Prank Patrol: Iphone 6 "Wave" Charging Is Not A Thing

With all of the cool new features and fancy technology featured in the iPhone 6 and 6+, who doesn't want to believe that they can also make new leaps in charging technology?  Unfortunately, as some iPhone users found out, the charging still happens the way it usually does, and NOT VIA YOUR MICROWAVE.

As reported by, a prank that started on the website 4chan has now left a few fresh models of iPhone fried to a crisp.  The 4chan trollsters had pulled a similar prank last year by telling people their iOS 7 system made their phones waterproof (which, just to remind you gentle readers, IS NOT TRUE.)  Now, they upped their game with a perfectly-plotted "Apple"-style image regarding the new "Wave" technology, which supposedly allows the new iPhones to be charged with a mere spin through your microwave.

Maybe I need to put in some popcorn with it, too?

Your iPhone may be able to find you in the middle of the desert, chart out all the night's stars for you, pay bills with a swipe of a sensor, take calls from around the world, and capture and share images with the touch of a finger, but it cannot recharge itself as readily as brewing up a bowl of Ramen.

E-Me, Myself, And I: "Digital Twins" Might Continue Your Consciousness

Many people fear death due to the fact that their impact on Earth will be greatly, if not completely, diminished after it occurs. But what if you could continue to interact with your loved ones via a digital replica of yourself? One scientist theorizes that this may be an option, sooner than we realize.

Think of it as predictive typing for your entire psyche. According to, John Smart, the founder of the Acceleration Studies Foundation, believes that within five years, technology will have advanced to the point where our digital alter-egos will be able to make autonomous choices in the same manner that the original human being would. Smart considers programs like Microsoft's Cortana or Apple's Siri to be predecessors to this impending new-you-part-two technology.

Culling from the massive amount of data we have in our smartphones, computers, and other devices, a program could divine our likes, dislikes, values, and opinions, then continue to independently operate as "you." Developments could even enable realistic facial-imitation software. This could not only look out for your interests during your lifespan (maybe it can generate crafty facebook posts for you), but it would also be consoling and memorable after death.

“Where we’re headed is creating this world in which you feel you have this thing out there looking after your values,” Smart says. “When you and I die, our kids aren’t going to go to our tombstones, they’re going to fire up our digital twins and talk to them.”
Your avatar could look like you, or like a better-looking you, or just a giant glowing brain.  It's your afterlife, after all.

Space Station Sunday: The Shuttle Rebuttal

This week on earth, a major decision was reached regarding future transportation options to the International Space Station. In a significant development for manned spaceflight, aerospace companies Boeing and SpaceX were chosen by NASA to supply the spacecrafts that will ferry US astronauts to the ISS after 2017.

According to, the two companies will split $6.8 billion dollars ($4.2 billion to Boeing, $2.4 billion to SpaceX) over the next three years to bring their manned-spacecraft certification plans to fruition. Boeing's CT-100 capsule will be developed along with SpaceX's Dragon V2 craft, and both will be rigorously tested by NASA (including a mission with just one astronaut) before becoming the ISS's personal limo service.

Currently, American astronauts hitch rides in the Russian-made Soyuz capsules launched from Kazahkstan. At a cost of $424 million, NASA's contract stipulates six space seats on the Soyuz until 2017, however this deal has grown more tenuous as Russian geopolitics have entered the fray. Boeing and SpaceX have proudly stepped up to the challenge to help make America an independent space power again, a laurel we lost with the demise of the space shuttle program in 2011.

As reported by, the new spacecrafts will have a capacity for up to seven astronauts, plus payload. The Boeing CT-100 will be launched by Atlas V rockets, which are a product of United Launch Alliance (a collaboration of Boeing and Lockheed.) The SpaceX Dragon will be launched via the company's own Falcon 9 rockets. Once certified, the spacecrafts will each serve at least two (but possibly up to six) missions apiece.

“This will enable NASA and its international partners to perform more research on the international laboratory, nearly doubling its research potential,” NASA's Commercial Crew Program Manager Kathy Lueders said.

The spacecrafts will be very durable, with the emergency option of acting as a "lifeboat" for up to 210 days, if needed.

Your new travel options to the stars.

Aboard the ISS, practice has already begun for the rendezvous of an unmanned SpaceX Dragon supply capsule, which is slated to arrive at the ISS on Tuesday. The capsule will be "grabbed" by the ISS's exterior arm-like mechanical appendage, the Canadarm. One particularly fascinating bit of technology aboard the SpaceX is a 3D printer from the "Made In Space" company, which is the first printer of its kind to ever go into orbit. The ISS astronauts will test the printer in hopes of possibly gaining the ability to print tools and small spacecraft parts that wouldn't require a whole launch mission to bring them up...even though soon, there'll hopefully be a lot more of those.

“The work that we have underway…is making the possibility for everyone to someday see our planet Earth from space,” Kennedy Space Center director and former astronaut Bob Cabana told "I know a lot of us are cheering on the success of our Commercial Crew program, not because of what it means to NASA…but what it means to human spaceflight for everyone."

That's right, astro-pioneers...this may help advance your chance to someday slip the surly bonds of Planet Earth.  Until then, watch this space!

Interior of SpaceX's Dragon V2 "Space Taxi."  Swing high, sweet chariot!  (Image courtesy

Google Tests Internet-Enabling Drones; Polar Bears Can Soon Join Facebook

While those of us in the first world are bickering over how to make our internet even faster, there are those on the planet who are not fortunate enough to have any connectivity at all.  Google is now working in conjunction with a drone company to provide internet access to even the most remote areas.

As reported by, Google released a statement saying they have "recently acquired Titan Aerospace, a firm that specializes in developing solar and electric unmanned aerial systems ('UAS') for high altitude, long endurance flights." Along with plans to use high-altitude balloons and low-orbit satellites for the delivery of delicious internet, the Titan drones can use solar power and their five-year flight capacity to keep the world connected.

Google plans to test this idea in New Mexico, and they were quick to point out that they didn't want to step on the FCC's transmission toes. Their statement included the disclaimer, "Google understands that there may be some federal operations in the 900 MHz band in the vicinity of the test site...Google is prepared to coordinate with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to avoid harmful interference to any federal operations."

If this idea proves fruitful, it could be used in a variety of situations requiring remote internet access. To far-flung regions that have been devastated by natural disaster or inclement weather, this could be an important aid for rescue operations or other distress signals. For war-torn regions run by despots who demand control of the peoples' link to the world, this could offer an alternative.

So yes, soon you may be able to watch cat GIFs in the middle of the desert, all thanks to the efforts of the search engine who just wants to be found.

"Finally, at long last, I may see what this 'Game Of Thrones' is all about."

Power-Positive Norwegian Office Building Generates Energy And Interest

When most people picture the hum of a bustling city, one of the obvious factors includes the tremendous amounts of energy being expended to keep the wheels of business in motion. However, in Norway, one very northerly city has turned the tables on the necessity of incessant influxes of industrial power, leading to the world's first "power-positive" office building.

As reports, the Powerhouse at Brattorkaia building relies greatly on solar power, using solar cells as well as heat pumps and heat exchangers to power and warm the building. This solar power is augmented by the crafty construction inherent to the building, which uses a sloped roof to augment optimum solar collection, well-placed solar cells and windows to allow for maximum natural lighting indoors, and practically-sized window openings to maintain temperature. To keep temperatures consistent, water from a nearby fjord will be drawn and used throughout the infrastructure to regulate cooling.

The Powerhouse at Brattorkaia building, designed by the pro-sustainable company Snøhetta, is the most northerly of its kind, and the first in Norway. Snøhetta aims to show the world that power-positive buildings can work even in difficult (read: super snowy) climates. With projected power needs of 21 kWh/m²/year and energy production estimated at 49 kWh/m²/year, the building's excess energy generation will easily compensate for the power it took to create it. Other projects from Snøhetta include a "plus house" that creates fully twice the energy that it needs to operate, thus not only being entirely self-sustainable but also generating enough power to charge a car or to give back to the community.

If Norway can fight their serious snow to make a solar building, what is America waiting for?

Laser Turrets: The (Extremely) Hot New War Plane Accessory

After war planes switched out manned guns in favor of missiles, the classic "gun turret" on fighting aircraft was expunged from the design.  Now, Lockheed Martin is making what's old new again, with an awesome twist:  the turrets are housing lasers.

As reported by, Lockheed Martin has modified a commercial jet to arm it with lasers, and eight successful flights have been logged with the aircraft already.  The lasers operate out of turrets capable of 360-degree rotation, which when put into action will use the directed-energy weapons to eradicate enemy missiles.

The official term for the all-around-awesome lasers is "Aero-adaptive Aero-optic Beam Control" - "ABC" for short. For nations that do not have the funds to construct and maintain war planes, anti-aircraft missiles have been the preferred choice for thwarting airborne attackers. Now, such offenses will be easily countered and fried to a crisp thanks to the Lockheed lasers.

Lockheed Martin GTO Ray Johnson was enthusiastic about the durability and usefulness of the lasers, telling Popular Science, "[Lasers] can operate with the electrical power that could be generated on an aircraft. You could certainly see it go on bomber-sized aircraft and as the technology develops and size/weight/power are reduced, our notion is to see it get to the point where it can go on fighter-sized aircraft."

Combined with Boeing's new truck-mounted lasers, it seems that war is going to have a blindingly bright future.

"Star Wars" warplane technology is no longer only in a galaxy far, far, away.

Get Down With The New Deep-Sea-Diving "Exosuit"

It's an intriguing notion that we've explored more of outer space than we have examined of our own Earth's oceans.  The difficulty of water pressure and other dangers of the deep have made seriously submerging humans prohibitively difficult, but a new invention called the Exosuit will allow humans to boldly dive where no one has ventured before.

Beneath the surface at depths of 1,000 feet, humans have yet to make a major mark, though all manner of undiscovered treasures await.  The obvious human-infused elements like shipwrecks and other abandoned items could be explored with ease now thanks to the Exosuit.  Even better, the types of flora and fauna that decorate the depths could be analyzed for any number of uses by dwellers of dry land.

According to, this major advance in solo oceanography is thanks to Phil Nuytten, a scientist/sea diver who has invented an “Atmospheric Diving System” (ADS), a.k.a the Exosuit, which could enable human exploration by dramatically expanding on our current capabilities. Designed specifically to battle the intense cold and pressure a thousand feet or more undersea, the Exosuit also features 1.6 horsepower water thrusters for added mobility, "manipulator" grabber-claws for snagging sea samples, 18 rotary joints for maximum flexibility, LED lights (so you can act like a native bioluminescent creature while dancing with Davy Jones), and a fiber-optic tether for two-way communication to the surface (as well as video feed, in case you need to prove you once punched an anglerfish.)

The suit, created from metal alloys, weighs 530 pounds, costs $500,000, and is operational for up to 10 hours, although it can hold oxygen reserves of "life support" for up to 50 hours. Nuytten has put 25 years of diving technology research and advances into the construction of this seasuit, and it resembles something that wouldn't look out of place in space. What new "alien" life might it discover, right here, buried (well, sunk) in our own oceanic backyard?

Show Cthulhu who's boss in your new Exosuit!