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Sarah Miller's Posts

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Stephen Hawking will now be studying apocalyptic robots

My friends and I will save the world from threats you are too dumb to understand
NASA
My friends and I will save the world from threats you are too dumb to understand.

Remember how we told you about that think tank in England that think tanks about really weird stuff, like how human beings might avoid being destroyed by robots? If that freaked you out and you were like, "Shit, I hope those people at the Cambridge Project for Existential Risk are smart enough to figure out how to save us from killer robots," well, you have more reason to feel secure under their protection, because Stephen Hawking is joining them in their efforts.

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Apple is moving into the wind energy business

Apple controls my destiny...just as it controls yours.
Apple controls my destiny ... just as it controls yours.

If you are sick of Apple ruling at everything, you can stop reading now. But if you'd like to hear about how they're working to harness one of nature's cleanest, most plentiful resources, continue. Because Apple is now branching out from making shiny objects that ruin/enhance your social life, and has come up with a neat way to store energy created by windmills.

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Pop-up park kit turns construction scaffolding into public green space

Isn't this scaffolding romantic?
Softwalks
Isn't this scaffolding romantic?

When people talk about the glories of New York City, they mention the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, its glorious Frederick Law Olmsted-designed parks, but they do not mention its 189 miles of scaffolding. This is probably not going to change, but there's a good chance that the Softwalks project could make the scaffolding at least somewhat pleasant to live with. Softwalks' pop-up park kit turns construction scaffolds -- properly called "sidewalk sheds" -- into parks so cute even a Brooklyn hipster would approve.

Read more: Uncategorized

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Absolutely the most disgusting way to keep your weight-loss New Year’s resolution

I wonder if there's some way to suck out the part of my brain that allows me to do this to myself?
Aspire Bariatrics
I wonder if there's some way to suck out the part of my brain that allows me to do this to myself?

Wouldn't it be great if you could just stuff yourself silly and then just suck the food out of you with a tube? No? You think that wouldn't be great? You think that's really disgusting? Well, too bad, because such a device has already been invented and, what with people's desire to have their cake and have it sucked out of them with an aspiration tube too, there's a good chance of it becoming rather popular.

Read more: Uncategorized

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Rupert Murdoch still stupid about climate, now thinks pollution is good for trees

I have had it up to here with actual facts!
World Economic Forum
I have had it up to here with actual facts!

Close your eyes and imagine a world without Rupert Murdoch. Ahhhhhhhh. OK, you can open your eyes now. Sorry. Murdoch still exists. He owns everything. And he still doesn't know dick about climate science. In fact, he now thinks increased carbon dioxide is good for the planet.

This week, Murdoch tweeted: “World growing greener with increased carbon. Thirty years of satellite evidence. Forests growing faster and thicker.” OK! You got us, Mr. Murdoch! We are all freaking out for nothing. If only we were all predatory cretinous pieces of vileness like you, we too would understand that the planet is ACTUALLY GETTING HEALTHIER!

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Solar snowboard charges your phone with power collected on the slopes

snowboard_sun
Denis Messié

In case there was still any doubt that solar is rad, the dudes at Signal Snowboard have made a snowboard equipped with solar panels that can actually charge your phone. Wait, should I be talking more like a snowboarder? I meant to say it can, actually, like, charge, like, your phone.

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Soon you’ll be able to drive an electric car from Boston to D.C. with almost no recharging time

tesla_turbocharging
tesla

If you have or have considered an electric car, you already know about range anxiety -- the fear that your choice to hop off the planet-killing gasoline bandwagon will mean getting stranded in the middle of nowhere when your car loses its charge. Well, good news for you if you have a Tesla Model S, or encouraging news if you are thinking about buying a Model X when it comes out in 2014: Your range anxiety problems are going to be considerably lessened. Thanks to two new turbo-charging stations on the East Coast, you'll be able to drive from Boston to D.C. with just two half-hour pit stops.

These super-charged charging stations -- six already exist in California -- are much more powerful and faster than wall plugs. They can add 150 miles of range in just 30 minutes.

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In the future, your computer could know exactly what you want for dinner

computer_food
Squirmelia

Sometimes you just don't know what you want for dinner. Or what you want for dinner is a case of beer and you know that's a bad idea. So you go get yourself a tuna melt and then you drink a case of beer after all. Or you look through a cookbook and feel incapacitated by laziness/indecision or you eat cereal while watching Celeste and Jesse Forever. None of these are really satisfying options. In a few years' time, however, you might have a new handy friend who can help you in such moments of culinary indecision, and that handy friend will be your computer.

IBM is currently working on a computer that works with actual cognitive function, meaning that it learns from experience the way humans do (or, are supposed to anyway, although judging by the whole "case of beer" thing, you don't). The idea is this computer knows what kind of food you like and it will give you informed instructions on what to eat. And it doesn't just invent meals based on your favorite ingredients -- it could actually analyze your favorite foods to understand what flavors you like best. Because this very smart computer will be able to deal with taste on a molecular level, it will be able to put together food combinations that you will love that you yourself would probably be unable to come up with.

Read more: Food

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New app tells you more about your neighbors than you ever wanted to know

full_1357261848Screenshot2013-01-03at5.10.17PM

Unwilling to even walk through a part of town that's more than 50 percent Republican? That's a little much, dude, but luckily for you there's a new mobile app that gives you quick, interesting, and varied information about neighborhoods. It's called Sitegeist, and it tells you everything from the average age of neighborhood inhabitants to their voting habits and how much cash you'd have to part with if you wanted to rent or buy there.

Sitegeist also has useful information on things like local restaurants, museums, and other potentially exciting destinations. It even tells you how many people in a given area commute by car, bike, or public transportation. And it tells you how many people feel smug for not owning a car. No, it doesn't. But that would be a really good app, right?

Read more: Cities

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‘Smart fork’ tells you how much you’re eating, and also possibly that you’re insane

hapifork

This year, your resolution to lose weight is totally going to be different. Sure, it didn't work last year with Weight Watchers or the year before with Atkins or the year before with South Beach. But now, truly, the answer has arrived: a fork that measures the number of bites you've taken! This fork proudly boasts not just the usual food-piercing tines but a sensor, Bluetooth, and a little thingy that vibrates to tell you you're eating too fast. 

Read more: Food