Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Weather

Andrew Weekley demonstrates on-screen IODA;s capabilities of detecting bad data. Photo: Ca...

We rely so heavily on information gathered by satellites and weather instruments to help us program our daily lives, imagine what would happen if the data we received from these technologies went bad and foretold of cataclysmic outcomes in the days or weeks ahead? Panic could induce scenes on our streets reminiscent of Hollywood disaster movies. To avert such events - or just help get things right even if the forecast is more mundane - scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU) have devised an innovative computational technique called Intelligent Outlier Detection Algorithm, or IODA, that draws on statistics, imaging, and other disciplines in order to detect errors in sensitive technological systems.  Read More

Roman numerals surround the docked device, the screen of which displays analog clock hands...

Everywhere you look these days, someone is putting an iPod dock into something to try and convince you to play your favorite audio device through their product. SI Products has launched a few interesting variations on the dock theme at this year's CES trade show in Las Vegas including a voice-controlled alarm clock, a "Roman Clock" and a news and weather information center.  Read More

The Blunt Umbrella boasts improved strength, durability, stability and is safer than tradi...

Umbrellas have been around for thousands of years but, aside from the introduction of the collapsible umbrella in 1935, their design has remained largely unchanged - despite the well known design flaws that see them flip inside out in strong winds or threaten to take out an eye with their pointy rib tips. It was this threat to his eyeballs as he negotiated busy London streets in wet weather that set 1.9 m tall New Zealand designer Greig Brebner on a mission to design a better umbrella – a goal he believes he has achieved with the Blunt Umbrella.  Read More

The new Raytheon 4K by 4K, 16 megapixel focal plane array

Raytheon has announced the creation of the world's largest infra-red light wave detector, the "4K by 4K" focal plane array. Not only will it allow whole hemisphere satellite monitoring at 16 megapixel resolution but it should also make sensors less dependent on the complicated scanning mechanisms used in current systems.  Read More

The beauty of sunspots has been revealed through the use of supercomputers (Photos: Matthi...

An international team of scientists led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) has created the first-ever comprehensive computer model of sunspots. It is hoped the use of the supercomputer modeling - the supercomputers undertake 76 trillion calculations per second - will help scientists unlock mysteries of the sun and its impacts on Earth.  Read More

Satellite image of tropical storm Humberto (Photo: www.noaa.gov)

When it comes to severe thunderstorms, every minute of advance warning can be vital. Present methods rely on radar to detect impending storms, but a new technique that uses satellites to measure the temperature changes in the tops of clouds, could predict severe thunderstorms up to 45 minutes earlier than relying on traditional radar alone.  Read More

The +ECO Clima Control solar powered weather station

Oregon Scientific’s solar powered +ECO Clima Control weather station allows users to monitor the temperature and humidity in up to four locations within the home and outdoors and includes weather predictions on the best time for the unit to soak up the sun’s rays.  Read More

The new control interface now includes a bigger LCD screen and a familiar dial control

With the return of Summer comes the now familiar imposition of water restrictions and the unwelcome return of headaches for gardeners and nursery managers alike. Fortunately, pain relief for lovers of all things horticultural is available in the form of clever green tech known as smart irrigation, which plugs in to online weather information to optimize garden watering and minimize waste. Timing being everything in business (as well as comedy), smart sprinkler manufacturer Cyber-Rain has recently upgraded its range to add more independent zone control, better wireless communication, a simple and clear interface and an enhanced software solution.  Read More

View from a specially outfitted C-130 aircraft operated by the National Center for Atmosph...

The climate change debate has focused our collective attention on the importance of understanding the complex workings of our planet's weather system, but there is still much we don't know. In this latest breakthrough, a UC San Diego-led team of atmospheric chemistry researchers has made the first-ever direct detection of biological particles within ice clouds. By providing insights into, for example, how particles from Asia effect rainfall in North America, the research aims to shed light on one of the most uncertain factors of climate modeling and enhance our understanding of atmospheric cooling and regional precipitation.  Read More

Pedal power: the four-wheeled transport, called Quikey, Australians Roger Chao and Megan K...

An Australian pair plan to travel more than 7,450 miles in 12 months, through extreme weather conditions and terrains on a four-wheeled recumbent bicycle called a "quike" (on account of the four wheels). They plan to leave later this month on what promises to be an incredible journey, starting from Astana, Kazakhstan. All medical supplies, food and camping equipment will be carried on the back of the quike which could weigh as much as 960 pounds.  Read More

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