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Watch a sniper rifle obliterate an iPhone 5S

September 26, 2013 1:41 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Some people have waaaaaaaay too much money to burn. Take, for example, this guy, who likes to film himself destroying popular consumer devices with high-powered rifles. His latest victim: a Gold iPhone 5S, which he annihilates with a Barrett M82A1 .50 sniper rifle.

Check out dogs frolicking in "Bullet Time"

September 25, 2013 12:07 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

If this doesn’t warm your heart, then I’d check your pulse. Remember that cool “Bullet Time” visual effect from The Matrix (and about a dozen other movies and video games since)? A handful of amateur filmmakers used the technique to film dogs at play, and it’s every bit as delightful as it sounds.

Lego releases female in STEM career ... and she’s no “Lady Scientist”

September 16, 2013 2:23 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

It seems the Danish toy brick conglomerate has finally accepted the fact that womenfolk inhabit the STEM fields. Earlier this month, Lego released the company’s first female scientist, Professor C. Bodin – and she’s not clad in "girly" clothing or given the patronizing title of "Lady Scientist."

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Has global cooling begun? Arctic ice caps grow by 60% in a year

September 11, 2013 11:21 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

The arctic will be "ice-free by 2013." This was typical of the breathless pronouncements made by scientists, climatologists, and even NASA over the last decade or so. All the while, the summers were getting colder and the ice caps more voluminous — quite a bit more, apparently. According to a report in the Daily Mail, the Arctic ice cap grew by nearly a million square miles from 2012-2013, an increase of 60% year over year.

Women in the workplace: The 1940s guide to gender stereotypes

September 9, 2013 2:11 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Watch out for women in the workplace. They’re jealous of each other, more sensitive than men, and SCARY! At least that’s according to this hilariously outdated instructional video from 1944 which probably did more to perpetuate gender stereotypes than shore them up.

"Internet addiction" is a real disease ... according to new inpatient facility

September 4, 2013 4:57 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Waste lots of time on the Internet looking at cat pictures and playing Minecraft? You should immediately fork over $14K to an inpatient facility in Pennsylvania — the first of its kind in the US – to treat your chronic internet addiction. Don’t believe that Internet addiction is a real disease? Shows your ignorance — you obviously don’t have a “Dr.” in front of your name.

Top 10 must-read posts from August

September 3, 2013 11:17 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.

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?

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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.

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.”

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."

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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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.

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....

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”....

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.

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.

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.

"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.

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....

10 MUST READ posts from April

May 1, 2013 2:44 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 and follow us on Twitter @ecnonline for our most up-to-date articles.

Computers are sorcery! Kill them with fire!

April 25, 2013 4:13 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

It's hard to believe we were ever this dumb. And it's hard to believe the '90s ever happened. This wacky decade — when we were all still finding our digital bearings — spawned gems like "Komputer Tutor", a VHS series from "America's Digital Goddess", Kim Komando, that takes simple computer concepts and dumbs them down even further ... and further and further. It's comedy gold.

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