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Robotic gas pumps mean more pleasant winters

January 24, 2014 3:54 pm | by Allegra Sparta, Editorial Intern | Comments

For myself, and other residents of New Jersey, this isn’t really a big deal. I briefly flirted with the power of filling up my own tank (I actually thought it was kind of fun!) during my college years in upstate New York. However, New Yorkers are quick to remind us folks across the border of the luxury that is a full-service gas station. Well, here’s some good news for them and residents of the other 48 states that allow self-service....

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Watch Steve Jobs introduce the very first Mac

January 24, 2014 2:08 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

I would like to personally wish a happy 30th birthday to the greatest computer of all time: the Mac. It was 30 years ago today (January 24th) that Steve Jobs revealed the first model. Though the design has changed a bit and the unit has slimmed down about 300 pounds, it’s important to remember the day the world changed.

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This smartwatch predicts your death

January 24, 2014 1:15 pm | by Allegra Sparta, Editorial Intern | Comments

That doesn’t sound morbid at all. At least it saves me the trouble of driving all the way to a psychic, right? The weird thing is that a lot of people can say these things without an ounce of sarcasm. The Tikker death-countdown watch hits the market this April, and thousands of people have already pre-ordered. People spending money on unnecessary tech items doesn’t surprise me anymore, but I think Tikker crosses a line.

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The same headsets that give you mental powers can help you achieve inner peace

January 24, 2014 8:33 am | by Stephanie Carmichael, Contributor | Comments

Sitting on your butt is actually good for you. Technology is proving that there are more benefits to sitting still than you might believe — lucky for us couch potatoes and computer addicts. Electroencephalography, or EEG for short, is all about testing the power of your gray matter.

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NASA: 2013 sustains global warming trend (since 1880)

January 22, 2014 4:53 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

Because I love the smell of controversy in the morning... NASA has once again stoked the climate change debate, calling 2013 the seventh warmest year on record since 1880. According to a report from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), 2013 tied 2009 and 2006 for that dubious honor....

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Top flops from CES 2014

January 22, 2014 10:00 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

What’s the only thing dorkier than a Segway? That’s right — Google Glass. They look like the drunken lovechild of the Borg and Jean Claude Van Damme from Universal Soldier. So naturally, they littered the CES show floor like weeds, belying the user’s fashion sense, professionalism, and any semblance of self-respect.

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Embedded Tech Trends update: Five reasons to choose MicroTCA over VPX for mil-aero apps

January 22, 2014 8:59 am | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Comments

When you think of bus architectures that accommodate switched fabrics for military applications, VPX usually comes to mind. However, VPX isn’t necessarily the only choice for mil-aero. During one of today’s presentations at Embedded Tech Trends, Justin Moll, director of marketing for Las Vegas-based VadaTech which specializes in industrial and rugged computing products...

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Open The Pod Bay Doors, HASL

January 21, 2014 1:01 pm | by Screaming Circuits | Comments

Does anyone use HASL (Hot Air Surface Leveling) anymore? It's also known as HAL. Prior to the RoHS days, HASL was probably the most common surface finish. You can get it lead free, but most boards seem to use immersion...

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iPotty rots your child’s brain while he potty trains

January 21, 2014 10:13 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

Or how to get your child to forever associate Apple with poop... No one likes using a toilet — especially not tykes. So why not add a little incentive? A reason to keep little Jane or Johnny firmly rooted on their keester. But a miniature version of something you’d find in a man cave? Not so much.

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Embedded Tech Trends update: Three things to know about SMARC

January 21, 2014 8:59 am | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Comments

I am attending the Embedded Tech Trends (ETT) conference this week in Phoenix, Arizona. It’s a chance for component, board and system level vendors to present the media with the latest technology, discuss industry trends, and to spend some one-on-one time with each member of the media.

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3D-printed chocolate as a midnight snack

January 17, 2014 4:08 pm | by Allegra Sparta, Editorial Intern | Comments

I’ve always wanted to turn my desk into Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, and now I’m one step closer. A recent partnership between 3D systems and Hershey will make it easier to satisfy your strongest candy cravings. You don’t even need to leave the house. Hershey’s new chocolate 3D printer is a pretty sweet project (pun very much intended).

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3D printing: 2013’s biggest market disruptor

January 17, 2014 9:59 am | by Chris Fox, PD&D Managing Editor | Comments

Perhaps you’ve heard: 3D printing is this astounding, brand-new technology that is taking the world by storm. Soon every household will have a 3D printer, and nobody will have to buy any physical thing at a store! Forgive my zealotry. In case you couldn’t sense the sarcasm bleeding from the screen as you read that, I don’t think anything terribly unexpected or astronomical happened....

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3D printer can make a house in one day

January 16, 2014 4:09 pm | by Allegra Sparta, Editorial Intern | Comments

It sounds like an April Fool’s Day prank, but 3D printers have come a long way since the first models starting churning out little tchotchkes.  Nowadays we’re seeing 3D-printed (and functional) hearts, hands, and now houses. Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis at the University of Southern California wants to “scale up 3D-printing to building-scale” with the project “Contour Crafting.” We’re not talking about dollhouses, here.

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Domestic drones will put privacy to the test

January 16, 2014 9:59 am | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Comments

The latest indication that drones may be coming to a neighborhood near you in a few years’ time came via a December 30 announcement by the FAA that six groups have been named to host and test drones in nine states. Each entity will conduct tests for

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Half-baked products & junk clones

January 15, 2014 2:24 pm | by Chris Fox, Managing Editor | Comments

Much like CES 2013, there were a few high points, a few low points, and lots of people. Too many people. Aside from the mass scale, International CES 2014 had an inherent problem. Reporting from the show floor for an engineering publication, I’m inclined to look for the truly innovative, mold-breaking, and disruptive technologies.

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