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10 must-read posts from July

Mon, 08/05/2013 - 11:41am
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.     1. This is what firing an AK-47 underwater looks like
By Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor
It's pretty incredible what some people can do with a Phantom Miro 320S high-speed camera and a fairly, extensive understanding of guns. This video is a follow-up to another video Smarter Every Day did where he fired a pistol underwater. In this video, he fires a modified AK-47 underwater to study how a blowback system works underwater versus in the air and study how a gas-operated rifle works when it's filled with water.

 

2.      2. Patch makes you “invisible” to mosquitoes
By Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor
The Kite Mosquito Patch is a 1.5 inch by 1.5 inch sticker that researchers hope will take the place of bug sprays and lotions and reduce (or eliminate) bites for up to 48 hours. The Kite works on a combination of compounds that disrupts the bug’s carbon dioxide neurons, and also depresses their ability to detect skin odors--that's the bug's second method of detection.

 

3. Microsoft reboots with sweeping reorganization
By Barbara Ortutay and Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writers
Microsoft is restructuring the company to deal with the issue of the company falling behind rivals Google and Apple. The aim is to deliver a much more cohesive company, versus the traditional set up, which often left certain departments feeling disjointed and separate. The focus will be on “cloud computing” and it might be CEO Steve Ballmer’s last shot at getting the company together.

 

4.  No girls allowed: "Nerd” stereotype means fewer female engineers
By Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor
The Big Bang Theory — a television show that features four male scientists and engineers and an attractive blond waitress — is one of the top shows on TV. But a recent study has raised an interesting question: Does this show’s — and others like it's — depiction of what scientists and engineers look like actively discourage women from pursuing STEM degrees? According to the study, it might.

 

5.  Princess or engineer: What will your daughter be?
By Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor
Debbie, a Stanford engineer, designed an engineering toy specifically targeted at girls. The toy, called GoldieBlox, is designed to teach basic engineering principles and is accompanied by a story about a girl named Goldie. Because young girls –recommended age is five to nine—are more inclined to be interested in reading than building, the combination of the two learning platforms were combined to make the ultimate toy.

 

6.  Engineering Update #15: A laser gatling gun
This episode of ECN’s Engineering Update features stories about grapheme keeping electronics cooler, the Solar Impulse plane successfully completing a cross-country solar-powered flight, and a proof-of-concept Laser Gatling gun featuring six blue 1.4-watt Class 4 lasers.

 

 7. 7.       New kind of optical storage could last a million years
By M. Simon, Technical Contributor
With a new type of optical storage, it might be possible to store 360 terabytes for one million years on a DVD-sized optical memory. The technique uses glass as a medium and recorded information in 5D, but could eliminate both issues of longevity of data storage and also the amount of data that can be stored.

8.       Big Brother is watching you…and your car
By Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor
Red light cameras have been a source of fierce debate (Are the legal? Should they be used?) all over the country. The cameras often cause an increase in rear-end collisions caused by people slamming on their brakes to avoid running the light. Research over whether the lights are, in general, increasing safety and lawfulness are often compared to statistics saying they increases the types and severity of crashes.

9. 
New knowledge about early galaxies

By EurekAlert!
Using the ESO Very Large Telescope and the Hubble Space Telescope, researchers have been gathering data on the properties (size, mass, elements) of an early galaxy. They’ve also used the information to compare our galaxies with the predecessors. For example, earlier galaxies had a lot of gas and few stars while our galaxies have lots of stars and less gas.

10.   Top Ten Myths of LEDs: #6 – “LEDs can't run hot”
By Mike Krames, CTO, Soraa
The sixth blog in our LED myths series talks about the myth of LEDs “running hot.” According to Krames, “The truth is there is no fundamental barrier to high-temperature operation for LEDs. While there are practical considerations (LED efficiency does reduce with increased temperature), the limitations on LED operating temperature have to do with the details of the LED chip and package construction. Conventional LEDs based on foreign substrates like sapphire, silicon carbide, or silicon do have limited reliable operating regimes (typically only up to 85°C) because of their high crystal defect densities.”

 

 

 

 

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