Behold, the First Photo and Video of an ACTUAL Black Hole… [Update: Thank you MIT Grad Student Katie Bouman!]

Ladies, Gentlemen, and everyone in-between; we have witnessed a major milestone in astronomy. After many, many years of depending on computer-generated images based on the what the theory of general relativity has predicted for decades, we finally have an actual image of a black hole in space. I know, I know; IT’S FINALLY HAPPENED!!! A collaboration of scientists worldwide used the Event Horizon (heh-heh) Telescope to find this gigantic — that’s putting it lightly — black hole located in the Messier 87 galaxy that measures up to 6.5 million times the mass of the Sun.  The image shows a sort-of-shadow made by the event horizon bending and sucking in light. Continue reading “Behold, the First Photo and Video of an ACTUAL Black Hole… [Update: Thank you MIT Grad Student Katie Bouman!]”

Researchers Develop Artificial ‘Superhuman’ Skin, Aims to Help Burn Victims & Amputees ‘Feel’ Again…

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A team of researchers at the University of Connecticut and University of Toronto — consisting of engineers, chemists, and biologists — have developed a new of sensor designed to let artificial skin detect pressure, vibrations, and magnetic fields. With these developments, it’s possible that this technology might be able to allow burn victims and amputees regain the sense of touch via the artificial skin.

Continue reading “Researchers Develop Artificial ‘Superhuman’ Skin, Aims to Help Burn Victims & Amputees ‘Feel’ Again…”

The New ‘Minimal Turing Test’ Can Test Our Humanity with Only ONE WORD?!?!

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TIME FOR A PRIMER! The Turing Test is a a test created and devised by pioneering computer scientist Alan Turing back in 1950. The purpose of the test is to assess a machine’s ability to showcase intelligent behavior equal to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human being. Now put that in perceptive with the technology we have available today: smartphones and tablets, smart speakers and TVs, internet-of-things devices, chatbots and personal digital smart assistants; it’s fair to say that the idea of a machine that thinks isn’t quite as crazy as it sounded nearly 70 years ago. This brings us to the “Minimal Turing Test”, which asks humans to prove they’re human with only a single word. Continue reading “The New ‘Minimal Turing Test’ Can Test Our Humanity with Only ONE WORD?!?!”

So A Typhoon Renamed ‘Nintendo’ to ‘intendo’, So Sayeth Mother Nature…

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Typhoon. Noun. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a typhoon is “a hurricane occurring especially in the region of the Philippines or the China sea”. One might want to add — that based on current events — that typhoons hold grudges against the House of Mario and Donkey Kong. And Metroid and Zelda and Pikmin and Kirby and Animal Crossing and Pokemon and Star Tropics and Kid Icarus and Star Fox and….. Continue reading “So A Typhoon Renamed ‘Nintendo’ to ‘intendo’, So Sayeth Mother Nature…”

It Looks Like ‘Pandemic’ is Getting a Pretty Awesome 10th Anniversary Edition…

Since its debut onto the tabletop gaming scene in 2008, Pandemic has been one of the biggest board games in the world, which is fitting when it’s about saving the world from aggressive worldwide diseases. Now that the game is about to celebrate the big 1-0, it’s getting a special edition re-release in a big-ol’ metal box chock-filled with brand new cards and miniature figures. This special … Continue reading It Looks Like ‘Pandemic’ is Getting a Pretty Awesome 10th Anniversary Edition…

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What We Know About the New Google Glass Sunglasses Patent

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Nowadays, it feels that elements of science-fiction are becoming real in respect of wearable technology like smartwatches, smart lights, smart patches and other great and strange wearable devices. Smart glasses once seemed to be joining the fray, but they’ve become pretty absent after the disappearance of both the Snapchat Glasses and Google Glass (the consumer version, anyway). Now with other companies aiming to get into the market (i.e., Apple is rumored to be looking into it), it seems that Google is looking to get back into the game — at least based on a new patent — and here’s what interesting about them so far… Continue reading “What We Know About the New Google Glass Sunglasses Patent”

Harvard University Develops Robot That Crawls Like a Snake; You Won’t Want These in Your Boots…

Scientists at Harvard University have created a soft, tube-like robot with silicone rubber acting as its artificial skin. The laser-cut rubber used is a thin, stretchable plastic sheet, with the cuts, shaped like triangles or circles, look similar to the scales on the skin of snakes. The robot is able to move as air is pumped into the tube, which allows the robot to expand and contract, resulting in the scales to pop up and anchor against the ground, pulling the robot in a forward motion. As for moving backwards; the researchers are still trying to figure that out. Continue reading “Harvard University Develops Robot That Crawls Like a Snake; You Won’t Want These in Your Boots…”

Next Month, A Japanese Hospital will use Robots to help during the Night Shift

A robot travels automatically inside Nagoya University Hospital carrying a load of drugs and test samples. (Ayako Tsukidate)

Nagoya, Japan once had a whole museum dedicated to robotics, so it comes to no surprise (at leas to us here at The PractitioNERD) that a local hospital will add robots developed by Toyota Industries — a subsidiary of the automaker that produces auto parts and electronics — to its medical staff. While these bots won’t be conducting surgeries (yet, anyway), come this February, four robots will be deployed at Nagoya University Hospital will transport medicine and test samples from floor-to-floor for a one-year trial period during its 5PM to 8AM night shift. Should the trial succeed in assisting the staff during times when fewer people are walking the floors, the hospital may elect to deploy more units. Continue reading “Next Month, A Japanese Hospital will use Robots to help during the Night Shift”

Digital Trend’s List of the Nine Tech Projects That Changed The World!

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It goes without saying that both technology and the people who develop it have made great advances more many years.  While the plenitude of  smaller, incremental advances that change our lives in various minor ways (i.e., device and software updates, etc.), there exist at least a few giant projects that essentially transformed our world. From providing a means for humans to travel in space, feats of modern engineering and architecture, and answering questions about our existence, below are three of my personal highlights from Digital Trend’s list of nine of the most important technology-related projects ever. Continue reading “Digital Trend’s List of the Nine Tech Projects That Changed The World!”

Meet The K-Boc, the Germ-Killing, Antibacterial Doormat

A recent study from the University of Arizona reveled that almost 500,000 units of bacteria make their home in a new pair of shoes in only two weeks. Even more interesting, these same bacteria can live longer on the shoe’s soles than toilet seats, among many other places. Thankfully, for this issue, there’s a upcoming crowdfunding project that looks to resolve that issue….at least for when you are returning indoors from being outdoors. Continue reading “Meet The K-Boc, the Germ-Killing, Antibacterial Doormat”