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Ben Coxworth

Medical

Portable device detects Ebola on the spot

It would definitely be an understatement to say that the sooner the Ebola virus is detected in blood samples, the better. Unfortunately, those samples currently have to be shipped off to labs for analysis, often far from the area being studied. That could soon change, though, as a compact new device can identify Ebola in under half an hour.Read More

Science

Buoys warn swimmers of dirty water

Is the water in your local lake clean enough to swim in today? Currently, the only way to find out is for someone to take a water sample, bring it back to a lab, then report the analysis 24 to 48 hours later. Soon, however, water-sampling buoys anchored off of beaches could provide readings in real time.Read More

Bicycles Review

Review: 560G is claimed to be "world's lightest high-security bike lock"

When it comes to bike locks, there are two main types: heavy but effective U-locks, and lighter but less secure setups such as cables with padlocks. Well, Altor Locks is out to change that. Its compact new 560G weighs just 1.23 lb (or 560 grams, hence the name), yet is claimed to be extremely theft-resistant. We recently had the chance to try out a demo unit for ourselves.Read More

3D Printing

PolySmooth and Polysher take the edge(s) off 3D printing

While people are understandably pretty excited about what can be done with consumer 3D printers, one thing has to be admitted – the objects created by most of those printers tend to have a fairly rough, layered look to them. Polishing them by hand is one option, but Chinese startup Polymaker is now offering an alternative: a new printing material that essentially "self-polishes" when placed in an accompanying machine.Read More

Good Thinking

Smartglasses help the visually-impaired to use smartphones

Smartphone users with limited vision will often utilize the phone's zoom feature, making one section of the phone's display larger and thus easier to see. The problem is, it can be difficult to keep track of which part of the overall display they're zoomed-in on. That's why researchers from Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Eye and Ear have developed a Google Glass-based alternative.Read More

Drones

Insect inspires floatation system for DJI Phantom

Presently, if you want to land a consumer drone on the water, you're pretty much limited to buying one of the special amphibious models. That, or you could try a DIY approach such as fastening styrofoam pool noodles to the skids. If a new Kickstarter project succeeds, however, there will soon be a commercial floatation product available for the popular DJI Phantom series of quadcopters.Read More

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