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Neighborhood Development Package Revisited

December 29, 2009 12:03 pm | by M. Simon | Comments

Since I wrote Neighborhood Development Package on November 11, 2006, I have been thinking about the pieces needed to make the system work 24/7. The full article is below but let me give you a short review. My idea was to electrify a neighborhood in order to educate, communicate, and pump water.

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Go Forth!

December 29, 2009 12:01 pm | by M. Simon | Comments

Levis (the jeans people) have been suggesting that people Go Forth. http://goforth.levi.com/fortune I'd like to make a similar suggestion. Not about jeans, but about software. Go Forth.

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Bug or Windshield?

December 29, 2009 11:58 am | by Alan Amling, Global Logistics and Distribution Marketing, UPS Supply Chain Solutions, www.ups.com | Comments

As I write this blog in early December the Dow is reaching 14 month highs, indicating a belief that the worst is behind us.  While many believe there will be more bumps in the road and the unemployment picture hasn’t improved much, the tide is changing.

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“Wingsuits” developed for airborne troops

December 29, 2009 11:51 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

Here’s another example of life imitating art—SPELCO (Special Parachute Equipment and Logistics Consortium) is working on a personal glider that looks straight outta Science Fiction. With its glide ratio of 5:1 and self-propulsion system, the “Gryphon” could become an invaluable tool in the future warfighter’s arsenal.

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Motion Control Device Adds Pizzazz to Web Surfing

December 29, 2009 11:42 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

Back at CES ’09, I had the chance to preview Hillcrest Labs’ MEMs Accelerometer-based motion-control technology. They’ve since marketed it as a consumer device, the Loop Pointer. Essentially an air mouse on steroids, the Loop Pointer is one of the coolest gadgets I’ve seen in a while.

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40 years later, ''The Final Frontier'' ain't what it used to be

December 29, 2009 11:01 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

40 years ago, Neil Armstrong emerged from the Lunar Module Eagle, and stepped into history. He became the first human being to step foot on the moon, forever changing the scientific and engineering communities. And yet, 40 years later, the space program is a shell of its former self. Public enthusiasm is at an all-time low. How did we get to this point?

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The Tin Foil Hat Brigade Strikes Again

December 29, 2009 8:30 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

In what’s sure to encourage conspiracy nuts worldwide, Britain has released the government's complete file on the "Rendlesham Forest Incident" of December 1980. The 191-page document was released as part of a larger cache of British “UFO files” covering the years 1981-1996.

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Global Warming or Global Cooling?

December 29, 2009 8:21 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

Gentlemen, start your debating—according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the July average was the highest recorded ocean temperature in 128 years. July’s worldwide average of 62.6 will revive the global warming debates, inasmuch as some will cite this as evidence of climate change.

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Light Bulbs and the Madness of Energy Efficiency Regulations

December 29, 2009 8:06 am | Comments

Europeans (like Americans) choose to buy ordinary light bulbs around 9 times out of 10 (European Commission and light industry data 2007-8). Banning what people want gives the supposed savings that are "good for them"—no point in banning what people don’t want!

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Autonomous military eobots: A short survey

December 29, 2009 6:48 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

True robot “consciousness” may be eons away, or impossible, but that hasn’t stopped its development. The end stage includes robots acting as “full ethical agents,” i.e. “those that can make explicit moral judgments”. Some feel this is unnecessary. The benefits are clear: robots wouldn’t experience the “fog of war,” or fall prey to emotions.

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FCC grills Verizon on increased Early Termination Fees

December 29, 2009 5:23 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is investigating why Verizon Wireless doubled their Early Termination Fees for “Advanced Devices.” The $350 ETF for “Advanced Devices” went into effect 11/15, and applies to PDAs and Smartphones (such as RIM Blackberries).

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Army develops robotic helicopter sniper

December 29, 2009 5:13 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

Collateral damage has become synonymous with modern urban warfare. In fact, the concept of “total war,” where there is “less (or no) differentiation between combatants and non-combatants (civilians),” has existed since The Peloponnesian War. As far back as 431 BC, civilian casualties were considered an acceptable (and often desirable) outcome of total warfare.

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Company unveils world’s first commercial spaceship

December 29, 2009 5:04 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

These are the voyages of the VSS Enterprise. To ferry civilians into space. To collect $200,000 a head. To boldly go where few space tourists have gone before! On Monday, December 7th (an “infamous” date, to be sure), Virgin Galactic unveiled SpaceShipTwo, the world’s first commercial spaceline.

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Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System goes 4 for 4 in testing

December 29, 2009 4:45 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

The Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS), a laser-guidance platform from BAE Systems, scored four hits in four shots during the final phase of testing. APKWS adds precision laser guidance capabilities to 2.75 inch rockets—specifically, those found in attack helicopters.

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They're Here! Winter, Holidays, and the New Year. How Will You Save Energy?

December 22, 2009 7:53 am | by Energy Savers Blog | Comments

Winter officially hit this week, and those of you on the east coast found out in a big way. Many of you are still shoveling out while trying to take care of those last-minute holiday preparations. (I'm actually kind of jealous. I love shoveling snow. I just

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