Jun 28, 2016

A section of Route 66 will become America's first public solar road

posted by Larra Morris

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A section of America’s most famous highway is going green, The Christian Science Monitor reports. The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) plans to create the nation’s first solar-powered public road by lining a portion of Route 66 with energy-generating photovoltaic pavers. The pavers will be installed near a rest stop in Conway, Missouri, where they’ll hopefully produce enough electricity to power the facilities and fund future projects.
via Mental Floss

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Jun 28, 2016

Tour de France officials will scan participants' bikes to check for cheaters

posted by Larra Morris

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Following a prominent cheating incident earlier this year, participants in the upcoming Tour de France will have to have their bikes scanned for concealed electric motors and batteries. Cycling officials plan to conduct between 3,000 and 4,000 tests, the Union Cycliste Internationale said today. This technology has been used at multiple other races, but this will be the first time it is deployed at the Tour de France.

"Technological fraud tests" rely on a tablet, case, adapter, and software to scan a bike, its wheels, frame, groupset, and other components in under a minute. The scanner creates a magnetic field and then allows the tablet to detect interruptions to that field. The UCI says those disruptions often come from a motor, magnet, or battery. If they’re detected, officials will dismantle the bike and inspect it.
via The Verge

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Image: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

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Jun 27, 2016

Sweden debuts the world's first 'electric highway'

posted by Larra Morris

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Much like an electrified railroad, the 1.2 mile stretch has a series of wires hanging overhead that a pantograph-equipped truck can connect to. Then, the vehicle can deactivate its fuel-burning engine and coast along on that delicious, dirt-cheap electricity, switching back when the wires stop.

Scania official Claes Erixon has said that the project is "one important milestone on the journey towards fossil-free transport."
via Engadget

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Jun 27, 2016

Giraffe-like robot walks, climbs, and loads the dishwasher

posted by Larra Morris

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Boston Dynamics writes on YouTube that the little guy can last 90 minutes per charge and weighs in at only 55 pounds. To assist with mobility and navigation, it's equipped with depth cameras and sensors in its limbs. The video above shows the SpotMini's ability to move around an obstacle-filled space, climb stairs, and prance. And with its new neck, the robot can be made to grab and move objects around, which comes in handy for loading the dishwasher and fetching a beer.
via Mental Floss

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Jun 27, 2016

Hubble investigates dark spot on Neptune

posted by Larra Morris

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If Neptune seems a bit blemished of late, it's because NASA has confirmed that a dark spot has shown up in its bluish atmosphere. Observations by the Hubble Space Telescope taken in May show that a dark vortex has appeared in the southern hemisphere. This high-pressure system is accompanied by brighter "companion clouds" and is the first such dark spot to be seen this century.
via Gizmag

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Image: NASA

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Jun 24, 2016

A connected hearing aid is an Internet of Things device I can get behind

posted by Larra Morris

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Now, with that in mind, today I received news of the Oticon Opn hearing aid, which its manufacturer Oticon bills as the "world’s first Internet of Things hearing aid."

The device connects to a user's smartphone and can be controlled through Oticon’s companion app. Because it's compatible with IFTTT, the app can push through notifications when a smart lock is unlocked, a smart doorbell rings, or a smart smoke alarm goes off.
via The Verge

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Jun 24, 2016

The rumble strips on the road to Mt. Fuji play a song

posted by Larra Morris

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This section of the subaru highway leading up to Mount Fuji have rumble strips in the middle of the road that have been spaced at certain intervals to play a song. It's very unique and impressive - take a listen. "Miagete goran yoru no hoshi wo" by Kyu Sakamoto is the name of the tune. ...There are three stretches of road in japan which do this.
via Geekologie

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