Web sites from Wikipedia, Google and Facebook to Mozilla, Major League Gaming and Reddit are dark today in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), but bill supporters insist the effort is nothing but a publicity stunt and an abuse of power. In a Tuesday statement, Chris Dodd, chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)—and a former Connecticut senator—said Web sites participating in the blackout are “resorting to stunts that punish their users or turn them into their corporate pawns, rather than coming to the table to find solutions to a problem that all now seem to agree is very real and damaging.”

The MPAA and its musical counterpart, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), have been big supporters of SOPA and PIPA, prompting opponents to accuse bill sponsors of bowing to lobbying dollars. Both bills target overseas “rogue” Web sites that traffic in fake goods, from purses and prescription drugs to pirated DVDs and MP3s. But the power that SOPA and PIPA provide to the Justice Department to go after these bills is worrisome to opponents, who fear the legislation will put legitimate Web sites at risk. As a result, Jan. 18 has been dubbed SOPA/PIPA blackout day, with many high-profile Web sites shutting down service or adding anti-SOPA/PIPA signage to their sites.


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Do we really need another wireless charging system that’s incompatible with industry standards? Murata seems to think that we do. The company’s prototype uses neither conductive nor inductive transmission, instead bringing its new capacitive coupling technology to the cordless charging mix. Capacitive coupling uses square transmitter and receiver electrodes, instead of the coils used with Qi devices. It also doesn’t require a physical connection like near-obsolete conductive tech, which dictates that both the charging pad and receiving device use metal connectors that must be joined to transfer current. The Murata system is far from being production-ready, with only 70 percent efficiency (30 percent of electricity is lost during transmission). The sample the company had on hand can support 16 watts of output with a maximum of 2.1 amps, making each pad capable of charging several small gadgets, or one larger device, like a laptop.

Murata seemed more interested in demonstrating the concept behind capacitive coupling than actually proving that it works — the laptop “charging” was a plastic mockup, though the base did glow red when the laptop’s charging pad came into contact (though it also glowed blue at times, as you can see in the image above). Engadget did take a close look at an iPhone case, however, which appeared to be remarkably thin — much thinner than models from Powermat, for example, though the case does extend below the dock connector. Another advantage of the square electrodes is that you don’t need to place devices in a certain position on the mat in order for them to charge — they simply need to be positioned within the general charging area.


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In the rankings of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, a Japanese machine has earned the top spot with a performance that essentially laps the competition. The computer, known as “K Computer,” is three times faster than a Chinese rival (Tianhe-1A) that previously held the top position, said Jack Dongarra, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville who keeps the official rankings of computer performance.


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Some DIY projects are awesome just for the sake of being awesome. This mini cannon probably has no real, practical purpose, but it is one of the most finely crafted pieces of DIY technology we’ve seen in a long time. And it makes for some exceptionally entertaining videos of everyday items being assaulted, exploded and attacked by tiny steel balls.


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Where did this contraption come from? The workshop of Satan himself? Is this how the Mayan apocalypse goes down? This grinder consumes everything placed in its jaws—and may eventually grind the entire planet itself into bits. It hungers.


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Every once in a while a weird watch comes out that’s practically impossible to read, but Julien Moïse’s Eole watch concept is just quirky enough it doesn’t hinder the time-telling experience. See that turbine ring on the watch’s head? When blown, the watch blinks to life. There’s something to be said about Julien Moïse’s Eole watch. It’s simple, thin and has just a touch of red color to make it pop. We could certainly see a watch like this in many modern art gift shops or minimalist Japanese design store MUJI.

We agree that it’s a bit weird that you have to blow on your watch to see the time and it might be problematic in regions that have strong gusts, but we like it a lot. To get more info, be sure to visit Julien Moïse’s website.
Video of this wonderful machine in action is inside.


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Solar powered furniture is nothing new, but this crazy looking rocking lounge chair created by architecture students at MIT adds a couple of unique features. These curved, solar-panel-covered seats rotate on an axis to keep them facing the sun, generating additional energy from the rocking motion created when people climb inside.

Named the SOFT Rocker, the chair has a 35-watt solar panel that charges a built in battery, so you can still get juice from its built in USB ports after the sun goes down. You can even use the battery to light up the inside of the loop Tron style, adding some groovy atmosphere.


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Found yourself in a situation where after a power surge (or wrong power cable connection) you started smelling something burning? Aside from other hardware parts that could be burned, the most critical one is the Hard Drive (HDD) as it stores our invaluable information. In reality, the drive itself does not burn, but what is affected is the PCB (Printed Circuit Board).

This short guide will help you recover your data after such a catastrophic misfortune.


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According to Gayu Eusegi, head of global product development for Mitsubishi, the Lancer Evolution X will be the last Evo the Japanese automaker ever builds. Eusegi says the move is part of a shift in strategy to put the company’s product focus and ethos on leadership in EV technology.

To that end, Autocar indicates that Mitsubishi will release eight fully-electric or hybrid-electric cars by the time 2015 rolls around, and make a grab for a big portion of the CO2-reduction market share. It goes without saying that the fun-yet-fuel-swilling Evo just doesn’t fit that mindset, particularly since it apes a rally car that no longer exists. Despite the Evo’s huge popularity, Mitsubishi apparently isn’t scared of the step and says it’s confident that consumers will gloom on to the idea and rally behind the brand. By killing the Evo, they’re making their intentions plain to an increasingly environmentally-conscious car-buying public.


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Servers don’t run themselves. It takes juice—the electric kind—to keep the internet live, storing data and connecting visitors to websites, online services and social networks. The social media giant Facebook, for example, has nine third-party data centers in the US, with plans to build a tenth in Oregon. Current estimates are that Facebook uses 60,000 servers to help its more than 500 million members reconnect with people they didn’t even like in high school.

The company’s data centers range from from 10,000 square feet to more than 35,000 square feet, and their energy use is enormous. The average leased data center uses between 2.25 megawatts of power and 6 megawatts of power. This could provide electricity for one month to somewhere between 1,730 and 4,615 homes. With their new data center, however, Facebook aims to lift a little of its guilt, saving approximately 2.5 million kilowatt hours per year with efficiency measures. They’ll save the company $230,000 and reduce carbon emissions by more than 1,000 tons. Yahoo has also increased energy efficiency, using hydroelectric power. Google is thought to have 36 data centers, and the company claims they are among the most energy efficient in the world.


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The outage of Sony Corp.’s PlayStation Network ran into its sixth day Monday as the company said it has no timeframe for restoring the Internet-based system that links users in live game play worldwide.

In a blog post Monday, Sony spokesman Patrick Seybold said he couldn’t predict when rebuilding work would be completed, but that it’s a “time intensive process.” The company said on Thursday that it would take a “full day or two” to restore service after it first shut down the system that serves both PlayStations and its Qriocity entertainment services the previous day. It subsequently blamed the outage on an “external intrusion” and said it would have to rebuild its system to add security measures and strengthen its infrastructure.


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At this time there is almost all technical data required to talk about AMD’s next Dual-GPU graphics card.

Not a lot of time has passed since AMD announced Radeon 6990, when ATI-Forums.de released the specs for the upcoming Radeon HD 7990. The naming scheme for HD 6900 series cards brought some changes to card positioning. Follow it, the next flagship targeted at Q2 2012 should carry the name of AMD Radeon HD 7990 after successful launch of Radeon HD 6990 – current AMD’s flagship. There is no secret that Radeon HD 7000 line-up will use 28nm process technology manufactured chips, compared to 40nm chips used for latest Radeon HD 6000 products.


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The day has come. After much anticipation, AMD has released their new powerhouse flagman – Radeon HD 6990. With a price tag of $699, it certainly deserves a ‘world’s fastest’ title. The 6990 boasts a massive 4GB of GDDR5, 3,072 Stream Processors, 64 ROPs, and an 830MHz core clock speed. A dual-BIOS switch will let you crank that clock up to 880MHz with a corresponding increase in voltage, but don’t expect to see much overclocking headroom above that.


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A Quad for an Electric Future

QUAD

We don’t normally think of Quads necessarily as the tree hugger vehicles, but the post fossil fuel revolution is upon us and with that, everything has to change. The QUAD is one of such concepts that brings recreational vehicles into the electric future. A 48v electric motor powered by 4 750amp batteries provide this vehicle 3 hours of juice between charges which only takes 6-8 hours depending on your voltage output.


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