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Engineering Update #52: Secret Pentagon spacecraft stays in orbit for 469 days

April 3, 2014 11:00 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

In December of 2012, the Pentagon launched the X-37B unmanned spacecraft into orbit, where it remained for more than 469 days, breaking its own longevity record. Since the X-37 has always been shrouded in secrecy, savvy observers posited all sorts of potential applications....

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Watch the world burn with this laser beam eyewear

April 3, 2014 10:46 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Okay, so you can’t actually purchase these glasses, but they just look really cool. Patrick Priebe, who created the glasses, makes it very clear that they are not for sale and you won’t get blue prints. Priebe, who has a history of creating weapons from movies (i.e. Ironman’s Laser Gauntlet), is a German laser weapons hobbyist....

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Microsoft reveals Siri-like Windows Phone feature

April 3, 2014 10:09 am | by ANICK JESDANUN, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Microsoft unveiled a new virtual assistant for Windows Phone devices Wednesday as it seeks to gain traction in a highly competitive and lucrative market for smartphones. The assistant, Cortana, is named after an artificial-intelligence character in the company's "Halo" video games....

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Yahoo adds more security to thwart surveillance

April 3, 2014 9:53 am | by MICHAEL LIEDTKE, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Yahoo has added more layers of security in its effort to shield people's online lives from government spying and other snooping. The measures announced Wednesday include the completion of a system that encrypts all information being transmitted from one Yahoo data center to another....

European parliament adopts 'net neutrality' law

April 3, 2014 9:52 am | by TOBY STERLING, Associated Press | News | Comments

The European Parliament adopted a "net neutrality" bill on Thursday, barring Internet service providers from giving preference to some kinds of traffic on their networks - such as streaming video - when it profits them. The legislation responded to fears....

Photos of the Day: Computers teach each other Pac-Man

April 3, 2014 9:35 am | by ECN Staff | News | Comments

Researchers in Washington State University's School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science have developed a method for computers to teach other computers in a teach-student sort of relationship. The robots – called agents – were able to teach each other video games Pac-Man and Starcraft....

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NASA challenge invites students to design exploration systems

April 3, 2014 9:12 am | by NASA | News | Comments

College and university students have an opportunity to help design systems for future space habitats and exploration systems through NASA's Exploration Habitat (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge. Applications for the fifth annual challenge will be accepted through April 30....

35-nA RTC integrates solid state battery

April 3, 2014 1:45 am | Cymbet Corporation | Product Releases | Comments

Cymbet Corporation (Elk River, MN) announced the commercial release of the EnerChip RTC product family that combines an ultra-low power real time clock with a rechargeable solid state battery and power management IC in a single 5-mm x 5-mm plastic package....

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Can AOL ONE change the industry and take on the competition?

April 2, 2014 10:09 pm | by AllVoices | News | Comments

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong debuted the Web giant's new programmatic ad platform, AOL ONE, in a keynote speech at ad:tech San Francisco with some pretty hefty predictions. Global CEO of AOL Platforms Bob Lord presented the new product with a...

Data acquisition system can hold up to 5 modules and up to 320 switch points

April 2, 2014 4:05 pm | Rigol Usa | Product Releases | Comments

Rigol Technologies USA (Oakwood Village, OH) announces their newest product category with the M300 Data Acquisition System, integrating Rigol’s 6.5 digit DMM technology into a robust and versatile system mainframe with modules enabling applications....

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From Martian rocks, a planet's watery story emerges

April 2, 2014 2:21 pm | News | Comments

After 18 months on Mars, the rover Curiosity has taken more than 120,000 measurements of surface rocks and soil, painting a more detailed image of how much water was once on the Red Planet. An article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) describes the technique....

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A rainy day can ruin an online restaurant review

April 2, 2014 2:18 pm | by Georgia Institute of Technology | News | Comments

Weather helps determine whether a review will be positive or negative April 2, 2014 Atlanta, GA Online restaurant reviews written on rainy or snowy days, or very cold or hot days, are more negative than those written on nice days. The new study also shows...

Strain can alter materials' properties

April 2, 2014 2:18 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

In the ongoing search for new materials for fuel cells, batteries, photovoltaics, separation membranes, and electronic devices, one newer approach involves applying and managing stresses within known materials to give them dramatically different properties....

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DC/DC converter available in ultra-compact SIP-8 package

April 2, 2014 2:06 pm | XP Power | Product Releases | Comments

XP Power (Sunnyvale, CA) today announced the ITX series of 6 Watt DC/DC converters encapsulated in an industry standard SIP 8-pin package measuring just 0.86 x 0.44 x 0.36 inches (21.85 x 11.1 x 9.2 mm). Delivering a power density of up to 46 Watts per cubic inch...

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Low-noise amplifiers survive up to 2W of input power without performance degradation

April 2, 2014 1:55 pm | Richardson RFPD, Inc., Triquint Semiconductor | Product Releases | Comments

Richardson RFPD, Inc. (LaFox, IL) announces immediate availability and full design support capabilities for two new gallium nitride on silicon carbide (GaN on SiC) low-noise amplifiers (LNAs) from TriQuint. The TGA2611 and TGA2612 are broadband LNAs fabricated on TriQuint's production....

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