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This app finds the closest bathroom (no, seriously)

January 27, 2015 8:12 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor, @JasonECNMag | Blogs | Comments

Yelp is a great resource for finding local restaurants in unfamiliar surroundings. But an app that pinpoints the closest restroom? That’s a new one. Airpnp promises just that — a quick and easy way to find the nearest John. Like Fandango, you enter your location ...

China's J-20 and J-31 stealth fighters based on stolen F-35 documents

January 22, 2015 2:03 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor, @JasonECNMag | Blogs | Comments

So depending on how frightened you are of the Shenyang J-31 — and how it stacks up to the F-35 — this could come as a huge relief. After all, if the vaunted J-20 and J-31 stealth fighter jets are based, in part, on the Joint Strike Fighter, the former isn’t ...

Engineering Update #94: A quantum dot-powered laser

January 22, 2015 9:30 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

Quantum dots have only recently gained traction in the consumer display market, but they were discovered back in 1981, and their utility appears to be growing. Scientists at Princeton used these semiconductor nanocrystals with quantum mechanical properties to design ...

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App creates fake boyfriends or girlfriends

January 21, 2015 9:32 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor, @JasonECNMag | Blogs | Comments

The reality show “Catfish” purports to expose fraud in the online dating world — a “catfish” creates a fake online identity to fool potential suitors. But a new app takes it one step further, conjuring boyfriends and girlfriends from thin air. The company claims that ...

Why quantum dots are the next big display technology

January 16, 2015 7:41 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor, @JasonECNMag | Blogs | Comments

Nestled in between the bloated 4K, 8K, and “Beyond 4K” TVs at this year’s CES was an older lighting technology that’s just now gaining traction with consumer display manufacturers — quantum dots. The inimitable display tech — essentially a semiconductor nanocrystal ...

Engineering Update #93: A hybrid motorcycle for US Special Forces

January 15, 2015 11:22 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

For most people, a fully electric car is about as affordable as it is practical, but Chevy has taken on at least one of those problems with it’s newest reveal of a fully-electric Bolt for just $30,000. Based on lessons learned from Chevy’s hyprid Volt and Spark ...

Top 10 from CES 2015: Quantum dots are for real

January 14, 2015 9:06 am | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

The Consumer Electronics Show is arguably the single most important event of the year. And with 2.2 million net square feet of exhibit space, 3,600 exhibitors, and more than 170,000 attendees — every one of which we got to dodge en route to each appointment ...

Watch a drone film the Las Vegas fire show

January 13, 2015 3:45 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor, @JasonECNMag | Blogs | Comments

When Las Vegas isn’t actively trying to take your money, it’s entertaining you just long enough so it can continue taking your money. One of these “interludes” is the volcano fire show at the Mirage, and the good folks at Byrobot made the experience 10x hotter....

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CES 2015: The weird, strange, and unique (Part 2)

January 13, 2015 2:18 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor, @JasonECNMag | News | Comments

Every trade show has these — the quirky applications, bizarre exhibits, and general oddities that characterize a large, organized event. And CES goes above and beyond. Here’s a small sampling of what I saw, and be sure to check out part 1....

CES 2015: The weird, strange, and unique

January 12, 2015 8:50 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor, @JasonECNMag | News | Comments

Every trade show has these — the quirky applications, bizarre exhibits, and general oddities that characterize a large, organized event. CES plays host to countless weird, strange, and unique exhibitions designed to grab your attention....

CES 2015: Is the Internet of Things too low-concept for consumers?

January 7, 2015 10:19 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor, @JasonECNMag | Blogs | Comments

The Internet of Things will connect the world as never before, and the tech is burning up the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show. But I’m forced to ponder whether the Internet of Things is too low-concept for the average Joe....

Have a safe and happy New Year!

December 29, 2014 10:30 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

Your friends at ECN and Advantage Business Media would like to wish you and yours a wonderful holiday and a safe and happy New Year! We have lots to look forward to in 2015 — the second annual ECN IMPACT Awards, the very first Young Mind Awards ...

Drones afoot: It’s going to be a very unmanned 2015

December 29, 2014 7:37 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor, @JasonECNMag | Blogs | Comments

Drones, drones, and more drones. It’s going to be a very merry, very unmanned 2015. OK, and there’s probably a few other technologies on the verge of a breakout year. ECN has spilled voluminous quantities of ink (digital and otherwise) trumpeting ...

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Engineering Update #91: Controlling a robotic arm with your thoughts

December 22, 2014 2:48 pm | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

You might remember a few years ago when scientists discovered that, by inserting an implant in the brain of a quadriplegic woman, she was able to control a robot arm with just her thoughts. By implanting 96 contact points on the part of the brain that ...

Report: The F-35 and competitors are "equally capable"

December 16, 2014 10:04 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor, @JasonECNMag | Blogs | Comments

You may have heard that the F-35 is unpopular. To say the least. It’s also chronically over-budget, behind schedule, an astronomical long-term financial commitment, and some critics — including yours truly — question the wisdom of a “Swiss Army Knife” solution and ...

Engineering Update #90: The Army's drone airport

December 15, 2014 10:00 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

The Army isn’t normally associated with drones — or Unmanned Aerial Systems, as they prefer them to be called. The popular Predator and Reaper models are operated by the Air Force from Creech Air Force Base, Nevada. But the Army has a host of fully armed ...

Engineering Update #89: The newest solar power plant

December 11, 2014 10:37 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

The tulip-concentrating solar power plant is officially opening its first commercial site in Ethiopia. This will be the third tulip site to be created. There is one in Israel and one in Spain, but the previous operations have been focused on research and ...

Bra stops sexual assault with 3,800 kilovolt electric shock

December 10, 2014 8:49 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor, @JasonECNMag | Blogs | Comments

I’ve seen numerous devices and ideas for empowering women — pepper spray, tasers, self-defense courses, firearms — but I can honestly say I’ve never seen a bra used as a weapon. Engineering students Manisha Mohan, Niladhri Basu Bal, and Rimpi Tripathi ...

This is why you shouldn’t fly drones indoors

December 9, 2014 9:04 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor, @JasonECNMag | Blogs | Comments

Flying drones indoors is rarely a wise decision. Flying large drones indoors near innocent bystanders is asking for trouble. So when TGI Friday’s mistletoe-toting drones injured someone in a cramped restaurant in Brooklyn, well, we should’ve seen this coming....

Engineering Update #88: Lockheed Martin’s supersonic commercial aircraft

December 4, 2014 11:20 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

Let’s face it — we’re no longer impressed by the ability to travel from New York to Los Angeles in five hours in a cramped 737. Doesn’t two and a half hours sound much better? Lockheed Martin thinks so, too, so they’re working on an aircraft for commercial ...

Why the Navy hasn’t discovered the Holy Grail of energy independence

December 3, 2014 1:02 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor, @JasonECNMag | Blogs | Comments

A while back, the Navy announced plans to turn seawater into fuel, thereby eliminating our dependence on fossil fuels — and despotic regimes — and discovering the Holy Grail of energy independence. And no one’s talking about it. Well ... turns out ...

Smartgun system calls for police backup in dire situations

December 2, 2014 3:55 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor, @JasonECNMag | Blogs | Comments

Previous smartguns have focused on personalization options that restrict the weapon to authorized users or require a companion bracelet or other trinket to operate it. But Yardarm Technologies is taking a slightly different approach — a tracking module ...

Engineering Update #87: Virtual reality beach vacations

December 1, 2014 8:13 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

Last week, we talked about a system of targeted advertising very similar to the film Minority Report, based on the short story by Phillip K. Dick. And this time, we shine the spotlight on a famous hotel chain — rhymes with “chariot” — that’s introducing ...

More “lady brains”: Barbie is a lousy engineer

November 24, 2014 12:11 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

Let’s be honest — Barbie has never been a shining beacon of progressive thought. Her figure looks more like Jessica Rabbit than Jane Doe, and her physics-defying measurements would kill an ordinary girl. That said, her latest fictional adventure ...

Engineering Update #86: A biodegradable drone

November 20, 2014 10:10 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

A team of students from Stanford, brown, and Spelman college have created a biodegradable drone. The drone is made from fibrous mycelium, which is a root-like material found in fungi. The material is covered in cellulose and all the circuits are ...

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