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— Space

Human error and inadequate training blamed for SpaceShipTwo crash

By - July 28, 2015 5 Pictures

The United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released the conclusions of its accident investigation into the crash of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo last year over the Mojave Desert. According to the report, the accident was due to an error by the co-pilot, who prematurely released the spacecraft's feather system, placing too much stress on the fuselage and causing it to break up.

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Haz umbrella forecasts the weather for you

Umbrellas never seem to be around when you need them and even if you do have one in hand when the rain starts to fall, they can often be a struggle to put up. The motorized, push button-operated, weather-sensing Haz Umbrella is designed to tackle these issues.

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— Mobile Technology Review

Review: Ultimate Ears Roll waterproof speaker creates a splash

By - July 28, 2015 14 Pictures

Ultimate Ears boasts an impressive record with its line of Bluetooth speakers since the release of the original UE Boom in 2013, which it followed up with the smaller UE Mini Boom and the larger UE Megaboom. All of these speakers pack big sound, loud colors and a portable form factor. Ultimate Ears’ latest and most compact speaker, the UE Roll, launched just in time for the Northern Hemisphere summer and we dive in to see how it hangs, dunks, floats, and sounds.

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— Aircraft

Amazon makes its case for dedicated drone highways in the sky

By - July 28, 2015 1 Picture

Much of the talk around the feasibility of Amazon's Prime Air drone delivery service is rightly centered around how the vehicles can be safely squeezed into US airspace. But under plans outlined by the company at a NASA convention today, these aerial robotic couriers could have as much to do with larger manned aircraft as a school bus does with a freight train. By setting aside a low-altitude chunk of sky and splitting it into high-speed and low-speed droneways, Amazon believes that the needs of this fast-growing industry can be accommodated without bringing all manner of things crashing to the ground.

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— Automotive

Morphing tire concept adapts to suit driving conditions

By - July 28, 2015 4 Pictures

As the point of contact between a vehicle and the road, tires are one of the most important parts of a car. Unfortunately, there's no one size fits all, or rather, one tire fits all surfaces or weather conditions, tire and swapping them over when encountering changing conditions isn't exactly feasible. Kumho has come up with a concept tire that would avoid this problem by changing its tread to suit the conditions.

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— Home Entertainment Review

Review: Hi-Res-capable, DualCoil-packing T20 in-ear headphones

By - July 28, 2015 8 Pictures

Back in May, British headphone maker Reid Heath Audio (RHA) announced a new pair of in-ear headphones that debuted something called DualCoil dynamic driver technology. The company had managed to install two independently-powered dynamic voice coils on a micro ring magnet, one to handle lower audio frequencies and the other to take care of the higher end. The T20s promised a true-to-life reproduction and support for high resolution audio. We got to plug in for some hi-res, and lo-res, listening.

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— Good Thinking

Rail power could light up rural crossings

By - July 28, 2015 3 Pictures

While city dwellers may be used to railway crossings marked with flashing red lights, the easier-to-miss warnings at rural crossings often just consist of a sign. That's because there's no easy way of providing electricity to such isolated locations. While solar panels could provide part of the solution, a team of engineering students and faculty at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln believe that photovoltaics alone can't consistently provide enough power. Instead, they devised several systems that harness power from the rails themselves.

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— Science

Nanoscale device emits light as bright as an object 10,000 times its size

By - July 28, 2015 1 Picture

Amplifying light a few hundred times with magnifying lenses is easy. Amplifying light by altering the resonant properties of light itself is a much more difficult proposition. However, if recent research by engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers is anything to go by, the effort is well worth it: They claim to have constructed a nanoscale device that can emit light as powerfully as an object more than 10,000 times its size.

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