engineering

Three Problems That Computers Will Never Be Able To Solve

Computers have advanced terrifically over the decades — but they’re not perfect. Here are three problems that, no matter how good they get, they will never be able to figure out.


This Machine Generates Electricity From Humidity

This silver cube looks like it belongs on a spaceship — but actually it’s way more exciting than that. In fact, it can create electricity from humidity, as water condenses on its internal surfaces.


Watch The Costa Concordia Being Refloated Now, Right Here

Removing the shipwrecked Costa Concordia from its resting spot off the coast of Giglio Island has been a slow project. But a team of engineers is finally refloating the sunken ship — and you can watch it happening right here.


How Baseball Put The Drip Coffee Machine Into Your Home

The drip coffee machine is a household staple — and way better than the percolators that went before it. But did you know that you have baseball to thank for its presence in your home?


Apple Patent Describes How To Create Seamless All-Glass Devices

Imagine a phone or tablet encased in one solid, seamless, curved slab of glass: hell to repair, but heaven, surely, in the hand. Well, a new patent obtained by Apple describes how it might manufacture such a thing, if it were ever to choose to.


Your Next Phone Could Communicate Using Magnetism

3G, NFC, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are all well and good, but there’s perhaps an even geekier wireless protocol in town — and it uses magnetism for your phone to communicate.


How This Skyscraper Is Being Built On Top Of An Existing Building

As if building an entire neighbourhood on top of an active rail yard were not already crazy enough, the developers for Hudson Yards are also planning a 51-storey tower that will be constructed on top of and above an existing building. Yup, Manhattan is a crowded mess.


This Golf Ball-Sized Magnet Creates Three Tonnes Of Force

This little superconducting magnet may look serene, but it’s actually a record breaker, capable of creating three tonnes of force. The magnet beats a record that has stood for over 10 years, generating a magnetic field of 17.6 Tesla — that’s more than a typical MRI machine, or about 3000 times more than a refrigerator magnet — beating the previous best by 0.4 Tesla.


This New Nanomaterial Can Withstand Forces 160,000 Times Its Weight

MIT engineers have taken inspiration from architecture to create a new material that combines high stiffness with low weight — by using a repeating geometric structure that’s airy, yet remarkably strong.


The Wobbling Stairs At This World Cup Stadium Look Ready To Collapse

Given that Brazil has spent around $US14 billion getting ready to host the 2014 World Cup, you’d think they’d have sufficient funds to install staircases that weren’t made of scaffolding. I mean, just look at those steps shake under the load of hundreds of futbol fans.