IT 

Pascal-based Nvidia Titan X is graphics card overkill of the highest order

With the rise of 4K and graphics-intensive VR, more strain is being placed on graphics cards. A couple of months ago, Nvidia responded to this call for more power with its GTX 1080, which the company called “the new king” of graphics cards. Well, the king is dead, long live the king, because now Nvidia has unveiled an updated version of the Titan X, which takes Nvidia’s Pascal architecture and cranks it up to the absolute max. With maximum performance sitting at 11 teraflops, the new Titan X is around 60…

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Transport Tech 

So, a Few Concerns About China’s Traffic-Slaying ‘Straddling Bus’

Well blow us down: Those scrappy engineers did it. They built that crazy straddling bus a Chinese company announced three months ago, and damned if it doesn’t work. This weird wonder—officially, it’s the “Transit Elevated Bus”—gets through traffic by driving over it. And according to the Chinese news agency Xinhua, it got through Tuesday’s test drive in Qinhuangdao without decapitating a single Geely Panda. Some specs: This thing is 68.9 feet long, 25.6 feet wide, and 15.7 feet tall. “There’s enough space on this for old ladies to have a…

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Other Tech 

ARmKeypad Air keeps your grubby mitts off the interface

Making interfaces touch-free is a problem with a number of solutions, such asvoice control to hand gesture recognition. NEC’s ARmKeypad brings augmented reality (AR) into the mix to display a virtual interface onto the user’s arm, with input registered through vibrations from the tapping of fingers on the arm. Now the company has announced a new, tap-free version called the ARmKeypad Air that provides a completely contact-free interface. After we first heard about the ARmKeypad back in 2011, things kind of went quiet until November last year, when it resurfaced in the form of…

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IT 

Why the Virtual-Reality Hype is About to Come Crashing Down

Makers of virtual-reality headsets think 2016 will be the year of VR. The experience “is radically different than any computing experience you’ve had before,” says Marc Metis, a vice president atHTC Corp., maker of the Vive headset. Content creators, however, tell a different story. VR isn’t ready for prime time. This gap between expectations and reality means the VR hype train is about to crash into a wall. In my experience, VR demos can be very impressive. The problem is that most are just that—demos.As new, highly touted headsets arrive this year, how much…

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Transport Tech 

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop: A Pragmatic Vision of the Future

Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes? In August, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk announced his vision for Hyperloop, a levitating train that would shoot through a low-pressure, above-ground tunnel at 760 mph. Musk is famous for futuristic transit, such as his electric car company Tesla Motors and commercial space travel business SpaceX. But he has no intention of building a functional Hyperloop. His aim was to generate buzz with the idea, in the hope that others would develop and build it. The technology itself is old news. In 1972,…

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Medical Tech 

Microfluidic Device to Test Electric Fields on Cancer Cells

At the post-grad research collaboration called Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), a team has developed a microfluidic device for testing how electric fields influence living cells. The main goal for the technology is to identify the nature of the electric fields that best disrupt the activity of cancer cells, the growth and multiplication of which has been shown in the past to be influenced by external electric fields. Potentially, there’s a chance that electrodes could be used in the future to simply stop and even kill cancer cells completely from outside the…

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IT 

Quantum computers may revolutionize chemistry

As powerful as today’s traditional supercomputers are, they still struggle greatly with modeling chemical systems. For example, chemists still don’t fully understand exactly how bacteria produce fertilizer at room temperature. Considering the fact that fertilizer production is inefficient and consumes as much as two percent of the world’s energy each year, solving its mysteries could save billions of dollars. Now, researchers from Harvard, Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, UC Santa Barbara, Tufts University and University College London are one step closer to being able to solve that and other difficult models…

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Other Tech 

Digital Deception: How to Spot a Lie Online

There are three things you can be sure of in life: death, taxes – and lying. The latter certainly appears to have been borne out by the UK’s recent Brexit referendum, with a number of the Leave campaign’s pledges looking morelike porkie pies than solid truths. But from internet advertising, visa applications and academic articles to political blogs, insurance claims and dating profiles, there are countless places we can tell digital lies. So how can one go about spotting these online fibs? Well, Stephan Ludwig from the University of Westminster, Ko de Ruyter from City University London’s…

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Medical Tech 

Medtronic’s New Guardian Connect Smartphone Powered Glucometer

Medtronic won EU approval to introduce its Guardian Connect continuous glucose monitoring system for diabetics taking injected insulin. The wearable stick-on glucometer wirelessly connects to the Guardian Connect app via a Bluetooth, updating the iPhone with the latest readings on a regular basis. It takes readings every five minutes, which equates with 288 samplings every day. Sugar levels that fall outside preset boundaries raise an alarm through the phone app, and it can also send SMS messages to loved ones and caretakers when that happens as well. The app can upload a complete…

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