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Do we need tougher cyberbullying legislation?

August 23, 2013 4:25 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

A Huffington Post article draws attention to a disturbing new form of cyberbullying: “RIP trolling”, or the practice of trolling online memorials to mock their alleged insincerity. The article champions “digital proxies” who can help filter out distressing online content for the mourners. This also raises an important point: Do we need stricter cyberbullying legislation?

This is what a 550-ton hovercraft landing on a Russian beach looks like

August 21, 2013 3:53 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Alright, so technically the beach is a military zone and, technically, it's not a beach that people should be swimming from or sunbathing on, but that is one scary-looking piece of military equipment. According to a Russian defense ministry spokesperson, it's actually a government-owned beach and the landing was part of some military practice maneuvers.

Robotic barista automates your coffee addiction

August 21, 2013 9:56 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Can’t live without your morning cup of joe, but hate dealing with snooty baristas at hipster coffee shops and the imprecise hands of flesh-and-blood humans? Modern technology has finally married our addiction to hot, caffeinated beverages with our similar – but no less potent – love of wacky vending machines – the robot barista.

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Glow-in-the-dark rabbits in the interest of science (seriously!)

August 15, 2013 11:59 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Scientists from universities in Turkey and Hawaii managed to breed rabbits — two out of a litter of eight — that glow in the dark. They assure us it’s all in the interest of science (as if glow-in-the-dark rabbits wasn’t a noble feat in and of itself). And the team hasn’t been experimenting with radioactive spiders (darn!).

North Korean “indigenous” smartphone manufactured at unicorn factory by Keebler Elves

August 13, 2013 2:21 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

North Korea’s “supreme leader”, Kim Jong-un, recently toured a Pyongyang factory, where workers are busy “manufacturing” the DPRK’s first “indigenous” smartphone, the “Arirang.” And if you had the woe-begotten idea that this Android device is a cheap Chinese knock-off with the DPRK label slapped on it, think again — the official North Korean news agency assures us that the Arirang includes a camera function with “high pixels.”

Can LIDAR smooth out the bumps in air travel?

August 12, 2013 10:05 am | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Blogs | Comments

For those who have experienced clear air turbulence, there’s some welcome news from Europe. Researchers at the DLR Institute of Atmospheric Physics are using LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology to analyze clear air turbulence, and data gathered from this project will provide information....

Senator Feinstein: Unpaid bloggers don’t count as "journalists"

August 9, 2013 4:17 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

The government’s assault on its own citizenry continues.... According to Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA), journalists shouldn’t be protected by “shield laws” unless they draw salaries. Apparently, unpaid bloggers and citizen journalists don’t count as "real reporters."

This is what happens in one SECOND on the internet

August 9, 2013 12:21 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Last week, we learned what happens on the internet in 60 seconds. There are 2 million Google searches, 70 new domains registered, 347 blog posts, $83,000 in Amazon sales and 204 million emails sent. Does it make you wonder what happens on during one SECOND on the internet? Luckily, Designly.com shares your love of information

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The NSA's alarmingly liberal interpretation of surveillance laws

August 8, 2013 3:27 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

If you thought the U.S. government had no interest in your texts and emails, you better think again — the NSA’s dragnet just got a lot bigger. Officially, the policy of the NSA has been to intercept communications from Americans in direct contact with “targeted” foreigners overseas, according to the New York Times. However, it seems the agency has been looking at more than they’ve “officially” admitted.

Making aviation history: A solar-powered plane

August 6, 2013 2:01 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Articles | Comments

While most of the country is still struggling with the concept of solar power on land, one team was busy using the panels to power something a little more ambitious: a plane. The program, called Solar Impulse, is devoted to designing a plane powered entirely by solar panels, in hopes of demonstrating the potential of alternative energy.

Now’s a good time to "reclaim your name" from data brokers

August 6, 2013 12:12 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Articles | Comments

What’s in a name? Juliet Capulet didn’t see much value in a name in her famous, fictional dialog with Romeo Montague but in the age of “big data,” try telling that to today’s big data brokers. As our modern, personal conveniences put more of our information out there to be gathered and sold, a consumer’s confidence that information or misinformation isn’t going to harm them is usually limited....

Ban open-source blueprints for guns, save the world

August 6, 2013 10:39 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

There is now a 3D-printed rifle that can fire multiple rounds WITHOUT breaking. We’ve moved beyond the one-and-done 3D guns of the past. Now, we’re talking FOURTEEN shots before the gun fell apart.Last time we visited this topic, many commenters reminded me that people have been making guns out of random bits of things forever.

3D-printed guns lead the open-source revolution

August 6, 2013 8:58 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

3D-printed guns are the precise exegesis of the open-source movement. Blueprints for 3D-printed guns are freely available on P2P networks and other sources. Short of a complete federal seizure of the World Wide Web, the flow of information cannot be stopped. Does this prove the ultimate futility of gun control? Does information truly want to be free?

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10 must-read posts from July

August 5, 2013 11:41 am | 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 and follow us on Twitter @ecnonline for our most up-to-date articles.

The ridiculous amount of stuff happening in 60 seconds on the internet

July 30, 2013 2:41 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Ever wonder what happens in just one minute on the internet? Qmee, an internet ad agency of sorts, created a great infographic so you can see exactly what everyone else is looking at on the internet and maybe check some out for yourself.

First drone landing on carrier forecasts the future of aerial warfare

July 30, 2013 10:47 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Forget fancy, 5th-generation manned stealth jets. The future of aerial warfare is unmanned, with fighter jockeys shelved in favor of cold, robotic precision. Look no further than the X-47B: Last month, the autonomous drone became the first unmanned jet to land aboard a moving aircraft carrier.

Patch makes you "invisible" to mosquitoes

July 29, 2013 2:18 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Mosquitoes are a serious health problem (and genuine pain) around the world.  Not only can their bites result in painful, itchy marks, their presence can be the harbinger for outbreaks of diseases like malaria and West Nile. It’s a persistent and problematic challenge for health officials, both in the US and in third world countries.

Data collection disclosures have app developers thinking outside the box

July 29, 2013 11:30 am | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Blogs | Comments

Last week, some of the players in the mobile app world announced an agreement to test a voluntary code of conduct requiring app developers who participate in the program to disclose what types of personal information the app collects about the user.

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.

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.

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