Menopausal Mother Nature

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Gadgets&Electronics

MIT's Mini Cheetah robots just want to have fun

[embedded content] You may have seen some of Boston Dynamics’ very life-like robots before. These days, students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are getting in on the fun. The MIT Biomimetics Department posted the video above of nine…

Should I unplug my appliances and, if so, will I save money on my electric bill?

All things plugged in will bleed some energy. Called “standby” electricity loss because it’s so often associated with electronics in standby or idle mode, it’s also known as “phantom” or “vampire” electricity (for obvious reasons). Even turned off, many appliances…

IrisVision is a VR headset that delivers reality to people with low vision

Barely a month ago I noted that Apple and Google are going to own the tech sector for aging baby boomers. And then what pops into my inbox but a pitch for IrisVision, a sort of virtual reality headset with…

What's that secret chip in the new iPhone?

There are lots of neat things in the new iPhone 11 that was just introduced. I really want that wide-angle lens on the camera. But there’s one feature that Tim Cook didn’t even talk about, one that Brian Barrett of…

Infotainment systems in cars are distractions for all, but even more so for older drivers

Back in the ’60s, my grandmother totaled her Plymouth by hitting the wrong button on a fancy new Chrysler PowerFlite with its pushbutton transmission. She wasn’t alone in doing this, and soon Chrysler returned to the lever on the steering…

How much screen time is too much for kids?

Screen time is a common battlefront between parents and children, from toddlers to teens alike. Desperate parents may appease a screaming 2-year-old with a video or game on their phone. And one 13-year-old told CNN that when her phone gets…

Is print reading better than digital reading?

Nowadays, we all read a lot of text digitally — whether it’s a book on a tablet or the latest news. It’s an unavoidable part of our technology-driven society. There are different processes and behaviors that go into reading on…

Move over lithium-ion batteries, sodium-ion is the new hotness

Lithium-ion batteries have become ubiquitous. We rely on them to power almost all of our mobile devices, from phones to laptops. Most electric cars even run on them. There’s good reason for this, of course. They are rechargeable and have…

Vampire power is back, and it's thirstier than ever in the new smart home

For years, “vampire power” (standby electrical power) was a big issue — with all those little wall warts, cellphone chargers and computer monitors sucking energy. Then it all went away. New regulations came into place that limited standby power to…

This periodic table may make you think twice about your next phone upgrade

As technology evolves, smartphones are constantly being upgraded and replaced. And while that progress is laudable, there’s a price for the planet. Many rare earth elements — a set of 17 chemical elements in the periodic table — are used…