I love science. That has to be pretty obvious from both of my work fields, but there's also more to my passion for science than medicine and technology. My physics professor used to call me "The Brain" because, well, I had a knack for solving the most complicated physics problems he could come up with. I want my kids to have this same love for science and this same curiosity, and I'm glad that the world we're in right now not only encourages this kind of enthusiasm, it also celebrates it and has developed more communities and tools and environments where kids can indulge in their scientific pursuits.
Cosmic Watch is not a watch face, or even a conventional clock app. It's an app that models the Earth, the solar system, and most of the familiar constellations in 3D specifically as they relate to both real time and any point in the past. It's also stunningly beautiful - you don't often see educational apps with such a focus on aesthetic beauty. The screenshots really don't do it justice; check out the video below:
The app is equally concerned with current astronomy and time-keeping and the more classical astrology, at least as it relates to the real model of the universe - there aren't any horoscopes telling you that you'll meet tall, dark strangers.
Dead Zebra's long-running line of themed Android figures is expanding by three next week. The latest figures use the now-iconic shape of the Android mascot, but bear cartoon likenesses of three of the biggest names in scientific history: Sir Isaac Newton, Marie Curie, and Nikola Tesla. They'll go on sale in the Dead Zebra shop starting on Monday, April 20th at 11AM Eastern time (8AM Pacific). Each one will cost $10.
The rumors of Google buying a stake in SpaceX started percolating a few days ago, and now it's official. Google and Fidelity have invested a total of $1 billion in the private space firm, which gives them about 10% share. SpaceX says the new funding will go toward the development of reusable rocket technology and satellite manufacturing.
HTC's Power to Give app, the philanthropic software created by HTC to devote idle processing power to scientific research, has been updated with a refreshed interface and a single sign-on feature to help streamline the process of signing into various projects.
Technology in general and mobile tech in particular is on a rapid march forward, but there's a bottleneck that's holding it back: batteries. For years lithium-ion batteries have been the best option for storing energy pound-for-pound, but they've hit a wall - now we can only get bigger batteries or make our gadgets more efficient. A team of researchers at Stanford University have created what they call the "holy grail" of battery technology, a battery with a stable lithium anode.
Here's a quick refresher for those of us who are a long time past middle school. Your standard rechargeable battery uses three primary components, an anode that stores lithium ions while charging, a cathode that receives the ions while discharging, and an electrolyte that allows the ions to move from one to the other.
Kyocera isn't exactly a big name in modern Android smartphones, but it does make a lot of rugged devices that don't get much press. It's also big in materials science, which is where sapphire comes in. See, it seems like a safe bet that the next iPhone will have a sapphire glass display, and Kyocera happens to know a lot about manufacturing synthetic sapphire for watches and electrical components. So, they're making sapphire screens for smartphones. This is the thing now.
What's the average temperature in Mysore, India in December? That's a rather specific question, and while I don't know why you would need to know this information at a moment's notice (unless you're cheating at trivia), Microsoft's latest Android app is prepared to help with that. The answer, it says, is 22 degrees Celsius. In American, that's a comfortable 72. Need to check out another location? Microsoft's Climatology app can handle that too.
If this release sounds hyper-focused so far, that's because it is. In addition to the temperature, the app can also show a location's average number of rainy days per month and its average amount of sunshine per day.
Graphene is an amazing material. How amazing? Graphene is composed of a single layer of carbon atoms joined in a hexagonal lattice – it's incredibly strong, light, highly conductive, and nearly transparent. It has been put forward as the key to advancing everything from flexible displays to semiconductors that can save Moore's Law. For all that promise, graphene is still rare in consumer applications due to the difficulty in producing it. Samsung's Advanced Institute of Technology might have finally found a way around that.
Pure graphene was first isolated in a remarkably low-tech way back in 2004. A bit of scotch tape was used to pull a layer of carbon atoms off a larger piece of graphite, and boom – a 2D sheet of carbon, which we now call graphene.
It has been more than 30 years since the late, great Carl Sagan took to the airwaves to talk about how our future as a species depends powerfully on our understanding of the cosmos, which we float in like a mote of dust. The original Cosmos debuted in 1980 and inspired a generation of scientists and science nerds alike. Now the series is back with Neil deGrasse Tyson at the helm, and Fox has released a new companion app for Android that can help you explore the majesty and unbelievable scale of the cosmos while watching the show.
The app itself contains expanded information, trailers, galleries, and other tidbits from each episode.