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Guy Gavriel Kay Shares His Secrets For Turning Real-Life History Into Fantasy

Guy Gavriel Kay has carved out a unique niche, writing fantasy novels that take real-life historical settings and transforming them into something new and different. His latest novel, Children of Earth and Sky, takes place in a version of 16th century Europe that’s under threat from a version of the Ottoman Empire, and includes a fictionalized version of real-life Croatian bandits called the Ushoks, who stole from the Venetians and the Ottomans for justice. We talked to Kay about just how he manages to turn real-life history into a world all his own.


Oh Great, A Deep Diving Robot Is Going To Steal All Our Pirate Treasure

We already know that robots are destined to steal all our jobs. But thanks to some foolhardy researchers at Stanford University who have developed an articulated robot that can dive and explore underwater shipwrecks, our android rivals will soon be stealing all our pirate treasure too.


Anyone Can Be A 3D Printing Artist With The Help Of A Robot Arm

Handheld 3D printing pens seem like a cheaper alternative to those giant autonomous boxes, but they require more patience than most of us can muster, and a decent level of artistic capability. This robot arm can help with the latter, by controlling where the pen can move to ensure better results.


One Day Your Smartphone's Case Will Do Far More Than Just Protect It

Even if you’re adamantly against putting a case on your phone, you might make an exception for the FlexCase being developed by the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria and Microsoft. When opened, it doubles as an extended touchscreen for your device that can also be flexed for unique ways to interact with your phone.


Gamers Are Solving Quantum Physics Problems Faster Than Scientists

Every week people all around the world spend 3 billion hours playing games. Games are entering almost all areas of our daily life and have the potential to become an invaluable resource for science.

Citizen science games have already proved successful in advancing scientific endeavours such as protein folding and neuron mapping. However, this approach had not previously been applied to quantum physics, and a recent study has now shown that gamers are solving a class of problems in quantum physics that cannot be easily solved by algorithms alone.


Making A Stable Walking Robot Is A Lot Easier When It's Just Legs

Getting a robot to balance and walk on two feet is a massive challenge, as the DARPA Challenge revealed. But it turns out it’s a little less tricky when you focus on just the legs, as the Alphabet-owned SCHAFT’s newest bipedal creation demonstrated by confidently walking out on stage at the New Economic Summit going on in Tokyo.


DARPA Wants To Give Radio Waves AI To Stretch Bandwidth

The radio spectrum is a mess: It’s congested, expensive and there’s no room for expansion. But DARPA has a plan to change that, by building a system where radio waves can work together using artificial intelligence, rather than fighting for space.


Australian Scientists Make Major Prostate Cancer Treatment Breakthrough

Australian researchers have launched a clinical trial which will use revolutionary technology to improve targeting accuracy for patients undergoing radiotherapy for prostate cancer — cutting treatment time from 40 visits to just five.


Flying Drone Can Hide Underwater For Months Like A Nuclear Submarine

A submarine’s periscope is a useful reconnaissance tool, but it puts the vessel at risk since it can only be used when the sub surfaces. As an alternative, researchers at Johns Hopkins University have created a waterproof drone that can float up from the murky depths and then take to the skies to provide an aerial view.


Australian Scientists Discover Genes That Cause Inflammatory Diseases

A global study led by Brisbane’s QUT — alongside Christian-Albrechts-University in Germany and involving a total of 50 different research centres — has found hundreds of genes which cause five common, hard-to-treat and debilitating inflammatory diseases.

The discovery paves the way to new treatments for ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis (collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease), psoriasis, and primary sclerosing cholangitis.


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