By Michael MyserPosted 07.03.2012 at 11:20 am 12 Comments
To get a hot meal on the trail, campers must either lug a propane stove and fuel canister or try their luck on the uneven heat of a campfire. Designers at BioLite in Brooklyn have created a new solution. Their lightweight wood-fired CampStove not only burns as hot as a propane one but also converts waste heat into electricity to charge any USB-powered gadget.
By Troy DreierPosted 06.29.2012 at 3:15 pm 0 Comments
Last October, Acer and Asus debuted the first ultrabooks, a class of laptops characterized by their sub-inch-thick chassis. The trim designs, however, left engineers little room to include graphics cards or large, fast processors.
By Mark AndersPosted 06.28.2012 at 5:17 pm 8 Comments
At the Olympic level, where cyclists are in roughly the same physical condition, the difference between victory and defeat often boils down to a bike's aerodynamics. The more smoothly air flows over a frame and rider, the less wind resistance he will feel and the faster he'll go.
By John VoelckerPosted 06.25.2012 at 10:21 am 17 Comments
Later this year, Ford will roll out the Focus Electric, Detroit's first direct competitor to the Nissan Leaf. Like the Leaf, the Focus Electric is an all-electric five-door hatchback with a 600-plus-pound lithium-ion battery, a driving range of close to 100 miles on a charge, and a price tag north of $35,000. Unlike the Leaf, the Focus Electric is not a purpose-built EV; it looks almost identical to the gas-powered Focus, which is manufactured on the same Michigan assembly line.
By Brian Clark HowardPosted 06.22.2012 at 11:30 am 14 Comments
Rechargeable batteries were supposed to keep trash out of landfills. Instead they replaced old garbage with new. Consumers throw away billions of battery chargers every year; cellphone chargers alone account for almost 100,000 tons of trash annually. And as discarded chargers sit in landfills, they bleed toxins like mercury and lead. That cycle is about to end.
By Lawrence UlrichPosted 05.29.2012 at 10:08 am 18 Comments
Detroit automakers have recently been locked in a competition straight out of the 1960s: a race to create the fastest and most powerful muscle car. This summer, Ford takes the lead with the 650-horsepower Mustang Shelby GT 500. To break the 200mph mark, engineers departed from the muscle-car tradition of throwing a truck engine under the hood and calling it a day. Instead they redesigned the engine with lightweight materials, refined the car’s aerodynamics, and installed driver-assistance systems that allow anyone to drive the Shelby as it’s designed to be driven—aggressively.
By Scott AlexanderPosted 05.04.2012 at 3:33 pm 25 Comments
When Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo introduces a new videogame console, its obsolescence within six years is more or less assumed. Nintendo is likely to release the new Wii U later this year, and other console makers are rumored to be working on next-generation systems. But as early adopters line up to experience whatever new high-def graphics those systems may offer, the next-next generation of console is already gaining momentum.
By John VoelckerPosted 05.04.2012 at 2:12 pm 8 Comments
At the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, the start-up Fisker Automotive unveiled its Karma concept , a high-end plug-in hybrid the company would use to challenge Tesla Motors. Cofounder Henrik Fisker said the Karma would go on sale in late 2009. Then the recession, a switch in battery suppliers and other delays kept Fisker from shipping the first trickle of cars until late last year.
Remote-control jets have never performed particularly well. Their engines are less efficient than exposed propellers at an R/C plane's speed, which makes the toys sluggish and difficult to steer, leading to crashes. To compensate for the lack of power, engineers at toy manufacturer Great Planes reduced the weight of their F-86 craft to 2.35 ounces—30 percent lighter than any comparably sized R/C jet. With less mass to maneuver, the F-86 flies faster, turns quicker, and allows pilots to do loops and rolls.