May 25, 1945: Sci-Fi Author Predicts Future by Inventing It

1945: Arthur C. Clarke begins privately circulating copies of a paper that proposes using space satellites for global communications. It was a bold suggestion for 1945, as the war was just winding down and most people were undoubtedly more concerned about the necessities of life than they were with beaming radio waves down from space. […]

May 25, 1945: Sci-Fi Author Predicts Future by Inventing It

Ballmer to Skype Fans: You Can Trust Us

SAN FRANCISCO — Trust us. We’re not going to screw up Skype. That was the message Microsoft delivered Tuesday, hours after formally announcing that it was buying the internet telephony pioneer for a staggering $8.5 billion — staggering because it’s more than the Redmond giant has ever paid for anything, and because Skype doesn’t exactly print […]

Ballmer to Skype Fans: You Can Trust Us

Handerpants, Devil Duckies and Rubber Chickens: Inside Archie McPhee

SEATTLE — It’s hard to explain Archie McPhee. Instead, let’s start with some of the things you can buy here: Cthulhu water bottles. Bacon-flavored toothpaste. Devil duckies. Fire-spitting wind-up nuns. Band-Aids that look like bacon strips. Bacon-flavored gumballs. A plastic narwhal — complete with a penguin for it to impale. A yodeling plastic pickle. Bacon-flavored […]

Handerpants, Devil Duckies and Rubber Chickens: Inside Archie McPhee

Review: Naked Steel, Bare Flesh Sex Up Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones opens with violence, nudity, foul language and a soundtrack dominated by cello and kettledrums. A medieval-looking haze of smoke hangs over the computer-generated cities of Westeros. Mud and filth fill the castles. Characters drop their silks and furs to engage in flesh-smacking sex inside ancient stone towers. There are two decapitations in […]

Review: Naked Steel, Bare Flesh Sex Up Game of Thrones

Video: Spaceship Lands at San Francisco Airport

  One of the first planes to dock at Virgin America’s new San Francisco International Airport terminal was a spaceship. Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo arrived hitched between the twin fuselages of WhiteKnightTwo, its mothership and launch platform. “For the first time we’ve brought the spaceship and WhiteKnight to a commercial airport…. It’s just a fantastic, exciting […]

Video: Spaceship Lands at San Francisco Airport

Microscopic Art Hides Inside Computer Chips

Considering the expense, precision and difficulty of manufacturing computer chips, you would think the engineers designing them are pretty serious people. But it’s not all business inside a chip fab, as these microscope photos reveal. In fact, the designers of microchips frequently hide tiny cartoons, drawings and even messages alongside the super-tiny circuits and semiconductors […]

Microscopic Art Hides Inside Computer Chips

Virgin’s Richard Branson Plans Deep-Sea Diving Venture

Gallivanting billionaire Richard Branson is well on his way to space. Now he plans to explore the deepest parts of the ocean as well. Branson announced his undersea exploration venture, Virgin Oceanic, on Tuesday. Unlike his suborbital-space-flight company, Virgin Galactic, the new venture is not accepting paying passengers. Instead, it will comprise only five deep-sea dives, […]

Virgin’s Richard Branson Plans Deep-Sea Diving Venture

How a Legacy From the 1800s Is Making Tokyo Dark Today

A strange legacy of the Japanese power system’s infancy in the late 1800s is complicating efforts to keep Tokyo supplied with electricity. The problem, as explained by IDG News Service’s Martyn Williams, is that half of the country uses power whose current alternates at 60 Hz, while the other half gets its power at 50 Hz. […]

How a Legacy From the 1800s Is Making Tokyo Dark Today

Silicon Art Hidden Inside Samsung’s Galaxy Tab

Silicon chips have billions of transistors in every square inch. But sometimes there’s enough room left over for chip engineers to insert a little joke. While using a scanning electron microscope to examine the microcircuitry of a chip found in Samsung’s Galaxy Tab and Galaxy S phone, consulting company Chipworks discovered a surprise. Underneath six […]

Silicon Art Hidden Inside Samsung’s Galaxy Tab