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Ben Coxworth

A newly-developed gel could make lithium batteries cheaper and more damage-tolerant, and a...

Lithium-ion batteries have certainly been a boon to electronic devices, offering much longer run times than their alkaline counterparts. There is still room for improvement, however. Existing lithium batteries can short circuit, they don't stand up to damage, and they can only be made in a limited variety of shapes. Now, scientists from the University of Leeds have developed a polymer gel that could be used to make lithium batteries with none of those shortcomings - plus, they should be cheaper.  Read More

The Car Connectivity Consortium is set to unveil the first products utilizing its MirrorLi...

Smartphones have become a large part of many peoples' daily lives, while computer-based in-vehicle infotainment systems are on their way to becoming standard equipment in all new vehicles. While there are some smartphone apps that are able to interact with some in-car systems, for the most part the two have been leading separate existences. The Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC), however, wants to change that. The group, which contains high-profile member companies from the automotive and mobile communications industries, has established a new technical standard for two-way communications between in-dash displays and applications running on smartphones. It's named MirrorLink, and the first products utilizing the standard will be unveiled this week at the Frankfurt Motor Show.  Read More

The EXO is an electric personal watercraft, which riders lie on in a prone position

Of the various water toys for big boys that were unveiled at last week’s Cannes Boat Show, one of the more intriguing was the EXO, from French company EXOCONCEPT. Perhaps the best way of describing it would be to say that it’s like an electric Jet Ski, but the rider lies down on top of it in a prone position, instead of sitting on it.  Read More

Using a precision formation-flying technique, the twin GRAIL spacecraft will map the moon'...

After its planned launch this morning was canceled due to upper wind levels, a Delta II rocket carrying NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) has been rescheduled to tomorrow morning. The GRAIL mission will incorporate two unmanned spacecraft - GRAIL-A and GRAIL-B - which will fly in formation over the Moon’s surface, measuring variations in its gravity. Using this data, scientists hope to learn more about the Moon’s thermal history, and how other rocky planets within the inner solar system developed.  Read More

Purdue University's new app could keep unsuspecting travelers from ordering dishes such as...

Once when I was visiting Montreal, I went into a restaurant and discovered that the menu was entirely in French. Not wanting to admit that I couldn’t read the language, I was instead forced to order the only two things I recognized the names of: Caesar salad and calamari. Had smartphones been around at the time, I definitely could have used Purdue University’s new food translator app. It not only translates the names of foreign-language dishes, but it also tells you what they are and what’s in them.  Read More

Newly-developed superconductive sapphire wires are reportedly about to carry 40 times more...

One of the limitations of traditional copper electrical wiring is the fact that the metal’s resistance causes the wire to heat up, and some of the energy being carried through the wire is lost in the form of that heat. Wires made from superconducting materials, however, would have no resistance, so could transfer much more energy. While previous attempts at the technology have proven too fragile or expensive, researchers from Tel Aviv University have now developed a new type of cost-effective superconductive wire, that they claim can carry 40 times more electricity than copper wiring of the same size.  Read More

A simulation of a magnetic nanocontact shows how it causes spin waves to spread like rings...

The microwave technology used in applications such as mobile phones and wireless networks may be on its way to being replaced - with parts that are smaller, less expensive, and that consume less resources. Instead of microwaves, devices of the future may use spin waves, which are nanoscale magnetic waves. For almost ten years, it has been theorized that spin waves could be propagated using magnetic nanocontacts. Recently, scientists from the University of Gothenburg and the Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden, became the first people to demonstrate that the theory meshes with observable phenomena.  Read More

Nike is auctioning off 1,500 pairs of NIKE MAGS, as featured in the movie 'Back to the Fut...

Well, you may have heard rumblings about hints made at a mysterious press event that just took place in Los Angeles, but now it's official: Nike will be auctioning off 1,500 pairs of NIKE MAG high-top sneakers, just like the ones worn in the year 2015 by Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future II. While it isn't clear if the shoes automatically fit themselves to the wearer's feet (as Marty McFly's did), they are at the very least exact visual replicas of the kicks from the movie.  Read More

Contour has released its latest actioncam, the ContourROAM, which is simpler to operate an...

Amongst the various actioncam brands currently in existence, Contour is certainly one of the better-known. Today, the company introduced a new addition to its family, the ContourROAM. Like its predecessors the Contour+ and ContourGPS, it has a rugged cylindrical aluminum body, and a swiveling lens that users aim via two laser beams on either side. Unlike those cameras, however, it can be taken in the water, and goes from being powered off to recording with the push of one button.  Read More

The Flybus consortium is set to start testing its prototype flywheel hybrid bus

Gas/electric hybrid vehicles tend to be pricier than their conventional counterparts, and many people still worry about the limited range of all-electrics. If you want to move away from purely petrol-powered vehicles, though, is there any alternative? The four-company Flybus consortium would definitely say there is. It recently rigged up a bus with a prototype flywheel-based energy recover system, that stores the energy that would be wasted when the vehicle brakes, then returns that energy to the drivetrain when the bus accelerates. The researchers claim that it could deliver hybrid-like fuel economy, at a fraction of the price.  Read More

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