Wednesday, July 28

Month: December 2014

Home Renovations Are on the Rise — With Some Restrictions
Lifestyle

Home Renovations Are on the Rise — With Some Restrictions

Since the economy has bounced back from the recessionary landscape that many of us remember all too well, more and more Americans are choosing to make renovations to their homes. Research shows that since 2012, the number of home owners making renovations has increased by 7%. Furthermore, Boston.com reports that according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, the amount spent on home renovations should exceed a whopping $145 billion in 2014. But home owners shouldn't break out the paintbrushes and hammers just yet. Many towns and cities across the U.S. have national and local historical districts which limit what a home owner can do in terms of exterior renovations. The national list, the National Register of Historic Places, is the first place home owners should...
Letterpress Printing Among Artisanal Techniques Seeing Renaissance
Business

Letterpress Printing Among Artisanal Techniques Seeing Renaissance

It seems that every day brings another story of exciting applications of 3D printing technology. As recently as Dec. 17, a Princeton University team announced it had printed a contact lens with an embedded LED capable of projecting light. But despite this constant stream of innovation, some printers are turning to older techniques in order to satisfy a growing demand for handmade or artisanal products. “It is a safe bet that at least one Christmas card you receive this year will be printed in the old-fashioned manner, by letterpress,” reads an Economist article from Dec. 18. “You'll recognise it by the way the letters are pounded deep into the paper, like some kind of reverse braille. The point, for a new wave of hobbyists around the globe, is the ostentatious tactility.” Why this d...
Mobile Gaming Will Overtake Traditional Advertising, According to Experts
Business

Mobile Gaming Will Overtake Traditional Advertising, According to Experts

For many advertisers, mobile games may still seem like a passing fad. But according to experts, mobile game advertising may be set to outpace traditional advertising much sooner than expected. In fact, it may even be taking money away from traditional advertising methods. In a discussion at the Global Mobile Internet Conference early this month, Dave Madden, senior vice president of global media solutions at the mobile games division of Electronic Arts, said that mobile games are sucking so much money out of other forms of media advertising that he believes it will soon be the largest advertising platform in the world. In the past, mobile games have been used primarily to appeal to a gaming crowd that subsists on Doritos and Mountain Dew, but that image is no longer representative of the...
Metallic Temporary Tattoos This Year’s Latest Trend
Fashion

Metallic Temporary Tattoos This Year’s Latest Trend

As the holidays roll around, new trends in fashion and accessories start to emerge. TV commercials, newspaper ads and online gift lists reveal the presents that everyone is dying to have that season. This year, one of the more surprising trends topping off people's wish lists are temporary metallic tattoos. At first glance these adornments are a bit misleading -- shiny detailed strands wrapped around a person's neck or wrist that stay firmly in place no matter how they move. It's hard to take your eyes off them, and many curious passers-by can't help but inquire about these strange pieces of "jewelry" to those who are already rocking them on their arms or necks. "Be ready to explain what it is because people are very intrigued and confused about how it is worn and stays on the skin a...
Spotify’s Year in Review Reveals Interesting, Musical Trends
Lifestyle

Spotify’s Year in Review Reveals Interesting, Musical Trends

Spotify has taken a page right out of Facebook's playbook. The music streaming service has set up a new site -- spotify-yearinmusic.com -- that not only lets users check out what was big in music in 2014 according to Spotify user activity, but also lets individual users see what artists, songs, and genres they listened to the most.Generally speaking, music fans shouldn't be all that surprised by Spotify's findings. In 2014, Spotify's some 50 million active users streamed more than seven billion hours of music -- nearly 800,000 years' worth. The top male artist was Ed Sheeran, who also had the most listened-to album of the year on Spotify. The top female artist was Katy Perry, and the top group was Coldplay. "Happy" by Pharell Williams was the most listened to song of 2014. Things get mo...
Are ‘Illusion Coatings’ the Future of Camouflage?
World

Are ‘Illusion Coatings’ the Future of Camouflage?

While it may not seem like it, the fashion world and technology have a lot in common. Just when we get used to the idea of a trend being latest and greatest, it’s quickly replaced by something else. In the wise words of Heidi Klum, supermodel and host of the hit fashion design series “Project Runway,” “One minute you’re in, and the next you’re out!” Though camouflage has long been a staple in the fashion world, it seems that a technological breakthrough is taking it to the next level in terms of functionality. According to researchers, as cool as invisibility cloaks are, they’re so last season and out of style thanks “illusion coatings,” which conceal objects by making them appear as something else. Illusion coatings could be used to help troops or spies protect antennas and sensors from...
IKEA Goes Retro by Reviving Furniture Designs from the 1950s
Fashion

IKEA Goes Retro by Reviving Furniture Designs from the 1950s

The retro furniture look is expected to be big in 2015, and longstanding furniture titan IKEA is responding by reviving pieces of furniture from the 1950s-1970s.The 26 different sofas, seats, lamps, dishes and rugs are part of IKEA's Årgång collection, which will only be available from select IKEA stores for a limited amount of time. The collection features bright colors, inventive designs and retro flair. Retro furniture has been on trend since stylish shows like Mad Men took over TV, but Ikea didn't have to create new designs based on older design techniques. The 70-year-old company just had to reach back through its catalogs and select a few gems to sell again, giving it a distinct advantage over newer companies trying to recapture the magic of the past. Each furniture piece ...
New York State’s Legal Medical Marijuana Regulations Drafted, With Administering to Start By January 2016
Local

New York State’s Legal Medical Marijuana Regulations Drafted, With Administering to Start By January 2016

On Thursday, Dec. 18, New York State lawmakers drafted up the rules and regulations for its new medicinal marijuana program, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law in July. According to the Buffalo News, the regulations will dictate everything from how to grow marijuana, to the system for dispensing it to patients, to the price patients will have to pay to obtain medical marijuana cards. In order to recommend their patients for medical marijuana use, doctors throughout New York State will have to complete a four-hour training course and then be approved to register as a medical marijuana prescriber. New York State says it will issue licenses to as many as five vendors to grow marijuana, with each of them being able to open and operate four dispensaries, the Buffalo News reports. State ...
Solar Energy System Built by Australian Researchers Beats World Record for Efficiency
Business

Solar Energy System Built by Australian Researchers Beats World Record for Efficiency

A team of researchers in Australia has broken the efficiency record for a commercially available photovoltaic system, creating one that converts more than 40% of collected sunlight into power. “A new world record is making the future of solar energy look pretty bright,” Elizabeth Palermo wrote for Fox News Dec. 16. The team was led by Martin Green, a professor at the University of New South Wales. In order to reach 40% efficiency, the team combined commercial solar cells with optical filters. This allowed them to capture wavelengths of light that average photovoltaic cells can’t. The approach is known as concentrator photovoltaics, or CPV, and is associated with advanced applications in the solar industry. CPV systems are also typically very expensive to produce. But the team’s use of c...
New E-waste Law in New York State Makes Throwing Electronics Out With Regular Trash Illegal
Local

New E-waste Law in New York State Makes Throwing Electronics Out With Regular Trash Illegal

Aside from sticking to their New Year's resolutions in 2015, New Yorkers will also have to get used to a new law that bans discarding e-waste with regular trash on the curb. The Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act takes effect on January 1 and will make it illegal to throw away electronic devices with normal garbage and recycling. Those who do will face a $100 fine per violation. Nearly every type of electronic device is banned under the new law, including TVs, computers, computer monitors, keyboards, cellphones, MP3 players and video games, according to the New York publication Capital. Electronics that end up in the trash pose a major threat to both the environment and people's health, filling up landfills across the country and releasing toxic chemicals into the soil. Most e...