Author Archives: Kevin Fubar


Solar Magnetic Energy, Better than Photovoltaic Cells?

Solar Magnetic Energy, Better than Photovoltaic Cells?

Researchers at the University of Michigan have discovered a new property of light that allows them to harness the magnetic attributes of light. Electromagnetism being a classically unified force, the relationship between light and magnetism is well known, but the magnetic component was thought to be weak enough that it could be safely ignored. Stephen Rand, a professor at UMich, said of this, "You could stare at the equations of motion all day and you will not see this possibility. We've all been taught that this doesn't happen. It's a very odd interaction. That's why it's been overlooked for more than 100 years." Scientists are so awesome.

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How Green is Your iPhone?

How Green is Your iPhone?

It's Earth Day, right? And I'm a dirty hippie. I think about environmental issues a lot. Like many people I like the sound of birdsong more than car horns. I actually spent half of last year canvassing with Texas Campaign for the Environment. We were fighting to improve electronics recycling throughout my home state. Being the gigantic geek that I am, I spent a lot of time learning as much as possible about these issues. Looking forward over the next twenty years our production/consumption/waste cycles are the place where we can do the most good. Dealing with our waste products, whether in the form of gaseous carbon emissions, land-filled garbage, or industrial waste is our generation's great challenge moving forward into the future. Our friends over at geekaphone released this informative infographic giving you some idea of the scale of this issue as it relates to your iPhone.

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YouTube Boots Anonymous

YouTube Boots Anonymous

Anonymous has been picking up operations in the wake of WikiLeaks. They are known for spreading their doctrinal messages through YouTube. Today, the folks over at YouTube said, "enough is enough" and pulled the three videos for Operation Sony, Operation Sony Update and Operation Black Out citing Terms of Service violations. Operation Black Out is the most recent video posted by the international hacktivist collective. They voiced their position regarding New Zealand's new copyright legislation, the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill. Does this have anything to do with Anon finally turning their Low Orbit Ion Cannons aka LOIC toward a national entity?

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The Engrain Keyboard is Made of Wood

The Engrain Keyboard is Made of Wood

I've spent a lot of time looking at strange keyboards. Anyone remember the miniguru? I even once spent a few hours browsing Cherry's website looking at the various high quality keyboard switches for an abortive project last year. That said, thank God for talented industrial designers like Michael Roopenian. Us computer users spend our time interacting with our machines primarily through the keyboard, it's the primary place where we touch and feel the physical presence of the machine. Usually we're rubbing our fingers all over a collection of cheap plastic keys. My current keyboard is an unimpressive slab of black plastic like I'm sure most of us are using. The Engrain keyboard is so pretty and I want one. Now.

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2D Glasses, 3D No More

2D Glasses, 3D No More

3D is all the rage these days, apparently. I've already made my position clear when it comes to what I'm now going to dub faux-3D, because it isn't real, you see. I will repeat it here for posterity. It is bad. And I'm not the only one that thinks so. There are some reports that say that 3D might even be hazardous to your health. Some of my friends, over here at 2d-glasses.com have already taken the initiative and blocked one style of 3D forevermore. Read more for how they did it.

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Earth Day Driving Tips from Telenav

Earth Day Driving Tips from Telenav

Tomorrow is Earth Day. We only get one of this Pale Blue Dot to play on and not everyone can afford to immediately upgrade to a hybrid or electric vehicle, as much as we might like to. So here's some driving facts and some tips about driving greener. And remember, sustainability is also about saving money, and with fuel topping $3.84 a gallon we need all of the help we can get. Hopefully these tips will help you save a few bucks at the pump.

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Your Daily Dose of LEGO

Your Daily Dose of LEGO

Is LEGO better than coffee for getting through your day? I wouldn't skip the caffeine, but you can definitely check these out. We have here two separate LEGO projects, both impressive in their own right, for distinctly different reasons. They're both built with the Technic line. The first is an adjustable stand so that bad pixel over at instructables could play Game Boy on his Nexus One using a Wiimote. The second is a robotic factory line with four fully articulated picker arms, or as Chris Shepherd aka LegoShep aka TheOnlyShep calls it, the Lego Quad Delta Robot System.

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3D TV’s All Over the Place, Really?

3D TV’s All Over the Place, Really?

Most new-TV's coming out next year are going to be featuring 3D technology. Many of them are going to be featuring the active-shutter style of 3D, where instead of the red/cyan (pictured) or polarized glasses there is some kind of device that blocks each eye at the same time the specific image on the screen is projected in turn to produce the three dimensional effect. Really? I thought we'd all passed on this terrible idea back when everyone stopped using the VirtualBoy.

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ITC Staff Backs HTC, Nokia in Apple Patent Case

ITC Staff Backs HTC, Nokia in Apple Patent Case

The U.S. International Trade Commission recommended that HTC and Nokia should not be found liable of patent infringement vs Apple Inc. Today marked the start of an ITC trial in Washington where Apple is attempting to ban imports of HTC's mobile phones into the US. They are also moving to block imports of some Nokia devices. This recommendation is not binding, but it does mark the bureaucratic position of the US government, ostensibly the will of the people, in this matter.

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Bridgestone AeroBee Flexible E-Paper Shown off in Video

Bridgestone AeroBee Flexible E-Paper Shown off in Video

Bridgestone is a Japanese company best known for making tires. Last year they developed a QR-LPD, Liquid Powder display. Lately they've been working on blowing up the size of their displays. The largest? An A3 sized display with a resolution of 1920x2560. That's the size of two sheets of standard printer paper side-by-side. That's more than big enough for almost any task I can think of. Since they showed us those babies last year, they've improved the technology greatly and built them into some working tablet prototypes.

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iRobot Packbots Enter Fukushima Reactor

iRobot Packbots Enter Fukushima Reactor

Sunday, iRobot packbots entered the Fukushima Daiichi reactor building 3 to explore parts of the plant that have been closed to people since the facility was evacuated. Japanese nuclear workers were entering some locations in the plant just after the disaster, but now they've mostly pulled back to safe locations. The shorter term radiation doses were relatively safe, but at sustained elevated levels the threat of damage grows. The repair efforts continue with support from a number of robotic helpers.

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Angry Birds: Easter

Angry Birds: Easter

Angry Birds is a re-imagining of a game-type that's been around since time immemorial. I don't think humans will ever get bored with games involving throwing things at other things using basic animations and ballistics simulations. This game has been a smash hit across the board and Rovio dropped the latest seasonal release, just in time for easter. The Piggies are stealing chocolate eggs and it's up to the explosive avians and you to bust up their homes. Stand back big bad wolf, the birds are on the job!

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