The 100-plus-year history of the automobile is checkered with failed technologies. Some of these features and functions are so bad that car manufacturers would rather you not recall them at all. To suss out the most spectacular tech mistakes of yesteryear, we spoke to car experts about their all-time favorites.
The amount of structural damage that radiation causes in electronic materials at the atomic level may be at least ten times greater than previously thought. That is the surprising result of a new characterization method that uses a combination of lasers and acoustic waves to provide scientists with a capability tantamount to X-ray vision: It allows them to peer through solid materials to pinpoint the size and location of detects buried deep inside with unprecedented precision.
UCLA researchers have developed a new transparent solar cell that is an advance toward giving windows in homes and other buildings the ability to generate electricity while still allowing people to see outside. Their study appears in the journal ACS Nano . The UCLA team describes a new kind of polymer solar cell (PSC) that produces energy by absorbing mainly infrared light, not visible light, making the cells nearly 70% transparent to the human eye.
U.S. Naval Research Laboratory scientists from the Radio Astrophysics and Sensing Section of the Remote Sensing Division in conjunction with radio astronomers and engineers from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), Socorro, N.M., achieve "First Light" image, May 1, 2012, at frequencies below 1-gigahertz (GHz) on the Jansky Very Large Array (JVLA).
Big data needs big power. The server farms that undergird the Internet run on a vast tide of electricity. Even companies that have invested in upgrades to minimize their eco-footprint use tremendous amounts: The New York Times estimates that Google, for example, uses enough electricity in its data centers to power about 200,000 homes.
Google has acquired iOS and Mac email client Sparrow, with the team behind the popular app heading to Google to work with the Gmail team. “We care a lot about how people communicate, and we did our best to provide you with the most intuitive and pleasurable mailing experience,” Dom Leca, CEO of Sparrow, said in a statement on the company’s website .
As expected, Microsoft reported a quarterly loss for the first time in its 26 years on the market on Thursday afternoon. The tech giant had warned previously that it would be taking a $6.19 billion write-down its 2007 acquisition of aQuantive, which Microsoft once hoped would help it break into the display market that continues to be dominated by Google.
The latest RFID market research from IDTechEx finds that in 2012 the value of the entire RFID market will be $7.46 billion, up from $6.37 billion in 2011. This includes tags, readers and software/services for RFID cards, labels, fobs and all other form factors. It includes passive and active RFID. Detailed forecasts are now available in the recently updated RFID Forecasts, Players and Opportunities 2012-2022 .
A revolutionary embedded algorithm in a new audio system from NXP Semiconductors N.V. boosts the output power of micro speakers by over 5 times, vastly improving the sound quality of mobile devices. By driving over 2.6 watts RMS into micro speakers that have previously been limited to 0.5 W, the NXP TFA9887 IC will give mobile phones, portable music players and tablets much louder sound, deeper bass, and higher sound quality – without risking speaker damage.
Building on its success of facilitating mobility initiatives for enterprise customers, Symantec Corp. today announced significant mobile portfolio updates to enable secure mobile email deployments, mobile application initiatives and Bring Your Own Device programs. With these updates, Symantec now offers the most comprehensive enterprise-grade platform with enhanced capabilities in device management, application management and threat protection.
The answer to better Wi-Fi security could lie on the surfaces of a wallpaper. A team of French researchers at Institut Polytechnique de Grenoble was able to develop a wallpaper that can allegedly block Wi-Fi signals. Working together with Centre Technique du Papier, the researchers claim that the wallpaper prevented Wi-Fi signals from being transmitted beyond the confines of an office or apartment.
Agilent Technologies Inc. and AT4 wireless today announced that they have signed a definitive agreement for Agilent to acquire the assets of AT4 wireless’ Test Systems business. Privately held AT4 wireless, based in Malaga, Spain, is a global provider of testing services and solutions for wireless communications.
U.S. semiconductor maker Ramtron International and Module Technology announced that they have entered into a technology partnership. Under the partnership, Ramtron and Module Technology will enhance Module Technology’s standard RFID reader hardware to support the faster and higher memory array of the Ramtron MaxArias wireless memory.
Daintree Networks, Inc ., and Philips today announced an agreement to develop advanced lighting controls products for commercial buildings through the use of open standards such as ZigBee®, helping customers to avoid vendor lock-in and ensure that their lighting systems are interoperable today and well into the future.
Researchers at Rice University and Lockheed Martin reported this month that they’ve found a way to make multiple high-performance anodes from a single silicon wafer. The process uses simple silicon to replace graphite as an element in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries , laying the groundwork for longer-lasting, more powerful batteries for such applications as commercial electronics and electric vehicles.
“The nozzle cover we invented was inspired by the human eye,” said Jae Wan Kwon, associate professor in the College of Engineering. “The eye and an ink jet nozzle have a common problem: they must not be allowed to dry while, simultaneously, they must open. We used biomimicry, the imitation of nature, to solve human problems.
Researchers from North Carolina State University and ImagineOptix Corporation have developed new technology to convert unpolarized light into polarized light, which makes projectors that use liquid crystal (LC) technology almost twice as energy efficient. The new technology has resulted in smaller, lower cost and more efficient projectors, meaning longer battery life and significantly lower levels of heat.
An innovative, high-tech "smart village" built in Malaysia provides a potential global template for addressing rural poverty in a sustainable environment, say international experts meeting in California's Silicon Valley. Rimbunan Kaseh, a model community built north-east of Kuala Lumpur, consists of 100 affordable homes, high-tech educational, training and recreational facilities, and a creative, closed-loop agricultural system designed to provide both food and supplementary income for villagers.
Parent company R esearch In Motion (RIM) may be hemorrhaging cash and fighting rumors of impending doom , but BlackBerry’s remaining users can still enjoy a new version of Twitter on their smartphones. Twitter for BlackBerry version 3.1 adds more detail and context to tweets, according to a corporate blog post that announced the update on Monday.
Lightweight, wearable gadgets have changed our workout routines. Some of us consider it an integral part of every workout to monitor our heart rates, activity and calories burned in real time. Future devices may become even more enmeshed in our fitness routines. Perpetua , a company that specializes in renewable energy solutions for wireless sensors, is marketing an insertable chip that converts body heat into electric energy.
Standex International Corporation today announced that it has acquired MEDER Electronic Group (“MEDER”), which designs, manufactures and distributes a broad offering of magnetic reed switch , reed relay and reed sensor solutions in an all-cash transaction. MEDER offers significant sales synergies as well as cost synergies resulting from expected procurement and infrastructure savings.
Smart City Networks announced that it has been awarded the contract to provide client technology and telecommunication services at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Ariz., for the next 5 years. Beginning this month, Smart City Networks will maintain the convention center’s phone system, wired and wireless Internet networks and cable television service.
Firefighters all over the world risk their lives to save others in the heat of raging fires in various scenarios, from wildfires to urban accidents. In most cases, they are required to dress hastily within 90 seconds to reach ground zero. Because of the rushed time, it’s only human to miss out on key accessories and equipment.
Does work have you constantly on the move? Tablets and smartphones usually make things more efficient and compact on the ground, but traveling with these devices can have the opposite effect. Wires and chargers and cases, oh my! Keeping them organized can be a time-vacuum, and the standard equipment can fill up your carry-on before you’ve stashed your other essentials.
AVX Corporation was recently presented with the 4-Star Supplier Excellence Award from Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) business unit. Raytheon IDS instituted the annual Supplier Excellence Awards program to recognize suppliers who have provided outstanding service and partnership in exceeding customer requirements.