Technology

Pure Pedantry

Category archives for Technology

Go Blonde with Fungus

Wired Science reports on a way to bleach your hair without all issues of…you know…turning it so stiff and destroyed that it resembles a donkey tail. All you women of the world itching to turn blonde, take note. The system involves an enzyme from forest fungus. Which is good somehow. Forest fungus on your hair…

One of the impediments to the adoption of a solar alternative to fossil fuels is that solar panels are relatively expensive to make. A big benchmark to making them competitive is to get their cost of production per Watt produced comparable to energy produced by fossil fuels. A company in Arizona, First Solar, claims to…

Mark this on the list of “things to expect in 2009.” Craig Venter and his team expect to create the world’s first artificially synthesized organism: One likely announcement, which may happen any day of the year, is of the world’s first artificial living creature. The announcer will almost certainly be Craig Venter, an American biologist…

In Defense of Piracy

Lawrence Lessig, co-founder of Creative Commons, writes in the WSJ in defense of piracy — or more aptly the culture of remixing of which blogging is certainly a part: The return of this “remix” culture could drive extraordinary economic growth, if encouraged, and properly balanced. It could return our culture to a practice that has…

A compressor-free refrigerator

Engineers at Penn State have developed a new method of running a refrigerator that doesn’t require a compressor. Rather, it changes the level of organization in a solid to change the temperature. This change in entropy results in heat-transfer. Conventional cooling systems — refrigerators or air conditioners — rely on the properties of gases to…

Next Generation Prothestics

Check out this video about the next generation of prosthetics (below the fold):

Everyone seems to be worried about when the Internet will implode. From the Economist Tech.view: And not just because of the popularity of such file-sharing programs with music fans. The sizes of the files they handled increased dramatically. Music tracks and podcasts used to be offered for streaming at 128kbps; versions at 256kbps or even…

I didn’t have much to do this afternoon, so I played hookie and went down to the FIRST Robotics Competition. The competition pits bands of high school students (and their engineer/mentors) in a contest to see who can build the best robot for an assigned task. At the moment the local competition (the national competition…

How do you track the relative contributions of a plant species in an ecosystem? When you are talking about thousands of square miles of land area this can be an incredibly daunting task, but it is very important because it provides important information related to invasive species that may be displacing their native counterparts in…

That is amazing: The basis of the 2×4-inch “Digital Tattoo Interface” is a Bluetooth device made of thin, flexible silicon and silicone. It’s inserted through a small incision as a tightly rolled tube, and then it unfurls beneath the skin to align between skin and muscle. Through the same incision, two small tubes on the…