A Handy Way to Solve Crime

The thrill of a crime story is the unfolding of “whodunnit,” often against a backdrop of very little evidence. Positively identifying a suspect, even with a photo of her face, is challenging enough. But what if the only evidence available is a grainy image of a suspect’s hand?
Thanks to a group at the University of Dundee in the UK, that’s enough information to positively ID the perp.
The Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID) can assess vein patterns, scars, nail beds, sk

from Discover Main Feed http://ift.tt/2r8X3zg

Half-Life 2 VR Mod Releases New Trailer, Now On Steam Greenlight

Whether experiencing Half-Life 2 in full virtual reality sounds terrifying or terrific to you, you may soon get your chance find out. A group of modders has remastered the game in VR and the developers are asking fans to click ‘yes’ on their Steam Greenlight campaign to get it into the digital store.

In the new trailer above you can see the mod in action. In an article on Road To VR, the developers promise full motion controller support, a 3D GUI made for VR, realistic weapon interactions, and updated effects, textures, models, and maps.

The mod was first developed and released in 2013, with a motion-controller capabilities via the Razer Hydra, but it soon became unplayable as VR technology advanced. Now that same team says the VR remaster been resurrected for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

"While Valve had added support for the Rift development kits to their Source engine, as the software that the headsets relied on advanced over time, Valve didn’t update the Source implementation, leading to the present situation which is that the mod can’t be played on anything but old development kit headsets," reads the article.

"After several years of the mod in dormancy, members of the original mod, with some new help, have devised a method to make the mod work with the latest Rift and Vive."

The mod, called Half Life 2: VR, will be distributed for free, but you will have to have to own desktop versions of Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode 1, and Half-Life 2: Episode 2 on Steam in order to play.

from GameSpot’s PC Reviews http://ift.tt/2ppdQSi

Belgian scientists turn polluted air into hydrogen fuel

To save the environment, humanity needs to do two things: reduce harmful gases and produce more energy from “green” energy sources. While plenty of research projects have tried to tackle these independently, few do both at the same time. Scientists from the University of Antwerp and KU Leuven (University of Leuven) in Belgium are developing a device that cleans up the air and generates power at the same time. It relies on a process called ‘heterogeneous photocatalysis,’ which uses light and a special catalyst (typically a semiconductor) to trigger a chemical reaction.

Heterogeneous photocatalysis has been used before to siphon hydrogen from water and nullify gas-based pollutants. Rarely are the two used in combination, however. The research team has solved this with a “photoelectrochemical cell,” which uses a solar cell to produce hydrogen in a similar manner to electrolysis water-splitting. It has two “rooms,” according to Professor Sammy Vergbuggen, separated by a membrane to isolate the two processes. Air is purified on one side with a photoanode, while the hydrogen is generated from “a part of the degradation process” with a cathode tucked behind the solid electrolyte membrane.

It’s the team’s choice of catalyst that makes the machine so effective, Verbuggen says. “In the past, these cells were mostly used to extract hydrogen from water. We have now discovered that this is also possible, and even more efficient, with polluted air,” he added. The hydrogen can be easily stored and used later as fuel. It sounds like a wonder machine, although the team is quick to stress that it’s only a “proof-of-concept” with “ample room for improvement” in its research paper. The current device, for instance, is only a few square centimeters — hardly enough to counterbalance carbon emissions or power the lights in our cities.

This article by Nick Summers was originally published on Engadget, your source for this connected world.

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from Autoblog http://ift.tt/2qaizXd