New and Emerging Technology News part 195 ~ NEW GEN TECH LIFE : new generation technology news

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

New and Emerging Technology News part 195

An ultra-slippery surface treatment known as SLIPS has been shown to keep bacterial biofil...
Last June, scientists from Harvard University announced the development of their new SLIPS (Slippery Liquid-Infused Porous Surfaces) technology. When used to coat surfaces, it is highly effective at keeping ice, frost, or just about any type of liquid from accumulating on them. Now, it turns out that SLIPS is also very good at keeping something else from getting a toehold – biofilms.  Read More
The mophie OUTRIDE case allows the iPhone 4 or 4S to be used as an actioncam Perhaps you’re considering buying an actioncam, but can’t quite rationalize spending $300 or so when your iPhone already has a perfectly good video camera ... if only you could keep it from getting damaged. Well, mophie’s new OUTRIDE case for the iPhone 4 and 4S may be what you’re looking for.  Read More
The IEM helps patients and doctors monitor medicine-taking behavior (Photo: Dvortygirl)
Taking a pill seems like the easiest thing in the world. Pill, glass of water and swallow, right? For many people, however, it isn’t that simple. For them, it’s very easy to take the incorrect dosage at the incorrect time. To help prevent this, Proteus Digital Health of Redwood City, California has developed an ingestible chip that can be embedded in pills and other pharmaceuticals.  Read More
The PD-2 conversion kit allows a Glasair Sportsman GS-2 light aircraft to be flown, or dri...
We’ve certainly been hearing a lot lately about the Terrafugia Transition, the “roadable aircraft” designed to be driven on the road or flown in the air. While it’s been designed from scratch as a completely original vehicle, Trey Johnson and his team at Plane Driven have taken a different approach in creating a competing product. Their PD-2 kit can be added to an existing Glasair Sportsman GS-2 light aircraft, allowing it to be converted into a highway-capable motorized trike when needed.  Read More
When it comes to large-scale applications, vertical axis wind turbines are traditionally c...
Albuquerque-based Sandia National Laboratories is conducting comprehensive research into the viability of vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs) for offshore use. The design, previously considered impractical for large-scale applications, has the potential to transform offshore wind technology, making it a more economically viable energy source.  Read More
VTech's InnoTab 2 tablet for kids
We've seen several products which turn your touchscreen devices into children's toys, from the iTikes range to the SmartPet toy dog ... but what if you don't want to encourage your little one to play with your iPad? VTech is about to release the InnoTab 2, its latest tablet computer for kids, which features a five-inch touchscreen, camera, video and MP3 players … but is that enough to keep little fingers off your iPad?  Read More
The Solar Bag can be carried like a satchel for easier transport and will begin to purify ...
Lack of access to clean water causes the deaths of millions of people worldwide and in regions such as sub-Saharan Africa, clean water can be several days walk away. Producing a simple and cheap method of purifying water which doesn’t rely on first-world amenities such as a steady electricity supply, or batteries, has proven a significant challenge thus far, but a new prototype device created by Ryan Lynch and Marcus Triest offers hope of doing just this, for an estimated cost of around US$5.  Read More
The Mercier-Jones hovercraft design was inspired by luxury sports cars
Frustrated with what they see as stagnation in the evolution of hovercraft design over recent decades, cousins Michael Mercier and Chris Jones have teamed up in an effort to bring the personal hovercraft into the 21st century. As well as a futuristic, streamlined look inspired by high-end sports cars, the Mercier-Jones concept also purports to be quieter, easier to maneuver, and more environmentally friendly than existing craft.  Read More
Sinus Iridum as seen from NASA's Clementine probe, where China plans to land a lunar rover...
The Chinese news agency Xinhua announced on July 31 that China will be sending its first unmanned lander to the Moon in the second half of 2013. Chang’e-3 will be the third lunar probe launched by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) and the first attempt at a landing. The lander/rover combination will launch from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in China’s Sichuan province as part of China’s continuing Lunar Exploration program.  Read More
Nexus 7 tablet - Google's first foray into the tablet world
The Nexus 7 is an innocuous looking little device. The unassuming face of Google's first foray into the tablet world has no hardware buttons aside from the power button and volume rocker, and the lithe 7-inch form factor means it can be slipped away into your bag or even jacket pocket. With prices starting at US$199 for the 8 GB model, the device has basically sold out on its first run in the U.S. So is this early success just a question of cost, or is it a genuinely good Android tablet? We take the Nexus 7 for a spin to find out.  Read More

The Philips FWP3200D sports all the features you need to get a party started
While there's plenty of iPhone and iPod speaker docks on the market, you’d be hard-pressed to find one which screams “PARTY” as loud as the Philips FWP3200D does. Indeed, we’re not quite sure what inspired Philips to put out such an over the top product, but whether the office water fountain was spiked or an intern was let loose in the design department, somebody over there is clearly in the mood for a good time, and who are we to argue?  Read More
A new technique allows photovoltaic solar cells to be produced using any semiconductor (Ph...
Despite their ability to generate clean, green electricity, solar panels aren't as commonplace as the could be. The main sticking point, of course, is price. Due to their need for relatively expensive semiconductor materials, conventional solar cells don't yet have a price-efficiency combination that can compete with other sources of electricity. Now Profs. Alex Zettl and Feng Wang of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley have developed seriously unconventional solar cell technology that allows virtually any semiconductor material to be used to create photovoltaic cells.  Read More
Two MIT students recently developed the PopFab, a machine that does 3D printing, milling, ...
There are plenty of different 3D printers to choose from these days, from the popular Makerbot Thing-O-Matic to the budget-priced Solidoodle. These all have one drawback however in that they aren't exactly portable. Most need to be disassembled to be moved and even the fully-assembled Cubify printer isn't really built for travel. But now, two MIT students have developed the PopFab, a machine that does 3D printing and more, all while fitting inside a small suitcase.  Read More
Under UV light, the nanofibrous film detects trace 2,4-DNT explosive buried in a flower po...
Engineers at the University of Connecticut (UConn) have developed a fluorescent nanofibrous film capable of detecting ultra-trace levels of explosive vapors from landmines and other buried explosive devices. In the presence of explosive molecules, the film’s fluorescence is suppressed when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light. In this way, the lightweight film, which is similar to paper, could be rolled out over suspect areas to mark the location of explosive devices.  Read More
Bose's VideoWave II system comprises a HDTV with home theater speaker system on the rear, ...
With the second generation of its all-in-one VideoWave HDTV-home theater combo, Bose has added a 55-inch model to join the 46-inch offering. Both the 46- and 55-inch VideoWave II systems now feature LED backlighting instead of the CCFL backlighting found in the original, with the larger rear surface area of the 55-inch model also enabling a slightly slimmer profile.  Read More
The image was sharpened using bi-cubic interpolation on the left, and a super-resolution t...
Ever taken a digital photograph and then found out you had missed the fine details that made the scene so impressive visually? Applying a Photoshop sharpen filter may make the photo appear sharper, but such filters are lossy - they actually reduce the amount of fine detail in the image. Until recently, there was very little you could do to improve the image after the shot. That has now changed. Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science have developed a super-resolution process which pulls unseen details from the nooks and crannies of a single digital photograph. Their process can capture true detail which cannot be seen in the original image - the next "killer app"?  Read More
A newly developed 'artificial photosynthesis' system from Panasonic could be used to turn ...
Panasonic has recently developed an artificial photosynthesis system that, using a simple and straightforward process, can convert carbon dioxide into clean organic materials with what it says record efficiency. This development may lead to the creation of a compact way of capturing pollution from incinerators and electric power plants and converting them into harmless – even useful – compounds.  Read More
The phase-change drywall absorbs heat during the day, and releases it at night
Scientists from Spain’s Universidad Politécnica de Madrid have created a new type of drywall, that they claim can reduce a building’s energy consumption by up to 40 percent. Its secret? Lots of tiny beads of paraffin.  Read More
The MetaWatch STRADA smartwatch pairs with an iPhone 4S, 3rd gen iPad or Android smartphon...
Dedicated wrist-worn timepieces can be unquestionably beautiful (the Blue Ocean Watch or Zenith's Defy Xtreme, for example) but today's discerning gadget-lover requires much more from their wrist candy. The iPod Nano can already be made into a pretty decent digital watch but it doesn't (yet) have built-in Bluetooth connectivity so can't connect with the ever-present smartphone like the various flavors of the I'm Watch can. Smartwatch veterans Bill Geiser and David Rosales have just launched a consumer version of their open source, developer-focused, Bluetooth-connected watches. The STRATA is being billed as the first iOS 6-compatible smartwatch on the market and has already more than doubled its funding target on Kickstarter just a few days after its campaign launch.  Read More
The Freedomky prefabricated house
Czech architect Marek Štěpán and his studio Atelier Štěpán has come up with a stylish take on the prefabricated home designed for affordable off-grid living. Though compact, the "Freedomky" nevertheless comes complete with laundry and cooking facilities as well as security and heating systems.  Read More

Artwork of Curiosity entering the Martian atmosphere (Image: NASA)
This Sunday will see one of the most dramatic events in the history of space exploration. On August 5, 2012 at 10:31 PM PDT (August 6, 05:31 GMT), the nuclear-powered science rover Curiosity will reach Mars It will involve one of the most complex, most daring landings ever attempted. Ironically, it may end in one of two ways - a triumph for the men and women of NASA as the Curiosity lander sends back its first signals from the red planet or utter silence. And the key to this is a heat shield that is so new to the field of planetary exploration that it is an experiment in itself.  Read More
A small, magnetic clip on the back of the lamp lets you attach the Lapel Torch to your shi... Look quickly at the Snow Peak Lapel Torch and you could easily mistake it for an iPod Shuffle with an earbud hanging off. The "Shuffle" is actually a battery pack and the earbud is an LED light. A sort of headlamp alternative, the Lapel Torch is a hands-free lighting solution.  Read More
The Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset that promises to bring VR gaming into the mod...
If you've ever been to a theme park or arcade that offered any virtual reality games, you probably noticed that they were mostly terrible. A lot of the VR headsets give the effect of having a small TV inches from your face along with glitchy, headache-inducing graphics that would have looked out of date a decade ago. A company called Oculus is hoping to change all that with the Rift, a virtual reality headset that promises to bring VR gaming into the modern age with a full stereoscopic 3D display, accurate head tracking, and the backing of several prominent game developers.  Read More
A concept image of Sierra Corporation's Dream Chaser at the International Space Station (I...
Today NASA announced that it has reduced the number of companies competing to produce the first privately built and operated manned spacecraft, to three. The current competitors for the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) initiative are now Sierra Nevada Corporation (which will receive a development contract of US$212.5 million), Space Exploration Technologies (aka SpaceX, receiving $440 million) and the Boeing Company (getting $460 million). This is the third round of initiatives designed to promote the development of manned private spacecraft that will be available to the US government to fly crews to the International Space Station (ISS), as well as being available to private customers.  Read More
Newly-developed skin patches could be used to wirelessly deliver acupuncture-like treatmen...
For a good 2,000 years or so, many people have sworn by acupuncture as a means of relieving aches and pains, and treating various other disorders. In order to receive treatment, however, they have had to go to clinics and get jabbed with needles. Now, New York College of Health Professions chairman Donald Spector has created a wirelessly-controlled wearable skin patch, that he claims is able to deliver acupuncture-like treatment on demand.  Read More
The saw is good for logs up to four inches (10.1 cm) thick
The 4-in-1 Woodsman is like a Swiss Army knife for the bushy-bearded, flannel-clad set. Instead of the usual set of blades and implements, the Woodsman gives you a bigger set of tools that can turn a tree into kindling and a barren piece of woods into a campsite.  Read More
The Switch 8's screw-on tips allow for multiple charger styles and accessories
The Goal Zero Switch 8 is a lightweight, pocket-sized charger that carries enough juice to just about fully charge a cell phone.The charger can also multitask, including serving as a flashlight and UV water purifier.  Read More
After being logged in to the Maily app, children use a pop-up menu to navigate its various...
At what age should a child have an email address of their own? It's a difficult question to answer ... sure it would be nice for kids to be able to send Gran a picture they've drawn, but would they know not to trust that Nigerian prince and his offers of riches? Well, Maily might be the solution. It's an iPad app which gives children from the age of four a simple and secure email account which is managed and monitored by their parents.  Read More
Using a wireless smart socket to control the lights in your home may not be not far off
A common theme in any form of entertainment depicting the future is the use of a remote to control everything – futuristic houses are often shown with the owner turning the lights on before they even arrive. Turns out, using the internet to control our houses is not too far away. A group of researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Communication Systems ESK in Munich, in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM in Kaiserslautern, have developed a new power outlet that supports the brand-new IPv6 Internet protocol. These new outlets, known as the wireless smart socket, could very well revolutionize the way we turn things on and off in our homes.  Read More
A Siemens B75 blade in its mold Siemens has released pictures of its truly gargantuan B75 wind turbine rotor blades. As you might imagine, the prototype turbines that will use these blades boast some staggering statistics of their own (Airbuses at the ready, please).  Read More

Established Lincoln and Jaguar auto dealer Ramon Alvarez has announced the opening of a ne...
As any early adopter of consumer electric vehicles will tell you, being a clean transport pioneer might be kinder to the planet but it can cause the average wallet to suffer a seizure. Chevy's 2013 Volt, for instance, is priced at a snip under US$40,000 and Ford's Focus Electric is only a few hundred bucks cheaper, and a new Nissan Leaf is over twice the price of a new ICE-powered Dodge Dart. The owner of Lincoln and Jaguar dealerships in Riverside, California is hoping to strip away the high cost barrier to the mass adoption of electric vehicles with the opening of his first all-electric EcoCentre showroom later this month. Three EVs are to lead the charge, including a small commuter car for under $10,000.  Read More
The identification of the mechanism that causes white fat cells to become brown fat cells ...
Earlier this year, a team from UC San Francisco reported on the discovery that a class of commonly prescribed type-2 diabetes drugs, called TZDs (thiazolidinediones, such as Actos and Avandia), promoted the conversion of energy-storing white fat cells into energy-burning brown fat cells. Now researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have identified the mechanism that causes this change to take place, potentially leading to new techniques to treat obesity and type-2 diabetes.  Read More
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AmigaOne X1000
Motorola and PowerPC chip driven computers like the Amiga have widely been confined to the annals of computer history along with their perceived end note: Apple’s move to Intel chips in 2006. What happens, however, when large scale manufacture of such systems is replaced by the desire of enthusiasts to keep a dream and operating system alive? The answer is AmigaOS 4 and AmigaOne X1000.  Read More
NASA's Mars lander Curiosity has landed safely on Mars (Image: NASA)
NASA's Mars lander Curiosity has landed safely on Mars. After a 253-day voyage punctuated by a dramatic plunge through the Martian atmosphere, the nuclear-powered rover has reported to mission control that it is on the ground and systems are nominal. The landing occurred at 10:31 p.m. U.S. PDT (August 6, 05:31 GMT) plus or minus a minute. The landing site was near the base of Mount Sharp inside Gale Crater, 4.6 degrees south latitude, 137.4 degrees east longitude. This marks the beginning of a two-year mission to seek out places where life may have existed on Mars – or may yet exist today.  Read More
In 1987, science fiction authors gave their predictions of life in 2012 (Image:  Sean McGr...
As part of the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future award in 1987, a group of science fiction luminaries put together a text “time capsule” of their predictions about life in the far off year of 2012. Including such names as Orson Scott Card, Robert Silverberg, Jack Williamson, Algis Budrys and Frederik Pohl, it gives us an interesting glimpse into how those living in the age before smartphones, tablets, Wi-Fi and on-demand streaming episodes of Community thought the future might turn out.  Read More
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The Casio Paper Writer tablets have one foot in the paper past, one in the touchscreen fut...
The tablet market is growing fast. Apple is leading the way with its iPad, while a countless number of Android tablets of all shapes and sizes are being released, the Google Nexus 7 being one of the better options at present. Then there is the forthcoming Windows 8, which will see another round of tablets launched, led by Microsoft's own Surface. No manufacturer wants to be left behind, and Casio is now jumping on the proverbial bandwagon with a new range of tablets. The company recently unveiled four different models including what Casio is calling its Paper Writer tablets, which have a rather distinct selling point.  Read More
A proposal for building using lunar soil to make concrete for outposts was among the winne... A submarine glider to explore the ocean of Europa, a solid-state air purification system and a way of making concrete out of lunar soil for Moon colonies - these are a few of the 28 proposals that NASA has selected for study and development under its NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program. Part of the larger Space Technology program, NIAC is the space agency’s way of kick-starting innovation that has the potential to improve future missions, aerospace systems and other capabilities.  Read More
GameKlip in action - with Samsung phone and PS3 controller
Handheld games consoles such as the impressive PS Vita, though still popular, are in danger of being sidelined by increasingly capable smartphones and the games that are available to play on them. There is one problem with this transition however: the control system on touchscreen phones and tablets leaves a lot to be desired. Which is where GameKlip enters in to the equation.  Read More
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Stompy isn't just an overcooked fair ride though - it has practical purposes as well
Project Hexapod is aiming to make the construction of large scale robots cheaper and easier for hobbyists with Stompy - an 18 ft wide, 4,000 pound, 6-legged hydraulic robot that you can ride. The Massachusetts-based team behind the project has already made significant progress with the giant robot and are looking to raise funds to complete the ambitious build before making it "open hardware" by releasing all of the plans, diagrams and the list of materials used in the construction to anyone brave enough to build one of their own.  Read More
GM used the Brooklyn Bridge as a proving ground for its Sensor Fusion system GM has shone the spotlight on the new Driver Assist technology developed for the 2013 XTS by using the landmark Brooklyn Bridge as a proving ground.  Read More

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