Stop the presses! Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have made a new measurement of Planck’s constant to a highly accurate degree. It’s the latest step toward improving the official definition of the kilogram, the unit of mass that underpins our entire international system of weights and…
An Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) investigation just revealed an awfully Orwellian fact: the FBI is working with government researchers to develop advanced tattoo recognition technology. This would allow law enforcement to sort and identify people based on their tattoos to determine “affiliation to gangs,…
Ever had a burning desire to start your own robot army? Well, now might be your chance, provided you have $55,000 to spare. Someone is selling an experimental unmanned military vehicle on eBay. (Death ray not included.)
To make it difficult for law enforcement to trace stolen cars or weapons, thieves will usually grind off their metal vehicle identification numbers or serial numbers. And while techniques for trying to recover those numbers do exist, they're not as accurate as a new method developed by researchers at the National…
If you want to know exactly what time it is, head of over to Boulder, Colorado, where a fountain of cesium atoms ticks off the U.S.'s official time. It should be accurate for the next 300 million years. But don't be impressed—the world's actual most precise clock is a few miles away at a different lab in Boulder,…
The National Institute of Standards and Technology has unveiled a new atomic clock, and boy howdy is it accurate.
The tough thing about translation: You need someone who actually speaks both languages. Easy for Spanish to English, not so much for Swahili to Inuktitut. In the Plex by Steven Levy illustrates how Google's machine translations will revolutionize human communication.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology doesn't just produce technical specifications for everything from wifi to voting machines - they also have a digital archive devoted to the study of early technology. But they need your help to identify some of the objects they've collected.
O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum, you really are quite frightening! At least, you are after I've seen you burn down a living room in less than 60 seconds. Remember last year's video? It gets worse.
France holds the world's standard for the kilogram weight. It's a cylinder-shaped object that has dictated all other kilogram weights for 130 years now. As it's made from platinum-iridium though, the US is concerned it's no longer accurate. Whoops?
Up until now, crime scene investigators have relied mainly on sniffing-dogs to discover buried bodies, but a probe with the thickness of a human hair could send the doggies off to early retirement if scientists have their way.
As Make puts it, the atomic clock is old and busted. The quantum-logic clock from National Institute of Standards and Technology, keeping time 100,000 times more accurately than its predecessor, is definitely the new hotness.
In the future, quantum computers will accomplish in seconds what would take years with our best computers today. Physicists at NIST have made a significant leap towards this goal by demonstrating the first "universal" programmable quantum information processor.
Over 400 million transistors are packed on dual-core chips manufactured using Intel's 45nm process. That'll double soon, per Moore's Law. And it'll still be like computing with pebbles compared to quantum computing.
The RoboCup soccer tourney gets all the publicity, but the RoboCup Rescue competition kicking off this week in Germany is thrilling in a more macabre way: Each year the rubble-strewn maze gets more and more complicated, as robots use AI and all their mechanical faculties to locate (though not necessarily recover)…