Stanford researchers working on regional “seismic observatory” using existing fiber optic networks

Researchers at Stanford are pleased to report the following: Thousands of miles of buried optical fibers crisscross California’s San Francisco Bay Area delivering high-speed internet and HD video to homes and businesses. Biondo Biondi, a professor of geophysics at Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences, dreams of turning that dense network into an … Continue reading Stanford researchers working on regional “seismic observatory” using existing fiber optic networks

Really, really old school building methods put to the test

Great Big Story bills themselves as "a global media company devoted to cinematic storytelling." Last year, they produced a great short feature about a team of skilled contractors and archeologists putting ancient building techniques to use in order to construct a medieval castle. Here's the description accompanying the video: It’s hard to fathom how magnificent … Continue reading Really, really old school building methods put to the test

Google’s latest free tool uses AI to turn crude sketches into quality drawings and illustrations

Google Creative Lab, one of the many, many research and development cells within the advertising giant, just released its latest experiment in artificial intelligence (AI) to the public for free. According to the Google Blog: Drawing on your phone or computer can be slow and difficult—so we created AutoDraw, a new web-based tool that pairs … Continue reading Google’s latest free tool uses AI to turn crude sketches into quality drawings and illustrations

Google’s secretive drone research and development program has unintended consequences

Google X — now just "X" — is a secretive skunkworks subsidiary of Alphabet, the parent company that used to be simply known as Google. The company is famous for its "moon shot" experiments where big risks hopefully lead to big payoffs. But are the costs really worth it? Julie Bort, at Business Insider, reveals … Continue reading Google’s secretive drone research and development program has unintended consequences

Researchers demonstrate high-performance concrete that resists water and minimizes cracking

There are some in the building industry — perhaps even a majority of people — that believe concrete is either waterproof, or that it is somehow immune to any negative effects from exposure to moisture. However, typical concrete is porous, with many tiny cracks, allowing water to penetrate. Exposed to freeze-thaw weather cycles, that water … Continue reading Researchers demonstrate high-performance concrete that resists water and minimizes cracking