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Blink your eyes or wag your tongue to operate this PC

March 7, 2014 8:39 am | by Allegra Sparta, Contributor | Comments

It's small, subtle, and appears to be a lot less distracting than other wearable tech seen today. It can be controlled by the blink of an eye or a twitch of the nose. The “Earclip-type Wearable PC,” hopefully a tentative name, is being developed and tested by Japanese engineers....

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Why is ZigBee green?

March 6, 2014 11:44 am | by Cees Links, CEO and Founder of GreenPeak, ZigBee Alliance Member | Comments

One of the biggest challenges that consumers and service providers will have in the future is maintaining a wide range of sensor and control devices located throughout the smart home. For ease of use and installation, it makes much more sense to have these powered by either batteries or by energy harvesting technologies.

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What would you do without your smartphone?

March 5, 2014 4:56 pm | by Daniele DeAngelis Walker, Editorial Intern | Comments

Imagine a world without smartphones. Everybody you see is talking into thin air. Holograms of people are popping up everywhere. You bump into everything, not because you’re too busy texting but because you’re too busy looking at your glasses instead of through them. That world might soon become a reality.

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Europe rethinks renewable energy standards

March 5, 2014 12:14 pm | by Karl Stephan, Consulting Engineer, Texas State University, San Marcos | Comments

For the past decade or more, as Al Gore and the majority of climate-change scientists have insisted that the world is speeding headlong toward an environmental catastrophe of epic proportions, European countries have adhered to stringent emission controls....

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Big-picture thinking from the DHS: A national license-plate tracking system

March 5, 2014 10:04 am | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Comments

Whenever you pass a license plate scanner, your whereabouts and personal information are likely being collected by the law enforcement agency of the state or municipality you’re in. Now, Washington is tipping its hand that it wants that information, too.

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New jet-powered UAV is the future of asymmetrical warfare

March 5, 2014 8:09 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

While politicians and privacy advocates squabble over regulations for domestic drones, General Atomics has been hard at work developing the next unmanned terror of the skies for America’s foreign adversaries. Meet the Predator C Avenger, the future of asymmetrical warfare.

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Watch kids react to rotary phones

March 4, 2014 10:52 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

Watching kids befuddled by legacy technology is like shooting fish in a barrel — easy, but oddly enjoyable. And the “Kids React” series on YouTube runs with that premise, and one of their latest subjects — rotary phones — will make even 30-something college grads feel old.

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This is what happens when you put a go-pro on a pelican’s beak

March 4, 2014 7:53 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

There have been some insane advances in the technology behind video cameras in the past few years. Video cameras have caught onto the miniaturization trend, but as the size shrinks, the capabilities grow. This means lighter cameras that are able to shoot and store videos with high-quality images.

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Airport lights are watching you

March 3, 2014 8:00 am | by Allegra Sparta, Contributor | Comments

Because I needed another reason to be skeptical of flying.... The newly installed LED lights in Terminal B of Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey don’t just provide clean, bright light for people waiting to catch their flights. They’re part of another installment in the “things that watch us without our knowledge” saga....

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7 things I’ll need for my house in 2025

March 3, 2014 7:47 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

I can’t wait to live in GE’s home of the future. (Last week, I talked about the car I must have, so it seems fitting that my next topic be about my dream house. As with the car, this is assuming an unlimited budget and available technology.) Last week, I headed to Allentown, PA to the Da Vinci Science Center in order to see an exhibit called Home 2025.

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Electric drive vehicles don’t reduce emissions

February 28, 2014 9:26 am | by Chris Fox, PD&D Managing Editor | Comments

A study was recently released by North Carolina State University that provides evidence supporting the fact that electric drive vehicles (EDVs) have little impact on reducing emissions. As an engineering audience that knows efficiency when they see it, most PD&D readers will throw their hands in the air having known this for some time.

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0.4mm Pitch BGA is Awesome

February 27, 2014 11:39 am | by Screaming Circuits | Comments

I recently had a conversation with a friend about 0.4mm pitch BGAs. The specific part is the Freescale KL03 ARM Coretex-M0+ microcontroller in a 1.6mm x 2mm, 04.mm pitch package. That's a 20 ball wafer scale BGA form factor. I...

Hotel smartphone "keys" are a horrible idea

February 27, 2014 8:53 am | by Stephanie Carmichael, Contributor | Comments

One forward-thinking hotel chain wants to replace those easy-to-lose, plastic room keys with a smartphone app. It’s a horrible idea. OK, let’s back up. That chain is Starwood Hotels & Resorts, which is one of the savvier hotel options out there. Starwood is smart about making the most of new and popular technology.

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Tiny camera sees for the blind

February 26, 2014 2:19 pm | by Melissa Fassbender, PD&D Associate Editor | Comments

We have the hardware and software capabilities to develop devices that are approaching the same level as human vision. The devices can recognize objects, scenarios, and context. According to Erez Na'aman, OrCam Technologies vice president of engineering and business development, OrCam took this technology in hand....

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Five messengers beyond WhatsApp

February 26, 2014 8:34 am | by Daniele DeAngelis Walker, Editorial Intern | Comments

Facebook’s recent acquisition of WhatsApp has the technology world abuzz about messaging apps. This begs some questions: What are some other messaging apps? What makes them special? And, with standard texting and calling already built into most cell phones, what exactly can fancy messaging apps do for you? 

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