When NASA launched its LADEE moon probe on Sept. 6, a frog seemed to get in the way.
Good news, everyone! Journalism is still going to be around 1,000 years from now.
It will be, at least, if the next millennium is anything like the world imagined by Futurama, the beloved animated television series set to end Sept. 4 after airing off and on since 1999.
This week Drone U makes its first foray into what drones will mean for the future of warfare. Amnesty International advocacy adviser Naureen Shah starts by putting us in the shoes of people for whom American military drones are a regular part of life. “You’re probably not afraid of being killed by a drone, but what if you were?” Naureen asks.
Siri has always had a sense of humor, albeit a relatively anodyne one. (Q: “Talk dirty to me, Siri.” A: “Humus. Compost. Pumice. Silt. Gravel.”)
High-speed rail is so 20th century. Well, perhaps not in the United States, where we still haven’t gotten around to building any true bullet trains. After 30 years of dithering, California is finally working on one that would get people from Los Angeles to San Francisco in a little under 2 1/2 hours, but it could cost on the order of $100 billion and won’t be ready until at least 2028.
By Lizzie Wade If you happened to be standing on the side of Long Island’s William Floyd Parkway in the wee hours of June 24, you would have seen a UFO drive by: Psych! Actually, it was a 50-foot-wide magnet for a particle accelerator, and it’s way harder to move than a UFO. Stuffed with […]
By Sarah Rothbard This post originally appeared on Zócalo Public Square. Zócalo Public Square is a partnership of the New America Foundation and Arizona State University; Future Tense is a partenrship of New America, ASU, and Slate. When Michael M. Crow, the president of Arizona State University, introduced Craig R. Barrett, the former CEO and […]
By Madeline McSherry Coding is the hottest skill on the job market, the modern-day language of creativity, and a powerful force in the economy. And now it’s making its way into Congress, high school classrooms, and even the newsroom. A group of leading thinkers in technology gathered at New America NYC on March 28 to […]
By Torie Bosch Science panels don’t normally involve a striptease, even a G-rated one. But on Saturday, March 30, Neil deGrasse Tyson took off his shirt to prove a point about the stars, science, and art. It happened at Arizona State University during “The Science of Storytelling,” a panel featuring Tyson, Science Friday’s Ira Flatow, […]
By Emma Roller If you haven’t yet, go check out this 1988 issue of the Los Angeles Times Magazine that predicted what life would be like for Angelinos in 2013. Hits: – Automatic water heaters and coffee makers – Cars with a “central computer” that includes “electronic navigation or map systems” – Teleconferencing from home […]
By Ryan Gallagher It’s not quite the Batplane. But a new Pentagon-backed autonomous “bat drone” that can use a long claw to pluck objects off of the ground is ready for deployment. Earlier this week, California drone developer MLB Company announced that it had completed a project, funded by DARPA, to develop a specialized “V-Bat” […]
By Jason Bittel Think about the last time you recognized someone in a crowd without seeing their face. Did you even stop and marvel at all the visual cues your brain had to cobble together near-instantaneously? Or did you just think, “Oh cool, there’s Tim”? Now, using only a few smartphones and a little Google […]
By Adam Sneed Cyborgs have arrived on Earth, but there’s no reason to worry. They’re nothing like the cold machine-men from The Terminator. Cybernetic technologies that integrate with the human body is something you could soon be able to try for yourself—in fact, you might even want to. Cyborgs and bionic life forms were the […]
By Jason Bittel Recently, we have witnessed remarkable, fictional-sounding advancements in science and medicine. There’s a guy who can hear color, another with a bionic eye attached to his brain, and a woman fighting back against the debilitating symptoms of multiple sclerosis by placing electrodes on her tongue. But for our next trick, we’re going […]
By Evgeny Morozov Of all the startups that launched last year, Fuzz is certainly one of the most intriguing and the most overlooked. Describing itself as a “people-powered radio” that is completely “robot-free,” Fuzz bucks the trend toward ever greater reliance on algorithms in discovering new music. Fuzz celebrates the role played by human DJs—regular […]
By Jason Bittel Everybody is familiar with “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon,” right? Well, according to a Hungarian physicist, the Internet works basically the same way. Despite there being something like 1 trillion pieces of Web out there (websites, hosted images, videos, etc), you can navigate from any one of them to another in 19 […]
By Evan Ackerman This post originally appeared on IEEE Spectrum’s Automaton blog. At this point, seeing robot cars pop up at places like CES is getting less and less surprising and more and more frustrating as we think about just how many hurdles these vehicles have to drive over before we’ll actually get to start […]
By Adam Sneed Every Friday, Future Tense rounds up the best robot videos of the week. Seen a great robot video? Tweet it to @FutureTenseNow, or email us. This week, robots want some heavy petting, make a beautiful mess, and won’t let you out of their sights. The Sensitive Bot Were you looking for a […]
By Jason Bittel Scientists in England have found they can identify counterfeit honey using a laser originally built to explore the universe. It’s sort of like how playing Words With Friends on a smartphone with more processing power than the computers that put a man on the moon. Sometimes these adapted technology stories make it […]
By Torie Bosch Stacey Mulcahy, who is currently a lead developer at the digital creative agency Big Spaceship, has been in the tech industry since 2001. So when her now 8-year-old niece, who is obsessed with “anything Mario Brothers,” called to say that she wants to design video games when she grows up, Mulcahy wasn’t […]