Technology

Four ways blockchain could make the internet safer, fairer and more creative

Four ways blockchain could make the internet safer, fairer and more creative

The internet is unique in that it has no central control, administration or authority. It has given everyone with access to it a platform to express their views and exchange ideas with others instantaneously. But in recent years, internet services such as search engines and social media platforms have increasingly been provided by a small number of very large tech firms.

Why you should always shake hands with a robot

Why you should always shake hands with a robot

There are many unspoken rules of human interaction, whether that’s whether or not to look them in the eyes, the firmness of the handshake, smiling or words of greeting. Little things like this can lead to big judgments about trustworthiness or social acceptability.

Commercial supersonic aircraft could return to the skies

Commercial supersonic aircraft could return to the skies

Flying faster than the speed of sound still sounds futuristic for regular people, more than 15 years after the last commercial supersonic flights ended. The planes that made those journeys, the 14 aircraft collectively known as the Concorde, flew from 1976 to 2003. It traveled three times faster than regular passenger aircraft, but the airlines that flew it couldn’t make a profit on its trips.

Very cool: The ESA’s SpaceBok Robot Will Hop Its Way Around Low-Gravity Worlds

Very cool: The ESA’s SpaceBok Robot Will Hop Its Way Around Low-Gravity Worlds

The ESA is helping a group of students from Zurich test and develop their hopping exploration robot. Called SpaceBok, the robot is designed to operate on low-gravity bodies like the Moon or asteroids. It’s based on the concept of ‘dynamic walking’, something that animals on Earth use.

Would your mobile phone be powerful enough to get you to the moon?

Would your mobile phone be powerful enough to get you to the moon?

Many people who are old enough to have experienced the first moon landing will vividly remember what it was like watching Neil Armstrong utter his famous quote: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”. Half a century later, the event is still one of the top achievements of humankind. Despite the rapid technological advances since then, astronauts haven’t actually been back to the moon since 1972.

We probed Santorini’s volcano with sound to learn what’s going on beneath the surface

We probed Santorini’s volcano with sound to learn what’s going on beneath the surface

The island of Santorini in the Mediterranean has attracted people for millennia. Today, it feels magical to watch the sun set from cliffs over the deep bay, surrounded by cobalt blue churches and whitewashed houses. This mystical place attracts about 2 million tourists per year, making it one of the top destinations in Greece.

Ethics of AI: how should we treat rational, sentient robots – if they existed?

Ethics of AI: how should we treat rational, sentient robots – if they existed?

Imagine a world where humans co-existed with beings who, like us, had minds, thoughts, feelings, self-conscious awareness and the capacity to perform purposeful actions – but, unlike us, these beings had artificial mechanical bodies that could be switched on and off.

Driverless cars are going to disrupt the airline industry

Driverless cars are going to disrupt the airline industry

As driverless cars become more capable and more common, they will change people’s travel habits not only around their own communities but across much larger distances. Our research has revealed just how much people’s travel preferences could shift, and found a new potential challenge to the airline industry.

Cars will change more in the next decade than they have in the past century

Cars will change more in the next decade than they have in the past century

While the look and feel of our cars has changed in the past 100 years, the way we drive them hasn’t. But fundamental change is coming. In the next decade, not only will the way they’re powered and wired have shifted dramatically, but we won’t be the ones driving them anymore.

Methane-consuming bacteria could be the future of fuel

Methane-consuming bacteria could be the future of fuel

By oxidizing methane and converting it to methanol, methanotrophic bacteria (or “methanotrophs”) can pack a one-two punch. Not only are they removing a harmful greenhouse gas from the environment, they are also generating a readily usable, sustainable fuel for automobiles, electricity and more.