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Eric Mack

Eric Mack

Eric Mack has been covering technology and the world since the late 1990s. As well as being a Gizmag regular, he currently contributes to CNET, NPR and other outlets.

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— Environment

Sir Patrick Stewart gets behind effort to collect whale mucus using "Snotbot" drones

By - July 27, 2015 6 Pictures

Gathering good biological data about whales can be difficult without bugging the big mammals with large planes, boats, tags, sampling darts or even biopsies and lethal study techniques. Instead, the Ocean Alliance wants to send custom drones to collect whale mucus – aka snot – for study and they've enlisted the help of Sir Patrick Stewart for the crowdfunding effort to finance the project.

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— Science

Material with new record melting point predicted

By - July 27, 2015 2 Pictures

New research predicts it is possible to create a material with a new record-setting melting point that would have a good chance of staying intact, even at the insane temperatures in places like the outer edges of Earth's core. Computer simulations run by a team from Brown University find that a precise combination of hafnium, nitrogen and carbon would have a melting point of 4,400 kelvin (7,460° F/4,127° C).

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— Home Entertainment Review

Review: Nano HiFi NH1 Bluetooth boombox

By - July 26, 2015 7 Pictures

The world of products competing for your ears these days is incredibly crowded, from the multitude of budget Bluetooth speakers on up to Sonos and others aiming to drag your dad's treasured hi-fi into the 21st century with top-notch wireless sound. The Nano HiFi NH1 falls somewhere toward the latter end of the spectrum, but maintains a notable level of portability and affordability. Gizmag had the opportunity to play part of our northern summer soundtrack over this nifty setup and we came away with this review.

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— Space Feature

New Horizons spurs new calls to make Pluto a planet once again

After nearly a decade in the wilderness of celestial classification, Pluto is on the rise again. In 2006, the International Astronomical Union voted to adopt a new definition of what makes a body a planet, and to specifically demote Pluto to the status of dwarf planet. Now, with new data and images streaming in from New Horizons showing that Pluto is not only a little larger than previously thought, but also home to some remarkable geological features (including what may be some of the solar system's youngest mountain peaks, reaching to 11,000 ft/3,353 m high), many are saying it's time to restore the ninth planet to its previous station.

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— Space

Planetary Resources finally deploys first spacecraft after explosive setback

By - July 16, 2015 5 Pictures

The asteroid-mining industry has taken a step closer to becoming an actual thing, with the successful deployment of Planetary Resources' Arkyd 3 Reflight (A3R) spacecraft from the International Space Station Wednesday night. The A3R's three-month mission will be used to test and validate some basic technologies that the company hopes to incorporate in future spacecraft that will prospect near-Earth asteroids for potentially valuable resources.

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— Telecommunications

There is a way to use dying UHF channels for 'super Wi-Fi' data connections

By - July 15, 2015 2 Pictures

To say that pulling data out of the air via a Wi-Fi connection is more popular in the United States than pulling down a video signal from a local UHF television station probably won't come as a surprise to most Americans, but use of the UHF spectrum is still prioritized for TV signals. Now researchers at Houston's Rice University have demonstrated how UHF frequencies can be used for so-called "super Wi-Fi" without significantly interfering with legacy TV broadcasts.

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— Aircraft

Solar Impulse 2 stuck in Hawaii after record-breaking flight

By - July 11, 2015 3 Pictures
Flying around the world on only the power of the sun turns out to be more of a stop-and-go affair than even the team behind Solar Impulse 2 may have guessed. The solar-powered, single-pilot aircraft began circling the globe from Abu Dhabi back in March, but must now remain in Hawaii until early August. While Swiss pilot and Solar Impulse co-founder André Borschberg survived a record-breaking five-day flight from Nagoya, Japan to Oahu with just minimal sleep, SI2's batteries didn't all fare so well without rest. Read More
— Wearable Electronics

LG's hexagonal battery gives an extra charge to round smartwatches

By - June 30, 2015 1 Picture

If you want a smartwatch with week-long battery life, then you're better off with something like Pebble than a color touchscreen watch – they typically only last a day or two. But South Korea's LG Chem, the country's largest chemical company and part of the same corporate LG umbrella that also makes smartphones like the LG G4 and the LG G Watch Urbane smartwatch, reportedly has taken a step towards addressing the issue with a new hexagonal smartwatch battery.

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