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Around The Home


— Around The Home

New "smart window" material selectively blocks light and/or heat

By - July 24, 2015 2 Pictures

In an effort to improve the energy efficiency of building, researchers have sought to develop windows that change transparency to let more light – and therefore heat – through when it's cold, and less when it's hot. Unfortunately, these methods tend to impede the passage of visible light, some by tinting panes and others by complete obscuration. But a team at the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin has developed a "smart window" technology that allows the passage of visible light while blocking heat, or vice versa.

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— Around The Home

Sulfite-filtering Üllo aims to make wine-drinking less whine-inducing

By - July 22, 2015 5 Pictures

Do you get itchy, cramped-up or wheezy from even a little bit of wine? It could be because you have a sulfite sensitivity. Sulfites are sulfur-based compounds that are added in the wine-making process to prevent bacterial growth – they keep the wine from spoiling while it's in transit and storage. Given that they're not needed once the wine has been poured, however, chemist James Kornacki has developed a device for reducing them at that point in the game – it's called the Üllo.

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— Around The Home Review

Review: We flip the switch on MiPow's Playbulb Bluetooth LED bulbs

By - July 20, 2015 10 Pictures

The number of LED bulbs on the market has exploded in recent years, and with them has come a dizzying array of so-called smart bulbs featuring wireless connectivity and control, allowing users to set options for colors, schedules, and remote on/off functions. Although most of these look and perform similarly, consumer experience still varies as it generally comes down to the execution of the companion app. So how do the devices in MiPow’s Playbulb Studio compare? We lit up these LED bulbs to see how well they shine.

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— Around The Home

Tough new tornado panels take a stormy beating

By - July 17, 2015 1 Picture

A tornado hitting your house is no joke, but it's not always practical to build a shelter just in case the worst should happen. If the thought of jumping into a protective bag doesn't appeal, a new tough construction panel developed at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) could be a good alternative. UAB's new panels can be retrofitted to existing houses or integrated into new builds, and offer protection even in the most extreme EF5 tornado – that is, in winds over 200 mph (321 km/h).

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