Amit Singhal has at least two obsessions: search and Star Trek. The 47-year-old joined Google as its 176th employee in 2000 and has been working on search since. He’s also been spreading the gospel of Star Trek, a franchise he’s loved since his time as a boy in the mountainous region of Uttar Pradesh, India. At one point the company’s voice search project was under the codename Majel, a reference to the woman who voiced the Starship Enterprise’s AI computer.
It’s no surprise that Singhal eventually combined his two passions in the form of a prototype wearable modeled after the communicator that Captain Picard and company use to interact with the Enterprise. The Bluetooth-enabled lapel pin, which Google has never before discussed publicly, is equipped with a microphone and is activated with a simple tap. The device, which could output sound through a speaker or accompanying headphones, allows users to talk to Google without having to fish out their cell phones.
Via Blue Origin:
Blue Origin today announced that its New Shepard space vehicle successfully flew to space, reaching its planned test altitude of 329,839 feet (100.5 kilometers) before executing a historic landing back at the launch site in West Texas.
Via the United States Marines:
Employees of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and Boston Dynamics trained Marines from the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab how to operate “Spot,” a quadruped prototype robot, at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., Sept. 16, 2015.
Spot is a 160-pound, electrically powered, hydraulically actuated robot designed by Boston Dynamics.
“We want to continue to experiment with quadruped technology and find ways that this can be employed to enhance the Marine Corps warfighting capabilties,” said Capt. James Pineiro, the branch head for Marine Corps Warfighting Lab.
“Science fiction is really important. But it’s not important because it is right – because it is almost never right. Science fiction is important because it makes us think deeply about what might be…”
Via IEEE Spectrum:
[James] Tour and his team have designed and fabricated a molecule consisting of 244 atoms that can move within a liquid environment using a tail-like propeller powered by ultraviolet light.
What is really impressive about the nanoscale submarines is their speed. One wag of its tail can move it 18 nanometers. Not impressed? Consider that the tail can wag a million revolutions per minute (RPM), which translates to propelling the molecule about 2.5 centimeters per second. In nano-scale terms that’s really fast.
In research published in the journal ACS Nano, the speed of the 10-nanometer scale submersibles are fast enough that they can work their way through a solution containing molecules of the same size without being slowed down.
“This is akin to a person walking across a basketball court with 1,000 people throwing basketballs at him,” Tour said in a press release.