Standard drills will barely make a chip in concrete or brick. That's why contractors drilling holes in a home's foundation use rotary hammer drills like this new Hitachi DH50MRY. In addition to the standard spinning bit, it slams a weight—the hammer—forward to create a sort of jackhammer effect to crush masonry as it drills. But all that pounding beats the heck out of your hands and arms. The Hitachi is one of the first to integrate a counterweight to absorb recoil. The result is a safer and easier-to-control drill that's still concrete's worst nightmare.
Stanley Bostitch created the Hurriquake nail in 2006 to save homes from two great natural threats—high-winds and shaky ground. Redesigning this humble building component—and adding just 15 bucks dollars to the cost of a home—makes houses twice as likely to survive a hurricane and makes them 50 percent tougher against earthquakes. This innovation swept the Hurriquake to our innovation of the year award in 2006.
Stop the presses! Introducing the "PopSci Genius Guide," our new how-to multi-media mag. No paper required
By Mark Jannot, Editor-in-ChiefPosted 03.17.2009 at 10:56 am 8 Comments
I'm not known to buy in blindly to the next big thing, but here is something I know: The twin forces of economic necessity and technological opportunity will soon (in 3, 5, 10 years max) conspire to turn the phrase "print magazine" into an oxymoron. And you know what? It's going to be great.
The catalyst for this transformation will come when a next-next-gen e-reader hits the market, one with a screen large enough to display a full-size magazine page -- or, if you fold it open, a two-page spread -- in glorious, high-resolution color. When that happens, we'll probably offer an incentive of some kind to switch over to digital, but it won't take much convincing. You'll be able to curl up with the latest issue of Popular Science (or, plucked from device storage or the Web, any issue we've published since the magazine debuted in 1872) in the same way and in the same places you do now, whether bed, beach or bathroom.
Making good on a promise from December, start-up battery maker Boston-Power announced today that its almost-too-good-to-be-true Sonata lithium-ion batteries are now for sale, as upgrades for HP laptops.
Boston-Power's claims are impressive: A Sonata cell promises to charge to 40 percent capacity in just 10 minutes (say, the airport wait time from when they start boarding first class until they get to your steerage section). And they reach 80 percent capacity in just 30 minutes.
An iPhone app named "Cydia" made some big news recently, for posing the first real challenge to Apple's draconian dictatorship over the iTunes App Store. What's the big deal? If you haven't heard of Cydia, it's a gateway app -- a kind of seedy, underground version of the official App Store that let's you install unofficial, unauthorized and otherwise illegal apps to your Jesusphone or iPod Touch. The hubbub is over the latest version, which now allows developers to sell their wares and accept payments right inside of the Cydia app itself via Amazon Payments, Facebook Connect, Google logins, and soon PayPal.
Of course, Cydia and anything acquired through it can only be installed if you've mustered the cojones to jailbreak your touch-erific Apple handheld, thereby voiding its warranty. So, for the vast majority of multi-touch fetishists out there, news of this "alternate" app store is completely meaningless. Why should you care about it, then? Because the iTunes App Store, as it exists, is broken.
How could a technology be failing if it performs better and costs less than its competitor? That's probably what plasma TV makers keep asking themselves, and one we're been thinking about since both Pioneer and Vizio pulled out of the business last month. So we asked a few folks in the biz for their thoughts.
Is it the size of the wave or the motion of the ocean? That debate may never be settled, but a new study out of Italy suggests penile extender claims may not be as “short” on truth as widely assumed. Not something that concerns you, Mr. Well-Endowed? Well, considering the average American’s erectile length (5 inches) is well shy of the French (6.2 inches), Germans (5.6 inches), Italians (5.9 inches), Mexicans (5.8 inches), Chileans (5.5 inches) and Columbians (5.4 inches), consider it a matter of national pride.
Hundreds of thousands of Web sites show ads provided by Google, such as those little text ads that offer you everything from diets to dog training. Now Google has announced plans to track your clicks across all these sites, and then serve up ads personalized to your tastes. Visit a bunch of electronics-related sites, say, and the next site you view may show you an ad for the latest must-have gadget, even if you're now reading about ways to reduce stress through yogic meditations.
As Big Brother as it sounds, this is actually something that many advertising companies already do. But don't worry: There's a way to stop Google--and all the others--from prying.
Many ordinary FM and AM stations transmit small amounts of digital data, such as song titles. And nearly 1,800 channels are entirely digital. Radio manufacturers are starting to take advantage of this extra information, creating gadgets that can not only play music, but also take notes, help you shop, or even save your life.