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Technology

Invisibility: The Unseen Fashion

From Fantasy to Sci-Fi, invisibility has been one of the most fascinating ideas. It grabs the minds of humanity like Immortality, or Time Travel. Invisibility has inspired many who have explored the concept, and pretty much every fantasy story has invisibility. But is invisibility a reality? I mean, with all the advances in science and technology, wouldn’t we have found out how to effectively become invisible? Let’s find out…

The type of invisibility we typically think of is the ability to vanishing from sight, but could it be possible? Well yes, but not really. We haven’t achieved anything like the invisibility cloak in Harry Potter, but we have something similar. In 2013, the University of Texas at Austin developed an ultrathin cloak that made objects appear invisible in a given light range. Unlike other studies that have tried to divert, or bend, the waves around an object, this new method, dubbed “mantle cloaking”, cancels out the waves as they are scattered off the cloaked object. This is ground breaking, but it’s still nothing like Harry Potter’s cloak. read more

Featured Technology

The Infinite Soaring Machine

The Infinite Soaring Machine: AI Piloted Glider

Andrew Schlachter

Over the desert sands of Hawthorne, Nevada, the Microsoft glider dubbed “the infinite soaring machine” sails gracefully through the air without aid of engine, propeller, or even a human pilot.

Instead, this advanced AI-piloted craft stays aloft by actively predicting and seeking out pockets of rising air known as thermals, just as a birds of prey do.

“Birds do this seamlessly, and all they’re doing is harnessing nature,” said Ashish Kapoor, one of the principal researchers of the project. “And they do it with a peanut-sized brain.” read more

Editorials Technology

iBoss is not a catalyst for education; it’s a wall

Being a senior at UCAS, I have experienced both times with and without iBoss enabled on our school network. In my sophomore year, internet throughout UCAS was filtered indiscriminately, and students were often complaining about how they couldn’t access youtube or other sites they frequently visited. Then, throughout my junior year, the firewall seemed to have dissipated entirely. Now, I have witnessed the disturbing resurgence of iBoss’s reign over the UCAS school network.

I can understand the purpose of an internet filter at schools. The filter is a fantastic safety net to protect students from shadier parts of the web and can sometimes steer them away from legal trouble. The firewall also is a wonderful tool to help students stay focused on school work by blocking games and other such content. These two purposes I agree with entirely, as I have witnessed the beneficial effects of both. On my PC at home, I’ve installed software to achieve a similar purpose, and I can set hours for the software to block certain websites so that I can finish school work. read more

Editorials Technology

Nuclear Energy, Yay or Nay?

There are many misconceptions about nuclear energy, and it’s understandable considering how the word “nuclear” is in the title, and many get spooked real quick. Even though anti-nuclear energy advocates, like Green party presidential candidate Jill Stein, say “nuclear energy is dirty, dangerous and expensive,” it’s proven to be the opposite. Unlike natural gas and coal, nuclear energy doesn’t give off any air pollution.

According to Jill Stein, “nuclear power would never survive on a free open market.” Really? Each nuclear energy plant creates more jobs than any other energy source individually: the Nuclear Energy Institute found that wind and gas create 50, coal creates 190, hydro creates anywhere from 100-450, solar creates 470, and nuclear energy creates 500. These numbers are approximate, but it shows that nuclear energy employs more people, making it better for the economy. Also, nuclear energy doesn’t give off any air pollution like natural gas or coal. Sorry, but that steam coming out of nuclear plants is just plain ol’ steam. Either way, I’m quite sure that Lindsey Graham lets off more steam than a nuclear energy plant. read more

Featured Technology

Solar Impulse Blasts Off

Aerospace enthusiasts Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard were able to take on the challenge of building the world’s first solar plane that runs on its self-created energy alone. They went through two prototypes, Solar Impulse 1 and Solar Impulse 2. Solar Impulse 2 being the largest success. The plane is entirely run on solar energy and can sustain flight for 21 hours and 58 minutes. Solar Impulse went on to achieve feats.

It took almost 9 years of buildup for Solar Impulse Inc. to develop and construct the craft. Apart from having to design high-efficiency photovoltaic panels (a fancy word for solar panels), they also had to create them in such a way that they could be molded into the shape of the custom made wing. As well as getting the power source up to speed, Solar Impulse Inc. also had to work on creating a lightweight alternative to generators/motors, to transfer the electric energy into a mechanical/rotational force to turn the propeller blades. They finally produced 4 custom electric motors that were powered by 4 21 kWh Lithium-ion batteries, and that produced an entire 10 horsepower together. read more