Issue: 20130101

Tuesday, January 1, 2013
JANUARY 2013
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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Articles
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POPULAR SCIENCE
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0001.xml
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Sony Electronics Inc.: α99V
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Sony Electronics Inc.
α99V
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0002.xml
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Ford
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Ford
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0003.xml
tableOfContents
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contents
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FROM THE EDITOR
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LUCKY 13
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JACOB WARD
I BELIEVE 2013 will be a grand year. Big things are coming. First of all, astronomers expect a cloud of gas roughly three times the mass of Earth to begin falling into a supermassive black hole in September. It’s not just going to be amazing (blasts of x-rays and radio waves!), it will be the first time such a thing happens within range of human instrumentation, which means we get to watch.
PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0005.xml
masthead
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POPULAR SCIENCE
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0006.xml
article
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PEER REVIEW
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Infinite Energy?
PopSci.com’s Top Stories of 2012
FROM POPSCI HQ
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I applaud Steve Featherstone’s article “Andrea Rossi’s Black Box” [November]. Low-energy nuclear reaction could revolutionize heatusing industries and even propulsion and transportation. This energy breakthrough, combined with the use of advanced materials, could usher in a new era of growth and prosperity.
PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0007.xml
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MEGAPIXELS
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Star Burst
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Taylor Kubota
On August 31, 2012, more than one billion tons of plasma exploded from the sun’s surface and began speeding toward Earth at approximately three million mph. Unlike a solar flare, which is a burst of extreme radiation, a coronal mass ejection (CME) is an eruption of million-degree electrified gas.
PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0008.xml
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TD Ameritrade IP Company, Inc.
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TD Ameritrade IP Company, Inc.
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0009.xml
review
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what's new
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Skis for Any Slope
With a new core material, skis ride as weii in powder as they do on ice
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Wagner Custom 2-4 Ultralight Core Skis
$1,900
Berne Broudy
Until now, there hasn’t been an all-mountain ski that rides well in any conditions. Skis must be either sturdy and narrow to chop through icy snow or flexible and wide to glide across powder. The core of a ski determines its weight and strength, and thus the conditions it’s best suited for.
PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0010.xml
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WHAT'S NEW
the goods
A dozen great ideas in gear
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Miriam Kramer
Taylor Kubota
Colleen Park
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0011.xml
review
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WHAT'S NEW
FIVE FEATURES
The Practical Plug-In
The Ford C-Max Energi is roomy, affordable, and, best of all, gets 108 miles per gallon
Ford
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Ford
C-Max Energi
$29,995
Lawrence Ulrich
Plug-in cars save gas and cut pollution, but at a cost. The Nissan Leaf has a maximum driving range of about 75 miles. The Chevrolet Volt seats just four people. And at nearly $40,000 apiece, neither is cheap. The Ford C-Max Energi plug-ln hybrid, by contrast, seats five and combines gas power and a grid-charged lithium-ion battery to reach the EPA-certified equivalent of 108 mpg.
PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0012.xml
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amazon: kindle fire HD
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amazon
kindle fire HD
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0013.xml
review
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WHAT'S NEW
TECH REBORN
Speakers From Space
A NASA-developed liquid allows for clearer sound from smaller packages
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Sony BVD-N790W Blu-ray Home Cinema
$500
Corinne Iozzio
At the beginning of the space program, one big problem facing NASA engineers was finding a way to move rocket fuel into engines in space with no gravity to guide the flow. They developed an additive called ferrofluid, a liquid infused with magnetite particles that they could manipulate with a magnetic field.
PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0014.xml
review
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WHAT'S NEW
THREE MORE
ALTERNATIVE SPEAKER DESIGNS
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UNMONDAY 4.3L
$890
No matter which side the hexagonal Unmonday speaker sits on, its ceramic housing will dampen vibrations. Based on how the speaker is positioned, an accelerometer tells it to act as part of a mono, stereo, or surround setup. $890 (import)
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ORIGINAL KOOSTIK
$95
Inspired by acoustic guitars, the Koostik passive amplifier quadruples an iPhone’s speaker volume. Two hemispherical sound chambers concentrate audio much like a megaphone before sound waves exit through front-facing holes. $95
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AUDIOMASONS COMET
$1,400
The Comet produces sound that’s 57 percent less distorted than that of a traditional wood speaker. Designers embedded the two drivers in a solid block of stone, a substance that won’t absorb sound waves. $1,400 (pair)
TAYLOR KUBOTA
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0015.xml
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GEICO
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GEICO
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0016.xml
review
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WHAT'S NEW
TECH TREND
Dustless Drilling
Tools with attachable vacuums clean up after themselves
THE TREND
THE BENEFIT
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DeWalt DC233KLDH
$899
Despite a huge 36-volt battery pack, the DeWalt DC233KLDH fits into tight spaces. The vacuum canister snaps onto the bottom of the hammer, instead of its side. Both the hammer and vacuum connect to the same power source, so pulling the trigger simultaneously starts the drilling and the suction. $899
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Milwaukee M12 HammerVac 2306-22
$250
The M12 is the only vacuum that can attach to any corded or cordless rotary hammer—regardless of brand. Users adjust a metal strap to fit over the drill head, and a jaw on the strap grabs onto the 3.3-pound vacuum, which draws power from its own 12-volt lithium-ion battery. $250
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Makita LXRH011
$539
Though one 18-volt battery powers both the vacuum and the hammer in Makita’s system, a single charge lasts 50 percent longer than on the company’s prior vacuum-less hammer. To extend the runtime, engineers swapped the old motor for a brushless model; without brushes, there’s less internal friction for the motor to work against. $539
Sal Vaglica
A rotary hammer, which simultaneously turns and punches a drill bit, is the ideal tool for drilling holes into brick and concrete. But making those holes also creates a huge, powdery mess. Snap-on HEPA vacuums developed by tool manufacturers can now trap dust right at the source.
PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0017.xml
review
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WHAT'S NEW
HOW IT WORKS
The Indestructible Drive
Personal data storage built to withstand anything
Failure
Drops and Theft
Heat
Fire
Water
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ioSafe N2
$599
Matt Safford
In normal conditions, a hard drive Is the most affordable and efficient way to back up music, video, and photo libraries. Yet most drives—typically made from lightweight materials such as plastic—won’t last through a disaster.
PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0018.xml
article
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WHAT'S NEW
HOW IT WORKS
Coming Soon: Million-Year Archiving
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MIRIAM KRAMER
Hitachi engineers have developed a method to store data indefinitely on glass. A femtosecond laser carves data as code40 megabytes' worth for every square inch— Into heatand water-resistant quartz glass. A programmed optical microscope is used to decode the data.
PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0019.xml
article
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WHAT'S NEW
OUTLOOK
Predictive Television
TVs will soon tell us exactly what we want to watchno channel surfing required
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Mark Hachman
TWENTY YEARS ago, Bruce Springsteen lamented “57 channels, and nothin’ on.” Today, 57 channels would be a relief: Between cable, broadcast, and Web services, we have tens of thousands of individual programs to choose from, and no good way to figure out what to watch. In the early days of the Internet, surfers were just as confounded.
PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0020.xml
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Apex Brands Inc.
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Apex Brands Inc.
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0021.xml
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EMBRY-RIDDLE Aeronautical University
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EMBRY-RIDDLE Aeronautical University
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0022.xml
article
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HEADLINES
THE TREND
Wild Among Us
Why coyotes, bears, and mountain lions are moving Into cities, and what to do about It
3-D Reproduction
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IT’S BEEN a while since he tried to count them all, but Stan Gehrt estimates that more than 2,000 coyotes make a comfortable living in the Chicago metropolitan area today. And in the 12 years he’s spent tracking the animals with radio and GPS collars, Gehrt, a wildlife ecologist at Ohio State University, has witnessed some remarkable adaptations.
PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0023.xml
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Advertisement: AMSOIL
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AMSOIL
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0024.xml
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HEADLINES
THE TREND
Bullet Proof
The clue-catching cartridge
THE PROBLEM
THE SOLUTION
THE SCALE Explosivity
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Amber Williams
Sherlock Holmes could look at a gun shell and know exactly what went down. The firearm? The shooter’s stance? The culprit? All revealed with a glance. In the real world, using a shell to solve a crime is a painstaking, and often unsuccessful, process.
PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0025.xml
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SIGMA
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SIGMA
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0026.xml
article
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HEADLINES
BY THE NUMBERS
The Warmup
Dissecting a year of record-breaking heat
KEY
2012 HIGH-TEMPERATURE RECORDS: 27,631
LOW-TEMPERATURE RECORDS: 5,212
NINE DECADES OF HIGHS AND LOWS
NUMBER OF DAILY RECORDS
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Katie Peek
As of November, when this issue went to press, 2012 was on track to become the warmest year in the U.S. since 1895, when national record keeping began. From January through October, the 4,451 U.S. weather stations that have been tracking temperatures for at least 30 years measured nearly 28,000 high-temperature records but only 5,200 lows.
PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0027.xml
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0028.xml
article
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HEAIJLINES
BLUEPRINT
Fantastic Voyage
A mini, sub that could steer through the body
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Daniel Pivonka
"In the future, tiny vehicles might travel through your body to image your insides, take samples, and deliver drugs. At Stanford University, my colleague Anatoly Yakovlev and I built a prototype of such a device. It’s about the size of Abraham Lincoln’s head on a penny. We power and control the prototype wirelessly by sending radio waves to its twoby-two-millimeter antenna from about two inches away.
PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0029.xml
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THE GREAT COURSES
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THE GREAT COURSES
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0030.xml
article
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HEADLINES
F = MA
Clone Wars
Music piracy? Who cares. Wait until people start copying iPhones
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Luke Mitchell
LAST JANUARY, the Swedish BitTorrent tracker Pirate Bay quietly introduced a new category, called Physibles, to its inventory. “We believe that things like three-dimensional printers, scanners, and such are just the first step,” one of the site’s managers wrote at the time.
PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0031.xml
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GravityDefyer
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GravityDefyer
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0032.xml
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FEATURES
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THE YEAR IN SCIENCE
WHICH STORIES WILL DOMINATE THE NEWS IN 2013? HERE'S A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTURE.
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THE EDITORS
Science and technology have utterly transformed human life in the past few generations, and forecasts of the future used to be measured in decades. But big changes arrive faster and faster these days. So here we’ve shifted our forecast to the near-term, because we’re right on the verge of some extraordinary stuff.
PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0033.xml
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THE YEAR IN SCIENCE
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Physics Enters New Era
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Sean Carroll
ON July 4, 2012, a panel of scientists at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva announced the discovery of a new particle, the long-anticipated Higgs boson (or something very much like it). The Higgs is the final piece of the Standard Model of particle physics, a theory that accounts for everything we experience in our lives, from rocks to puppies to stars and planets.
PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0034.xml
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THE YEAR IN SCIENCE
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2013 NEWS BYTES
Black Hole Chows Down
Ocean X PRIZE Launches
Mental Disorders Better Defined
Planck Dumps New Data
Supercomputer Crunches Climate
Solar Activity Peaks
Animals Sue for Rights
Google Glass Ships Out
Gaia Starts Stellar Census
Urban EVs Lighten Up
Lunar Mission Blasts Off
Watson Treats Patients
New Comet Blazes by Earth
Digital Sight Hits Shelves
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Miriam Kramer
Taylor Kubota
Colleen Park
A giant blob of gas headed directly for the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy could begin to drop into the abyss mid-year, blasting x-ray radiation into space in a brilliant display of light. Witnessed for the first time by scientists, the decades-long process will help answer the question of how black holes grow.
PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0035.xml
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THE YEAR IN SCIENCE
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STEM CELLS SIDESTEP CONTROVERSY
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Clay Risen
DURING 2012, two scientific teams announced, in separate studies, that they had transformed ordinary adult skin cells into neural cells, a breakthrough that could change the course of human stem cell research. Stem cells hold enormous potential for medicine because they can develop from undifferentiated cells into a variety of specialized ones.
PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0036.xml
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THE YEAR IN SCIENCE
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CLIMATE SCIENTISTS SAY IT AGAIN
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Curtis Brainard
THE warning from climate scientists has been clear and consistent for decades: Man-made greenhousegas emissions, which increase every year, are causing the planet to warm, and that will have dire consequences—the specifics of which (timing, intensity, location) aren’t completely understood right now.
PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0037.xml
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THE YEAR IN SCIENCE
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Asia Takes Two Routes to Space
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Valerie Ross
EARTH'S two most populous nations have major space launches slated for 2013: China will send a lander to the moon and India will propel an orbiter toward Mars. On the surface, their goals appear similar—cement a toehold in a frontier dominated by the U.S., Russia, and Europe—but the ways in which they will achieve them are very different.
PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0038.xml
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THE YEAR IN SCIENCE
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Energy Levels the Field
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Abrahm Lustgarten
NATURAL gas has emerged as a cheap, abundant fuel source because of hydraulic fracturing, and energy companies are now racing to develop it. Gas isn’t perfect. Its environmental reputation is controversial at best; emissions from methane that escapes during drilling give it a big carbon footprint.
PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0039.xml
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THE YEAR IN SCIENCE
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CROWDFUNDING PAYS OFF
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Cliff Ransom
ON April 5, 2012, President Barack Obama sat at a small, wooden desk in the White House Rose Garden and signed the JOBS Act, one of the most transformative pieces of securities legislation written since the Great Depression. Among the 22 pages of dense legalese, one section stood out: the Crowdfund Act.
PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0040.xml
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THE YEAR IN SCIENCE
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HACKERS ATTACK MOBILE PHONES
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Robert Lemos
IN 2009, the annual Pwn2Own cybersecurity competition provided hackers with a shot at cracking smartphones. They failed. In September, the event offered phones as targets again. This time, contestants seized control of them, successfully exploiting vulnerabilities in the two most popular operating systems, iOS and Android.
PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0041.xml
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THE YEAR IN SCIENCE
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Science Funding Remains Strong
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Juliet Eilperin
WITH his second term secured, President Barack Obama can now turn his full attention to advancing the priorities that will help define his legacy. On the stump, Obama championed science and technology. Under his administration, those fields, particularly renewable energy and medical research, should continue to enjoy significant federal support over the next four years.
PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0042.xml
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THE YEAR IN SCIENCE
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2012 The Big Stories
An at-a-glance summary of the year's 25 most important scientifc events
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Colleen Park
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0043.xml
article
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FEATURES
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INSIDE CHINA'S SECRET ARSENAL
THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT IS RAPIDLY BUILDING A BIGGER, MORE SOPHISTICATED MILITARY. HERE'S WHAT THEY HAVE, WHAT THEY WANT, AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR THE U.S.
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PETER W. SINGER
IN A SINGLE GENERATION, China has transformed itself from a largely agrarian country into a global manufacturing and trading powerhouse. China’s economy is 20 times bigger than it was two decades ago and is on track to surpass the United States’ as the world’s largest.
PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0044.xml
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FEATURES
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THE HELMET WARS
ATHLETES IN THE U.S. SUFFER 3.8 MILLION SPORTS-RELATED CONCUSSIONS EACH YEAR. WHILE HELMET MAKERS DITHER WITH SMALL IMPROVEMENTS, SWEDISH SCIENTISTS HAVE BUILT SOMETHING THAT COULD PROTECT US ALL.
THE TROUBLE WITH CONCUSSIONS
Crash Course
The Helmet that Might Save Football
40-YEAR-OLD STANDARDS
THE HELMET ARMS RACE
A NEW HOPE
What's Behind the NFL Suicides?
FOLLOW THE MONEY
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TOM FOSTER
On August 19, 2012, in week two of the NFL preseason, Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Austin Collie ran 17 yards out from the line of scrimmage, cut right toward the center of the field, caught a pass, and was immediately tackled by Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor.
PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0045.xml
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Lorillard Technologies, Inc.: blu
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Lorillard Technologies, Inc.
blu
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0046.xml
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HOW 2.0
YOU BUILT WHAT?!
A Home for the Long Haul
An eco-minded couple hits the road in a DIY covered wagon
HOW TO WORKS
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Katie Drummond
AFTER THEIR LANDLORD sold her house, Tristan Chambers and Libby Reinish found themselves scrambling for a new home. They agreed then to never again endure the insecurity of leased living. It was 2010, "a time when we didn't know where we were going, but we still wanted to have roots," Chambers says.
PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0047.xml
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Advertisement: RadioShack
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RadioShack
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0048.xml
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Mystic Stamp Company
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Mystic Stamp Company
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0049.xml
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Valentine Research, Inc.
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Valentine Research, Inc.
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0050.xml
article
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HOW 2.0
BUILD IT
Roach Control
An insect cyborg that scurries at your command
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Amanda Schupak
If cockroaches send you scrambling, use neuroscience to reverse the human-insect power balance. Carefully electrifying the nerves in a roach’s antennae makes the insect think it has met an obstacle—a sensation that can be manipulated to steer it.
PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0051.xml
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Pfizer Inc.: VIAGR
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Pfizer Inc.
VIAGR
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0052.xml
article
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HOW 2.0
THEME BUILDING
clever Measures
Three projects that reimagine conventional calculating
Analog Bike Clock
Honeybee Counter
Thermal Flashlight
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Miriam Kramer
Artist and cycling enthusiast Gregory de Gouveia, based in Chico, California, has built bike sculptures before. But his 12-foot-tall clock called Time to Change—a fusion of more than a dozen two-wheeled machines—is his largest and most functional aesthetic contribution to the sport. The project began when another local artist asked de Gouveia if he wanted to create a sculpture for the 2011 Chico Wildflower Century Ride.
PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0053.xml
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HOW 2.0
ASK A GEEK
Will yanking a portable drive destroy my data?
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Jack Donovan
we’ve all failed to eject a USB drive before unplugging it, prompting warnings—but not absolute truths—about lost data. Knowing the mechanics of three common storage devices could save you precious time, 1s, and Os. Traditional hard drives can store terabytes of data on spinning, magnetized disks.
PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0054.xml
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AUTOMOTIVE PRODUCTS LIMITED
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AUTOMOTIVE PRODUCTS LIMITED
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0055.xml
article
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HOW 2.0
REPURPOSED TECH
Retro Spinner
Turn a VCR and USB mouse into a computer jog wheel
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Colleen Park
Early in his engineering career, Rohit de Sa faced a painful reality: endless scrolling through lengthy computer documents. Just an hour of flicking a mouse’s wheel was enough to cause carpaltunnel-like symptoms in his wrist. So de Sa repurposed an old VCR, computer mouse, and camera lens caps to build an ergonomic jog wheel.
PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0056.xml
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Advertisement: envi
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envi
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0057.xml
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HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS
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HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0058.xml
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BIE Health Products
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BIE Health Products
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0059.xml
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FYI
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Q: Why don't spiders get trapped in their own webs?
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Daniel Engber
Orb-weavers, arachnids that capture their prey using sticky webs, make up more than one fourth of all known spiders. These species spin their creations with spiral crossbeams dotted with drops of viscous goo. (The webs’ radial and framing threads are left clean.)
PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0060.xml
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0061.xml
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Hearing Help Express, Inc.
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Hearing Help Express, Inc.
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0062.xml
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76
76
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Plasma CAM
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Plasma CAM
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0063.xml
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77
77
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0064.xml
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77
77
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0065.xml
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77_A
77_A
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0066.xml
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77_A
77_A
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0067.xml
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79
79,80,81,82
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psshowcase
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0068.xml
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83
83
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0069.xml
article
84
84
FROM THE ARCHIVES
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Air Power
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Colleen Park
When two Grumman F4F-3 "Wildcat" fighters appeared on POPULAR SCIENCE'S cover in February 1941, the U.S. had not yet joined World War II, but the possibility of an attack on American soil loomed large. Writer Carl Dreher estimated the likelihood of an air bombing on a U.S. city by analyzing foreign aerial strength.
PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0070.xml
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85
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OLYMPUS
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0071.xml
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86
86
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Apple Inc.: iPhone 5
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Apple Inc.
iPhone 5
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PopularScience_20130101_0282_001_0072.xml