OEM car stereos and in-dash navigation systems typically deter would-be thieves, because these units usually only work in the vehicle in which they ship. A thief would have a harder time selling, for example, a stolen Honda Civic stereo to anyone other than other Honda Civic owners who likely already have Civic stereos! However, in the European market, the popularity of Volkswagen vehicles combined with the modular nature of the manufacturer's infotainment systems makes VW's optional RNS 310 and RNS 510 navigation units prime targets for getting nicked. In reaction to a rash of thefts, VW has come … Read more
The world can never have enough guns--at least not if they embody exciting new ways to destroy people and things that look wonderful in movies. So here is a weapon that seems to be the sheer personification of gun fun.
It is being tested by the U.S. Navy, and it seems to have some pulsating technical features. It doesn't rely on an explosive charge to propel a bullet toward a bad guy. Instead, Fox News informs me, it expels bullets along parallel rails. The bullets, thanks to the cheery push of an electromagnetic current, spring out at speeds … Read more
Apple's iPod touch-based point-of-sale system, dubbed EasyPay, had been rumored to be available for third-party retailers looking for a mobile solution to their sales experience, which may soon land in some major stores.
9to5Mac reports that Gap, Inc. has begun piloting the EasyPay (rebranded ZipPay) system at its Old Navy stores."We're told there is one per store and they are kept in a safe when not in use."
The ZipPay systems run on a modified iPod Touch that is encased with a barcode scanner and a credit card swiping feature. Customers need only accept the … Read more
Algae biofuel producer Solazyme announced Wednesday it's delivered 20,000 gallons of algae-based shipboard fuel to the U.S. Navy.
Solazyme's Soladiesel Renewable Naval Distillate fuel will go toward the Navy's ambitious goal of getting 50 percent of its energy from renewable resources by 2020.
But algae fuel is not just useful for the Navy's ships.
This past summer Solazyme also delivered 1,500 gallons of algae-based jet fuel to the U.S. Navy for testing. If testing goes well, Solazyme's algae-based advance biofuel could be powering some of our nation's military aircraft.
The … Read more
PORTSMOUTH, R.I.--As someone interested in the cutting edge, one of the best things about Road Trip 2010 has been getting a rare look at the U.S. Navy's next-generation aircraft carrier and the world's most advanced submarine.
But that wasn't enough for me. I also had to see where the Navy is going with destroyers, and that's why my visit to Raytheon's Seapower Capability Center here was such a good investment of time: I got a chance for a lengthy discussion on the next-generation, Zumwalt-class guided-missile destroyer, which the Navy expects to be … Read more
BRENTWOOD, N.H.--Road Trip 2010 has officially covered enough miles to make it from one coast of America to the other.
Of course, that's not what's really happened. Instead, I've driven 3,000 miles up and down--and up and down, and up and down, following a truly inefficient path--the East Coast in search of great destinations to report on.
And that's what has brought me here, to this town of population 4,200 in the southeastern corner of the Granite State--that quest for great things to write about. It's not that I had … Read more
GROTON, Conn.--If you've ever wondered what it's like aboard the most advanced submarine in the world, I'm here to tell you all about it.
To be specific, that submarine is the North Carolina, a Virginia class nuclear attack sub based at the Naval Submarine Base New London here, and it is truly a technological marvel.
To begin with, forget all about those romantic images of a dimly lighted sonar room where a captain squints into the eyepiece of the periscope in order to try to see what's going on outside. Those days are long gone. … Read more
Dirt. Disgusting dirt. The enemy of all that is gleaming, shiny, and gadgety--how we despise it. Thank the stars then that the brave super-scientists at iRobot worked so hard to create the revolutionary Roomba cleaning machine, guaranteed to keep your home sparkling and new, without any input from you. Pretty smart, eh?
So smart, in fact, that electronics mega-giant Samsung is getting in on the act with the Samsung NaviBot (for now, only available in the U.K.). It's a silicon beast of such calculated poise and deadly efficiency it could probably kill a tiger. A robot tiger. We … Read more
NEWPORT NEWS, Va.--I'm staring down into a pit in which the beginnings of what will one day be the most advanced aircraft carrier on Earth are already well under way.
This is the dry dock of CVN-78, otherwise known as the Gerald R. Ford, the first in a technologically advanced new class of aircraft carriers known as, yes, the Gerald R. Ford, and yes, named after the 38th president of the United States. A new class of naval vessel is always known by the name of the first model, it seems.
CVN-78 is being built by Northrop Grumman … Read more
WALLOPS ISLAND, Va.--Imagine a football stadium floating high in the sky, enclosed in material not much thicker than a sandwich bag.
Take away the physical part of the football field, but leave the volume, and you get a sense of the size of the high-altitude balloons that NASA uses to conduct scientific experiments.
Those balloons, as well as the design and manufacture of sub-orbital rockets and the launching into space of government satellites, are among the mandates of the Wallops Flight Facility, a NASA center based here on the Atlantic coast about 160 miles southeast of Washington, D.C. … Read more