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Brian Dodson

Brian Dodson
From an early age Brian wanted to become a scientist. He did, earning a Ph.D. in physics and embarking on an R&D career which has recently broken the 40th anniversary. What he didn't expect was that along the way he would become a patent agent, a rocket scientist, a gourmet cook, a biotech entrepreneur, an opera tenor and a science writer.
Photoelectrochemical (PEC) cells can use sunlight to sustainably split water into hydrogen and oxygen, but efficient PEC materials tend to corrode rapidly in use. A Stanford research group has been studying this problem, and has found that depositing a thin layer of nickel atoms on a silicon PEC electrode allows it to operate for over 80 hours with no sign of corrosion. Read More

SpaceX has made progress toward an initial crewed flight in 2015 after a "milestone" safety review for manned space operations of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 launch vehicle. Read More

What do you wear on your wrist, is one-third the size of a deck of cards, and helps you troubleshoot your latest electronics project? The Oscilloscope Watch, of course. The Swiss army knife of electronics, this tiny test lab (or bulky watch) includes a 2-channel oscilloscope, frequency analyzer, arbitrary function generator, and a protocol sniffer. The price? An amazing US$125. Oh yes ... it also tells time. Read More
The inFORM Dynamic Shape Display from MIT's Tangible Media Group allows users to interact with data with a minimum of physical barriers. It also allows users to virtually reach through a display screen, and manipulate physical objects that may be thousands of miles away. While the current version of inFORM has very limited spatial resolution, watching it in action gives one a strong impression of the potential of such devices. Read More
Sometimes everything can seem to happen at once. The new game in town is active invisibility cloaks (AIC), which use electronics and antennas to generate a cloaking field to hide an object. Two types of active cloaks have just been revealed (excuse the pun). While being impressive feats of technology, such cloaks could easily be defeated in practice. Read More
It's often a case of swings and roundabouts. If you save money by buying a house out of town, you spend more time and money commuting. If you really measure the momentum of an electron, you have no idea where the little guy is located. And now, according to a new analysis by a pair of University of Texas electrical engineers, the better an object is hidden by an invisibility cloak at a given wavelength of light, the easier it is to see at other wavelengths. Swings and roundabouts. Read More
Urbee 2, the first road-ready, fuel-efficient car built using 3D printing, is the subject of a collaboration between design firm KOR EcoLogic, direct digital manufacturers RedEye On Demand, and 3D-printing manufacturer Stratsys. Their aim is to put the 7 hp (5 kW) three-wheeled, rear-steering eco-hybrid on the roads by 2015, and then demonstrate its capabilities by crossing the US using only ten gallons (38 L) of fuel. Read More

An additional layer of security (and fun) can be added to your computer's LCD display by following the lead of Brusspup, a well-known online illusionist and computer artist. Just remove your display's outer polarizing filter, and use polarizing sunglasses instead. Read More

In a development that may enable a wholly new approach to artificial intelligence, researchers at Harvard University's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have invented a type of transistor that can learn in ways similar to a neural synapse. Called a synaptic transistor, the new device self-optimizes its properties for the functions it has carried out in the past. Read More
In a scene only dreamt of by most people, the employees of Garrison Bespoke, an upscale Toronto tailor, lined up and waited their turn to stab their boss, Michael Nguyen, with a hunting knife. Mr. Nguyen emerged from the experience unscathed, thanks to a remarkable bulletproof business suit that has just been revealed to the public. Read More
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