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The Lead

Why Apple Pay IS all that

October 23, 2014 11:39 am | by Kasey Panetta, Editor | Blogs | Comments

Over at Wireless Week, Senior Editor Andrew Berg posed a question we’ve all been wondering, "Is Apple Pay all that?” Well, to quote my 90s brethren, it’s all that AND a bag of chips. I haven’t always been a fan of Apple’s decisions. Frankly, the iPad mini is a technological abomination, I’m still not completely sold on the finger print scanner...

This mouse of the future requires your whole body

October 22, 2014 3:44 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Editor | Blogs | Comments

If you thought Leap Motion was going to be the mouse of the future (ok, I thought it was) then...

This is what the dumbest umbrella design looks like

October 15, 2014 8:08 am | by Kasey Panetta, Editor | Blogs | Comments

Umbrellas are one of those things you probably wouldn’t think would ever pop up on a technology/...

The Microsoft CEO just offered women the worst career advice possible

October 14, 2014 8:27 am | by Kasey Panetta, Editor | Blogs | Comments

To be perfectly honest, I’ve never cared for Microsoft. I think their products are pretty...

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How field application engineers are changing the engineering world

October 3, 2014 9:01 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor and Eileen Whitmore, Art Director | Blogs | Comments

Field application engineers, also known as FAEs or Sales engineers are a hybrid of exactly what the title implies: Sales and Engineering. These folks are unique because they’re essentially in the position of selling a product but they can also offer....

How three teenage girls are solving world hunger

September 26, 2014 11:50 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

The key to beefing up the country (and world) supply of engineer and technology superstars is giving them the opportunity to do great things, even if they can’t legally drive yet. The Google Science Fair is a competition for students between the ages of 13 and 18 with prizes ranging...

This is what an iPhone 6 Plus in liquid nitrogen looks like

September 23, 2014 9:09 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

The short answer is that it doesn’t actually look as bad as you might think. For all of the advantages of an iPhone, one drawback is they generally have to be handled fairly daintily. Apparently, that’s not how RatedRR thinks it should be. He’s made....

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This V2V technology could change driving forever

September 15, 2014 3:59 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

The average American has a 25.4 minute commute to work. That doesn’t seem too bad until you consider that the average commuter spends 38 hours a year sitting in traffic. That’s a lot of bumper-to-bumper time. Recently, I had someone ask me what my hobbies were and I said, “Sitting in traffic and putting gas in my car.”

Why I'll be buying an Apple Watch

September 12, 2014 8:13 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Technologically-advanced watches are a hard sell on a few levels. They’re generally poorly designed aesthetically and functionally, they’re way too expensive, they don’t look good on the wrist, and they don’t really do anything. I was all prepared to hate the Apple watch....

This is what happens when drone videos go terribly wrong

September 4, 2014 8:10 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Drones are, in some respects, the future. They're pretty helpful in the military, for discouraging poaching, search and rescue missions, delivering things and even some prototyping. On the other hand, when used in an annoying manner, drones can be a perfect example of why the luddites have it right....

Infographic: Where are all the women in STEM?

September 3, 2014 8:00 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor and Eileen Whitmore, Art Director | Blogs | Comments

When it comes to women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathethmatics) the numbers just don’t add up. Even though the number of women majoring in STEM (and attending college) has increased in the past few decades, the number of women who actually enter the fields has barely increased at all....

Fly in the cockpit of the Blue Angels

September 2, 2014 8:35 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

The Blue Angels are basically the cream of the crop of stunt pilots from the US Navy and Marine Corps. They are an exhibition team that participate in airshows all over the place and showcase the intense skills required to fly a jet. There are a total of 16 officers on the team at any time with three tactical jet pilots...

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This is what it's like to be in the cockpit of an F-16

August 27, 2014 8:29 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

The title says it all here, but this is ridiculous. The video was taken from the cockpit of a Royal Danish Air Force F-16 as it was flying, quite low, over an ice sheet in Greenland.  There isn't too much information available, but after take off (hold on to your stomach) you'll first see the ice rim (located east of Kangerlussuaq, Greenland)....

This is what a solar-powered sailboat would look like

August 21, 2014 8:43 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Just when you think designers can’t design anything you’ll enjoy more than a 3D-printed violin, they came up with a solar-powered sailboat. The Kira Sail Yacht is designed to “bridge the gap between the sail and motor yacht” and it is gorgeous....

Mini-camera separates suicide bombers from citizens

August 19, 2014 10:45 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

If you're ever in China for business (or vacation), you had better hope that you don't have a particularly stressful day because new technology might flag you as a suicide bomber. Security fears and attacks in public places have Chinese authorities turning to less traditional means of detecting potential killers before they act....

The one thing engineers regret about their careers

August 18, 2014 10:09 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

If only they knew then what they know now, who knows what would have happened? It’s a lamentable thought, but, short of the invention of some sort of time machine, the best engineers can do is offer their advice to the younger generation. It might be nice to go back and make a few changes, but considering over half of you consider engineering “your home” and made it very clear you’d do it all over again...

Career advice from the ECN engineers

August 12, 2014 10:23 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

A few months ago, we asked our engineers (that’s you guys) a few questions about how you felt about retirement, engineering, and the future of the industry. (Check out the infographic or the Whiteboard in our August issue.) While we learned a lot from our experienced engineers (turns out most are happy with their careers), we also asked for some advice for engineers in the future.

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Self-assembling robot walks in minutes

August 11, 2014 9:49 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

There have been major advances in robotics in the past couple years as far as personification and an expansion of applications. Some robots are even being designed to carry gear in active warzones (and look creepy as hell doing it.) This tiny robot from Harvard microrobotics engineers Sam Felton and Robot Wood brings something else entirely to the table....

Listen to the world’s first 3D-printed saxophone

August 6, 2014 7:26 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

It’s official. We can now 3D-print anything. At this point, we’ve had 3D-printed skulls, some candy, and a few odds and ends, but Olaf Diegel has created the world’s first 3D-printed saxophone. Instruments are particularly difficult to print because so much of the sound requires the perfect usage of air....

What engineers think about retirement

August 5, 2014 8:00 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor and Eileen Whitmore, Art Director | Blogs | Comments

Retirement, that Golden Age of relaxation and hard-earned rest where you get to prop up your feet on the porch and yell at the neighborhood kids to get off your lawn. ECN wanted to know what our engineers had planned for their golden years, but as it turns out most of you are pretty happy to be working.

This first-aid kit is a must-have

July 31, 2014 8:55 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

The Clever Medkit is a first-aid kit to end all first-aid kits. This over-the-top technologically advanced kit is technically designed for businesses, but I would consider this for a home purchase because I am a germaphobe and hypochondriac. (Yesterday, I used a Lysol wipe on my pens.) So, let’s walk through the process of injuring yourself and using this bad boy.

This is what a fireball in space looks like

July 23, 2014 9:22 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

This mission on the International Space Station has been full of social media adventures, including the very first Space Vine! (Full disclosue: I coined the term Space Vine! and you probably won't see it anywhere else.)  Reid Wiseman is an American astronaut and naval aviator currently serving on Expedition 41 in the ISS....

Why this remote-controlled birth control will be the next big thing

July 22, 2014 9:49 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

In the midst of the Hobby Lobby court case decision and other conversations about birth control, there has been an announcement about an advancement in contraceptive technology. This is a pretty unique technology that would allow the woman to turn the device on or off, depending on if she was looking to have a child or not....

Kasey's Korner: Removing toxic materials from batteries

July 11, 2014 9:55 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

Though lithium-ion batteries have a lot to offer, they also have some issues-- including using toxic elements that are rare and difficult to work with. But they may be the future of portable electronics batteries, so it’s vital that researchers find another way of creating the batteries.

Kasey's Korner: This material can withstand forces 160,000 times its own weight

July 9, 2014 8:56 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

MIT engineers have created a new material that can withstand forces 160,000 times its own weight. The material uses micro lattices with nanoscale features for a material that offers great strength with ultra low density. The researchers utilized a high-precision 3d printing process called projection micro stereolithography to create a material that is 400 times stronger than an object of similar density.

Kasey's Korner: This material could change solar cell history

July 8, 2014 8:49 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

While solar cells offer a great opportunity for alternative energy, they also contain cadmium chloride, which is a toxic substance. Unfortunately, it’s also a necessary substance that greatly improves solar efficiency in the panel materials allowing for a conversion efficiency of over 15 percent.

Watch these drones fight to the death

June 30, 2014 8:04 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

In the world of drones, there exists an underground fight club where different UAVs go head to head trying to destroy each other. Alright, that’s a little dramatized, but the drones really do battle each other in a BattleBot-style arena. Marque Cornblatt, co-founder of the group Game of Drones, says it’s all about aerial combat and going drono a drono for victory....

Obama pets a giant, laughing robotic giraffe

June 19, 2014 9:40 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

While the Obama administration has been dealing with a lot of heavy topics lately, the White House also had time to push policy on innovation and creation. Part of the campaign was the White House Maker Faire, designed to celebrate “all things built-by-hand and designed-by-ingenuity.” It featured 30 projects from more than 100 students, engineers, creators and researchers from 25 different states.

Can this car go 1000 mph?

June 16, 2014 3:53 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

The Bloodhound SSC is a supersonic car built with the express goal of exceeding (or reaching) 1000mph. This is completely nuts.The Bloodhound is technically a car because it has four wheels and is under the full-control of a driver. It’s 44 feet long, just over 9 foot tall, and when it’s fully fueled it weighs in at a whopping 17,165 lbs.

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