Editor Blogs

August 2018
Beirut's Underground Power

Effects of Beirut’s civil war. While the country has rebuilt, the nation’s power grid is patchwork at best.

Small wonder that a country synonymous with destruction and ruin has an underground power market. In the 1920s, the U.S. banned the sale of alcohol, emboldening the mafia, which stepped in to fill the void. And in Beirut, amidst a strained power grid and 3-12 hour mandatory blackouts, industrious power bro
Trump's Affordable Clean Energy Rule Could Cause up to 1,400 Deaths
The EPA’s new Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule “empowers states, promotes energy independence, and facilitates economic growth and job creation.” It could also lead to up to 1,400 premature deaths. Every President inevitably staffs federal agencies with their own people, and Trump’s EPA is no different – the Acting Administrator, Andrew R. Wheele
UK Military Drone Sets Solar Flight Record
The latest Airbus Defence and Space High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite (HAPS) has set a new record for longest duration solar flight. The Zephyr S HAPS took off July 11th in Arizona and landed 25 days, 23 hours, and 57 minutes later. Airbus Defence and Space calls the Zephyr system the “world’s leading, solar–

Volkswagen EV Chargers Tainted With Cadmium
Thought mercury in CFLs was bad? 124,000 EV and plug-in chargers were found to contain cadmium, a highly carcinogenic metal that causes metal fume fever, chemical pneumonitis, pulmonary edema, and death. Fun! 124,000 Volkswagen electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles apparently shipped with aftermarket chargers that includ
Using LED Light to Build Wireless Networks
UK telecom giant O2 is using solid-state lighting to transmit data wirelessly. The early trials use LED light to “send large amounts of data, while appearing as white light to the human eye. The result is a high-speed, bi-directional and fully networked wireless communication of data,” claims O2’s co-conspira
China Sanctions Excluded From Defense Authorization Act

President Trump signs the Defense Authorization Act into law at Fort Drum, New York.

China gets off relatively easy in the latest Defense Authorization Act. The bill includes a government ban on data-sharing devices but excludes the sanctions which crippled telecom giant ZTE. The sanctions barred US companies from doing business with ZTE, which violated trade agreements by selling US technolo
Galaxy Note 9's
Newsflash – the Galaxy Note 9’s “all day battery” isn’t guaranteed. But it will last most of the day for the average user, which isn’t nearly as catchy. We’ve been ragging on Apple a lot for the iPhone’s battery life – and the company’s various schemes to downgrade existing batteries – so the Galaxy Note 9 has an obvious selling point. Samsung’s latest “phablet” won’t win on price
Smart Control Technology Brings Modern Amenities to the Wild
I’m going camping next month, and while I like to experience the outdoors when I’m experiencing the outdoors, Airstream’s trailers let you brave the wild with all the comforts of home – their Smart Control Technology ensures you won’t be too hot, too cold, or denied a strong Wi-Fi signal. I jest,
This Solar Car Charges as You Drive

Sono Motors' Sion.

A German start-up is testing a solar car that can be charged while you drive. The Sion, from Sono Motors, will reach 18.6 miles through photovoltaics, alone. The all-electric car includes 330 integrated solar cells throughout its polycarbonate body, with a max range of 155 miles and recharging via conventional power outlets a
Seattle to Introduce Electric Garbage Trucks
Seattle is ready to debut its first battery-powered refuse trucks, courtesy of Chinese automaker BYD (Build Your Dreams). The 8R Class-8 electric garbage trucks will utilize two electric motors, rated at 201 hp and 550 lbs-ft apiece, and a 178 kWh battery will allow for a 76-mile range with a 10-ton payload. Rec
Harley-Davidson Goes All-in For Electric

Prototype for the Harley Davidson LiveWire electric bike.

Can electric bikes save a dying Harley-Davidson brand? Yes, but the result might be unrecognizable. Back in 2014, Harley-Davidson demoed its LiveWire prototype, with plans of bringing their first electric bike to market in 2019. CFO John Olin claimed that Harley would invest $25-50 million per year in electr