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Google Wants to Make Sure You Never Lose Your Phone Again

October 28, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Jumping out of a cab, heading out of the bar, walking out the front door—it happens to everyone. Losing or forgetting your phone can, at the very least, be an annoying hustle. But a new patent from Google wants to ensure you’re never without your phone again, as long as...

This Is the Best Way to Take a Selfie, According to Artificial Intelligence

October 27, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Scientists are using machine learning to empower self-driving cars, autonomous robots, and even smarter Google searches. Now a computer has been tasked with an arguably grander task: figuring out how to take the perfect selfie. Researcher Andrej Karpathy, a PhD student at Stanford working in theComputer Vision Lab, trained a...

DARPA Wants to Make Self-destructing Delivery Drones

October 17, 2015 This message will self-destruct. Actually, it won’t, but if the Pentagon has its way, tomorrow’s drones will. On Friday, Oct. 9, the United States’ secretive Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced it’s looking for proposals for drones that can fly once and disintegrate once they’d reached their destination. Unlike...

Forget Google Glass. Here Come Google Contacts

October 14, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In the future, your wearables might be a bit harder to spot than an Apple Watch or Google Glass. In a patent awarded Oct. 13, Google outlined a design for a wearable communication device, replete with sensors, memory and a microprocessor, shaped like a contact lens. This lens would at...

NASA Wants to Start Building Stuff From Martian Rocks

October 9, 2015 Space: the final frontier for masonry. Sending a single kilogram of anything into space costs $110,000, according to NASA (although SpaceX can apparently do it for less). To trim down the total cost of sending things into space on its upcoming launch to Mars, the US space agency is looking...

DARPA Working on Tech That Could Help Bodies Heal Themselves

October 6, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Humans are quite feeble. We break easily, and just about every part of us deteriorates as we age. But the Pentagon’s research division, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), hopes to fix that. Today (Oct. 5), the agency said it had selected seven research facilities—including MIT, Columbia University and...

Ultra-Fast Memory Chip That Uses Light to Store Information Could be a Game Changer

October 5, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow One of today’s biggest computing innovations relies on a throwback to the 1990’s. New research from the University of Oxford shows that scientists have created an ultra-fast memory chip that uses light to store information, as CDs and DVDs do. The research, conducted by Oxford’s Harish Bhaskaran and Wolfram Pernice...

IBM’s Superfast, Powerful and Tiny Carbon Computer Chips Could Soon Be in All Our Devices

October 1, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Moore’s Law be damned. IBM announced Oct. 1 that it had overcome one of the major hurdles preventing carbon nanotubes from being used as transistors for computer chips. It could mean the end of the silicon computer chip. Carbon nanotubes are, as their name somewhat suggestions, thin rolled-up sheets of...

Robots Are Also Pretty Terrible at Assembling IKEA Furniture

September 29, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow IKEA furniture always seems so great, in theory. It’s cheap, and surely it can’t be that hard to put together a Vittsjö or a Nornäs, you think—until you’ve schlepped it home, opened up the packaging and found that even an advanced degree in structural engineering won’t help you get that...

Don't Have Unlimited Data? You Might Want to Turn Off This New iOS9 App

September 28, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Apple last week released its latest mobile operating system, which has some great new features like Apple News, better battery life, and split-screen multitasking. But one new feature, called Wi-Fi Assist, may be eating through your data plan. I usually use 1-2GB of mobile data a month, this month I’m...