New and Emerging Technology News part 229 ~ NEW GEN TECH LIFE : new generation technology news

Sunday, 23 March 2014

New and Emerging Technology News part 229

Prof. Edward Cocking, developer of the N-Fix system
Synthetic crop fertilizers are a huge source of pollution. This is particularly true when they’re washed from fields (or leach out of them) and enter our waterways. Unfortunately, most commercial crops need the fertilizer, because it provides the nitrogen that they require to survive. Now, however, a scientist at the University of Nottingham has developed what he claims is an environmentally-friendly process, that allows virtually any type of plant to obtain naturally-occurring nitrogen directly from the atmosphere.  Read More
Gizmag compares the specs (and other features) of the new 2nd-gen Nexus 7 and Samsung's Ga...
There's no shortage of budget 7-inch tablets in your local electronics store. For many people, these portable and affordable devices make for the perfect couch-laden computers. But not all are created equal. Let's take a look at one such lopsided example, as we compare the new 2nd-generation Nexus 7 with Samsung's Galaxy Tab 3 7.0.  Read More
The Ubuntu Edge is a smartphone and desktop PC in one device
The fine line between full-featured smartphone and powerful computer has been blurred with news that Canonical is developing a pocket-sized dual OS superphone that runs both Android and Ubuntu. When running Ubuntu mobile, users of the new Ubuntu Edge will be able to launch apps and access settings by swiping the edge of the display. Cabling the phone to a monitor and pairing it with a wireless keyboard and mouse allows power users to launch a full version of the Ubuntu desktop computing platform, with seamless transition between environments.  Read More
The Repair Rebel features 24 built-in tools
Last month, we heard about a quirky little multi-tool known as the Ringtool. True to its name, it’s ring-shaped, and features nine tool bits built into its outside edge (it also has a bottle opener in the middle). While it’s proven fairly popular in its Kickstarter campaign, some people just might not be satisfied with 10 tools. If you’re one of those people, you might prefer the circular 24-tool Repair Rebel.  Read More
TCL's new 4K LED TV has a price tag just under $1,000 Ultra high definition televisions are still growing slowly in the market. Generally, they are priced outside of the affordable range for most consumers, but TCL is looking to change that with the introduction of its 50-inch (127-cm) LED 4K Ultra HD TV at a US$999 price point.  Read More
Škoda's VRS Mega Man-Pram
Correct or not, some men have the impression that transporting the baby is the woman's domain. Equipment designed for baby transportation is by extension "women's gear." One European automaker decided to flip this perception on its head by creating an uprated stroller specifically for men. Now there's no excuse for a father not to take the baby for a walk.  Read More
Gizmag tries out the speedy and resilient Duratrax 835E R/C buggy
Hobbico has produced a wide range of remote-controlled vehicles over its long history, but its latest offering still managed to pique our interest. Earlier this month, when the company released the Duratrax 835E, a remote-controlled buggy that's built to handle a lot of punishment without losing its speed, we knew we had to try it out for ourselves. During the course of our review, we put it through almost any scenario we could think of and spent several hours trying our best to break it under typical circumstances. Here are the results.  Read More
Alphasat hitched a ride aboard an Ariane 5 ECA rocket, which took off from Kourou in Frenc... Europe's largest telecommunications satellite has gone into orbit following a successful launch from French Guiana on Thursday. At 8:38 p.m. GMT, Alphasat (all 6.6 tonnes of it) was picked up at Inmarsat's Beijing ground station, confirming that the satellite was operating as expected.  Read More
Left to right: the original, modified, and 3D printed armadillo figure stands on one foot ...
Sculpting in a digital environment gives you the freedom to create impossibly balanced models and gravity-defying poses, and that's all well and good until you go to 3D print it. Depending on the severity of the model's shape, size, and pose, it may need to be glued to a heavy pedestal or even modified just to remain upright. That's a headache that's going away with an ingenious software solution called Make It Stand that quickly and easily optimizes a model's internal volume to balance it out, even when posed precariously.  Read More
The first prototype
Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) have developed a remarkable drone aircraft that can also walk on land using only its wings for locomotion. Named DALER, a backronym standing for Deployable Air Land Exploration Robot, the robot is named after creator Ludovic Daler of the EPFL's Laboratory of Intelligent Systems.  Read More

Artist's concept for a slingatron space launcher to hurl payloads into space
People have been shooting things into space since the 1940s, but in every case this has involved using rockets. This works, but it’s incredibly expensive with the cheapest launch costs hovering around US$2,000 per pound. This is in part because almost every bit of the rocket is either destroyed or rendered unusable once it has put the payload into orbit. Reusable launch vehicles like the SpaceX Grasshopper offer one way to bring costs down, but another approach is to dump the rockets altogether and hurl payloads into orbit. That's what HyperV Technologies Corp. of Chantilly, Virginia is hoping to achieve with a “mechanical hypervelocity mass accelerator” called the slingatron.  Read More
Boxed, is a multi-functional and flexible piece of furniture which folds neatly into a woo... Laptops and mobile phones may have ushered in the age of the road warrior by freeing us from the confines of the office, but young Scottish designer Tyrone Stoddart has gone one step further by designing a kit that transforms a briefcase into office furniture.  Read More
The WaterBean portable water filter
It's a given that recycling waste products is a good thing. It's certainly better than sending our trash to landfill where it will sit rotting (or not, in the case of non-biodegradable waste) for decades to come. However, even better than recycling is to not create the waste in the first place. Bottled water is now big business, and more popular than ever before, but bottled water guzzles energy and creates waste that really doesn't need to be created. WaterBean offers one possible solution to the problem.  Read More
Marshall engineers hot-fire tested 3D-printed injectors at 6,000° F (Image: NASA/MSFC)
3D printing technology has already made the move from engineering workshop to the home, and now it's set to make its mark in space. NASA has hot-fire tested 3D-printed rocket engine components, which have managed to withstand incredibly high temperatures and pressures to the same standard as traditionally manufactured parts. Being cheaper and faster to produce, 3D-printed parts have the potential to revolutionize the manufacturing of rocket engine components and save the space agency considerable time and money.  Read More
Gizmag reviews the Google Chromecast, which lets you stream from a handful of services – a...
Television may be ripe for innovation, but we're still waiting for that one big product that turns the market on its head. We have various set-top boxes, led by the Apple TV and Roku, as well as video game consoles with lofty aspirations. But could something as simple as a dongle that plugs into an HDMI port be the revolution we've been waiting for? Let's find out, as Gizmag reviews the Google Chromecast.  Read More
The Hasselblad Stellar is a luxury compact camera modelled on the Sony RX100, pictured wit...
The Hasselblad Lunar mirrorless camera (essentially a pimped-out Sony Nex-7) arrived back in June to a somewhat mixed reception, but that hasn't stopped the Swedish firm rolling out a second luxury version of a Sony camera. This time it's the compact Sony RX100 which is getting the extravagant makeover. The resulting Hasselblad Stellar camera comes complete with exotic wooden hand-grips and a much higher price-tag.  Read More
Los Alamos National Laboratory, where the United States' nuclear arsenal was developed
A secret of Cold War came to light recently with Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico releasing a video tour of what was once one of the most secret and secure locations in the United States. For decades, Tunnel Vault was used to house nuclear weapon components, but the now declassified facility has now become an artifact of the Dr. Strangelove age.  Read More
Gizmag reviews the updated 2013 version of Google's Nexus 7, the first tablet to combine a...
A couple of years ago, Amazon changed the tablet market when it released the Kindle Fire, with its small screen and even smaller price tag. A few months later, Apple took our eyes to a luxurious spa when it launched the high-resolution iPad with Retina Display. But what we've been really waiting for is a tablet that combines that smaller price and form factor with a pixel-rich display. Well, that day has finally come, in the form of the second-generation Nexus 7. Is it really the best of both worlds? Read on, as Gizmag reviews the 2013 Nexus 7.  Read More
The Canary security system is controlled by a smartphone app
According to the US Justice Department, people who live in rented homes are more likely to be burgled. In part, this is may be because flat dwellers aren't generally allowed to install security systems. As an alternative to teaching the hamster to bark, the Canary aims to put a complete security system into a self-contained, plug-and-play container that can be controlled by a smartphone app.  Read More
Shark expert and marine biologist Luke Tipple navigated through shark infested waters
A convertible shark cage may be a complete oxymoron, but Volkswagen and partners have built one for Discovery Channel's upcoming Shark Week. More than just a stationary exhibit, the shark cage is a functioning watercraft with impressive capabilities. Gizmag talked to Luke Tipple, the marine biologist, shark diving expert and TV personality responsible for building and driving the craft, to find out more about what it's like to scooter around shark-infested waters in a skeletal Beetle ragtop.  Read More

The Holovision projector is designed to produce a life-size image of a person
Close on the heels of the 21st century complaint of “Where’s my jetpack?” is “Where’s my holographic projector?”. Nothing spells “future” like having a conversation with someone whose life-size image is beamed into the room. Provision of Chatsworth, California wants to bring that one step closer to reality, with its Holovision life-size holographic projector. The company is currently running a Kickstarter campaign aimed at raising US$950,000 to fund the development of new technology for the projector, with hopes of unveiling it next year.  Read More
The recently-unveiled Datsun GO Back in 1986, the Nissan Motor Company phased out the Datsun brand name, after having owned that company since 1934. Last year, however, Nissan announced that it would be reviving the name for a new line of economy vehicles. This month, the first of those cars was unveiled in Delhi, India – the Datsun GO.  Read More
The UpWrite sitting or standing desk features a whiteboard surface Anyone who works from home knows just important a good desk is. While tons of desks are available on the market, the UpWrite is fully adjustable between sitting and standing, and it comes with a whiteboard surface. This means users can jot notes down as they work without worrying about ruining their desktop.  Read More
The complete Aeromapper X5 package
While we’re seeing an increasing amount of aerial mapping being performed by purpose-built drone aircraft, a lot of people are no doubt still leery of remotely-piloting what is essentially a little airplane. With such people in mind, Canada’s Aeromao has recently released its Aeromapper X5. The drone is launched by hand, flies and takes photos autonomously, then parachutes back down to the ground.  Read More
A recent optical disc archive system from Sony Technology giants Sony and Panasonic are joining forces to create a single optical disc with 300 GB of capacity by 2015. Both companies have developed their own high capacity optical disc technology in the past, and the joint venture will aim to create a new format to target large amounts of storage for corporations, though it could be introduced into the consumer market as well.  Read More
The WigWag sensor and its iPhone application Life automation is a concept that is really growing lately. All kinds of products designed to connect our homes and businesses and make mundane tasks automatic are hitting the market, and many of them are seeing fast adoption from users. WigWag is another device with that goal, and it has some distinct features that its creators hope will help it stand tall above others on the market.  Read More
A test run of the Oculus Rift FPV
Ever since the first developer kits for the Oculus Rift began shipping, a number of creative types have been combining the VR goggles with other devices to form entirely new experiences. While most of these have done a good job of immersing users in virtual environments, the latest project from Intuitive Aerial could provide a unique perspective on the real world. The project, called Oculus Rift FPV, allows a pilot to control a UAV while wearing the VR headset, giving them a 360-degree, bird's-eye view without ever leaving the ground.  Read More
The Wind Vault House (Photo: Jeremy San)
Keeping cool in tropical Singapore can be a challenge, even if one chooses to turn expensive and wasteful air-conditioning up to full. Therefore, when Wallflower Architecture and Design created the Wind Vault House on the island city state, the company installed a carefully-considered passive cooling system.  Read More
The TouchKeys system brings multitouch sound control to piano-style keyboards
The TouchKeys multitouch musical keyboard comprises capacitive sensing strips stuck to the upper surface of each key, circuit boards housed within the host instrument that collect all the sensor data, and some custom software running on a connected computer. The system can be paired with any software or synthesizer capable of understanding MIDI or OSC, with the movement of the fingers controlling the kind of sounds produced. Dr Andrew McPherson now plans to make the fruits of this university research project available to other musicians by offering self-install TouchKeys kits to crowdfunders.  Read More
Here's how to jailbreak Apple TV and get access to more content than you could ever watch ...
Compared to other media set-top boxes, the Apple TV can appear somewhat limited. Out of the box it offers a limited number of channel apps and, unless you're invested in the Apple ecosystem, its AirPlay features are marginal at best. But the good news is you can get more content (a lot more), and additional functionality out of your Apple TV 2 with a simple jailbreak. It allows you to install popular apps like XBMC that make it easier to stream digital content throughout your home network. You're also able to find hundreds of internet channels like you'd find on a Roku.  Read More
 
EP Tender range-extender system
While electric vehicle charging networks continue to evolve and expand, there is another approach to reducing range anxiety: taking the charger with you. The EP Tender range-extender system is designed to give an extra lease of life to EV batteries with the addition of a trailer mounted generator system.  Read More
Farm 432 is a device for kitchens that continually breeds and collects fly larva as a rene...
Flies are usually considered unwelcome guests in the kitchen, but one industrial designer is aiming to turn them into a renewable food source. Katharina Unger's Farm 432 concept is a fly-breeding device for home use that continually collects fly larva as a protein source for less squeamish diners. As unappetizing as it may sound, the designer hopes that convincing the Western world to add insects to its diet could help increase the planet's overall food supply.  Read More
A six-axes robotic arm allows the printer to follow 3D vector-based toolpaths
The additive layer process of conventional 3D printers means they are usually limited to bottom up fabrication on three axes. The Mataerial printer managed to defy gravity by using a quick-solidifying print material, but now the LA-based NSTRMNT team led by Brian Harms, a Masters student at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, has created a 3D printing process called suspended disposition that gets around gravity by printing objects within a gel. Not only does this allow freeform additive fabrication on six axes, it also enables an "undo" function.  Read More
Gizmag compares the specs (and other features) of the new Google Chromecast and the 3rd-ge...
If you're shopping for a TV streaming device, you have quite a few options, ranging from set-top-boxes to game consoles. But where does Google's new Chromecast fit into the mix? We know it's cheap (US$35), but is it a legit rival to, say, the Apple TV? Read on, as we compare the two different approaches to the 21st century living room.  Read More
One of the Tandem prototypes hits the water
While it can be fun canoeing with another person, there is one problem with the setup of a traditional canoe – the front passenger has to turn around in order to see the back passenger’s face. British engineer Joe Rutland decided to do something about that, so he designed the Tandem canoe. Not only do the two passengers sit facing each other, but instead of paddling the boat, they pedal it.  Read More
The BMW i3 is set to hit the road in November
After years of prototypes and testing, BMW has pulled the silken cloth off the i3, its first all-electric car and the first member of its "i" sub-brand of green cars. The global premiere was a triple-city affair, taking place simultaneously in Beijing, London and New York. The US$42,000 electric hatchback employs some of BMW's most advanced technologies to date.  Read More
Modern tech can help keep pets safe and healthy
Human beings aren’t the only ones donning ever-more powerful wearable electronic devices. Our four-legged friends have an increasing array of smart collars from which to choose. Two cases in point are the Whistle, an exercise tracker for your pooch, and Tagg, a GPS tracker designed to ensure your beloved pet doesn’t end up in the lost dogs’ home.  Read More
The right eyepieces can help you get more out of your starter telescope (Image: Shuttersto...
OK, so you've put your hands on a decent starter telescope. We're not talking about one of the cheap 50 mm aperture "department store" scopes, but a good quality 4 to 6-inch aperture scope. You've seen this and that in the night skies, and now you want a bit of an upgrade. Here's Gizmag's guide to getting there as easily as possible, without having to buy a new telescope.  Read More
Outdoor Technology's Armadillo speaker Outdoor Technology has been growing its line of wireless audio products quite steadily. After success on Kickstarter, it launched its funky Turtle Shell speaker last year? It showed off several new wireless headphones and speakers at CE Week last month and is preparing to launch the Armadillo speaker, which doubles the size and intensity of the Turtle.  Read More
The mochibag is a new take on the tried and true drawstring backpack Drawstring backpacks can be incredibly useful, but the way their cords behave can be troublesome. The team at mochilabs set out to fix this with its new design that aims to keep the drawstrings even and balanced.  Read More

The Visio.M electric car used in the TUM project
Thanks to efforts of groups such as Google, Oxford University, BMW and Continental, we’re getting closer and closer to the advent of autonomous cars – vehicles that drive themselves, with the human “driver” pretty much just along as a passenger. Researchers at Germany’s Technische Universität München (TUM), however, are looking at taking things a step further. They’re developing remote-control cars that could travel along city streets with no one in them at all, their operator located somewhere far away.  Read More
The Astro3 12,000-mAh external battery from Anker
Having your smartphone battery die on you just when you need it most has to be one of today's top annoyances, particularly when you're miles from a wall socket. Anker has just released a pocket-friendly backup battery pack with enough juice to charge up most modern phones six or seven times before needing a refill. The Astro3 sports three USB output ports, one of which can auto-identify the connected device and charge it at its full speed.  Read More
The Weye Feye can give many DSLRs a Wi-Fi boost, enabling remote shooting and sharing via ...
As more Wi-Fi-enabled cameras become available, it's easy to think yours is out of date if it doesn't have this ability. But the Weye Feye is a new device which aims to bring older DSLRs into the wireless age. Generating its own Wi-Fi network, the device can be accessed by Android and iOS devices for remote shooting, complete with manual controls and Live View.  Read More
One of the silk implants used in the study
The group of neurological disorders known as epilepsy not only cause disruptive, alarming seizures, but those seizures also tend to increase in frequency and severity over time. While the majority of patients can gain some control of their condition via medication or surgery, approximately 30 percent cannot. Now, however, help may be on the way ... in the form of tiny pieces of silk implanted in the brain.  Read More
The Bharathi Antarctic research station (Photo: bof artchitekten)
India's National Center For Antarctic And Ocean Research has commissioned a brand new research station, which has been installed in the Larsmann Hills section of northeast Antarctica. The 2,500 sq m (27,000 sq ft) Bharathi Indian Polar Station was constructed using shipping containers, and allows scientists to conduct their work in safety, despite the punishing local weather conditions.  Read More
The X-Arcade Solo features nine buttons for authentic arcade play
Back in 2009 we reviewed X-Arcade's Dual Joystick, and now the company is bringing out a single version of the device for players who don't want to share with friends. Just like a real arcade machine, the X-Arcade Solo Joystick is built to take a beating, so players can have a blast getting an authentic experience from their games without worrying about breaking anything.  Read More
A sample of Upsalite
In an effort to create a more viable material for drug delivery, a team of researchers has accidentally created an entirely new material thought for more than 100 years to be impossible to make. Upsalite is a new form of non-toxic magnesium carbonate with an extremely porous surface area which allows it to absorb more moisture at low humidities than any other known material. "The total area of the pore walls of one gram of material would cover 800 square meters (8611 sq ft) if you would 'roll them out'", Maria Strømme, Professor of Nanotechnology at the Uppsala University, Sweden tells Gizmag. That's roughly equal to the sail area of a megayacht. Aside from using substantially less energy to create drier environments for producing electronics, batteries and pharmaceuticals, Upsalite could also be used to clean up oil spills, toxic waste and residues.  Read More
The 3D printed Haptic Feedback Shift Knob and internal workings
Harnessing the power of Ford’s open-source platform OpenXC, 3D printing, Bluetooth and a Xbox 360, one of the Detroit automobile manufacturer’s engineers has created a manual shift gear knob that vibrates (haptic feedback) at the optimum time for a gear change.  Read More
When crowdfunding fails, it can fail badly (Photo: Brian A Jackson/Shutterstock)
A Kickstarter pitch for an old school board game wouldn't ordinarily make it onto the pages of Gizmag. But despite its initial success, Erik Chevalier's campaign for The Doom That Came to Atlantic City has been such an unmitigated disaster that it serves as an essential reminder to those thinking of backing crowdfunding campaigns that they do so at their own risk.  Read More
The battery is designed to even out power from renewable sources such as wind (Photo: Jon ...
Europe's largest battery is to undergo testing in the UK, where it will be used to store and regulate energy generated from renewable sources such as wind and solar power, The Guardian reports. The lithium manganese battery, developed by S&C Electric Europe, Samsung SDI and Younicos, will be capable of storing up to 10 MWh of energy.  Read More

 

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