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Heidi Hoopes

Heidi Hoopes

Heidi measures her life with the motley things she's done in the name of scientific exploration. While formally educated in biology and chemistry, informally she learns from adventures and hobbies with her family. Her simple pleasures in life are finding turtles while jogging and obsessively winnowing through her genetic data.

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— Automotive

StoreDot to scale up nanodot battery tech in pursuit of five minute-charging EVs

By - August 20, 2015

Last year, StoreDot made news with its rapid-charging smartphone battery that the Israeli startup claimed could be fully recharged in just 30 seconds, while hinting the technology could be scaled up for fast-charging electric vehicles (EVs). After completing a round of funding for a new EV business unit, StoreDot might just be able to deliver on its vision of EVs that can receive a full charge in just five minutes.

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— Automotive

DEF CON focuses on vehicle security and beyond in wake of Jeep hack

By - August 10, 2015 4 Pictures

Last month, security researchers Chris Valasek and Charlie Miller made headlines when they remotely hacked a Jeep Cherokee, killing the transmission as a Wired reporter drove at high-speed down the freeway. But with cars representing only a subset of the Internet of Things, it's likely that many companies that had previously never considered whether their products were virtually as well as physically safe will similarly be responding to disclosures of exploits and courting future employees at hacker conventions in the future. Security researchers at DEF CON described the many attack surfaces of today's connected vehicle and pointed to potential improvements to protect consumers.

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— Mobile Technology Review

Review: Parrot MINIKIT Neo 2 HD hands-free phone system for your car

By - August 6, 2015 9 Pictures

Like many people who try (not) to use a mobile phone while mobile in an auto, I have sound- and device-management issues. That's why I welcomed the chance to try out the Parrot MINIKIT Neo 2 HD, a sleek hands-free calling and speaker system that uses either Bluetooth or NFC to connect up to two mobile devices at a time. Useable with or without its app and either iOS or Android devices, it's a good choice for those who can't afford a complicated stereo overhaul for their car and need to support multiple phone operating systems.

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— Automotive

Mcity opens as a first-of-its-kind sandbox for autonomous and connected vehicles

By - July 21, 2015 8 Pictures

Mcity at the University of Michigan is defined by over 28 acres (11 hectares) of fake buildings, purposefully defaced road signs, and pedestrians pointedly standing in roadways. While this could tax any human driver, the Mcity simulation is designed to test the university's fleet of connected and autonomous vehicles as they interact with an everchanging research facility that's the first of its kind.

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— Drones Review

Review: Parrot Bebop drone and Skycontroller

By - July 17, 2015 20 Pictures

As the latest in Parrot's line of smartphone-operated drones, the Bebop boasts a number of improvements over the AR.Drone 2.0 including a better camera, longer range, and an optional joystick-based controller. We put the Bebop in the hands of several quadcopter neophytes, tested it indoors (which is supposedly one of its strengths), and enlisted its 14-megapixel camera to capture some aerial footage. We also powered on Parrot's new Skycontroller, which adds physical controls and a more powerful Wi-Fi antenna for extended big range and potential FPV fun. So how did it perform?

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— Science

Carnegie Mellon to form "living lab" of internet of things through Google initiative

By - July 13, 2015 2 Pictures

When Google proposed its Open Web of Things initiative last December, it was seeking to increase interoperability, security, and an elegant user interface in the global movement towards connected smart devices. The company has awarded half a million dollars towards Carnegie Mellon University to develop its campus and eventually Pittsburg, PA into a "living lab" of cheap and ubiquitous sensors, integrated apps, and user-developed tools to work towards Google's vision of an integrated machine future.

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