New and Emerging Technology News part 63 ~ NEW GEN TECH LIFE : new generation technology news

Saturday, 25 January 2014

New and Emerging Technology News part 63

Cancer cells detected using $400 digital camera - In healthy tissue (left), the nuclei are...
Researchers have detected oral cancer cells using a fiber-optic cable and an off-the-shelf Olympus E-330 camera worth $400. The work by Rice University biomedical engineers and researchers from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center could improve access to diagnostic imaging tools in many parts of the world where these expensive resources are scarce.  Read More
Touchscreen tapping and swiping comes to the vocal effects processor in the form of VoiceL...
Over two hundred vocal effects are now within easy reach thanks to VoiceLive Touch from TC-Helicon. Featuring a useful integrated microphone stand mount, the device offers performers touchscreen control over effects such as reverb, delay and pitch correction. There's also multi-layered looping, the facility to store custom settings and inputs for guitar, USB media player and MIDI.  Read More
Facebook usage is running at 16 billion minutes a day
It’s been over six years since Harvard sophomore Mark Zuckerberg introduced Facebook – run on a single server – initially to Harvard students and eventually to the rest of the world. Since then, the incredible growth of the social network’s infrastructure means it now needs about 60,000 servers to support its 400 million users. And those users are sharing more than six billion pieces of content per week, uploading in excess of 3 billion photos each month and spending 16 billion minutes on Facebook every day.  Read More
The EZ Launch canoe and kayak ramp system
If you’ve ever tried getting in or out of a canoe or kayak that’s floating alongside a dock... well, it’s actually not that hard if you’ve got some practice, but a quick viewing of just about any funny home videos program will show that mishaps do indeed happen. That moment of transferring your weight between a stable dock and a less-stable boat can sometimes end up in an unintended dunking, and plenty of laughs at the paddler’s expense. A new product, the EZ Launch, is a floating ramp system that eases boat and paddler in and out of the water, and is intended to keep such impromptu baptisms to a minimum.  Read More
Samsung Epic 4G - slide-out QWERTY keyboard, AMOLED touchscreen, dual-cameras and lots mor...
The Samsung Epic 4G smartphone is on its way to Sprint networks in coming months... and it really looks the goods. Known on the rumor mill as the "Galaxy S Pro" before today's official announcement, the Epic 4G packs dual cameras with LED flash and (720p) video recording, a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, 4-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen, slide-out QWERTY keyboard and a six-axis motion sensor. Running on Android 2.1, the handset also features WiFi 802.11 b/g/n with hotspot capability for up to five devices and access to 4G data networks (WiMAX) which Sprint says can deliver peak download of more than 10 Mbps.  Read More
The Bringrr cell phone reminder
As some readers may recall, back in April a certain prototype iPhone was “forgotten” in a bar, and ended up being prematurely splashed all over the Internet. Well, that whole nasty business would likely never have happened, if only that phone’s owner had been using a Bringrr. A little device that plugs into your car’s power outlet/cigarette lighter, the Bringrr gets paired up with your cell phone, then searches for that phone whenever the car is started. If it makes a connection, meaning that the phone is in the car, it will flash blue and emit a confirming beep. If it can’t find the phone, however, it will flash red and emit a tone that pretty much says, “Hey Dummy, you forgot your phone.”  Read More
The Bentley Dynamo - not a chance in Hell
To look at today's Bentleys, you could be forgiven for thinking that the brand has always been one for the upper class, a car to be driven in rather than a driver's car - but the brand's early heritage focused squarely on racing, and Bentleys grabbed four consecutive wins in the 24 hours of Le Mans races in the late 1920s. So while today's Volkswagen-owned Bentley brand would never dream of building it, this fantastic concept model from Marc Senger shows how some of the new Bentley lines might fuse with the open-wheel racers of 90 years hence. It's a modern interpretation of the Blower Bentley, showcasing the signature protruding supercharger at the front - and we reckon it looks magnificent.  Read More
Zeppy 3 will shortly sail across a stretch of Mediterranean waters using only the power of...
Preparations are underway for a 150 mile journey from southern France to Corsica in a sail balloon. High flyer St├ęphane Rousson is planning to pilot Zeppy 3 across a stretch of Mediterranean waters using only the power of the wind and a curved carbon foil based on the chien de mer by Didier Costes. Gizmag took the opportunity to have a closer look at the new balloon at the recent Paris Green Air Show.  Read More
A new drug, PQ, has been shown to protect mice from the toxic effects of radiation on norm...
Radiation is a frontline treatment for many cancers. However, its therapeutic value can come at the cost of damage to the bone marrow which produces all of the body's normal blood cells, so finding ways to protect bone marrow is a research priority. A study by the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center has shown that the drug PQ can successfully protect mice from lethal doses of radiation, even when given after exposure.  Read More
Apple sells 1.7 million iPhone 4s in three days
Despite a range of well publicized hardware problems, including yellow areas on screens, poor antenna design and an overly fragile shell, Apple moved a whopping 1.7 million units of the new iPhone 4 in just three days after its launch on June 24.  Read More

Seagate releases world's first 3TB external hard drive
What's a terabyte? It's not all that long ago when you could have been forgiven for asking this question, but with in these days of DVRs and pocket-sized HD camcorders we've become more than familiar with the term. Now Seagate has thrown data storage-hungry consumers another tasty bone with the release of the world's first 3TB external hard drive, the FreeAgent GoFlex Desk.  Read More
iPhone 4G coming to Verizon in January 2011?
Citing two people familiar with the plans, Bloomberg is reporting that Verizon Wireless will begin selling the iPhone next year for the first time. The iPhone has been available exclusively on AT&T since the first generation device was released in June 2007.  Read More
Mirko Kovac's perching mechanism, mounted on a micro glider
A young robotics engineer has developed a perching mechanism that could be invaluable to the field of Micro Air Vehicles, or MAVs. Mirko Kovac, of Switzerland’s Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), envisions a system wherein swarms of tiny robotic gliders would be deployed over scenes of disasters, such as forest fires or earthquakes. The gliders would fly straight into the sides of vantage points, such as tall buildings or trees, whereupon they would perch on that surface and transmit data to remote observers via cameras or other sensors. They could even free themselves, to fly on to another location.  Read More
A high-energy laser pulse (red) can modify the state of a phosphorus electron (yellow) wit...
An international team of researchers from the University of Surrey, UCL, Heriot-Watt University and the FOM Institute for Plasma Physics have used infra-red laser to obtain precise control of the quantum superpositions of an electron in silicon for the first time . This feat marks yet another leap toward the dream of an affordable, fast and reliable quantum computer.  Read More
The Guitar Sidekick portable device mount places a smartphone or media players at the end ...
Castiv's Guitar Sidekick allows guitarists to position portable digital media players or smartphones right at the end of the fretboard. It puts the screen of a digital device comfortably close to the user for viewing scrolling lyrics, music notation or tablature, instructional videos, chord diagrams and so on. It will work on acoustic, electric or classical guitars and won't affect pitch or tone.  Read More
The Greendix solar-powered soccer balls
There are obviously some people out there who think that soccer balls aren’t doing enough. Earlier this year, we told you about the sOccket, a ball that generates power as it gets kicked around. Now, word comes to us of soccer ball prototypes with built-in solar panels. Where the black pentagonal sections would normally be, these balls instead have custom-designed panels that gather energy as they bask in the sun. That energy is used for running onboard motion sensors, and audio devices that emit a tracking sound whenever the balls are kicked. It is hoped that this sort of technology could be used to allow visually-impaired people to play soccer in the future.  Read More
A just-published paper suggests that the cultivation of perennial grain crops could revolu...
It has pretty much become a given that grain crops, such as wheat and barley, need to be started from scratch every spring. This means farmers must buy seeds, use seeding equipment to get those seeds into the soil, then apply a lot of fertilizer and hope for weather conditions that won’t be too hot, cold, wet or dry for germination. There are such things as perennial grains, however - plants that, like the grass in your lawn, simply pick up in the spring where they left off in the fall. While perennial versions of common annual grains have seen little in the way of development, a new research paper says it’s about time they did. The advantages of cultivating perennial grains, the paper’s authors submit, could be one of the biggest advances in the 10,000-year history of agriculture.  Read More
Sanyo's new Pedal Juice rechargeable power supply removes the need for a gig bag full of 9...
Pedal Juice, Sanyo's latest Eneloop rechargeable battery solution, offers musicians some relief from a gig bag full of 9V batteries. It could also help cut down annoying AC hum that some wall outlet connections seem to generate, and provide hours of clean, stable DC power for individual pedals, multi-effect units or portable recorders.  Read More
Windows 8 should bring a number of worthwhile improvements to the table
We’ve only recently come to terms with the fact that Windows 7 is the capable, stable OS we’ve been waiting for since XP, and already rumors about the functionality you can expect with Windows 8 are starting to circulate. Initially reported by Italian blogger Francisco Martin, the information we have so far comes from a number of leaked slides that detail a range of interesting improvements, and seem to have some credibility.  Read More
What an oceanic plastic vortex looks like
By embarking on a new awareness-raising quest, Electrolux is hoping to focus the public's attention on the growing problem of global plastic waste. Looking specifically at the vast islands of accumulated plastic garbage dotted around the world's oceans, the company has announced its Vac from the sea campaign. Part of the initiative will involve the collection of rubbish from ocean hotspots, recycling and processing it and then turning it into a limited number concept vacuum cleaners.  Read More
 

Microsoft Kin gets canned
Microsoft's spiritual successor to the Sidekick, the Kin, has been canned after a mere 48 days on the market, and will not be launched in Europe. The news comes after recent rumors that a mere 500 units had been sold.  Read More
The Terrafugia Transition in the air
Is this the first viable flying car? It's a question we posed back in 2006 when we first looked at the prototype Terrafugia Transition. It now looks like the answer is yes. The flying car (or “roadable aircraft,” as the Massachusetts-based company prefers), can fly like a regular plane and land at an airport before folding up its wings and hitting the road. In car mode, it can travel at highway speeds and park in regular parking spots. Terrafugia had been hoping the Transition could be classified as a light sport aircraft, as a sport pilot’s license is considerably easier to get than a regular private pilot’s license. Unfortunately, it was proving impossible to meet all the road safety requirements, while still keeping the vehicle weight under the 1,320-pound limit for a light sport aircraft. Well, it has just been announced that the US Federal Aviation Authority will make an exception for the Transition, and allow it to squeak in at 1,430 pounds. Things are looking up for this little aeromobile.  Read More
Air Hair: Virtual Reality haircut simulator
At the 3D and VR Expo in Tokyo last week, a team from the Tokyo Institute of Technology were demonstrating a virtual reality haircut simulator. With a real scissors mechanism and a physical dummy, the simulator would display the virtual hair on screen which falls to the ground as you trim it.  Read More
A self-folding sheet, transforming itself into a boat
Researchers at Harvard University and MIT have created an origami-inspired “smart sheet” that can fold itself into various shapes, without any external manipulation. The sheet is composed of rigid triangular tiles that are linked together by elastomer joints, and studded with flexible electronics and thin foil actuators (motorized switches). The scientists foresee a day when such sheets could be used to create things like smart tools, that could take the form of anything from a wrench to a tripod.  Read More
The iPhone 4 - costs the same to build as it does to buy
Ever wondered how much it costs Apple to actually build its devices? Well, it might surprise some to hear that it seems to be around the same price at which they are sold, though of course this doesn’t stop Apple from making a hefty profit. A recent “teardown” of the 16GB iPhone 4 by research firm iSuppli suggested that each device costs about US$187 to produce, with previous generations falling generally between $170 and $180.  Read More
Fischer MRX: the quest to build the next great American sportsbike
Since the untimely demise of the much-loved Buell brand during the global financial crisis, there's been a gaping hole in the motorcycle market for an interesting, innovative, high-performance American sportsbike. And while the Fischer MRX might not tick all those boxes in its first incarnation, things are looking very positive for Dan Fischer and his new motorcycle company. The MRX650 takes the engine, forks, wheels and brakes from a Hyosung GT650 (itself a copy of the Suzuki SV650), and mates it to a 1990s GP-stype frame and swingarm by Gemini Technologies, with an improbable Ohlins shock on the back and a killer fairing design by Glynn Kerr. It's targeted to sell under US$8,000, and there's talk of a 1000cc variant once the Korean engine manufacturer starts making a litre-sized motor.  Read More
Fujitsu has launched an enhancement and three new additions to the company's LifeBook rang...
Fujitsu has launched an enhancement and three new additions to the company's LifeBook range. The MH330 and MH380 models feature the latest Atom processors, backlit LED displays and DDR3 memory. The TH700 and T730 notebooks come with Dual Digitizer multi-touch screens, the latest Intel Core processors and a range of security features including a BIOS lock, fingerprint reader and 3D shock sensor.  Read More
Reverse Vending Machines give users cash for their empties
Just a few days ago, we told you about a vending machine that dispenses ice cream in return for smiles. Well, if you like cold, hard cash better than cold, soft ice cream, here’s another dispenser-with-a-twist you might be interested in - the Reverse Vending Machine (RVM), that takes in recyclable bottles and cans, and gives out cash in return. RVMs have recently been introduced at the Centro Hollywood shopping mall in Adelaide, as part of the state of South Australia’s effort to promote recycling and reduce littering.  Read More
Samsung has added a speedy 512GB SSD with toggle-mode DDR NAND memory to its arsenal of st...
Samsung has unveiled its first 512GB solid state drive with toggle-mode DDR NAND memory. The low power drive offers up to 250MB per second read and 220MB read over a fast SATA 3.0 Gbps interface, which roughly translates to having two 4GB movies stored to the drive in around a minute.  Read More
The Suzuki produces 679 kW of power and 887 Nm of torque
Two remarkable things happened at Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb on Sunday. The first was that a 60 year old man won an internationally recognized motorsport event – Japan’s Monster Tajima continued to do just that to all-comers, taking his 1100kg 910hp Monster Sport Suzuki SX4 to a fifth straight victory. The second was that a newcomer won the motorcycle class. Ducati’s Multistrada 1200 S has had a spectacular market introduction around the world, and furthered the legend by taking an international hillclimb title in very close to standard roadbike trim.  Read More

Sony releases 3D firmware upgrade for NEX cameras
Sony has delivered on its promise of a firmware upgrade for NEX interchangeable lens digital cameras which brings 3D capability to Sweep Panorama mode. The company says the free upgrade also improves the normal 2D Sweep Panorama shooting, reduces power drain when the camera is off and delivers faster start-up in low-light conditions.  Read More
Non-contact sensors monitor patient heartbeats from a meter away
When rest is important to a patient, being rigged up to a heart monitor or disrupted whilst they sleep and having a cold stethoscope placed on their chest isn’t ideal. To get around this problem, a team of scientists at the University of Sussex, UK have successfully developed sensors that are able to detect a heartbeat up to a meter away. The Electric Potential Sensors (EPS) are the world’s first electrical sensors able to monitor heartbeats accurately whilst patients relax in their bed, or rest at home. This breakthrough device gives medical teams and health workers the chance to administer patient-friendly monitoring with minimum impact on mobility or personal space.  Read More
The Amadeo Robotic Hand and Tibion Robotic Leg are helping to rehabilitate stroke victims
It's a long time since The Six Million Dollar Man graced our TV screens; indeed, many Gizmag readers may be too young to have heard of Steve Austin, the Bionic Man. Bionics and robotics have come a long way in the past few years, and while we're not yet creating bionic men and women, we can at least claim to make people "better, stronger, and faster." A robotic hand and bionic leg undergoing clinical trials at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center are two promising neurorehabilitation devices that are helping stroke survivors regain movement in affected limbs by rewiring neural pathways.  Read More
Vyomesh Joshi, Executive VP, HP Imaging & Printing Group, and John Solomon, Senior VP, HP ...
Printers are one of the less exciting PC peripherals going around, yet they are one device that most PC users own. While the “paperless office” was predicted as far back as the mid 70’s history has shown the reverse to be true, with PC’s making it easier than ever to produce hard copies of documents. In my (thankfully brief) time working in IT support for a medium-sized business, printer problems were by far the most common reason for calls for help and of these calls, printer drivers were often the culprit. Anyone who has had to set up a printer has likely also encountered problems with sourcing the right driver for the right system. In developing new web connected and cloud aware printers Hewlett Packard believes it has hit upon a solution that could see an end to driver hassles and give printers much wider functionality, including making printing from mobile devices such as smartphones possible without the need for a PC at all. HP has seen the future of printing and is convinced it lies in the cloud.  Read More
Aiptek will shortly release a 3D camcorder capable of capturing still images as well as HD...
Aiptek is about to release a 3D camcorder and a suitably stereoscopic photo frame display which don't require the user to wear any special glasses. The camcorder can take 5 megapixel still images or 720p HD video with its two fixed lenses and sports a 3D live view screen. The 8-inch media display unit can show off still or video images in either 3D or standard 2D and will play MP3 audio files while a user views a slide show or movie.  Read More
The MicroBook from MOTU brings professional level studio recording capabilities to a Mac o...
The MicroBook from MOTU aims to bring professional level studio recording capabilities to a Mac or PC computer. The bus-powered USB interface offers users up to four simultaneous inputs as well as a host of studio mixing tools and audio analyzers. It uses industry standard Mac and PC drivers to ensure maximum software compatibility and is small and light enough to fit in a pocket.  Read More
Flying car roundup: the good, the bad, the ugly
Flying cars are back in the news this week with the Terrafugia Transition gaining FAA certification as a road-registerable aircraft. Exciting stuff, but the Transition doesn't quite satisfy our fantasies of being able to just press a button and lift off out of traffic, landing on the roof of our city office building to make that 9am meeting; it's basically a light plane with retractable wings that you can drive on the road – you're still stuck taking off and landing at airstrips. So here's a quick look over what else is out there and in development in the world of flying cars and motorcycles … with a bonus look at some personal flying saucers, a flying boat and a few concepts that will never get off the ground.  Read More
The glossy black diamond shape of the Mini-e from eMachines could well see it take front s...
Mini desktop computers have been featured a number of times in Gizmag over the years. Most of those devices will rarely enjoy front stage limelight, being tucked behind a monitor or hidden from sight. The new Mini-e from eMachines looks set to change that. It's powered by an Athlon processor and comes with GeForce graphics, a decent amount of memory and a good sized hard drive. But it's the unique design that will make you want to show this beauty off.  Read More
Buy your own Tron Lightcycle: US$35,000
The lightcycle scene was probably the most memorable part of an absolutely jaw-dropping movie when Tron was released back in 1982. One of the first films ever to use the kinds of computer-generated special effects that later become commonplace, it was a glimpse into a whole new world that left an indelible impression on most that saw it. Now, as Disney prepares to release Tron Legacy, a sequel some 28 years after the original, the lightcycles are back and looking meaner than ever. Built by the same guys that did the memorable Batpod replica, the new lightcycles feature massive dual hubless wheels, carbon fibre/fibreglass bodies and all the lashings of neon that you'd expect. And there's going to be five running models built - all of which are now up for sale on eBay. Check it out!  Read More
The stickleback Robofish (Photo:  Jolyon Faria, University of Leeds)
Scientists seem to like the idea of robotic fish, and why not? They have all sorts of potential applications including exploration, pollution-detection, communications, or just for quiet contemplation. A team from the University of Leeds, however, have created a robotic fish that can do something no previous effort has laid claim to – fool other fish into thinking it’s one of them.  Read More
 

Cisco has announced an Android-based 7 inch business tablet with front and rear cameras, 3...
Cisco is joining the tablet party, albeit with a device aimed specifically at business customers. The Android-based Cius has a 7 inch multi-touch display, weighs just 1.15 pounds and comes with cameras front and back. It's powered by an Atom processor supported by a gigabyte of RAM and 32GB of solid state storage.  Read More
In the future, dentists may use a special nano-sized film  to bring diseased teeth back to...
The words "You need root canal treatment" are not what you want to hear when you visit the dentist, even though millions of teeth are saved every year by the procedure. While the root canal procedure has a high success rate, it still leaves a dead tooth in the mouth. That could be about to change, however, with scientists reporting development of a nano-sized dental film that may bring diseased teeth back to life.  Read More
Felix Baumgartner practicing for his big, big jump
Later this year, Felix Baumgartner will put on a pressurized space suit and helmet, climb into a capsule suspended beneath a balloon, ride 120,000 feet into the earth’s upper atmosphere, then jump out and – before deploying his parachute – try to break the speed of sound while in freefall. That’s the plan, at least, for the insanely-dangerous Red Bull Stratos event. If successful, it will constitute the world’s highest manned balloon flight, highest parachute jump, and fastest and longest freefall. The team conducted three important tests in the last week of May, that they just released the details of this week. What those tests entailed would probably be hair-raising enough to last most of us a lifetime.  Read More
Greg Kolodziejzyk and WiTHiN
Canadian adventurer Greg Kolodziejzyk's planned attempt on the world’s first human-powered Canada-to-Hawaii crossing has been delayed. Kolodziejzyk, who has set previous records for human-powered land and water travel was to embark on the two-month trip this week in his custom-built fully-enclosed pedal-powered kayak named WiTHiN. Unfortunately, however, he encountered some difficulties with the boat that couldn’t be fixed in time to make this year’s departure window.  Read More
A sample Diaspora user page
When we first looked at Diaspora back in May, funds were being raised to build the new social network. Now, after a month of development at San Francisco’s Pivotal Labs, they have released the first still and video images showing how it will work.  Read More
The iPhone 4, like all the models before it, has been using a faulty formula to display si...
Apple has announced that for years, iPhones have been using a “totally wrong” formula to determine how many bars of signal strength they are receiving. The company recently made the discovery after receiving complaints about sudden drops in signal strength, from users of the new iPhone 4. As it turns out, the signal strength itself wasn’t dropping - instead, the phones had initially been displaying the signal as much stronger than it actually was. In a letter issued to iPhone owners, Apple stated, “Their big drop in bars is because their high bars were never real in the first place.”  Read More
Finally: motorcycle headlights that look around the corners
You can't accuse BMW motorcycles of lacking gadgets - with the latest and greatest Beemers packing quickshifters, traction control, integrated ABS and all sorts of other goodies, they're right at the pointy end of the pack. But as great as those features are, this one's so forehead-slappingly obvious and excellent that frankly it's a disgrace that nobody else has beaten the Bavarians to it. The Adaptive Headlight technology on the upcoming K1600GT finally solves one of the most annoying problems on pretty much every motorcycle - by tilting the headlight according to your lean angle, to light your way around a corner as you turn it, instead of having to ride into blackness. Bravo!  Read More
Microsoft InstaLoad lets you insert batteries in any direction
For batteries to work, they need to go in the right way. It's one of those fundamental rules that we all pick up from an early age, but Microsoft has just announced an innovation that turns all that on its head – literally. Known as "InstaLoad" battery installation, the technology allows you to insert a battery without having to worry about positive and negative polarity. That's idiot-proofing of the highest order!  Read More
The Sunseeker uses an alternative energy source
A new annual competition in Vichy, France will take place for the first time this July in order to develop and bring attention to sustainable energy-economy in the motorized ultralight aircraft (ULM) industry. Calling to mind the wacky inventiveness of the Red Bull Flugtag, the Eco Marathon ULM aims not to achieve furthest flight through human power, but by the least possible fuel, and the competitors will undoubtedly hope to amaze more than amuse.  Read More
Edison2's Very Light Cars are still in the running for the Automotive X Prize (Image: Edis...
Things are heating up in the Automotive X PRIZE, as just 15 vehicles representing 12 teams from 6 countries are left in the competition. Nine teams were eliminated during the Knockout Qualifying Stage, which took place at the Michigan International Speedway from June 20th to 30th. Ultimately, vehicles in each of the three classes will have to exceed 100 MPGe (miles-per-gallon equivalent), meet emissions and performance requirements, and complete on-road challenges in the fastest time possible, if they want to win their share of the US$10 million prize.  Read More

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