Monster Machines: The R&D Machines That Push Your Smartphone 'Til It Breaks

Ever wondered what machinery smartphone firms use to test out those shiny handsets they keep shifting by the truckload? I have. Well, they spend a full six months of the phone’s now-year-long pre-release life just checking if they’re fit for purpose, so that’s got to be some pretty interesting, exhaustive probing and pummelling.

Jet Engines Endure Trial By Ice

Today’s shot of the day is from GE’s engine testing site in Winnipeg, Canada, where new engines endure trial by ice — a simulated winter gale that batters them with 1270kg of cold air per second and thousands of gallons of freezing water, all at minus eight degrees fahrenheit. [GE; Gizmodo]

The Right Hand Of Telstra: Meet The In-House Deathgrip Tester

Deathgrip. It sounds like a Harry Potter villain or a Darth Vader finishing-move. No matter what it sounds like, it’s still the arch-nemesis of cellular networks. When Apple addressed the iPhone 4’s deathgrip issue — dubbed Antennagate — it dragged other manufacturers down with it by saying that the same thing happens to all phones when you hold them wrong. Those manufacturers quickly rebuked the claims of Steve Jobs, but inside a sealed, top-secret Australian facility, behind a thick, steel door, Telstra was testing all of its handsets for deathgrip symptoms. The results: deathgrip affects every handset ever made.

Is The HSC Really Less Stressful With A Timer Strapped To Your Wrist?

When taking your HSC — or what ever the relevant government is calling it these days — the last thing you want is your university dreams dashed because you ran out of time. So for $US40 this Testing Timer watch has a very specific purpose — keeping you on time and on pace to finish every question in the allotted time frame.

How Researchers Determine A Mouse's Mood

You know what they say: give a mouse a Zoloft and he’ll ask for a Prozac. Give a mouse a Prozac and he’ll ask for a Lexapro. But how do researchers determine if the anti-depressant being developed is actually effective before giving it to people?

Portable Electric Car Chargers Travel To Where They're Needed Most

Electric car “range anxiety?” Real, says GM, anyway. So, to limit the potential for mass hysteria as future commuters’ e-tank gauges slide slowly towards E, a solution is needed. Mitsubishi’s portable, networked charging stations could be a start.

Blurry Spyshot Hints iPad FaceTime Being Tested Right This Instant

Are you ready for FaceTime video calls using a larger, slightly more pixelated than the iPhone 4 Retina Display version of yourself? Well even if you aren’t, someone is, and they’re testing it out at this very moment.

Telstra's Got A Foam Padded Room For Testing Smartphones Too

Remember those photos from Apple showing their amazing foam padded reception testing rooms? Well, Telstra’s got one of their own, plus a guy called Warwick who tests every single Telstra handset’s antenna performance.

Lexar Has A Huge Oven For Cooking USB Drives

Every consumer electronics company raves about their quality testing, but Lexar actually published a video showing how they do it.

More Apple Antenna Lab Spy Shots Surface

Seems there’s more to that $US100 million antenna testing lab than Steve Jobs let on the other day. Much more, and an ABC News crew was on hand to snap some candid shots during an exclusive tour. Also, dark blankets: