USB only supports up to 3 meters of data transfer. To use the USB network to transfer data, which would be a reasonable extension if a home USB charging network is in place, the USB standard needs to be modified.
I've long wished for centralized backup power in the house for the ubiquitous small devices that run on low voltage with power adapters. Why not have USB charging outlets that reach back to a backup storage battery in the basement? Then clocks, modems, WiFi routers, and wireless phone base stations could all work when the power fails.
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.