Tesla's Elon Musk goes 'Iron Man' with in-thin-air, gestural design process

As if a sexy electric car; a sideways-flying, reusable rocket ship; an 800 mph subway; and a Martian metropolis weren't enough, mad scientist Elon Musk now wants to build an "Iron Man" suit.

Well, not exactly.

But the film was apparently the inspiration for Musk's latest foray into science nonfiction. The Tesla Motors and SpaceX CEO tweeted on Friday that he and his people have "figured out how to design rocket parts just w hand movements through the air" and that next week he'll be posting a video that demonstrates the process. … Read more

Holho makes your tablet a video hologram projector

You might be familiar with those optical-illusion toys that let you place a small object into a gadget with two parabolic mirrors and project what looks like a 3D version of that object. Now, there's a higher-tech version on Kickstarter that's designed to work with smartphones and tablets.

The Holho has some advantages over the toy. For starters, it can play video holograms. One version is a small pyramid-shaped gadget that sits on top or under the screen of a smartphone or tablet. Play a special video and it appears inside as a moving hologram.… Read more

3D holograms show if baby's smiling in the womb

Remember back in the olden days, when you had to wait till your baby came out of the womb to start determining whose nose and chin it had?

Pioneer, maker of speakers, receivers, and headphones, is moving into the in-utero-baby-picture realm with 3D holograms that give a remarkably detailed look at an infant's early visage.

The company does that using a full-color hologram printer. The device, which fits into a briefcase, can record a full color card-size hologram in 120 minutes, and a single-color hologram in 90 minutes. … Read more

Holograms of Holocaust survivors let crucial stories live on

Pinchas Gutter has told his story many times. Of the horrors of childhood in the Warsaw Ghetto. Of being ripped away from his parents and 10-year-old twin sister the day the family arrived at the Majdanek concentration camp in Poland, never to see them again. Of barely surviving a brutal Nazi prisoner "death march" away from front lines and allied forces. Of his liberation in 1945.

The story never loses its power, its agony, or its moments of hope. Only this time it's not the 80-year-old Gutter who's telling his tale, but a Princess Leia-like full-body hologram of him. Gutter's digital representation is a product of New Dimensions in Testimony, a high-tech initiative to record survivors' first-person accounts for interactive 3D exhibits that live on long after the storytellers have passed. … Read more

The 404 1,130: Where Wii play with power (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Ho-hum. The iPhone 5 isn't going to wow anyone

- Don't kid your selves, Apple's dock connector change is awful

- Planning for winter: the worst accessory for your new iPhone

- "Tupac hologram" maker Digital Domain files for bankruptcy

- Emoticon creator says emojis are "ugly"

Bathroom break video: 770 pounds of eggs spill onto the road in China, gets lootedRead more

The 404 1,062: Where we actually like hotspacho (podcast)

Jeff's still gleeful after the results of this weekend's NHL Eastern Conference Finals, but there are other things going on in the world of The 404 too.

On today's show, Jeff gives a 50/50 review of "The Avengers," Justin gets an East Coast geography lesson, airports around New York announce holographic avatars designed to "help" lost passengers, Facebook reveals plans to develop yet another Facebook-exclusive phone, and Sony files a patent that could pause games to show players advertisements.… Read more

Freddie Mercury returns to the stage (sort of)

He's been gone since 1991, but legendary Queen frontman Freddie Mercury is preparing for a long overdue encore performance tonight in London.

Well, sort of.

Queen guitarist Brian May told the BBC that an image of Mercury will appear onstage during a special 10th-anniversary performance of the musical "We Will Rock You" at London's Dominion Theatre. May said the image will not be a hologram, referring to it instead as an "optical illusion," but hinted at similarities to the hyped Tupac hologram seen at the Coachella festival last month. … Read more

Low Latency No. 19: Projecting the future

Concertgoers who attended last week's Coachella music festival apparently had their minds blown by a "hologram" performance by the late rapper Tupac Shakur. The centuries-old illusion made it seem that Snoop Dogg and Tupac were sharing the same stage.

That got us thinking about what the future of concerts will look like. We've already seen some jokes about the next "all hologram Coachella lineup," but will the concert experience 50 years from now allow us to watch the show from the comfort of our homes? We can only hope to still be rocking out when we're that age -- minus the skull head-tattoo. … Read more

The 404 1,035: Where this episode is spoiler-free (podcast)

"Does anyone else want to tackle the "adorkable" Zooey Deschanel after watching those Siri commercials?" You may not be as annoyed with Apple as Jeff, but we can all agree that the latest batch of iPhone 4S commercials have lowered the bar.… Read more

The 404 1,034: Where Jeff takes an ice nap (podcast)

Jeff took a spill on the ice during a hockey game yesterday, but he manages to limp his way into the studio to help us out with today's rundown. We wouldn't be The 404 if we didn't cover the 2Pac holographic concert at Coachella last weekend, and even though it's technically just a clever optical illusion, we're excited about the upcoming 2.0Pac tour and the potential of resurrecting our own favorite performers from history.

Meanwhile, Ikea furniture designers in Sweden have come up with a new way to vertically integrate their furniture with another … Read more