New and Emerging Technology News part 60 ~ NEW GEN TECH LIFE : new generation technology news

Saturday, 25 January 2014

New and Emerging Technology News part 60

Researchers at Boston College have developed a high efficiency nanoscale thin solar cell b...
Traditionally, the goal of high power conversion efficiency in thin film solar cells has been compromised by opposing optical and electrical constraints – while a cell needs to be thick enough to absorb adequate amounts of light, it must also be thin enough for the extraction of current. Rising to this “thick and thin” challenge, researchers at Boston College have designed a nanoscale solar cell based on the age-old technology that created the coaxial cable, promising a higher conversion efficiency than any thin film solar cell yet seen.  Read More
Michelin releases free sustainable mobility book - Driving in the future
The Michelin Challenge Bibendum has just finished its tenth staging in Brazil, and thanks to championing what was an unfashionable cause when it started, has become the major annual sustainable mobility event as environmental concerns have grown. One of the highlights of the event this year was Michelin's release of a 145 page book entitled “Driving in the future – towards sustainable road mobility” and it's a great resource for understanding the challenges we face collectively, and the ways in which are likely to overcome them. Even better news is that you can download the entire book for free in PDF format and that it's available in English, French and Portuguese.  Read More
The GT3 three-wheeled electric vehicle from T3 Motion
With its T3 Series electric standup vehicle (ESV), California-based company T3 Motion took aim at the police, security and site management markets with a no-noise, no-pollution, fast-response, one-person vehicle that delivers long battery run time, short recharge time and operating costs of around 10 cents per day. It expanded its line up with the four-wheel CT Micro Car that is designed to service similar markets to the T3 Series ESV. Now the company is adding to its fleet with the GT3, a two-passenger, plug-in consumer electric vehicle that features a single, wide-stance, rear wheel with two tires sharing one rim.  Read More
The Bumblebee City Nesters
A competition in London has designers vying for the attentions of a type of lodger not usually considered when drawing up the plans for a hotel: insects. British Land and the City of London Corporation chose to celebrate the year of biodiversity by holding a competition to see who could design the best "hotel" for insects. It's narrowed the list of entrants down to five finalists, with one winner to be selected by public vote and another to be selected by a panel of experts.  Read More
Place a document, photo or real object underneath the overhead camera module and the digit...
If you find yourself going to meetings, presentations or trade shows a lot then DocExpress from Taiwan's New Image could just help ease the burden of carrying away reams of paper handouts. Instead of lugging all that paper around, pop the document, photograph or even real object under the high speed, portable document camera solution and zap a digitized version instead. The solution can even be used to project, copy, fax, email or record images or video.  Read More
Intelligent Energy CEO, Dr. Henri Winand with London Deputy Mayor, Kit Malthouse, at unvei...
Two years ago we reported that London’s iconic black cabs would be getting a green makeover with a fleet to be fitted out with zero local emissions hydrogen fuel cell power systems in time for the Olympics in 2012. Now the first prototype fuel cell black cab has been unveiled. It is powered by hydrogen fuel system hybridized with lithium polymer batteries that allow the vehicle to operate for a full day without the need for refueling.  Read More
Example of test results for the A  blood group
A study by Australian scientists has resulted in the development of a test for blood type that can be performed using antibody impregnated paper manufacturable for a few cents per test, which is significantly cheaper than existing tests of a similar nature. This could make all the difference in the developing world, considering it's essential to test for blood type before performing a blood transfusion on a patient whose blood type is unknown. The test essentially allows blood type to be determined based on the distance the blood travels along the channels in the paper from the point where it is dropped.  Read More
The WeGo integrates GPS satellite navigation and a HUD in an all-in-one design
Head-up displays (HUDs) first appeared on production vehicles way back in the late 1980’s, and add-on HUDs have been around for quite a while too - and not just for cars but also for motorbike helmets. But Taiwan-based Springteq says its WeGo HUD Navigator is the first product to integrate GPS satellite navigation and a HUD in an all-in-one design. The device projects navigation information onto the windshield to provide a virtual readout out that appears roughly one meter (3.3-feet) in front of the driver.  Read More
Team Baby Bubbler: Michael Pandya, Jocelyn Brown, Katie Schnelle, Haruka Maruyama and Jose...
You can’t not like an invention called the Baby Bubbler. Even if it were called the Pontiac Aztek, you’d still have to like it, as it’s doubtless going to save many young lives. A team of five seniors from Houston’s Rice University developed the Bubbler, officially known as the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device, for use on infants with respiratory infections in developing nations. Given that around 20 percent of deaths in children under five are caused by lower respiratory infections, that could make for a whole lot of saved babies.  Read More
The polymer-based filter blocks oil and allows water through
With the damaged Deepwater Horizon oil well continuing to spew oil into the Gulf of Mexico there’s no shortage of suggestions coming from those concerned about the environmental disaster. We’ve already looked at a number of clean-up options, and now a University of Pittsburgh engineering professor has developed a technique that looks very promising. His filter for separating oil from water not only cleans the water, but also allows the oil to be recovered and stored for the use BP originally intended and the filter to be reused.  Read More

The Speakal iCrystal iPod docking station features  illuminated spheres and portable funct...
The now ubiquitous iPod docking station continues to appear in an ever more imaginative number of guises, with the iCrystal from Speakal being no exception. Serving up a stylish dose of retro aesthetics with a futuristic twist, it combines unique looks with multiple control options and portability.  Read More
Gizmag takes a look at the cutting edge in camping gear
As summer kicks in for our readers in the northern hemisphere, their thoughts may turn to camping. Where to go... what to do... and what gadgets to take! Well, we kinda like gadgets – and camping – so we looked back through the cream of camping kit covered recently on Gizmag and compiled a list of some of our faves. Here’s what we came up with...  Read More
The Lomography Spinner 360-degree camera
Who said film photography was dead? Definitely not Lomography, whose Lomography Spinner 360-degree camera lets shutterbugs take a full 360-degree photo with a flick of the wrist. The camera uses standard 35mm film to capture super-wide-angle images that are four times longer than standard landscape pictures, with a standard 36-exposure roll capable of capturing around eight shots.  Read More
Mike Thompson's algae powered lamp
Tired of cranking that wind-up torch? Perhaps it's time to grow some algae. Inspired by recent research into harnessing energy directly from plants, Netherlands-based designer Mike Thompson has come up with a concept for an algae powered lamp that runs on only sunlight, water and your breath.  Read More
The Penumbra System of Continuous Aspiration Thrombectomy, sucking out a blood clot
Twenty-seven stroke victims are alive and well today because of a new tool that vacuums clots out of blood vessels in the brain. Known as the Penumbra System of Continuous Aspiration Thrombectomy, the technology has been assessed at the Seaman MR Research Centre at Canada’s University of Calgary. If used within a few hours of a stroke, it can restore blood flow to the brain, thus reversing the effects of the stroke and preventing any permanent brain damage.  Read More
Panasonic's 152-inch Full HD 3D plasma at CES 2010
When it comes to TVs, size really does matter. Panasonic is taking this theory to extremes by announcing the release of the world’s biggest Full HD 3D plasma display. The Japanese manufacturer showed a prototype of the 152-inch behemoth at CES this year where it was understandably drawing quite a crowd. Back in January Panasonic wasn’t confirming whether the TV would ever be commercially available, but it has now announced that it will start taking orders from July, with shipments starting in Japanese and American markets later this year.  Read More
The Niagara Stealth Toilet
First things first – yes, with a name like the Stealth Toilet, it should be matte black, not glossy white. It gets its name, however, from the fact that it flushes very quietly. More importantly, it could also be considered stealthy because conventional radar will barely be able to detect the amount of water it uses - at just 0.8 gallons per flush, it is touted as the world’s most efficient toilet.  Read More
The Adidas Jabulani, official ball of the 2010 FIFA World Cup (Photo: University of Adelai...
Professor Derek Leinweber has been studying soccer balls. He’s interested in the physics behind them, and is particularly intrigued by the design of the official ball for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, the Adidas Jabulani. He thinks it will behave in a much different fashion than the previous World Cup ball, throwing goalkeepers for a loop - all because of the ridges on its skin.  Read More
Roland's new R-05 pocket recorder is capable of capturing stereo audio at high quality, un...
Most songwriters will agree that when inspiration hits, it's vital to get it down fast. Roland's new MP3/WAV handheld recording device, the R-05, could help capture that magic moment before it slips away forever. Having the ability to record and playback in high quality uncompressed stereo, with onboard editing features and a 16 hour continuous recording battery life, the pocket recorder will obviously appeal to musicians. That said, Roland sees it being useful in non-musical applications, too.  Read More
The VAIO J Series PC has a 21.5 inch multi-touch HD display and is powered by the latest I...
One of the first all-in-one desktop computers I ever laid eyes on was a widescreen beauty from Sony. Nearly seven years later, the company's latest entry into an increasingly crowded market brings multi-touch, high definition multimedia entertainment in a powerful and attractive package. The VAIO J Series sports the latest Intel Core processors and GeForce graphics, backed up by generous system memory and a good sized hard drive. It also brings an adaptive and intuitive media application to the party, along with an easy launch program bar across the top of the desktop screen.  Read More

Reuben Zammit's RacerX Bugatti Type 12-2 concept design
After five years in production, the Bugatti Veyron still remains the epitome of the modern supercar – an incredible engineering feat that's both ridiculously fast and ridiculously expensive. In that time we've seen a number of mouth-watering versions of the supercar including the open-top Grand Sport and the paint-less Pur Sang. Now the team at Racer X Design has drawn on the Veyron platform to produce a luxurious 2 + 2 Bugatti concept design with ample luggage space that not only looks beautiful but borders on being practical... well, almost.  Read More
IKAROS with it's solar sail successfully deployed
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s IKAROS space yacht which launched last month has successfully unfurled its solar sail. The accomplishment marks the first time a solar sail has been successfully deployed in space.  Read More
MotoCzysz demonstrates superior electric power with IOM TT Zero win
American Michael Czysz has been building two-wheeled masterpieces for many years, though the cruel reality of racing has meant that the distinctly proletarian budgets he has had at his disposal have always been directly compared to the hundreds of millions spent by the likes of Honda, Yamaha, Ducati et al. Widely considered the “man most likely” for almost too long, his electric motorcycle took its first BIG win in the Isle of Man TT Zero race a few hours ago when it blitzed the competition, demonstrating 135 mph top speeds and went within a whisker of the GBP10,000 prize for the first 100 mph lap of the Island circuit. Most significantly, the MotoCzysz team demonstrated the massive performance leap electric bikes have taken over the last 12 months as the second IOM electric race, albeit under a different guise (original creators of electric racing, TTxGP now has several international series running) saw the average winning speed jump more than 10% from 87.434 mph to 96.820 mph.  Read More
Zinc oxide coatings on copper or aluminum substrates has proven the best heat dissipation ...
In a finding that could well revolutionize cooling technology as we know it, researchers at Oregon State University and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have discovered a way to achieve near-optimal heat dissipation by applying a nanostructured coating. Because of performance, versatility and economy of materials used, their method could soon lead to better electronics, heating and air conditioning.  Read More
Another massive Diamond Vision display from Mitsubishi, this time in Japan
NFL football fans will no doubt be familiar with Mitsubishi's world-record HD displays at Dallas Cowboy's stadium, the largest measuring 22 m high by 49 m wide on the sidelines. This week the company announced the installation of another enormous Diamond Vision screen, this time at Hakodate Racecourse at home in Japan.  Read More
Skyonic claims their SkyMine process can turn CO2 into sodium bicarbonate
Last week, Texas-based Skyonic Corporation was granted a U.S. patent on its SkyMine technology, which is said to remove CO2 from smoke stack emissions by mineralizing it into sodium bicarbonate. That bicarbonate (also known as baking soda) can then be sold for use in glass manufacturing, algae biofuel production, and other areas. Skyonic claims that not only will its process remove carbon and other harmful substances from flue gases, but also that companies using SkyMine will financially profit from the sale of bicarbonates.  Read More
iSolar: portable, lightweight, folding solar panel kits
UPDATED June 14, 2010: Portable solar kits aren't new, but the performance and design of these off-the-grid power solutions is continually improving. iSolar's 20 and 40W kits are the latest examples to come to our attention... and with even the 40W kit folding down to only 30 x 25 cm, this is getting into seriously portable territory.  Read More
The swine flu virus
As recent scares with the avian and swine flu have so vividly reminded us, influenza can involve a lot more than just feeling lousy and throwing up. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, 250,000 to 500,000 people die annually from the virus. We should be glad to hear, therefore, that researchers believe they are closing in on a cure for the flu. Scientists at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have discovered a component of the virus that may hold the secret to keeping it from being able to self-replicate.  Read More
The Lunokhod 1 lunar rover (Photo: Lavochkin Association)
On November 17, 1970, the Soviet spacecraft Luna 17 delivered the lunar rover Lunokhod 1 onto the surface of the moon. For 11 months after, controlled in real-time by a human team in Moscow, it explored seven miles of the lunar surface. Sending back reams of data, it was considered to be one of the biggest successes of the little-known Soviet lunar exploration program. And then, it disappeared. It wasn’t abducted or anything, it just ceased transmitting, as space probes have a tendency to do. This spring, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spied it on the moon’s surface. The really neat thing: it can still reflect laser beams back to Earth as if it were brand new.  Read More
The OPC combines a 15W per channel stereo amplifier with a personal computer
At last, a product is on the horizon which combines two of my passions - playing guitar and fiddling with computers. Renowned amplification specialist Orange Amps has just announced the forthcoming availability of its OPC. Users will not only get a genuine 15W per channel stereo Orange guitar amplifier, but also a fully working personal computer running Windows 7, with some top music software thrown in for good measure.  Read More
 
Connected to a Toshiba laptop at this year's Computex
Call me old fashioned but when I see the comforting glow of a vacuum tube I know that I'm in for some sonic pleasure. And that's precisely the thinking behind the aim AS301DTS USB audio tube headphone amplifier. OK, so the vacuum tube doesn't actually work, it's designed that way to trigger the very mental connection I opened with. That done, the tiny device then promises to deliver bass-enhanced surround sound to just about any pair of headphones attached to it. Sweet.  Read More
Colorized trace of pulses from the NIST/JILA dark pulse laser, indicating the light output...
OK, you’re right, it 's impossible to actually beam “nothing” across a room. It is, however, possible to beam light across a room, sending information in the form of extremely short dips in that light. That’s what America’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has been doing with its dark pulse laser. Whereas regular lasers transmit information by using darkness as a zero point and light pulses as data, this one uses light as a zero point, with darkness as the data.  Read More
Fibroblasts growing on Dr. Brian Amsden's polymer fiber
A Canadian researcher is hoping that within ten years, people will be able to regrow tendons, spinal cords or heart valves lost to injury or disease. Dr. Brian Amsden, a chemical engineering professor from Queen’s University, is developing a technique wherein cells from a patient’s body would be placed on a polymer prosthetic that stimulates cell growth. After the cells had established themselves sufficiently, the prosthetic would be implanted in the patient’s body. The polymer would then biodegrade, leaving behind nothing but the patient’s own tissue.  Read More
The Strand Craft 122 coordinates beautifully with its accompanying supercar
It’s not often you see a company giving away a free supercar with a product purchase, but this is exactly what Strand Craft plans to do with its 122 luxury yacht – a 38-meter Open super yacht packed with the very latest in state-of-the-art technology and engineering.  Read More
Rock Band 3 brings a number of major additions to the rhythm genre
After a disappointing year of sales for the industry’s leading rhythm games it would seem as though it’s time for a bit of a shake up, and from what we’ve read so far, Rock Band should be getting the upper hand. Following Harmonix’s announcement of Rock Band Network beta, it has now revealed details of Rock Band 3. Set to bring a whole new level of realism to the genre, the most immediate and exciting improvement is its compatibility with “real instruments," thereby offering budding musicians an exciting interactive platform on which to learn.  Read More
The Kno will feature two connected 14.1 inch 1440 x 900 anti-glare capacitive touchscreen ...
Huge, heavy reference tomes are still a major part of modern study and research. If you've ever wished that those textbooks in front of you could come to life and offer a more engaging experience than just reading through reams of text, then the Kno could be what you're looking for. Weighing in at 5.5 pounds, the dual-screen electronic textbook will offer students access to a wealth of published educational material as well as wireless access to the internet and multimedia content such as high definition video. Just like with its paper cousin, the Kno will also allow for note-taking, highlighting and bookmarking.  Read More
Rendering of the Shams 1 concentrated solar power plant
The largest concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in the Middle East is to be built in Madinat Zayed, approximately 120 km (75 miles) southwest of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). When it becomes operational in 2012, the plant, dubbed Shams 1, will feature some 6,300,000 square-feet of solar parabolic collectors, cover 741 acres of desert and will produce enough electricity to power 62,000 households.  Read More
Casio has released a couple of new cameras which aim to crash through common barriers that...
As Casio Europe notes, "the perfect moment pays no attention to ideal photo conditions." The company has released a couple of new cameras which aim to crash through common barriers that stand in the way of good photos, such as moving objects in the distance or poor lighting conditions. Wide-angle lenses and mechanical image stabilization have been included on both new additions, the EX-H5 benefiting from 10x optical zoom and the EX-FH25 combining high speed technology with a new "high sensitivity CMOS sensor" for quality shots.  Read More
Aerofarms' aeroponic system
With increasing pressure on global food supplies requiring ever more intelligent use of technology, urbanized vertical aeroponic methods are shaping up as a promising alternative to traditional farming. Aeroponics requires less space, less water and no pesticides and the AeroFarms system takes things further by using LEDs in stacked units to maximize efficiency and use of available space.  Read More
Glucose molecules such as this can cause serious problems for diabetes sufferers
Diabetes is an enormous global problem... and it is on the rise. Despite decades of research and advances in technology, the methods of accurately measuring glucose in the body are still quite primitive. A new type of blood glucose monitor being developed at MIT could not only eliminate the need for finger pricks, but could also offer more accurate readings by way of a “tattoo” of nanoparticles injected below the skin.  Read More

How NHK's millimeter-wave TV camera sees through obstacles
Japan’s national public broadcaster, NHK, has developed a “millimeter-wave TV camera” that operates under the same principle as radar, taking images using radio waves instead of visible light. The technology allows objects hidden behind obstacles such as smoke, fog or even plywood to be captured as live, moving images.  Read More
Overview of the wave field synthesis system in the prototype Audi Q7
Audi has already set a high standard in terms of in-car audio systems through collaborations with premium suppliers Bang & Olufsen and Bose. Now its development engineers are looking to usher in the next revolution of in-car hi-fi with the Audi Sound Concept. To help bring a physical principle called "wave field synthesis" to the automobile, the company has crammed a standard Audi Q7 with 62 speakers - five woofers and five tweeters plus 52 mid-range speakers.  Read More
The Drift Innovations HD170 and remote control
Helmetcams, lipstick cameras, action cameras - whatever you call them, there’s something endlessly fun and fascinating about tiny, rugged video cameras that can be mounted just about anywhere, put through all sorts of abuse, and then proceed to output first-person videos that put your viewers right in the action. We’ve valiantly tried to cover the various makes and models as they’ve come out, and they’ve all had their good points and their compromises. With Drift Innovations’ new HD170, however... well, let’s just say it sounds like one of the best so far.  Read More
Newly-presented research reportedly proves that modern skis perform better without wax
For the past several years, debate has been brewing amongst cross-country skiers as to the merits of ski-waxing. Back when all skis had a wooden base, adding wax was essential in order to get them to glide across the snow. Many skiers still swear by waxing today, even though skis now have supposedly “no-wax” polyethylene gliding surfaces. Waxing can be a tricky process, though - if you use a wax with the wrong temperature rating, you can end up sticking to the snow, or slipping back and forth in one spot. It’s also time-consuming, and requires the skis to be periodically stripped of their built-up wax layers. Now, a researcher from Mid Sweden University (MSU) claims to have proof that modern skis work better without wax, and says that “those who claim otherwise are practicing voodoo and not science.”  Read More
Morgan plans limited edition EvaGT
Morgan has released a teaser image of an upcoming four seater Coupe to be known as the EvaGT. Taking its inspiration from the British sports saloons of the early 1950s such as the Bristol 400 series and the Frazer Nash BMW 328, the EvaGT will run a direct petrol injection, twin turbo 3.0 liter BMW six-cylinder motor producing 306bhp and 400nm torque. Though power is modest in terms of supercar figures, the EvaGT uses aluminum body panels and its bonded aluminum chassis is developed from the Morgan Aero SuperSports, where it is used successfully in European GT3 racing, meaning that the car tips the scales at just 1250 kg (2755 lbs). This gives it a top speed of 170 mph (273 km/h), a 0-100 km/h time of just 4.5 seconds and distinctly un-supercar-like fuel economy of 7.06 liters/100kms (40 mpg) along with Euro 5 and 6 emissions compliance at 200 gms Co2/km.  Read More
The victory podium
Not all that long ago, the mere thought of running a diesel in any form of motorsport would have had you laughed at. Diesel victories are now commonplace in long distance races thanks to the excellent power characteristics, reliability, the low fuel consumption of diesel engines and a battle between the two main TDI-engined cars in the form of the Peugeot 908 and Audi's R15. Audi Sport Team Joest added to the diesel legend on the weekend with a 1-2-3 victory using newly developed Variable Turbine Geometry (VTG) turbo-chargers on the R15's 440 kW V10 engine. The Peugeot 908s locked out the first two rows in qualifying and led the race until the 16 hour mark, but one by one, they suffered engine failure, and after 24 hours, Audi took all three steps on the podium. It wasn't exactly a rerun of the hare and the tortoise though, as the winning R15 racked up more 5,410 kilometers - more distance than has ever been achieved in 78 prior runnings of the French endurance classic. This was all the more remarkable in that it eclipsed a record set in 1971 by a Porsche 917 when the Hunaudières straight had no speed-slowing chicanes. Well done Audi!  Read More
Plastic antibodies, such as this cluster of particles, may fight a wide range of human dis...
From bricks to jackets, it seems just about anything can be made using plastic nowadays. The latest items to get a plastic fantastic makeover are antibodies – proteins produced by the body’s immune system to recognize and fight infections from foreign substances. Scientists are reporting the first evidence that a plastic antibody works in the bloodstream of a living animal, opening up the possibility of plastic antibodies being custom tailored to fight everything from viruses and bacteria to the proteins that cause allergic reactions.  Read More
Sony's new A290 and A390 digital SLRs are available now for pre-order and share many featu...
A few weeks after the customary rumors spoilt everyone's surprise, Sony has confirmed the specs for its new entry level α290 and α390 digital SLR cameras. Both cameras feature a brand new grip design and share a host of features including a 14.2 megapixel sensor, SteadyShot in-camera stabilization, compatibility with Sony's Alpha mount lenses and user-friendly on-screen guides to help users new to digital SLRs. The α390 also benefits from a tilting LCD display with the option of live image preview.  Read More
Electronic items such as mobile phones contain dangerous amounts of lead
Lead is a toxic substance, and it’s in your mobile phone. It’s also probably in your TV, your computer, and just about any other electronic appliance where mechanical movement is transformed into an electrical signal. All those devices utilize PZT, a substance which contains lead, and that generates an electrical charge when subjected to pressure. While lead has been phased out of most consumer goods, a suitable alternative has never been found for use in electronics... until now, perhaps. Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) have developed an innocuous material with PZT-like qualities, and it’s made in a fashion somewhat like cookies.  Read More
You Rock Guitar is a MIDI controller, learning aide and is compatible with Rock Band and G...
Part of the reason for the drop in popularity of rhythm games in recent times may be because the appeal of the plastic, button-oriented peripherals is starting to wane, and indeed avid fans of the genre have been crying out for a way to play "real instruments" alongside a game. The solution could already be here in the form of You Rock Guitar, a multi-use peripheral that acts as a MIDI controller, can be plugged into an amplifier, headphones, or directly to a computer via USB for use with software like GarageBand and Cubase. Most interestingly it's compatible with Rock Band and Guitar Hero on all three platforms.  Read More

smart fortwo electric drive heads for U.S. and Canada
Daimler has announced that its smart fortwo electric drive will cross the Atlantic later this year. The tiny two seater, which has a rear mounted 30 kW electric motor producing 120 Nm of torque, a range of 100 km to 135 km and can be parked pretty much anywhere, is slated to reach cities in USA and Canada in Q3.  Read More
The Horizon MiniPak will almost certainly be the public's first experience of the coming H...
Today is a day that you will probably tell your grandchildren about – the day they released the first affordable, pocket-sized fuel cell for personal usage. As with flying cars, personal jet packs and a usable voice recognition computer interface, the promise of a safe, affordable, personal power plant was entering the realm of perpetual vaporware. Now it's finally here! Whatsmore, at US$100, the Horizon MiniPak might well prove to be the “disruptive” technology the press release claims it to be. By producing electricity from hydrogen at the point of use and offering effectively unlimited run-time for personal electronics, it will almost certainly be the public's first experience of the coming Hydrogen Economy.  Read More
Fluorescing dyes have been used to indicate well-bonded and poorly-bonded coatings on a fu...
Watermarks, bar codes, RFID tags and holograms are all used on various products to make them harder to copy. One limitation that these things have in common, however, is that they are all added to just part of the product. Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research have now developed an anti-counterfeiting measure that is applied to the entire product - fluorescing dyes. Needless to say, counterfeiters will have a much more daunting task when a whole product serves as its own authenticity label, as opposed to one small part of it.  Read More
Apple has updated its small form factor Mac mini desktop PC adding a HDMI and SD card slot...
Despite its obituary being written numerous times in its five-year lifetime, Apple has shown it thinks there’s still some life left in its small form factor desktop with the company unveiling a completely redesigned Mac mini today. The update sees a new HDMI port and SD card slot along with up to twice the graphics performance of the previous model crammed into its compact aluminum enclosure.  Read More
Microsoft's Kinect for Xbox 360 allows for physically-interactive gaming without a remote
The new era in gaming which began when Wii remotes started showing up in living rooms just four years ago is about to be taken to the next level. That’s because Microsoft has premiered its Kinect for Xbox 360 – a motion control system that allows players to take part in full-body physically-interactive games without the use of any remote. First coming to light a year ago under the code name Project Natal, it utilizes a CMOS camera, infrared projector and multi-array microphone to track the movements and voices of players. Kinect is set for release later this year.  Read More
The WIFI200 portable Internet radio
Billed as “the first truly portable internet radio on the market,” View Quest’s WIFI200 lets you listen to over 12,000 radio stations and 7,000 podcasts, wherever you can get WiFi. Pretty cool. The wallet-sized gizmo even won an International Forum Design Award, so it must be doing something right. The bottom line is, you need never listen to Top 40 again... unless you really want to.  Read More
Fairfield Circuitry's new Four Eyes Crossover Fuzz pedal doesn't just add distortion to an...
As well splitting a guitar input over three separate fuzz pots, the variable frequency control and resonance switch of Fairfield Circuitry’s new Four Eyes Crossover Fuzz pedal help make it one versatile fuzz box. It gives users more control over the tones produced, which range from the "extreme to relatively subtle; from super thin to ridiculously fat."  Read More
BioLogic ReeCharge Power Pack makes the most out of pedal power
If your bike has a hub dynamo, the BioLogic ReeCharge Power Pack lets you run portable USB powered devices while you ride. Whilst we've recently seen bicycle recharge kits, the ability to charge via USB is pretty novel. Basically it's a battery with a USB port that charges from the energy generated by your dynamo and then tops-up your device when you plug it in. That means you can charge the battery and then charge your device when you arrive at your destination, or, if it's practical, charge your device on the go, allowing you to use your smartphone's GPS function whilst riding.  Read More
Physicist Ivan Bozovic and colleagues have fabricated thin films patterned with large arra...
It has been a long-standing dream to fabricate superconducting nano-scale wires for faster, more powerful electronics. However, this has turned out to be very difficult if not impossible with conventional superconductors because the minimal size for the sample to be superconducting - known as the coherence length - is large. A group of scientists has now fabricated thin films patterned with large arrays of nanowires and loops that are superconducting when cooled below about 30 kelvin (-243 degrees Celsius). Even more interesting, they found they could change their resistance by applying a magnetic field.  Read More
The F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variant has broken the sound barrier for ...
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program continues to rack up the milestones with the F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variant breaking the sound barrier for the first time. The F-35B, which completed its first vertical landing in March, hit Mach 1.07 (727 miles per hour) in an off-shore test on June 10 and will be put through a series of supersonic flights that will gradually take the aircraft towards its top speed of Mach 1.6. The F-35B STOVL marks the first time in 100 years of military aviation that a plane has combined radar-evading stealth, VTOL and supersonic speed and may go some way towards justifying the program's other milestone achievement of being the most expensive weapons program in military history.  Read More

 

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