November 26th, 2014
09:55 AM ET

‘Bean’ me up, Scotty!

2014-09-29 14.42.07A jolt of energy has just hit the International Space Station.

In days that can feel like endless nights, what’s more welcoming than a burst of caffeine?

But with Italy’s first female astronaut now on board, regular old space coffee just won’t do.

Samantha Cristoforetti brought with her the very first zero-gravity espresso machine.

Designed by Italian coffee maker Lavazza and engineering firm Argotec – ISSpresso (International Space Station combined with espresso) can withstand the extreme conditions of space. FULL POST

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Filed under: General • Science • Space
December 29th, 2012
04:02 PM ET

Looking back at 2012

Technology isn't just part of News Stream, it's also something we love to cover.

So when we were asked to put together a special edition of the show with the top tech stories of the year, it was both very easy to pick the stories we thought were important... and very hard to leave out stories we loved but just couldn't fit.

You can watch the whole show here, divided into six parts.

PART 1: Breaking down the smartphone Patent Wars with The Verge's Nilay Patel; Microsoft launches Windows 8


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Filed under: Gadgets • Games • General • Science • Social networking • Space • Technology • Titans of Tech
December 5th, 2012
03:14 PM ET

Next-generation camouflage

It's been 8 years since the U.S. Army spent $5 billion (!) on camouflage that critics say didn't fool anyone.

What will next-generation camo look like?

Think: digital patterns, 3D layering, and... (it's not too far away)... something close to the Harry Potter invisibility cloak.

July 19th, 2012
06:11 PM ET

Putting Batman to the test

You've probably heard this icebreaker question before: If you could be any superhero, who would you be?

Without fail, whoever says Batman will gush about the gadgets and point out that Bruce Wayne is not an alien. Trust me.

But could any human become Batman? And just how realistic are his crime-fighting tools?

Find out below:

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Filed under: Movies • Science
July 4th, 2012
02:47 PM ET

Higgs boson discovery

AFP/Getty Images

It's a big day for particle physics! Scientists at CERN believe they have found a fundamental building block of our universe: the elusive Higgs boson.

You may know it by another name. It's also called the "God particle."

Today's announcement is just a preliminary result, though scientists say it is "very strong."

But what exactly is the Higgs boson... And why do we care about it?

Scientists believe it is the particle that gives all matter its mass. Finding it would fill a huge hole in the Standard Model of physics. That theory explains how our universe works.

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Filed under: Science
May 29th, 2012
03:57 PM ET

Did you feel it?


AFP/Getty Images

When you look at the USGS website after an important earthquake has occurred, you will see a little tab at the top that says: DYFI? That means “Did You Feel It?”

The USGS uses this information to determine the “intensity” of the quake. How bad was the shaking? What did you feel? Was there any damage?

This data helps assess the quake on a real-time basis by those affected by the shaking. By responding to the questions, you in effect, are helping in the study of earthquakes. Some of that information can be used to make future “shake maps” and determine seismic hazards.

Even if you didn’t feel the quake in your area, or felt only very little, they want to know!

Here is why and how they use the info.

And here is the survey.

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Filed under: Data • General • Science
March 20th, 2012
01:18 PM ET

Flying robots

Technically they're called "Autonomous Agile Aerial Robots." But it's also accurate to call them Really Awesome Self-Flying Robots.

The University of Pennsylvania's GRASP Lab created these UAVs to be light and maneuverable. They measure about 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter and weigh 60-70 grams.

Professor Vijay Kumar explained how they work at a recent TED talk. There is no GPS system guiding their movements. Instead, they are equipped with a Microsoft Kinect and a Hokuyo laser scanner. They can actually be sent into a building and create a map of it on the fly.

When they're not making music, of course.

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Filed under: Over and Out There • Science • Technology • Viral Videos
4,000 meters under the ice
Russian scientists have reportedly unlocked Lake Vostok. That is Antarctica's largest sub-glacial lake. It has been sealed up for about 20 million years.
February 8th, 2012
09:43 AM ET

4,000 meters under the ice

Russian scientists have reportedly unlocked Lake Vostok. That is Antarctica's largest sub-glacial lake. It has been sealed up for about 20 million years.


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Filed under: Great graphics • Science • Space
Hang On A Leap Second
January 21st, 2012
07:52 AM ET

Hang On A Leap Second

A decision on whether to scrap the leap second has been postponed, for three years.

Let us bring you up to speed: Leap seconds were introduced in 1972. They are occasional, extra seconds added or subtracted from the world's atomic clocks to keep them synchronized with the Earth's rotational cycles. Tidal patterns, and the way our planet wobbles on its axis a little as it spins mean that some days end up a few milliseconds longer and shorter than others.

So, over long periods, the time based on hyper-accurate atomic clocks and the time based on the Earth's rotation drift apart. Over decades, that would amount to a minute; over centuries, that could add up to an hour; over millenia, you get the picture, dawn could end up as dusk.  FULL POST

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Filed under: General • Science
June 30th, 2011
11:00 PM ET

Space is kinda trashy

AFP/Getty Images

Our office recently started recycling glass. Most of the collection centers I've found in Hong Kong do not take glass. And while my apartment building has signs warning residents not to throw trash out of their windows, there are none urging them to save the Earth and recycle. It's definitely different from the U.S., where some cities collect plastic, paper and glass curbside. And it's a far cry from Japan, where recycling is a law.

Countries vary in their approaches to waste management on Earth. But when it comes to trash in space, there is international consensus that it's an important problem. A near miss between the International Space Station and an unknown piece of debris has drawn renewed attention to the growing danger.

Usually ISS can dodge orbiting space junk, but this was spotted too late. Instead, the six-member ISS crew had to seek shelter in the Soyuz capsules docked to the station. NASA estimates the object passed about 335 meters from ISS. That's believed to be the closest encounter ever.

This is only the second time that a space station crew has taken shelter in the Soyuz. The first was in March 2009, when a bit of satellite rocket motor flew close by.

That incident happened one month after a defunct Russian satellite accidentally collided with a U.S. satellite. NASA says that created more than 2,000 trackable bits of debris.

So just how much trash is up there? Take a look.


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Filed under: General • Science • Space
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