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2,633.69 0.06%
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201,539,267
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Popular Mechanics


Jaguar's Hybridized, Electrically Supercharged, Turbocharged Inline-Six Engine Comes out of Nowhere

Jaguar Land Rover debuts an all-new, hybridized 3.0-liter inline-six engine. The engine benefits from both turbocharging and an electrically powered supercharger, as well as a 48-volt electrical system.For now, the 395-hp engine is being installed in a U.K. version of the Range Rover Sport, but it likely will spread to other vehicles and other markets soon. We knew Jaguar Land Rover was planning on adding an inline-six engine to its budding family of modern Ingenium engines, which until now has consisted entirely of four-cylinder gas and diesel options. But we didn't realize the 3.0-liter straight-six would be so high-tech: This...

How to Build a Wooden Swing Set

Swing sets are great projects for beginning DIY and mid-level DIYers. The place to start is with hardware kits that supply the fittings and fasteners, but not the lumber, or kits that supply finished lumber, fittings and fasteners. There are a few things you should know to build a safe set.Check the Screws and BoltsIf you opt for a hardware kit (without lumber), check with the manufacturer about the screws and bolts that it supplies with its fittings. Some manufacturers supply their kits with rust-resistant screws and bolts that are intended to be installed in cedar, not pressure-treated lumber, which...

New NASA Mission Will Create Maps of the Sky Like Never Before

NASA has announced a new mission with a vast scope: understanding the foundational elements of the universe and determining how common the basic elements for life are within the Milky Way galaxy. Deemed the Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx), the two-year mission will launch in 2023 with a budget of $242 million. Introducing SPHEREx: It's a new 2-yr space mission that will survey 100s of millions of galaxies near and far to help astronomers understand both how our universe evolved and how common the ingredients for life are in our galaxy’s...

NASA Says Goodnight to Opportunity, Its Most Enduring Mars Rover

It looks like lights out for Opportunity, one of NASA's most successful missions of all time.The craft, which arrived at the Red Planet in July 2004, has been out of communication since last summer. Many months' worth of attempts to contact the craft failed. Today, NASA is officially saying goodbye to the craft that, for years and years, couldn't be stopped. At 2 p.m. Eastern, the space agency will give a press conference on the rover and is expected to say that the last attempts to reach it have failed.Opportunity had been roving the surface of Mars for 15 years...

Your Next Car Could Have Airbags That Inflate on the Outside

Over the past three decades, we've gotten used to things blowing up in our faces. The advent of airbags has done wonders to protect cars' fragile flesh-and-blood cargo when vehicles go smash. Lots of people—especially those who've been protected from injury or death by an airbag deployment—must have wondered: What if we put the same technology on the outside of the car? Some of those people must work for German auto supplier ZF Friedrichshafen AG, which has spent 10 years working on the external airbag. The tech is finally ready for carmakers—that is, if ZF can convince them to buy...

Google Is Bringing Android's Best Feature to the iPhone

The height of the Android-iOS fanboy wars are years in the past. The two dueling operating systems have more or less converged into bland, uniform competence, and the age of the hip-and-exclusive iOS-only app are all but over. One tiny but crucial difference that still remains is haptic vibration on the virtual keyboard: Android has it and iOS does not. But a recent update to Google's Gboard keyboard is closing that gap too. According to 9to5Google, an update to the virtual keyboard will bring Android-style vibrations to the iOS keyboard; that is, a small buzz after every press. It's a...

Left to Their Own Devices, Pricing Algorithms Resort to Collusion

When you're browsing online, who sets the prices? An algorithm, most likely. A study from 2015 showed that a third of all items on Amazon had prices set by an algorithm, and chances are that percentage has only risen. A new study shows how easy it would be for price-setting algorithms to learn to collude with each other and keep prices at a disadvantage for customers.This sort of collusion would stem from a certain type of algorithm, the researchers say. Reinforcement algorithms learn through trial and error. In the simplest terms, a walking robot would take a step, fall, and...

How to Pick the Right Motor Oil for Your Car

Given all the motor oil options out there, choosing the right oil for your car might seem like an impossibly daunting task. While there is a mountain of info to learn about the various oil choices, the first step is honestly quite simple: Look in the manual. Your car's owner's manual will list the recommended oil weight, whether that's a standard like 10W-30 or something more unusual. Later on, we'll explain what that weight means and how you should adjust it based on the seasons. But for now, choose an oil with the recommended weight from a brand that displays...

Why V-4 Engines are Brilliant, And Why You Never See Them In Cars

You've probably seen a Craigslist ad where the seller inadvertently writes that their car has a V-4 engine instead of a inline-four. It's an understandable mistake in a world where V-6s and V-8s are very common. But, the V-4 isn't just a typographical error—it's a real engine. Just one you don't often see in cars.Motorcycle riders will no doubt be very familiar with V-4 engines, as a number of bike makers have offered them over the years. But very few automakers have offered V-4s—in the post-War era it's just Ford (which supplied engines to Saab) and Lancia. Porsche used a...

That Asteroid Ultima Thule Is Shaped Like a Pancake

On New Year's Day, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft flew past an asteroid in the far reaches of our solar system, and the slow trickle of photos coming back to Earth is revealing the secrets of Ultima Thule. At first, Ultima Thule appeared as a blurry, snowman-shaped smudge in the blackness of space. A few weeks ago, NASA released a higher-quality image showing craters and other terrain on the asteroid’s surface. This newest image carries a surprise: Ultima Thule appears to be much flatter than astronomers thought. Is every distant asteroid pancake-shaped? Did something weird happen to Ultima Thule? The new...

The Polaris Ranger 150 UTV Is Like a Truck for Kids

Have you ever tried to drive off in a car only to have it buck and bray in protest because you forgot to release the parking brake? Of course you have. What about eyeing the gas gauge creeping toward empty and feeling that knot of anxiety as you wonder whether you should stop for a fill-up or keep going? Sure. How about the blissful thrill of going for a drive with no particular destination? Related Story Why You Should Let Your Kid Ride an ATV Most of us have to wait until at least age 15 or 16 before we...

The Concorde's Iconic 'Droop Nose' Is Being Fully Restored

Although it's been nearly 16 years since the Concorde was retired, one iconic feature of the supersonic airliner is poised to return just in time for its 50th birthday. CNN reports that engineers are currently tinkering with the Concorde's famous slanted "droop" nose in an effort to revive at least part of the last remaining Alpha Foxtrot model, which is currently housed at Aerospace Bristol, a museum in the U.K. The museum wants the nose to become fully functional again by the Concorde's 50th anniversary, on April 19, 2019—while, at the same time, real plans to revive supersonic airliners of...