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Watch the world burn with this laser beam eyewear

April 3, 2014 10:46 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Okay, so you can’t actually purchase these glasses, but they just look really cool. Patrick Priebe, who created the glasses, makes it very clear that they are not for sale and you won’t get blue prints. Priebe, who has a history of creating weapons from movies (i.e. Ironman’s Laser Gauntlet), is a German laser weapons hobbyist....

How Russia ended up with Ukraine’s dolphin army

April 2, 2014 7:22 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

There have been many interesting political and social ramifications to the Soviet Union’s — I mean, Russia’s — attempted annexation of Crimea, but let’s talk about what everyone is really concerned with: Who will get custody of the Ukraine’s dolphin army? (For the record, this is not an April Fool’s joke.)

TSA deploys drones to watch you from space

April 1, 2014 8:47 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Citing the ongoing domestic terrorist threat (aka, the “most dire threat to national security since Grandma Betty at the airport”), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has deployed a fleet of drones with the ability to destroy dangerous contraband like baby formula and remotely monitor “shady individuals” like 10-year-olds and grandparents....

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Stop the madness! Facebook’s purchase of Oculus won’t trigger Armageddon

March 31, 2014 8:56 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

The alternate title for this piece could’ve been “The Internet entitlement mentality” (part II), because that’s what Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus has triggered in millions of disgruntled techies and industry analysts. On Tuesday, March 25, Facebook acquired Oculus VR for approximately $2 billion....

Obama’s proposal to end NSA bulk phone data collection still presents a disconnect

March 28, 2014 1:14 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Blogs | Comments

If the President has his way, the NSA’s ability to reach out and touch your phone data will be curtailed a bit, or so it seems. It’s been nearly a year since the public was made aware of the government’s widespread collection of communications data, and President Obama is looking to strike a balance between

Help NASA pick the next space suit

March 27, 2014 8:44 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Last time America was allowed to vote on something online, we ended up with a cat as the new piece to Monopoly. (Thanks, America.) Absolutely no one was surprised because when you count on the internet to select things, you’re playing with fire....

This giant crab robot is straight out of your nightmares

March 25, 2014 10:04 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Picture the most horrifying crustaceans on planet Earth (or Science Fiction), toss in some H.G. Lovecraft, and you’ve got the Crabster CR200 autonomous underwater vehicle — the creepiest robot since that female droid from Metropolis (but without the sex appeal and with a healthy dose of *%^& your pants)....

Watch a snowman explode at 4500 frames per second

March 25, 2014 8:35 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Though the first day official day of spring has come and gone, those of us still looking at snow piles while waiting for another storm to hit this week aren’t celebrating just yet. In fact, about 99 percent of the conversations I have seem to be about people being “over” winter and “tired of snow”....

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Who will win the wireless power dogfight?

March 21, 2014 10:37 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

It’s like Betamax and VHS. The United States and the Soviet Union. Tom and Jerry. The furious tussle between direct induction and resonant magnetic induction played out at the 2014 Applied Power and Electronics Conference (APEC). This is a desperate fight that’ll determine the future of wireless power....

This app could prevent 1,600 deaths every day

March 19, 2014 3:58 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

The move towards mobile medicine is pretty incredible in a few different ways. For one, it offers an aging population —in the U.S. it’s the baby boomers—an option for treatment that doesn’t involve more doctor’s offices or hospitals than necessary. On the other hand, mobile medicine provides a great way....

Finding the next Steve Jobs

March 17, 2014 11:52 am | by Chris Fox, PDD Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

3D printing isn’t new, especially to the engineering community, but it can’t be denied that additive manufacturing has been under the marketing spotlight in the last 18 months. That’s why Luis Lopez and Clay Tweel found themselves working on an indie-documentary featuring some of the biggest “little” companies in 3D printing.

This technology could lower traffic fatalities by 40 percent

March 14, 2014 4:59 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

London, like any busy city, is full of people and cars and everyone is trying to use the same roads. In order to make the systems run more efficiently, London is investing in intelligent pedestrian crossing to the tune of several billion pounds. The system, which is actually called the Pedestrian Split Cycle Offset Optimisation Technique—catchy name—or “SCOOT”...

This steering wheel accessory lets you surf the web (and kill pedestrians) while driving

March 12, 2014 12:44 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

We all like to text our friends, write memos, watch movies, and change diapers while behind the wheel, but how do we do so ergonomically? The AutoExec Wheelmate Work Tray allows you to be productive, keep your eyes off the road, and do so efficiently.

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Real-time processing drives head-up display advances in cars

March 12, 2014 10:27 am | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Articles | Comments

Today’s automobile driver receives an overwhelming amount of information pertaining to the safe operation of their car like no time before. Whether it’s a GPS system mapping out precise directions from point a to point b with countless detours along the way, rendering the old paper map to history...

This personal drone shocks intruders with 80,000 volts

March 12, 2014 8:56 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Who needs a gun when you have CUPID? And by Cupid, I don’t mean that fat cherub that comes out around February 14th to shoot people with arrows — though the shooting part isn’t that far off. This CUPID, which stands for Chaotic Unmanned Personal Intercept Drone, is actually a personal security safety UAV.

Let’s shelve legislation for smart phone tracking in stores – for now

March 10, 2014 5:00 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Blogs | Comments

There’s nothing new about being tracked online. Most Internet users have come to realize that’s the price they pay for free content and services online. But many people do not realize retailers like department stores and big box stores can track a customer’s movements via their cell phones.

How to please everybody - ECN's new Editor-in-Chief

March 7, 2014 10:54 am | by David Mantey, Editor-in-Chief | Articles | Comments

You can’t ... thank you for reading. Before I begin shooting down the theory of every shiny, happy person in tireless pursuit of a society built upon shiny, happy people, let me formally introduce myself. I’m David Mantey, ECN’s new editor-in-chief, and, to exhaust the word in the second sentence, I couldn’t be happier to be here.

Big-picture thinking from the DHS: A national license-plate tracking system

March 5, 2014 10:04 am | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Blogs | Comments

Whenever you pass a license plate scanner, your whereabouts and personal information are likely being collected by the law enforcement agency of the state or municipality you’re in. Now, Washington is tipping its hand that it wants that information, too.

New jet-powered UAV is the future of asymmetrical warfare

March 5, 2014 8:09 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

While politicians and privacy advocates squabble over regulations for domestic drones, General Atomics has been hard at work developing the next unmanned terror of the skies for America’s foreign adversaries. Meet the Predator C Avenger, the future of asymmetrical warfare.

Watch kids react to rotary phones

March 4, 2014 10:52 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Watching kids befuddled by legacy technology is like shooting fish in a barrel — easy, but oddly enjoyable. And the “Kids React” series on YouTube runs with that premise, and one of their latest subjects — rotary phones — will make even 30-something college grads feel old.

This is what happens when you put a go-pro on a pelican’s beak

March 4, 2014 7:53 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

There have been some insane advances in the technology behind video cameras in the past few years. Video cameras have caught onto the miniaturization trend, but as the size shrinks, the capabilities grow. This means lighter cameras that are able to shoot and store videos with high-quality images.

7 things I’ll need for my house in 2025

March 3, 2014 7:47 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

I can’t wait to live in GE’s home of the future. (Last week, I talked about the car I must have, so it seems fitting that my next topic be about my dream house. As with the car, this is assuming an unlimited budget and available technology.) Last week, I headed to Allentown, PA to the Da Vinci Science Center in order to see an exhibit called Home 2025.

We don't need "smart" gun control

February 26, 2014 7:01 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

The nation is about to mediate a very serious gun control debate, and it has nothing to do with “assault weapons.” Rather, the advent of “smart” guns could bring about the mandated obsolescence of “dumb” firearms. Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) has introduced legislation that would mandate all new guns be “personalized”....

Why the self-driving car will be the greatest technology of all time (seriously)

February 24, 2014 10:00 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

I am in desperate need of a self-driving car. We’re talking desperate. I would pay a considerable amount of money — in this circumstance not only does the self-driving car exist, it is widely available and I have hit the lottery — for a self-driving car.

Navy's laser weapon is thwarted by Mother Nature

February 21, 2014 8:13 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Sci-Fi geeks rejoice — the U.S. Navy’s shipboard laser weapon will deploy this summer. *Cue John Williams soundtrack* But the Laser Weapon System (LaWS) — while dirt-cheap to operate — is hamstrung by Mother Nature: Inclement weather — plus a host of other conditions — could limit its effectiveness. Bummer....

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