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10 MUST READ posts from April

Wed, 05/01/2013 - 2:44pm
Kasey Panetta, Managing 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.

1. The creepiest robot yet
By Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor
There is an interesting inverse phenomenon involved in creating humanoid robots: The more lifelike they are, the creepier they become. Humanoid robots are still just a little bit off. They appear human, but they’re not quite right. DARPA’s PETMAN, a humanoid robot designed by Boston Dynamics. This particular robot—which will now haunt my dreams—is being used to test protective gear.

2. Iran invents “time machine,” beats Doc Brown to the punch
By Jason Lo mberg, Technical Editor
An Iranian researcher registered "The Aryayek Time Traveling Machine” with the invention office. He claims the device can predict five to eight years of the future for any individual, as well as military conflicts, currency fluctuations and oil prices. Though it took him ten years to create this device, which can fit in your briefcase, we’re not entirely sold on it.

3. This is the most ridiculous phone ever
By Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor
The words “mega” and “phone” should never be combined when it comes to cellphones, but that didn’t stop Samsung from making the most ridiculous phone yet. The company has blown away the competition when it comes to screen size with their new 6.3 inch (diagonally) and 5.8 inch Galaxy Mega phones. For the sake of comparison, the Apple iPhone 5 is 4 inches. It features a 1.7GHz Dual Corp AP Processor, Android 4.2 OS, front and rear cameras, 8 or 16GB + 11.5 GB Ram.

4. Goodbye fluorescent bulb? Philips says yes.
By Toby Sterling, Associated Press
Royal Philips NV claims to have designed an LED bulb that is more efficient than the best fluorescents available. The bulb will hit the market in 2015—it’s headed to mass production now—and Philips claims it will change the landscape of lighting forever. Though the arrival of the LED –and subsequent surpassing of fluorescent—wasn’t expected to happen on a large-scale for a while, this product could speed up the process a bit.  

5. NYC's terrible subway map idea
By Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor
Trending in the top 10 for the second month in a row, this story describes the decision New York City made to add ninety 47-inch touchscreen subway maps throughout various subway stations. The touchscreens will allow passengers to select a start and end point, and the map will supply a direct route. Plus, the screens will show delays, outages, schedules, and ads, and they’ll feature cameras and two-way communications.

 6. The Earth is  eating people
By David Mantey, Executive Editor PDD Magazine
With the recent rash of sinkholes reported in the news, PDD Executive Editor David Mantey is a little bit concerned about being sucked into a hole in the ground while he sleeps. His fears are not unfounded. A Florida man was recently killed when a sinkhole—30 foot in diameter at the surface—opened up underneath his bedroom.

7. Rocket powered by nuclear fusion could send humans to Mars
By Eurakalert
Researchers from the University of Washington are hard at work on a fusion-powered rocket  that will eliminate many of the barriers that exist in space travel. The rocket will eliminate many of the health, time, and cost concerns associated with deep space travel to Mars, which would take more than four years roundtrip with current technology. This new technology could lead to trips with travel times as short as 30 days.

8. The Facebook phone that no one wants
By Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor
Well, well, well. It looks like Facebook has finally decided to join the big boys and create their own phone. It’s the phone that absolutely no one was waiting for. To quote a parody video, “Stop. Don’t do that. Nobody wants it.” The Facebook Home is supposed to create a phone that’s about people, not apps, playing to the social site’s strengths. It will be available April 12 on the HTC One, HTC One X, Samsung Galaxy S III and S IV and Samsung Galaxy Note II.

9. Why the government should ban cellphones while driving
By Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor
When a California court ruling said a driver was found guilty of distracted driving after checking his iPhone for a map, there was a lot of debate about a Nanny state versus a legitimate law.  Personally, I feel much safer knowing the guy next to me isn’t staring at his lap or looking at a map, at least in theory. A law that could be doing a little bit of good, saving just one life, is worth a little bit of inconvenience. Plus, the amount of technology on the road is going to increase and hopefully we will find a way to make them as safe as possible, but it's a dangerous area.

 

10. Computers are sorcery! Kill them with fire!
By Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor
It’s hard to believe there was ever a time when computer use wasn’t as ubiquitous as it is today, but in the 1990s, the computer was still a bit of a mystery to some people. The result of this confusion is some classic—now comedic—video footage in which a legitimate reporter calmly explains that a computer won’t blow up if you use it and that it operates like a television.

 

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