A few hundred miles off the coast of Ghana is Null Island—the point of zero longitude and zero latitude. It’s not a real island in the physical sense, but data, photos, and whole people have been there, if only for a little while. How they got there comes down to shoddy programming.
So you’re watching sportsball, and your team wins. The stadium fills with confetti, and the broadcast starts to look like total crap. Why does confetti make the players on your expensive TV look like Minecraft character? The answer lies in the nature of digital video compression.
Nuclear fusion holds promise as a safe, clean source of energy to power our future. We’re probably decades away from using fusion as a viable source of energy, but some experimental reactors are already online.
IPv4, the internet address system born out of the birth of the internet, serves as a cautionary tale to always plan ahead: no one thought there would ever be more than 4.3 billion devices connected to the internet, only to be proved horribly wrong 30 years later. But YouTube planned ahead.
Both global warming and the popularity of downhill skiing are on the rise, a trend that probably seems a little counterintuitive. Hiding behind the scenes are snowmaking machines, which every year convert millions of gallons of water into money-making snow.
I’ve always wondered exactly who is buying Train Simulator 2015, because driving around virtual heavy machinery without causing accidents isn’t really my idea of a good afternoon. But if that software is running in a fully immersive high-tech simulator, I start to understand the appeal.
Most big cities in the world grow over time; a few notable exceptions have sprouted pretty much out of nowhere. But for every Washington D.C, there are also vacant lots in the middle of the desert, waiting for residents who never came.
Galco’s Soda Pop Stop is a store in Highland Park, LA, with shelves full of an incomprehensible array of soda (and beer!). But it’s not just a novelty: it’s a trip back to a time when soda pop was a craft industry like modern microbreweries, and the entire nation wasn’t hooked on corn syrup.
The water rights that govern how California’s water gets used are not the easiest things in the world to understand; working out how they came to be, and how they shaped Los Angeles, is an even trickier thing.
The EAGLE Project isn’t some neo-Nazi project to bring a cloned Hitler to life; rather, it’s trying to simulate a universe inside a supercomputer. Yes, it’s exactly as complicated as it sounds.
As it turns out, one sixteen-character garbage URL is enough to bring Google’s mighty browser crashing to its knees. Here’s the computer science behind the bug.
Sometimes a simple smile or frown is enough to convey the emotion of a sentence. But for those times when you need a more specific emoji, Tom Scott has transformed the 1,000+ keys on 14 combined keyboards into one monstrous contraption to help you quickly access those expressive little pictographs.
Normally, you wouldn’t think of a vehicle used to clean rivers as being particularly cool. But I challenge you to find one single thing wrong with this chainsaw-wielding boat/tank hybrid.
I haven’t seen every singe bridge in the world, so I’m not happy calling this bridge-ferry-gondola hybrid the weirdest. But it’s definitely top five, and makes me question (once again) the sanity of Wales.
Chernobyl is obviously well-known for one particular thing, but as it turns out, the town is hiding things other than two-headed squirrels.
Drive your car until the tank’s empty, and it will probably be 100 pounds lighter (minus the 6 extra Red Bulls consumed). But drive an electric car until it’s out of juice, and on a much smaller scale, it will also have shed weight.
Last night, time on Earth had a leap second. The planet’s computer systems survived unscathed, thanks to months of careful preparation by engineers. But here’s a concise explanation of why, left to their own devices, a bunch of very expensive computers could’ve thrown a hissy fit.
I religiously maintain a list of ‘dangerous machinery that wants to eat my limbs’, and having watched this video, Paternoster lifts — that is, lifts with continuously moving carriages that you jump in and out of — just went straight to the top.
I was born in Spain to Spanish-speaking parents, who in their infinite wisdom, brought me up speaking English. I’ve always resented missing the opportunity to be brought up bilingual — adults seem to have such a tough time learning languages, compared to children. But why is that?