The importance of physical contact captured in a beautiful video

Spanish filmmaker Francisco Montoro shows in this beautiful video that communication goes beyond words. Nowadays, thanks to the Internet, we can connect with each other in many ways, but we are certainly missing the most important one. The one that creates the strongest bonds: Physical contact. » 10/02/14 12:30am 10/02/14 12:30am

Amazing 1960s Predictions About Satellites, Email, and the Internet

It's hard for many of us living here in the early 21st century to imagine a world without satellites. Well, in fairness, we don't really think about satellites at all. Much like electricity or tap water, we only remember how vital they are when they stop working. Our GPS devices, smartphones, and modern military… » 8/25/14 5:22pm 8/25/14 5:22pm

How Mad Men-Era Americans Imagined the World Would Look In 1970

The AMC show Mad Men is in its final season, with its mid-season finale (yeah, I don't know what that means exactly either) airing this past Sunday. The show started with 1960 as its backdrop, and we now see characters in the world of 1969. A lot changed in that decade and, of course, it's a fictional representation… » 5/27/14 6:21pm 5/27/14 6:21pm

NASA is getting ready to communicate with aliens (Update 4)

"We can say little, if anything, about what these patterns [above] signify, why they were cut into rocks, or who created them. For all intents and purposes, they might have been made by aliens." When a new NASA book on alien communications has a paragraph like that, you better pay attention. » 5/21/14 12:21am 5/21/14 12:21am

Plant Cells "Talk" With Electric Signals, Too

A particular detail has always stuck with me from The BFG, Roald Dahl's dark-as-hell children's book that's actually about giants snatching kids from their bedrooms. The one good, non-kid-eating giant tells his friend about superhuman hearing: "if I is twisting the stem of the flower till it breaks, then the plant is… » 12/20/13 2:20pm 12/20/13 2:20pm

It Takes Longer To Compose Texts That Have A Lie In Them

Most people lie. Whether it's once and a while or daily, everyone has to do their thing and sometimes lying seems like the best way to make it all work. But liars have tells, which can be just as important in life as in poker. And a new study suggests that people take longer to respond to texts when they're cooking up… » 9/08/13 9:19am 9/08/13 9:19am

This Depression-Era Carphone Was Way Ahead of Its Time

Today if your car breaks down or you're in an accident, help is little more than a phone call away. It's something that many drivers of the 21st century take for granted, what with our Space Age smartphone technology. This automotive safety net, of course, wasn't available in the 1930s. But one visionary who was… » 8/13/13 12:40pm 8/13/13 12:40pm

How To Send a Photo Around the World (in 1926)

Today, we take for granted the ability to send photos halfway around the world in an instant. (Which is probably why that popular smartphone photograph service is called Instant-Gram™.) But a century ago, getting a photograph across an ocean was a much more involved process than simply snapping a mirror selfie and… » 7/01/13 1:14pm 7/01/13 1:14pm

Drones Now Have an AC/DC Soundtrack, via Laser Beam

What is it about technology and Aussie rock band AC/DC? In July a computer hack led to the band's track Thunderstruck belting out at top volume in an Iranian nuclear power plant. Now AC/DC's signature hit Highway to Hell is riding on a laser beam that's being bounced off a drone in mid-flight. When the beam is… » 12/11/12 8:42am 12/11/12 8:42am

The $6 Billion Military Software Project That Came to Nothing

The Joint Tactical Radio System was an amazing concept put forward by the US military. It was designed to future-proof the entire communications system used by all US defense organizations, which is why it required 15 years of work and the investment of $6 billion dollars. Sadly, things didn't go to plan. » 6/20/12 6:51am 6/20/12 6:51am