New and Emerging Technology News part 88 ~ NEW GEN TECH LIFE : new generation technology news

Monday, 27 January 2014

New and Emerging Technology News part 88

Ready to rock ... the Castiv Guitar Sidekick holds the iPhone while tuning the guitar usin...
Gizmag's Paul Ridden recently took a look at the Castiv Guitar Sidekick, a smartphone mount that puts your small screen digital device right where you need it – at the end of the fretboard. Since then we've been putting the Sidekick to the test – read on to find out how it performed.  Read More
The Office Music Democratizer wall-mounted unit
Until now, the most democratic way to deal with the choice of office music has been to let people take turns. Given the likely variety of musical tastes in most offices, this means you’ll be happy for a short period each week and possibly wanting to cram cotton buds in your ears for the remainder. In an effort to come up with a better solution, the folks at Swedish company BREAKFAST have created a device designed to maintain musical democracy, while keeping everyone happy at the same time.  Read More
The Buell-based Typhon 1190 streetfighter
Erik Buell never got a chance to build a proper naked version of his final Buell sportsbike, the 1125R. We'd like to think that if he did, he'd have ditched the bulbous side-mounted radiators and found another way to water-cool his new Rotax engine. Either way, Germany's Pegasus race team and Gruner Engineering have paired up to build an 1190 Buell superbike racer into the tarmac-ripping streetfighter that could have been. One hundred and eighty-five horsepower, 161kg dry, buck-naked and ready to roar – meet the Typhon 1190.  Read More
TAM Airlines, working together with Airbus, has successfully conducted the first Jatropha-...
With the aviation industry recently announcing self-imposed CO2 reduction targets, the search is on for more environmentally friendly fuels for use in passenger aircraft. A number of aircraft manufacturers and airlines have been looking at alternative fuels, such as GTL and biofuel and now Brazil’s largest airline, TAM Airlines, working together with Airbus, has successfully conducted the first Jatropha-based biofuel flight in Latin America. Airbus claims the biofuel could help reduce the aviation sector’s overall carbon footprint by up to 80 percent.  Read More
The Transformer (TX) program calls for a vertical-takeoff and landing (VTOL) vehicle that ...
The company behind the first FAA approved "roadable aircraft" – the Terrafugia Transition – has been selected to contribute to DARPA's Transformer (TX) Project, a program that aims to bring flying car technology to the battlefield. Terrafugia will subcontract to one of two winning teams under phase one of the program which focuses on creating a conceptual design for a four person cross between a Humvee and a helicopter for use in insurgency, reconnaissance, medical evacuation and logistical supply.  Read More
The batteries of future Audi e-tron models will be charged using solar power
The large roof areas of factories and production plants are an obvious choice for the installation of solar cells and Audi has just announced it will install additional photovoltaic modules on a 7,500 square meter (80,729 sq. ft.) area of the roof of its main plant in Ingolstadt, Germany. The expanded solar capacity will be used to charge the batteries of Audi’s e-tron models using new electric car charging stations and will also be used to provide green electricity to the plants’ production facilities.  Read More
In a new non-toxic process, cinnamon has been used to render nanoparticles from gold salts...
Gold nanoparticles, while showing great promise in fields such as electronics, medical imaging and cancer treatment, nonetheless involve a fairly environmentally-unfriendly production process. Typically, they are produced via liquid chemical methods that involve the use of various noxious substances, such as chlorauric acid. As the field of nanotechnology grows, so do concerns over the consequences for the Earth. University of Missouri scientist Kattesh Katti has found a new method for producing gold nanoparticles that does away with almost all of the toxic agents... and replaces them with cinnamon.  Read More
Air Hogs' RC Zero G Light Cycle
Back in 1982, when the original Tron was released, movie merchandising wasn’t quite as... robust as it is today. Therefore, there wasn’t much available in the way of Tron collectibles, much to the chagrin of Apple II-using geeks everywhere. Skip forward 28 years, and you can now buy Tron Legacy toys before the movie has even opened. One of the first out of the starting gates is Air Hogs’ RC Zero G Light Cycle... and yes, you're right, remote-control toys have become pretty much a dime a dozen. Ones that can be driven across walls or ceilings, however, are still kind of special.  Read More
Dan Mapp showing off his creation - note that he is having to hold the strings after an ac...
Anyone who owns an electric travel guitar will know that it can still be a bulky item to carry around. Chopping away huge chunks of the body helps keep its footprint down, but there's not much you can do about the neck. Daniel Mapp's solution is to cut the neck in half and fold it down into the body – allowing it to fit nicely into a backpack. He's also abandoned the trusty wooden fingerboard in favor of futuristic-looking fretless aluminum, which is said to give it long-lasting sustain and a unique tone.  Read More
Platinum Dirt has launched a line of custom leather jackets, made from classic car upholst...
Launching a new clothing collection, Platinum Dirt might have just recreated the meaning of the word "vintage." Dustin Page, designer, producer and tailor, has created a range of jackets made of recycled leather from classic cars. Each jacket is one-of-a-kind, made from the leather interiors of old Cadillacs, Lincolns, BMWs, Mercedes and Jaguars (just to name a few). As an added cute touch, the VIN plate from the original vehicle is embedded on the chest of each jacket.  Read More

Green Logs are fireplace logs made from compressed Giant King Grass, and are said to have ...
As winter tightens its icy, gloomy grip on the Northern Hemisphere, many of us are turning to our fireplaces or wood-burning stoves for physical and psychological warmth. Unfortunately, however, burning wood releases carbon into the atmosphere – a conundrum for people who want to minimize their CO2 footprint but still stay warm. U.S. company VIASPACE Green Energy, however, has just started selling a product that it claims will provide customers with fire fodder, while being almost carbon-neutral: fireplace logs made from compressed Giant King Grass.  Read More
IBM Scientists (L to R) Yurii Vlasov, William Green and Solomon Assefa have unveiled a new...
IBM has announced another breakthrough in its long term research goal to harness the low power consumption and incredible speed promised by optical computing. Following on from the Germanium Avalanche Photodetector – a component able to receive optical information signals at 40 Gb/sec and multiply them tenfold using a mere 1.5V supply – the company has now unveiled a new chip technology that integrates electrical and optical devices on the same piece of silicon. So how far can this technology take us? Eventually, IBM hopes, all way to the Exascale – that's one million trillion calculations per second.  Read More
Zoom Q3HD Handy Video Recorder
We first looked at Zoom's Q3HD Handy Video Recorder when it was announced in October. The point-and-shoot unit combines HD audio recording with 1080p video at 30 frames per second, a 2.4-inch LCD screen for immediate playback and ... you can now get your hands on one.  Read More
The first commercially-available Chevrolet Volt, which is being auctioned off for charity ...
After a build-up that's lasted for almost four years, you now finally have the chance to buy the first-ever Chevrolet Volt “extended range electric vehicle” available for retail sale. The catch: General Motors has decided to auction the car off to the highest bidder. Proceeds will go to the Detroit Public Schools Foundation, to support science, technology, engineering and mathematics initiatives. Online bidding started at US$50,000, and at the time of publication is already up to $180,000. The car’s MSRP is $41,000.  Read More
A Lufthansa Airbus A321 will be running partially on biofuel, as part of the six-month bur...
Starting next April, a Lufthansa Airbus A321 aircraft making the daily flight between Hamburg and Frankfurt will be running partially on biofuel. The airline will trial the biofuel blend, made of a 50/50 mixture of kerosene and hydrotreated vegetable oil, in one of the plane’s engines for six months. It’s part of the Lufthansa-led burnFAIR project, which is studying the long term effects of sustainable biofuels on aircraft performance. Although the Brazilian airline TAM performed a test flight of a biofuel-powered Airbus A320 last month, Lufthansa claims to be the first airline to conduct a long-term trial using biofuel during flight operations.  Read More
Sectra has launched a Visualization Table that will allow physicians to view high resoluti...
Swedish medical technology company Sectra has announced that a version of the Autopsy Table is now being offered to medical personnel. The Sectra Visualization Table will allow physicians to view virtual representations of real bodies in microscopic detail to help with decisions on treatment and care.  Read More
The Xi3 Modular Computer features Dual Core processing power, a host of external connectiv...
There seems to be a different computer solution for every desktop and network problem – from home systems to home built machines to those that serve the business community. The Xi3 Corporation claims that its scalable, modular system offers a somewhat different approach to the rest of the field. Each palm-sized cube features interchangeable and adjustable boards for maximum adaptability, Dual Core processing power and low power consumption.  Read More
SanDisk, Nikon and Sony have joined forces to propose a new CompactFlash specification whi...
Hot on the heels of the latest CompactFlash specification being released, SanDisk, Nikon and Sony have joined forces to propose a new specification to better cope with the high definition demands of today and tomorrow. The new proposal will give users more than three times the data transfer speeds of the current specification, and take storage capacity into the domain of the multi-terabyte.  Read More
The LMP Bluetooth Keypad
There’s no arguing that Apple’s Wireless Keyboard is a slim and sexy piece of kit – as far as keyboards go anyway. However, its svelte, bag friendly dimensions come at the cost of a numerical keypad. While such an omission is fine for some, it’s no good for the likes of accountants, mathematicians, numerologists and statisticians who are better served by the old USB extended keyboard. But it looks like even these users will be able to enjoy freedom from wires with the LMP Bluetooth Keypad.  Read More
The house made of hemp
America's first house made primarily of hemp has been built. Using a product known as Hemcrete – a mix of industrial hemp, lime and water – a team of 40 volunteers, sub-contractors and designers have recently completed construction of the hemp house in Ashville, North Carolina. Eco-friendly design and construction company Push Design has gained the support of community members and local officials alike and now plans to build more of these houses, which offer exceptional strength and longevity, breathability, unsurpassed indoor air quality and two-pronged carbon sequestration attributes.  Read More

Asetek has announced three new liquid cooling solutions for 92mm chassis systems
Liquid cooling specialist Asetek has announced three new CPU coolers designed for chassis with 92mm (3.6-inch) exhaust fans. Two of the trio are being made available to OEMs and system builders immediately, with the remaining unit coming later this month. All of the units benefit from quiet operation and should be no more difficult to install than air-based coolers.  Read More
Researchers from North Carolina State University and Carnegie Mellon University have combi...
Nancy Sinatra once mused that her boots were made for walking. In these days of global positioning, going walkabout is not as random an event as it might once have been, but there are still occasions when the all-seeing GPS device can't pick up a satellite. In such cases, having a back-up could mean the difference between getting out of the deep, dark underground cave in one piece or being lost in its tunnels forever. Researchers from North Carolina State University and Carnegie Mellon University have combined technology that is used to measure speed and distance with portable radar equipment to help keep track of a user's location.  Read More
MSI has added an Atom-powered, fanless mini-mainboard to its industrial platform computing...
MSI has added another fanless mini-mainboard to its industrial platform computing range. The 3.5-inch, ultra-low power MSI I3-945GSE-D board features an Atom processor, slots for DDR2 memory, USB ports, a SATA II connector, a VGA graphics port and expansion capabilities via mini-PCIe.  Read More
The GFAJ-1 bacteria, grown on arsenic
In a press conference held today, scientists working with NASA announced the discovery of a new microorganism right here on Earth that employs a survival strategy never seen before in any other life form. Found in Northern California’s highly-saline Mono Lake, the GFAJ-1 bacteria exists in an environment that has very little phosphorous, an element that had previously been considered essential for all living things in order to build DNA. To cope with this problem, the bacteria is able to substitute highly-toxic arsenic for phosphorous, in its cell components. The fact that a microbe is able to survive in such a fashion opens up the possibilities for where life could exist on other planets, and will require a rethink on NASA’s part regarding its search for extraterrestrial life forms.  Read More
The Confederate C3 X132 Hellcat: Fighter series
We see grandiose press releases every day here at Gizmag - but few of them use language which tickles us as much as Confederate's recent missive promoting its new C3 X132 Hellcat. How's this passage for an example: "This C3 Hellcat has the highest rear wheel torque to weight ratio, compared anywhere throughout the operating RPM range, in all of motordom, by far." Dig into 'em, those words are bold, aggressive and unmistakably American - much like the cyber-brute bikes that come out of the Confederate factory. So let's take a quick look at the Hellcat, which is at once the fastest, toughest, lightest and cheapest bike this bunch of Alabama madmen have ever produced.  Read More
Danish company Dantherm Power has announced plans to test and release a highly efficient c...
The Danish company Dantherm Power has recently announced its plans to sell solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) plants as environmentally-friendly power stations for private homes. Even though the project is only in its infantile stages, the company predicts the now bulky prototype will evolve over the next few years as the green alternative to power generators, or act as a buffer for buildings that are powered by renewable but intermittent energy sources such as wind or solar.  Read More
The 3D-printed sand Microclimates cool the immediate area
The lack of cooling in large open areas inevitably sends people scurrying for air-conditioned buildings on hot days. Taking a leaf from traditional Islamic architecture that dealt with the harsh desert climate with Mashrabiyas – a projecting latticework window that provides shade from the hot sun while allowing cool air from the street to flow through – London-based design firm PostlerFeruson has designed a kind of three dimensional Mashrabiya that can cool the immediate area in an energy-free way.  Read More
Xtrac IGS is applicable to a two speed EV transmission
After two years secret development in motorsport competition, Xtrac unveiled an important new driveline technology this week in the form of an Instantaneous Gearchange System (IGS). It does exactly the same thing a dual clutch transmission achieves with less weight, cost, and complexity. The secret to Xtrac IGS is the integration of a ratchet and pawl mechanism between each gear hub and the main shaft so that two consecutive gear ratios can be selected and engaged simultaneously, but with only one set of gears driving.  Read More
iPhone dock turns your mobile into conventional phone
Years of progress in making phones smaller and more portable have all been dismissed in one stroke by Japanese gadget and novelty company Hashy-Topin. Phone x Phone is a clever iPhone dock/charger unit designed to transform your iPhone into a plain ol' regular fixed-line telephone. Because you didn't really want to be that mobile anyway, did you?  Read More
The RinSpeed BamBoo
There’s no doubt the folk at Rinspeed like to think outside the box when it comes to its concept cars – you need look no further than the sQuba diving concept car for confirmation of that. The latest design from Rinspeed founder Frank M. Rinderknecht, however, looks to step back inside the box with a design that harks back to the 1970s. The BamBoo, which won’t be officially revealed until the 2011 Geneva Motor Show in March, is a stripped-back vehicle that Rinspeed itself describes as resembling a “grown-up golf cart”.  Read More

QLED displays promise better color reproduction, energy efficiency and cheaper manufacturi...
For the past few years OLED has stolen most of the spotlight as the next generation technology set to outperform current plasma and LCD displays in terms of both energy efficiency and picture quality. Although OLED is barely out of the blocks, QD Vision and LG Display have just announced a joint development agreement focusing on electroluminescent quantum dot LED (QLED) nanotechnology, which promises to sweep all display technologies before it, including OLED. QLED promises energy efficient displays that offer brighter, richer colors, can be printed on ultra-thin, transparent or flexible substrates and manufactured cheaply.  Read More
The Tata Indica Vista EV
Ask someone in the street to name an electric vehicle right now and top-of-mind brands would probably include Tesla, Chevrolet Volt and Mitsubishi’s iMiev. Twelve months from now, there may be another name amongst that list you’ve not yet heard. Tata is best known for its US$2500 Tata Nano and recent acquisition of Jaguar and Range Rover but another of its wares appears set to make a huge impact in the EV field. The Tata Indica Vista EV hits the market early in 2011, carries four people, has excellent performance and can run 150 miles on a charge. Most importantly, the EV is based on a best-selling, mass-market car from the Indian market where it sells for less than US$9000 and its performance in the recent Future Car Challenge verifies its extreme energy efficiency.  Read More
Offshore wind turbines in the Thames Estuary (Image: phault via Flickr)
Currently, the world’s largest capacity wind turbine is the Enercon E-126, which has a rated capacity of 7.58 MW. It has held that honor since its introduction in 2007, but is under threat of losing the title with a number of 10 MW turbines currently in development – including what was destined to be the world’s biggest wind turbine to be built in Norway. Now a Spanish project has upped the ante with its aim of building an offshore wind turbine with a capacity of 15 MW.  Read More
Air time – Volvo Air Motion concept runs on compressed air
We've been taking a closer look at some of the standout blue-sky concepts presented by the likes of Mercedes and Cadillac at the recent LA Design Challenge – here's Volvo's take on the lightweight car of the future. The clamshell-inspired Volvo Air Motion Concept Canyon Carver uses fewer and lighter components than in traditional cars and compressed air engines to achieve a weight estimated at under 1000 lbs (454 kg).  Read More
Researchers have created a process to produce a light-absorbing layer on textured substrat...
The idea of boosting the performance of solar cells by coating them with a textured substrate is commonly used in silicon-based cells. The idea is to traps more light so that it bounces around inside the cell instead of reflecting back out, but for a number of reasons, attempts to use textured substrates in polymer solar cells have failed. Now researchers from Iowa State University and the Ames Laboratory have developed a process of producing a thin and uniform light-absorbing layer on textured substrates that improves the efficiency of polymer solar cells by 20 percent.  Read More
MRI is used to measure deviations in brain circuitry to detect Autism in under 10 minutes ...
A fast and accurate test for Autism has been developed by researchers at McLean Hospital and the University of Utah. It is hoped that the biologically based test, which uses Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to measure brain activity, can replace the subjective test currently used for diagnosis of the condition.  Read More
The 'no drill' flat panel TV mount from Sanus attaches to a shelf unit, positioning the TV...
Mounting a flat panel TV securely on a wall is one of the best ways of positioning the screen at the right viewing height and angle, while freeing up valuable room space. Traditional mounts have to be drilled and screwed into a stud or brick wall in order to hold the weight of the TV. But if you’re not a DIY fan, live in an apartment where attacking the wall with a power drill isn't an option, or just think you might change your mind later about where you want to watch TV, then this no-drill TV mount kit from Sanus might appeal.  Read More
Ultimate VCI Protection bags are plastic bags which are said to keep steel tools stored in...
Fishermen, sailors, and other people who take to the sea will know how quickly and easily steel tools begin to rust in a marine environment. One method of dealing with the problem involves spraying the tools with oil before storage, then wiping them off before use. New Jersey-based company Leland Limited, however, is now offering what it describes as a simpler, more eco-friendly alternative: plastic tool-storage bags that prevent rust.  Read More
The IBM Blue Gene/P ('Intrepid') supercomputer (Photo: Argonne National Laboratory)
There’s a lot of scientific research projects out there that could produce some interesting results, if only they had access to a supercomputer. With that in mind, this week the US Department of Energy (DoE) announced that it has awarded 57 deserving projects with a total of almost 1.7 billion processor hours on two of its (and the world’s) most powerful computers. It’s part of the DoE’s cleverly-acronymed Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program, the aim is of which is primarily “to further renewable energy solutions and understand of the environmental impacts of energy use.” That said, the program is open to all scientists in need of heavy-duty data crunching.  Read More
Quirky Digits
There are several options out there for those looking to use capacitive touchscreen devices while not getting frosty fingers this winter. We've looked at the North Face Etip and Agloves, now a solution that is cheap, simple and lets you keep wearing your favorite pair of gloves – even while tweeting how cold you are!  Read More

The TESLA Roadster Sport BRABUS Green Package
Most industries have a legacy mind-set but few are as heavily blinkered as the performance car industry. Recognizing that gas-guzzling sports cars will be seen as archaic as the fossil-fuels they burn a few decades from now, German ultra-performance remanufacturer Brabus has been quick to establish its green credentials. It was the first to offer customization of the Tesla Roadster and now the company’s ultra-exclusive TESLA Roadster Sport BRABUS Green Package includes a quick charge station for the customer’s garage, 30,000 kilometers (18,641 miles) worth of eco-electricity with which to run it and a one-year unlimited-use pass at all public RWE charging stations. Sadly, it’s only in Germany, but we can see this being the start of electric cars being marketed quite differently.  Read More
The Perfumery Radar system uses gas chromatography to objectively analyze the different sc...
Making perfume is an art, and you can’t objectively break art down into its individual components... right? In the case of perfume, it appears that perhaps you can. Dr. Alirío Rodrigues, a chemical engineer at Portugal’s University of Porto, has devised a system called Perfumery Radar (PR). It is able to analyze the odor of perfumes, and map out what scents are present, and in what proportions.  Read More
The UC Davis device, which is pierced through a patient's throat, allowing them to swallow...
You may never have heard of oropharyngeal dysphagia, but it’s a fairly common and quite serious condition that can lead to aspiration, dehydration, pneumonia, malnutrition, depression and death. The term is used to describe difficulty in swallowing, which can be the result of strokes, head and neck cancer, head injuries, old age, and diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Around 16.5 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from it, with invasive surgical techniques that may or may not work being one of the main treatments. Now, however, surgeons from the University of California, Davis, have pioneered a new approach – a simple device that is pierced through the patient’s throat, then moved with their hand when they want to swallow.  Read More
Toshiba has slammed a pair of Harman/Kardon speakers into its new mini NB520 netbook, whic...
Research has shown that over 80 percent of netbook owners believe that good sound is important, yet I think it's fair to say that most netbook speakers are not really very good – offering about the same audio output quality as a smartphone. Toshiba has revealed that its new mini NB520 netbook sports a pair of Harman/Kardon speakers and Dolby Advanced Audio technology, to give users the kind of rich audio experience usually reserved for much bigger devices.  Read More
Super Talent has announced that it is to offer its Express RAM Cache drives pre-loaded wit...
Have you ever logged onto a shared computer and wished that you had access to your own desktop, your own programs and your own files? That's precisely what's being offered by the partnering of Super Talent's Express RAM Cache drive and Ceedo's virtual Windows desktop. Plugging into the drive of a host Windows PC and launching the application is said to provide SSD-like performance for launched programs and files. As all user settings and files are saved to the flash drive, there's no trace left on the machine used.  Read More
NASA's SOFIA airborne observatory has just completed the first of three science flights (A...
NASA has announced that its Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) airborne observatory has just completed its maiden science flight. The flight was undertaken to demonstrate the aircraft's potential to make discoveries about the infrared universe. It's anticipated that the aircraft will allow researchers to extend investigations of discoveries already made by existing space telescopes, as well as make important breakthroughs of its own.  Read More
DigiTech has announced the forthcoming availability of a multi-effects processor for the b...
The rhythmic fretwork of the bass guitarist is almost always an essential element in modern music, but when it comes to effects processors, most pedals seem to head for lead guitar stardom. DigiTech is about to treat the rich and versatile electric bass sound to a new multi-effects unit that puts hundreds of sounds, effects, amplifiers and speaker cabinets at a bass player's disposal.  Read More
The Glif offers a simple and easy mount for your iPhone, to be used to connect to a tripod...
The Glif offers a simple and easy mount for your iPhone, to be used to connect to a tripod or as a propping mount for various functions. It is small and portable enough to fit snugly in your pocket or handbag, and comes with a 1/4"-20 thread that fits most standard tripods or camera mounts.  Read More
Users of millions of laptops and netbooks have enjoyed the benefits of getting online with...
For those of us who virtually live online, waiting around those few precious minutes for the system to boot into Windows, connect to the Internet and then present the browser is time wasted. For the last few couple of years, more and more new Windows machines have come pre-loaded with something that boots straight into our beloved online world. Splashtop is a browser-based operating system companion that allows users to get online in seconds after pushing the power button on. Now it's being made available for public beta download.  Read More
Top Ten Wireless Predictions for 2011
Research company Juniper has drawn up a list of predictions for the mobile and wireless industry for 2011 and they portray humanity hurtling headlong towards a mobile-centric lifestyle. Juniper sees 2011 as a year where we'll see increasing use of Augmented Reality, the first Cloud-Based Operating Systems, Mobile Banking becomes a must, the beginning of the demise of the credit card, the rise of Mobile Lottery Tickets, biometrics coming to mobile and Social Purchasing moving to a whole new level. A must read!  Read More

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