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Top 10 must-see posts for December

Fri, 12/21/2012 - 12:34pm
Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor

Here’s a rundown of the most read, most popular, most awesome articles on the web. Take a look at what you missed the first time around or check up on an old favorite to see the conversation in the comments. Keep checking out the Lead at www.ecnmag.com and follow us on Twitter @ecnonline for our most up-to-date articles.

Goodbye, fluorescent light bulbs! See your office in a new light
By Eurakalert!
A team at Wake Forest took on the old school fluorescent light bulbs, which can be hard on your eyes and—if the incessant buzzing doesn’t get you—pretty tough to deal with for eight hours a day. The bulbs, made using three layers of moldable white-emitting polymer combined with nanofibers, emit a light when the fibers are stimulated. They’re twice as efficient as CFL bulbs and equally efficient in terms of LEDs.

Why Android is beating Apple
By Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor
It wasn’t so long ago the Apple was the phone to have. Yes, there were the holdouts who took a dislike to the brand’s smartphone monopoly, but for the most part, if you wanted a phone that worked, you took a trip to Steve Jobs land. It seems, however, that the tide is now changing and according to Karl Volkman, Chief Technical Officer at the SRV Network, it was really only a matter of time.

Alan Alda asks scientists to explain: What's time?
By Frank Eltman Associated Press
Alan Alda, aka Benjimen “Hawkeye” Pierce in  M*A*S*H and a visiting professor at Stony Brook University, has one question for scientists: What is time?  It may seem simple, but Alda is taking on the barrier between scientists and nonscientists, encouraging the scientists to find ways to better explain scientific phenomenon.

Asteroid that killed the dinosaurs also wiped out the ‘Obamadon’
By Yale University
A newly identified lizard, called Obamadon gracilis, which lived among the dinosaurs was also killed by the asteroid that exterminated many living species 65.5 million years ago, according to scientists at Harvard and Yale.

UN looks for an Internet "fix"
M. Simon weighs in on the United Nation’s decision to take on the freedom of the internet with new proposals allowing the governing body greater power over the World Wide Web. Simon discusses the drawbacks of allowing that much power to be held in the hands of the UN.

Avoid cracked screens: An airbag for your smartphone
By Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor
My old Blackberry Bold was slow, bulky, people mocked me for having it, and viewing a website was as much fun as going to the DMV, but, man, could that thing take a hit like Floyd Mayweather. With a new iPhone 5 in tow, I’m happy to report, there’s now an airbag for your phone that could make cracked screens a thing of the past.

Saudi Arabia's new "tracking" system for women
By Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor
For the second month in a row, this article cracked the top 10. Reports out of Saudi Arabia are saying when any woman crosses the border, her guardian—usually a husband, father, or brother—will receive a text message notifying him that she has left the country.  While the kingdom isn’t known for its women’s rights, critics feel “tagging” women like a dog that wanders astray is way out of bounds and wrong on every level.

Retailers employ crony capitalism in push for online sales tax
By Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor
Online retailers have a leg up on the competition when it comes to sales tax. Because of the current laws regarding interstate commerce, stores that do business with more than one state are exempt for the required 1 percent state sales tax. Should we close the “loophole”?


Next big thing: Electric buses
By Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor
The Aggie Bus is a new kind of self-charging ,electric bus that might be a great solution to the pollution issues of public transportation. The bus uses a high-power, high-efficiency wireless power transfer system to wirelessly charge at bus stops and can transfer 5Kw of power over 10 inches at about 90 percent efficiency.

Should schools use RFID chips to track students?
By Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor
A school in Texas put RFID tags in the student ID cards that everyone has to wear, sparking a discussion on whether the tags were an invasion of privacy. It’s an interesting—though not entirely new—question. Should school-aged children have the same right to privacy that an adult might have?

 

 

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