A Truly Smarter Computer

Stylish toking, coffee with Louis C.K., neuromorphic computer chips and more in our weekly look at the web

As it stands, 2014 may become the year for one of computing technology’s greatest feats: Computer chips that learn from their mistakes. The new brain-like commercial chips offer the greatest advancement in areas of robotics, navigation, speech and facial recognition—all programming challenges that rely mainly on extensive human programming. While traditionally built with confined functions and clearly defined parameters, the new “neuromorphic processors” will call …

Antarctic Anemone

Stylish toking, coffee with Louis C.K., neuromorphic computer chips and more in our weekly look at the web

A new species of sea anemones has been discovered, establishing it as the only marine animal able to live while embedded in Antarctic ice sheets. Edwardsiella andrillae—as they’ve been named—burrow inside the Ross Ice Shelf, letting only their tentacles dangle freely in the water. It’s still unclear how they nestle in, reproduce and most importantly, how they do not freeze. That aside, the white anemones …

Crank-Driven Lego Writing

Stylish toking, coffee with Louis C.K., neuromorphic computer chips and more in our weekly look at the web

Composed entirely from Legos, Andrew Carol’s overwhelmingly elaborate automaton can write and draw by turning a single crank. While the construction of the device was much like cracking a puzzle, Carol—an Apple employee by day—explains that it isn’t overly complicated, but rather a way of taking the mechanical innovation of the 18th and 19th centuries and applying it to Legos. This isn’t Carol’s first machine, …