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World's largest machine--the electric grid--is old and outdated

World's largest machine--the electric grid--is old and outdated

The U.S. electric grid is so old and outdated it can't handle the influx of wind power and other intermittent renewable resources. Integrating such sources requires adapting a system that is finely tuned to balance the amount of electricity being used with the amount of electricity being generated with fickle winds.

August 28, 2008 — David Biello
Game-playing astronauts infect NASA computers with virus

Game-playing astronauts infect NASA computers with virus

Computer viruses—the scourge of technology on Earth—have now become a problem in space, too. NASA has confirmed that the malevolent programs have also posed problems in computers astronauts bring with them on missions, the latest occurring when laptops infected with the Gammima.AG virus were ferried to the International Space Station (ISS) last month.

August 27, 2008 — Larry Greenemeier
Help wanted: Election Day techies to monitor e-voting mess

Help wanted: Election Day techies to monitor e-voting mess

Do you have an affinity for technology? Did you do well in civics class? Are you free on November 4? If you meet all of these criteria, then you might feel compelled to take a temporary job on Election Day this year as a volunteer election site worker or an electronic voting machine technician.

August 26, 2008 — Larry Greenemeier
Could RFID and satellites help fight kidnappers?

Could RFID and satellites help fight kidnappers?

The use of microchips to track people (such as those embedded in hospital wristbands) and products (those uncomfortable tags on clothing that have to be cut off prior to wearing) has come under fire from civil rights groups who claim that big corporations are using this technology as a tool for spying.

August 26, 2008 — Larry Greenemeier
Robot fliers racing to catch the Zephyr

Robot fliers racing to catch the Zephyr

The Pentagon's hope of having a squadron of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) capable of staying in the air and performing surveillance for years rather than hours recently took a small step forward.

August 25, 2008 — Larry Greenemeier
Homebuilt plane crashes into a house near Las Vegas, killing three

Homebuilt plane crashes into a house near Las Vegas, killing three

An experimental, build-it-yourself Velocity 173 RG aircraft crashed into the living room of a house in Las Vegas Friday morning shortly after takeoff from the North Las Vegas airport, killing the pilot and two people inside the home, the AP reports.

August 22, 2008 — Larry Greenemeier
Intel gets into the wireless electricity game

Intel gets into the wireless electricity game

Are we closing in on laptops that can recharge without those annoying power cords?

Yesterday Intel, the world's largest chip manufacturer, demonstrated a form of wireless energy transfer by lighting a 60-watt bulb from a power source three feet away, in an effect they referred to as WREL (wireless resonant energy link)

If the trick sounds familiar, that's because researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) reported the same thing last year under the moniker WiTricity.

August 22, 2008 — JR Minkel
Microsoft Photosynth introduces the 360-degree photograph

Microsoft Photosynth introduces the 360-degree photograph

After months of hype, the wait is finally over for people curious about Microsoft Photosynth, a service the company launches Thursday via the Web to let people turn series of photos into 3-D panoramic vistas.

August 21, 2008 — Larry Greenemeier

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Beyond XX and XY

Biology. Identity. Equality.