Technology

An app that blocks third parties from identifying an individual's location based on what they search for online received a "best paper" award at the recent Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) GLOBECOM Conference, Symposium on Communication&Information System Security, in San Diego.  

A research team led by Linke Guo, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Binghamton University, says, "This is really attached to daily life. The trend of people using searches and social networks on smartphones which aren't well-protected is going up. Sometimes people share too much information. This is a way to help provide some security." 

Sperm that don't swim well rank high among the main causes of infertility but these cells may get a boost from motorized "spermbots" that can deliver poor swimmers -- that are otherwise healthy -- to an egg.  

Despite not actually having a car in production, the firm Faraday Future has headline-writers gushing about its “Tesla-killing supercar” – an all-electric car that looks like the Batmobile.

There is no doubting that the FFZero1 concept car just unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week is eye-catching, but it’s one of a number of new and transformed car brands.

While expanding a reservoir in Snowmass Village, Colorado, construction workers stumbled upon a big bone. And then another, and another, and another. 

Nadine, a friendly human-like robot at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore will greet you back and shake your hand. Unlike conventional robots, the inventors say Nadine has her own personality, mood and emotions, and the next time you meet her, she will remember your name and your previous conversation with her.

She looks almost like a human being, with soft skin and flowing brunette hair. She smiles when greeting you, looks at you in the eye when talking, and can also shake hands with you. She can be happy or sad, depending on the conversation. Nadine is the doppelganger of its creator, Prof Nadia Thalmann, powered by intelligent software similar to Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana. 

Almost 10 years ago, we created the Science 2.0 movement, which was geared toward modernizing science collaboration, publication, communication and participation. And then...not much changed. Science is, at its heart, competitive and there is no benefit for most scientists in collaborating. The person who puts something all together at the end will win a Nobel Prize and everyone else will get nothing.

On the smaller scale, everyone who wants government funding is competing for it, so collaboration will only help another lab avoid expensive mistakes or get to a result sooner. Science 2.0 was greeted with enthusiasm...for someone else, anyway.

Two newly-developed driverless cars systems can identify a user's location and orientation in places where GPS does not function, and identify the various components of a road scene in real time on a regular camera or smartphone, performing the same job as sensors costing tens of thousands of dollars. 

Although the systems cannot currently control a driverless car, the ability to make a machine 'see' and accurately identify where it is and what it's looking at is a vital part of developing autonomous vehicles and robotics. 

If you are in science, the genome editing method called CRISPR  is not new, it has been all the rage since 2012 because of its superior ability of CRISPR to deliver a gene to the right spot compared to its genome editing competitors.

A pair of socks embedded with miniaturized microbial fuel cells and fueled with urine pumped by the wearer's footsteps has powered a wireless transmitter to send a signal to a PC., the first self-sufficient system powered by a wearable energy generator based on microbial fuel cell technology. 

A day or two ago, local ITV featured a news item about a man who had kept the same plastic bulk issue shopping carrier bag for 34 years, using it from time to time.

The bag celebrated 50 years since the first Tesco store was opened in 1929, and he had acquired this one in 1981, the year of the first London Marathon.