Every gram counts in commercial flight. Material scientists from Kobe University have discovered “nanospheres” that are near-invisible silicone crystals. The particles can reflect light thanks to very large and efficient scattering, research published in the ACS Applied Nano Matter journal details. The result could mean covering a surface in vibrant color while only adding 10 percent of the weight of painting an aircraft for the same effect.

Minoru and Hiroshi’s discovery focuses on structural rather than pigment color to exhibit and maintain hues. The former absorbs wavelengths while reflecting those the human eye picks up. Structural colors, on the other hand, are intense and bright as light interacts with micro- and nanostructures. While the headline commercial benefits are for planes, the paint could have many more uses simply for its brightness.

— Mat Smith

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The open-world tour.



Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth takes the characters and world reintroduced with Remake and does a better job at scaling it all up. Instead of playing in a single metropolis, Midgar, this time, it’s a world tour. There’s also an expanded roster of playable characters, almost doubling Remake’s total, each with a unique play style, once again. But does Aerith survive?

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It also supports satellite calling and texting.

The Xiaomi 14 Ultra is the latest Leica-branded smartphone, featuring a second-gen one-inch camera sensor. Xiaomi is finally catching up with the competition by picking up Sony’s newest mobile camera sensor, the LYT-900. The Xiaomi 14 Ultra has a slight edge on rival phones with the same sensor, with its faster main variable aperture at up to f/1.63, beating the Oppo Find X7 Ultra’s f/1.8 — on paper, at least.

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Pick the parts you want and install them yourself.

Framework is selling its cheapest modular laptop. It has dropped the price of its B-stock Factory Seconds systems (which are built with excess parts and new components). As such, it’s now offering a Framework Laptop 13 barebones configuration for under $500 for the very first time. The 13-inch machine comes with an 11th-gen Intel Core i7 processor with Iris Xe graphics. So the CPU should be sufficient for most basic tasks and some moderate gaming. However, you’ll need to add RAM, storage, a power supply, an operating system and (probably) even a Wi-Fi card.

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