Marvel Launches Program For Female Scientists

When people talk about Marvel they are normally discussing either the comics, the movies or the characters that feature in or both of the former. With some of the largest movies released (and with them only seeming to increase in both size and reception) it is only natural that people look to them when they think of heroes. Now the studio is looking for real life heroes in the form of female scientists.

In partnership with the national Academy of Sciences’ Science and Entertainment Exchange, Marvel has launched a program in the hopes of finding female applicants who are interested in STEM subjects (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics).

The project titled Girls Reforming the Future Challenge is open to girls aged 15 to 18 and submitted projects need to include a short video demonstrating their idea and then explaining how far-reaching its potential is.

Five finalists will be picked to present their projects to a panel of experts and visit the red carpet at the release of Captain America: Civil War on April 12th. Alongside this, they’ll get to tour Walt Disney Studios, receive $500 from Synchrony Bank and one lucky winner will get an internship at Marvel studios itself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOd3QKD518g

Entries are still open until March 26th at CaptainAmericaChallenge.com so if you have any idea and want to enter, please check out the site here.

Australia To Teach Coding From Primary School

Every day we use computers if we use them at our fingers or just by buying something from a store or driving down the road. Technology is a big part of everyone’s lives these days, and this has been recognised by many countries pushing for STEM subjects (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) to become a focus in many educations, the latest of which seems to be Australia.

As one of his last acts as Education Minister, Christopher Pyne has given the approval for a new national curriculum which will see subjects like History and Geography replaced with Coding. Australia is seeing a large push towards STEM subjects as its new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull pushes a focus on innovation and preparing the future generations for the jobs and economies of the future.

Pyne said in a statement that “high-quality school STEM education is critically important for Australia’s Productivity and economy well-being, both now and in the future”.

With big plans such as Summer Schools supporting and teaching STEM to underrepresented groups, the development of the maths curriculum and a new P-TECH style school which will bring together education and industry in hopes of further strengthening students futures in the job market.

Thank you Mashable for the information.

Image courtesy of Gizmondo.

Miniature Robot Can Pull 2,000 Its Own Weight

A team of engineers from Stanford University in California have built a series of “MicroTugs”, tiny robots capable of dragging objects substantially heavier than they are, the strongest of which can pull up to 2,000 times its own weight, despite weighing only 12 grams.

The robots’ pulling power comes from their adhesive feet, inspired by those legendary reptilian climbers, geckos. The feet of the robots are covered in tiny rubber spikes that, when pressed against a surface, create a large surface area that allows the feet to stick. Another member of the animal kingdom inspired the movement of the robots, with the little mechanoids mimicking the scooching motion of the inchworm, with one foot holding while the other moves forward a small amount.

The Stanford team built a wide range of MicroTugs, the smallest of which weighs 20 milligrams, can pull loads of up to 500 milligrams, and had to be constructed under a microscope with tweezers. The 9 gram robots are able to tug objects as heavy as a kilogram, both horizontally and vertically.

The powerhouse iteration of the MicroTug is the μTug, a 12 gram robot capable of hauling loads of up to 24 kilograms, which is “the same as you pulling around a blue whale”, according to project engineer David Christensen.

The robots will have a public unveiling at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Seattle, Washington next month.

Thank you New Scientist for providing us with this information.

Students Create Physical Feedback Glove for Virtual Reality

There is no doubt that in the past few years the virtual reality market has grown exponentially, with kits such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive looking to be released in the very near future, the new future of gaming is now nearly upon us. But one thing that was always lacking from the VR dream was physical feedback, being able to see what you were touching but not actually feeling it. Well now a team of students from Rice University have created the Hands Omni, a glove that provides physical feedback to actions committed in a virtual environment and it looking very promising, even in its very bare-bones state.

The glove, which had its development sponsored by Virtuix, a works by inflating and deflating small airbags under the fingers, providing the pressure you’d normally encounter in the real world at some level. The glove also recently won the “People’s Choice” award at Rice’s own Engineering Design Showcase.

Designed to be as unnoticeable to the user as possible, the glove uses a wireless system to give you all the freedom of movement you need, which is quite an issue with current VR systems such as the Oculus, as you are limited in the confines of the cable. The glove also only weighs an impressive 350 grams meaning that you will hardly even notice it, which is pretty handy for not breaking the illusion of virtual reality.

If such a product will soon become readily available for mass production, then we could see virtual reality get a whole lot more physical.

Thank you to phys.org for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Oculus.

3D Printed Whiteboard Clock Writes Out Current Time

21-year-old software engineer Maurice Bos has built a mechanical clock that writes the current time on a whiteboard every minute, each time erasing the previous time.

Bos, who works for Google in Zürich, built the clock using a 3D printed arm to grasp a whiteboard pen. The pen, receiving instructions from a tiny microcontroller, is responsible for both writing the current time each minute and erasing the previous one, with the help of a detachable wiping attachment that fits over the nib.

Bos has posted a detailed summary of how his whiteboard clock works here.

Source: The Next Web

GCHQ Launches Kids Cryptography App

GCHQ, the Government Communications Headquarters of the UK, otherwise known as Britain’s NSA, has launched a an app targeted at kids with the intention of teaching them about cryptography.

The organisation that spends most of its time circumventing encryption has decided to teach kids the basics of scrambling data from prying eyes. Cryptoy, as it’s called, is an app for Android tablets (no iOS or Android phone support yet) that allows you to learn the basics of encryption, the history of cryptography and gives you the chance to encrypt your own messages with which your friends can then decrypt.

The Next Web points out that the app stems from a project created for Cheltenham Science Festival that had the intention of teaching school kids about encryption. This new app is meant for students at Key Stage 4 of the national curriculum and is to supplement their school studies on the subject.

Read more at GCHQ’s website.

Source: The Next Web

Apple increasing iCloud Security in light of Celebrity Scandal

An ever-developing story, not long ago many celebrities have had nude photos and videos leaked all over the internet (see above), originating from popular image board website 4chan alongside self proclaimed “front page of the internet” Reddit. Since the release of this information, Apple has claimed there was no ‘leak’ in their service  and authorities were excited in the fact they thought they found the original crook.

In recent news, Apple has decided to up their iCloud security in light of recent problems as according to CEO Tim Cook and The Wall Street Journal. Cook confirmed in this article the fact of photos being leaked due to ‘social engineering’, meaning the stars usernames and passwords were directly targetted.

Cook directly commented:

“Apple will alert users via email and push notifications when someone tries to change an account password, restore iCloud data to a new device, or when a device logs into an account for the first time”. WSJ

The change is set for implementation in two weeks, alongside a broadening of their two-factor authentication -alongside encouraging people to actually use these measures.

Are your accounts safe? It never hurts to educate yourself or others on basic internet securities – especially with so much of our data being ‘online’ in this day and age.

Image courtesy of 4chan

Scientists Predict Top Speed of 1,800 mph From Prototype Maglev Train

Modern public transport as we know it is pretty fast if you chose the right service, but if you’re in quite a rush to get to that important board meeting on the other side of the States, simply put – you’re screwed. Over at the Southwest Jiaotong University in China, scientists have been working away to overcome the problem surrounding air resistance on a moving object at super fast speeds.

The test platform that the team has come up with could theoretically see speeds of 1,800 mph or 2,900 km/h being reached by a high-speed maglev train running through a near vacuum, removing the friction that air would otherwise create. Now if you think that sounds fast, to be honest you’re not far from wrong. The fastest commercial train service that is available has a top speed of only 431 km/h and even the world record sits at only 581 km/h, making the near 3,000 km/h speeds sound absolutely ridiculous and considering the fact that you need to remove almost all the air that we breath out of the trains way, it’s not going to be a service that will be coming a town near us any time soon.

Lead scientist Dr. Deng Zigang spoke out saying, “If the running speed exceeds 400 kilometers (250 miles) per hour, more than 83 percent of traction energy will wastefully dissipate in air resistance”.

To put this into context, what Dr Zigang is saying is that as you move faster and faster through the air, the friction build up would be similar to trying to swim through treacle – no matter how hard you try, the resistance that is put upon you is too great and the only way to resolve the problem is to remove the treacle. In the case of the Maglev project, the air pressure within the prototype system is dropped around 10% that of normal atmospheric pressure at sea level, giving the scientists the thin air that they need in order to run the train at close to two times the speed of sound.

Want a little more context? A typical twenty-one and a half hour flight from the UK to Australia would take little under 5 1/2 hours, presuming the train could maintain close to top speed all the way. You could hop to see you’re mates down under, have a BBQ and be back home all in the same day.

Source: Rocketnews24

Hitachi Commissioned To Build 45mph Elevator – 95 Floors In 43 Seconds Anyone?

If you’ve been lucky enough to head over to Las Vegas, there’s a strong chance that you would have experienced the speedy elevators that run up and down many of the major hotels across the city, but these are nothing compared to the even faster lifts in Taipei’s 101. From experience these lifts are simply amazing when you think about the more mundane services that we find in our major shopping centres and malls, however like everything else in today’s technology driven world, there is always the room for more speed.

Over in the Tianhe Districts of Guangzho in China work is currently underway on the CTF Finance Centre, which when completed will stand almost twice as tall as London’s Shard at a staggering 530m from ground level. Getting up to the upper floors of any skyscraper sized building is not something which we want to do in a typical average paced lift, not by far, so to get up to the 95th floor in a super quick time, Hitachi have been tasked with the job of putting together the worlds fastest elevator. Running along at a nippy 45mph, the elevator will be able to run up and down the 440m long shaft in little over 43 seconds, out pacing Toshiba’s 38mph speed in the 101.

When traveling at these speeds, there are a number of challenges that Hitachi will have to overcome – the biggest of these is the difference in air pressure. For anyone who has been in a super fast elevator you will most likely have experienced an ear popping sensation as the lift quickly changes altitude and consequently a different air pressure. To overcome this, Hitachi will automatically adjust the pressure in the carriage to compensate the ear popping sensation whilst a series of active guide rollers which will react to minute changes in the position of the guide rails, keeping the car as stable as possible. With a few additional guides and controls to keep the car on the straight and narrow in place, Hitachi hope that users will not feel as nauseous as you can sometimes feel in other fast elevators, allowing high level execs to get up to the 95th floor in seconds and to a meeting on time without feeling sick in the board room afterwards.

Construction of the CTF Finance Centre is due to finish in 2016 at which point Hitachi will become the makers of the worlds fastest lift.

Source: engadget

Dyson Invests £5m In Robotics Lab At Imperial College London

Dyson are a household name, no doubt the first thing you’ll think of when you here the company’s name is vacuum cleaners, but there is a whole lot more to Dyson as they’re an engineering company first, and vacuums are just one of their crowning achievements.

The company has always worked to promote research and engineering, and their latest investment which sees the company put £5 million into the robotics lab at Imperial College, London, could help inspire a new generation of engineers and of course a new generation of robotics.

The new research will be focused on vision systems, devices capable of helping robots better understand and adapt to the world around them. Of course the research will help Dyson make better robotic vacuum cleaners, but they stress that the research will cover domestic robots as well.

Sir James Dyson said: “My generation believed the world would be overrun by robots by the year 2014. We now have the mechanical and electronic capabilities, but robots still lack understanding – seeing and thinking in the way we do. Mastering this will make our lives easier and lead to previously unthinkable technologies.”

The future of advanced robotics isn’t too far away, but we must overcome many little hurdles along the way and Dyson will be applying a team of 15 scientists to the new project, as well as an extra £3 million of match-funding from other sources, let’s see if they can give the future of robotics a new set of eyes.

Thank you BBC for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of BBC.

be quiet! Shadow Rock 2 CPU Cooler Mini Review

be quiet! are a brand that we believe are one of the best in the world, and based on their success in Germany as the leading power supply manufacturer, they also have a big focus on cooling products too. This stemmed from previous models including the Shadow Rock Pro and Shadow Rock Top Flow, as well as their amazing Dark Rock series of coolers and now their new Shadow Rock 2 CPU cooler.

The Shadow Rock 2 is a premium CPU cooler based on award-winning technology that be quiet! are known for by offering quiet operation and extremely high performance. Couple all of this with an amazing price point, you won’t be disappointed.

In terms of its high performance, you’ll find a total of four 8mm heatpipes and a 180W TDP allowing it to keep even the most extreme, overclocked CPU’s at a comfortable temperature level. With its specially designed cooling fins and 120mm be quiet! PWM based fan, even when working at its peak, the unit will remain almost silent with a 25.4dBA noise level at 100% fan load.

The CPU cooler naturally is compatible with all current AMD and Intel CPU sockets, making it perfect for any user wanting extreme performance and silence for an attractive price point. The Shadow Rock 2 is also compatible with socket LGA 1150 (the latest Haswell CPU socket) for those wishing to jump onto the latest technology and comes included with a three year warranty, the German market leader are confident that the Shadow Rock 2 will help continue their success in the cooling market.

Check out our unboxing video for a closer look at the product and to see what it’s all about.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5PVhhO4Bag[/youtube]

As you saw in the video, we do mention a giveaway, and if you’re interested in finding out exactly how to win one, we invite you to click on the button below: