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Electronics

Researchers at MIT have developed sun-free photovoltaics (Photo: Justin Knight)

MIT researchers have reported a breakthrough in "wavelength tuning" that promises to boost the efficiency of thermophotovoltaic (TPV) systems and in turn could lead to lighter, longer-lasting portable power sources.  Read More

Cellular-based automotive systems such as BMW Assist have been hacked by a pair of securit...

Cellular-based automotive roadside assistance services like GM’s OnStar and BMW Assist allow remote unlocking of vehicles by communicating with remote servers via standard mobile networks. Now a pair of security systems engineers have managed to prove it takes just a few hours of clever reverse engineering to crack the in-car cellular network-based technology to gain access to vehicles. They call their method “War Texting.”  Read More

MIT researchers have further improved the energy density of lithium-air batteries (Image: ...

Last year MIT researchers reported improving the efficiency of lithium-air batteries through the use of electrodes with gold or platinum catalysts. MIT News is now reporting that in a continuation of that work, researchers have been able to further increase the energy storage capacity of lithium-air batteries for a given weight by creating carbon-fiber-based electrodes.  Read More

Researchers at the Stanford University have developed a flexible see-through li-ion batter...

There have been numerous attempts at designing partially transparent gadgets over the years, with the LG GD900 cell phone being a notable example. Fully translucent mobile devices are difficult to produce, however, as they would require a fully see-through battery, which hasn't been available yet. Stanford University researchers now claim to have developed such a device - a see-through, flexible, lithium-ion battery, suitable for powering mobile gadgets like cell phones, tablets or e-readers.  Read More

MIT's backtalk project aims at tracing the journeys of discarded electronics by applying l...

Have you ever wondered what happens to obsolete electronics once they are discarded? How far do they travel and what are the "second lives" of donated computers? MIT's backtalk project aims to answer those questions simply by tracing discarded devices with location trackers applied to a number of e-waste items. The tracking data will be available to the public in the form of real-time visualizations, exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art in New York from July 24.  Read More

ION's Vertical Vinyl Wall Mountable Turntable lets users play their records vertically

If you’re over a certain age and still have a stack of vinyl LPs, you may have witnessed the fascination expressed by younger people when you play those records on your turntable – as far as they’re concerned, you might just as well be cranking up a Model T Ford. Well, if you really want to freak them out, you could always tell them that ION’s Vertical Vinyl Wall Mountable Turntable lets you play records vertically. How crazy is that?  Read More

The graphene coating, seen above as a dark blue patch connected to gold contacts, generate...

Hydroelectricity is the most widely used form of renewable energy, supplying around 20 percent of the world’s electricity in 2006, which accounted for about 88 percent of electricity from renewable sources. Now researchers at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a new method to harvest energy from flowing water using a nanoengineered graphene coating. The new technology only produces small amounts of electricity so isn’t aimed at large scale electricity production, but rather at self-powered microsensors to be used in oil exploration.  Read More

Victorinox has released its Slim Flash and Slim Duo rugged, detachable USB flash drive

A quality Swiss Army multi-tool with a knife used to be in every boy's wishlist in the past, but with the modern day road warrior's kit now taking a decidedly digital bent Victorinox Swiss Army is now offering tools that don't feature any kind of blade at all. Some tools offer just a USB flash drive instead. Victorinox has recently announced the availability of Victorinox Slim and Slim Duo USB Flash devices in a variety of color and storage capacity options. Having no blades results in being totally flight-friendly.  Read More

Armchair quantum wire could be used to create cables that can transmit electricity over lo...

The United States’ copper-based electric grid is estimated to leak electricity at an estimated five percent per 100 miles (161 km) of transmission. With power plants usually located far from where the electricity they produce will actually be consumed, this can add up to a lot of wasted power. A weave of metallic nanotubes known as armchair quantum wire (AQW) is seen as an ideal solution as it can carry electricity over long distances with negligible loss, but manufacturing the massive amounts of metallic single walled carbon nanotubes required for the development of this “miracle cable” has proven difficult. Now researchers have made a pivotal breakthrough that could make the development of such a cable possible.  Read More

Researchers have developed a memory device that is soft and squishy, and not affected by w...

Usually, the last things that most people want to do with a digital memory device are to drop it on a hard surface, bend it, or put it underwater. A new prototype developed by researchers at North Carolina State University, however, is made to stand up to all of those things and more. Instead of the brittle, unyielding materials that are at the heart of most electronics, the NCSU memory device is soft and squishy, and is not affected by wet environments ... “similar to the human brain,” according to one of its designers.  Read More

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