling your dashboard, “Play ‘White Stripes,’” you’re missing the point. The reality is that automotive connectivity will come in several … Continue reading

Toyota, Microsoft to Bring the Cloud to Cars

By Chuck Squatriglia The world’s largest automaker and the world’s largest software company are launching a $12 million venture to bring telematics to Toyotas via the cloud, allowing owners to, say, stream music, connect to information services and manage the batteries in their electric vehicles. Toyota and Microsoft say they will create a global network … Continue reading

Tech Brigands

The swashbuckling bastards are everywhere, destroying the old order! By Jack Shafer Amazon and Time Warner Cable riled the music and TV industries last week by introducing a couple of minor innovations into the marketplace. Amazon announced its Cloud Drive, a 5 GB locker for customers to store their music, e-books, video, and other files … Continue reading

Microsoft’s Odd Couple

It’s 1975 and two college dropouts are racing to create software for a new line of “hobbyist” computers. The result? A company called “Micro-Soft”—now the fifth-most-valuable corporation on earth. In an adaptation from his memoir, the author tells the story of his partnership with high-school classmate Bill Gates, until its dramatic ending in 1983. By … Continue reading

Surgery Robot Folds Miniscule Paper Airplane

By Christina Bonnington The da Vinci robot isn’t just for surgery — It can also make petite paper airplanes The da Vinci Surgical Robot Makes Paper Planes the Size of a Penny The da Vinci surgical robot is normally used to perform precise, delicate incisions in the operating room. Dr. James Porter decided it’d be … Continue reading

SportWatch GPS for Runners

By Mathew Honan Nike+ has been a fantastic technology innovation for runners, making tracking your time and distance as easy as strapping on your shoes and (typically) an iPod. But it’s always lacked a core ingredient many runners demand: GPS. Until now, the Nike+ sensor connected to an in-shoe accelerometer sensor to track speed and … Continue reading

Store data in your body without cyborg modification

by MacGregor Campbell Floppy disks? Too 1980s. Thumb drives? Too easy to lose. Anyway, who needs a thumb drive when you can store data in your thumb? A new program called Sparsh lets you transfer files from one device to another simply by touching the screen – and you don’t have to join the Borg … Continue reading

US inventors on their marks for race to patent office

by Paul Marks  WHEN Chuck McLaughlin recently tried to prove that a US inventor had beaten both Japanese and European firms to the invention of a novel type of flexible LCD display, he faced an uphill struggle. The slapdash inventor had kept no signed and dated notes to prove when he had sketched the gadget’s … Continue reading

Electrode lets lithium batteries charge in just two minutes

By John Timmer Batteries are an essential part of most modern gadgets, and their role is expected to expand as they’re incorporated into vehicles and the electric grid itself. But batteries can’t move charge as quickly as some competing devices like supercapacitors, and their performance tends to degrade significantly with time. That has sent lots … Continue reading

Google spends $1 million on censorship and throttling detection

By Nate Anderson Google has awarded $1 million to Georgia Tech researchers so that they can develop simple tools to detect Internet throttling, government censorship, and other "transparency" problems. That money will cover two years of work at Georgia Tech, with an additional $500,000 extension possible if Google wants an extra year of development. At … Continue reading

Patent trolls fatten up on vaguely worded patents

By Matthew Lasar Patent trolls—outfits that buy some vaguely worded patent, then wander around the IT landscape suing or threatening to sue you and everyone else in search of damages or royalty payments—have become a scourge. One of our (least) favorite of these entities is the Webvention Company, which owns Patent Number #5,251,294: A computer-based … Continue reading

All Hail … Analog?

When it comes to the quality of photos and music, the digital revolution may be failing us By FRANCIS FUKUYAMA On Dec. 30, Dwayne’s Photo in Parsons, Kan., stopped processing Kodachrome film and the world passed an important if little-heralded milestone: the end of Kodachrome, a beautifully saturated color transparency film that was immortalized by … Continue reading

Kill Your Fax Machine

HelloFax, the Web site that finally liberates us from the worst gadget on earth. By Farhad Manjoo Some scholars credit the spread of fax machines as a factor in the downfall of the Soviet Union. Good for the fax. But that’s pretty much been the lone high point for the venerable device in the last … Continue reading

Solar-Powered Wireless Keyboard Is a Sunny Delight

Logitech K750 Wireless Solar Keyboard · $80 Reviewed by Michael S. Lasky Everything about Logitech’s new solar-powered keyboard screams “green” — except maybe its black and white case. Constructed of PVC-free plastic, packed in recyclable packaging with no included paper manual, and using only available light to power itself, it’s as friendly to the environment … Continue reading

World mobile data traffic to explode by factor of 26 by 2015

By Matthew Lasar Anyone who thinks that the Internet revolution is in anything but its early phase had better take a look at Cisco’s latest Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast (PDF). There are so many startling predictions and observations in the report that we’ll just begin with these headlines: There will be 788 million mobile-only … Continue reading

PS3 shipments halted in Europe as Sony, LG fight over Blu-ray patent

By Andrew Webster Sony’s court troubles currently involve more than just tracking down hackers. According to a report from the Guardian, shipments of PlayStation 3s are being confiscated by European customs officers as Sony fights a patent battle with LG over Blu-ray. The ruling, which was handed down in the Netherlands, calls for all new … Continue reading

Ruby for Kids Helps Teach Programming

By Chuck Lawton I’ve long been interested in ways to help teach kids programming. Especially my kids, though they’re still young. I got interested in computers when my dad wrote a “guess the number” game for me which included my name on the screen. Suddenly I understood that these fancy beige boxes could do things … Continue reading

A Statement About Search Engine Algorithm Changes

by larry fitzgibbon  How our content reaches the consumer – whether it’s through direct visits, social media referrals, apps or search – has always been important to and monitored closely by us.  We also recognize that major search engines like Google have and will continue to make frequent changes. We have built our business by … Continue reading

Google Clamps Down on Content Factories

By Ryan Singel Google updated its core ranking algorithm Thursday for U.S. searchers to decrease the prevalence of so-called content farms in top search results. The change comes after months of criticism in the tech community over what’s perceived as an increased amount of cheap, low-quality content being rewarded by Google with top results. While … Continue reading

Darpa’s Cheetah-Bot Designed to Chase Human Prey

By Adam Rawnsley Perhaps you thought the four-legged BigDog robot wasn’t eerily lifelike enough. That’ll change soon. BigDog’s makers are working on a new quadruped that moves faster than any human and is agile enough to “chase and evade.” Boston Dynamics, maker of the Army’s robotic mule BigDog announced today that Darpa has awarded it … Continue reading

Tech Revolutionaries

The Arab Revolt shows that Google’s and Twitter’s corporate values are better than Facebook’s. By Jacob Weisberg Wael GhonimAmerican technology companies have often faced tricky issues about how they operate in relation to authoritarian regimes in China, Russia, and elsewhere. But as revolution sweeps through the Middle East, three companies have found themselves central to … Continue reading

Departing PARC CEO looks back wistfully on blue skies of the past

By John Timmer PARC, which started out as Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center, is rightly famous for its role in the development of far-reaching technology like Ethernet, the laser printer, and the graphical user interface. But, as with some of the great industrial labs of an earlier era, PARC has slipped out of the public … Continue reading

Predictive texting alters our perception of numbers

by Matt Kaplan  Over 4 billion text messages are sent each day in the US alone. Could all this thumb gymnastics be subtly changing the way we feel about numbers? Psychologists have long known that if a specific tone is consistently played while a volunteer presses a specific key on a keypad, the tone will … Continue reading

Mind vs. Machine

In the race to build computers that can think like humans, the proving ground is the Turing Test—an annual battle between the world’s most advanced artificial-intelligence programs and ordinary people. The objective? To find out whether a computer can act “more human” than a person. In his own quest to beat the machines, the author … Continue reading

Super-geek builds DIY chatbot to speak to his fiancée

Jacob Aron Johnny Chung Lee has hacked the Wiimote, helped Microsoft develop Kinect and recently started working at Google. This last career move meant moving away from his fiancée, so he did what any self-respecting geek would do: he built a video chat robot. Lee’s robot is effectively Skype on wheels: a dedicated netbook mounted … Continue reading

Extreme Audiophiles Take Microphones to Next Level

By Matthew Shechmeister  Ships in a bottle. Pointillist paintings. Josephson Microphones. When an obsessive personality finds a labor of love, the results can be both impressive and a little geeky. The designers at Josephson use their zest for minutiae, anechoic chambers and a battery of precision instruments to build microphones to tolerances measured in nanometers. … Continue reading

German Researchers Build Terminator Robot Hand

By Charlie Sorrel The robot hand you see is German made, by researchers at the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics. In building the first part of the Terminator, the researchers were going for robustness, and they appear to have achieved quite chilling success. Not that utility has been traded for toughness: As the video shows, … Continue reading

Polymer Could Create Self-Healing Aircraft

By Wired UK Materials researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Kyushu University have developed a polymer that can heal itself over and over again when exposed to ultraviolet light. The substance could potentially be used to create products that repair themselves when damaged, including self-healing medical implants or parts for vehicles such as aircraft. When … Continue reading

Regulating Google’s results?

Law prof calls "search neutrality" incoherent By Nate Anderson "Neutrality"—if it’s good enough for the core of the Internet, isn’t it good enough for the edge? The biggest Internet providers say it is, and they would love to have the government slap a few neutrality rules on Google, just to see how the advertising giant … Continue reading

Record sales spur Apple to $26.74 billion in 1Q FY2011 revenues

By Chris Foresman Apple has again posted record quarterly financial results for fiscal first quarter of 2011. The company sold record numbers of Macs, iPhones, and iPads, beating Wall Street estimates. It also posted revenue, profit, and earnings per share that exceeded its own estimates as well as the Street’s consensus. Apple sold 4.13 million … Continue reading

‘Liquid Pistons’ Could Drive New Advances in Camera Lenses and Drug Delivery

A few unassuming drops of liquid locked in a very precise game of "follow the leader" could one day be found in mobile phone cameras, medical imaging equipment, implantable drug delivery devices, and even implantable eye lenses. Engineering researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed liquid pistons, in which oscillating droplets of ferrofluid precisely displace … Continue reading

New Glass Stronger and Tougher Than Steel

Glass stronger and tougher than steel? A new type of damage-tolerant metallic glass, demonstrating a strength and toughness beyond that of any known material, has been developed and tested by a collaboration of researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab)and the California Institute of Technology. What’s more, even … Continue reading

Polaroid + Lady Gaga: high tech hit or bad romance?

By Chris Foresman Las Vegas, NV — At the Consumer Electronics Show, Polaroid brought Lady Gaga to its booth to show off the first fruits of the collaboration between the company and the pop-fashion juggernaut. In true Gaga form, the new devices rely heavily on fashion—but they present an interesting digital twist on instant photography. … Continue reading

Fuji goes retro for "professional" digital compact camera

By Chris Foresman Fujifilm is taking a stab at making a high-end compact camera that attracts serious photographers with well-machined retro looks, manual controls, and an APS-C sized sensor. The company also built a hybrid optical and electronic viewfinder that offers the best of the two types of viewfinders for its Finepix X100 digital "rangefinder." … Continue reading

GM Joins Uncle Sam to Build Better Batteries

By Chuck Squatriglia General Motors is licensing technology developed by Argonne National Laboratory that boosts the performance of lithium-ion batteries by 50 to 100 percent, a move that could help make cars with cords cheaper. The laboratory, which is run by the Department of Energy, has patented a cathode that uses lithium- and manganese-rich mixed-metal … Continue reading

Nike SportWatch GPS Eyes Fitness Fanatics

By Erik Malinowski LAS VEGAS — Nike launched its successful Nike+ fitness software just four years ago, but nearly 4 million users have turned it into the most popular and widely available run-tracking UI ever. And just four months ago, Nike enabled GPS tracking in a completely overhauled iteration of its mobile app. Now, Nike … Continue reading

Hands-On With Motorola’s New Droid Bionic

By Mike Isaac LAS VEGAS — After all the ruckus at CES 2011 over Motorola’s Honeycomb-dedicated XOOM tablet died down, I got a chance to get my hands on the latest in the company’s Droid series of smartphones, the Bionic. Like its Droid X predecessor, the Bionic is definitely not small. The 4.3-inch screen is … Continue reading

Apple rumor: we’ll sell 21 million iPhones in first quarter of 2011

By Chris Foresman Apple expects to move as many as 21 million iPhones in the first quarter of 2011, up from initial estimates of 19 million. Sources inside Taiwanese component suppliers told DigiTimes that the total included as many as six million CDMA-compatible iPhones expected to launch in both North America and Asia early next … Continue reading