With artificial intelligence getting more and more advanced, determining between humans and our robot friends could soon become difficult. So at what point do robots deserve fundamental rights? The answer revolves around consciousness. Until we begin programming them to experience pain and suffering, there's no need for rights. So let's just keep robots the empty, emotionless beings that they are.
Just 40 light-years away, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has just discovered seven rocky Earth-like planets orbiting the star TRAPPIST-1. Of the seven, at least three appear to be in the habitable zone — meaning liquid water could be found on the surface. If any of these planets also carry oxygen and methane in their atmospheres, the presence of life is highly likely, making your alien dreams closer to a reality. In 2018, NASA plans on launching the James Webb Space Telescope to futher measure the chemical fingerprints of these exoplanets.
Chinese company Ehang is bringing the first unmanned aerial taxi to Dubai this year. The massive drones can carry 100 kgs and have a compartment for a small suitcase. Navigation is provided by a passenger-controlled tablet, for selecting your destination. While pricing isn't yet available, you can expect it to be a little more expensive than a cab ride across town.
123456. Qwerty. Password. These are just a few of the easiest to remember passwords, and hackers love them. Technology has made juggling the massive amount of logins required to function in our modern world much easier with password managers. Vox has some helpful tips to keep your information as safe as possible — at least from people looking to criminally profit. We have enough things to remember in the course of a day, so take passwords off that list.
Amazon Dash Buttons have been making our lives easier by restocking our paper towels and laundry detergent at a moments notice. Now, those handy buttons can do more than just order your pantry essentials. Using the company's customizable IoT Button, programmer Nathan Pryor linked one up to directly donate money to the American Civil Liberties Union. Stick it on your desk or laptop, and every time you see our current president's latest terrible tweet, you can ease your tension by pressing the button and sending five dollars to support the ACLU.
Nearly 7,000 feet beneath the surface of Ontario, Canada, a laboratory is searching for the glue that holds our universe together. SNOLAB uses the earth to shield its instruments from radiation in the search for neutrinos, a particle created in the nuclear reactions of the sun. VICE goes inside the lab and talks to the scientists that work there and their search for the beginnings of the universe.
Memory foam is so last century. Take your sleep to the next level with the comfiest mattress science has to offer. Designed by an actual rocket scientist, Purple's Hyper-Elastic Polymer Smart Comfort Grid is engineered to relax under pressure and stay supportively firm everywhere else. Simply put, Purple is the yin and yang of sleep — the perfect balance of soft and firm. Add the cool factor from the natural airflow — so you don't sleep too hot or too cold — and you've got the perfect mattress for every body. Your mattress is a big decision, so sleep on it. Try Purple risk-free for 100 Nights.
Presented by Purple Mattress.
Inspired by the timeless look of 007, the Mack Weldon Vesper Polo brings effortless style to your wardrobe. To pull it off, the company created a lightweight knit fabric that uses micro mesh to enhance breathability and high-end, fine-thread cotton for added comfort and a smoother look. The collar keeps its shape wash after wash, the chest pocket gives you a little added on-the-go storage and the modern tailored fit pairs well with everything from shorts to sport coats. Now available in four different colors to keep your look fresh and clean at all times.
Presented by Mack Weldon.
Once you're on Earth, you're never supposed to leave. We owe an ancient debt to the universe, a debt more than four billion years in the making. In order to get off the planet, that debt must be repaid. And once we're off, staying in space requires even more energy. Kurzgesagt explains why leaving Earth is like leaving prison — and just a difficult to do.
Boston Dynamics' walking and balancing robots have often been described as nightmare-inducing, but never has the company referred to their own creations as such — until now. In this leaked footage from their latest conference, they announced their newest robot Handle, a wheeled design that has the ability to lift heavy loads, jump, and cause nightmares. Meet your demise at the 3:45 mark.
Star Wars walkers, RoboTech, Metal Gear, MechWarrior — giant combat robots have been the stuff of film and video game dreams for decades. Now MegaBots is turning that dream into reality. Tested visits the MegaBots headquarters to see how the latest version of their giant fighting robot is coming along, and how the team plans to provide the platform for an entire league of combat robots.
It turns out, virtual reality isn't as new as we thought. The earliest example of the technology dates back to 1480 with Michelangelo's painting of the Sistine Chapel. Although it's not exactly the headsets and alternate worlds we know today, the viewers get immersed in the painting and transported into a virtual reality. From there, VR can be found throughout history in theater, simulators, and, of course, headsets.
Graphene is thought to be the strongest material known — in its two-dimensional form. Replicating that 2D strength in three dimensions has been problematic for scientists for decades. But researchers at MIT think they've found a solution. This new 3D-printed material has just 5% of the density of steel with over 10 times the strength, opening doors for applications from airplanes to filtration systems.
If the future is full of electric cars, drones, tablets, and smartphones, we're going to need a lot of batteries. The best, most economical battery technology we have currently is lithium-ion. All that lithium has to come from somewhere. Bloomberg's Ashlee Vance finds a source in Chile's Atacama Desert, one of the harshest climes on the globe.
Traxxas has an RC car that can get up to 100 mph. But the Slow Mo Guys want to slow it down — way down. Here they put a couple of XO-1 cars through their paces, and even cause some fast-paced destruction in super slow motion.
We all want to believe in magic. But like so many things from our childhood, there are concrete explanations of how the things that used to mystify us work. A prime example is the Nintendo Light Gun. The 8-Bit Guy explains how the closely related NES zapper and lesser-known Commodore 64 Light Pen use relatively simple electronics to perform functions that were ahead of their time.
Everyone looks forward to New Year's Eye. We plan and plan to make sure this year's celebration will be perfect, but it always turns out to be just as disappointing as the last. Just like everything else, science has an answer for that. In this white board lesson, we realize why no matter what you do, ringing in 2017 will be just as underwhelming as every other New Years.
Humans might exterminate themselves with pollution, disease, zombies, or nuclear war, but overpopulation isn't going to be the end of the species. The birth rate in developed countries continues to slow, and as under-developed countries begin to catch up, their birth rates begin to slow as well, leading us to an equilibrium. Kurzgesagt explains the mechanics of the human explosion, and why the 12 billionth human being will never be born.
There is a critically under-served segment of the commercially-available drone market: drones that can lift an adult human. As in, there aren't any. In the spirit of innovation, Casey Neistat and his team built their own, and celebrated Christmas by flying over the slopes with their massive drone.
Get the patents. Make a video. Prove the concept, then wait. The front end of Amazon that we're all familiar with — it's retail website — is just the tip of a massive internet juggernaut. Amazon also pretty much hosts the internet through its Amazon Web Services platform, also the most profitable part of the company. Now, Amazon wants you to buy your groceries at its coming chain of checkout-less locations, with the aim of getting as big a slice of a $25 trillion dollar pie as possible. And this is just the beginning.
Having Morgan Freeman as your in-home assistant, whipping you t-shirts and playing your favorite movies, sounds like a dream. We'll leave it to Mark Zuckerberg to make it a reality. The Facebook founder created his own AI to run his home through an app on his phone and computer. As well as controlling your lights, thermostat, appliances, and security, Jarvis even begins to pick up on your tastes and patterns, keeping your ears safe from unbearable music choices. Unfortunately, Zuckerberg is keeping this all to himself for the time being, but hopes to eventually make it available to the world.
The great thing about movies is there're just movies. They're not real. You can fall off a skyscraper or get shot 27 times and still survive. Christmas movies are no different. With some help from Jake from Vsauce3, former NASA engineer Mark Rober puts scenes from Home Alone, Elf, and A Christmas Story up again science to see how they hold up. The pair place their bets and the winner gets a major award.
After Stephen Hawking's crushing quantum chess loss to the genius Paul Rudd, someone stole Simon Pegg's cat. It's up to Zoe Saldana to get it back, but she's going to need some help. Unfortunately, Paul didn't pick up the phone, so Zoe is stuck with her second super-genius choice — Stephen Hawking. If you thought quantum physics was above your brain power, you were wrong.
Behind nearly everything that happens in the digital realm, there's a supercomputer. Scott Misage designs some of the most powerful supercomputers in the world for Hewlett Packard. From online gaming, automotive and aircraft design, to financial markets, Scott's supercomputers help power our modern-day connected world.
Our Jurassic Park dreams are finally coming true after dinosaur feathers were discovered encased in amber. The feathers come from the tip of a tiny bird-sized reptile's tail, dating back 100 million years. Although there are no immediate plans for a theme park island inhabited with cloned dinosaurs, we're sure it's only a matter of time.
The New York Times is the second-largest circulation in the United States, so you'd think pumping out all of those papers would take some pretty high-tech equipment. Actually, most of the machines are more than 20 years old, and keeping them up and running is an art form. Meet Greg Zerafa, Jerry Greaney, and Chris Bedetto, the team of machinists that keep the paper's eight three-story printing presses in tip top shape.
Amazon is once again upgrading your life by making grocery shopping slightly less terrible. With the new Amazon Go, the e-commercer giant has created a brick and mortar store with no checkouts and no lines. Just enter with their app and grab everything you need — the app will track everything you pick up and put back. Once you're done, simply walk out and all of your items will be charged to your Amazon account. The supermarket of the future is not too far away, with the first store opening in Seattle in early 2017.
NTDs are the new Black Plague. They can weaken, maim, blind, disfigure, and kill — all of which costs society financially as well as resourcefully. Kurzgesagt explains the war between humans and parasites, how we're fighting it, and who's winning the battle.
Ta'u has an electricity problem. Located in American Samoa, the island has been using diesel generators to produce energy for its grid — at massive cost. Each generator burns approximately 110,000 gallons of fuel per year, and shipping anything to the remote location is expensive. Tesla partnered with the island to build a solar generating plant that fulfills all the islands needs, and is one of the most advanced electrical grids in the world.
One of the greatest technological achievements of the First World War was the gun synchronizer. It allowed for the mounting of guns firing through an airplane's propeller, turning the entire machine into a weapons platform. The Slo Mo Guys built a mockup of a WWI fighter aircraft and filmed the operation of the synchronization gear at over 120,000 frames per second.