NASA's Using Space Laser to Download Video From Orbit at Gigabit Speeds

NASA's latest data download just covered way more distance, and contained way more awesome, than any earthbound file transfer: the agency beamed a high-def video down from the International Space Station this week using a high-powered laser. Go ahead and give your WiFi router a good stern look. » 6/07/14 10:00am 6/07/14 10:00am

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

The Experimental Satellite that Gave Us Live International Television

Throughout the 1950s, broadcast television was limited to domestic transmissions simply because we didn't have a means to relay signals far enough to span the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. It wasn't until NASA shot Telstar, an unproven, newfangled "active" communications satellite into orbit in 1963, that mass… » 3/19/14 11:40am 3/19/14 11:40am

This Ad Promised 3D Videophones and Robot Shoppers by the Year 2000

Back in 1968, the videophone was supposed to be just around the corner. Phone companies around the world were working diligently to make it a reality. But sometimes their futuristic promises could go a little overboard, like in this Southwestern Bell ad that promised not just videophones, but three-dimensional » 1/20/14 2:40pm 1/20/14 2:40pm

Apple Patent Forsees Gadget RF Connectivity Everywhere, From Shirts to…

Apple's just filed a patent titled "Personal area network systems and devices and methods for use thereof" which is speculative, but basically offers us a sniff of how the future of gadget interconnectivity might be. Apple imagines small, intelligent and efficient RF transmitter-receivers that can handshake and pass… » 10/23/08 6:44am 10/23/08 6:44am

FuChat Concept Phone Detects Then Displays your Emotional State

The FuChat concept phone is pretty, and kind of half-phone, half-Chumby as its surface is a concealed display used to show widgets: from weather displays, to showing a "keep out" sign on your door. But the emotional-sensing aspect got me intrigued. FuChat would be able to analyze your voice and body temp and guess at… » 7/28/08 7:41am 7/28/08 7:41am