Find of the Day: 17 July 2016

But the challenge of building a comfortable, live-able environment doesn’t just start when the astronauts reach Mars. The journey is estimated to take six to eight months in a transit habitat, followed by an 18 to 20 month stay on the ground—until the planets align for the same return trip.

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The ability to capture and render scenes in 3D has been around for a while now, but for the most part this technology has been limited to non-moving objects. The reason for this limitation is obvious: as soon as you incorporate motion into the picture, there are way more parameters the algorithm rendering the object needs to account for.

Although computers have gotten pretty good at 3D rendering moving objects in the last few years, this motion is usually only occurs within a strict and predetermined range, and may still involve hours of post-processing. In this sense, the ability to capture moving objects and render them in 3D in real time is something of a holy grail, and with Fusion4D, Microsoft’s new experimental motion capture technology, the computing giant may have struck gold.

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About 50 per cent of us will at some point in our lives experience “waking up” and being conscious while still in a dream – possibly, we may even be able to act with intention in it. Such “lucid dreams” are not only a vivid and memorable experience for the dreamer, they are also of huge interest to neuroscientists and psychologists. That is because they represent a strange, hybrid state of waking consciousness and sleep which could tell us completely new things about our inner lives and the subconscious.

Many of the traumas we experience in our waking life are processed in our dreams. This has led some researchers to ask a bold question: could lucid dreaming one day offer a way to treat psychological disorders – enabling us to tackle fears and change behaviour in the relatively safe surroundings of our own dreams? So far, such psychotherapeutic application is relatively untested – but it has been used to treat recurrent nightmares, which are often associated with trauma.

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Watch manufacturers are notoriously secretive when it comes to the design and production of their timepieces, which makes it all the more surprising when you’re invited to take a tour of the TAG Heuer factory. The watchmaking process has remained relatively unchanged over the years, but the Swiss company is keen to move with the times, which has resulted in it releasing the TAG Heuer Connected, an Android-based smartwatch. However, the company hopes that this move will ultimately attract younger tech fans towards the more conventional timepieces in its range.

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