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Technology Gives Back

  • Aug 12, 2014
    Commentary

    Something Rotten in the Valley of Silicon

    What's going down in Silicon Valley: "Cool" companies show their true colors...More
  • Aug 11, 2014
    blog

    A billion here, a billion there...

    Everett Dirksen, the late Senator from Illinois, is famously quoted as saying, "A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon, you're talking real money." Anyone who follows Washington politics is probably numb to the sums that kicked around and how much the government spends. But when you step back and look at the big picture, a billion is a really big number. Consider: If you earn $50,000 per year, it will take 20,000 years to earn a billion dollars....More
  • Jul 31, 2014
    blog

    The 7 Warning Signs of B(ogus) S(cience)

    For the past 17 years, Dr. Robert Park has been the leading force behind Quackwatch, a popular website that explores medical myths ranging from acupuncture to weight control gimmicks. He is also a professor of physics at the University of Maryland and director of public information for the American Physical Society. He developed a list of seven warning signs that indicate a claim is outside the bounds of scientific discourse and a good candidate for being a scam....More
  • Jul 25, 2014
    Commentary

    How to boost U.S. manufacturing jobs: Fake them 2

    Sometimes news coming out of Washington D.C. seems to defy common sense. At least that was my reaction to word about a proposal to call American firms that send production offshore “factoryless goods” producers. The problem is that if this idea gets implemented,  the value of U.S. brand-name products made elsewhere and imported here would be counted as manufacturing “services” imports, not imported goods. In other words, it would inflate figures for goods manufactured in the U.S....More
  • Jul 21, 2014
    Commentary

    Nine hardware pitches at San Francisco ‘Maker’ Startup Weekend 1

    Startup Weekend events are now pumping out hardware devices such as a NEST for pools and just-in-time liquor delivery systems....More
  • Jul 17, 2014
    Commentary

    Drones learn to observe environment and steer clear

    Late in 2012, maker-tinkerer and technical writer Paul Wallich created a buzz when he wrote about the drone he built to walk his son to the bus stop each morning. Fast-forward to 2014: Now researchers think they have a new way to make such UAVs and other vehicles more nimble in the face of environmental variables. The design uses neuromorphic sensors (that get triggered by sudden events) instead of the standard inertia-measuring sensors (such as accelerometers and gyroscopes) to track motion....More
  • Jul 17, 2014
    Commentary

    Today's STEM students are lucky

    Back in the age of dinosaurs when I was an engineering undergrad, the lab work generally ranged between uninspiring and discouraging....More
  • Jul 14, 2014
    Commentary

    Movie shows how Vermeer used engineering to paint perfection

    A movie is by inventor Tim Jenison and his friend Penn Jillette (the Vegas magician) documents eight years of work to recreate art by 17th-Century artist Johannes Vermeer. The art was most likely created through the use of a camera obscura....More
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