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Oh, the humanity! Army to deploy military blimps

July 25, 2013 11:02 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

The military is going decidedly low-tech with its latest experiment – blimps. The Army’s anti-missile blimp system, JLENS, will make its way to the East Coast next year. The high-tech/low-tech radar system can detect cruise missiles, light planes, drones, boats and vehicles on the ground....

This is what firing an AK-47 underwater looks like

July 24, 2013 3:47 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

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 air.

Sensors allow rescue teams to "speak" dog

July 24, 2013 2:58 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Have you ever had a burning desire to understand what your dog is saying? Personally, I feel it would be mostly, “Food? Walk? Toy? Food? But, seriously, food?” but that’s just me.For your average housedog, it’s not really imperative the owner understand everything the dog is trying to communicate. However, if the dog’s job is a little more intense, it could make a huge difference.

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The must-have security device

July 23, 2013 3:54 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

I am, by nature, a very anxious person. Alright, I am a worrier—particularly when it comes to leaving the house. Did I leave the garage door open? The stove on? The hair straighter plugged in? Did I lock all the doors? Windows? And that’s just when I leave for work.

The hotel that connects to your private jet

July 23, 2013 12:35 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

What do you get the obscenely-wealthy executive who has everything? If it’s an especially lazy exec who absolutely must sleep where he lands (his private jet), then the jetway hotel might be perfect. A private client (with the requisite bankroll and penchant for flamboyant acts of indulgent laziness) commissioned Margot Krasojevic to design this “short stay hotel hangar”....

Window ads on trains: Music to riders’ ears or simply off the rails?

July 18, 2013 11:22 am | by Chris Warner | Blogs | Comments

Streaming service Sky Go, along with the agency BBDO, are behind the talking window ads. Using bone conduction technology, transmitters mounted to the window of a train window emit high frequencies whose vibrations are suited to penetrate the cranial bones of a passenger who rests his head against the window to deliver the advertising message – a far cry from

We must support efforts to defund the NSA’s spying programs

July 17, 2013 2:05 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Congressional Republican Justin Amash has a not-so-novel idea for quashing the NSA’s surveillance programs — defund them. Rep. Amash has introduced an amendment to the Defense Appropriations Bill that would strangle federal spying programs by tying the purse strings. We must support Rep. Amash’s efforts.

“Smart Diapers” perform high-tech urinalysis

July 15, 2013 6:15 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Parents will try anything to ensure their baby’s health – even if that means scanning their infant’s backside with their smartphone. At least that’s the idea behind Pixie Scientific’s “Smart Diaper” concept, which transmits health data via QR codes.

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The government has been helping itself to our personal data all along

July 11, 2013 5:03 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Articles | Comments

In the last few months I’ve been writing about various efforts of the government – both on the local and federal level – to leverage our consumer technologies to learn about our driving habits, cellular records, and, in the event of cyber attack, access to email records. Taken in totality, one could be highly suspicious that virtually anything and everything about our lives is accessible....

Karma’s a you-know-what: Feds disinvited to hacker conference

July 11, 2013 4:49 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

The marriage of convenience (some might say a temporary truce) between Feds and hackers – organized at the annual DEF CON conference – simply couldn’t survive in our current geopolitical environment. And the hackers want a divorce – the Feds will not be at DEF CON this year.

Self-healing circuits: A living immune system for ICs

July 10, 2013 4:08 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Articles | Comments

One of the challenges of working with integrated circuits is as designers try to make ICs faster, the transistors become smaller and can’t handle as much voltage and the amount of variation grows. Plus, a single fault in the IC could mean a useless chip, bringing projects and products to sudden jarring halt.

Princess or engineer: What will your daughter be?

July 10, 2013 11:41 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Though we might not agree on the reasons why there is such a discrepancy between the percentage of women in the population and the percent who become engineers, we can all agree it’s not a good thing. At the end of the day whether it’s an issue of nature, nurture or a combination of the two, that can’t be the end of the discussion. The conversation needs to evolve to a place focused on addressing the issue.

Does voice-activated technology betray our sense of safety while driving?

July 9, 2013 2:39 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Blogs | Comments

There’s no end in sight to the tug of war between proponents of the connected car and those who want to curtail use of electronic devices for fear of distracted driving. The latest salvo from the safety side came in from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, which in June released a study....

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No girls allowed: "Nerd” stereotype means fewer female engineers

July 8, 2013 9:29 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

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.

Big Brother is watching you ... and your car

July 2, 2013 12:13 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Do red-light traffic cameras reduce accidents? Save lives? Are they a boon to resource-strapped law enforcement agencies? A boondoggle? An invasion of privacy? With government surveillance – and the citizenry’s awareness thereof – at a fever pitch, this issue will only become more relevant ... and divisive.

The technology (and driver) inside a winning Indy 500 car

June 27, 2013 4:28 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

When it comes to the racing world, electronics suppliers and distributors are often behind the scenes—or under the hood, as it were—rock stars. Sure, they’re the reason the engine runs or making sure the driver and crew are safe, but they’re very rarely front and center in the racing world. Unless, of course, you’re talking about Mouser’s sponsorship of Indy car driver Tony Kanaan ... then it’s all about being in front (literally.)

This smoke-detecting phone dock could save your life

June 26, 2013 4:17 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

House fires are a serious, deadly problem. Death from fires and burns are the third leading cause of fatal home injury, according to the CDC. Every 169 minutes, someone dies in a fire and every 30 minutes, someone is injured. 

Would you help fund a space telescope?

June 21, 2013 1:08 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

For most people, thinking about space isn’t a daily activity. Sure, there are random bursts of excitement like the Mars Rover landing or Canadian superstar astronaut Chris Hadfield and of course there are people—both amateur and professional—who make space their life, but in general, it’s not something we think about too much.  

"Cybernetic immortality": How to live forever as a robot

June 20, 2013 3:47 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Could humanity achieve immortality this century? A Russian multimillionaire thinks so and is pouring a fortune into his ambitious plan “to eliminate aging and even death and to overcome the fundamental limits of the physical and mental capabilities currently set by the restrictions of the physical body.”

How I learned to stop worrying and love “killer robots”

June 20, 2013 1:19 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Unmanned weapons systems (aka, "killer robots") have the power to reduce collateral damage and save lives, and we should support and encourage their development, not preemptively ban them and set disproportionately high ethical standards as a function of their deployment.

This "watch" could change the world of at-home medicine

June 19, 2013 3:21 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

I have one family member in nursing school and one in medical school, which means I sometimes find myself on the cold end of a stethoscope while they check my radial pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate and whatever else they need to practice. (I draw the line at anything involving needles.)

COB-based solid-state lamps present cooling tradeoffs

June 11, 2013 2:33 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Articles | Comments

Solid-state lighting has taken its place in the mainstream of illumination, finding uses in a diverse range of industrial and consumer applications. Solid state lamps have shed the initial skepticisms about quality, and although the upfront costs are high, these costs are coming down.

Should preemptive legislation be considered before a new technology takes off?

June 11, 2013 10:57 am | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Articles | Comments

In just two years’ time, the skies around us may get a lot more crowded. Drones have received a lot of attention lately, thanks to military operations overseas and matters of congressional oversight. In September 2015, the federal government plans to issue its first drone permits for domestic use.

Is this the connected home’s wave of the future?

June 10, 2013 12:44 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Blogs | Comments

Here’s some news that will make couch potatoes everywhere rejoice: Computer scientists at the University of Washington have come up with a sensorless and cameraless way to detect human movements, allowing for gesture control of their electronics and household appliances.

Top 10 must-read posts from May

June 4, 2013 12:04 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

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....

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