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New Satellite Will Be Space Mechanic and Gas Station in One

November 19, 2012 5:43 am | Comments

A young spaceflight company is building what it hopes will be the ultimate space handyman, a combination repair droid and orbital gas station to serve ailing satellites around Earth. The company, called ViviSat , is planning to launch a fleet of specially built spacecraft that will be able to attach to other vehicles in Earth orbit that need a pick-me-up.

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Your Favorite Music Fan Will Treasure This Twistable Wireless Speaker

November 19, 2012 5:36 am | Comments

Give the gift of noise this holiday season. HiddenRadio is a uniquely designed, portable wireless speaker that you can “unwrap” each time you use it. Rather than traditional button volume adjustment, twist HiddenRadio’s outer shell to increase or decrease volume. As you would expect, the volume increase as more of the speaker becomes exposed.

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Is Apple Bipolar?

November 19, 2012 5:33 am | Comments
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Robot Hand Picks Up Nyan Cat, What Else is Possible?

November 19, 2012 5:26 am | Comments

Humans take their hands for granted. We’re just as quick to make an obscene gesture with them as we are to paint the next Mona Lisa. For those building robots, however, dexterous hands are a never–ending conundrum. Building them is tough and expensive. Roomba manufacturer iRobot is working on innovating its way around at least a few of these major obstacles to build effective, affordable, and maybe even intuitive digits.

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Late-Night Gadget Use Damages Your Sleep Cycle

November 19, 2012 5:23 am | Comments

Does this sound familiar? You’re lying in bed, ostensibly ready for dreamland. But first, you grab your smartphone and set the requisite six alarms (all of them blaring the Star Wars theme ). But while you’ve got your phone out, you might as well text your buddy back like you meant to. Plus, now is the perfect time to plow through those 11 games of Gems With Friends that have been on hold.

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Mars Rover Curiosity Set to Hit the Road Again

November 16, 2012 4:52 am | by Alicia Chang, AP Science Writer | Comments

LOS ANGELES (AP) — After playing in the sand, the Curiosity rover is poised to trek across the Martian landscape in search of a rock to drill into, scientists reported Thursday. The six-wheel rover has been parked for more than a month at a sand dune where it has been busy scooping up soil, sniffing the atmosphere and measuring radiation levels on the surface.

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Study: Cellphone Bans Associated with Fewer Urban Accidents

November 16, 2012 4:47 am | by Liz Ahlberg , University of Illinois | Comments

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Cellphones and driving go together like knives and juggling. But when cellphone use is banned, are drivers any safer? It depends on where you’re driving, a study by University of Illinois researchers says. The study found that, long-term, enacting a cellphone ban was associated with a relative decrease in the accident rate in urban areas.

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Wire-Free Dream Closer with Renewed WiGig VESA Collaboration

November 16, 2012 4:36 am | Comments

The Wireless Gigabit (WiGig) Alliance and the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) have established a joint working group to advance the WiGig DisplayPort video standard certification.  This new joint working group will address interoperability between the DisplayPort standard and WiGig’s own Display Extension Protocol Adaption Layer (PAL).

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electronica 2012 Wrap-Up

November 16, 2012 4:26 am | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director, Wireless Design & Development | Comments

Okay, so it’s no surprise that the engineering community is continuing to be taxed by a need to shrink both the number of components housed on the board, as well as the size of them. So it’s been great to see how a number of semiconductor, power supply, and connector companies are working to provide these solutions.

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Thermogenerator from the Printer

November 16, 2012 3:39 am | by Fraunhofer | Comments

Wireless sensor networks monitor machinery and equipment in factories, cars and power stations. They increasingly “harvest” the energy they need to transmit measurement data from the environment, thus making them self-sufficient. At the Electronica 2012 trade fair, Fraunhofer researchers will present a printed thermogenerator, which in the future will be able to generate energy supply for sensors through temperature differences.

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Review: Nexus Tablet Showcases Google Media Play

November 15, 2012 5:11 am | by Anick Jesdanun, AP Technology Writer | Comments

When I first turned on Google's new tablet computer, I immediately thought of it as a mere conduit to Google services. Besides giving you quick access to Gmail and YouTube, the Nexus 10 steers you to digital movies, books and other content available for sale through Google's online Play store.

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electronica 2012 Promotes Greater Connectivity, Immense Power

November 15, 2012 4:58 am | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director, Wireless Design & Development | Comments

I’m at the midway point during my first trip to electronica and it has proven both awesome and challenging. Awesome in the number of new technologies that are on display; challenging in navigating a show that is so expansive. Awesome in how much I love Munich; and challenging (to my body) with the amount of beer consumption.

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Evolution of the Rugged Tablet; What's Next?

November 15, 2012 4:25 am | Comments

by Tom Callahan, QRC Technologies Although the origins of today’s tablets reach back as far as Konrad Zuse’s first freely programmable Z1 Computer , the device world has since branched off into very distinct directions based on user needs – consumer and industrial.

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Texas Instruments Cutting 1,700 Jobs

November 15, 2012 3:44 am | by The Associated Press | Comments

Chipmaker Texas Instruments Inc. said Wednesday that it will eliminate about 1,700 jobs as it trims spending in its wireless business. The cuts will reduce Texas Instruments' staff positions by almost 5 percent. Texas Instruments expects the job cuts and other changes will save about $450 million per year by the end of 2013.

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Speeding Algorithms by Shrinking Data

November 14, 2012 9:29 am | Comments

In computer science, the buzzword of the day is “ big data .” The proliferation of cheap, Internet-connected sensors — such as the GPS receivers, accelerometers and cameras in smartphones — has meant an explosion of information whose potential uses have barely begun to be explored.

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