Jobs Was a Genius; the Movie Not So Much
Blog 8/28/2013 16 comments The movie's producers tried to sum up Jobs's entire professional career in two hours, too many significant parts were left out, and the movie did not accurately show the genius that Jobs was.
Video: Inside the World's Largest Wind Tunnel
Electronic News & Comment 8/23/2013 29 comments When NASA Ames runs its massive wind tunnels, the surrounding area knows it. Local aircraft are warned of potential updrafts. Electric utilities brace for sudden power draws. And nearby residents are said to hear its 300-knot airflows from miles away.
Slideshow: Robots Get More Thin-Skinned
Engineering Materials 8/22/2013 23 comments Robots may be getting more sensitive, due to a breakthrough by engineers at the University of California, Berkeley. An electronic skin made of a sensor network mounted on a substrate of flexible plastic reacts to touch by lighting up.
Researchers Develop Another Potential Battery for Renewable Energy Storage
Blog 8/20/2013 20 comments A research team led by Yi Cui, an associate professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford, has developed a new lithium-polysulfide flow battery with an energy density of between 170 Wh/kg and 190 Wh/L and a lifespan of up to 2,500 cycles -- results that are high comparatively for similar batteries being designed for renewables.
Top Reasons for the US to Return to Space
Guest Blogs 8/14/2013 14 comments Over the years, government and popular support for further space exploration has dwindled, despite its many benefits. So, we've made a list of the top reasons we should continue to explore the outer depths, "to boldly go where no man has gone before."
How to Make Intelligent Carbon-Fiber Composites
Engineering Materials 8/7/2013 6 comments German researchers have demonstrated the ability to embed RFID tags with ultra-thin antennas inside carbon-fiber-reinforced composite components such as aircraft wings. The technique is also being investigated for composite structural health monitoring.
The Failed Fuse Fooled Me
Sherlock Ohms 8/7/2013 22 comments When checking the truck's wiring system for a faulty brake light, the first guess turned out to be correct -- after trying everything else.
UL Targets Lithium-Ion Battery Fires
Electronic News & Comment 8/5/2013 27 comments Inspired by recent overheating incidents, Underwriters Laboratories has developed a new testing methodology, along with guidelines and standards aimed at making lithium-ion battery applications safer.
FIR Filters Without the Math
Guest Blogs 8/2/2013 2 comments Previous columns have described how analog and switched-capacitors filters work and provided a real example of each. Now on to digital filters that process discrete-time digital values, rather than analog signals.
Update: Corning's Paper-Thin, Flexible Glass
Engineering Materials 8/1/2013 11 comments Corning's super-thin, 100-micron Willow Glass can be adapted to high-volume, low-cost, roll-to-roll manufacturing processes not previously possible with glass. Corning is helping customers retrofit or build new lines to integrate the material into manufacturing.
The amount of plastic clogging the ocean continues to grow. Some startling, not-so-good news has come out recently about the roles plastic is playing in the ocean, as well as more heartening news about efforts to collect and reuse it.
Some of our culture's most enduring robots appeared in the 80s. The Aliens series produced another evil android, and we saw light robot fare in the form of Short Circuit. Two of the great robots of all time also showed up: The Terminator and RoboCop.
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