Items tagged with Science Fiction

One of a human baby’s most exciting developmental steps is learning and repeating their first word. However, we still do not fully understand what happens in the brain that helps this learning process takes place. Researchers are now a little closer to understanding speech development, however, and the methods they've employed take a cue from the science fiction movie, Inception. Scientists have actually implanted memories in birds' brains to teach them songs that the birds have previously not heard before. Scientists at the University of Texas Southwestern have been working with cute little zebra finches over the last few years to unlock the mysteries of speech development. Zebra finches... Read more...
Last month HotHardware reported on how Ohio-based Nikola Labs wowed the crowd at the Disrupt conference — and the Internet — by presenting a smartphone case. Of course, it didn't trot out one of your typical keep-the-dings-off smartphone cases, though, but one that can capture the 90 percent of waste energy pumped out by a typical smartphone in the form of radio frequencies (RF), and convert that energy into DC power that can be channeled back into the encased device to provide it with a 30% energy boost.  Science or science-fiction? Too good to be true? The punditry and would-be scientists served and volleyed the idea for a cycle or two, weighing... Read more...
Mobile phones charged with energy taken out of thin air. What sounds like a modern take on a very old magic trick is actually the Unique Selling Proposition of a smartphone case developed by Nikola Labs and presented for the first time on Monday at the TechCrunch Disrupt event taking place this week in New York City (the Ohio-based company was selected to pitch to the crowd "after being selected by the TechCrunch editorial team and the audience").  According to its developers, the Nikola Labs case is able to use its proprietary energy harvesting circuit to capture the 90 percent of waste energy that a smartphone pumps out in the form of radio frequencies (RF) — Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, LTE,... Read more...
A railgun is the stuff of science-fiction and video games. Instead of firing an explosively fired projectile, a railgun uses an electromagnetic current to accelerate a non-explosive bullet to several times the speed of sound. On Friday, at 11 AM today, the Navy set a record, by producing a 33-megajoule firing, more than three times the previous record it set in 2008. Rear Adm. Nevin Carr, chief of naval research, said in a Navy report on the test: "The 33-megajoule shot means the Navy can fire projectiles at least 110 nautical miles, placing sailors and Marines at a safe standoff distance and out of harm's way, and the high velocities achievable are tactically relevant for air and missile defense.... Read more...
There was a time when laser beams were a thing of science fiction and the picture phone just found on episodes of The Jetsons.  And cloaking devices, well let's just say the Romulans gave James T. and the gang a bit of heart burn with their peek-a-boo ways but in reality the capability, though explored in science fiction throughout the years from Star Trek to Star Wars, seemed pretty far-fetched.  Or is it?  Like the laser and the picture phone now modern day web cam, advances in cloaking technology seem to be real, tangible and yes, even proven... "A device that can bestow invisibility to an object by "cloaking" it from visual light is closer to reality. After being the first... Read more...
True science fiction aficionados can often be spotted by their collections of figurines, movie posters, and large Sci-Fi DVD collections. It's typically not enough to just watch the films and read the books--true fans like to steep in a more tangible world where replicas and miniatures can make the experience seem even more real. But for the ultimate Sci-Fi geek, nothing rivals reliving the world of cinema than actually owning an original piece of a favorite movie; we're not talking about a strip of cellulose film here--we're talking about an actual prop, like Luke Skywalker's lightsaber ($150,000) from the first two Star Wars films or the actual cowl ($15,000) worn by Christian Bale in Batman... Read more...