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Ben Coxworth

One of the three Lutra airboats used in the study

Although hippos may look slow and docile, they're actually very aggressive, killing more people every year than any other large African animal. So, it would follow that you wouldn't want to swim anywhere near them. That's why when researchers from Yale University and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies wanted to study the effects of hippo dung on water quality in Kenya's Mara River, they sent in three autonomous air boats instead of people. To help those boats blend in, they were dressed up as crocodiles.  Read More

A few of the bikes that were featured at Charged Up

As many readers are no doubt already aware, last Thursday we attended the Charged Up e-bike media event at the Crystal Springs Resort in northern New Jersey. The day was mainly a chance for a select group of journalists to chat with representatives from a number of electric bike companies, and to ride some of their bikes around the resort grounds. While we've already profiled a few of the stand-outs, here's a quick look at some of the other e-bikes that caught our eye.  Read More

The iStick features both Lightning and USB connectors

Although the iPhone and iPad may indeed pack a whole plethora of features, they still lack a plain ol' USB port. This means that they can't share files with a Mac or PC via a regular flash drive. The iStick, however, isn't regular. According to its creators, it's the world's first Lightning-to-USB flash drive.  Read More

The iZip E3 Town:exp on display at the Charged Up electric bike media event in New Jersey

In order for an electric bike to stand out from the pack, it helps if it offers unique features such as light weight or the ability to fold. Of the e-bikes that we saw at last week's Charged Up event, however, one of our faves is a little number that isn't particularly remarkable in any one way. It's the iZip E3 Town:exp, and it simply manages to pack several good things into a small package.  Read More

A passenger on board an existing zero-gravity flight service (Photo: Carthage College)

Although you'll probably never make it to outer space, Swiss Space Systems (S3) is at least trying to move the zero-gravity experience a little closer to reality for the average person. This week, the company announced its plans to start offering what it claims will be the world's cheapest weightlessness-inducing flights, from 15 international locations.  Read More

Terahertz-frequency radiation is being used to check the integrity of automotive paint job...

Although all steel-bodied cars rust eventually, premature rusting may soon be less of a problem thanks to technology developed by father-and-son team Anis and Aunik Rahman. Their system non-destructively analyzes automobiles' paint jobs, making sure that the layers of paint have been applied properly. It could reportedly also find use diagnosing the early stages of skin cancer.  Read More

The passenger-packin' Yuba elMundo

It seems to be a forgone conclusion that if you're going to make a bicycle built for two, then both riders will be pedaling. If that bike has an electric motor to help with the extra weight, however, then perhaps just one rider will be able to move the thing along nicely. That's the thinking behind the Yuba elMundo – it's an electric cargo bike that specializes in hauling humans.  Read More

The adhesive fibers in one of the man-made attachment discs, holding down a nylon thread

In recent years we've seen a number of attempts at artificially replicating the strong-yet-light characteristics of spider silk. It turns out that the silk itself isn't the only thing that's inspiring scientists, however. Researchers from the University of Akron have recently created their own version of the "attachment discs" that spiders use to secure their silk fibers to surfaces, when building webs. These man-made discs could conceivably prove superior to conventional glues as a form of adhesive.  Read More

The 'smart' Skylock reportedly only requires one hour of sunlight per week to remain opera...

Last October we told you about the Bitlock, a smartphone-paired bicycle lock that lets users locate their bike on a map, lend it to other people, and unlock it simply by walking up to it. Well, Velo Labs' just-announced Skylock does all those same things – plus it has a solar-powered battery that "never" needs to be plugged in to charge, and it checks if you're OK when you crash.  Read More

The M1 Secede at the Charged Up electric bike event

Late last week, we got the chance to try out some brand new e-bikes at the first-ever Charged Up electric bike media event. Presented by the folks who run the Interbike and Outdoor Retailer trade shows, it was held at the swanky Crystal Springs Resort in the rolling hills of northern New Jersey. Among the models that were on display, the Secede urban trekking bike offers a particularly interesting feature – it breaks into two pieces for easier transport and storage.  Read More

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