mcherm + invention   58

Silent and Simple Ion Engine Powers a Plane with No Moving Parts - Scientific American
He built an ion engine for an airplane -- something that most engineers thought was impossible.
invention  engineering  flight  via:HackerNews  ScientificAmerican 
24 days ago by mcherm
Ed Boyden on “How to invent game-changing technologies” | Rationally Speaking
He invented a way to use light to trigger neurons, also a way to blow a brain up large enough to use normal microscopes on it, and a ton of other interesting things.
via:RationallySpeaking  science  invention  biology  brain 
september 2018 by mcherm
How a gearbox works
Great picture showing how a manual transmission works.
via:reddit  engineering  cars  invention 
july 2018 by mcherm
Sucking carbon dioxide from air is cheaper than scientists thought
Directly capturing carbon from air and burying it is far cheaper than expected -- perhaps as little as 83 cents per gallon of gasoline. However, Hacker News commentators think this is entirely impractical.
science  invention  environment  globalwarming  via:HackerNews 
june 2018 by mcherm
Should You Ride an Electric Scooter? - The Atlantic
Fantastic review of Bird scooters. Especially focused on how to change the public view of them.
scooters  via:HackerNews  invention  startup  funny 
june 2018 by mcherm
Mas Subramanian's Quest for a Billion-Dollar Red
He invented a new blue, and he's trying to invent a new red. Apparently that's a big deal.
color  science  materialsscience  invention  chemistry  via:HackerNews 
april 2018 by mcherm
The Catalog of Missing Devices | Electronic Frontier Foundation
The DMCA prevents bypassing copyright security. This cleverly shows a whole catalog of ads for products that COULD exist if it weren't for this law. Helps tackle the problem that lack of innovation is normally an invisible harm.
via:boingboing  DMCA  invention  CoryDoctorow  eff 
february 2018 by mcherm
With Fungi in the Mix, Concrete Can Fill Its Own Cracks | Innovation | Smithsonian
BRILLIANT idea -- add spores of a fungus to concrete. When tiny cracks form, it will allow air and moisture into the interior and the spores can germinate. They will block the passage (mostly by precipitating calcium carbonate crystals) thus sealing the crack. The fungus is not harmful to humans.
invention  materialsscience  materials  via:HackerNews  smithsonian  science 
january 2018 by mcherm
Why everything might have taken so long | Meteuphoric
Some theories about why it might be that it took so long from when hominoids first emerged to the explosion of inventions like agriculture or the industrial revolution (but especially agriculture).
invention  history  via:HackerNews 
january 2018 by mcherm
To Unlock the Brain’s Mysteries, Purée It - NYTimes.com
Suzana Herculano-Houzel came up with the idea of blending brain matter and counting cell nuclei, giving the count of brain cells and showing # of cerebral cortex neurons is what distinguishes humans and it is inline with other primates (scaled for size) except other great apes whose brains are probably limited by nutrition.
nytimes  via:reddit  science  brain  invention 
december 2017 by mcherm
To fight climate change, carbon capture needs to be made cheaper — Quartz
Teenager invents chemical process that might cut the cost of carbon capture by 85%. Article explains the actual chemistry of it.
science  invention  kids  chemistry  via:rachel 
december 2017 by mcherm
Clean water: A way to make water potable using carbon dioxide | The Economist
Use a gradient of CO2 concentration to VERY CHEAPLY remove microparticles (like viruses and bacteria) from water. 1000x cheaper than pumps and filters.
invention  via:HackerNews  science  physics 
may 2017 by mcherm
Silicon Valley’s $400 Juicer May Be Feeling the Squeeze - Bloomberg
I don't know what to make of this, but I certainly had to bookmark it.
invention  startup  via:reddit 
april 2017 by mcherm
What can a technologist do about climate change? A personal view.
Someone answers the question "But what can I do about climate change?" with a long list of practical and realistic needs.
globalwarming  energy  invention  technology  via:boingboing 
september 2016 by mcherm
When You Change the World and No One Notices — Collaborative Fund
Lots of really important transformative inventions were ignored for a couple of decades. 3D printing is one of those.
invention  via:HackerNews 
september 2016 by mcherm
Dr. Vishal Rao Develops Rs. 50 Voice Box for Throat Cancer Patients
One-way valve (to keep food out of the lungs) that vibrates, which replaces the voicebox.
invention  upliftingnews  via:reddit 
december 2015 by mcherm
Sponge injection could save the lives of domestic gunshot victims | Ars Technica
Clever invention: blood-absorbing sponges to inject into a wound to prevent blood loss on the way to the hospital. It was invented for the military but is now being considered for civilian use.
medicine  invention  ArsTechnica  via:ArsTechnica 
december 2015 by mcherm
Sex, Circuits & Deep House « bunnie's blog
For Burning Man this person built a badge with a unique pattern of lights for each person. The badges could interact via a genetic algorithm to produce new patterns of light.
invention  geneticalgorithm  burningman  via:HackerNews 
september 2015 by mcherm
Texas Police Arrest Kid For Building A Clock | Techdirt
Kid built himself a clock. His teacher said "it looks like a bomb". Kid said it wasn't. School had him arrested (and apparently charges are being considered) for making bomb threats.
via:Techdirt  law  kidsrights  kids  invention 
september 2015 by mcherm
Latex condoms are the worst: Why, after all these years, don’t we have a better condom?
People have tried to invent better condoms, using different materials, making them in custom sizes, and so forth. But US government regulation has prevented all of these efforts.
sex  invention  slate  via:reddit 
april 2015 by mcherm
Slow, flexible & cheap — DOME KIT — Medium
About the iterations he went through while inventing a component.
design  invention  via:HackerNews 
december 2014 by mcherm
The Audacious Plan to Make Electricity as Easy as WiFi
A way to do remote, wireless charging: beam the energy as carefully focused ultrasound.
startup  physics  invention 
november 2014 by mcherm
BBC News - The Dutch boy mopping up a sea of plastic
He wrote a high-school science project proposing a way to actually clean up plastic from the world's oceans. He did a TED talk about it, which allowed him to raise money. Now he's trying to actually implement his plan.
environment  invention  via:HackerNews 
october 2014 by mcherm
The Indian sanitary pad revolutionary
The inventor who set out to invent a cheap sanitary pad for India and lost his family doing so.
invention  via:HackerNews 
march 2014 by mcherm
Row over US mobile phone 'cockroach backpack' app
A circuit you can stick on a cockroach and remotely control its movements. Also, is this cruelty to animals?
brain  animals  science  invention  ethics  via:HackerNews 
november 2013 by mcherm
Creative Confidence: A new book from IDEO's Tom and David Kelley
80% of kids had to be sedated to get an MRI. He painted it to look like a carnival ride and things improved dramatically.
invention  slate  via:HackerNews 
october 2013 by mcherm
Amid a barrage of password breaches, “honeywords” to the rescue | Ars Technica
Brilliant. Why didn't I think of this? Add "fake" passwords to your DB. If one of these is ever entered at the prompt, then someone has your password list.
security  invention  via:ArsTechnica  ArsTechnica 
may 2013 by mcherm
Square pegs, Round holes, Square holes
On square pegs and round holes and drilling square holes.
via:reddit  invention  interesting 
may 2013 by mcherm
After two thousand years of GPS, what next? | OpenSignal Blog
GPS is just the modern version of sea navigation. Also, doing the calculations in the cloud could reduce power demands 1000-fold.
gps  mobile  invention  via:HackerNews 
december 2012 by mcherm
Auxetic materials: Hook's law | The Economist
Materials that get WIDER when you stretch them, and lots of interesting uses for them,.
science  materialsscience  invention  via:HackerNews 
october 2012 by mcherm
Math professor's side mirror that eliminates 'blind spot' receives US patent
He invented a shape for a mirror that lets you see 45 degrees instead of 17 degrees. It's now patented, but illegal in the US, which mandates flat driver-side mirrors.
via:reddit  patent  math  invention  law 
june 2012 by mcherm
Silly Putty for Potholes - ScienceNOW
Use bags of silly putty to temporarily fill potholes. It's easy and reusable.
via:reddit  materialsscience  materials  science  invention 
april 2012 by mcherm
Open Robotics » VoxPopuLII
Robots that can run user-generated software are the route to success in robotics. But they can only succeed if the manufacturers are immunized from lawsuits. Otherwise, the manufacturer (deep pockets) will be sued when someone fastens a chainsaw to their robot.
law  innovation  invention  robots  opensource  via:HackerNews  from delicious
july 2011 by mcherm
Specs that see right through you - tech - 05 July 2011 - New Scientist
Software that analyzes facial expressions in real time and feeds the data to someone. It can massively change the social intelligence of a person or a group.
via:boingboing  brain  socialcomputing  psychology  invention  from delicious
july 2011 by mcherm
Harry Coover, creator of Super Glue, dies in Tennessee at 94; invented the stuff by accident
Super Glue (cyanoacrylate) was invented "by accident" when a potential plastic material was found to be too sticky to use.
via:reddit  chemistry  science  invention  from delicious
march 2011 by mcherm
Batteries charge quickly and retain capacity, thanks to new structure
Cool invention. Build 3D microstructure from tiny spheres; coat to make space-filling thin film. Use for batteries that charge fast like a capacitor.
via:reddit  invention  physics  science  electronics  from delicious
march 2011 by mcherm
Annals of Innovation: In the Air : The New Yorker
Lengthy New Yorker article about invention. Says that coming up with the ideas isn't as hard as we think. History shows that quite often multiple people invented a thing at the same time.
invention  science  NewYorker 
february 2010 by mcherm
Interbike 2009: Gyro Wheel by Gyro Bike | Bike Commuters
Good idea: use a gyroscope in the wheel to keep the bike steady instead of using training wheels.
design  invention  bike  kids  via:reddit 
september 2009 by mcherm
Dean Kamen: part man, part machine - Telegraph
Tale of a wild inventor -- the guy who invented the Segue.
via:reddit  invention 
october 2008 by mcherm

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