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Top 10 posts for January

February 1, 2013 12:41 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Blogs | Comments

We had a record-breaking January here at ECN online with our most trafficked month in the history of the website. So, without further delay, 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.

Enfeebled F-35 could impede military readiness

January 31, 2013 3:15 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Picture a Swiss Army Knife with a blunted knife, rusty screwdriver, and a broken can opener. That’s what the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has become — a jack of all trades and master of none. The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) has — over the course of a highly tumultuous development period that personifies the phrase "requirements creep" — become the poster child for bloated government programs.

Did the Justice Department cause Aaron Swartz’s suicide?

January 31, 2013 9:00 am | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Articles | Comments

Aaron Swartz was a 26-year-old computer programmer and online activist who died of apparent suicide on January 11, ahead of a scheduled trial where he was charged with 13 felonies.  Swartz, founder of Demand Progress, an online group actively working against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)...

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Sensor pad analyzes impacts in football helmets

January 29, 2013 4:27 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Texas Instruments | Articles | Comments

One of the highlights of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was a low-power wireless system that could revolutionize the game of pigskin. The Riddell InSite Impact Response System utilizes a five-point sensor pad lined in the player’s helmet to quantify an impact and, if it passes a predetermined threshold, notifies the sideline.

These shoes will tell you when it’s time for a new pair

January 28, 2013 3:14 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Blogs | Comments

Apple has a lot of great products: iPhones, iPads, computers, laptops, Apple TV and the potential for many more. (Note the lack of iPad mini on this list because it is a dumb product, but I digress.) It seems the company might be expanding into shoe wear with a sensor that will track your steps and tell you when it’s time for a new pair of kicks.

What’s mine should be mine: Ruling makes it illegal to unlock your phone

January 25, 2013 2:29 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Think you own your wireless handset, inside and out? Think you can do whatever you wish with your own property? Think again. Beginning Saturday, it will become illegal to unlock a phone without the express permission of the carrier who locked it.

Will a high-velocity, DNA-tagging police pellet gun deter protesters?

January 24, 2013 3:43 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Blogs | Comments

Gun control is a hot button issue, so it makes sense that police and security firms would look towards expanding effective methods of nonviolent interaction. This becomes particularly important during riot situations with a lot of people and confusion, where police are often outnumbered and overwhelmed.

Obsolete industries won’t drive economic growth

January 24, 2013 12:09 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

An article in the Associated Press, "Big Data and cloud computing empower smart machines to do human work, take human jobs," bemoans the loss of jobs to technology – a highly dubious assertion that crops up every generation like a broken record. And like the damaged piece of vinyl, this argument is immune to logic and reason.

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Vibrating steering wheel might prevent car accidents

January 23, 2013 9:12 am | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Blogs | Comments

I’ve talked a lot about intelligent systems in cars that are steering the industry towards a safer overall product by allow computers to take over where human error would mean an accident.There has been talk of new seatbelts, new braking system, and sensors that communicate with traffic lights and other cars,

“Smart pills” could save firefighters from injury or death

January 22, 2013 11:27 am | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Blogs | Comments

While the idea of “Smart Medication”  didn’t go over very well with the ECN crowd, there is a group to which it could be the difference between life and death.Firefighters often battle in extreme environmental conditions that can be pretty tough on the body’s vitals.

Would you like some iPhone with your ramen noodles?

January 22, 2013 9:43 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Sometimes, an innovative product changes the landscape of the tech world. It illuminates the masses, electrifies the blogosphere, and raises the overall standard of living. And then there’s this – the Anti-loneliness bowl, a ramen soup receptacle that doubles as an iPhone dock.

Would you steal energy?

January 18, 2013 2:14 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Blogs | Comments

While stealing is generally frowned upon in most societies, there is a new type of thieving that might just change that.Dennis Siegel, a Digital Media student from the University of the Arts in Germany has designed a harvester that takes advantage of unused energy in electromagnetic fields.

Would these “smart” ice cubes change how you drink?

January 17, 2013 2:24 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Blogs | Comments

Sometimes great technology comes out of bad life experiences. Like the time Dhairya Dand from MIT Media Lab was so intoxicated he blacked out, and came up with an idea for a technology that would prevent people from drinking too much.By placing a smart LED inside molds of waterproof, edible jelly...

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CES 2013 a meager showcase for consumer electronics

January 17, 2013 2:20 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Microsoft Corp. | Articles | Comments

CES has never been more irrelevant. I wrote those words last year when Microsoft pulled out of CES and the industry was in the thralls of its 3D hysteria, pushing a technological gimmick that no one wanted. Since then, the industry has found a new rallying cry – 4K (or Ultra-HD) – and largely abandoned hopes of shoving stereoscopy down our throats, but the pizzazz is still missing.

New Jersey’s power and fuel infrastructure was no match for Sandy

January 16, 2013 12:14 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Articles | Comments

The love-hate relationship we have with "the grid" was inescapable during Superstorm Sandy. We don’t think about it much when our homes are lit and appliances are humming – we have the freedom to do anything we want. But when there’s an interruption, there’s that nagging wish to be free from the grip of our local utility....

Could this circuit board prevent 2,000 infant deaths per year?

January 11, 2013 9:23 am | by Editor | Blogs | Comments

SIDS is the leading cause of death among infants between the ages of one month to one year. The most recent statistics put the number of deaths at about 2,226 per year, nearly seven infants per day.In hopes of lowering the number of infants who succumb to SIDS,

This flashlight can operate on any battery

January 10, 2013 9:23 am | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Blogs | Comments

Picture this: You’re sitting in front of the television one night watching Ax Men when suddenly the power goes out. Stumbling over to the hall closet, you rummage around on the shelves for a flashlight. Finally, after nearly strangling yourself with a scarf, you locate the light only to discover it needs batteries.

Top 10 must-see posts for December

December 21, 2012 12:34 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Articles | 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 and follow us on Twitter @ecnonline for our most up-to-date articles.

Top 10 must-see posts of 2012

December 19, 2012 3:00 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

Here’s a rundown of the most read, most popular, most awesome articles on the web from 2012. 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.

The newest (and most invasive) surveillance technique

December 19, 2012 12:31 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Articles | Comments

Better watch what you say next time you take the bus; somebody could be listening in. We’re all pretty used to the increasing amount of cameras on public transportation, and a lot can be said in their favor. They provide a safer environment for the driver when dealing with unruly passengers.

Avoid cracked screens: An airbag for your smartphone

December 19, 2012 9:34 am | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Articles | Comments

 As the proud new owner of an iPhone 5, I have but one concern: Can this phone survive my clumsy self? For the past three years, I’ve been the increasingly less proud owner of a Blackberry Bold. It was slow, bulky, people mocked me for having it, and viewing a website was as much fun as going to the DMV, but, man, could that thing take a hit like Floyd Mayweather.

Top 10 must-see posts for November

December 6, 2012 3:38 pm | by The ECN Editors | Articles | 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 and follow us on Twitter @ecnonline for our most up-to-date articles.

Robotcolypse: When the robots take over

December 6, 2012 2:08 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Articles | Comments

Well friends, it appears the end is almost upon us. I’m not even referring to the end of the world a la the Mayan Calendar but rather an entirely different kind of a not-so-hostile takeover: robots. We’ve touched on robots taking over before, but this time, it’s getting serious. This robot was designed to actually replace humans.

Saudi Arabia's new "tracking" system for women

December 6, 2012 12:33 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Articles | Comments

When you work in the tech world, your days are usually full of creative people doing incredible things; on the darker days, you occasionally stumble on people (or governments) using technology in ways that make your skin crawl. Reports out of Saudi Arabia are saying when

Retailers employ crony capitalism in push for online sales tax

December 5, 2012 5:11 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) has written a letter to Congress urging them to pass the Marketplace Fairness Act by the end of the year. This "e-fairness legislation" would allegedly "close the decades-old loophole enjoyed by online-only retailers" and "restore free market principles."

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