Our September issue has now been posted in its entirety--you can check it out here. As always, we'll continue to highlight articles from the issue online throughout the month, enhanced here with plenty of online-exclusive extras. Enjoy!
The age of remote-control warfare isn't coming--it's here, and not even the Air Force, which made it happen, is entirely prepared. Here, a firsthand look at the struggle to train thousands of drone pilots virtually overnight. By Eric Hagerman
Any green home worth its weight in compost draws heavily on solar energy. Mine is equipped with all the standard offerings, such as a solar-powered boiler, the subject of my last column. Trouble is, the sun doesn’t always shine. So to make up the difference during cold, dark winters and rainy spells, I’m turning to another eco-friendly energy source: my backyard. The two 325-foot-deep geothermal wells I’m boring there will use the constant 50°F temperature of the Earth at that depth to meet all my extra heating and cooling demands.
By Jonathon KeatsPosted 08.10.2009 at 12:25 am 3 Comments
In 1950, Alan Turing, the father of computer science, proposed a test for machine intelligence: Ask a human and a computer a question, and see if another person could discern the digital answer from the biological one. Now IBM engineers have devised a tougher task for Watson, their latest supercomputer: Jeopardy.
You don’t need big speakers to get big sound from your television. Emo Labs’s Edge Motion pumps tones out of a vibrating plastic sheet, just two hundredths of an inch thick, that sits over a TV screen. Its wide surface produces louder and more realistic sound than the small speakers in most TVs, but it takes up a lot less room than a separate stereo system.
An ergonomic joystick with haptic feedback replaces complicated controls on the new Lexuses
By Lawrence UlrichPosted 08.07.2009 at 4:40 pm 1 Comment
Since satellite radio, Bluetooth-connected cellphones and navigation systems all began competing for a driver’s attention, car companies have been trying to develop control systems intuitive enough that drivers can command their car’s gizmos without careening into a tree. The smartest new interface we’ve seen in a while is from Lexus, whose Remote Touch system combines a mouse-like joystick with haptic feedback and a high-mounted display screen.
By Emily KizerPosted 08.07.2009 at 3:59 pm 0 Comments
Ultrathin, affordable laptops: Think of these machines as the love children of netbooks, which are small and inexpensive yet slow, and full-power six-pound machines, which can run more-complex programs.
Netbooks, this year’s hit, show that skinny sells. So chip makers are releasing new varieties of the tiny, energy-efficient chips—usually found in sleek $2,000 laptops—that make faster thin machines possible.
How You’ll Benefit
Electric motorcycle friendlier to rider and environment
By Matthew CokeleyPosted 08.07.2009 at 3:41 pm 2 Comments
Harley riders might have a hard time getting used to the first street-legal electric motorcycle to hit stores. It sounds more like a Prius than an exhaust-spewing hog—that is, silent. But the Brammo Enertia is meant for commuters, not Hell’s Angels. The same electronics that make it whisper-quiet also make it simpler for beginners to ride.