Some interesting links I have found on my travels around the internet.

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25 October 2014, 9:49 pm
The ESP8266 is a chip that turned a lot of heads recently, stuffing a WiFi radio, TCP/IP stack, and all the required bits to get a microcontroller on the Internet into a tiny, $5 module. It’s an interesting chip, not only because it’s a UART to WiFi module, allowing nearly anything to get on the Internet for $5, but because there’s a user-programmable microcontroller in this board. If only we had an SDK or a few libraries…

5 October 2014, 2:20 pm
Flic is the new era of smartphone simplicity. It is a wireless shortcut button that connects to your smartphone and can do practically anything that your smartphone can do. With flic, you don't have to take your phone out of the pocket or purse to do simple, every day tasks.

20 September 2014, 6:15 pm
The makers of the pcDuino line of products offer several small, low-power single-board computers with ARM processors and support for Arduino Shields. The latest model is the smallest (and cheapest) to date. The pcDuino3 nano is now available for $39.

23 August 2014, 11:34 am
A team of researchers at Michigan State University has developed a new type of solar concentrator that when placed over a window creates solar energy while allowing people to actually see through the window. It is called a transparent luminescent solar concentrator and can be used on buildings, cell phones and any other device that has a clear surface.

3 August 2014, 11:00 am
Nasa is a major player in space science, so when a team from the agency this week presents evidence that "impossible" microwave thrusters seem to work, something strange is definitely going on. Either the results are completely wrong, or Nasa has confirmed a major breakthrough in space propulsion.

1 August 2014, 7:23 pm
We are excited to announce that the media center software we’ve all loved for so many years will have a new name, starting with version 14. Instead of XBMC 14, we’d like to introduce you to Kodi 14. Since 2002, the software known as XBMC has gone through three namings. First, it was called Xbox Media Player. Upon realizing that it did a bit more than your traditional media player, in 2004 the development team elected to rename it Xbox Media Center. A mere 4 years later in 2008, the team once again elected to rename the software to simply XBMC, given that it had moved on from its original roots on the Xbox. Support for the Xbox was dropped shortly thereafter. Today it’s all happening one last time.

31 July 2014, 8:23 am
I was curious what the first non-traditional-computer objects were that were connected to a computer network. (A telegraph is probably the first device connected to any kind of network.) To be technical: a packet-switching network device with continuous or frequent connectivity to said network that would not be considered a "computer.") Here’s some I found, stretching back 40 years.

30 July 2014, 3:33 pm
The UK government has approved trials of self-driving cars on public roads next year. Another country has given the green light to driverless cars. Autonomous automobiles could be on UK public roads as early as January 2015. Driverless cars are cars equipped with GPS to guide them on their route, with cameras and sensors that make the vehicle aware of objects and other vehicles around it, allowing it to react to obstacles. In California, driverless cars are already road-legal, led by Google's fleet of autonomous vehicles. Trials have been held in Japan, Singapore, Germany, and Sweden, where Volvo has a fleet of prototypes touring the streets.

27 July 2014, 9:05 pm
A 6 year-old boy from Florida born with right arm deficiency has received a prosthetic replacement. Now climbing a tree and catching a ball will be easier for him. Students from Florida University made it on a 3D printer for just $350 in just 8 weeks. Help for little Alex Pring, missing his right arm from just above the elbow, came from students at the University of Central Florida. An engineering doctoral student, Albert Manero, heard about the boy’s needs and decided to recruit a team of students to create a solution for the boy.

27 July 2014, 10:07 am
Two years ago, British researcher and entrepreneur Henry Snaith, and his team at Oxford University, were experimenting with a new class of compounds and discovered something rather unusual. Using these new compounds called “perovskites,” Snaith was able to tweak a solar cell’s composition to rapidly increase the amount of sunlight that it could convert into electricity. First he reached 10 percent, then 12 percent, then 15 percent, and finally 17 percent.