Three months ago a devastating earthquake hit Haiti and within hours people from all over the world jumped at the chance to lend a helping hand. One such person was Tufts University graduate student Patrick Meier. Meier built an on line “map” designed to point out exactly where a person in need was using the longitudinal and latitudinal points of that person’s location. Meier got the idea from a company in Kenya called Ushahidi, who used modern, popular technology such as Twitter, text messages and emails to find people in need during an election crisis in 2007. Since then, Ushahidi has proved to be invaluable to crisis management all over the world.
Meier had previously done work with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and when he learned of Ushahidi’s efforts he immediately campaigned to get them funding in the United States. He is now a member of Ushahidi’s board and one of the cofounders of the International Network of Crisis Mappers.
Ushahidi Haiti began in Meier’s dorm room and at the “peak” of the project he had over 300 students working with him. One of the biggest struggles the group faced was translating the text messages they were receiving through their own short code emergency text line. In order to translate the messages a doctoral student at Stanford University found over 1000 people from all over the world who could speak Haitian Creole and translate the texts.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Advertised as the "Most Powerful Tablet Under $100," the Kindle Fire HD 6 was too tempting for the team at iFixit to pass up. Join us to find out if inexpensive means cheap, irreparable, or just down right economical. It's teardown time!
The increased adoption of wireless technology for mission-critical applications has revved up the global market for dynamic electronic general purpose (GP) test equipment. As the link between cloud networks and devices -- smartphones, tablets, and notebooks -- results in more complex devices under test, the demand for radio frequency test equipment is starting to intensify.
Much of the research on lithium-ion batteries is focused on how to make the batteries charge more quickly and last longer than they currently do, work that would significantly improve the experience of mobile device users, as well EV and hybrid car drivers. Researchers in Singapore have come up with what seems like the best solution so far -- a battery that can recharge itself in mere minutes and has a potential lifespan of 20 years.
Some humanoid walking robots are also good at running, balancing, and coordinated movements in group settings. Several of our sports robots have won regional or worldwide acclaim in the RoboCup soccer World Cup, or FIRST Robotics competitions. Others include the world's first hockey-playing robot and a trash-talking Scrabble player.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.