The Ice-Diving Robot That Could Look for Alien Life on Jupiter's Moon

The search for extraterrestrial life begins, often enough, on Earth. In this case, it's an Alaskan glacier, where the robot VALKYRIE is proving its ice-chomping abilities in a field test. VALKYRIE is supposed to one day land on Jupiter's moon, Europa, where it will drill through miles of ice to reach the liquid oceans… » 7/23/14 5:59pm 21 minutes ago

How To Scan 50 Miles of Historical Documents Into an Online Archive

Tracking the lightning quick development of modern cities is easy with Google Street View, but a big new project aims to provide context for the past 1,000 years of urban evolution in Venice, Italy. The Venice Time Machine will digitize and catalog a staggering amount of historical documents—a combined 50 miles worth… » 7/23/14 5:20pm Today 5:20pm

These Graphic Prints Contain The Text of Your Favorite Books

There are lots of different kinds of love out there, but perhaps none more pure than between people and their favorite books. You could keep a copy of your one and only out at all times, prominently placed on a shelf at home, or you could spring for one of these posters, t-shirts, or totes from Litographs, which… » 7/23/14 5:00pm Today 5:00pm

This 45-Story Slum Could Finally Become a Finished Skyscraper

There is perhaps no unfinished skyscraper more infamous than Torre de David, a 45-story shell of a building that has informally housed about 5,000 Venezuelans since 2007. Now the property that has become known as the world's tallest slum is being acquired by Chinese investors, and this week, the government began… » 7/23/14 4:34pm Today 4:34pm

How to Turn An Old Satellite Dish Into a Working Radio Telescope

Radio telescopes, which you may remember Jodie Foster intently listening to for signs of alien life in Contact, pluck out radio waves from far away space. Ordinary communications satellite dishes also pick up radio waves, but of manmade origin. So hmm, how easily can you convert one into another? It's totally… » 7/23/14 4:21pm Today 4:21pm

Valve's Crazy Steam Controller Is One Step Closer to Being Normal

When Valve first announced its controller for the Steambox, it was a weird little dude with strange, small buttons and a touchscreen. And for as weird as it was, it was kind of great. Then it lost the touchscreen for standard buttons and a D-pad. And now it's getting a thumbstick. » 7/23/14 3:45pm Today 3:45pm

My new favorite Twitter account is @CrimeADay

Back in college I took an undergrad law course that devoted a day to looking at silly old laws that were still on the books. One of the laws stated that it was illegal to serve margarine in any Wisconsin restaurant without also offering customers butter. The whole class thought it was hilarious. And then, not a few… » 7/23/14 3:34pm Today 3:34pm

Report: Apple's Got a 12-inch MacBook, 4K Desktop in Works

In the midst of updating its operating system to Yosemite, Apple seems to also have some hardware refreshes in mind. According to Mark Gurman at 9to5Mac, sources say that Apple is planning a smaller Macbook (12-inch diagonally) with a high resolution display as well as a pixel-drunk 4K iMac or standalone monitor. » 7/23/14 1:55pm Today 1:55pm

Augmented Reality Climbing Walls Turn Mountaineering Into a Game

There are lots of reasons to tackle a climbing wall at your local gym: it's great exercise, it can improve your hand-eye coordination, and it helps instill useful mountaineering skills should you ever find yourself trapped on a cliff. But researchers at Aalto University in Finland want to take them one step further » 7/23/14 1:44pm Today 1:44pm

Watch An Active Protection System Destroy An RPG Fired At Israeli Tank

We have discussed Active Protection Systems many times before, but it is another thing seeing one work operationally. The video below depicts a Merkava IV tank being fired on in Gaza by an RPG, with Trophy intercepting and destroying the explosive projectile before it could plow through the tank's side armor. » 7/23/14 1:41pm Today 1:41pm

A Triptych That Proves Portrait-Oriented Video Isn't Always Horrible

Usually, we are very much against shooting video with your phone in portrait orientation, because for the most part it looks like trash. But Dan Toth did something we never thought of, using three portrait-oriented videos to make a lovely triptych of his neighborhood in Sunnyside, Queens. » 7/23/14 1:30pm Today 1:30pm