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  • The 10 Best Gadgets of CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in 2014

    This year’s CES unveiled a ton of new gadgets, but most of them aren’t that interesting. Here are the ones that we liked the best — just the most interesting gadgets and gear that we looked at.

    The thing about conferences like CES is that there is a ton of stuff to wade through — mountains of bluetooth speakers, phone cases, and all sorts of random things that nobody would ever want. There are also a lot of great products, but we’ve managed to narrow down the list to just ten of the most interesting things that we saw this time.

    Steam Boxes and the Steam Controller

    This controller takes some getting used to, but really is a huge step in the right direction.

    The biggest news at CES this year was the introduction of the Steam Box, a gaming console designed to fit in your entertainment center and bring PC games to the TV in your living room. Sure, you could always connect a PC directly to your TV and play video games, but this isn’t quite the same thing. To confuse things a little further, there are at least 13 different Steam Boxes of all shapes and sizes. Confused? Keep reading.

    This is one of many Steam Box designs

    Valve, the company behind Steam, the game distribution platform on Windows, Mac, and Linux, decided a few years ago that they weren’t happy with Windows 8, so they created SteamOS, a version of Linux that basically boots directly into the Steam client, so you can play your PC games easily. A Steam Box is just a PC that runs SteamOS and is designed to look good in your living room, and there are at least 13 different manufacturers that have already signed up to make their own Steam box in all sorts of different designs and specs.

    What makes all this work is the Steam Controller, which uses touch pads instead of analog sticks for movement and looking around in the game. The left pad is used for moving around in a game, while the right pad is used to mimic using a mouse in a PC game, and it works surprisingly well. It’s the first time that somebody has figured out how to bring the PC gaming experience to the living room with the accuracy of a mouse, but in a console-style controller more friendly for the living room.

    We’ll be writing a lot more about SteamOS and Steam Boxes in the near future once our review units get to HTG HQ.

    Playstation Now Puts Gaming into the Cloud

    This game was actually being played on a cloud server somewhere

    PlayStation Now is a cloud-based streaming game service that brings you PS3 games on a variety of devices like the PS4, PS Vita, PS3, new Sony TVs, and in the future, on a lot more devices. The only thing you need to bring to the party is a DualShock controller.

    How does this work? It’s simple: Your TV or PS4 or PS Vita will need to have the PlayStation Now app installed, just like having the Netflix app today. That will connect to the internet and the games will actually be played in the cloud and streamed to your TV — obviously this requires a pretty decent internet connection, but for those that have one, it works well.

    In our testing, the games work almost like you were playing them locally, with no lag between pressing the controls and seeing the action on the screen. One would imagine they will continue to refine it, and over time the internet will grow to handle that type of thing, but it was so fast that using it in person we didn’t know that the actual game was being played on a cloud server somewhere.

    What makes this such an impressive feat, beside the obvious fact of PS3 games being played off a cloud server with nothing but a controller in your house, is that it brings backwards compatibility to the PS4, in a way. The games will be subscription-based, and you can login anywhere to play your games, assuming you have a controller.

    The Pebble Steel is a Really Stylish Smartwatch

    We’ve already talked about the Pebble, the smartwatch that just works, and now they’ve decided to launch a new version that does all the same amazing things, but looks great at the same time. You can still get your notifications from either iPhone or Android, you can customize the watch face to look like anything you want, and you can look good doing it.

    The new Pebble Steel is made of either black matte or stainless steel, comes with leather or metal bands, and costs $249, a full hundred bucks more than the regular Pebble watch, which you can get on Amazon for $149, but it often goes on sale for even cheaper. And no, the original model isn’t going away.

    Mophie Space Pack

    iPhone battery cases are always popular, largely because everybody who has an iPhone is always complaining that their battery is almost dead. None of that is news for anybody — so what makes this product interesting?

    The Mophie Space Pack has extra storage for your iPhone along with your extended battery. While it can’t directly extend your built-in iOS storage, Mophie has an app that you can use to access videos, files, and pictures, and you can plug it directly into your computer to load it up with files.

    We can only assume that in the very near future, everybody will be making cases combined with storage space and the market will be flooded with knock-offs. But for now, this is a rather interesting idea that nobody has come up with before. Kudos to them. And whatever the opposite of kudos is to Apple for making a phone that has such a small battery that an entire industry of battery cases has spawned from it.

    You can get it in either 16 GB or 32 GB models, and it’ll be shipping in a few months.

    ChefJet Candy Printer

    Yes, that is 3D printed candy.

    3D printing has been all the rage for a while now, with the couple of main vendors constantly improving their printer functionality. What was originally just 3D-printed plastic has been adapted and improved to the point where now you can use 3D printing to make amazing things with all sorts of different materials. Many of these printers are actually affordable to own in your own house — sure, they aren’t cheap yet, but they cost less than a big screen TV did just a few years ago.

    ChefJet in action

    Now they’ve taken things to a completely different level with the 3D Systems ChefJet printer that can print candy in any shape you can imagine, using flavors like chocolate, mint, vanilla, and even watermelon. They have one that prints in monochrome and runs $5000, and then a pro model that prints in full color and costs double.

    So maybe it isn’t practical yet for the home user. But imagine if you own a bakery or a high-end restaurant — you could print out all sorts of weird and interesting combinations for after dinner mints, or make a cake topper with the Eiffel Tower in candy.

    Get ready for some really weird looking candy.

    Curved and Bendable 4K TVs Everywhere

    Everybody’s got a super high resolution 4K TV these days, and everywhere we went they were on display in all their glory. It doesn’t matter how close you get to the TV, you aren’t going to see any pixels, though you will get a weird look from the rep when you’ve got your face planted half an inch from the screen. How else are we supposed to see if there are pixels?

    There’s nothing really new with 4K TVs this time around, other than everybody having one. What is new, though, is the plethora of curved TV models, some of which bend on command. You can literally press a button and the TV curves towards you to give you more of a feel of being immersed in  the content, almost like 3D without glasses. As if we needed to inject Geico ads into our brains more easily.

    The one thing that you really are going to need to watch out for is the refresh rate on monitors and TVs — some of the vendors are pushing models that drop down to a 30Hz refresh rate when using the 4K resolution, which is different than the usual 60 or even 120Hz. You don’t want to go cheap on the refresh rate.

    While the 4K TVs are amazing and beautiful in person, when viewing 4K content, it’s probably not worth even thinking about upgrading to one at this point since there isn’t much, if any, content for them, and they are going to be really pricey.

    But boy are they pretty.

    The Linksys Blue Router is Back

    That’s right, the Linksys blue router is finally back. After being acquired from Cisco by Belkin, they have decided to bring back the blue router that we know and love, and make it modern, open-source, and really interesting.

    This new router will support 802.11ac, has a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor, eSATA and USB3 ports for hooking up a network hard drive, gigabit ports, and it’ll support up to 1.3 Gbps over Wi-Fi. They are actually releasing all sorts of information to open source firmware developers to make sure that there is support for the Open WRT firmware, and DD-WRT / Tomato will probably be right behind.

    The only knock against this router is the price, which is definitely not cheap at $299. But it’s got a ton of features, so choose wisely.

    MetaWatch and Cogito Smartwatches

    MetaWatch’s Meta is on the left, Cogito Original is on the right.

    Yeah, we’re definitely fans of the Pebble smartwatches, but at CES there were a ton of choices, including a few that stood out from the crowd. The MetaWatch displays a lot of information in a really nice looking watch, and the Cogito goes minimal with the data but looks good, and has one killer feature: the battery lasts for a year, and is replaceable. Neither of them are available quite yet, but we’ll be getting some review products in the door at some point, and we’ll let you know then.

    The External Battery Pack that Can Jump Start Your Car

    We already talked about this one the other day, but we liked it so much that we decided to include it again. This  external battery pack not only has dual USB ports for charging your smartphones and tablets, but it comes with jumper cables… so you can jump start your car if need be. Did we mention it has a 3-function LED flashlight too? You can get your own right now on Amazon for under a hundred bucks.

    The Crazy AORUS X7 Dual-GPU Gaming Laptop

    Just like the previous item in the list, we covered this announcement the other day, but any time you put two NVIDIA graphics cards running in SLI into a single laptop that measures less than an inch thick, you deserve to get a second mention. This thing is a beast of a laptop, with a blazing fast i7 processor, up to 32 GB of RAM, dual SSDs, and support for 3 external monitors. The AORUS X7 is a crazy laptop that is much more than most people would ever need to use, and with pricing at well over $2k, is more than most people can afford.

    But that’s exactly what CES is all about.


    source: Click Here !



  • green technology

    The term “technology” refers to the application of knowledge for practical purposes.

    The field of “green technology” encompasses a continuously evolving group of methods and materials, from techniques for generating energy to non-toxic cleaning products.

    The present expectation is that this field will bring innovation and changes in daily life of similar magnitude to the “information technology” explosion over the last two decades. In these early stages, it is impossible to predict what “green technology” may eventually encompass.

    The goals that inform developments in this rapidly growing field include:

    Sustainability - meeting the needs of society in ways that can continue indefinitely into the future without damaging or depleting natural resources. In short, meeting present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

    “Cradle to cradle” design - ending the “cradle to grave” cycle of manufactured products, by creating products that can be fully reclaimed or re-used.

    Source reduction - reducing waste and pollution by changing patterns of production and consumption.

    Innovation - developing alternatives to technologies – whether fossil fuel or chemical intensive agriculture – that have been demonstrated to damage health and the environment.

    Viability - creating a center of economic activity around technologies and products that benefit the environment, speeding their implementation and creating new careers that truly protect the planet.


    Examples of green technology subject areas

    Perhaps the most urgent issue for green technology, this includes the development of alternative fuels, new means of generating energy and energy efficiency.

    Green building
    Green building encompasses everything from the choice of building materials to where a building is located.

    Environmentally preferred purchasing
    This government innovation involves the search for products whose contents and methods of production have the smallest possible impact on the environment, and mandates that these be the preferred products for government purchasing.

    Green chemistry
    The invention, design and application of chemical products and processes to reduce or to eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances.

    Green nanotechnology
    Nanotechnology involves the manipulation of materials at the scale of the nanometer, one billionth of a meter. Some scientists believe that mastery of this subject is forthcoming that will transform the way that everything in the world is manufactured. “Green nanotechnology” is the application of green chemistry and green engineering principles to this field.


    source : Click Here !


  • Green Technology ( other version )

    Greenhouse emissions and Global warming are not just news stories; they are concerns that are driving change. Electrical “Green” technologies are gathering momentum for new development; retrofit solar- electric augmentation, energy smart homes and commercial buildings. Are you ready?

    We at E & S Electric are staying above the curve of the latest technologies in our industry. We can assist in the designing, application, installation, analysis, LEED certification, and work with your local utilities reimbursements process.

    “Green” Technology often translates into huge savings especially on electricity costs, enough to pay for the project over the long-run. Also it could mean tax breaks. Remember save the Earth and save money too. We’ve been researching and implementing “green” for years. Our ongoing research and training will give our clients the best for this evolving change “green” has to offer.

    Here is a list of the “Green” Retrofit jobs we have completed.

    • St Vincent DePaul locations in Madison, Waunakee and Stoughton
    • Mt. Horeb School District
    • Sun Prairie School District
    • Belleville School District
    • Suttle Straus, Waunakee
    • VFW Post 7591, Madison
    • Monroe Lumber
    • Piggly Wiggly Sauk City
    • St. John Catholic School Waunakee
    • CL Swanson, Madison
    • Federal Industries, Belleville
    • Mt. Horeb Youth Center
    • Robert W. Baird, Madison
    • Movie Gallery, Mt. Horeb

    Here is a list of completed jobs with energy saving lighting controls:

    • Iconica, Madison
    • Madison National Life Insurance, Madison
    • Wells Fargo, Madison
    • Tomotherapy, Madison
    • Associated Bank, Madison
    • State Bank of Cross Plains, Mt. Horeb
    • Amcore Bank, Madison
    • Farmers Saving Bank, Mt. Horeb
    • First National Bank of Platteville
    • UW Credit Union locations in Madison, Monona, Glendale, Sun Prairie, Middleton
    • Holliday Inn, Madison
    • USDA, Madison
    • The Gialamas Company, Madison
    • Kalahari, Lake Delton
    • Minitube, Mt. Horeb
    • Mirus, Madison
    • Hill & Wilson Dental Clinic, Madison
    • Madison Vein and Laser, Madison

    What is LEED?

    LEED stands for - Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

    LEED provides third-party certification for buildings to meet the highest standards for energy efficiency and environmental responsibility. LEED provides building owners and operators with the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings. The LEED program is helping the industry; adopt where we design, locate, build and retrofit buildings to achieve sustainability in our work and life styles” E & S Electric goal is to be doing green (vs. going green)with help from loyal customer and our community to generate sustainable revenue, achieving sustainability now and for the future for Mother Earth. LEED Accredited professionals are professionals who understand the green building practices, principles and a familiarity with LEED requirements, they can help you understand the LEED process and be the resource for you to move to the sustainability movement by following guidelines of the USGBC.

    THE U.S.GREEN BUILDING COUCIL (USGBC) is a nonprofit composed of leaders from every sector of the building industry working to promote building communities that are environmentally responsible, profitable, and healthy place to live and work.

    $1 for the new signup of the FREE Kindle Reading App.

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  • 11 Facts About E-Waste


    1. 80 to 85 percent of electronic products were discarded in landfills or incinerators, which can release certain toxics into the air.
    2. E-waste represents 2 percent of America’s trash in landfills, but it equals 70 percent of overall toxic waste. The extreme amount of lead in electronics alone causes damage in the central and peripheral nervous systems, the blood and the kidneys.
    3. 20 to 50 million metric tons of e-waste are disposed worldwide every year.
    4. Cell phones and other electronic items contain high amounts of precious metals like gold or silver. Americans dump phones containing over $60 million in gold/silver every year.
    5. Only 12.5 percent of e-waste is currently recycled.
    6. For every 1 million cell phones that are recycled, 35,274 pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold, and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered.
    7. Recycling 1 million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity  used by 3,657 U.S. homes in a year.
    8. E-waste is still the fastest growing municipal waste stream in America, according to the EPA.
    9. A large number of what is labeled as “e-waste” is actually not waste at all, but rather whole electronic equipment or parts that are readily marketable for reuse or can be recycled for materials recovery.
    10. It takes 539 pounds of fossil fuel, 48 pounds of chemicals, and 1.5 tons of water to manufacture one computer and monitor
    11. Electronic items that are considered to be hazardous include, but are not limited to:
    • Televisions and computer monitors that contain cathode ray tubes
    • LCD desktop monitors
    • Laptop computers with LCD displays
    • LCD televisions
    • Plasma televisions
    • Portable DVD players with LCD screens.


    source : Click Here !


  • 10 Facts about Portable Electronics and Airplanes

    As the recent flurry of articles about why portable electronic devices are restricted during air travel makes clear, the conclusion to be drawn from the information available is a very complicated: “We just don’t know.” For this reason alone airlines err on the side of caution, asking people nicely (and sometimes not so nicely) to turn off their gadgets during takeoff and landing.

    Here’s what we do know, or at least here’s what makes sense and comes from reputable sources, including the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA):


    1.    Radio-frequency emissions from cell phones, laptops and other electronics can occur at the same frequencies used by aircraft communication, navigation and surveillance radio receivers. These emissions could cause fluctuations in navigation readouts, problems with other flight displays, and interference with air traffic communications.

    2.    It’s less risky to let passengers use portable electronics (with the exception of cell phones) at cruising altitudes above 3,000 meters* because the flight crew would have more time to diagnose and address any possible interference than they would during takeoff or landing.

    3.    Because passengers bring such a variety of portable electronics onboard in so many different states of function or disrepair, the FAA can’t assure that none of them will interfere with flight instrumentation. The agency thus tells carriers to prohibit their use completely during critical phases of flight.

    4.    The FAA has begun allowing flight crews to use tablet computers including iPads in the cockpit. But this is not as surprising as it might sound: Crews have actually been using portable computers called “electronic flight bags” since the early 1990s to replace printed aircraft operating manuals, flight crew operating manuals and navigational charts.

    5.    Portable voice recorders, hearing aids, electric shavers and heart pacemakers do not need to be shut off at any time during a flight because their signals don’t interfere with aircraft systems.

    6.    For any gadget not specifically mentioned by FAA rules, an airline must demonstrate that this device doesn’t interfere with aircraft operation before it is allowed on board.

    7.    The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has banned the inflight use of 800 MHz cell phones since 1991 to keep cell networks from interfering with airplane instrumentation. (Before that cell phones were banned because they didn’t fit in the overhead luggage compartment or safely under a passenger’s seat.)

    8.    The FCC and FAA work in tandem to ban cell phones on airplanes. Even if a cell phone were to meet the FAA’s safety requirements, an airline would need an exemption from the FCC rule for that cell phone to be used inflight. Likewise, if the FCC rescinds its ban, the FAA would require an airline to show that the use of a specific model of phone won’t interfere with the navigation and communications systems of the specific type of aircraft on which it would be used.

    9.    RTCA, Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based federal advisory group, concluded that the FAA should keep its inflight restrictions in place after the group studied electromagnetic interference from cell phones and Wi-Fi transmitters in laptops from 2003 to 2006. At the same time, RTCA also published detailed processes that carriers and electronics makers can follow to certify such devices for inflight use if desired.


    10.    Airlines may offer inflight Wi-Fi between takeoff and landing. The FAA doesn’t restrict the use of Skype or other Internet calling software. (Airlines, however, have banned them for the sanity of their crew and passengers.)


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  • What is “Electricity”?

    Have you ever asked yourself what electricity really is?

    If we’d go back in time by a couple of hundred years, you would possibly have found these definitions:

    “First of all there is static electricity. That is the sort when we get a sudden jolt while touching a door knob or similar object after walking on a carpet. Secondly there is animal electricity. This is the kind which makes a frog leg twitch when certain metals in or around the dead frog are connected. Thirdly, there is the sort of electricity which comes right down from the sky. It can be collected by a kite and makes sparks jump to your hand…”

    We may laugh, but that was the way scientists many years ago explained those strange happenings they were so eager to demonstrate.

    But there ARE different kinds of electricity, aren’t there? The sparks from a Van der Graaff generator *) or lightning during a thunderstorm cannot be compared to the tiny power lighting up a torch?

    Let’s find out.

    Take water as an example. Water may appear as ice or snow one day, steam another day. We drink it when we are thirsty, we swim in it. And as water is always water, so electricity is always electricity. It is energy, the movement of electrons. It may be a steady one-way current, (as in the torch light – DC), it may alternate from positive to negative many times a second (for example in your domestic power supply – AC) , or the music signal fed to your loudspeaker (which we call a complex signal), or finally the short but extremely high energy burst released in a lightning strike (a pulse). It may even be stationary. Like a spring that is pulled but not allowed to relax, an object can be electrically charged and then we talk about ‘static electricity’.

    Pic 1

    The bow and arrow in the drawing above will help you understand the difference between voltage and current.

    Electricity has two different values and how strong or weak each of them are depends on where they occur and how they are generated: Tension, or pressure (better still: the Potential Difference between two points) which we call VOLTAGE is expressed in VOLTS. That is one. The other value is the amount, the CURRENT, that is how many electrons are pushed around a circuit by the voltage. And this CURRENT is measured inAMPERES (or Amps for short).

    We can calculate both those values and that leads to some interesting experiments, especially if we have some actual parts at hand, and instruments, to verify our calculations. How we can do this we will see later.

    Keep in mind that current and voltage values can vary enormously. Arc welding, for example, takes a large amount of current while the voltage is low (maybe some 120 Amps at 80 Volts). On the other extreme we have the sparks from the Van Der Graaff generator. Here we may find up to hundreds of thousands of volts. Sparks may jump over a distance of several inches. They will not kill you. The current is by far too low for that.

    But it’s all simply the mysterious and yet so very useful energy which we simply call: Electricity. It is the force that in modern electronics makes all our wonderful gadgets work. In the following ELECTRONICS FOR JUNIORS FACT SHEETS we will examine – one interesting fact at a time (to make it easy for us) – what you can do with it and have fun doing it.

    *) A ‘Van de Graaff Generator’ is a gadget that produces extremely high voltages while the current is very low indeed. The voltage creates some fantastic display of sparks. Generators of this type may be found in technical institutions and some electronic laboratories. They should be used only by people experienced in that kind of high-voltage electricity. There are interesting web pages on the net. Search for “Van_de_Graaff”.


    source : Click Here !



  • AMAZING Electricals & Electronics facts


    1. Electricity travels at the speed of light more than 186,000 miles per second!
    2. If you had a light bulb on the moon connected to a switch in your bedroom, it would take only 1.26 seconds for that bulb to light up, 238,857 miles away.
    3. If you traveled as fast as electricity, (about 300,000 kilometers = 186,411.358 miles per second the speed of light), you could go around the world 8 times in the time it takes to turn on a light switch.
    4. A spark of static electricity can measure up to three thousand (3,000) volts.
    5. A bolt of lightning can measure up to three million (3,000,000) volts and it lasts less than one second!
    6. Thomas Edison didn’t invent the first light bulb but he did invent one that stayed lit for more than a few seconds. Thomas Edison invented more than 2,000 new products, including almost everything needed for us to use electricity in our homes: switches, fuses, sockets and meters.
    7. Ben Franklin didn’t discover electricity but he did prove that lightning is a form of electrical energy.’
    8. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, electricity consumption will increase by 51 percent from 2002 to 2025.
    9. The first power plant owned by Thomas Edison opened in New York City in 1882.

    10. The first central power plant ? Pearl Street Station in lower Manhattan, built by Thomas Edison began generating electricity on September 4, 1882. Pearl Street had one generator and it produced power for 800 electric light bulbs. Within 14 months, Pearl Street Station had 508 subscribers and 12,732 bulbs.  Since the first power plant lit up 800 light bulbs in 1882, the electric utility industry has grown to generate over 2.5 million gigawatt-hours annually, the equivalent of lighting 4.8 billion 60-watt light bulbs for a year.

    1. 11.  If you scuffed your feet long enough without touching anything, you would build up so many electrons that your finger would explode!  But this is nothing to worry about, unless you have carpeting.

    12. The electrons travel through your bloodstream and collect in your finger, where they form a spark that leaps to your friend’s filling, then travels down to his feet and back into the carpet, thus completing the circuit.

    13. Approximately 0.01 Amps of current is enough to kill.Scary, isn’t it? There aren’t very many machines that you will find that use less than .01 Amps.

    14. Electrocution is one of the top causes of workplace deaths This is a sad, but very true, fact. Anything from a loose wire to water being in the wrong place can cause a worker to be electrocuted. Always be on the lookout for any electrical hazards, including loose wires, spills, water leaks, etc.

    15. A loud person may become quiet; a quiet person may become loud and obtrusive. Electrotherapy is still used today for this very reason; an electrical shock can change the behavioural patterns of any person.

    16. The electric eel can generate up to 500 Volts at 1 Ampere

    17. This is a disgusting fact, but I felt that I had to mention it. The electric eel doesn’t zap itself because the organs responsible for the release of electricity are located in its tail. Water conducts the electricity and pulls it away from the eel.

    18. If you give a static shock when touching a touch lamp, the lamp won’t turn on

    19. This was bizarre, but give it a try. A touch lamp turns on because of sensors that detect a change in the capacitance when a person or animal touches it. However, somehow the sensors are not set off when a static shock is applied.

    20. If you were to put a battery into a flashlight backward, and then added a lot more voltage, eventually the flashlight would turn on… just before it explodes.There is a long explanation for this, but just trust me. Don’t try it.

    21. The electric chair was invented by a dentistThe dentist’s name was Alfred P. Southwick. It was Thomas Edison’s employee who actually built the chair

    22. It is suspected that lightning actually works from the ground up.While it is widely believed that a bolt of lightning shoots from the sky, a slow-motion video was taken a number of years ago showing lightning working from the ground up. Doesn’t this scare you when you think about hooking to ground before doing some electrical work?

    23. A static shock that you can see, hear, and feel is approximately 250 Volts of electricity (but can definitely be higher than that)

    24. The next time that you’re in the dark, moving blankets around and watching sparks fly (no joke intended), think about all the electricity that you’re generating.Human beings can handle significant amounts of voltage; it’s the current that kills people Current takes the easiest path with the least resistance, going through the body and back to ground. If the path of least resistance happens to be across your chest, your heart will stop.


    source : Click Here !


  • Top 10 Scary Modern Technologies

    Technology makes our lives better. You’re taking a MOOC class, and have your appointments organized on your computer. You watch wepisodes on your internet-capable high-definition television. You pay your bills electronically and save time and money. That’s fine and dandy, until someone takes out the electronic banking system and the machines take over the planet.

    Sounds crazy? Perhaps. None of the gadgets and innovations we included in our list of 10 scary technologies is likely to rain death and destruction on our little planet, though that doesn’t prevent people from being unnerved by them. Read on to find out what weirdness may await in the future.

    That voice you hear in the store urging you to buy something you hadn’t planned on may not be inside your head.

    Noel Hendrickson/Digital Vision/ Thinkstock

    Imagine that you walk into your friendly neighborhood big box store and instead of being greeted by a smiling retiree, you hear whispered voices prompting you to buy things. You spin around to see who’s speaking, but there’s no one there and none of the other shoppers seem alarmed. Have you finally gone nuts? No, but the]advertising industry has.

    A company called Holosonics has developed a technology called the Audio Spotlight system, which uses tiny speakers to focus sound into a very narrow beam. Ultrasonic frequencies are too high for the human ear to hear, but as the sound travels from the Audio Spotlight system’s speakers, air distorts the sound and makes it audible. It’s perfect for in-store advertising, but you’d have to be standing in the right place to hear it.

    J. Craig Venter speaks after a screening of “Cracking the Ocean Code,” at the American Museum of Natural History in 2006. Venter and his team have discovered at least 5 million new genes and 7,000 new microbial species in waters all over the planet.

    Michael Nagle/Getty Images

    When the human genome was fully mapped in 2003, researchers around the globe began to dissect the genome’s 3 billion-plus base pairs for the root causes of diseases like Alzheimer’s and common cancers. But that was only the beginning. The real dream of biotechnology is not only to understand how our DNAexpresses itself, but also to “write” new DNA that heals disease and repairs bodies from the inside out. J. Craig Venter, the bio-entrepreneur whose company helped map the genome, reached a new milestone in 2010 when he built the world’s first synthetic, self-replicating chromosome [source: Hessel]. He loaded some homemade synthetic DNA into a bacterial cell and watched it grow and divide according to computer-generated As, Ts, Gs and Cs. By his own reckoning, he had created “life.”

    In the happy scenario, biologists of the near future will figure out how to program viruses and bacteria to deliver custom-made cures that shrink cancerous tumors or reverse the tide of dementia. In the super scary scenario, bioterrorists engineer deadly superbugs that target us at a genetic level. In a 2012 article, The Atlantic imagined a technologically plausible scheme in which the president of the United States is assassinated by a highly contagious cold designed to target a weak link in his specific genetic code [source:Hessel]. To keep your DNA out of enemy hands, it’s best not to leave the house without a hairnet and rubber gloves.

    An IT security researcher looks for computer viruses in Seoul, South Korea in 2013. A cyberattack on the networks that ran three banks, two broadcasters and an ISP was traced to an IP address in China, but experts think the attacks were from North Korea.

    Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

    Imagine a war fought completely by computer. No, we’re not talking about a scene out of the movie “WarGames,” we’re talking an all-out attack on a nation’s electronic infrastructure. What’s that, you may ask? Those are the systems that control emergency response services, banks and other electronic commerce, the systems that run the electrical grid, water and fuel pipeline controls, and oh, yeah: defense weaponry. A well-executed attack could cause serious disruption and open the populace up to physical threats.

    In 2013, FBI Director James Comey predicted that cyberattacks would soon overtake traditional international terrorism as the greatest threat to homeland security [source: Johnson]. In 2008,Georgia suspected Russia of denial-of-service attacks (which Russia denied) [source: Markoff]. In 2013, South Korea accused North Korea of cyberttacks. Hackers have taken on the Pentagon, and some suspect terrorist organizations of training their operatives to launch computer assaults. So how do you defend against a cyberattack? Educating people about computer viruses and Trojan horses will help, and using updated antivirus software is also important.

    Cyberattacks actually might be useful tools against machines that have learned to think for themselves and chosen to eliminate humanity. It’s the stuff of science fiction, but why do some people believe this could happen? Learn more on the next page.

    A user learns how to scan his palm to ensure that he cannot exchange more than $1,000 in a single day on the world’s first bitcoin ATM at Waves Coffee House in Vancouver, B.C., in 2013.

    David Ryder/Getty Images

    Artificial intelligence (AI) has come a long way since computers first made the scene. Yet we’re not at the edge of a dystopian society in which the machines run amok and humankind fights for its survival. At least, not yet.

    In 1993, Vernor Vinge, a math professor at San Diego State University, proposed what he called thesingularity – a time at which computer networks may become self-aware through advanced AI, and interfaces between people and computers help humankind evolve. Biological advancements may become so sophisticated that doctors can even engineer human intelligence. There is a possibility, however, that AI might allow machines to take over the world. There’s no guarantee that such a scenario will really happen, and technological limitations may prevent it. Still, the idea that machines might someday decide we’re irrelevant and arrange for our destruction is more than a little creepy.

    Attendees wear Google Glass while posing for a group photo during the Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco, 2013.

    Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

    Google Glass, the high-tech specs with a built-in camera and pop-up display, turns the idea of Big Brother on its head. Maybe the surveillance menace of the future won’t be a fascist regime with spy cameras on every corner, but rather an army of geeks recording every waking moment of their lives with a nod of the head and the wink of an eye.

    Aside from the inherent dorkiness of Glass, privacy is the biggest concern with the search giant’s latest foray into world domination. What’s to stop a Glasshead from turning on his camera in the subway, the doctor’s office or the gym locker room? Several U.S. casinos, bars and movie theaters have already banned Glass [source: Stern]. Google says that Glass isn’t that creepy. For example, a small light indicates when video is being recorded and Glass wearers have to look at a subject and wink to take a picture. Yeah, that’s not creepy at all.

    Another scary prospect is the combination of Glass, social media and facial recognition technology. Some app developers are excited about the prospect of a Glass app that can recognize a stranger’s face and pull up information about the person scoured from their Facebook and LinkedIn pages [source: Bloomberg View]. While Google rejects the idea of facial recognition on Glass, the company has patented eye-tracking technology that would record what ads you look at in the real world and charge fees to advertisers on a “pay-per-gaze” basis [source: Rieland].

    While we’re on the subject of scary surveillance, let’s take to the skies.

    Journalists watch a quadrocopter drone with a device for marking telephone cables with artificial DNA take off in 2013. Deutsche Telekom is releasing drones across Germany to fight cable theft, which has shot up with the increasing value of copper.

    Sean Gallup/Getty Images

    A CIA operator in Virginia can fly a near-silent Predator drone through the night sky of Pakistan, locate his target on a video screen and rain down Hellfire missiles from the comfort of his cubicle [source: Mayer]. While counterterrorism officials and the White House defend unmanned drones as a “cleaner” alternative to military action, the use of drones raises important questions about government-sanctioned assassination and the inevitable deaths of innocent civilians.

    As scary as military drones are, people are truly creeped out by the prospect of domestic spy drones. In 2012, the U.S. Congress passed a bill allowing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to draw up rules for the use of commercial and police drones in U.S. airspace [source: Smithson]. And New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg commented that the presence of drones hovering over American cities was “inevitable” [source: Haq]. Law enforcement is buzzed over the idea of trailing suspects from the skies, but privacy advocates worry that it’s a small step from targeted surveillance to indiscriminate 24/7 spying on everyone [source: Lowy].

    For a totally different kind of creepy, let’s look at the desktop technology that promises to revolutionize manufacturing if it doesn’t get outlawed first.

    A 3-D printer makes an object in a fabrication laboratory (fab lab) in Strasbourg, eastern France.


    The MakerBot Replicator 2 offers the remarkable ability to print out a 3-D plastic model of just about anything you can imagine: a child’s toy, a gear for a wind turbine, or a perfectly rendered model of your own butt. Desktop 3-D printing is undoubtedly a great leap forward for small-scale manufacturing, but it’s also a potential boon for thieves and low-budget terrorists.

    In 2011, an enterprising gang of crooks used a 3-D printer to replicate the plastic front of an ATM terminal. By placing their fake terminal on top of a real cash machine, they were able to skim unsuspecting victims’ ATM cards and steal more than $400,000 from their accounts [source: Krebs].

    But the real scary prospect is terrorists or fringe groups using 3-D printers to build guns, bombs and other weapons with nothing more than downloadable files. In 2013, a University of Texas law student Cody Wilson announced the creation of the Liberator, a fully functional .380 caliber handgun made entirely on a 3-D printer. The fact that it was plastic raised the fright factor, since it could conceivably elude metal detectors [source:Greenberg]. Wilson summed up the threat nicely to Forbes magazine: “Anywhere there’s a computer and an Internet connection, there would be the promise of a gun.”

    Thanks, Cody! While we’re on the topic of really great ideas with potentially horrible consequences, let’s talk driverless cars.

    A bicyclist rides by a Google self-driving car at the Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. in 2012.

    Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

    Worldwide, roughly 1.3 million people are killed in car accidents each year [source: Khazan]. And then there’s the evil of traffic itself; the American commuter is trapped in his or her car for an average of 38 hours each year [source: Werbach]. That’s a full week of lost productivity!

    Enter the Google self-driving car, an autonomous vehicle that promises to steer clear of accidents and keep traffic flowing smoothly via algorithm. Powered by Google Chauffeur software, the car uses GPS and a rooftop scanner to stay on course and respond to nearby vehicles. As of 2013, the car was still in its beta testing phase, but dozens of robotic cars were already on the road in California and Nevada.

    One of the biggest concerns about driverless cars isn’t a software glitch, but the awkward transition from robot mode to human mode. The soothing voice of Google Chauffeur alerts its human driver of upcoming situations that require hands-on control, like a tricky merge or a tollbooth [source: Fisher]. But Google engineers are still working out how much warning time is needed before the hand-off, or what to do if the driver has done something understandably human like doze off [source: Bosker]. No one wants to wake up behind the wheel of an SUV barreling down on a tollbooth at 65 mph (105 kph). And even fewer people want to be in that tollbooth.

    Splinters of ice peel off from one side of the Perito Moreno glacier in southern Argentina in 2008. Dumping iron dust in the seas or placing smoke and mirrors in the sky to dim the sun could curb global warming, say backers of geoengineering.

    © STRINGER/ARGENTINA/Reuters/Corbis

    The most important engineering innovations of the industrial age — motorized vehicles, electricity generation and industrial manufacturing — are the greatest sources of CO2 emissions [source: EPA]. Since world leaders appear unwilling or unable to take meaningful action to reduce greenhouse emissions, some maverick scientists are proposing a risky solution called geoengineering.

    Geoengineering uses science and technology to “hack” the planet back into shape. Since global warming is the biggest threat, scientists are proposing creatively creepy (and very expensive) ways to artificially cool the atmosphere by either blocking the sun’s rays or sucking up excess CO2. Among them [sources: Bullis,Kintisch and Madrigal]:

    • Spraying chemical aerosols like sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere to bounce a fraction of sunlight back into space
    • Pouring iron into the ocean to spur algae blooms that consume CO2
    • Spraying a mist of seawater into low-lying clouds to make them brighter, reflecting more sunlight
    • Planting forests of artificial trees that use chemical reactions to absorb and store CO2

    Even geoengineering promoters warn of unintended side effects. Out-of-control algae blooms could create massive dead zones in the ocean; one nation’s seawater spray could cause monsoons halfway around the world; chemical reactions could cause widespread damage to natural habitats and human life. Geoengineers argue there’s just as much danger in doing nothing. By researching these techniques now, at least we’ll have some hard data when it’s time to push the panic button.

    For our last scary technology, we consider a little thing called the Internet.

    Protesters march through downtown Washington D.C. during the Stop Watching Us Rally, protesting surveillance by the NSA on Oct. 26, 2013,

    Allison Shelley/Getty Images

    More than 380 million people visited Web sites owned by Google and Yahoo in an average month in 2013 [source: Wohlsen]. Every e-mail sent through Gmail, every spreadsheet saved in Google Docs and every chat conversation held on Yahoo Messenger is stored in “the cloud,” a global network of servers and data centers. You might assume that all of this private information and personal data is encrypted and protected from prying eyes. But now we know better.

    Thanks to the leaked revelations of former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden in 2013, we learned that the U.S. intelligence agency is actively sifting through e-mails, search histories and phone records of millions of innocent people, looking for potential terrorist activity. As part of a secret program called PRISM, the NSA won court approval to force companies like Google and Yahoo to turn over records on foreign Web users. If that wasn’t enough, the NSA also secretly tapped into Google and Yahoo’s cloud servers without the companies’ knowledge or approval [source: Peterson]. Critics call it blatantly unconstitutional to submit every unwitting Web user to blanket surveillance.

    As scary as it is, you should assume that all your online activities are being collected by someone, whether it’s your Internet provider, Google or a secret government spying program. Sleep tight and don’t let Big Brother bite!



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    C-MET Thrissur Showcase for ELITEX

    Electro Ceramic Materials

    • Electroceramics – Dielectrics and Capacitors
    • Thermistors
    • Actuators & Sensors
    • Alumina substrates
    • Ferrites
    • Nanosized Powder synthesis
    • Ceramic Tape Casting
    • Multilayer Ceramics (MLC)
    • Aerogels and Microwave Resonators.

    Dedicated to the furtherance of competent research and development in the firmament of Electronic Materials, the Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology (C-MET) functions as an autonomous registered Society under the administrative control of the Department of Electronics, Govt. of India. With its administrative headquarters at Pune, the Centre distributes its research activities between its three laboratories at Pune, Hyderabad and Thrissur with specific research areas earmarked for each of these three laboratories. The administration and management of the Society are vested with a Governing Council, a Steering Committee and an Executive Committee.

    C-MET envisions a concerted endeavour on the part of the Department of Electronics, Govt. of India, to cater to technology development and pilot plant activities of selected electronic materials to meet the crucial requirements of the Electronics industry in our country, exploiting the indigenous resources of minerals and raw materials. This endeavour assumes national significance in the present materials scenario in our country owing to large volume requirements of materials and components for the Electronics industry of our country, currently met through imports. With a view to augmenting the existing indigenous production capacity and curtailing the present trend of resorting to heavy imports to meet the growing requirements, C-MET strives to develop appropriate viable technologies for laboratory scale preparation and pilot-plant scale production of potential Electronic materials employing indigenously available raw materials. Besides catering to research activities earmarked for the laboratories, C-MET also strives to function as a co-ordinating institution for liaison with other research organizations, Institutions, Universities and laboratories in the country and pool out existing technical expertise in these research areas to translate them into economically viable technologies for commercial exploitation. C-MET would also serve as a source of information on materials and their potential applications in diverse fields. In addition, C-MET also has in its agenda, the generation of a comprehensive National Database on Electronic Materials to cater to the utilization and reference of various educational and research institutions spanning over the length and breadth of the country.

    C-MET Thrissur was set up in 1991 with a view to furthering the research activities and augmenting the existing state-of-the-art of technology in the sphere of Electroceramics. The centre presently functions in its own building constructed in 1995, located in the picturesque lawns at Athani, fairly well into the suburbs of the Thrissur town.

    The guiding objective of C-MET Thrissur is to generate and sustain a sound and competitive technology base by developing the expertise for laboratory scale preparation and technology for pilot-plant scale production of Electroceramic materials and components through economically viable and technically competitive process routes. The wide spectrum of research activities undertaken by the Centre over the past several years have always focussed on the basic undergirding objectives of the Centre which are to develop and deliver at appropriate levels, the Technical know-how, Technical consultancy and Characterization services in the research area of Electroceramics. Interactions with appropriate user industries would ensure efficient utilization of these competent technologies.

    Keeping in view, the international scenario of research in the field of Electroceramics and taking into consideration, some central factors such as the available technical expertise, the industrial scenario in the country, the market potential and the availability of the appropriate indigenous raw materials, several thrust areas have been earmarked for C-MET Thrissur, under core programmes, to cater to both short-term and long-term requirements of the industrial sector of our country. C-MET Thrissur has to its credit, successfully executed projects both in the core and sponsored schemes. The multifaceted activities of the centre find expression in the subsequent sections of this document.


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  • 10 top electronics products of 2013

    10 top electronics products of 2013


    Every year we test thousands of electronics products. In this report, we’re featuring 10 of the most exciting models we’ve seen this year—products that push technology or performance to new heights.

    Any of these impressive models could make great gifts for the people on your holiday shopping list—or maybe for yourself!

    Apple’s best iPhone yet

    Apple iPhone 5s (16GB), $100 to $200 (price and terms vary by carrier)

    The pocket-friendly iPhone 5s, which uses Apple’s newest operating system (iOS 7), is hard to beat when it comes to intuitive, foolproof access to core smart-phone functions. Its camera takes some of the best stills and videos you can get with a smart phone. Its nifty fingerprint reader, built into the Home button, lets you safely and quickly unlock the phone’s screen or authorize an iTunes purchase with a light press of your finger. Just don’t expect the giant screen or some of the cutting-edge features being offered by some competing models.

    Brilliant smart phone

    LG G2 (16GB), $0 to $200 (price and terms vary by carrier)

    This phone has a stunning 5.2-inch display and a battery that doesn’t know when to quit. The power/volume button cluster is on the back, under the camera, a design LG considers more ergonomic and intuitive (you decide) than the usual top or side mount. You can count on smarter shortcuts for common tasks, such as auto answering when you hold the phone up to your ear. The ultrasmart camcorder can stay focused on your subjects in interesting new ways.

    Top-notch tablet

    Amazon Kindle Fire HDX, $230 (7-inch, 16GB, Wi-Fi)

    The latest Kindle has one of the highest-resolution 7-inch displays available, great for watching videos and reading books and magazines. New X-ray features let you dig deeper into the videos you watch and the books you read. For example, you can find all of the songs that play during a movie and jump to the spots in the flick to listen to them. Songs you buy from Amazon come with all of the lyrics. You also get live, 24/7 tech support onscreen free when you press the Mayday button. We haven’t fully tested the Kindle Fire HDX yet, but prior versions were top-rated, and this one looks promising.

    Best TV yet

    Samsung KN55S9C OLED TV, $9,000

    This 55-inch model is one of the first to use OLED (Organic LED) technology, which combines the best attributes of plasma and LCD TVs but has none of their shortcomings. Incredibly deep blacks, superbright images, vibrant colors, and strong contrast make images jump off the screen. Throw in unlimited viewing angles, great energy efficiency, and an ultrathin design and you have the best TV we’ve ever seen. The KN55S9c, which has an eye-catching curved screen, also has the best 3D performance to date. Now if only they can work on that price.

    Highest-definition TV

    Sony Bravia XBR-55X900A, $4,000

    A new breed of HD TVs takes high definition to a whole new level. Also called 4K sets, Ultra HD TVs have four times as many pixels as 1080p screens, and the added detail makes 4K images look incredibly lifelike. UHD sets can enhance the quality of regular HD images as well. This 55-inch Sony LCD (which has LED backlighting) has excellent high-def picture quality, among the best we’ve seen. It also has very good sound, thanks to large speaker arrays flanking the screen, and it features Sony’s smart TV Internet platform. There’s not much Ultra HD content yet, but Sony offers a $700 media player that’s loaded with Ultra HD movies, plus a download service that offers additional titles for rent or purchase.

    Primo portable speaker

    TDK Life on Record, $150

    Wireless speakers make it easy to share your music on the go but often sacrifice sound quality for portability. Not this TDK model, one of the best portable speakers we’ve tested. It sounded equally good whether it was connected to a music source using a wire or via Bluetooth. It’s very easy to use: Bluetooth pairing was simple, and controls were intuitive and well marked. This ruggedly handsome speaker is designed to resist the elements, so it can liven up a backyard bash. It’s a compact 4 inches high by 9½ inches wide.

    Smallest SLR

    Canon EOS Rebel SL1, $750

    This camera is almost as small and light as many mirrorless, SLR-like models but offers all of the benefits of a full-fledged SLR, including a through-the-lens viewfinder and a wide choice of compatible lenses. Plus this Rebel has very good image quality, is easy to use, and has a very good LCD. The price includes an 18- to 55-mm kit lens.

    Super-slim superzoom

    Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX50V, $450

    Sometimes you need more than a smart phone to take a great photo but don’t want to lug around a bulky camera. This Sony Cyber-shot superzoom may well be the answer. It packs a long, 30x optical zoom lens, with very-wide-angle capabilities, into a slim camera body that’s only an inch-and-a-half thick. It’s speedy, firing off 10-frame-per-second bursts at full resolution, and the quality of still photos and videos is very good. Built-in Wi-Fi lets you connect to hot spots or mobile devices to quickly share your photos.

    Super-cool streamer

    Google Chromecast, $35

    One of the smallest and lowest-priced devices for streaming online video to your TV, the Chromecast eliminates the need to deal with yet another black box. The thumb-drive-sized device plugs into an HDMI input on your TV and either a USB port or an AC outlet for power. The Chromecast currentlyl supports Hulu Plus, Netflix, YouTube, and Google Play; more services are promised. It also lets you send other Web content to your TV from a PC or Mac using the Chrome browser. There’s no included remote; you use a smart phone, a tablet, or a laptop to control it.

    Outstanding sound bar

    Sonos Playbar, $700

    Finally, there’s a sound bar that gives you great music playback as well as satisfying TV and movie sound. You can use it as a wireless speaker to stream audio from a home network or directly from Internet-based music services such as Pandora and Spotify. Combine it with a pair of Sonos Play speakers and a subwoofer to create a full, although pricey, 5.1-channel sound system. You can also use it in a multiroom Wi-Fi audio system. The Playbar has no remote of its own; you control it with a TV remote, or an Android or an iOS smart phone or tablet with a free Sonos app.


    source : Click Here !