How the Tech Industry Is Quietly Changing the Face of American Cities

When Steve Jobs presented the initial design for his donut-like headquarters to the Cupertino City Council, in 2011, he described the building as a reaction against suburban office parks. “We’ve come up with a design that puts 12,000 people in one building; which sounds a bit odd,” he said. “But we’ve seen these office … » 6/18/13 6:42pm 6/18/13 6:42pm

Google's Earth Day Doodle is all kinds of wrong

If there's one thing I love more than octopuses, octopodes and octopi (all of which are perfectly acceptable pluralizations of the word octopus, thank you very much), it's pedantry. And good grief, does Phil Plait ever serve up a whopping helping of the stuff in reaction to today's Earth-Day themed Google Doodle. » 4/22/13 12:20pm 4/22/13 12:20pm

A Robotic Snake That Acts Like a Python

Unsatisfied with the crawling, writhing, coiling and climbing abilities of their existing hoard of robotic snakes, members of Carnegie Mellon University's Biorobotics Laboratory have gone and given their mechanical serpent a brand new talent: the ability to wrap itself in a stranglehold around pretty much anything… » 3/25/13 2:53pm 3/25/13 2:53pm

Map of the Pope's followers on Twitter confirms: Earth is rife with…

More than one billion people around the world call themselves members of the Catholic Church, but as of December 8th, only 546,765 of them were following Pope Benedict XVI on Twitter (nom de tweet: @pontifex). Here's how Catholicism's truly faithful followers are spread out around the world. » 12/19/12 8:40am 12/19/12 8:40am

Here is the biggest goddamn snow blower you've ever seen

Add this to your ever-growing list of things you never knew existed but now desperately need: a BNSF rotary snow blower. The video up top is of a model currently in operation clearing railroad tracks in Aurora, NE, but you'll find them all over the country, churning through formidable heaps of tightly packed snow like … » 12/14/12 12:40pm 12/14/12 12:40pm

An eyewitness to President Lincoln's assassination appeared on…

In 1956, on an episode of then-popular game show "I've Got a Secret," 96-year-old Samuel J. Seymour tottered out on stage, sat down gingerly beside the program's host, and proceeded to blow the audience's mind. Over ninety years earlier, he had witnessed the assassination of Abraham Lincoln at Washington D.C.'s Ford… » 10/18/12 2:33pm 10/18/12 2:33pm

Robot attempts to grimace its way out of uncanny valley, doesn't quite…

You've got to hand it to Nicole Lazzeri and her colleagues at the University of Pisa for creating the robot you see here. Its facial features are some of the most dynamic and convincing we've seen yet — but something's still a little off. » 7/13/12 11:30am 7/13/12 11:30am

First Prototype Of A People-Sorting Machine?

A new machine can sort 100,000 fish per hour, using imaging technology, and then tag them. NMT's AutoFish system is designed to distinguish between natural salmon (which are protected) and hatchery salmon, which can be harvested, in the fisheries of the Pacific Northwest. More than 200 million fish need to be marked,… » 6/09/08 12:26pm 6/09/08 12:26pm