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Can’t Go to Mars? NASA’s Holographic Glasses Could Be the Next Best Thing

One small step for Man… One awesome pair of holographic glasses for Mankind.

image via youtube screenshot

During this past Tuesday’s State of The Union address, President Obama oh-so-briefly touched upon an initiative that, if successful, could have a profound impact, not only for Americans, but for humanity as a whole. It’s not a tax plan, or a jobs proposal. The president talked about putting a human being on the surface of Mars.

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Learning From our All-Tablet, All-Information Microsoft Future

Imagining the next five years of consumer electronics.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6cNdhOKwi0&eurl=http://gizmodo.com/5853894/what-microsoft-thinks-the-future-will-look-like&feature=player_embedded

Microsoft released this concept video yesterday to tout the kind of digital future the company would like to create—preferably making billions of dollars in the process. Kurt Delbene, the head of Microsoft's Office division, writes on the company's blogthat the technology in this video already exists, or represents "active research and development happening at Microsoft and other companies."

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How to Cut Buildings' Energy Use Without Expensive Renovations

Significant reductions in energy use might not require physical retrofitting.


Building engineers are like doctors who treat structures instead of humans: they monitor a buildings' vital functions, diagnose problems, and figure out how to remedy them. They’re responsible for heating, cooling, electricity, and water systems, and everything else most people take for granted in their daily lives. In the past decade or so, buildings have been wired to report their symptoms to engineers, but they don’t always share the most relevant information about what’s ailing them.

In an energy efficiency pilot program, Microsoft set out to change that. The company concluded that streamlining communication between its buildings and engineers, it could significantly reduce energy use. In a report [PDF] co-authored with Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and the management company Accenture, found that Microsoft can save as much as $1 million in a year and pay back its investment within 18 months. Similar programs have found that, on average, companies can cut energy use by 10 percent and in some cases by as much as a third.

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Thai College Students Design App to Help Rescue Disaster Survivors

A new student-designed mobile app could make finding disaster survivors much easier.


In the aftermath of every disaster—from Haiti's devastating earthquake to Japan's earthquake and tsunami—one of the challenges rescue workers always face is pinpointing the exact location of survivors. In 2010, four college students from Thailand's Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok—Kriangkrai Pipatvilaikul, 20; Wannapon Suraworachet, 21; Tanon Sirawan, 20; and Jirapat Yaovatsakul, 20—witnessed first-hand the impact of devastating floods on their homeland. So, they came up with a tech-based solution to connect disaster victims with help.

Their effort, Terra Project, uses mobile phones to let survivors "broadcast their location through social networks such as Facebook with one click in the event of a disaster." This week the four students, who call themselves Team NewKrean, headed to New York City for Microsoft's Imagine Cup, a technology competition for socially conscious high school and college students. (we've covered several of the other young finalists here, here, here and here). They shared with us what first got them interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and what's next for their project.

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From School Science Fairs to Designing a Smartphone App That Diagnoses Malaria

These grad students designed Lifelens, an app that lets you snap picture of a blood sample to determine if it's infected with malaria.

What if you could take a picture of a blood sample with your smartphone and have an app tell you if someone has malaria. That's exactly what Lifelens, a breakthrough technology project designed by five young recent college grads and graduate students is able to do. Given the mortality rates of malaria across the developing world, the technology has the potential to save millions of lives.

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