M.I.A. Highlights the Refugee Plight in Video for “Borders”


In the self-directed video for her new song “Borders,” M.I.A. focuses entirely on refugees, putting their lives up on screen as a visual representation of the song’s lyrics, which ask: “Borders (what’s up with that?) Politics (what’s up with that?) Police shots (what’s up with that?) Identities (what’s up with […]

Even Kids Can Build This Computer, Now With a DIY Screen


Wired writes about the Kano DIY Computer Screen, a kit the company recently released to go with their $99 build-your-own-computer kit launched in 2013. Kano had created the DIY computer kit to be kid-friendly, taking down the walls preventing young minds from grasping abstract concepts surround computing technology by getting […]

Teenager Explains Theory of Relativity With a Video That Won Him $400,000


Whether you need a quick refresher on Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, or a complete lesson from the ground up, you could certainly do worse than this unpretentious and clear video explanation created by teenager Ryan Chester. The Breakthrough Junior Challenge committee certainly agrees, having awarded Chester and his school $400,000 for […]

Latest Bond Film ‘Spectre’ Features Smart Blood Nanotechnology — Is This Real?

Bond (Daniel Craig) being injected with Smart blood by Q (Ben Whishaw) in Spectre

Futuristic-sounding tech that seems just this side of realistic is sort of the James Bond franchise’s stock-in-trade. And while some of these gadgets can be dismissed as far-fetched flights of fancy,  there are also examples like Bond’s biometrically encoded ‘smart gun’ from Skyfall. So, on which end of the reality […]

The Robots Who Could Save Our Lives


Could the right robot help prevent catastrophes like nuclear meltdown, or provide emergency relief in the wake of such disasters, able to traverse terrain, retrieve supplies, or shut off valves where no human could safely go? That’s the question posed by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), and part of the […]

Can You Zap Yourself Into a Better Mood?

Image: Thync

The Thync is a small, head-mounted device that promises to deliver mood-altering pulses of electricity to your brain, whether you’re seeking the stimulating effects of caffeine or the mental calm one enjoys post-massage. According to the Thync site, the device works by balancing the activity between your body’s sympathetic and parasympathetic […]

Get Your News in Virtual Reality from the NY Times

Image: Screengrab from NYT VR via The Observer

Heading into new, exciting waters, The New York Times introduced the NYT VR app yesterday, which will allow subscribers to immerse themselves in special reporting using their mobile device, headphones and an optional, but recommended, cardboard viewing device. The Times Magazine kicks off the VR content with three portraits of […]

IBM’s Watson Supercomputer Is Your Personal Chef

Image: IBM

IBM’s Watson, the supercomputer that has competed against human contestants on Jeopardy, has partnered with Bon Appétit to offers its services as your new personal chef. The Atlantic visited the BA Test Kitchen for a demonstration of how Chef Watson uses cognitive cooking technology, drawing from Bon Appétit’s massive recipe database, to help you […]