BBC News – 2014 warmest year on record, say US researchers.
2014 was the warmest year on record, with global temperatures 0.68C (1.24F) above the long-term average, US government scientists have said.
The results mean that 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have occurred since the turn of the century.
The analysis was published on Friday by Nasa and Noaa researchers.
BBC News – Smart shoe devices generate power from walking.
German researchers have built shoe-sized devices that harvest power from the act of walking.
The technology could be used to power wearable electronic sensors without the need for batteries.
There are two separate devices: a “shock harvester” that generates power when the heel strikes the ground and a “swing harvester” that produces power when the foot is swinging.
They could also form the basis of a self-lacing shoe for the elderly.
Details of the advance are outlined in the journal Smart Materials and Structures.
“We have tried to power a wireless transmitter and to power a simple sensor,” said Klevis Ylli from HSG-IMIT, a research centre in Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany.
“One application we are working on is indoor navigation which means we have sensors within the shoe that measure the acceleration of the foot, the angular velocity – whether you’re turning the foot or not – and the magnetic field.
“From the data from these sensors, you could calculate how far you have travelled and in which direction. So imagine a rescue unit walking into a building they don’t know. They could then track which way they went on their handheld device.”