YouTuber Buys a Laser on eBay That’s So Terrifyingly Powerful, It Instantly Fries His Camera

You can now add ‘30 million-watt peak power tattoo removing laser’ to the long list of things you probably shouldn’t be able to buy on eBay. YouTuber Drake Anthony, better known as Styropyro, is an expert on all things lasers, and even he was taken aback by the power of a laser that he, or really anyone, can buy on eBay. Read More >>

These Noise-Cancelling Headphones Will Alert You to All the Dangers You Can’t Hear

They’re effective at quelling the sounds of crying babies, but noise-cancelling headphones can also tune out sounds you might actually want to hear, like the horn of an approaching car as you absentmindedly step out into a busy street. To make noise-cancelling headphones safer, researchers are now teaching them to recognise and alert the wearer to sounds that represent imminent danger. Read More >>

Nvidia Taught an AI to Instantly Generate Fully-Textured 3D Models From Flat 2D Images

Turning a sketch or photo of an object into a fully realised 3D model so that it can be duplicated using a 3D printer, played in a video game, or brought to life in a movie through visual effects, requires the skills of a digital modeller working from a stack of images. But Nvidia has successfully trained a neural network to generate fully-textured 3D models based on just a single photo. Read More >>

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Air France Hopes to Reduce Delays with Self-Driving Luggage Carts

A multitude of factors can contribute to a flight being delayed, but Air France, who partnered with a handful of other companies, is testing the world’s first self-driving luggage tug in hopes of streamlining airport operations and improving the speed of getting luggage to and from an aircraft. Read More >>

A Neural Network Powers this Lego-Built Brick Sorter that Can Recognise Every Piece Ever Made

Lego becomes more and more enjoyable as your collection grows, until the point when your morass of plastic bricks becomes so overwhelming that it’s impossible to find the piece you’re looking for. At that point, you need to develop a sorting system, or do what Daniel West did, and use a bunch of your Lego to build a machine that automatically sorts the rest of your bricks for you. Read More >>

Coca-Cola’s Glowing Lightsaber Bottles Are the First Flexible OLED Tech I’m Willing to Pay For

I’m one hundred per cent in support of a future where screens are flexible and foldable instead of fragile and easily shatterable. I’m just not willing to spend £2,000 on a folding phone or £10,000+ on a rollable TV. I will, however, happily drop £1 or £2 on a plastic bottle with a glowing lightsaber on the label. Read More >>

Scientists Made Working Fibre Optic Cables Out of Wood

Given how quickly technology advances and becomes outdated, there’s a good reason to develop electronics from materials that will break down and biodegrade when discarded, instead of filling up landfills for centuries. So researchers in Finland found a way to make functional fibre optics from wood-based fibres, that, when disposed of, will break down all on its own. Read More >>

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Build This Lego Assistant to Take Care of All Your Christmas Cards

From shopping, to decorating a Christmas tree, you’ve got enough to deal with this time of year without having to send friends and family a card reminding them of all their holiday responsibilities. So why not dig out your Lego bin and build this Mindstorms assistant that can churn out all your Christmas cards for you? Read More >>

Undersea Telecommunications Cables That Connect the World Can Also Be Used to Detect Earthquakes

The more tools scientists have at their disposal for detecting and studying earthquakes, the better the chances of survival there are when one threatens a populated area. And it turns out that the thousands of miles of undersea telecommunications cables that have been used to connect the world can also serve as a surprisingly effective earthquake detection system. Read More >>

Evacuation Slide Mysteriously Falls Off of a Boeing Plane in Flight and Lands in Family’s Yard

If you’re keeping a running list of all the things that could potentially go wrong with Boeing’s planes, you can add “mysteriously ejects its own emergency inflatable evacuation slide” to the list, as a Milton, Massachusetts, family discovered yesterday afternoon. Read More >>

A Former NASA Engineer and an Ex-Toy Designer Made a Steerable Bowling Ball That Always Gets Strikes

Mark Rober, a former NASA JPL engineer, recently teamed up with James Bruton, an ex-toy designer and all-around expert hacker, to become two of the world’s most talented bowlers. But instead of spending years practising and honing their skills, they turned to science and engineering to cleverly hack a bowling ball to go wherever they steered it. Read More >>

This Digital Compass Will Find Your Friends In a Crowd Even When Your Phone Is Useless

Organising a group of friends for an outing got significantly easier when smartphones came along, but even the best-laid plans can be thrown into chaos if your posse is headed where mobile network service is spotty. The LynQ – a digital compass that points towards your friends instead of true north – works without cellular data or Wi-Fi to help you all find each long as no one wanders indoors and away from a GPS signal. Read More >>

Lego Will Use AI and Motion Tracking To Turn Guests Into Minifigures at Its New York Theme Park

Have you ever dreamed of turning yourself into an inch-tall plastic figure who can’t bend their arms or legs, and must interact with the world using a pair of lobster-like claw hands? Lego’s new theme park, opening next year in New York, will make that dream a reality using sophisticated motion tracking and neural network facial recognition. Read More >>

It Took Five Years to Perfect the Recipe for This Transparent Eraser

To many, Japan seems like a technological wonderland that’s at least a couple of decades ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to innovation. That even applies to something as seemingly mundane as office supplies, as is evident by this new see-through eraser that enhances precision by providing an unobstructed view of what’s actually being erased. Read More >>

Smartphone Videos Can Now Be Analysed and Used to Pinpoint the Location of a Shooter

Complex arrays of microphones are often used by law enforcement and the military to help quickly pinpoint where the sound of gunfire originates. But researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have found that videos captured by smartphones can be just as useful for determining the location of a shooter. Read More >>