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This Is the Most Innovative Nation on Earth

Switzerland is No. 1, again, while the US falls one spot

(Newser) - Monday has already proven a banner day for innovation, with the Nobel Prize in medicine bestowed on Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman for their work that helped develop the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. Now, certain nations around the world can crow about their placement on the World Intellectual Property Organization's...

National Inventors Hall of Fame to Induct Its First Black Women

Google exec Marian Croak, ophthalmologist Patricia Bath among 2022 inductees

(Newser) - The nearly 50-year-old National Inventors Hall of Fame will induct its first two Black female members next spring. Engineer Marian Croak and the late ophthalmologist Patricia Bath are two of seven honorees announced this month, who will join the Class of 2022, along with 22 others announced last year, reports...

Floral-Scented Asphalt Is Now a Thing

Road builders have Poland's Budimex to thank

(Newser) - Construction workers know the stench of hot asphalt all too well, and it doesn’t smell like roses. Or does it? Polish construction firm Budimex says it's teamed up with refiner Lotos to create a floral-scented asphalt more pleasing to road builders. Added to the typical bitumen recipe are...

Quest for Faster COVID Test Spurs $5M Contest

XPrize is offering big bucks to innovators who can come up with rapid-result virus testing

(Newser) - Last week, the Trump administration's point man on COVID-19 testing acknowledged that turnaround times for test results have been too slow , noting that "we are never going to be happy with testing until we get turnaround times within 24 hours." Now, a nonprofit hopes to help expedite...

The 10 Most Innovative Nations — Plus China

India also climbs the list quickly

(Newser) - The state of innovation is strong around the world, a new report says, despite trade battles and an economic slowdown. There's been a bit of reshuffling this year in the new Global Innovation Index ; Switzerland tops the list for the ninth time, Sweden rose to second place, and the...

Engineer's Award-Winning Idea: Clothes Grow With Kids

UK student Ryan Yasin comes up with Petit Pli

(Newser) - It's an age-old problem for parents: Shell out money for clothes that their young children quickly outgrow. Now, however, 24-year-old London designer Ryan Yasin has put his degree in aeronautical engineering to use to create origami-like pleated clothing designed to grow along with the kids, reports Quartz . The result...

Scientist: I've Fixed Age-Old Problem of Wine Bottles

A small groove eliminates drips after a pour

(Newser) - It may be a first-world problem—that little drip of wine that slides annoyingly down the neck of a bottle after it's been poured—but to one scientist, it was simply a physics challenge waiting to be overcome. Biophysicist Daniel Perlman at Brandeis University, an inventor with more than...

McDonald's Is Putting Chocolate on Its French Fries Now

Ketchup just got served

(Newser) - Let it never be said that innovation is dead. NBC Chicago reports McDonald's will soon be selling its classic French fries drizzled with two kinds of chocolate sauces. The McChoco Potato was announced Tuesday and will be debuting in Japan next week. "Customers will find McChoco Potatoes enjoyable...

Silicon Valley: Lofty Talk, Plodding Walk

Tech capitalists talk a good game, but they're not changing the world

(Newser) - PayPal co-founder Max Levchin once told a tech conference that the key to American innovation was to "aim almost ridiculously high." Levchin went on to develop a photo-sharing service based on "SuperPoke! Pets," and a company that lets you buy things on Facebook. "Neither, it'...

World's Oldest Recording Goes Digital

The century-old soundbite was made on an early Edison prototype

(Newser) - It's not exactly a masterpiece, but a 78-second soundbite that's now been captured by computers (and YouTube) is perhaps the oldest known playable recording of a piece of music, and one of the first American voices to ever be replayed, dating all the way back to 1878, reports...

20 Years of Tech: We've Come a Long Way, Baby
20 Years of Tech: We've Come a Long Way, Baby
Walt Mossberg

20 Years of Tech: We've Come a Long Way, Baby

Walt Mossberg looks back on two decades of reviews

(Newser) - Remember when revolutionary dial-up modems arrived on the computer scene or when America Online debuted? Walt Mossberg does, and the Wall Street Journal tech reviewer looks back on 20 years' of columns. Some of the milestones he picks out:
  • His first line in 1991: "Personal computers are just too

Your Cell Phone Will Project Holograms in 5 Years

... assuming IBM's scientists are correct

(Newser) - Mobile phones will be able to project 3D holograms in 2015, allowing people to video-chat with virtual images of their friends, say scientists at IBM. In their annual list of tech predictions, the scientists also say:
  • Today's lithium-ion batteries will be replaced with those that run on air and last

9 Great Products Launched in Downturns

Recessions don't kill innovation

(Newser) - Who says the worst recession since the 1930s means you can't debut a great product? The Huffington Post lists 9 hugely successful ones launched in tough economic times:
  • iPod: Apple unveiled it less than 2 months after the September 11 attacks, amid the resulting recession.
  • Microsoft Office: Bill Gates launched

NYC to Rival Silicon Valley as Tech Start-Up Capital?

Venture capitalist thinks it will be the new tech hub

(Newser) - In an interview in GigaOM , veteran NYC-based venture capitalist Fred Wilson is bullish on New York City as the next major center of technological innovation. He says that Internet companies based in the city are being flooded with venture capital at the same magnitude as Silicon Valley start-ups.

Free Markets Saved the Miners
 Free Markets Saved the Miners 

Free Markets Saved the Miners

Innovative, for-profit companies came through

(Newser) - The Chilean mine rescue was “a smashing victory for free-market capitalism,” writes Daniel Henninger of the Wall Street Journal . “It may seem churlish to make such a claim. It is churlish. These are churlish times, and the stakes are high.” The fact is, this miracle rescue...

How to Revive American Innovation
 How to Revive 


How to Revive American Innovation

Bipartisan agenda can defeat post-recession pessimism

(Newser) - Pessimism about America's future role in the world economy is spreading even as the economy stabilizes, but there are plenty of reasons to be cheerful, writes David Brooks in the New York Times . America's economy still has incredible potential, Brooks writes, and the government can revive innovation and stay competitive...

US Innovation Stagnates: Survey

Americans think China is winning—and China thinks we're on top

(Newser) - Most Americans are anxious about a future they believe will be fueled by innovation—innovation they are doubtful will come easily in this country without major changes to the education system. Nearly two-thirds of Americans say the recession has hobbled the country’s ability to innovate, and just 41% see...

Now Driving Innovation in India: the Poor

As developed economies slump, it markets directly to the lower class

(Newser) - Indian engineers once did little but cater to Western companies, while consumers at home made do with hand-me-down products from the developed world. That is changing in a big way as foreign economies crater and the 1.1 billion consumers of the subcontinent reveal a taste for, well, consuming. And...

Music Legend Les Paul Dead at 94
 Music Legend  
 Les Paul Dead at 94 

Music Legend Les Paul Dead at 94

Inventor, guitarist 'changed the course of 20th-century popular music'

(Newser) - Musical innovator and guitar legend Les Paul died today in White Plains, NY. He was 94. A “virtuoso guitarist” himself, in the early 1940s Paul pioneered the “log” guitar, “probably the first solid-body electric guitar," writes Jon Pareles of the New York Times. His popular Gibson...

Top American Inventions
 Top American Inventions 

Top American Inventions

(Newser) - President Obama has called on Americans to innovate their way to a speedy economic recovery. In that spirit, Live Science rounds up the top 10 US innovations:
  1. Flight. The Wright Brothers’ 12-second flight in 1903 ushered the world into the age of aviation.
  2. Atomic bomb. The Manhattan project left a

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