This Kid-Proof Outlet Wouldn't Power Up Until You Plug Something In

Any household with small roaming humans inevitably has to block its electrical sockets from tiny probing fingers. But most of the childproof measures out there—plastic plugs, sliding faceplates—can still be impregnated by determined hands. This outlet prototype wouldn't supply any electricity to its sockets until a… » 11/19/14 5:40pm 11/19/14 5:40pm

Networked Guns Are a Smarter Attempt to Keep Cops In Check

It seems insane that it's taken this long to get here, but at long last, people are finally using the myriad tech at our disposal to hold cops accountable for their actions. Most recently, its a simple, relatively tiny chip being put to one massively important job—telling headquarters every time a police officer fires… » 11/13/14 6:24pm 11/13/14 6:24pm

Radar-Enabled Light Bulbs Automatically Detect When the Elderly Fall

Even when the elderly are being tended to by a caregiver, it's almost impossible to keep an eye on them 100 percent of the time. So a Japanese company has developed a pair of LED light bulbs featuring built-in laser-based radar to track the movements of someone in its vicinity, and automatically send alerts when they… » 11/11/14 12:43pm 11/11/14 12:43pm

The Surprisingly Low-Tech Way NASA Decides When to Blow Up a Rocket

When the Antares rocket exploded seconds after launch on Tuesday night, NASA was able to account for all its employees very quickly after the failure thanks to a clearly very well-practiced protocol. The launch gave us a peek into the processes that dictate every rocket launch, and one of them was particularly… » 10/30/14 5:15pm 10/30/14 5:15pm

A Cheaper Highway Guardrail May Be Malfunctioning and Deadly

It's the difference of just one inch. In 2005, the guardrail manufacturer Trinity Industries shaved that much off its guardrail design, saving the company $2 per guardrail head. It also neglected to report this design change to the Federal Highway Administration. Tens of thousands of these potentially deadly guardrail… » 10/28/14 5:12pm 10/28/14 5:12pm

How Facebook Uses Leaked Passwords to Keep Your Account Safe

There's a reason you're not supposed to use same password for all of your accounts—large-scale data breachers are all too common. But in case you still refuse to abide by logic and reason (and many of us do), Facebook now uses those stolen-passwords-made-public to tell you what an idiot you're being. And to keep you… » 10/17/14 12:00pm 10/17/14 12:00pm

How to Choose a Reliable Emergency Radio (and Some Good Ones to Buy)

With luck, you'll never need to rely on an emergency radio, but they're an essential part of any emergency kit. However, not all emergency radios are alike, and buying a reliable one isn't as simple as plucking one from the shelves. Here's what to look for, and some good options for your emergency kit. » 9/29/14 1:30pm 9/29/14 1:30pm

Touch-Sensitive Outlet Shuts Down Power To Protect Kids From Shocks

Here's a wonderful mashup of existing technologies that promises to make it all but impossible for little kids to get shocked by a power outlet. The Guardian Angel Shockproof Safety Outlet uses similar technology as your smartphone's touchscreen to detect when it's being touched, and then automatically shut down power… » 9/22/14 2:59pm 9/22/14 2:59pm

Waiting for 'Don't Walk' Signs Is More Fun When the Stick Figure Dances

At first glance it seems like just another fun art project, but this dancing traffic light can actually vastly improve safety wherever it's installed. Because people waiting for a 'don't walk' sign to change to 'walk' are far more likely to stick it out when they're distracted and entertained, rather than just try and… » 9/16/14 5:10pm 9/16/14 5:10pm

A Ballistic Sleeping Bag That Promises Protection From a Tornado

They seem like a smart idea, but how many people do you really know with a safe room in their house? Probably none, because they're expensive, and that includes those living in areas where storms can generate deadly tornados. So a Missouri-based inventor has come up with a cheaper way to stay safe during a twister—an … » 9/09/14 6:02pm 9/09/14 6:02pm

These Alien Skyscrapers Will Rest on the Site of an Old Uranium Plant

The Pritzker Prize-winning starchitect Zaha Hadid just released images of her latest design—three matching towers for Brisbane's waterfront—and they look nothing short of alien. Which feels oddly appropriate, since the skyscrapers are also supposed to sit on potentially radioactive land. » 9/08/14 12:00pm 9/08/14 12:00pm

Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Clothing Will Protect Cyclists From Road Rash

Donning a full suit of motorcycle leathers for your morning bike ride to work is probably overkill, but cyclists can still be subjected to road rash should they fall while wearing less-than-protective gear. So athletic gear manufacturer Scott is developing shorts and jerseys strategically reinforced in key areas using… » 8/28/14 4:14pm 8/28/14 4:14pm

Virtually no one starts smoking after age 26

There's a reason the government has had to severely restrict cigarette advertising (and smoking in general) to minors: they're the only ones still gullible enough to think smoking is a good idea. According to the Surgeon General's office, anyone over the age of 26 has a better chance of being mugged by a great white… » 8/20/14 4:44pm 8/20/14 4:44pm

An Airbag Belt Could Help Protect Seniors' Hips From Nasty Falls

It doesn't matter how much milk you drink, at a certain age your bones start to lose their strength, eventually putting you at risk for broken limbs and even worse: a broken hip that hinders your mobility. So similar to the airbags in your car, this safety belt instantly inflates when it detects the wearer is falling,… » 8/15/14 3:07pm 8/15/14 3:07pm

A Plush-Disguised Camera Lets Drivers Keep an Eye On Back-Seat Infants

There are plenty of distractions you should be ignoring while driving, like your smartphone. But others, like your infant in a car seat behind you, you simply can't ignore. So instead of taking your eyes off the road to turn around and check on them, or futzing with your rear-view mirror, the Always in View straps a… » 8/14/14 12:20pm 8/14/14 12:20pm