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Take a virtual tour of the world's largest solar thermal plant

August 28, 2013 4:06 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating system is the world’s largest solar thermal plant. The project, started in October 2010, is located on 3,500 acres in California’s Mojave Desert—50 miles northwest of Needles California and five miles from the California-Nevada border—on federal land managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

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LinkedIn wants to be teens’ social networking partypooper

August 27, 2013 11:14 am | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Comments

Starting September 12, LinkedIn’s minimum age will be 14 in the U.S., presumably to coincide with the social networking site’s new University Pages. So far, the online opinions I’ve seen offer a mixed reaction. One positive line of thinking is that allowing teens to use LinkedIn will somehow indoctrinate them to the seriousness of using social networking tools and separate the important from the frivolousand getting them to

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How will unmanned systems shape the future of warfare?

August 27, 2013 10:02 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

Here at ECN, we love hearing from our own readers about different trends and new technologies you guys are working with! We like it so much we're devoting an entire issue to what our readers think about the impact of different technologies on their jobs and projects. The second category is military/aerospace technology, specifically unmanned systems....

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The 1950s guide to using a rotary dial phone

August 26, 2013 2:00 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

As we grow accustomed to the newest versions of smart phones, computers, and tablets, it’s sometimes difficult to remember their humble beginnings. Luckily, it’s also sometimes hilarious. This is a video that explains how to use a rotary phone to make a call. While it’s somewhat funny to watch now, it’s also a little funny to think about the fact that in a short time—five to ten years...

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Do we need tougher cyberbullying legislation?

August 23, 2013 4:25 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

A Huffington Post article draws attention to a disturbing new form of cyberbullying: “RIP trolling”, or the practice of trolling online memorials to mock their alleged insincerity. The article champions “digital proxies” who can help filter out distressing online content for the mourners. This also raises an important point: Do we need stricter cyberbullying legislation?

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Pads on ground plane

August 22, 2013 8:47 am | by Screaming Circuits | Comments

Generally, small pads for passive parts are connected with a single PCB trace of equal size to each pad. That's the right way to do it. However, sometimes, circumstances dictate a little different approach. The illustration on the upper right...

Geek Mythology Trivia answers 0x0D

August 21, 2013 6:44 pm | by Screaming Circuits | Comments

Number 0x0D: Who, in the late ‘70s correctly predicted that by the turn of the century, it would be possible to use our computers to find the answer to any question? Why, Jerry Pournell, of course. He wrote it in...

This is what a 550-ton hovercraft landing on a Russian beach looks like

August 21, 2013 3:53 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

Alright, so technically the beach is a military zone and, technically, it's not a beach that people should be swimming from or sunbathing on, but that is one scary-looking piece of military equipment. According to a Russian defense ministry spokesperson, it's actually a government-owned beach and the landing was part of some military practice maneuvers.

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Robotic barista automates your coffee addiction

August 21, 2013 9:56 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

Can’t live without your morning cup of joe, but hate dealing with snooty baristas at hipster coffee shops and the imprecise hands of flesh-and-blood humans? Modern technology has finally married our addiction to hot, caffeinated beverages with our similar – but no less potent – love of wacky vending machines – the robot barista.

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Engineering American energy independence

August 20, 2013 9:37 am | by Bill Kerney, Contributor | Comments

Fracking is dramatically increasing the recoverable reserves of America carbon-based energy supplies. but yesterday I just paid $4.15 to fill up my car at the USA gas station in Cardiff, Calif. There is a huge disconnect between supply and the price at the pump. Bottom-up solutions need to scale to make an impact.

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Hire the autistic

August 20, 2013 9:00 am | by M. Simon, Technical Contributor | Comments

Tech giant SAP plans to hire a lot of autistic people. Why? People with autism have an alternate view of the universe. Me? I'm a little like that. My social skills, though, have risen some over the years. I'd estimate that I have risen from the bottom 5% to the bottom 25%. And I'm difficult to manage. Maybe SAP has a job for me? Nah. I'm happy just where I am.

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How has 3D printing changed the world of design engineering?

August 19, 2013 4:53 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

Here at ECN, we love hearing from our own readers about different trends and new technoligies you guys are working with! We like it so much we're devoting an entire issue to what our readers think about the impact of different technologies on their jobs and projects. The first catagory is consumer technology, specifically 3D printing, which we've covered a lot on the site this year.

Glow-in-the-dark rabbits in the interest of science (seriously!)

August 15, 2013 11:59 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

Scientists from universities in Turkey and Hawaii managed to breed rabbits — two out of a litter of eight — that glow in the dark. They assure us it’s all in the interest of science (as if glow-in-the-dark rabbits wasn’t a noble feat in and of itself). And the team hasn’t been experimenting with radioactive spiders (darn!).

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Most failure-prone part in a car

August 14, 2013 10:55 am | by Isidor Buchmann, CEO & founder of Cadex Electronics Inc. | Cadex | Comments

No other part in a vehicle is as failure-prone as the starter battery. According to ADAC (Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club), battery problems have quadrupled between 1996 and 2010. ADAC, Europe’s largest automotive club, says further that each third breakdown involves either a discharged or defective battery.

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North Korean “indigenous” smartphone manufactured at unicorn factory by Keebler Elves

August 13, 2013 2:21 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

North Korea’s “supreme leader”, Kim Jong-un, recently toured a Pyongyang factory, where workers are busy “manufacturing” the DPRK’s first “indigenous” smartphone, the “Arirang.” And if you had the woe-begotten idea that this Android device is a cheap Chinese knock-off with the DPRK label slapped on it, think again — the official North Korean news agency assures us that the Arirang includes a camera function with “high pixels.”

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