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CES 2014: The weird, strange, and unique

January 15, 2014 2:19 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor, photography by Melissa Spivak | Comments

Every trade show has these — the oddball products, tech demos, and general weirdness that accompanies any large gathering of people vying for your attention. Sometimes, the exhibits exude innovation and leave a positive lasting impression on all who beheld its splendor. And ... sometimes they become the butt of jokes for years to come. The following is the weirdest, strangest, and otherwise unique products I saw at CES 2014.

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Domestic drones and you: Leveraging privacy vs. security

January 13, 2014 2:36 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

While MQ-1 Predators and MQ-9 Reapers are mostly confined to overseas battlefields, a wide variety of unmanned systems will play an expanded role in law enforcement, commerce, and even mail delivery ... which leads to all sorts of privacy concerns. Get your thinking caps and opinions ready, because we’re looking to drill down to the core issues presented by the use of unmanned systems in Peoria, USA.

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WakaWaka isn’t just for Fozzie Bear anymore

January 8, 2014 4:19 pm | by Allegra Sparta, Editorial Intern | Comments

The phrase “WakaWaka” is being thrown around at this year’s CES and there isn’t a muppet in sight. WakaWaka is a business venture that aims to provide high-tech and low-cost solar technology to developing countries and areas affected by natural (or manmade, they won’t ask!) disaster. The company hopes to end the global problem of “energy-poverty” as well as provide a way for people to charge their electronics during power outages.

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Why I’m A-OK with Disney tracking me "NSA-style"

January 8, 2014 3:39 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

I recently spent a few days down in Disney World in Orlando—you might have noticed my two week writing hiatus—and like everyone else I was pretty curious about Disney's most recent billion dollar investment: Magic Bands. The wristbands, which utilize RFID and Bluetooth technology, were recently rolled out on a larger scale as part of the MyMagic+ program

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ODB++ plus, plus, plus

January 8, 2014 2:08 pm | by Screaming Circuits | Comments

I wote a bit about ODB++ back in October. Nothing has really changed much sice then. I'm just clarifying a few things. First, I want to put more emphasis on the use of ODB++. In addition to being benificial to...

Wearable tech with an eye for fashion

January 7, 2014 3:57 pm | by Allegra Sparta, Editorial Intern | Comments

Wearable technology can be a tough sell. It seems like most of the technology is forever fated to be hideously ugly and bulky. Most smartwatches look like a calculator strapped to your arm as if wearers just popped out of an old sci-fi flick. In order to deal with all the features necessary for the consumer market, the technology has grown large and awkward. 

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Phones to TVs: The future of tech is flexibility

January 7, 2014 3:10 pm | by Stephanie Carmichael, Contributor | Comments

I would never dream of bending my laptop, camera, television, or any of the other electronic devices cluttering up my apartment. But LG’s G Flex Android smartphone, which the company is displaying at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this month in Las Vegas, is a curved device meant to be flattened....

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This is what a backwards keyboard looks like

January 6, 2014 4:41 pm | by Allegra Sparta, Editorial Intern | Comments

The TrewGrip backwards keyboard looks like a toy, but it’s a lot more expensive than your average LeapFrog. The Mobile QWERTY keyboard from TrewGrip will set you back anywhere from $250 to $350 when they hit the market later this year. This keyboard seems one of those advancements that’s just “technology for the sake of new technology” instead of something that will actually be useful and popular. At least it looks kind of cool.

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Would you mortgage your home for a TV?

January 6, 2014 12:23 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

Because the forthcoming 105-inch curved Ultra-HD OLED TVs from Samsung and LG can’t possibly fit any reasonable definition of “affordable.” But then, CES — the “global stage for innovation” — is no stranger to expensive toys that no one can afford (check out last year’s 110-inch 4K monstrosity from Samsung). This year, the two South Korean entertainment conglomerates outdid themselves....

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Top 10 must-see posts of 2013

December 30, 2013 11:44 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

Here’s the top 10 most popular, compelling, controversial, and highly-trafficked stories from 2013. These were the posts that led the most discussions, excited the most readers (for better or worse), and caught your collective eyeballs. So check out some old favorites, or catch up on a post you may have missed — and find out what all the fuss was about!

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As kids plug in, parents should not tune out

December 27, 2013 4:40 pm | by Allegra Sparta, Editorial Intern | Comments

Nowadays Santa gets scorned when he leaves a cheap gift or, even worse, a book! Children have been getting gifts that are increasingly expensive and inappropriate, and experts in child-development are concerned. Tablets and smartphones were usually reserved for adults and older kids in the past, but some as young as three have been unwrapping electronics.

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Your smartphone will now self-destruct

December 23, 2013 4:53 pm | by Allegra Sparta, Editorial Intern | Comments

It may sound like a line out of a spy movie, but this is a real advancement in the quest for security in electronic devices. Thefts of smartphones have risen over the last few years, and politicians are scrambling to find a solution. A new measure might render the stolen devices useless.

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These vintage tech ads are insulting, awkward, and completely real

December 23, 2013 10:06 am | by Stephanie Carmichael, Contributor | Comments

Oh, old tech ads. You’re so embarrassing — so silly and mildly sexist. Yet, you’re proof that we still have a lot to learn when it comes to how we relate to technology. Take this goofy picture of a Biblical Adam holding an Apple computer over his privates. Our early attempts at making technology look “sexy” were laughable....

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Hacking through your computer’s noises

December 20, 2013 1:22 pm | by Allegra Sparta, Editorial Intern | Comments

Every development in the world of hacking prompts a collective sigh and a defeated “Aww, really?” as we proceed to create complex four-mile long passwords that we’ll never remember in order to protect ourselves. Well, there’s a new threat in town. Surprise! We’re all aware of the hums and whirrs our computers make, and they’re usually pretty annoying. But guess what — it’s music to a hacker’s ears.

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Corporate Cats

December 19, 2013 2:14 pm | by Screaming Circuits | Comments

Here at Screaming CIrcuits, we're all busy making sure to get everyone's assembly orders shipped off on time so here's a picture of one of our corporate kitty cats. We have a pair that live on campus here. They seem...

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