Lithium ion batteries are practically ubiquitous; they power everything from laptops and cell phones to cameras and tablets. But before they can start providing the juice for bigger and more demanding applications, research about their failure needs to happen. That's where the fine folks at University College London come in -- they've used 3D-and-thermal imaging to track exactly what happens when the power cells overheat, inside and out. As you can see in the GIF above, the results aren't pretty. After cranking the heat on a pair of the batteries to 250+ degrees Celsius (482 degrees Fahrenheit) and keeping an eye on them with the aforementioned techniques, researchers witnessed one of the batteries blow its top. Prior to that happening, during what's known as "thermal runaway," the core collapsed.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

It's been a long and hard road for NASA's Messenger Probe as it studied the surface of Mercury for the last four years. That journey, however, will come to an end today, after NASA announced that the craft will crash land into the planet at around 3:30pm ET today. The vehicle was the first that managed to make it to Mercury, and has been in service for more than a decade -- far longer than administrators had ever expected it to last. In fact, the project was only meant to last for a year, but canny fuel-saving measures managed to quadruple its lifespan.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

A blocked blood vessel can be pretty nasty, and the two most common treatments involve wedging it open or transplanting another vessel from elsewhere in your body. Scientists in Vienna think they may have a slightly more elegant solution to the latter, having developed a method of replacing blocked vessels with artificial ones. The clever part here is that the synthetic polymer that the prostheses are made of encourages the body to grow a real vessel in its place. In one trial on a rat, it took less than six months before the artificial material had broken down and been replaced with a brand new blood vessel.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Tesla Model S P85D and Dodge Charger Hellcat Drag Race

Tesla's Model S P85D is quick. Or is it fast? Can it be both? Ever since Elon Musk unveiled the company's speediest car ever, it's become the fashionable thing to take the P85D to a drag strip and pit it against some old-school gas-powered muscle. Motor Trend did the same, choosing the all-American Dodge Charger Hellcat (the world's fastest sedan) as the Model S' opponent. Now, it's not the first time that these cars have gone head-to-head over a quarter mile, but when they first met, the 707-horsepower Hellcat had such a dismal run that it needed an official rematch with a better driver behind the wheel. There's a handy explanation on the difference between being fast and being quick at the beginning of the video, but if you just want the action, simply hit the play button below. As for the outcome... well, that'd be spoiling it, but let's just say that things could have been different if the strip was longer.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

0

Biosure HIV Self Test Kit

Although sexual health has become less of a taboo subject, ensuring that people get tested for STDs remains a big issue. The NHS now offers DIY kits for those worried they might have caught something from a partner and don't want to get tested by a doctor, but home HIV screening has not been possible -- at least until today. Britain's first legally-approved HIV test is now on sale, promising 99.7 percent accuracy from three months after a person suspects they may have been exposed to the infection. It requires a drop of blood and can provide a clear result in around 15 minutes.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon: These juggernauts are at the forefront of the tech industry. And with that success comes an ever-expanding workforce, and the need for a place to put them. To keep pace with growth, these companies have been making the requisite real-estate deals in order to build physical spaces to match their forward-thinking business approach. Fortunately, their designs are also more environmentally conscious than ever before. With the eyes of the world upon them, they've taken the well-being of the Earth, as well as their employees, into account, building innovative work spaces in an attempt to harmonize with the world around them. Below, we take a look at some of the steps these giants of industry have made over the years as they've moved from garage operations to vast campuses.

[Image: NBBJ]

0 Comments

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I immediately fell in love with the original Pax vaporizer when it debuted back in 2012. Its compact and lightweight construction belied a powerful three-stage conduction oven, while the sleek, push-button design made it far more intuitive and user-friendly than other portable vaporizers available at the time. Granted, the OG Pax wasn't perfect -- what with its habit of clogging every few sessions or so. Now, more than two years after the release of the first Pax, PAX Labs is back with a new iteration that's smaller, lighter and more powerful than its predecessor. Say hello to the Pax 2.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

0

Space telescopes are great, but they're hardly the cheapest things to build, launch and maintain, which means scientists are forced to make compromises. The solution to this problem isn't to build a better rocket with a bigger carrying capacity, but to rely upon a low tech way to make any party fabulous: glitter. Researchers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory believe that the high-tech equivalent of shreds of foil could be used as a cheap and lightweight alternative to the hefty mirrors you'd find in the Hubble Telescope.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

I arrived in Palm Springs, California, with the best of intentions. I was to document -- painstakingly document -- the entire Coachella experience with all of the available mobile social tools at my disposal. I would Meerkat and Periscope and Instagram and Snapchat and tweet from Engadget's official accounts and the folks peering through from the other side of the digital window would watch, fave, like, retweet and comment live. I would use the festival's official app to plan my day and navigate the crowds. I would use an app dedicated to setting up reservations at (and paying for) pop-up dining experiences at the festival. I would Uber to and from the festival with abandon. With technology as my crutch, I would hack my Coachella experience. I would live through this festival as the ultimate millennial.

Except I failed miserably at it.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

There's a new generation of MIDI-connected interface tools to help your creative juices flow without being tethered to a computer or lugging around a full kit. The Jamstik smartguitar is a mobile instrument for the digital age, whether you're a seasoned guitar player or just looking to learn a few chords. It's a lightweight, 16-inch guitar interface that uses WiFi to connect to Macs, PCs and iOS 7+ devices. The Jamstik works with hundreds of apps including GarageBand and Ableton Live, letting you play guitar, synth, drums or anything else simply by plucking the strings. There's also a Kickstarter for the new Jamstik+, which adds Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity and a focus on musical education. What's more, for every 15 Jamstik+ devices that are backed, Zivix will give one to a non-profit educational organization, opening up the world of music to tomorrow's musicians. To help give you a taste, the company has given us two Jamstiks, along with a set of SOL Republic Deck Bluetooth speakers for a pair of lucky Engadget readers this week. Just head down to the Rafflecopter widget for up to three chances at winning.

Winners: congratulations to Jeremiah N. of Moscow, ID. and Jeremy M. of Southington, CT!

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

fiber optics background with...

We've already seen what fiber optics can do for internet speeds, and it looks like the medium could be used for quantum communications too. See, as EurekAlert tells it, scientists from the Vienna University of Technology have figured out a way to modify the material so it can be used to control the speed of light. The researchers successfully grafted cesium atoms to the fibers, allowing them to slow light down from its typical 671 million MPH pace to around 112 MPH (180 KPH). The researchers were able to bring the light to a complete stop and then restart it later, too -- something EurekAlert says in a pretty major step toward quantum internet. It'd be much more secure than what we have currently as well, given that professor Arno Rauschenbeutel says that quantum physics at its very core allows for a connection between sender and receiver and anyone tapping in won't go unnoticed.

[Image credit: Shutterstock]

0 Comments

Microsoft's found its stride with the Surface Pro 3, offering a portable yet powerful PC experience in a tablet form factor. Our readers even voted it the best overall gadget of 2014. Developers for the Windows platform, though, seem to be in short supply, leaving many popular apps out of reach (or out of date) for Microsoft fans. American Megatrends Inc. (AMI) has come up with a solution to the problem with its AMIDuOS software. If you've converted from Android to Windows, you can use the software to access your existing apps without an additional purchase. You'll also have access the latest versions without waiting for them to hit Microsoft's ecosystem. AMIDuOS works with PCs and tablets running Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 (32/64-bit) and offers instant switching -- you can even pin Android apps to the Start menu. To help one Engadget reader escape ecosystem isolation, the company has provided a 64GB Surface Pro 3 along with a lifetime license for AMIDuOS. Feeling lucky? Just head to the Rafflecopter widget below for up to three chances at winning.

Winner: congratulations to Taylor J. of Leawood, KS!

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

0

One day, TV will be all nerdy, all the time. Until then, Nerdist News is putting together a 30-minute pilot for SyFy, featuring its own brand of off-beat current events and silly gags. The Nerdist News TV show will air once a week, executive produced by Nerdist Industries CEO and @midnight host Chris Hardwick, alongside Talking Dead executive producer Brandon Monk. Nerdist News host Jessica Chobot announced the new initiative in a video, noting that the online version of the show isn't going anywhere. "We can't tell you too much more right now because there's a lot of dark magic that needs to happen before it can get to your TVs and we have no idea of when it even would," she says. Eagle-eyed observers will spot a familiar face covered by a Project Morpheus headset around 0:47 into the announcement video. (Hi, Joseph!)

0 Comments

It isn't quite the soft exosuit that DARPA's working on, but scientists have developed a lightweight exoskeleton that'll take some of the work out of walking. Before you get too excited though, this is less Edge of Tomorrow and more along the lines of mechanical engineering. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon and North Carolina State University devised a way to use springs and ratchets to fashion a sort of boot that increases walking efficiency by seven percent compared to folks wearing regular shoes. The idea is to make it easier for the disabled, paralyzed or stroke victims to improve their walking ability without expensive motors and battery packs.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

For its crazy 2020 asteroid capture mission and other projects, NASA is developing next-gen "Hall effect thrusters" to corral an asteroid and put it into the moon's orbit. At the same time, the European Space Agency (ESA) is trying to improve its own Hall thrusters to power future missions. If you're wondering what the heck they are, Hall effect motors are a type of ion thruster that produce a tiny 0.7 pounds of force, or the weight of 54 US quarters, according to NASA. However, they're much more efficient than standard rockets, and if run long enough, can power a spaceship to speeds as high as 112,000 mph. So how do they actually work?

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments