Programmable thermostats help save money by resetting the temperature when homeowners are asleep or away. But setting them up can be painstaking, and 89 percent of users never get them out of manual mode. The Nest thermostat requires almost no setup and teaches itself when to adjust the temperature.
Working out can be boring, and sometimes the easiest way to get moving is to be entertained. But new interactive gym equipment brings real-world workouts to your basement, making your home training more fun and more effective.
By John VoelckerPosted 01.20.2012 at 12:05 pm 28 Comments
Until now, there hasn't been an all-electric car fit for road-tripping. But Tesla's Model S, due out late in 2012, is made for extended drives. Its battery goes up to 300 miles on a charge. Its cabin is spacious enough for seven passengers. And it can get up to cruising speed fast—the Model S accelerates from 0 to 60 in 5.6 seconds.
By Amber WilliamsPosted 01.20.2012 at 11:03 am 5 Comments
Last August in Huanchaquito, a town on the arid northern coast of Peru, the winter winds uncovered six human skulls. A villager alerted Yale University archaeologist Oscar Gabriel Prieto Burmester to the find, and soon thereafter Burmester and his team had unearthed the ancient remains of 43 children and 76 llamas, and not a single adult—a sacrificial site. Preserved by the area’s dry climate, the 900-year-old mummies date to the age of the pre-Columbian Chimú culture.
Recently I converted my old Ford pickup to diesel, and I needed to make a bracket to hold a throttle position sensor, which helps to control the new transmission. Often I wing this sort of thing, working from notebook drawings or cardboard models. But this time I decided to use 3-D CAD modeling, CNC manufacturing and 3-D printing to design and fabricate the part to the exact specifications I wanted.
By Ryan BradleyPosted 01.17.2012 at 3:59 pm 2 Comments
Sten-Christian Pedersen oversees the northernmost antenna array on Earth, 25 dishes tracking about 100 satellites on the small archipelago of Svalbard, 500 miles south of the North Pole. Even when the winds are –76°F and visibility is 10 feet, Pedersen drives to the satellite station. When there is a risk of avalanche, he takes a helicopter. When there are polar bears, he carries a firearm.
Without conducting some tests on a smartphone, it’s hard to tell whether an upgrade is overdue or just a waste of money. The most important component to benchmark is the CPU, which is most easily done on Android phones—the free application Quadrant generates a graph comparing processor speed with that of other popular phones.
By Becky FerreiraPosted 01.13.2012 at 1:12 pm 33 Comments
The science of stealth has long been a matter of fading into already obscure environments—the night sky, say, or the deep sea. But engineers are now developing materials that could hide anything in plain sight. Instead of bending light inward, like water and glass do, these optical metamaterials bend it outward, guiding photons around an object like river water around a stone.
By David HamblingPosted 01.13.2012 at 11:02 am 12 Comments
Manned surveillance missions are critical to obtaining useful intelligence. But sending a soldier into sensitive areas can often be too dangerous. Scientists are developing robots that could do the job. Last spring, the Advanced Technologies Laboratory at Lockheed Martin unveiled a prototype that uses sensors to model its environment, detect potential threats, calculate lines of sight, and locate good hiding places.