Lucas MearianGeneral assignment and storage, Computerworld

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Lucas Mearian covers consumer data storage, consumerization of IT, mobile device management, renewable energy, telematics/car tech and entertainment tech for Computerworld.

Apple logo

Apple patents solar-powered MacBook

A case made of switchable smart glass could appear both translucent and opaque.

3d organ printer

The first 3D printed organ, a liver, is expected in 2014

Printed tissue could vastly improve drug testing

Online backup service SugarSync moves to paid-only model

SugarSync no longer offers 5GB of free capacity, but the online backup site plans to release new features next year.

Toyota signs wireless charging deal with WiTricity

A Prius that can be charged wirelessly is in the works, thanks to an IP deal between the car maker and WiTricity, which makes wireless charging systems.

DDR4 memory won't show up in PCs, tablets until 2015

Another memory vendor expects to ship DDR4 this year, but Intel and AMD don't expect to support the new memory boards with their processors until late 2014 or early 2015.

3D gun

3D-printed guns can explode, injure users, tests show

Federal firearms agents testing all-plastic guns made by 3D printers say the weapons can explode in users' hands.

Google begins work on six more solar power plants

Google plans to build solar power plants in California and Arizona that are expected to be operational by early 2014 and will generate enough clean electricity to power more than 17,000 U.S. homes.

Flexible batteries designed from carbon nanotubes

The New Jersey Institute of Technology has created flexible batteries out of nanotube structures that could someday power flexible displays, tablet computers, or TVs that literally fold up.

Drivers accept self-driving cars if they cut insurance rates

Consumers would allow a computer to drive their car if doing so would cut their insurance rates by 80 percent, according to a survey by

World's first 3D printed metal gun blows through 50 rounds

The pistol is a 3D-printed replica of the storied .45-caliber, M1911 semi-automatic that served as the U.S. military’s standard-issue sidearm for more than 70 years.

i-Air Touch

Goggles interact with floating keyboards and virtual displays

A Taiwan-based research institute announced a set of glasses that project a virtual heads-up display that offers users fingertip control.

Self-driving cars could save lives, costs, study reports

If just 10 percent of all vehicles in the U.S. were computer-operated, the number of accidents would drop by 211,000 and as many as 1100 lives would be saved, according to a new study.

Manhole Cover

Juicing electric cars though manhole covers among new wireless charging experiments

Automakers and municipal governments are testing new technologies that would make it possible to offer wireless charging stations embedded in the pavement or even in manhole covers -- thus removing the power cords from electric vehicles.

Google's self-driving car draws more trust than auto-makers

A study released recently by KPMG shows that consumers trust tech companies more than auto companies for purchasing a self-driving car.


Scientists use 3D printers to contain, study bacteria

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have created microscopic enclosures to group certain forms of bacteria together to discover how they interact to spread disease.