New and Emerging Technology News part 66 ~ NEW GEN TECH LIFE : new generation technology news

Saturday, 25 January 2014

New and Emerging Technology News part 66

UC3M's technology analyzes the actions of players to determine which plays will work best
If there’s one thing that sports fans love to debate, it’s coaching strategies. “Why didn’t he keep more players back to play defense?” “How come he had him pass instead of run with it?” “He should never have let that guy bat when the bases were loaded!” Such discussions could seemingly go on forever, as it’s impossible to definitively say what the right course of action would have been... or maybe not. Artificial intelligence researchers at Spain’s Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) are developing technology that could analyze a team’s performance, then objectively determine the best plays for specific situations.  Read More
The Marugoto Tamachan portable watermelon cooler - and warmer
It’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere, which means it’s perfect weather for heading to the beach or packing a picnic basket and making for the countryside. Unfortunately, it also brings to the fore a problem that has plagued mankind for centuries. How to keep one’s watermelons cool on those long, hot days? Thankfully, the Japanese have turned their considerable technological prowess to developing a solution and here it is – a portable watermelon cooler called the Marugoto Tamachan.  Read More
TRENDnet TU3-H2PIE USB 3.0 adapter
If your PC is more than a few months old, it's unlikely that you have USB 3.0. An alternative way to get the benefits of the up to 4.8Gbps speeds on offer is to add a USB 3.0 adapter to your existing machine and TRENDnet has now entered this sector by offering a 2 port Express Card Module (TU3-H2EC) for laptops and a 2 port PCI-Express adaptor (TU3-H2PIE) for desktops.  Read More
The AVX TX fly-drive vehicle boasts VTOL capabilities
In April scientists at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) put out a call seeking designs for a tactical flying car under its Transformer (TX) program. One of the first to respond is AVX Aircraft Company – its AVX Aircraft that can be manually driven on the ground like an SUV and also boasts Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) capability.  Read More
Bioluminescence imaging (BLI) of T cell trafficking in live mice used in the study
One of the main problems with cancer cells is that the body's immune system generally doesn’t recognize them as enemies. By using a crippled HIV-like virus as a vehicle to arm lymphocytes with T-cell receptors, researchers have been able to genetically engineer a well-armed battalion of tumor-seeking immune system cells. By also inserting a reporter gene, which glows “hot” during positron emission tomography (PET) scanning, the researchers were able to watch in real time as these "special forces" traveled throughout the body to locate and attack dangerous melanomas.  Read More
Sharp's new BD-HDW700 and BD-HDW70 Blu-ray disc recorders and VR-100BR1 media will be the ...
In April this year, the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) announced the final specifications for the new multi-layer recordable Blu-ray Disc format which can more than double the storage capacity of existing 50GB dual layer discs. The new BDXL format supports rewritable discs of up to 100GB and 128GB for write-once recordable discs. Looks like Sharp gets to claim bragging rights as the first company to release both media and hardware that supports the new standard – two new BDXL compatible AQUOS Blu-ray Disc recorders, as well as 100GB write-once BDXL format media to the Japanese market this month.  Read More
Steve Jobs at the Friday press conference
Looking to put a cap on the negative press that threatened to derail the wider international launch of the iPhone 4, Apple has announced it will give all new and existing iPhone 4 owners a free bumper case to solve the much-hyped “death-grip” problem. And if you've already shelled out for a case, Apple will reimburse you.  Read More
Akihabara livestream courtesy of the Cerevo Camera Live
Japan camera-maker Cerevo has started a 24-hour live Ustream feed from Akihabara, in cooperation with a company in the area, Aisan Electronic. Recently Cerevo has been capitalizing on the growing popularity of Ustream live-streaming in Japan since Softbank's investment in the web service. By creating their 'networked camera', the Cerevo Camera Live, which is especially tailored for live-streaming, the company rides the coattails of a public increasingly interested in broadcasting on the web.  Read More
Toyota RAV4 to go electric
Toyota’s recently announced relationship with Tesla looks set to bear offspring already, as the two companies have signed an agreement to initiate the development of an electric version of the RAV4. In keeping with Toyota’s previously stated aim of selling EVs in America by 2012, prototypes will be made combining the Toyota RAV4 model with a Tesla electric powertrain. The first prototype has been built and is already undergoing testing by Tesla with the intention of delivering a fleet of prototypes to Toyota for evaluation this year.  Read More
Zephyr will extend the official world record by at least one order of magnitude
Zephyr, QinetiQ’s solar-powered, high-altitude long-endurance (HALE), Unmanned Air System (UAS) is currently in the air and setting a landmark unmanned flight duration record by demonstrating what is essentially perpetual flight. The official world record for the longest unmanned flight is 30 hours 24 minutes set by Northrop Grumman's RQ-4A Global Hawk in 2001. A previous smaller relative of the current Zephyr holds the unofficial record of 82 hours but this time QinetiQ has FIA officials on hand and has been flying the new 22.5m wingspan plane for the past week, and is closing on the 200 hour mark with another week (168 hours) planned. It needs to land safely to claim the record, but the feat has already demonstrated that the era of low-cost, persistent aerial surveillance has begun.  Read More

The Fingerist music adapter from EVENNO allows iPhone and iPod Touch music app guitarists ...
There are a huge number of apps available for the iPhone and iPod Touch which make the most of the sensitive touchscreen display to mimic the playing of various musical instruments. Useful for learning, rehearsing and for just showing off to your mates, such things all suffer from the same problem - an awkward user experience. The Fingerist from EVENNO could change all that by allowing players to place an Apple smartphone or media player into the cradle of its guitar-shaped body, strap it around their neck, and then blast out some power chords using the built-in speaker.  Read More
Magnepan's new MG1.7 audiophile speakers, for the first time using quasi-ribbon technology...
It's been a good while since Magnepan International updated its audiophile-pleasing and critically-acclaimed Magneplanar 1.6 speakers and the new model marks a technology departure for the company. For over 40 years, Magnepan has used planar magnetic drivers for the bass or lower midrange in its speakers but with the Maggie 1.7's the company has switched all the speaker drivers to something called quasi-ribbon technology.  Read More
Quik-Drive Auto-Feed screwdriver: how could I ever get angry with you?
My name is Loz, and I have a problem with tool lust. I find it very difficult to leave a hardware or auto shop without a heat gun, or a ratcheting spanner set, or some new air tool on top of the three bolts I went in there for. And while I've never had to screw a wall together or install a deck - and I have no plans to start in the immediate future - I'd still find it incredibly hard to resist one of these things if I ever saw it in person. It's a belt-feed screwdriver. A freakin' belt-feed screwdriver. Load it up with a strip of screws, and you're ready to screw more things in quicker succession than you'd ever have dreamed possible. Just watching the Quik Drive promo video after the jump sent me into a shuddering toolgasm.  Read More
As part of a project to create future body armor offering soldiers greater ballistics protection and ease of movement, scientists and engineers at BAE Systems have developed a liquid which hardens when struck. The technology, dubbed “liquid armor” by its developers, harnesses the unique properties of shear thickening or dilatant fluids that "lock" together when subjected to a force and is designed to enhance the existing energy absorbing properties of material structures like Kevlar.  Read More
Dissolving microneedle vaccines: cheaper, less painful, less dangerous and more effective ...
Doctors have been using hypodermic needles for more than 150 years – but syringe vaccinations could be just about to be replaced by a simple patch you can stick on your arm with no medical supervision. The microneedle patches have an array of microscopic needles on them that penetrate the skin just deep enough to dissolve and deliver a vaccine without causing any pain. There's no sharp hazardous waste left over, they're no more expensive than a syringe, and most importantly, tests on mice are showing that microneedle vaccinations are significantly longer-lasting than deeper injections delivered by syringe.  Read More
Experimental setup for THz-pump and optical-probe measurements used by the researchers
It’s a sign of the times when the speed of electrons moving through wires is seen as pedestrian, but that’s increasingly the case as technology moves towards the new world of optical communication and computing. Optical communication systems that use the speed of light as the signal are still controlled and limited by electrical signaling at the end. But physicists have now discovered a way to use a gallium arsenide nanodevice as a signal processor at “terahertz” speeds that could help end the bottleneck.  Read More
LaCie's new XtremKey rugged flash drive is claimed to be so tough that it can survive bein...
Adventurous types in the digital age need storage that's as rugged and tough as they are. LaCie's says that its appropriately-named XtremKey rugged flash memory will provide the kind of industrial-strength protection that stands up to all sorts of punishment. Resistant to pressure, water, high drops, and extreme hot and cold the drive comes in capacity sizes up to 64GB.  Read More
Apple's iPad will be released in another nine countries this Friday
Apple has announced that its iPad will be available in an additional nine countries from Friday, July 23. All varieties of both the Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + 3G models will hit Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers in Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore.  Read More
EVTN's Voraxial 4000 Separator uses centrifugal force to separate oil from water
Last week, Florida-based Enviro Voraxial Technology (EVTN) announced that it has received a purchase order from BP for an underwater version of its Voraxial 4000 Separator. Mounted on a skimmer vessel, the machine takes oil-laden water from the sea and spins it at high speed in a central cylindrical chamber. The resulting centrifugal force pulls the water to the outer edges of the chamber, leaving the oil in the middle. Once separated, that oil is then captured and stored in onboard holding tanks, while the water flows back into the ocean. BP wishes to try out their single 4000 on a trial basis, with an eye towards using multiple machines for cleaning up the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.  Read More
Common or English ivy (Hedera helix) clinging to an Acacia
Just as an examination of the burrs of seeds that kept sticking to his clothes led Swiss engineer, George de Mestral, to develop Velcro, a search for an explanation as to why the ivy in his backyard clung to this fence so tightly has led Mingjun Zhnag to a new discovery. It seems that tiny particles secreted from ivy rootlets could have applications for military technologies, medical adhesives, drug delivery and, most recently, sun-block that could protect skin from UV radiation at least four times better than the metal-based sunblocks found on store shelves today.  Read More
 
OCZ Flex EX DDR3 2133MHz 4GB Memory Module
OCZ Technology has unveiled its fastest 4GB DDR3 RAM modules yet. Capable of reaching frequencies up to 2133MHz and CL 10-10-10-30 timing, OCZ’s new modules are available in 4GB, 8GB Dual Channel and 12GB Triple Channel kits and feature a liquid cooling system and aluminum fins for maximum heat dissipation. Due to the growth in High Definition and High Quality media, OCZ says it has designed the ultimate in memory technology to ensure that the bottle-neck in your system will not be the memory modules.  Read More
The eight finalist s in the Electrolux DesignLab 2010 have been announced
It’s down to the final eight in the Electrolux Design Lab 2010 competition. Around 1,300 designers from all over the globe entered the competition this year, with the brief being to create space-saving home appliances that would be suited to life in the heavily-populated urban environment expected by 2050. The finalists will present their designs to a jury in London on the 23rd of September with cash prizes and an opportunity of a six month paid internship at an Electrolux global design center up for grabs. Will it be the virtual kitchen helmet, the gel refrigerator or the portable ultrasonic dishwasher that impresses the judges, or will it be one of the other five fantastically futuristic designs?  Read More
VSS Enterprise on its first manned flight attached to VMS Eve
Virgin Galactic has taken another important step to becoming the world’s first private commercial spaceline with its VSS Enterprise spacecraft flying with a crew on board for the first time. The craft formerly known as SpaceShipTwo remained attached to VMS Eve, the jet-powered carrier aircraft from which the VSS Enterprise will eventually be launched, for the duration of the flight to allow for numerous combined vehicle systems tests to be conducted.  Read More
The on-call robotic rubbish collection service is being trialed in Peccioli in Italy
 (pho...
You've had a party and your garbage bin is overflowing but the regular collection is still several days away. Imagine being able to make a call and have your rubbish collected at a time that suits you. For 100 households in Peccioli, Italy it's a reality. They are part of a two month trial of DustCart, a robot that provides an on-demand garbage collection service - just make a call and DustCart will soon arrive at your door to take away the trash.  Read More
Traffic on the streets of Beijing, the worst offender on the index
If there are three claims that people in almost every part of the world make about where they live, those claims are: our weather is notoriously unpredictable, we are being taxed into the Stone Age, and... the traffic here is worse than almost anywhere else. Well, as part of its research and development of traffic management systems, IBM decided to find out just which places do have the worst traffic - or at least, which places have the residents who are most negatively affected by it. The results: if you don’t like traffic, don’t live in a fast-growing metropolis.  Read More
THK's linear motion systems will absorb most of the shock of an earthquake
This technology might not be fully appreciated by readers located in earthquake-free locales, but if you've ever felt the ground move beneath your feet you'll be pleased with this technology. At Tokyo Big Sight last week Japanese company THK was demonstrating how their linear motion systems could dampen the shock of an earthquake. One of their systems, when placed underneath an object that you'd like to protect, will absorb most of the shock of an earthquake.  Read More
The MOATV could carry troops' supplies in the field
BAE Systems’ Multi-Operated All-Terrain Vehicle (MOATV) is a semi-autonomous vehicle designed to reduce the burden on ground troops. As well as being driven like an ordinary vehicle, the MOATV can be tele-operated by a remote control or instructed to semi-autonomously follow or go directly to a soldier operating a PDA. The company says the technology on the MOATV, which includes collision detection and avoidance systems that allow it to negotiate around objects that lie in its path while operating autonomously, can be applied to any vehicle.  Read More
Brownie's VS335 Third Lung diving system automatically adjusts its compression speed accor...
We’ve got cars, motorcycles and bicycles that are electric, so why not hookah air pumps for diving? They make much less noise than their gas and diesel-powered counterparts, they don’t stink up their surroundings with toxic fumes, and they don’t emit carbon. Of course, as is the case with many other e-things, the electricity that powers them has to come from somewhere, and chances are that somewhere isn’t a wind turbine or a solar panel. A new diving system from Brownie’s Marine Group, however, has another ace up its sleeve - a variable-speed compressor that automatically adjusts in accordance to the diver’s demand for air, thus saving power and allowing for longer and/or deeper dives when running off a battery.  Read More
Scientists have created a nanoparticle that can deliver DNA deeply enough into a cell to a...
Scientists from Ohio State University (OSU) have created a nanoparticle that can deliver DNA deeply enough into a cell to allow genetic material to be activated. This is a key step in gene therapy, the “reprogramming” of defective genes. Previously, scientists have used deactivated viruses for this task, but have been limited by the body’s immune system attacking those viruses. Nanoparticle delivery is reportedly two-and-a-half to ten times more effective, because it generates much less of an immune response.  Read More
Microsoft announces 4GB Xbox 360, gives Kinect a price
Microsoft has just announced the successor to the storage-less Xbox 360 Arcade, the creatively-named Xbox 360 4GB, which features 4GB of internal flash memory, built-in 802.11n WiFi and a casual-friendly price of US$199.99.  Read More

Sewage plants like this could soon be soon be self-sufficient in terms of energy usage (Im...
While much of the focus on renewable electricity production focuses on green alternatives, a team of engineers at Oregon State University is looking at ways to improve electricity production from a “brown” source – namely sewage. The engineers found that using new coatings on the anodes of microbial electrochemical cells they were able to increase the electricity production from sewage about 20 times.  Read More
ASUS has released images of an upcoming monster of a graphics card which, according to the...
In what is fast becoming a bit of a trend for ASUS, the company has leaked the first images of a new in-development monster graphics card called MARS 2. The card will feature dual-Fermi graphics processors, potential triple monitor stereoscopic capabilities and will no doubt require some delicate power supply calculations before it even gets near to a motherboard.  Read More
Elena Semouchkina holds the ceramic resonators that enable her to make objects appear invi...
We’ve covered a few different research efforts looking to develop “invisibility cloak” technology on Gizmag, including 3D metamaterials that negatively refract visible and near-infrared light and U-shaped “nano-rings” that manipulate light. The latest news sure to get Harry Potter fans excited comes out of Michigan Technical University where Elena Semouchkina, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, has found ways to use magnetic resonance to capture rays of visible light and route them around objects, rendering them invisible to the human eye.  Read More
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi will be the biggest indoor theme park in the world
There’s no doubting Ferrari has a legion of fans, but are their numbers great enough to justify the existence of a Ferrari theme park? Looks like we’ll get an answer with the world’s first such park, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, set to open its doors this October. Although, with the more than 20 rides and attractions including a spaceshot tower that launches riders 62m (203 ft) into the air and the world’s fastest roller coaster that propels thrill-seekers to speeds of 240 km/h (149mph) in just five seconds, the park is sure to appeal to those whose allegiance lies with other supercar marques.  Read More
UM researchers will test a prototype cooling system using a thermoelastic 'smart' metal th...
Many readers would be familiar with the electrical blackouts that occur in the summer months resulting from the extra load placed on electricity supplies by air conditioners. A new “smart” metal being developed by researchers at the University of Maryland (UM) could help cool homes and refrigerate food 175 percent more efficiently than current technology, not only giving strained electricity networks a bit of relief, but also drastically cutting summer electricity bills and greenhouse gas emissions.  Read More
Fits.me lets you choose the size that suits you best from the comfort of home
If you’re like me, the idea of clothes shopping – let alone having to try on multiple sizes of shirts in a tiny dressing room – is downright tedious and a waste of my precious time. So you’ll understand my interest in the Fits.me virtual fitting room. It’s an online changing room where you simply enter your sizing statistics and a robotic mannequin models how various sizes will look on your torso – all from the comfort of your own home.  Read More
A smoke visualization still of the actual vortex wake behind our glider during a free-flig...
Most airplane landings are less than graceful. The aircraft slowly maneuvers into an approach pattern, begins a long descent, and then slams on the brakes as soon as it touches down, which barely seems to barely bring it to a rest a mile later. Birds, however, can switch from barreling forward at full speed to lightly touching down on a target as narrow as a telephone wire. MIT researchers have now given a foam glider this same ability using a new control system that could have important implications for robotic planes, greatly improving their maneuverability and potentially allowing them to recharge their batteries simply by alighting on power lines.  Read More
Sharp's e-reader prototypes sport 5.5-inch and 10.8-inch color LCD touchscreens
Sharp has announced that its Next-generation XMDF (ever-eXtending Mobile Document Format) standard will be a digital platform for e-book distribution with compatible reader devices to be launched as well, possibly within the year. While the XMDF format has been in use for years already, primarily within Japan, this new 'Next generation' prefix does make the format notable as a competitor in the ebook space. Previously just for text and still images, the refreshed XMDF standard now supports video and audio display as well.  Read More
Roland has updated the sound engine for four of its digital home pianos and also given the...
Roland has given key models in its home digital piano family a more authentic, natural sound and feel. Four instruments now benefit from the company's updated SuperNATURAL Piano sound engine for improved velocity response, note decay and key-range behavior as well as more realistic ivory and ebony keys.  Read More
A female mosquito feeding on a human arm: could this pest's days be numbered?
To most Gizmag readers, mosquitoes are at most a pesky nuisance - for others of course, particularly in more tropical areas, they're a genuine killer, spreading all sorts of diseases as they feed on the blood of their victims. Either way, the mosquito female's habit of biting humans puts mozzies high on the list of most hated insects - so many will appreciate this study from Kansas State University, in which researchers have successfully used nanoparticles impregnated with gene-silencing dsRNA to specifically target particular genes in mosquito larvae. A small supply of these nanoparticles, added to a still water breeding ground, can kill mozzie larvae as they grow, or at the least, render them much more susceptible to insecticides… And the process is fascinating.  Read More

The DMC-LX5
For most of us, holidaying in the sun means dusting off the trusty old camera and snapping some memorable moments around the pool or bar. But if your ancient photographic box is starting to become an embarrassment then a flurry of Lumix releases from Panasonic might be just what you need. There's a rugged model, a couple with touchscreen displays, a couple ultra-wide angle lenses and some capable of full high definition video too. All are storage-friendly SDXC card compatible and include a host of automated settings to help get the best from any situation.  Read More
The full size, full length BLOODHOUND SSC show car unveiled at Farnborough (Image: Nick Ha...
The UK team behind the BLOODHOUND Project announced a number of significant milestones this week on the way to their goal of setting a new world land speed record. The biggest – or at least the longest – was the unveiling of a 1:1 scale replica of the car that the team believes will smash the current land speed record of 763 mph (just under 1,228 km/h) set in 1997.  Read More
The Personal Submarine provides great underwater adventuring for two
If an octopus’s garden in the shade is where you like to be then this two-person submarine could be just the ticket. Capable of descending to a depth of 1,000 feet the Personal Submarine gives you and a friend a chance to check out coral reefs, shipwrecks and whatever other attractions can be found on the sea floor. Although, with its rather steep asking price you’ll either really want to be beneath the sea, or have a really large chuck of spare change laying around.  Read More
Test facility for nanowicks (Image: Purdue University School of Mechanical Engineering)
An advanced cooling technology being developed for high-power electronics in military and automotive systems is capable of handling roughly 10 times the heat generated by conventional computer chips. The new type of cooling system can be used to prevent overheating of devices called insulated gate bipolar transistors, high-power switching transistors used in hybrid and electric vehicles. The chips are required to drive electric motors, switching large amounts of power from the battery pack to electrical coils needed to accelerate a vehicle from zero to 60 mph in 10 seconds or less.  Read More
Tom Broadbent and his HighDro Power system for harnessing the energy from falling wastewat...
Yesterday we looked at technology being developed to generate electricity from sewage using bacteria. Today we’re looking at an innovative design that generates electricity from the method used to carry this sewage away. Invented by Tom Broadbent, an industrial design student at Leicester’s De Montfort University (DMU), the HighDro Power harnesses the energy from falling waste in the soil pipes of high-rise buildings and converts it to electricity.  Read More
Brother's AA-size Vibration Energy Cell battery prototype whose generator and rechargeable...
A number of kinetic energy chargers have been hitting the market in recent years including the nPower PEG. Researchers have also been working to improve the technology, developing such devices as the Kinetic Energy Cell and a tiny generator that derives electrical energy from the vibrations and movements that occur within its environment. Now Brother Industries Ltd., a company better known for its printers, has put the technology into a form factor that should prove much more versatile – a battery. Its Vibration Energy Cell batteries are deigned to replace AA or AAA batteries in some low power devices that can then be powered with a shake.  Read More
Sathyakumar Sharma with aluminum powder, which is mixed with carbon dioxide to fuel the ro...
It may be called the Red Planet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use green technology to get there. Engineers at the University of Hertfordshire are developing a miniature dual fuel rocket, as a test model for technology that could one day result in a full-scale carbon negative rocket capable of a return flight to Mars. Their model’s motor will be powered by a mixture of carbon dioxide and aluminum, turning the CO2 into carbon in the process - this is the opposite of what is done by traditional rockets.  Read More
Zebrafish larvae, used in human medical research (Photo: Adam Amsterdam, MIT)
You might not care how hard or easy it is to image zebrafish larvae, but you should. Zebrafish larvae are among the most commonly-used laboratory animals, useful for studies of human diseases such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Now, engineers from MIT have developed a system that dramatically streamlines the zebrafish-imaging process. Whereas traditional manual viewing takes about ten minutes per fish, a new system developed by engineers at MIT can get the job done in just 19 seconds.  Read More
The remarkable progress of the record in the last 16 months.
Scottish brewery BrewDog has reclaimed the world record for the strongest beer in history with a 55% alcohol beer which it has named “The End of History.” Only 11 bottles will be available, and each bottle will come inside a stuffed animal – seven Stoats will be available at GBP500 and four grey squirrels at GBP700, making it also the most expensive beer in history. That's USD$1000 a bottle!  Read More
Kaicheng Liang, a recent graduate who worked on the biopsy robot (photo courtesy of Duke P...
A robot guided by 3-D ultrasound and artificial intelligence has demonstrated it can locate lesions in simulated breast and prostate tissue and take biopsies without human assistance. A team of bioengineers at Duke University, North Carolina, 'souped up' an existing robot arm with a purpose-built ultrasound system which acts as the robot's 'eyes' by collecting data from its scan and locating its target. An artificial intelligence program processes the real-time 3D information from the ultrasound and gives the robot specific commands to perform using a mechanical 'hand' that can manipulate the same biopsy plunger device used by doctors.  Read More

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