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Top 10 must-see posts of 2013

Mon, 12/30/2013 - 11:44am
Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor

Here’s the top 10 most popular, compelling, controversial, and highly-trafficked stories from 2013. These were the posts that led the most discussions, excited the most readers (for better or worse), and caught your collective eyeballs. So check out some old favorites, or catch up on a post you may have missed — and find out what all the fuss was about!

Has global cooling begun? Arctic ice caps grow by 60% in a year
by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor

According to a report in the Daily Mail, the Arctic ice caps grew by nearly a million square miles from 2012 to 2013, an increase of 60% year over year. Scientists had previously predicted that Arctic summers would be “ice-free by 2013,” so this new revelation prompted a very lively discussion amongst the ECN readership. Climate change — or “global warming”, depending on your preference — is an extremely “hot” topic, and this blog excited readers (and earned residual page views) long past its post date.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth coexistence
by Sue White, Documentation and Certification Manager and Ron Seide, President, Summit Data Communications

Because Bluetooth and Wi-Fi transmit in different ways using different protocols, interference can occur when Wi-Fi operates in the 2.4GHz band. This article discusses effective methods for achieving successful coexistence (through temporal, spatial, and frequency isolation) of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi devices.

Is the F-35 a “great national scandal”?
by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has been a lightning rod for controversy with its numerous cost overruns, delays, personnel “redundancies”, and strategic raison d’etre. (i.e., Should we base our entire air defense strategy on one jet?) This led Senator John McCain (R-AZ) to call the JSF “one of the great national scandals,” and our readers eagerly shared their assent (and dissent).

Iranian "stealth fighter" looks like a clown car
by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor

Back in February, Iran unveiled the 'Qaher 313', allegedly their first stealth fighter. And immediately, the blogosphere set to work debunking one of the laziest forgeries of all time. The “stealth fighter” had no engine, a rudimentary wiring system, no room for avionics or radar, and with the pilot crammed inside the tiny cockpit, it looked like a clown car.

Why the computer mouse will soon be obsolete
by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor

Leap Motion caused quite a stir with their “near-mode finger/hand 3D motion detection device”, propelling motion sense to the forefront of the consumer technology discussion. In this piece, Kasey fosters a healthy discussion on the merits of Leap Motion, motion sense, and the possible obsolescence of traditional computer mice.

The 1950s guide to using a rotary dial phone
by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor

As we grow accustomed to the newest versions of smart phones, computers, and tablets, it’s sometimes difficult to remember their humble beginnings. Luckily, it’s also sometimes hilarious. The following video explains how to use a rotary phone to make a call. While it’s somewhat funny to watch now, it’s also a little funny to think about the fact that in a short time, kids will watch this video and might not understand why it’s so funny. It will just be another old-people technology.

NYC's terrible subway map idea
by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor

Sometimes, ideas that seem well-intentioned (in theory) actually fall somewhere in the realm of “worst idea ever” when it comes to real-life implementation. This includes ideas like holograms in the airport or QR codes for remote real estate signs (or using QR codes for anything at all, ever). It usually boils down to using new technology in a way that is clearly flawed.

Iran’s newest “drone” held together with duct tape
by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor

Iran’s at it again. After unveiling a “stealth fighter” that looked like a clown car, they touted a new suicide remotely piloted vehicle called the Ra’ad 85 — and a recently released video reveals it might be less impressive than originally announced. In the video, the “mobile bomb-like drone” was revealed to be held together with what looks like packing or duct tape.

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.

Watch a sniper rifle obliterate an iPhone 5S
by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor

Some people have waaaaaaaay too much money to burn. The gentleman in this video likes to film himself destroying popular consumer devices with high-powered rifles. His latest victim: a Gold iPhone 5S, which he annihilates with a Barrett M82A1 .50 sniper rifle.

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