New and Emerging Technology News part 109 ~ NEW GEN TECH LIFE : new generation technology news

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

New and Emerging Technology News part 109


Artists image of the Dragon spacecraft in orbit (Image: SpaceX)
Once the last of NASA’s space shuttle fleet shuffle off to retirement in a few months the space agency will be totally dependent on the Russian Soyuz to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station. At a cost of around US$63 million per seat, or more than $753 million a year, NASA is turning to the commercial companies to provide a more economical option. As part of the second round of funding for the agency’s Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) initiative that aims to stimulate development of privately operated crew vehicles to low Earth orbit, it will dole out grants totaling $269.3 million to four private companies. One of the recipients is SpaceX, which has been awarded $75 million to develop a launch escape system for its Dragon spacecraft.  Read More
Spark plugs could soon be replaced be laser igniters
Internal combustion engines are likely to remain in widespread use for some time yet, but it's possible that we may be bidding adieu to that most iconic of engine parts, the spark plug. Researchers from Japan's National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) are creating laser igniters that could one day replace spark plugs in automobile engines. Not only would these lasers allow for better performance and fuel economy, but cars using them would also create less harmful emissions.  Read More
Fastec Imaging Corporation has developed a handheld digital camera capable of recording 72...
Despite the numerous digital cameras which now offer high definition recording capabilities, if you want to slow things down for Matrix-like action scenes, you usually have to sacrifice the resolution. There are somewhat unwieldy broadcast quality, high-speed solutions available, but the TS3 Cine from the Fastec Imaging Corporation puts high definition super slow motion in the palm of your hand. The DSLR-sized camera offers 720p resolution at 720 frames per second (fps), but if you do want to shed some pixels, then up to 20,000 fps capture is also possible.  Read More
Newly-created polymers liquefy and fill in scratches when exposed to UV light, then resoli...
Nobody likes scratches in their car's finish. That's part of the reason why over the years, a number of research facilities have tried to develop self-healing paint. These efforts have resulted in products containing things such as microcapsules that burst open when scratched, elastic resins, and even a chemical derived from the exoskeletons of crustaceans. Now, scientists from the U.S. and Switzerland have developed polymers – which could be used in paint – that heal their own scratches when exposed to ultraviolet light.  Read More
Mohamad Sadegh Samakoush Darounkolayi's entry into this year's Michelin Design Challenge i...
Despite not becoming the personal transport revolution that it was designed to be, the Segway has provided a wealth of design fodder for numerous self-balancing concepts, prototypes and production single occupancy vehicles. Mohamad Sadegh Samakoush Darounkolayi's entry into this year's Michelin Design Challenge, however, probably owes more to the Disney/Pixar film WALL-E – hopefully the users of his Supple concept won't end up being the grossly overweight, lethargic, mentally-challenged descendants of humanity like those aboard the Axiom cruise ship.  Read More
The Phoenix is a concept car, with a biodegradable body built from rattan and bamboo (Phot...
While the metal bodywork of cars certainly can be melted down and recycled, the process requires a lot of energy, and therefore isn't entirely eco-friendly. Making cars out of easier-to-recycle materials is certainly one approach to the problem, but designers Kenneth Cobonpue and Albrecht Birkner have another idea – cars with sustainably-sourced, biodegradable bodies. To that end, they have created the Phoenix, a full-sized rolling chassis made from rattan and bamboo.  Read More
Geely McCar is a combined car and motorcycle
One of the most imaginative concept cars we’ve ever seen turned up at Auto Shanghai this week and it didn’t come from Japan, Germany, France or America – it was the result of two years work in China by Geely engineers and is the synthesis of over 60 IP-protected ideas. In essence, it’s an ultra compact, two-door, four-seater with a built-in, folding three wheeled electric scooter in the rear. When the scooter is docked, the car shares both its battery and electric motor to extend the all-electric range or ensure the scooter is fully charged. The vehicle is proposed as having choice of gas-electric hybrid or fully electric powerplants. Sheer genius … and a catchy name which must surely attract a legal challenge.  Read More
Bugatti displays new versions of the world’s fastest car and fastest convertible in Shangh...
There just aren't enough superlatives to adequately describe the exploits of Ettore Bugatti and the remarkable history of his marque, let alone its resurrection as a world-beating performance car manufacturer. The 882 kW (1,200 PS) Bugatti Super Sport reclaimed the title of the fastest production car in the world last year and it has now been joined at the top of the heap by its sibling, the 736 kW (1,001 PS) Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport which is now the fastest and most powerful convertible in the world. It has an electronically limited top speed of 407 km/h (252.9 mph) with the roof on, and will best 360 km/h (223.7 mph) sans lid. Special editions of both cars greeted the throngs at Auto Shanghai this week.  Read More
Alienware's new M14x gaming notebook (Images courtesy of Dell, Inc)
After a good deal of speculation, Dell has announced two new additions to its Alienware gaming brand and one updated favorite. The new flagship M18x desktop replacement notebook – modestly described by the company as the "most powerful 18-inch gaming laptop in the universe" – features a factory-overclocked second generation Core i7 processor, dual graphics and supports up to 32GB of DDR3 memory. The M14x comes in two display options, dual or quad Core i7 processors and an impressive eight hour battery life. The refreshed M11x gets treated to some new processors, USB 3.0 and HDMI 1.4 connectivity.  Read More
Postbox stores your IMAP archives in plain text
Even if you're using IMAP to access your email, certain newer email clients like Thunderbird 3 and Postbox will download and store your emails locally in plain text. This leaves many users making a difficult choice between leaving sensitive data unencrypted, or venturing into overkill territory by using a tool like FileVault, PGP Whole Disk Encryption or TrueCrypt - which see you encrypting your entire home directory or hard drive and dealing with a performance overhead. This article will show you how to encrypt only your Postbox email on a Mac, but can easily be adapted to other email clients (or other folders like your Documents folder).  Read More

Nintendo confirms Wii 2 unveiling in June for 2012 launch
Nintendo will show a playable model of the next-generation Wii gaming console at E3 Expo in June. The company confirmed the reveal date in a short statement earlier today and although there's still no official word on exactly what the successor to the Wii (codenamed “Project Cafe”) holds in store, the rumors are gaining momentum.  Read More
Scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology are claiming to have created the world...
For the past several years, scientists from around the world have been engaged in the development of nanogenerators – tiny piezoelectric devices capable of generating electricity by harnessing minute naturally-occurring movements, such as the shifting of clothing or even the beating of a person's heart. So far, while they may have worked in principle, few if any of the devices have been able to generate enough of a current to make them practical for use in consumer products. Now, however, scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology are claiming to have created "the world's first practical nanogenerator."  Read More
A microscopic view of the carbon nanotube field-effect transistor used in the fabricated s...
It's probably still going to be a while before autonomous, self-aware androids are wandering amongst us. That scenario has come a little closer to reality, however, with researchers from the University of Southern California having created a functioning synapse circuit using carbon nanotubes. An artificial version of the connections that allow electrical impulses to pass between neurons in our brains, the circuit could someday be one component of a synthetic brain.  Read More
The theme for the 2011 Michelin Design Challenge was to have designers come up with a vehi...
For the last ten years, Michelin North America has challenged designers from around the world to create innovative vehicle concepts. The company put those concepts before some judges, and then displayed a chosen few at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). The 2011 "Plus 10: The Best is Yet to Come" challenge was to come up with a vehicle that could be enjoyed by people local to the designers in 2021. From the record number of entries received, Michelin's judges chose 34 works to go on display. Let's take a quick look at some of them ...  Read More
Researchers from the University of Maine have created biodegradable golf balls, made from ...
Golf balls may be small and the ocean may be huge, yet traditional plastic-skinned balls that are whacked into the sea are nonetheless a source of pollution, and a potential hazard to marine life – anyone remember the Seinfeld episode where a whale got one of Kramer's golf balls down its blowhole? It would certainly stand to reason that biodegradable balls would be the logical choice for golfers who want to use the ocean as their driving range, and such balls do already exist. A team from the University of Maine, however, have recently created golf balls made from lobster shells ... and they have a couple of advantages over similar products.  Read More
The Block tube amplifier is currently a working prototype, but designer Mateusz Glowka tol...
Call me old fashioned if you will, but there's nothing more pleasing than the soft, natural and warm sound produced by a tube amplifier. The Block amplifier by industrial designer Mateusz Gl├│wka is as much a visual treat as a sonic one. The somewhat harsh geometric lines are offset by the gratifying glow of the half dozen tubes on display outside the stainless steel and aluminum housing and, in a novel twist, the main sound board is attached with hinges so that it can be raised for dusting the electronics. The tube amplifier is a working prototype at the moment, but the designer told Gizmag that he expects production models to be available soon.  Read More
SanDisk and Toshiba have developed and fabricated NAND flash memory modules with 19nm proc...
As our use of mobile technology increases, so does our demand for more built-in device storage capacity in smaller and smaller form factors. Only a few weeks have passed since Intel began using its 25 nanometer (nm) NAND flash memory in its 320 series SSD storage solutions and just days since the company joined with Micron Technology to announce the breakthrough 20nm process technology. Now SanDisk and Toshiba have developed and fabricated NAND flash memory modules with 19nm process technology.  Read More
Samsung has announced the W200 multi-proof pocket camcorder designed for active users.
Despite the killing off of the FLIP there's still some movement left in the Pocket HD camcorder market. Samsung's latest release is a shock, water and dust-proof rugged unit capable of recording full high definition video and snap 5.5 megapixel stills. The bright lens and LCD screen are coated to help keep videos blur-free and the sensitivity is twice that of previous models thanks to the inclusion of backside-illumination technology.  Read More
Penpower Technology has released an iPhone app which uses the device's camera and Google's...
Whether browsing through the latest technology news, following the exploits of your favorite musician or film star or looking up exotic holiday destinations, chances are you will bump into a language that's not your own. Thanks to online translation services, most of us can usually get the gist of what's going on, but there are occasions when typing a word into a translation box is just not convenient. Penpower Technology has an alternative solution in the form of an application that uses the camera on the iPhone and Google's translation service to offer instant word translation and definition.  Read More
The Razer Hydra base station and two motion sensing controllers
While motion controllers are becoming a staple for console gamers with the release of the Wii, PlayStation Move and Microsoft Kinect, PC gamers have been left wanting. Razer is looking to change that with its Hydra motion controller which has been developed specifically for PC gamers. Unlike other console-based motion control systems, the Hydra uses magnetic tracking technology by way of a base station that emits a magnetic field that Razer says allows the exact location and orientation of the handheld controllers to be detected with millimeter and degree accuracy.  Read More
 

 Fisker Karma PHEV headed to showrooms after company raises US$1 billion

April 20, 2011
The Karma plug-in hybrid electric vehicle from Fisker Automotive
Following a series of funding setbacks that has seen the launch of Fisker Automotive’s Karma four-door saloon plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) sports car pushed back from the initial late 2009 launch date a number of times, there’s finally some good news. According to Gigaom, the company has surpassed its US$1 billion funding goal and plans to have vehicles in dealer showrooms in May or June and will begin fulfilling its 3,000-some pre-orders from June or July.  Read More
Auto-gyro's Cavalon at Aero Friedrichshafen this week
The newest addition to the gyrocopter genre arrived at Aero Friedrichshafen this week, in the form of a side-by-side, fully-enclosed, composite construction Cavalon gyrocopter for just EUR65,000. The gyrocopter is to the helicopter what the microlight is to traditional small aircraft. Invented in 1923 by Spaniard Juan de la Cierva, the gyrocopter uses quite a different layout to the helicopter to give it stability at low speed. It is cheap to run, takes off and lands on a ridiculously small footprint, and has a powered pusher propeller in addition to an unpowered main rotor.  Read More
Audi's hybrid A3 E-tron
Audi's A3 e-tron concept to be shown at Auto Shanghai for the first time today, is a plug-in hybrid technical study based on the company's four-seat RS 3 Sportback. It uses a turbocharged, direct injection, 211 hp, 1.4 litre TFSI unit and a 27 hp electric motor to give the E-Tron a top speed of 144 mph plus exceptional frugality and energy efficiency.  Read More
The F-35 Lightning II Full Mission Simulator includes a high-fidelity 360-degree visual di...
Eglin Air Force Base has just taken delivery of a piece of hardware that would surely be the ultimate toy for flight sim gaming fans. The F-35 Lightning II Full Mission Simulator (FMS) system includes a high-fidelity 360-degree visual display system and a reconfigurable cockpit that can simulate all three variants of the F-35 Lightning II for U.S. and international partner services – the conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) F-35A, the short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) F-35B, and the F-35C carrier variant.  Read More
Spanish researchers have created the dAlh2Orean, a radio-controlled model car that creates...
As anyone who has seen Back to the Future will remember, the movie ended with Doc Brown fueling the time-traveling DeLorean’s “Mr. Fusion” reactor with household waste. Well, a student and a professor from the School of Industrial and Aeronautic Engineering at Barcelona’s Universitat Polit├Ęcnica de Catalunya (UPC) have taken a step towards making that scenario a reality by adapting a radio-controlled model car to run on hydrogen fuel derived from waste aluminum and water. In a nod to the movie, they have named the car the dAlh2Orean ... as in, d-aluminum-water-rean.  Read More
A robotic intubation system that inserts endotracheal tubes in patients is being tested on...
Pretty much any time a patient is placed under a general anesthetic, a plastic endotracheal tube is inserted down their throat, in order to keep their airway open. The procedure is known as intubation, and has so far always been performed by hand. In this age of robotic surgery, however, it’s perhaps not surprising to hear that surgeons at Montreal’s McGill University Health Centre are now trying out a remote-control intubation system on human subjects.  Read More
Mionix has announced the forthcoming release of a premium gaming keyboard featuring black ...
Spending many hours in front of a computer screen battling demons and monsters or laying waste to enemy outposts can really take it out of your poor keyboard. Swedish high-end gaming accessory manufacturer Mionix believes that the rage-proof durability of its new mechanical keyboard should give you the means to tackle any gaming marathon with confidence.  Read More
Final Audio Design says that its Piano Forte X-VIII Series earphones deliver distinctive a...
Japan's Final Audio Design has been turning out audiophile-pleasing, premium audio equipment since the 1970s, and has just unveiled its latest high-end earphones. Taking the core design behind the company's Opus horn speaker series, the Piano Forte X-VIII Series is said to deliver a concert hall-like sound experience thanks to a large diameter driver unit installed in a soundstage-expanding metallic earpad housing. However, there is quite a heavy price to pay for such lightweight dynamic clarity. Read on for more details ...  Read More
The VelEau is a cyclist's hydration system, that mounts on the bike instead of the rider
As things currently stand, cyclists have two options for carrying drinking water on rides: bottles in frame-mounted cages, and hydration backpacks with sipping tubes. Bottles aren’t always that readily-accessible, however – not a big deal if you stop to drink, but more bothersome if you’re trying to drink on the fly, as happens in a race. Hydration backpacks, while much handier, can be uncomfortable. Showers Pass’ VelEau 42 is claimed to address both of these problems, by mounting a backpack-style hydration system on the bike instead of the rider.  Read More
According to the latest DisplaySearch Quarterly Mobile Phone Shipment and Forecast Report, the mobile phone market reached 1.6 billion units in 2010, and will increase further to 1.8 billion units this year – there are less than seven billion humans on Mother Earth, so that’s more than one new mobile phone for every man, woman and child. The growth is being driven by continuously growing emerging markets and the trend to upgrading to smart phones.  Read More

Two new Suzuki Kizashi Concepts - one frugal, one powerful
Suzuki is having a bet each way in the performance vs fuel efficiency stakes with the unveiling of two new additions to its long-running line of Kizashi concepts at the New York International Auto Show. While the Kizashi EcoCharge hybrid concept combines a 2.0-liter petrol engine,15kW motor and a 115-volt air-cooled lithium-ion battery to optimize fuel efficiency, it's show floor stablemate the Kizashi Apex Concept is geared toward performance.  Read More
Remote Pleasure is planning his and hers sex toys that will enable remote sex between part...
Absence not only makes the heart grow fonder, it can also make for a pretty unfulfilling sex life. While technology has allowed lovers to bridge the tyranny of distance in terms of sight and sound, getting touchy feely is a different matter. Men and women have been looked after separately with devices like RealTouch and the OhMiBod, but we haven't really seen technology designed to allow couples to engage in remote sex. Hong Kong-based Remote Pleasure is looking to change that with a set of sex toys that can be controlled by your partner over the internet.  Read More
A lab prototype of ORNL's Reticle Compensating Rifle Barrel Reference Sensor (Image: ORNL/...
At long ranges, snipers must compensate not only for crosswinds and the fact that bullets travel in a curved trajectory, but also allow for even very small barrel disruptions that can cause a shooter to miss their intended target by a wide margin. Contending with such difficulties makes feats such as the 1.53 mile (2.47 km) sniper kills by British Corporal Craig Harrison even more impressive, but a new type of rifle sighting system developed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) could take one of these variables out of the equation. The fiber-optic laser-based sensor system precisely measures the deflection of the barrel relative to the sight and automatically adjusts the crosshairs to match.  Read More
The Lito Sora - big, bad, and battery powered.
Montreal's Lito has thrown its hat into the ring with a new electric motorcycle that makes some pretty outrageous claims. A full 12 kilowatt-hours' worth of onboard lithium polymer batteries gives the Sora a massive 300 km range – that's 185 miles between charges. Or you can choose to wrap the throttle on and scream up to a top speed of 200 km/h (125 mph). With chopper/fighter bad boy looks and some interesting and innovative features like in-dash touch screen GPS and electronically adjustable ergonomics, the Sora looks like an absolute animal of a machine. You can't help but think that if it had an accessible pricetag, it would look very tempting to the average biker.  Read More
SEM image of a fabricated carpet cloak, the insets show the oblique view of the carpet clo...
Efforts to create a working "invisibility cloak" have generally involved the use of artificial materials with a negative refractive index known as metamaterials. Another promising technique involves the use of a natural crystal called calcite that boasts an optical property known as birefringence, or double-refraction. While both methods have proven successful in rendering very small objects invisible in specific wavelengths of light by bending and channeling light around them, both techniques require the "cloak" to be orders of magnitude larger than the object being concealed. Researchers are now reporting progress in overcoming this size limitation using a technology known as a "carpet cloak."  Read More
Road test: Mercedes-Benz B Class F-Cell
What's it like to drive a hydrogen powered car? It depends on which one. In the case of BMW's Hydrogen 7, essentially a 760i with its 6.0 liter V12 tweaked to burn hydrogen instead of petrol, one might suspect it's pretty much like the donor vehicle. In the case of Mercedes-Benz's B Class-based F Cell, powered by electricity from a lithium-ion battery pack fed by an on-board fuel cell, you might think different.  Read More
The Flow is a capacitive paintbrush, that allows for the feeling of using a traditional pa...
Anyone who has finger-painted, sketched with a pencil and painted with a brush will tell you that the three activities feel different when you're doing them, and that feel influences the look of the finished piece of artwork. It would seem to follow that if you were trying to simulate the experience of using a paintbrush when creating art on a touchscreen device, you would use a brush, and not a stylus or your finger ... that's the thinking behind the Flow, a capacitive paintbrush designed for use on the iPad and similar devices.  Read More
The rear derailleur and shifter for the new AG-E hydraulic shifting system for mountain bi...
There was a time not all that long ago, when hydraulic brakes on mountain bikes were viewed as super-high-end equipment for the elite few. Now, virtually all bikes over the mid-range price point have them. At last weekend's Sea Otter mountain biking trade show in Monterey, a new product was unveiled that could lead to the same thing happening with gear-shifting, as German component-maker Acros presented its A-GE hydraulic shifting system to the world.  Read More
Kingston has launched a new Flash drive storage solution which offers ease-of-use function...
For the last few years, data security breaches by those who are supposed to safeguard our personal data have never been far from the front pages of the popular press. Incredibly, on numerous occasions employees entrusted with sensitive data have been exposed circumventing strict security procedures put in place to keep our personal information confidential. Now, Kingston has launched a new Flash drive storage solution which offers ease-of-use functionality to users and allows security to be managed centrally by employers.  Read More
It has been discovered that iPhones running iOS4 maintain a location-tracking database, th...
If you own an iPhone or 3G iPad running iOS4, then you might be interested in knowing that the device has been keeping a record of your travels in a hidden, unencrypted file. Users do not opt into using the service, the database is restored after backups, and it migrates onto other synced devices. While no one is necessarily accusing Big Brother Jobs of watching you, it is a curious feature, and one that could pose a security threat to some users.  Read More
 

PlayStation Network
PlayStation 3 owners in the audience will likely have noticed an inability to connect to the PlayStation Network (PSN) over the past week, though Sony today made an announcement revealing that things are much worse than a week without access to online multiplayer gaming. At some stage between the 17th and 19th of April, a hacker gained access to Sony's systems. Sony believes the hacker was able to retrieve the personal information of 77 million PSN accounts, and say it is possible that credit card details were also retrieved.  Read More
Mesh being tested for use on fog-harvesting devices by Shreerang Chhatre and colleagues at...
For years, people living in high-altitude or coastal arid countries have been collecting drinking water by harvesting fog. More specifically, they've mounted pieces of fine netting over top of containers, left the setup overnight, then collected the fog droplets that got caught in the net and rolled down its fibers into the container. While it might sound like a rather insubstantial way of acquiring water, under the right conditions it can yield a surprisingly large amount of liquid. Now, inspired by the Namib Beetle, a chemical engineering graduate student from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is looking to improve on the technique.  Read More
The Lovers Box opens like a book to display screen in portrait orientation
Adding that spark of magic to digital devices is the secret ingredient in the success of many products and services. That spark is often personalization; the concept of a device or service being mine and for only me, building an attachment to transcend the mere bundle of plastic and circuitry in front of you. Researchers at the University Of Newcastle have been working on ways to make more emotionally meaningful forms of digital communication by producing what they are calling "Lovers' Boxes". Resembling an antique wooden jewellery box, each conceals the latest technology to play back messages recorded by a loved one.  Read More
GigaPan Time Machine allows users to create ultra-high-resolution panoramic time-lapse vid...
For the past couple of years, people wishing to create ultra-high-resolution panoramic photographs have been able to do so, using their own digital camera and a GigaPan robotic tripod. The device slowly pans the camera back and forth across a user-determined vista, triggering it to take up to several hundred shots in the process. The included software then stitches all the photos together – side-to-side and top-to-bottom – creating one big panorama, which retains its resolution even when details are zoomed in on, much like Google Earth. So, what could top that? Time-lapse videos created using GigaPan Time Machine software, as it turns out.  Read More
David McCourt's Slow Photography camera prototype (Images courtesy of David McCourt)
Statistics show that smartphone users rank high amongst the uploaders to photo sharing sites like Flickr, but this point-and-shoot convenience can rob users of some basic photographic skills such as framing, composition and using different lenses. Scotland's David McCourt hopes that his Slow Photography camera will help mobile phone camera users get a feel for using a professional grade digital camera, without selling the family car to pay for one.  Read More
Products such as the frame of this Trek Madone could find new life, as Trek Bicycle begins...
Carbon fiber may boast an impressive strength-to-weight ratio, and it looks cool, but it does have at least one shortcoming when compared to other building materials – it's difficult to recycle. Nonetheless, Trek Bicycle has begun a program that will see much of the company's waste carbon fiber being sent to a specialized recycling facility, where it will be processed for use in other products. According to the Cyclingnews website, the initiative should keep up to 54,000 pounds (24,500 kg) of the material out of landfills and in use, every year.  Read More
ORIGIN has claimed the highest mobile processor clock speed in the world by overclocking t...
Not too long ago, overclocking a processor to squeeze out every last drop of performance was the domain of relatively few dedicated hardware or gaming enthusiasts, but is now becoming more and more commonplace. We could feel the salivation at Alienware's announcement of a new gaming laptop that's factory-overclocked to 4GHz. Now ORIGIN has announced that its EON17-S performance notebooks are available with mobile processors overclocked to a world-beating 4.5GHz.  Read More
The new LIFEBOOK S761/C and P771/C notebooks about to be released by Fujitsu both feature ...
Cameras, camcorders and smartphones have had it, now laptops are getting the in-built projector treatment. Fujitsu is about to release two LIFEBOOK notebooks in Japan which feature a mobile projector where you might expect to find an optical drive – giving those who regularly provide on-site training or pitch business proposals an always-at-hand option for displaying presentations.  Read More
ChargePoint Network gets EV charging station reservations (Photo: Couomb Technologies)
Queuing at the gas pump is no fun, but imagine if everyone in the line was taking hours, not minutes, to top up the tank. Catering for long charging times is one of the challenges of building a workable infrastructure for electric vehicles, and Coulomb Technologies is taking this factor into consideration in the development of its open-platform ChargePoint Network. Last year the company introduced an app that locates the nearest charging station and tells you whether its in use. In its latest innovation, drivers can ease their range anxiety by reserving charging stations ahead of time.  Read More
Sony Tablet: the S1 and S2 devices will hit the market later this year
Sony has announced its intention to crash into the tablet PC market with two devices set for release later this year. Codenamed S1 and S2, both models will support WiFi and WAN (3G/4G) connections and run on the tablet-oriented Android 3.0 OS. There's little in the way of specifications available at this stage, but Sony is clearly looking to stand-out from the crowd in terms of form-factor. The S1 features a 9.4-inch display and looks pretty much like a "traditional" tablet aside from its wedge-shaped "off-center of gravity" design aimed at improving stability, grip and comfort. S2 gets a little more radical with its portable, horizontally hinged design and dual 5.5-inch displays which can be used separately or combined as a single large screen.  Read More

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