Issue: 20121201

Saturday, December 1, 2012
DECEMBER 2012
6
True
281
Saturday, November 29, 2014

Articles
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POPULAR SCIENCE
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0001.xml
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0_2,1
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Ford: F-150
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Ford
F-150
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0002.xml
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2
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The Chemical Company
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The Chemical Company
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0003.xml
tableOfContents
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3
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contents
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0004.xml
article
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4
FROM THE EDITOR
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25 YEARS OF REVOLUTION
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JACOB WARD
I HAVE A credo that I've been road testing lately. Let me try it out on you: This is the greatest time in the history of the world to be alive. More discovery and innovation is happening now than ever before, and it's transforming everyday lives—our lives—such that they bear almost no resemblance, in hardship, pain, or danger, to the lives of our grandparents, or even our parents.
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0005.xml
masthead
4
4
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POPULAR SCIENCE
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0006.xml
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5
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Nikon: NIKON D600
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Nikon
NIKON D600
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0007.xml
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6
6
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PHILIPS
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PHILIPS
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0008.xml
article
6
6
PEER REVIEW
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Robot Walk
LUXURY TECH
UPGRADING THE INTERNET
HIGHLY ABSTRACT COMPLAINT OF THE MONTH
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In “Walk Like a Man” [October], Theresa Klein describes her Achilles robot, which moves like a human leg. As a soldier wounded in Afghanistan, I face a partial leg amputation because of a bone infection. Robotic limbs for amputee patients have been pursued for some time.
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0009.xml
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7
7
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Philips Lighting Company
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Philips Lighting Company
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0010.xml
article
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8,9
MEGAPIXELS
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Eye Drops
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Laura Geggel
In the cool of the early morning, insects like this dew-covered blue damselfly move slowly, making it the perfect time to capture them on film. Ondrej Pakan, a photographer fascinated by insects—he describes them as inhabitants of “a world of small monsters”—snapped this shot at Lake Dubnik in Slovakia.
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0011.xml
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10
10
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Bose Corporation: QuietComfort 15
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Bose Corporation
QuietComfort 15
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0012.xml
article
11
11,12
HEADLINES
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Mind Over Hackers
Why the only secure password is one you don't even know that you know
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Justin McLachlan
HRISTO BOJINOV wants you to forget your password. More precisely, he wants you to never really know it in the first place. Bojinov, a computer scientist at Stanford, and his colleagues have developed a computer program that can implant passwords in a person's subconscious mind—and retrieve them subconsciously too.
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0013.xml
article
12
12
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Atomic Snapshot
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AMBER WILLIAMS
For the first time, scientists have used an imaging technique that’s so precise that it’s possible to see the different lengths of individual atomic bonds. Using a method called non-contact atomic force microscopy, IBM researchers scanned a microscopic probe with a tip only an atom wide over a nanographene molecule and measured the forces between the probe and the sample.
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0014.xml
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13
13
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Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
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Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0015.xml
article
14
14
HEADLINES
SUPERLATIVE OF THE MONTH
Elephant Ophthalmology
The biggest eye surgerg ever
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AMBER WILLIAMS
Duchess, a 4.4-ton, 45-year-old African elephant at the Paignton Zoo in Devon, England, had already lost her right eye to glaucoma, and cataracts threatened to blind the other. So in September, veterinarians put Duchess under the knife for the second cataract operation ever performed on an elephant.
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0016.xml
article
14
14
HEADLINES
BY THE NUMBERS
MELTDOWN
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Following one of the warmest summers on record, in September the Arctic ice cap shrank to 1.33 million square miles—the smallest size ever recorded by satellite.
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0017.xml
article
14
14
HEADLINES
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THE EQUATION
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MIRIAM KRAMER
People around the world waste millions of tons of food every year. Carol Lin, a biochemical engineer at the City University of Hong Kong, is making something useful out of their leftovers: plastic. In a collaboration with Starbucks, she blends roughly two pounds of stale pastries with water into a milkshake-like consistency and then adds two types of Aspergillus fungi, which process the starch and protein into sugar.
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0018.xml
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15
15
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Chevron U.S.A. Inc.
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Chevron U.S.A. Inc.
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0019.xml
article
16
16
HEADLINES
WORKSPACE
Reef in a Box
Scientists turn the ocean into a controlled laboratory
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Sarah Fecht
When marine biologist David Kline, of Australia’s University of Queensland, set out for Heron Island in the Great Barrier Reef, he and his team were determined to help answer a pressing question: How will rising acidity from climate change affect coral reefs?
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0020.xml
article
16
16
HEADLINES
THE SCALE
Deadly Doses
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PAGE GROSSMAN
Scientists measure toxicity using the “median lethal dose,” or LD50— the dose (in milligrams per kilogram of body weight) that would kill half the people who receive it. The lower the LD50—represented by the relative size of the boxes below—the more toxic the poison.
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0021.xml
article
17
17
HEADLINES
THE ANNOTATED MACHINE
Space Savers
How robots could recycle dead satellites in orbit
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Katharine Gammon
Approximately 1,300 nonfunctional satellites sit in a graveyard orbit 22,000 miles above Earth—and Darpa has plans for them. Recycling dead satellite parts in space could be 10 times cheaper than building and sending up new satellites, says Darpa program manager Dave Barnhart.
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0022.xml
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18
18
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iRobot
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iRobot
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0023.xml
article
18
18
HEADLINES
BLUEPRINT
Higher Power
"The faster the kite, the more energy it can capture"
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David North
"You know how a kite can pull its string from your hands? Airborne wind-energy systems like ours work on the same principle—the pull of the kite turns a generator and creates electricity. Kites are promising because they can go higher than a regular wind turbine, to altitudes where wind speeds are faster and more consistent.
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0024.xml
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19
19
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iRobot Corporation
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iRobot Corporation
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0025.xml
article
20
20
HEADLINES
F = ma
High-Level Findings
A new organization pairs scientists with adventurers to bring data back from the wild
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Luke Mitchell
MORE AND MORE science takes place on computers, but hard data still comes from the material world. To learn about, say, harmful algae blooms or high-altitude flora, researchers must travel to some of the hardest-to-reach places on Earth.
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0026.xml
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21
21
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American Honda Motor Co., Inc.: Accord
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American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
Accord
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0027.xml
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22
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Advertisement
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0028.xml
article
23
23
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25th ANNUAL BEST OF WHAT'S NEW
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Since we inaugurated these awards a quarter of a century ago, the pace of innovation has quickened with every passing year. Twelve months is now a very long time. It takes something greater to be revolutionary than it did when we first saw HDTVs, electric cars, or even the iPhone.
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0029.xml
article
24
24,25
25th ANNUAL BEST OF WHAT'S NEW
INNOVATION OF THE YEAR
software
Mind Reader
Peaceful, Addictive Gaming at Last
A Live TV Guide
Universal Operating System
Online Express Lane
Public Education
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Alan Henry
Matt Safford
JACOB WARD
It seems innocent at first: Fire up the search app on a new Android phone, and the interface asks if you'd like to activate Google Now. “Sure,” you think "Google already has my calendar, location, and contacts; what’s one more thing?" Here’s what: Google Now draws a distinct technological line.
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0030.xml
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26,27
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Advertisements
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OLYMPUS
OLYMPUS OM-D E-M5
OLYMPUS
OLYMPUS PEN E-PL5
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0031.xml
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28
28
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EMBRY-RIDDLE
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EMBRY-RIDDLE
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0032.xml
article
29
29,30,31,32
25th ANNUAL BEST OF WHAT'S NEW
GRAND AWARD WINNER
auto
The Electric Super Sedan
THE FASTEST FERRARI EVER
Autobahn-Worthy Four-Cylinder
ALL-Electric SUV
Clean Times Three
Fender Bender Preventer
Mobile Command
The Most Efficient Racecar
WINDSHIELD WIPERS REINVENTED
800-Mile-a-Tank Diesel
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Lawrence Ulrich
The Tesla Model S sets the standard by which all future electric vehicles will be measured. It's faster than any other street-legal EV: The Performance edition, propelled by motors that generate a peak 416 horsepower, darts from 0 to 60 mph in a Porsche-rivaling 4.4 seconds and hits a top speed of 130 mph.
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0033.xml
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33
33
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NATURAL TOBACCO
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NATURAL TOBACCO
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0034.xml
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34
34,35
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Ford: FUSION + HYBRID
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Ford
FUSION + HYBRID
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0035.xml
article
36
36,38,39
25th ANNUAL BEST OF WHAT'S NEW
GRAND AWARD WINNER
gadgets
Invisible Waterproofing
Can't-Miss Cameraman
The Cellphone That's Audible Anywhere
Compact for the Pros
NFC That's Personal
Camera Killer
THE TABLET TIPPING POINT
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Tim Gideon
Darren Murph
Moisture destroys 82 million phones annually, yet manufacturers do little to safeguard against it. In January, California-based Liquipel launched the first aftermarket service that waterproofs phones and media players. Engineers place the phone in a vacuum-sealed chamber and inject a carbon-based hydrophobic gas.
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0036.xml
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37
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Canon
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Canon
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0037.xml
article
40
40,41
25th ANNUAL BEST OF WHAT'S NEW
GRAND AWARD WINNER
green
Cleaner Colors
Water-Purifying Backpack
Entry-Level Algae Harvester
RUGGED RENEWABLE-ENERGY SYSTEM
Robot-Guided Solar Arrays
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Emily J. Gertz
It takes between 25 and 40 gallons of water to dye 2.2 pounds of fabric. Multiply that by the millions of T-shirts, track pants, and other textiles made each year, and you get two huge environmental problems: millions of tons of chemical-laden waste-water and depletion of freshwater.
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0038.xml
article
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42
BEST OF WHAT'S NEW
OPENROV
DIY Sub for Underwater Exploration
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Emily J. Gertz
ERIC STACKPOLE’S passion for discovery was originally directed toward outer space. As a mechanical engineering student at San Jose State University in 2007, he founded a campus club devoted to building mini satellites. That landed him a job at NASA’s Ames Research Center, which led to an emphasis on robotics in graduate school.
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0039.xml
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43
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DODGE: DART
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DODGE
DART
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0040.xml
article
44
44,45,46
25th ANNUAL BEST OF WHAT'S NEW
GRAND AWARD WINNER
engineering
The Largest Semisubmersible
Tallest Continuous Stone Facade
Adjustable Whitewater
Largest Cable-Stayed Span
Highest LEED Score Ever
Longest Truss Slide in History
Best View Through the Seafloor
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Aaron Seward
When a battleship needs repairs in the middle of the ocean, a semisubmersible vessel like the Dockwise Vanguard can provide offshore dry dock. The 902-foot-long and 230-foot-wide bowless Vanguard—the largest craft of its kind by nearly a football field—can submerge its deck below the waterline and move its above-water towers aside, allowing mammoth marine vessels to float aboard before the Vanguard rides back up underneath them.
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0041.xml
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47
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Panasonic: LUMIX GH3
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Panasonic
LUMIX GH3
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0042.xml
article
48
48,50,51
25th ANNUAL BEST OF WHAT'S NEW
GRAND AWARD WINNER
home
HAL for Your House
Liquid-Cooled Lightbulb
The Ultimate Multi-Tool
Unbreakable Sledgehammer
World's Quietest Fan
Sidewalk Squall
THE PERFECT POUR-OVER
Saw for Tight Squeezes
Motion-Controlled Driver
A Better Way to Make Ice
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Nick Elder
A thermostat has tremendous power: It controls heating and cooling, the most expensive, energy-guzzling system in a house. Until the Nest, thermostats wielded that power blindly. The Nest learns a household’s schedule and preferences after just one week and programs itself (and if those preferences change, the Nest adapts accordingly).
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0043.xml
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49
49
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Schneider Electric: APC
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Schneider Electric
APC
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0044.xml
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52
52
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Apex Tool Group, LLC.: Wiss
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Apex Tool Group, LLC.
Wiss
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0045.xml
article
53
53,54,55
25th ANNUAL BEST OF WHAT'S NEW
GRAND AWARD WINNER
aerospace
The Pilotless Cargo Chopper
24-Mile Freefall Suit
The Sharpest Moon Map
The Hydrogen Surveillance Drone
ZEROGRAVITY GRIP
Nimblest Flying Robots
Biomass Jet Fuel
Three-Week Surveillance Ship
Everyman's Satellite
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John Mahoney
Since 2008, roadside bombs and other IEDs have accounted for the deaths of more than half the U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan. Moving cargo in large convoys put many of those soldiers at risk. The Kaman K-Max autonomous helicopter removes the people from those supply lines.
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0046.xml
article
56
56
BEST OF WHAT'S NEW
MARS CURIOSITY SKY CRANE
The Most Audacious Landing Yet
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Paul Kvinta
“EVERYONE KNOWS the rover is named Curiosity,” says Adam Steltzner. “But we had our own name for the descent stage. We called it Audacity.” As the lead engineer for entry, descent, and landing on NASA’s most recent mission to Mars, Steltzner was responsible for getting Curiosity through the Martian atmosphere and onto the surface in one piece.
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0047.xml
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57
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PHONAK: LYRIC
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PHONAK
LYRIC
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0048.xml
article
58
58,60,61
25th ANNUAL BEST OF WHAT'S NEW
GRAND AWARD WINNER
security
The Building-Leaping Robot
Super-Sensitive Cellphone Sniffer
Toughest Recon Robot
A LONG-RANGE FINGERPRINT READER
The Sharpest Marine Security System
Light Radar
The Uncrackable Combination Lock
Simplest Home Security Cam
A Durable Modular 'Bot
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Clay Dillow
Reconnaissance robots have typically required elaborate engineering to overcome the challenges of urban surveillance; models based on hummingbirds, flies, and cockroaches are all in development. The engineers behind the Sand Flea, from Boston Dynamics, took the opposite approach.
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0049.xml
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59
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blackanddecker: GYRO
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blackanddecker
GYRO
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0050.xml
article
62
62,64,66
25th ANNUAL BEST OF WHAT'S NEW
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hardware
Tiniest Transistors
Easiest 3-D Printing
Computing for Less
The Fastest Graphics
The Mouse Replacement
Internet Anywhere
Meltdown-Proof Computer
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Lauren Aaronson
Darren Murph
Matt Safford
Almost since Moore's Law was proposed in 1965, chipmakers have been wringing their hands over the day when they can no longer keep up—when they can't pack twice the number of transistors onto a square-inch of chip every two years. Transistors are the microscopic switches that make electronics work.
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0051.xml
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63
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TAMRON
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TAMRON
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0052.xml
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65
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The Danbury Mint
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The Danbury Mint
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0053.xml
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67
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Advertisement
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0054.xml
article
68
68,69
25th ANNUAL BEST OF WHAT'S NEW
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recreation
The Backcountry Generator
A System That Saves Equipment
The Complete Pocket Trainer
Birding Hotspot
The Longest Drive
The Smartest Headlamp
The Every-Last-Fish Finder
Finally, Waterproof Down
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Mark Anders
Stephen Regenold
For better or for worse, electronics such as GPS devices, cellphones, and LED lights have become de rigueur in the backcountry. But keeping them charged isn’t easy. Solar panels don’t work well in heavily wooded areas, and spare batteries add weight to a pack.
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0055.xml
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70
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MDHearingAidPRO
[no value]
MDHearingAidPRO
[no value]
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0056.xml
article
71
71,72,73
25th ANNUAL BEST OF WHAT'S NEW
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health
Open-Heart Alternative
Most Natural Prosthetic Leg
HIV-Preventing Pill
THE SPEEDIEST DNA SEQUENCER
Off-the-Grid Autoclave
CELLPHONE ULTRASOUND
Surgery Sterilizer
Needles on Target
The Clearest Hearing Booster
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Rebecca Boyle
Each year, about 1.5 million people in the U.S. suffer from aortic valve stenosis, a narrowing of the heart’s aortic valve that can lead to a heart attack. In severe cases, doctors perform open-heart surgery to replace the valve, but many patients are too frail to undergo such a procedure; fifty percent of those who don’t get surgery die within two years.
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0057.xml
article
74
74
BEST OF WHAT'S NEW
PROTEUS DIGITAL HEALTH FEEDBACK SYSTEM
A Pill That Tells When It's Taken
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Rebecca Boyle
AS A DOCTOR, George Savage had the power to save lives, but part of his job still made him feel helpless: After patients left the hospital, he had no way of knowing if they were taking their medications. According to the World Health Organization, patients fail to use their prescriptions properly at least half the time.
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0058.xml
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75
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sphero
[no value]
sphero
[no value]
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[no value]
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0059.xml
article
76
76,78,79
25th ANNUAL BEST OF WHAT'S NEW
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entertainment
A Real Home Theater
Realistic Theater Sound
Dual-Screen Gaming
Sound Parrot
Wireless 'phones, Wired Sound
The Most Beautiful TV
YOUR TV, ANYWHERE
Everyman's Movie Camera
Console Power in Your Pocket
One-Plug Smart TV
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[no value]
Tim Gideon
Darren Murph
Screen quality follows a simple rule: The larger the screen, the more pixels necessary to fill it. A high-def image is 1,920 by 1,080 pixels. On a 60-inch LCD TV, the image is flawless, but go any larger—say, 80 inches or a wall-sized projection—and the individual pixels become visible, degrading image quality.
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0060.xml
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77
77
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AMSOIL: Synthetics
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AMSOIL
Synthetics
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0061.xml
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80
80,81,82,83,84
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POPULAR SCIENCE GIFT GUIDE
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0062.xml
article
85
85,88,89
HOW 2.0
YOU BUILT WHAT?!
Remote-Controlled Robo-Arm
A 16-year-old's homemade wireless robotic limb
BUILDING A ROBOT ARM
HOW IT WORKS
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[no value]
Gregorg Mone
TWO SUMMERS AGO, Easton LaChappelle thought it would be fun to build a robotic arm controlled wirelessly using a glove. LaChappelle, then 14, knew nothing about electronics, programming, or robots—but he was bored and desperate for a challenge.
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0063.xml
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86,87
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Advertisement
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0064.xml
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88
88
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Advertisement
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0065.xml
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89
89
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Davis Instruments: Vantage Vue
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Davis Instruments
Vantage Vue
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[no value]
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0066.xml
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89
89
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Advertisement
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0067.xml
article
90
90
HOW 2.0
GRAY MATTER
Baking Up a Paradox
Smart chemistry builds gluten-free bread with some bite
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Theodore Gray
Every loaf of wheat bread contains a seeming contradiction: gluten, a gel-like protein that’s fluid when cool and solid when hot. Gluten forms elastic scaffolding around air bubbles when bread rises (bread is technically a foam) and traps moisture during baking to yield a soft and chewy end product.
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0068.xml
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91,92
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Pfizer Inc.: VIAGRA
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Pfizer Inc.
VIAGRA
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0069.xml
article
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93
HOW 2.0
DIY EVOLUTION
Snowmobiling Through Time
Here's how a motorized sled from the POPULAR SCIENCE archives compares to a tricked-out DIY snowmobile today
THEN Gas-Powered Snow-Trac
NOW The Phantom
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TAYLOR KUBOTA
In 1963, PopSci described how to build a scrappy winter sports vehicle out of plywood, old farming equipment, and a 7.5-horsepower lawn-mower engine: “You’re in for a new kind of thrill if you’ve never plowed through powdery snow or flashed along shimmering ice at 25 to 30 m.p.h.
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0070.xml
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Lee
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Lee
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0071.xml
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AERLOOMS
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AERLOOMS
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0072.xml
article
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WEBSITE OF THE MONTH
ThingsWeStart.com
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MIRIAM KRAMER
Kickstarter connects people with big ideas and zero funding to eager micro-investors around the U.S. But how are your town’s entrepreneurs faring? ThingsWeStart.com, an interactive map of Kickstarter projects, shows you at a glance. Zooming in on hotspots of ingenuity pinpoints individual projects.
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0073.xml
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HOW 2.0
SIMPLE PROJECT
Magic Touch
Turn your favorite mitts into gadget-compatible manipulators
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Taylor Kubota
Winter gloves and gadgets don’t mix. Most touchscreens use capacitive sensing to complete a weak electrical circuit through skin and locate our tapping. And while wool, cotton, and leather gloves insulate hands from the cold, they block the body’s ability to shuttle electrons.
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0074.xml
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ROCKAUTO, LLC
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ROCKAUTO, LLC
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0075.xml
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TheHURRYCANE
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TheHURRYCANE
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FYI
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Q: What makes hair curly?
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Daniel Engber
Why a strand of hair bends or falls the way it does may sound like a simple question, but the answer is rather convoluted. On one level, the texture of a person’s hair derives from his or her genes. A 2009 study looked at the genetics of waves and curls and reported a heritability of between 85 and 95 percent.
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0077.xml
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EdgeCraft: Chef'sChoice
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EdgeCraft
Chef'sChoice
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0078.xml
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97
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Advertisement
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0079.xml
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Littleton Coin Company
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Littleton Coin Company
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0080.xml
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envi
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envi
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0081.xml
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EPILOG LASER
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EPILOG LASER
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0082.xml
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Advertisements
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WeatherTech
FloorLiner
WeatherTech
Cargo-Trunk Liner
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0083.xml
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100,101
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HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS
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HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0084.xml
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102,103,104,105,106
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psshowcase
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0086.xml
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POPULAR SCIENCE DIRECT
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0087.xml
article
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FROM THE POPULAR SCIENCE ARCHIVES
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The Evolution of Innovation
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POPULAR SCIENCE has given out 2,500 Best of What's New awards over the last quarter century. In that time, some of the categories we cover have grown, some have died, and others have spawned new categories. Here, waves represent categories, and their heights the number of honorees in each.
PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0088.xml
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RAM: RAM 1500
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RAM
RAM 1500
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0089.xml
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amazon
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amazon
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PopularScience_20121201_0281_006_0090.xml