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Monday, October 17, 2016

New Atlas

After a great 2016 Overland Expo West in May, we found ourselves hungry for more, so this year we attended the newer Overland Expo East show in Asheville, North Carolina, which has the same great sense of go-anywhere adventure and "no-obstacle-too-big" innovation. Here are the highlights.  Read more
21st century digital technology has given artists a set of tools that have dismantled traditional definitions of originality. How is this challenging the notions of copyright that came to dominate much of the 20th century?  Read more
On paper, Sony’s PlayStation VR is the virtual reality system to buy. If only Sony had delivered a stable experience that captures the magic that made VR desirable in the first place.   Read more
In one more step on the road to a functional quantum computer, researchers at Harvard University and Sandia Ion Beam Laboratory claim to have created the very first "bridge" that could effectively link strings of quantum computers together in a single networked unit.   Read more
Along with a fancy bodykit, the M4 DTM Champion Edition celebrates Marco Whitmann securing the DTM Driver Championship with the water-injected engine and more focused chassis from the M4 GTS.  Read more
Slovenia's Mag-Lev Audio is currently Kickstarting a design that makes use of magnets, sensors and custom software to levitate the platter above the base, keep it perfectly stable and spin it at album or single playback speeds – adding a wow factor visual feast to the vinyl listening experience.   Read more
Mini has branched out into vans, scramblers and cars with their hats backwards, but it hasn't ever sold a hybrid. That's set to change when the Mini Plug-In Hybrid launches. It's not quite ready for public consumption, but the company has given us a peek behind the development curtain.  Read more
Canadian green living proponent Greenmoxie recently completed its first tiny house. Alongside some impressive off-grid technology, the eponymous dwelling includes novel features you don't usually expect to see in a tiny house – most notably an electric drawbridge-style deck.   Read more
Whether you're a high-speed thrill seeker or absolute beginner, windsurfing is a solo sport, but an Australian team is working on a fresh new design which changes that. The Wave Chaser is a twin-rig planing hull catamaran for two.   Read more
A team at UWB is developing self-driving tricycles, with the aim of providing a relatively inexpensive alternative to owning an autonomous car. The project may even open up the possibility of an automated ride-sharing network, like a bike version of Uber's or NuTonomy’s proposed services.  Read more
What will the Royal Navy look like in 2036? The Navy's first ever large scale demonstration of marine robotic systems not only showcases new technology, but tests the ability of unmanned vehicles to work with one another as well as with conventional naval ships.   Read more
Researchers have developed a method to make soybean plants grow larger and produce more seeds, by kicking into overdrive their ability to pull vital nitrogen from the air. The technique could reduce the need for nitrogen fertilizers and make for more drought-resistant plants.   Read more
A new type of material developed at Chalmers University of Technology could bring color to e-paper. The material is flexible, ultrathin and can produce the full color range of an LED-backlit LCD, but requires ten times less energy than a Kindle's e-ink display.   Read more
Scientists from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory claim to have produced one of the most usable of all chemicals - ethanol - in a process conducted at room temperature that effectively reverses the combustion process   Read more
To the music of brass bands, the USS Zumwalt has formally been commissioned into the United States Navy. On Saturday at 6:20 pm EDT, Captain James A Kirk took command of the next-generation multimission destroyer at North Locust Point in Baltimore and the US flag and commissioning pennant raised.   Read more
GPS is great unless you lose the signal, so the University of California, Riverside is developing an alternative navigation system that uses secondary radio signals, such as from cell phone systems and Wi-Fi, and is claimed to be highly reliable, consistent, and tamper-proof.   Read more
Researchers at MIT have just passed an important milestone on the long path to a fusion future, placing plasma under what they say is the most pressure ever created in a fusion device.   Read more
Collision Avoidance System technology uses a forward-looking radar system to alert drivers when they're rapidly approaching other vehicles. If those other vehicles are bicycles, however, their rear profile can make them difficult for the radar to detect. That's where iLumaware's Shield TL comes in.​   Read more
​An international team of researchers has carried out an extremely precise survey of the observable universe, and estimated that there are around 10 times as many galaxies populating the cosmos than had previously been believed.   Read more
​If you're trying to monitor railways for wear and tear, why not just use something that's already on the tracks all the time … trains? That's the idea behind the Tracksure system, which looks for trouble using an inexpensive sensor that can be easily added to locomotives.   Read more
The team behind Megasus Horserunners has launched a crowdfunding campaign for a horseshoe alternative it says will allow for more natural hoof movements, and can be easily clipped on and taken off as required.​   Read more
Win-win: How Finnish researchers are hoping to ease agriculture's toll on the environment with a device that converts plant cells into food.   Read more
They don't have ears and were thought to mostly interpret the world around them through sight and touch, but scientists have now discovered that spiders possess the ability to hear over relatively long distances, a sense that appears finely attuned to recognizing the sounds of incoming enemies. ​   Read more
Pixel is the first smartphone to officially be dubbed "Made by Google." As such, its arrival on the market is hotly anticipated. How does Pixel compare to its industry-leading Android competitor, the Samsung Galaxy S7?   Read more
What is claimed to be the world's first national drone delivery service has launched in Rwanda. Operated by US robotics firm Zipline in partnership with the Rwandan government, the service makes emergency deliveries of blood from a distribution hub to transfusion facilities up to 75 km (47 mi) away.   Read more
The Dutch city of Eindhoven is poised to become "the world's first crowdsourced smart city," according to Philips Lighting. Residents will be consulted for ideas about how smart lighting infrastructure should be employed, for development and roll out over the next 15 years.   Read more
Voice control is one option for one-handed smartwatch usage, but researchers from Dartmouth University are developing another. Their WristWhirl prototype can be controlled by making joystick motions with the hand of the arm that's wearing it. ​  Read more
Headlines from Honda’s Intermot presentation reasonably centered on the new Fireblade, leaving little publicity for two updates on the classic CB1100 model family. A new sporty version called RS broke cover with fancy new running gear, escorted by a set of minor advances for the existing EX.  Read more
Electric power is used to run everything from boats to rollerblades, along with cars and motorbikes, but Torq's latest battery-powered vehicle could be the most useful of them all. The LETV has room for a fully-suited bomb-disposal expert, along with all the equipment needed to get the job done.   Read more
Cord-cutting is cool, and it's extending to earphones, as well. These handy, wireless earphones are equipped with advanced Bluetooth 4.1 technology so you can stream music from any Bluetooth-enabled device at the office, during a workout, or just walking from A to B.   Read more