Top 100: The most desirable cars of all time

Efficiency

The Audi traffic light system uses icon prompts

One of life's small but satisfying pleasures is hitting the sweet spot while driving across town and catching all the green lights. At the moment, having that happen is a matter of luck, but Audi is developing a system that will make never getting caught by a red light an everyday thing as a way of speeding up traffic while improving fuel efficiency and cutting emissions.  Read More

According to Boston-based startup Spritz, you spend as little as 20 percent of your readin...

Static blocks of text like the one you’re looking at now are an antiquated and inefficient way to get words into your head. That’s the contention of Boston-based startup Spritz, which has developed a speed-reading text box that shows no more than 13 characters at a time. The Spritz box flashes words at you in quick succession so you don’t have to move your eyes around a page, and in my very quick testing it allowed me to read at more than double my usual reading pace. Spritz has teamed up with Samsung to integrate its speed reading functionality with the upcoming Galaxy S5 smartphone.  Read More

The rear sections of the RD House come into direct contact with the hillside, so are natur...

Cave homes, pit houses and other part or fully-underground dwellings all offer benefits in energy efficiency when compared to typical above-ground homes, thanks to natural insulating properties that help to maintain a near-constant interior temperature. Architectural firm Vasho made use of the same principle to keep RD House cool by partially burying it within a steep Dominican Republic hillside.  Read More

The Speed Up Bag is a combination cargo compartment and aerodynamic partial fairing

It's not uncommon for cyclists to carry snacks, phones, wallets or other items in a handlebar-mounted bag when out for a ride. Unfortunately, though, putting a block-shaped bag right on the front of the bike doesn't do wonders for its aerodynamics. That's why Slovenian inventor Joze Petkovsek created the Speed Up Bag. Not only is it sleeker than a regular bag, but a bicycle equipped with one is claimed to produce less wind drag than one with no bag at all.  Read More

Panigale batch hits the chassis assembly area.

For motorcycle lovers, this is where dreams are made. Ducati's resident historian Livio Lodi takes us on a tour of the Ducati Factory near Bologna, Italy, talking us through the production of the 1199 Panigale superbike from start to finish, and showing us the techniques Ducati has used to vastly improve its efficiency, output and reliability.  Read More

Researchers are claiming a record efficiency of 15.6 percent for a new graphene-based sola...

In 2012, researchers from the University of Florida reported a record efficiency of 8.6 percent for a prototype solar cell consisting of a wafer of silicon coated with a layer of graphene doped with trifluoromethanesulfonyl-amide (TFSA). Now another team is claiming a new record efficiency of 15.6 percent for a graphene-based solar cell by ditching the silicon all together.  Read More

The FrogPad2, seen here in basic silver, will come with interchangeable covers

Anyone who uses the keypad of a smartphone is by definition a typist. A great many of those people, however, have never learned touch-typing. Therefore, they don't really need that low, wide QWERTY keyboard, do they? The folks at FrogPad realized that, when they first introduced their compact iFrog one-handed Bluetooth keyboard. Now they're about to release its successor, the FrogPad2.  Read More

Twin Up! uses a 2-cylinder, 800 cc diesel engine in partner with a 35 kW electric motor to...

Earlier this year Volkswagen announced production of its 261 mpg hyper-efficient XL1, but with an estimated $145,000 price tag it’s unlikely the hybrid will become a common fixture on most streets. The company’s Twin Up! hybrid concept, which made its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show yesterday, could however become a more reasonable option for the masses.  Read More

Spectrolab has achieved a new world record efficiency for a multi-junction solar cell (Pho...

Spectrolab has set a new solar cell efficiency record of 38.8 percent for a ground-based multi-junction solar cell. The new world record doesn't exactly smash the previous mark of 37.8 percent, which was also set by Spectrolab, but is welcome news in a field where every percentage point counts.  Read More

Aluminum studs on top of a PV panel could boost the efficiency of any solar cell design (I...

A team of researchers at Imperial College London has found that attaching an array of cylindrical aluminum studs on top of a solar cell can dramatically improve the amount of light trapped inside its absorbing layer, leading to electrical current gains as high as 22 percent.  Read More

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