2006-12-27

Disappearing world: Global warming claims tropical island

Rising seas, caused by global warming, have for the first time
washed an inhabited island off the face of the Earth. The obliteration
of Lohachara island, in India's part of the Sundarbans where the Ganges
and the Brahmaputra rivers empty into the Bay of Bengal, marks the
moment when one of the most apocalyptic predictions of
environmentalists and climate scientists has started coming true.







As the seas continue to swell, they will swallow whole island nations,
from the Maldives to the Marshall Islands, inundate vast areas of
countries from Bangladesh to Egypt, and submerge parts of scores of
coastal cities.


Eight years ago, as exclusively reported in The Independent on
Sunday, the first uninhabited islands - in the Pacific atoll nation of
Kiribati - vanished beneath the waves. The people of low-lying islands
in Vanuatu, also in the Pacific, have been evacuated as a precaution,
but the land still juts above the sea. The disappearance of Lohachara,
once home to 10,000 people, is unprecedented.

http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/article2099971.ece





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2006-12-20

Epson cranks out "world's smallest" GPS module

Apparently Epson is hoping that small is in, as the firm is pumping out yet another "world's smallest" object, and this time it's a wee-sized GPS
module. Crafted specifically for tiny applications like mobile
handsets, the S4E19863 measures just 7- x 6- x 1.28-millimeters and
purportedly holds the title for "world's smallest GPS chip." Already
available in NTT DoCoMo's FOMA 903i
series, Epson has begun shipping these things in bulk, hoping to add
GPS functionality to other miniscule handsets as well. Built to receive
even the faintest signals indoors and out, the chip also boasts
"3GPP-compliant positioning modes (MS-Based, MS-Assisted and
Autonomous)" to offer greater compatibility across the board. Plus, we
bet it's just a matter of time before these tiny positioning modules
are up and running in some streamlined dog collar for the "anxious pet owner" crowd.



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2006-11-29

Living in an Urban Cactus

Article PhotoA Dutch architecture firm called ucx recently presented a new concept for a high-rise apartment building on the waterfront in Rotterdam. The biomorphic tower resembles a tall cactus, with nineteen vertical stories set in a rotating pattern such that all ninety-eight residential units get their fair share of sunlight. The floors extend well beyond the interior spaces, providing ample terraces, which as the rendering shows, lend themselves to plenty of greenery right outside the door.

As Inhabitat points out, it's hard to tell whether the design has fully embraced the potential ecological benefits of succulent gardens running down all sides of the building -- such as rainwater collection and on-site irrigation sources -- but if the architects haven't taken that leap, at least it's a natural one for individual occupants to gravitate towards.

article





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2006-11-21

A Guitar Amp in the Palm of Your Hand


Baby blue and beautiful, Zachary Vex's $460 Nano Head brings
portability somewhere it's rarely expected: tube amplification.
Offering a 1/2 watt of power, just plug in your axe, plug in your
speakers, and yes,
you're live. It even operates from a 12v lead-acid battery. Zachary
talks a lot o' jargon, but promises you'll be stunned by its apparent
volume:Nanoheadguitaramp_small_1
This amp is voiced to deliver classic rock tone, with
a very high level of crunch available if it's wanted. Just crank the
volume knob around to the level of distortion you desire, from a very
quiet (one tenth watt) clean mode to a micro-Marshall (TM) blast when
cranked up. I am making myself a little ill (gag!) trying to describe
the tone of my Nano, using the same tired old phrases that all the amp
and distortion box makers use, but I think it's true... it does a great
job of emulating big amps at very reasonable volumes, which makes it
exceptionally nice for recording.


For shame, this box is of no use to me: whatever prior understanding
you may have of musical incompetence, it is no preparation whatsoever
for hearing my abysmal strumming. If you're looking for a portable way
to steal the souls of farty speakers in gloomy Irish pubs, however,
here is your Stormbringer.





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How To: Foil Wiretaps at Home

Think the Feds might be jacked into your home line?
Well, there’s no need to skulk down to the corner pay phone to
conduct your business. All you need is a C note. University of
Pennsylvania computer science professor Matt Blaze ­dissected the
wiretap equipment commonly used by law enforcement and found a few, um,
bugs. Spies, it turns out, don’t like to record dead air, so they
turn the system off by playing a special C-pitched tone when the target
phone is hung up. As a result, anyone with an MP3 player and a recorded
C can prevent eavesdroppers from snooping on their private chatter. It
doesn’t work with all listening devices, though, so there’s
no guarantee the NSA won’t come calling.







1. You’re starting to get the creepy feeling you’re being watched – or rather listened to.













2. Download Blaze’s C tone (www.crypto.com/papers/wiretapping)
and broadcast it continuously during phone calls. You can play the tone
at low volume so it just seems like ambient room noise.













3. Don’t stop there – befuddle your
foes. Play the C for a second in the middle of a call, then without
hanging up, dial another number. Analog wiretap systems will interpret
this as a new call. You may be chatting with a friend, but now the
spooks think you’re talking to Domino’s.



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Drawing like Pollock


Draw like Pollock
Move your mouse and watch what happens!

2006-11-20

Paintball minigun in development, paintball BFG still on drawing board






To be honest, we're not that big on paintball except for when robots or tanks are involved, but special effects man Rick Galinson (of Snakes on a Plane
fame, no less) has managed to peak our interest with the sheer
badassness of his latest project. He's currently in the process of
creating a room-clearing paintball minigun and, as the video on his
site shows, he's made some impressive progress. While it can't actually
shoot paintballs yet, its 1200 psi of pressure is more than enough to
provide an effective and, frankly, scary demonstration with nothing but
air. Unfortunately, Rick hasn't given any indication when he expects to
finish the thing, but we're guessing that he's gonna keep it for
himself when he does; lets just hope that whoever has to stare down the
barrel(s) of this thing knows what they're in for.





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2006-11-09

Congress Tells Auditor in Iraq to Close Office

November 3, 2006, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/03/world/middleeast/03reconstruct.html

Investigations led by a Republican lawyer named Stuart W. Bowen Jr. in Iraq have sent American occupation officials to jail on bribery and conspiracy charges, exposed disastrously poor construction work by well-connected companies like Halliburton and Parsons, and discovered that the military did not properly track hundreds of thousands of weapons it shipped to Iraqi security forces. And tucked away in a huge military authorization bill that President Bush signed two weeks ago is what some of Mr. Bowen�s supporters believe is his reward for repeatedly embarrassing the administration: a pink slip. An obscure provision...terminates his federal oversight agency, the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. The clause was inserted by the Republican side of the House Armed Services Committee. It has generated surprise and some outrage among lawmakers who say they had no idea it was in the final legislation. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican who followed the bill closely as chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, says that she still does not know how the provision made its way into what is called the conference report, which reconciles differences between House and Senate versions of a bill. Neither the House nor the Senate version contained such a termination clause before the conference, all involved agree. Mr. Bowen�s office has 55 auditors and inspectors in Iraq and about 300 reports and investigations already to its credit, far outstripping any other oversight agency in the country.

2006-11-06

'Flashy' New Process Turns Soy Oil, Glucose Into Hydrogen

Anyone who's overheated vegetable oil or sweet syrup knows that neither oil nor sugar evaporates--oil smokes and turns brown, sugar turns black, and both leave a nasty film of carbon on the cookware.

Now, a University of Minnesota team has invented a "reactive flash volatilization process" that heats oil and sugar about a million times faster than you can in your kitchen and produces hydrogen and carbon monoxide, a mixture called synthesis gas, or syngas, because it is used to make chemicals and fuels, including gasoline. The new process works 10 to 100 times faster than current technology, with no input of fossil fuels and in reactors at least 10 times smaller than current models. The work could significantly improve the efficiency of fuel production from renewable energy sources. It will be published Nov. 3 in Science.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061103083833.htm

2006-09-12

Why viral stowaways are a baby’s best friend - health - 12 September 2006 - New Scientist

Why viral stowaways are a baby’s best friend - health - 12 September 2006 - New Scientist: "Harmless viruses apparently stowed away for millions of years in the DNA of mammals have proved to be more than idle passengers.

New research in live sheep has demonstrated for the first time that they help embryos change shape, implant themselves in the womb and grow a placenta. The same almost certainly happens in other mammals, including humans, they say.

The findings provide new insights into how so-called endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) and mammals evolved together to the mutual advantage of both. ERVs typically account for 8% to 10% of the DNA in most mammals, including humans.

Far from being relics of infection dumped in the genetic equivalent of an attic, these viruses are turning out to play an active role in the way mammals develop and survive. Besides the role in pregnancy identified by the new research, they are already reckoned to help protect against harmful viruses, a role that could open up new avenues of medical treatment.

iBreath, your iPod-powered breathalyzer

iBreath, your iPod-powered breathalyzer: "Filed under: Misc. Gadgets, Portable AudioYou know that people are trying to jump on the iPod bandwagon when someone releases a breathalyzer that connects to the ubiquitous music player. Yes, David Steele Enterprises (no, not that David Steel) has just released an iBreath ($50, black or white color), a small device to plug into the dock connector of your iPod. Sticking out of the side of the device is the breathalyzer tube, and within five seconds it'll read out your blood alchohol content level, accurate to within 0.01 BAC -- oh and if that wasn't enough, it doubles as an FM transmitter for your car stereo. That just leaves us with one burning question: will Mr. Steele be sending one to recently DUIed Paris Hilton?

Google Reader

Google ReaderWhile mixin' it up iPod-style has certainly been done before, MusicJam is looking to combine the simplest of mixer functions with a karaoke machine in its aptly-named iPod Mixer. Essentially, this device allows you to add your own vocals and guitar riffs to the tune currently playing on your iPod, which could definitely bring out the "one man band" in any musician. The mixer sports an iPod dock (presumably compatible with the iPod with video only), microphone / guitar inputs, volume sliders, tone / distortion controls, RCA outputs, and even attempts to replicate that on-stage allure by touting echo / sustain options for your vocs. The company also throws in a microphone, mic clamp, and cabling to get you warmed up, and includes "KaraokeVideos" software to turn any jam into an iPod-compatible karaoke vid. While the quality here is certainly questionable, it looks to be a solid addition to your Korg-infused Les Paul, and hey, getting you fully prepped for that karaoke circuit will only set you back $229.

2006-09-11

gizmag Article: Custom Designed Mermaid Suit

gizmag Article: Custom Designed Mermaid Suit: "If you've got a thing about Darryl Hannah and the movie 'Splash', this offering from the 2003 Neiman Marcus Christmas Book could be the ideal plaything. It's a mermaid outfit. And not just any one-size-fits-all fish-tail, but a custom designed suit by Thom Shouse, who has more than 20 years of experience creating mermaid suits for film and television.The US$10,000 mermaid package included in the Neiman Marcus Chrstmas Book included a consultation and custom fitting for the suit (complete with faux-pearl accented shell top), training for how to swim with a tail covering the hips and legs and instructions on how to maintain this unique pool accessory.

2006-09-10

How to: hook up a hard drive to your Nintendo DS

How to: hook up a hard drive to your Nintendo DS: "Filed under: GamingWe'll forever be in awe of people like Alexei Karpenko, a modder who one day 'decided to do a quick IDE to GBAMP hack'. That's right -- as a casual aside, Alexei hooked up a hard drive to his Nintendo DS via a GameBoy cartridge originally designed to play short movies from a CompactFlash card. The hack is apparently possible due to similarities between the CF interface and that of standard IDE hard drives: Alexei simply soldered the correct pins onto a 40GB disk and connected it to a 11.1 volt battery and 5 volt DC-to-DC converter. As you can see, the unwieldy setup isn't much of a PSP rival (remember, that second 'P' stands for portable), but the mere fact that it's at all possible will undoubtedly impress your inner geek.

2006-09-08

Disappearing act (September 2006) - Physics World - PhysicsWeb

Disappearing act (September 2006) - Physics World - PhysicsWeb: "Invisibility has inspired countless myths, novels and films – most recently involving Harry Potter. It is important to realize, however, that invisibility is not the same as transparency. H G Wells’ Invisible Man, for instance, makes himself transparent by inventing a recipe to make his refractive index uniform so that light cannot be scattered or absorbed in his body. In contrast, the Invisible Woman character creates a field that distorts space a bit like the way in which Einstein’s gravitational field warps space–time. Her field is cunningly designed to smoothly guide light around her so that she remains hidden whatever she does. In the September issue of Physics World, Ulf Leonhardt and Thomas Philbin describe how this approach to invisibility has allowed a team led by John Pendry of Imperial College in the UK, and, independently, Leonhardt himself to develop the scientific concepts for a bona fide invisibility device.

Almost certain escape from a black hole (September 2006) - Physics World - PhysicsWeb

Almost certain escape from a black hole (September 2006) - Physics World - PhysicsWeb: "Recent theoretical results have overturned the long-held notion that information cannot escape from a black hole, explains Seth Lloyd.

2006-09-07

United States Patent Application: 0060195313

United States Patent Application: 0060195313: Here [to be] the latest egregious patent application.
Microsoft [to be] [to apply] for a patent for [to conjugate] verbs.

A verb conjugating system allows a user to input a form of a verb and display the verb forms. The verb conjugating system allows the user to input the infinitive form or non-infinitive forms of a verb. When a user inputs a non-infinitive form of a verb, the verb conjugating system identifies a corresponding base form of the verb. The verb conjugating system then uses the base form to retrieve and display the verb forms for the verb. The verb conjugating system may highlight the non-infinitive form of the verb within the displayed verb forms to assist the user in locating the verb form of interest."

2006-09-06

Nanoscientists Create Biological Switch From Spinach Molecule

Nanoscientists Create Biological Switch From Spinach Molecule: "Nanoscientists have transformed a molecule of chlorophyll-a from spinach into a complex biological switch that has possible future applications for green energy, technology and medicine.

2006-09-01

Record your xtreem exploits with Elmo's SUV-Cam

Record your xtreem exploits with Elmo's SUV-Cam: "Filed under: Digital Cameras
If one of your stoner friends is planning on emulating something they might see in Jackass 2, and they'd rather not have a camera involved that happens to be as fragile as their spine, you might want to recommend the new SUV-Cam from Elmo. Not only is the camera unit waterproof, but it snakes away from the recorder unit for easier positioning and extra durability. The recorder features a 2.2-inch LCD and stores vids via SD card, but only boasts two hours of battery life, so we suppose Elmo figures you'll either be dead or worn-out by you xtreem tasks before you use all the juice. The best news is that the camera features a 440,000 pixel CCD, and records 25fps at a 704 x 480 resolution, so you won't have to trade off as much quality as usual to bring your camera to the action. Unfortunately, the SUV-Cam has a price to match its feature set: ¥88,900, about $761 USD.

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility: News Releases

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility: News Releases: "Washington, DC — Prosecution of polluters by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency “will be compromised” due to the loss of “timely, correct and accessible” information from the agency’s closure of its network of technical libraries, according to an internal memo released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). EPA enforcement staff currently rely upon the libraries to obtain technical information to support pollution prosecutions and to track the business histories of regulated industries.

In a memo prepared last week by the enforcement arm of EPA, called the Office of Enforcement and Compliance (OECA), agency staff detailed concerns about the effects of EPA’s plans to close many of its libraries, box up the collections and eliminate or sharply reduce library services. Each year, EPA’s libraries handle more than 134,000 research requests from its own scientific and enforcement staff.

Bush Nixes Public Access to EPA Libraries!

Bush Nixes Public Access to EPA Libraries!: "What has been termed, "positively Orwellian", by PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, is indeed frightening. It seems that the self-appointed "Decider", George W. Bush, has decided to "end public access to research materials" at EPA Regional libraries without Congressional consent. In an all out effort to impede research and public access, Bush has implemented a loosely covert operation to close down 26 technical libraries under the guise of a budgetary constraint move. Scientists are protesting, but at least 15 of the libraries will be closed by Sept. 30, 2006.

Public access to EPA libraries and collections will end as soon as possible", according to a report found online at PEER, an acronym for Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. All total, nearly 80,000 documents, not in digital format, are being boxed up and placed in infinite limbo status by the Bush Administration. The scene from the Raiders of the Lost Ark, where the Ark of the Covenant was wheeled into a massive sea of identical box crates, inside an enormous warehouse, comes vividly to mind.

2006-08-28

Nanowire arrays can detect signals along individual neurons

Nanowire arrays can detect signals along individual neurons: "Opening a whole new interface between nanotechnology and neuroscience, scientists at Harvard University have used slender silicon nanowires to detect, stimulate, and inhibit nerve signals along the axons and dendrites of live mammalian neurons.

Harvard chemist Charles M. Lieber and colleagues report on this marriage of nanowires and neurons this week in the journal Science.

'We describe the first artificial synapses between nanoelectronic devices and individual mammalian neurons, and also the first linking of a solid-state device -- a nanowire transistor -- to the neuronal projections that interconnect and carry information in the brain,' says Lieber, the Mark Hyman Jr. Professor of Chemistry in Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences. 'These extremely local devices can detect, stimulate, and inhibit propagation of neuronal signals with a spatial resolution unmatched by existing techniques.'

Scientists Find Memory Molecule

Scientists Find Memory Molecule: "Scientists at SUNY Downstate Medical Center have discovered a molecular mechanism that maintains memories in the brain. In an article in Science magazine, they demonstrate that by inhibiting the molecule they can erase long-term memories, much as you might erase a computer disc.

Furthermore, erasing the memory from the brain does not prevent the ability to re-learn the memory, much as a cleaned computer disc may be re-used. This finding may some day have applications in treating chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, and memory loss, among other conditions.

Michael Geist - 30 Days of DRM

Michael Geist - 30 Days of DRM: "Starting tomorrow, I plan to spend the thirty days before the House of Commons reconvenes to highlight some of the exceptions and limitations that should be included in the event that a Canadian DMCA is introduced. Each day, I will post a new provision, focusing broadly on marketplace concerns, public protection, and fair circumvention. The postings will be collected on a single page to form a compilation of DRM policy issues. Moreover, I'm launching a wiki that will start with the postings and will hopefully grow as interested readers add examples and additional perspectives."

Katrina, one year later

Katrina, One Year Later

10,000 Reasons Civilization is Doomed

10,000 Reasons Civilization is Doomed

2006-08-04

Meraki Mini WiFi router also does mesh

Meraki Mini WiFi router also does mesh: "Just because WiFi's like, so over doesn't mean you can't spice it up a bit, say, maybe with some mesh networking? Borne of MIT Roofnet project heritage and part time consultants on the OLPC (no doubt regarding its mesh networking system), startup Meraki's forthcoming Mini wireless router stands to make some waves (har) when it's out of beta. Intended to cost a mere fifty bucks when it's finished being developed, the Meraki Mini will provide not only the vanilla 802.11b/g access we're all so accustomed to but will also act as a node in a wireless mesh network capable of providing a viable wireless backbone, pushing out the reaches of muni WiFi networks, or even starting up a pirate pay-for-use Hotspot zone. Mesh-enabled WiFi rollouts are not a new concept, but at $50 apiece things start to change for the companies charging hundreds for their devices -- and change even more when you make the hackable, semi-open source WiFi mesh devices available to your everyday consumer.

2006-07-25

Brainy Robots Start Stepping Into Daily Life - New York Times

Brainy Robots Start Stepping Into Daily Life - New York Times: "Robot cars drive themselves across the desert, electronic eyes perform lifeguard duty in swimming pools and virtual enemies with humanlike behavior battle video game players.

These are some fruits of the research field known as artificial intelligence, where reality is finally catching up to the science-fiction hype. A half-century after the term was coined, both scientists and engineers say they are making rapid progress in simulating the human brain, and their work is finding its way into a new wave of real-world products.

2006-07-19

ScienceDaily: Team Invents Fast, Flexible Computer Chips On Plastic

ScienceDaily: Team Invents Fast, Flexible Computer Chips On Plastic: "Team Invents Fast, Flexible Computer Chips On Plastic

New thin-film semiconductor techniques invented by University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers promise to add sensing, computing and imaging capability to an amazing array of materials.

Electrical and Computer Engineering Graduate Student Hao-Chih Yuan holds a sample of a semiconductor film on plastic. (Image courtesy of University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Historically, the semiconductor industry has relied on flat, two-dimensional chips upon which to grow and etch the thin films of material that become electronic circuits for computers and other electronic devices. But as thin as those chips might seem, they are quite beefy in comparison to the result of a new UW-Madison semiconductor fabrication process detailed in the current issue of the Journal of Applied Physics.

Sigma's USB/audio hub

Sigma's USB/audio hub: "Filed under: Peripherals
Japanese gadget maker Sigma have come up with a slightly different take on the lowly USB hub, adding audio capabilities to the mix. In addition to three USB 2.0 ports, the device includes jacks for headphones, speakers, and a microphone, along with a button that'll let you switch between them on the fly. What's more, if Google's translation tools are to be trusted, it appears that the device effectively acts as a sound card as well, which may be good for some people, but probably not those who've invested in a high-end card for their PC. On the upside, the device doesn't require any drivers, although it'll only work with Windows.

Rethinking Ads on Plastic Bags, Part II

Rethinking Ads on Plastic Bags, Part II: "So, you have probably seen all those already, but I thought I'd pull them together for reference. The post will be updated as more designs come in.

A bag for something call Blush (a magazine?).
A design for Panadol painkiller.
A bag for Panten shampoo.
A 'help children with autism' bag.

2006-07-18

Molecular DNA Switch Found To Be The Same For All Life

Molecular DNA Switch Found To Be The Same For All Life: "Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley have shown that the core machinery for initiating DNA replication is the same for all three domains of life -- Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya.

Build your own iPod Hi-Fi

Build your own iPod Hi-Fi: "Filed under: Household, PeripheralsThe iPod Hi-Fi could be considered a tad profligate (or at least a bit superfluous), but that doesn't suggest it's not desired by the iPod faithful. For those of you who've lusted after Apple's big white boombox but just couldn't produce the coin required to own your own, we've got a solution for you. A clever DIY'er has taken a pair of old school Mac Classic cases and constructed his own version of an iPod sound system; the self-proclaimed Hi-Fi mini performs similar duties, but has a few choice extras omitted from the original: external speaker hook-ups, 'real' stereo separation, and the not-quite-RIAA-approved 'Dr Mesh,' installed in the unit's former floppy drive slot to prevent others from symbolically stealing songs 400k at a time. We have no idea the sound quality of these things, but and one-upping Apple at their own game with a dash each of irony and retro has to be worth something, right?

2006-07-13

Painton semiconductor outperforms chips

Painton semiconductor outperforms chips: "Researchers at the University of Toronto have created a semiconductor device that outperforms today's conventional chips -- and they made it simply by painting a liquid onto a piece of glass. The finding, which represents the first time a so-called 'wet' semiconductor device has bested traditional, more costly grown-crystal semiconductor devices, is reported in the July 13 issue of the journal Nature.

2006-07-08

The Bumpbrella

The Bumpbrella: "July 9, 2006 If you’ve ever been there, you’ll know the dangers – a crowded city footpath on a wet day during rush hour. Dodging hundreds of probing, rapier-like and potentially eyeball-piercing umbrella tips is not fun and thanks to RKS Design, it’s now avoidable. The Bumpbrella is an inflatable umbrella that utilizes a bicycle pump mechanism in the handle. By pumping, it inflates into an umbrella that one can see through, thereby protecting you against the elements and from getting poked by another umbrella. While we're on the subject of RKS Design, the company web site is worth a look if you're into innovative thought - from measuring cups that would enhance any kitchen through to guitars that are used by the likes of Rickie Lee Jones, Ron Wood and Dave Mason, RKS is an impressive outfit.

Simply Stunning

Simply Stunning: "NASA Releases Movie of STS-121 Solid Rocket Booster Separation As Viewed From A Camera On A SRB

NASA has released a stunning movie taken of Space Shuttle Discovery as it drops its Solid Rocket Boosters taken by a camera located on one of those boosters.

2006-07-03

USB mini paper shredder

USB mini paper shredder: "Filed under: Misc. GadgetsSo you're the type who must be ready to purge all trace of your existence at a moment's notice, eh? Then check it secret agent man, 'cause USB Geek, as only they can, are offering the USB mini Paper Shredder and, uh, letter opener for those of you given a number without a name. Capable of throating 4.8-inch wide paper and shredding it to 0.13-inch bits, this pup can be powered off USB or even 4 x AA batteries when you need a bit more disposal oomph. Get your $32 pre-order in now 'cause odds are, you won't live to see tomorrow.


"

2006-06-30

Rice Scientists Make First Nanoscale pH Meter

Rice Scientists Make First Nanoscale pH Meter: "Using unique nanoparticles that convert laser light into useful information, Rice University scientists have created the world's first nano-sized pH meter. The discovery, which appears online this week in the journal Nano Letters, presents biologists with the first potential means of measuring accurate pH changes over a wide pH range in real-time inside living tissue and cells.

2006-06-28

gizmag Article: The flight of the Manta Ray

gizmag Article: The flight of the Manta Ray: "June 27, 2006 Last week we ran a story on the Kite Tube, a human-bearing inflatable towable water kite and within a week we’ve been sent another one – the Manta Ray has an 11 foot wingspan and is specially designed body to allow an average-sized body to rise out of the water and hover in the air. It takes approximately 23 mph moving to get an average sized adult airborn and hovering but as can be seen from this video, once the Manta Ray is airborn, it can hang there for very long period.

2006-06-24

Solar System Scale Model

Solar System Scale Model: "This page shows a scale model of the solar system, shrunken down to the point where the Sun, normally more than eight hundred thousand miles across, is the size you see it here. The planets are shown in corresponding scale. Unlike most models, which are compressed for viewing convenience, the planets here are also shown at their true-to-scale average distances from the Sun. That makes this page rather large - on an ordinary 72 dpi monitor it's just over half a mile wide, making it possibly one of the largest pages on the web. This means you'll have to do a bit of scrolling if you want to find the planets, but don't despair. They are reasonably bright and labeled, so you can probably catch them flashing by in the blackness even if you are scrolling fairly fast.

2006-06-23

ScienceDaily: Magnetic Fields Could Make Computers 500 Times Faster

ScienceDaily: Magnetic Fields Could Make Computers 500 Times Faster: "Magnetic fields created using nanotechnology could make computers up to 500 times more powerful, if new research is successful.

Dr. Alain Nogaret. (Photo by Nic Delves-Broughton / courtesy of University of Bath)

The University of Bath is to lead an international £555,000 three-year project to develop a system which could cut out the need for wiring to carry electric currents in silicon chips.

Computers double in power every 18 months or so as scientists and engineers develop ways to make silicon chips smaller. But in the next few years they will hit a limit imposed by the need to use electric wiring, which weakens signals sent between computer components at high speed.

The new research project could produce a way of carrying electric signal without the need for wiring. Wi fi internet systems and mobile phones use wireless technology now, but the electronics that create and use wireless signals are too large to be used within individual microchips successfully.

NOVA Online | Cancer Warrior | Accidental Discoveries

NOVA Online | Cancer Warrior | Accidental Discoveries: Accidental Discoveries

New Scientist Tech - Neurons self-organise to make brain chips - Breaking News

New Scientist Tech - Neurons self-organise to make brain chips - Breaking News: "Brain cells can be enticed into forming uniform functioning patterns using a nano-engineering trick.

The technique could allow the development of sophisticated biological sensors that use functioning brain cells, the researchers say. This type of device would identify a compound - a deadly nerve agent or poison, for example - by measuring its effect on a functioning network of neurons.

A team led by Yael Hanein of Tel Aviv University in Israel used 100-micrometre-wide bundles of nanotubes to coax rat neurons into forming regular patterns on a sheet of quartz.

The neurons cannot stick to the quartz surface but do bind to the nanotube dots, in clusters of about between 20 and 100. Once attached, these neuron bundles are just the right distance from one another to stretch out projections called axons and dendrites to make links with other clusters nearby.

Gourmet Photography

Gourmet Photography: "

If you are intrigued by the paper sushi served in Chicago's Moto restaurant, you can buy this machine to print out your entire Flickr collection right on turkey for the next Thanksgiving reunion. The Jet Decorator prints directly on food items, but you can also get a printer that spits out edible icing sheets. Frame or fridge, your choice. Their client list includes photo-cookie-makers Dessert Gallery and Party Photo Flavors.

2006-06-15

NASA - A Meteoroid Hits the Moon

NASA - A Meteoroid Hits the Moon: "June 13, 2006: There's a new crater on the Moon. It's about 14 meters wide, 3 meters deep and precisely one month, eleven days old.

NASA astronomers watched it form: 'On May 2, 2006, a meteoroid hit the Moon's Sea of Clouds (Mare Nubium) with 17 billion joules of kinetic energy—that's about the same as 4 tons of TNT,' says Bill Cooke, the head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office in Huntsville, AL. 'The impact created a bright fireball which we video-recorded using a 10-inch telescope.'

Lunar impacts have been seen before--'stuff hits the Moon all the time,' notes Cooke--but this is the best-ever recording of an explosion in progress:

The History of Life

The History of Life
June 14, 2006 10:58 AM EST

On the first day God created the dog God said, 'Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. I will give you a life span of twenty years.'

The dog said, 'That's too long to be barking. Give me ten years and I'll give you back the other ten.' So God agreed.

On the second day God created the monkey. God said, 'Entertain people, do monkey tricks, make them laugh. I'll give you a twenty-year life span.'

The monkey said, 'How boring, monkey tricks for twenty years? I don't think so. Dog gave you back ten, so that's what I'll do too, okay?' And God agreed.

On the third day God created the cow. God said, 'You must go to the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer. I will give you a life span of sixty years.'

The cow said, 'That's kind of a tough life you want me to live fifty or sixty years. Let me have twenty and I'll give back the other forty.' And God agreed again.
On the forth day God created man. God said, 'Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. I'll give you twenty years.'

Man said, 'What? Only twenty years! Tell you what, I'll take my twenty, and the forty the cow gave back and the ten the monkey gave back and the ten the dog gave back, that makes eighty, okay?"

"Okay," said God, "You've got a deal."

So that is why the first twenty years we eat, sleep, play, and enjoy ourselves.

For the next forty years we slave in the sun to support our family.

For the next ten years we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren.

And for the last ten years we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.

2006-06-14

Not Here But Now: Amnesty's Anti-Torture Campaign

Not Here But Now: Amnesty's Anti-Torture Campaign: "Most of us never see torture victims, child soldiers or refugees. They exist, but they are hidden by distance (and the gap between rich and poor).

Amnesty International's Swiss section has hit upon a powerful tactic for changing that. By employing transparent ads featuring photos of human rights abuses (captioned 'Not Here but Now' in Switzerland's three main languages) they're pulling away the veil of distance. The campaign aims to remind people that human rights violations are not some figment of the distant past, but are a part of our world, today -- that right at this very moment, someone is suffering treatment we abhor, even if it isn't happening in front of our eyes.

It's sort of a humanitarian version of making visible the invisible.

2006-06-12

Wired News: GNU Radio Opens an Unseen World

Wired News: GNU Radio Opens an Unseen World: "Matt Ettus has the sly smile of someone who sees the invisible. His hands fly over the boards of his Universal Software Radio Peripheral, or USRP, snapping them together with an antenna like Lego bricks. Then he plugs in the naked boards to a USB 2 cable snaking to his Linux laptop.

After few minutes of normal Linux messing around ('Takes forever to boot.... Haven't got the sound driver working yet....') he turns the laptop around to reveal a set of vibrating lines in humps and dips across the screen, like a wildly shaking wireframe mountain range. 'Here,' he explains, 'I'm grabbing FM.'

'All of it?' I ask.

'All of it,' he says. I'm suddenly glad the soundcard isn't working.

Review of 3D Web Browsers: 3B, Browse3D, and SphereXPlorer

Review of 3D Web Browsers: 3B, Browse3D, and SphereXPlorer: "What ever happened to the virtual reality, 3D world of the web? Back in the late 90s, all the hype was about VRML—Virtual Reality Markup Language—which would turn the web into an immersive environment that you'd maneuver around to get to the information you wanted. We're here to tell you that the reports of the 3D web's death are greatly exaggerated. As evidence, we present three 3D browsers that will use that graphics card for something other than gaming: 3B, Browse3D, and SphereXPlorer.

As further proof that the 3D web isn't dead, an XML format called X3D—a free run-time architecture that can 'represent and communicate 3D scenes and objects using XML'— is starting to take hold. You can find more info about it from The Web3D Consortium which is very active in its efforts to add one more dimension to the web as we know it. There's even a mobile browser for X3D, so that you could, for example, navigate around a city you're visiting on your handheld PC.

2006-06-06

Main Page - OLPCWiki

Main Page - OLPCWiki: "The first working prototype of the $100 Laptop is unveiled at the Country Task Force Meeting, 23 May 2006. (See Flickr for more images.) This is first time we have combined the industrual design with the hardware (A-TEST board). Both the ID and the hardware had been shown seperately in the past; pictured was a working laptop, completely self-contained; a real milestone for us. The machine is running Fedora Core 5.0.

2006-06-05

Urban Legends Reference Pages: Photo Gallery (Beer Can House)

Urban Legends Reference Pages: Photo Gallery (Beer Can House): "A SINGLE GUY LIVED IN THIS TOWNHOUSE FOR 8 YEARS IN OGDEN, UTAH. THEY THOUGHT HE WAS THE BEST RENTER BECAUSE HE NEVER CALLED OR COMPLAINED AND WAS NEVER LATE ON A PAYMENT. THESE PICTURES DON'T EVEN COME CLOSE TO WHAT IT REALLY LOOKED LIKE. CENTURY 21 HAD ALREADY MOVED SOME OF THE CANS OUT AND HAD CAVED IN TUNNELS THAT HE HAD MADE TO GET TO THE BEDROOM, BATHROOM, AND KITCHEN.

All this, yet, you still don't see any dust or scattered clothes or any dirty dishes anywhere. Other than having a minor drinking problem, he was basically a very clean, organized person. Add to this he was concerned about his health, proved by the fact that he drank a 'Light' beer.

2006-06-04

Nokia turns cellphones into webservers

Nokia turns cellphones into webservers: "Nokia has ported the Apache webserver to Symbian, in order to enable mobile phones to serve content on the World Wide Web. Many mobile phones today have more processing power than early Internet servers, suggesting that 'there really is no reason anymore why webservers could not reside on mobile phones,' according to the company. The technique could also be used on Linux mobile phones.

2006-06-01

NOAA Ocean Explorer

NOAA Ocean Explorer Lots of oceanic goodies

High Court Trims Whistleblower Rights

High Court Trims Whistleblower Rights: "The Supreme Court scaled back protections for government workers who blow the whistle on official misconduct Tuesday, a 5-4 decision in which new Justice Samuel Alito cast the deciding vote.

In a victory for the Bush administration, justices said the 20 million public employees do not have free-speech protections for what they say as part of their jobs.

Critics predicted the impact would be sweeping, from silencing police officers who fear retribution for reporting department corruption, to subduing federal employees who want to reveal problems with government hurricane preparedness or terrorist-related security.

Supporters said that it will protect governments from lawsuits filed by disgruntled workers pretending to be legitimate whistleblowers.

The ruling was perhaps the clearest sign yet of the Supreme Court's shift with the departure of moderate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and the arrival of Alito.

A year ago, O'Connor authored a 5-4 decision that encouraged whistleblowers to report sex discrimination in schools. The current case was argued in October but not resolved before her retirement in late January.

New Scientist Premium- Have we got gravity all wrong? - Features

New Scientist Premium- Have we got gravity all wrong? - Features: "SLAVA TURYSHEV is a man on a mission. Two missions in fact. The researcher from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, is about to re-fly the two most controversial spacecraft in history. The Pioneer 10 and 11 probes were launched in 1972 and 1973 and are now drifting in deep space beyond the outermost planets of the solar system. NASA lost contact with Pioneer 10 in 2003, but though the probes are now long gone, they are anything but forgotten. That's because Pioneer 10, when last heard from, seemed to be off course by around 400,000 kilometres and nobody has ever been able to figure out why. Did some malfunction nudge the craft off its expected trajectory, or are there deeper forces at work?

New Scientist Tech - Breaking News - Carbon nanotubes pinned down at last

New Scientist Tech - Breaking News - Carbon nanotubes pinned down at last: "A new technique that places carbon nanotubes exactly where they are needed could help overcome one of the biggest obstacles blocking the development of nanotube-based electronic devices.

The method uses a specially constructed molecule that attaches one end to a carbon nanotube and the other end to a strip of metal oxide that has been placed on piece of silicon. The nanotubes are just a few nanometres in diameter, and knowing exactly where a tube is means researchers can use it to make a transistor.

'We can use this approach to make lots of devices,' says team member James B Hannon, at IBM's T J Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York, US.

Researchers have previously created nanotube-based transistors, which could eventually be used to make smaller, faster computers. But there was no efficient way of exactly positioning nanotubes. Some researchers have manipulated tubes one at a time with atomic force microscopes. Others have laid down thousands at random, and then created contacts and repeatedly tested them until they found a working circuit.

New Scientist Premium- Why water freezes faster after heating - News

New Scientist Premium- Why water freezes faster after heating - News: "A common chemical process may explain a bizarre property of water that has been a mystery since the time of Aristotle

A common chemical process may explain a bizarre property of water that has been a mystery since the time of Aristotle - how hot water can freeze more quickly than cold.

This strange and counter-intuitive effect was first observed by the ancient Greek philosopher and was made famous in recent times by a Tanzanian school student called Erasto Mpemba. He noticed that the sugared milk he was using to make ice cream froze more quickly if it started out hot. But what is behind the so-called 'Mpemba effect'?

According to Jonathan Katz of the Washington University in St Louis, it's all to do with solutes. 'You have to ask yourself: what does heating do to water that makes it easier to freeze?' he says. 'The answer is that it precipitates out solutes.'

New Scientist Tech - Technology - Chocolate generates electrical power

New Scientist Tech - Technology - Chocolate generates electrical power: "Willy Wonka could have powered his Great Glass Elevator on hydrogen produced from his chocolate factory.

Microbiologist Lynne Mackaskie and her colleagues at the University of Birmingham in the UK have powered a fuel cell by feeding sugar-loving bacteria chocolate-factory waste. 'We wanted to see if we tipped chocolate into one end, could we get electricity out at the other?' she says.

The team fed Escherichia coli bacteria diluted caramel and nougat waste. The bacteria consumed the sugar and produced hydrogen, which they make with the enzyme hydrogenase, and organic acids. The researchers then used this hydrogen to power a fuel cell, which generated enough electricity to drive a small fan (Biochemical Society Transactions, vol 33, p 76).

TechSearch | Blog Page

TechSearch | Blog Page: "Unless you have not heard, Verizon, AT&T, Bell South and other telecommunications giants are lobbying Congress to establish a legal basis for charging website owners for traffic with the help of two-tier Internet.

If telecommunication lobby succeeds it would mean the end of online freedom and higher prices for online goods and services for all of us.

So what do telecommunication companies want? Quite naturally, greedy corporations want more profit and they are keen to find a way to stuff their pockets even tighter.

Jobs' glass elevator locks in group customers - Engadget

Jobs' glass elevator locks in group customers - Engadget: Well, that was fast. Not eight days after Apple's new flagship store was unveiled, Stevie J.'s fantastical glass elevator began acting a bit wonky, first opening and shutting its doors, then finally sealing in its passengers on the upper level. Apple store employees worked their hardest to release the bunch, but eventually the NYPD had to be called; the elevator's hydraulic system had to be drained, and the confined group was let out in the store's bowels (i.e. lower level). Everybody otherwise seemed okay, but as far as we know no one was gifted with a free iPod in exchange for the 45 minutes they spent trapped, encased in glass like so many specimens for study. Ah well, you can't always help it when your elevator gets the spinning beach ball, now can you?

2006-05-15

eBay of the day: Musiconics Guitorgan

eBay of the day: Musiconics Guitorgan: " In 1969, the Musiconics corporation of Waco, Texas, bought a bunch of Gibson ES-335 copies, and retro-fitted them with 6-note polyphonic organ boards, and an in-neck switching system (each fret is divided into six, with the strings making an electrical contact, I think) to make a Guitorgan. People who have them, love them: 'This is one of the strangest instruments ever made. It has a huge 'wow' factor, and despite its oddness, it is amazingly usable in most band settings. When you hear it for the first time, it is hard to believe that it was made so long ago.' Now here's ebay item #110000014204, a possibly working Guitorgan M300, 9 days to go, just $105.50 (They normally go for $800+)

2006-05-03

Hasbro Bottles Play-Doh Fragrance

Hasbro Bottles Play-Doh Fragrance: "
'For the first time, Hasbro has bottled that fresh, just-out-of-the-can, 'eau de PLAY-DOH' aroma into a limited-edition fragrance as part of a year-long celebration of the beloved modeling compound's 50th birthday. Out in time for Mother's Day, the 1-ounce, spray bottle fragrance is meant for highly-creative people, who seek a whimsical scent reminiscent of their childhood.' Buy yours at Demeter Fragrance, a company that also makes such scents as Chocolate Chip Cookie, Birthday Cake and Holy Smoke.

Japanese researchers invent completely transparent material

Japanese researchers invent completely transparent material: "Filed under: Digital Cameras, Misc. Gadgets, Networking
In a breakthrough that could benefit fields as diverse as networking, photography, astronomy, and peeping, science-types at Japan's Institute of Physical and Chemical Research have unveiled their prototype of a glass-like material that they claim to be 100% transparent. Unlike normal glass, which reflects some of the incoming light, the new so-called metamaterial --composed of a grid of gold or silver nanocoils embedded in a prism-shaped, glass-like material -- uses its unique structural properties to achieve a negative refractive index, or complete transparency. Although currently just a one-off proof-of-concept (pictured, under an electron microscope), mass-produced versions of the new material could improve fiber optic communications, contribute to better telescopes and cameras, or lead to the development of completely new optical equipment.

2006-05-01

Air Oxyride 100-AA glider takes wing

Air Oxyride 100-AA glider takes wing: "Filed under: Transportation


Panasonic's Oxyride-powered glider took to the air for the first time this weekend, with Panny's blogger declaring only that 'it flew temporarily.' While this publicity stunt/college engineering project isn't going to revolutionize transportation or aviation (despite Panasonic's tagline that the project is the work of '21st Century Wright Brothers'), we still have to give props to Panny -- and especially the team at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. The idea of building a manned glider powered by 100 AAs may have sounded impossible, but they managed to pull it off.

2006-04-28

eBay of the Day: Sega Genesis Guitar

eBay of the Day: Sega Genesis Guitar: " Its eBay of the day and its a link to an item thats for sale on eBay and its a Sega Genesis guitar. What more is there to say? There is probably something more to say but I can't think of it right now. Two days left and only one bid....I'm not sure I'd bother with this even if I did have any money. If it was a bass however, now that would be a different story. I still have grandparents that I could sell to raise the cash for one of them.

Bella Catapult enables camcorder-to-iPod recording

Bella Catapult enables camcorder-to-iPod recording: "Filed under: Digital Cameras, Peripherals, Portable Audio, Portable Video, Storage
Camcorder accessory manufacturer Bella has just announced a new device that will let you toss those MiniDV cassettes straight out of your bag and replace them with your iPod or nearly any other USB 2.0-compliant storage system. The Catapult, as it's known, is an paperback-sized digital encoder that plugs into any standard or HD camcorder with a FireWire port and processes the video as you're recording, eliminating the need to convert your footage later on. Besides saving time and offering access to higher storage capacities, the Catapult also enables your cam with a number of features not available out of the box, such as time-lapse recording, remote trigger capabilities, and both pre- and post-recording ability. Pre-recording is an especially attractive option, as it seems to buffer whatever your CCD is capturing for a preset timeframe, allowing you to essentially 'turn back the clock' and preserve events that already happened once you hit the record button.

Lighsnake USB guitar cable

Lighsnake USB guitar cable: " So, $39.99 gets you a Soundtech Lightsnake USB guitar cable, which glows when you plug it in, and contains a tiny A/D coverter to take your guitar into your computer by magic. I have no idea if it works, but it sure does glow nicely.

2006-04-27

Fujitsu demos color e-ink LCD

Fujitsu demos color e-ink LCD: "Filed under: Displays

We've been seeing a lot of e-ink passing through here lately, especially noteworthy was Citizen's recent e-ink LCD. But we have a feeling it's going to be a little while before anyone tops Fujitsu's bezel-tastic QVGA color LCD e-ink display, which holds color images steady in perpetuity without power. It's hard to tell how good the color representation is, what with that blaring flash, but the applications of color e-ink are enormous, especially as the displays get larger (and smaller) -- and Fujitsu does claim to have sheet paper-size prototypes.

gizmag Article: The Walkodile – ingenious child safety walker

gizmag Article: The Walkodile – ingenious child safety walker: "The Walkodile child safety walker is a significant development in the field of child safety as it offers a stress-free method of shepherding a group of primary school age children in public. The UKP200 Walkodile links four to six children to a central flexible spine, which they can hold on to whilst they walk.

New Scientist SPACE - Breaking News - 'Starquake' explosion rips neutron star open

New Scientist SPACE - Breaking News - 'Starquake' explosion rips neutron star open: "Astronomers have measured the thickness of the crust of a neutron star for the first time. The technique, which involves studying how the dense stellar corpse reverberates during a 'starquake', may one day reveal the nature of the exotic matter thought to lie at the star's core.

2006-04-26

Miller Beer To Come In Self-Cooling Cans

Miller Beer To Come In Self-Cooling Cans: "

Miller plans to bottle its beer in Tempra's self-cooling I.C.Can cans that 'lower beverage temperature by a minimum of 30° F (16.7° C) in just three minutes.'

Kennewick Man Skeletal Find May Revolutionalize Continent's History

Kennewick Man Skeletal Find May Revolutionalize Continent's History: "What the experts were able to ascertain from their brief encounter with Kennewick is that he did not look like a Native American. In fact, a Middle Tennessee State University researcher says Kennewick's facial features are most similar to those of a Jaanese group called the Ainu, who have a different physical makeup and cultural background from the ethnic Japanese.

2006-04-25

Scientists Make Major Finding On Potential Cure For Type 1 Diabetes

Scientists Make Major Finding On Potential Cure For Type 1 Diabetes: "A major finding, which represents an important step toward a potential cure for type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes, has been made by a research team at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology (LIAI). The team, led by Matthias von Herrath, MD, an internationally recognized expert on the molecular basis of type 1 diabetes, used a combinatorial treatment approach in laboratory mice and found it reversed recent onset type 1 diabetes in the majority of animals tested.

Nano Machine Switches Between Biological And Silicon Worlds

Nano Machine Switches Between Biological And Silicon Worlds: "Scientists have created a molecular switch that could play a key role in thousands of nanotech applications. The Mol-Switch project successfully developed a demonstrator to prove the principle, despite deep scepticism from specialist colleagues in biotechnology and biophysics.

2006-04-24

The Ladybag remembers your stuff with RFID

The Ladybag remembers your stuff with RFID: "Filed under: Misc. Gadgets, Wearables

We carry handhelds so we don't forget what we've got to do, but what happens when we forget our handheld? Six students from Canada's Simon Fraser University don't have an answer, but they have developed the latest in purse technology to help prevent the aforementioned situation from occuring to the ladies. The Ladybag's function is fairly simple: an RFID scanner in the bottom of the bag will display a LED-lit icon of whatever it is you didn't remember to embagify. (It'll also display emoticons of how your bag thinks you're feeling, depending on how you're holding and handling it.) Of course, if you're like us and frequently forget your bag when out and about, you'd do best to skip the Ladybag (or Manbag, as it were) and make like us: find a keeper.

Grow a grass armchair

Grow a grass armchair: "

Spring is springing, and you're in the market for some lawn furniture. Why not grow yourself a grass armchair? UK furniture store Purves & Purves has one all ready to get growing in your yard.

The package includes 14 cardboard frames, and a humungous pack of grass seeds. You fill in the frame with soil, seed and water every day. After ten days you've got yourself the greenest seat on the block.

Just make sure you pick the right spot, because this thing ain't moving. The Grass Armchair'll set you back £65 and looks quite popular - it's out of stock at the moment.

2006-04-21

Tiny Reactor Boosts Biodiesel Production - Forbes.com

Tiny Reactor Boosts Biodiesel Production - Forbes.com: "A tiny chemical reactor that can convert vegetable oil directly into biodiesel could help farmers turn some of their crops into homegrown fuel to operate agricultural equipment instead of relying on costly imported oil.

'This is all about producing energy in such a way that it liberates people,' said Goran Jovanovic, a chemical engineering professor at Oregon State University who developed the microreactor.

The device - about the size of a credit card - pumps vegetable oil and alcohol through tiny parallel channels, each smaller than a human hair, to convert the oil into biodiesel almost instantly.

By comparison, it takes more than a day to produce biodiesel with current technology.

2006-04-19

Nanotube sheets come of age

Nanotube sheets come of age: "They're soft, strong, and very, very long.

Large, transparent sheets of carbon nanotubes can now be produced at lightning speed. The new technique should allow the nanotubes to be used in commercial devices from heated car windows to flexible television screens.

'Rarely is a processing advance so elegantly simple that rapid commercialization seems possible,' says Ray Baughman, a chemist from the University of Texas at Dallas, whose team unveils the ribbon in this week's Science1.

Nanotubes are tiny cylinders of carbon atoms measuring just billionths of a metre across. They are light, strong, and conductive. But for years their promise has outweighed their utility, because the complicated processes involved in making devices from nanotubes were too slow and expensive to be used in large-scale manufacturing.

But now, nanotubes have gone into warp drive. Baughman's team can churn out up to ten metres of nanoribbon every minute, as easily as pulling a strip of sticky tape from a reel (see video ). This ribbon can be up to five centimetres wide, and after a simple wash in ethanol compacts to just 50 nanometres thick, making it 2,000 times thinner than a piece of paper.

The ribbons are transparent, flexible, and conduct electricity. Weight for weight, they are stronger than steel sheets, yet a square kilometre of the material would weight only 30 kilograms. This is basically a new material," says Baughman.

High efficiency flat light source could be the end for the light bulb

High efficiency flat light source could be the end for the light bulb: "April 19, 2006 The end of the lightbulb is nigh! Scientists studying organic light-emitting devices (OLEDs) have made a critical leap from single-color displays to a highly efficient and long-lived natural light source. The invention is the latest fruit of a 13-year OLED research program led by Mark Thompson, professor of chemistry at USC and Stephen Forrest of the University of Michigan. If the device can be mass-manufactured cheaply - a realistic expectation, according to Thompson - interior lighting could look vastly different in the future. Almost any surface in a home, whether flat or curved, could become a light source: walls, curtains, ceilings, cabinets or tables. Since OLEDs are transparent when turned off, the devices could even be installed as windows or skylights to mimic the feel of natural light after dark - or to serve as the ultimate inconspicuous flat-panel television...

2006-04-18

Bunnyocalypse - Marshmallow Bunny Apocalypse :: Marshmallow Peeps

Bunnyocalypse - Marshmallow Bunny Apocalypse :: Marshmallow Peeps: "Through the Easter season (and until the marshmallow bunny supply runs out), BUNNYOCALYPSE presents a gallery of episodes detailing the on-going Marshmallow Bunny Apocalypse. New episodes will be posted as they become available -and- a gallery of visitor submissions is in the works. For now, enjoy the episodes...

2006-04-14

Seed: Prime Numbers Get Hitched

Seed: Prime Numbers Get Hitched: "In 1972, the physicist Freeman Dyson wrote an article called 'Missed Opportunities.' In it, he describes how relativity could have been discovered many years before Einstein announced his findings if mathematicians in places like G├Âttingen had spoken to physicists who were poring over Maxwell's equations describing electromagnetism. The ingredients were there in 1865 to make the breakthrough—only announced by Einstein some 40 years later.

Print me a heart and a set of arteries

Print me a heart and a set of arteries: "A new 'bioprinting' technique uses droplets of 'bioink' -- clumps of cells a few hundred micrometers in diameter that behave just like a liquid. This means that droplets placed next to one another will flow together and fuse, forming layers, rings...

The Remains of Lady Be Good

The Remains of Lady Be Good: "In early November, 1958, a British oil exploration team was flying over North Africa's harsh Libyan Desert when they stumbled across something unexpected… the wreckage of a United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) plane from World War 2. A ground crew eventually located the site, where a quick inspection of the remains identified it as a B-24D Liberator called the Lady Be Good, an Allied bomber that had disappeared following a bombing run in Italy in 1943. When she failed to return to base, the USAAF conducted a search, ultimately presuming that the Lady and her crew perished in the Mediterranean Sea after becoming disoriented. The British oil surveyors found that the desert environment had preserved the aircraft's hardware astonishingly well; the plane's 50 caliber machine guns still operated at the pull of the trigger, the radio was in working condition, one of the engines was still functional, and... (More Inside)

2006-04-13

ScienceDaily: High Efficiency Flat Light Source Invented

ScienceDaily: High Efficiency Flat Light Source Invented: "Scientists studying organic light-emitting devices (OLEDs) have made a critical leap from single-color displays to a highly efficient and long-lived natural
The invention, described in the April 13 issue of Nature, is the latest fruit of a 13-year OLED research program led by Mark Thompson, professor of chemistry in the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, and Stephen Forrest, formerly of Princeton University and now vice president for research at the University of Michigan.

'This process will enable us to get 100 percent efficiency out of a single, broad spectrum light source,' Thompson said.

If the device can be mass-manufactured cheaply - a realistic expectation, according to Thompson - interior lighting could look vastly different in the future. Almost any surface in a home, whether flat or curved, could become a light source: walls, curtains, ceilings, cabinets or tables.

High Efficiency Flat Light Source Invented

High Efficiency Flat Light Source Invented: "A group of chemists and electrical engineers succeeds in making a prototype white-light organic LED. Assuming the development of a waterproof backing, the advance could bring major changes in indoor lighting.

2006-04-12

Sweet Sounds of Stradivarius

Sweet Sounds of Stradivarius: "Noboby made violins like Antoni Stradivari, but two Swedish researchers are going to give it a try. Yet even they admit that whatever it was that made a Strad a Strad, technology is unlikely to match it.

2006-04-10

New Scientist Tech - Breaking News - Battery electrodes self-assembled by viruses

New Scientist Tech - Breaking News - Battery electrodes self-assembled by viruses: "Genetically modified viruses that assemble into electrodes could one day revolutionise battery manufacturing.

Researchers in the US have created viruses that automatically coat themselves in metals and line up head to tail to form an efficient battery anode – the negatively charged component that channels electrons to generate current. These nanowires could be used to make revolutionary new forms of lithium-ion batteries, the researchers say.

'Now it's simply a matter of designing the other components, and we'll be able to form batteries by simply pouring all the ingredients together and letting them self-assemble,' says Angela Belcher, a biological engineer at MIT who led the research. 'Plus we can make them at room temperature in very safe conditions, instead of the high temperatures and dangers usually associated with battery production.'"

Damn Interesting » Germany's Pleasure Dome

Damn Interesting » Germany's Pleasure Dome: "In the northeastern portion of Germany, about thirty-six miles southeast of Berlin, a passenger train and shuttle service delivers men, women, and children to the door of one of the most voluminous structures on the planet. They arrive throughout the day and night, every day of the year. The enormous dome stands 350 feet tall, and encloses 194 million cubic feet of space. It was originally commissioned by CargoLifter AG as a hangar for their heavy-lift airship concept, but their dirigible was never developed, and the company went bankrupt in 2002. The following year, Malaysian Tanjong company purchased the gigantic building and filled it with something never before seen in northeast Germany: tropical paradise."

GottaBook: The Fib

GottaBook: The Fib

Mathematical-ish poetry blog

gizmag Article: Double-decker living

gizmag Article: Double-decker living

2006-04-07

Evergreen's $8.50 DN-2000 MP3 player

Evergreen's $8.50 DN-2000 MP3 player: "Filed under: Portable Audio


Japanese Co. Evergreen is no stranger to the cheap and crap-plasticy product. Now they combine their love of the two and apparent hatred for human-kind in this $8.50 DN-2000 MP3 player targeting the ill-fated shores of Japan, and perhaps, beyond. It runs for 5-hours on a single AAA battery and supports 1GB SD cards. You realize of course, that we are now at the dawn of disposable MP3 players don't you? Gawd save our souls.

2006-04-04

2006-03-30

Anti-gravity Effect? Gravitational Equivalent Of A Magnetic Field Measured In Lab

Anti-gravity Effect? Gravitational Equivalent Of A Magnetic Field Measured In Lab: "Scientists funded by the European Space Agency have measured the gravitational equivalent of a magnetic field for the first time in a laboratory. Under certain special conditions the effect is much larger than expected from general relativity and could help physicists to make a significant step towards the long-sought-after quantum theory of gravity.

The Electric Violin

The Electric Violin: "March 26, 2006 The violin is one of the oldest of instruments with roots going back 7000 years, arriving in its current form 500 years ago. So classically trained musician Tricia Ho felt that it was time to redesign the classical instrument with 21st century ergonomics and an interchangeable frame system that allow the player to customise the violin to suit their style and reduce musculoskeletal disorders in player’s necks and shoulders. “Coming from a background of classical violin training I have many friends who experienced problems gripping a traditional violin”, said Ho, a student at the University of New South Wales...

Megaphone Helmets & the astonishing power of blogs

Megaphone Helmets & the astonishing power of blogs: " A week ago, Richard mailed me about some funny hats he'd seen on eBay, and I wrote this post about them, which Mark at Boing Boing kindly linked to. Today, the auction finished. The pair of hats, which had failed to get a starting bid of £45 when Richard spotted them, sold for £820. That's $1,434, and the winning bidder has a feedback score of 119.

2006-03-29

BUSlink's 64GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive PRO 2 Series

BUSlink's 64GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive PRO 2 Series: "Filed under: Storage

We're not exactly sure when BUSlink launched a 64GB -- that's gigabyte, yes -- flash drive, but it's right there on their site, plain as day, handily and smugly smacking down even the largest of flash drives, available for purchase for $5,000. Apparently they've also got a 32GB (not shown) and 16GB drive for $1,500, but seriously, if this isn't some kind of sick joke catering to our obsession with solid state memory, you know exactly which one it is we'll be promptly devouring as soon as we can sell off enough excess gear and internal organs to afford it. You can run an OS off a flash drive, right? Ok, good.

2006-03-27

iPod Ad Visibile From Space

iPod Ad Visibile From Space: "

So you people might have laughed at the idea of rooftop advertising, but some say Apple is taking it seriously and is launching an ad that will be visible on Google Earth and Google Maps. From Boakes.org: 'The sheer size of the publicity stunt is difficult to comprehend. It covers 893240 square metres; roughly equivalent to eighty football pitches. The ad, which depicts Apple’s flagship iPod product has been constructed on the site of an abandoned mineral mine in remote western Australia. It has been in development for almost two years.' The image shows what it looks like on Google Maps.

Choxpics Print on Chocolate

Choxpics Print on Chocolate: "

If you liked Choco Logo, you will love Chocpix. They say, 'In every bar of tasty white chocolate is a hidden, detailed picture - revealed by simply holding it up to any bright light. All kinds of images can be captured in a Chocpix bar... detailed photographs, artwork, cartoons, logos. The intricate photographs are made up solely from the finely detailed thicknesses of chocolate.'

Programmable Liquid Container lets you customize your cola

Programmable Liquid Container lets you customize your cola: "Filed under: Misc. Gadgets, Household


We used to think it was pretty sweet that we had two flavor options in each package of Nerds candy, so the idea of a customizable soda with an almost infinite combination of fragrances, flavors, and colors has us understandably excited. Massachusetts-based IPIFINI (the bold is part of the branding) has exceeded our wildest dreams with their Programmable Liquid Container, which contains small, flavor additive-filled (or paint-filled, for the home improvement set) 'buttons' around the periphery of the plastic container. Consumers press the appropriate buttons to create different flavors from a common base, such as cherry vanilla cola or raspberry tangerine lemonade, or get even wilder with aroma and food coloring options. IPIFINI claims to already be licensing the technology around various industries, so don't be surprised to see sodas and coffees (and probably some alcopops too) in the near future that let you choose your level of buzz

2006-03-24

How to set up free VPN

How to set up free VPN: "A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a great way to share files and access remote machines. Over at Computer Networking Help there is a tutorial that'll show you how to set one up.

I've had numerous members here email me about writing an article on setting up a secure, inexpensive, home VPN solution that they could use to share files between their home and office computers while they were at work. After speaking with many different people on the subject, I decided that most of them were running Windows XP for their operating systems and Linksys brand routers. That being said the following article is based on the above specifications and will involve no extra cost in setting up the VPN connection.
Configuring a free VPN solution in your home [Computer Networking Help]
Comment on this post

How to set up free VPN

How to set up free VPN: "A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a great way to share files and access remote machines. Over at Computer Networking Help there is a tutorial that'll show you how to set one up.

I've had numerous members here email me about writing an article on setting up a secure, inexpensive, home VPN solution that they could use to share files between their home and office computers while they were at work. After speaking with many different people on the subject, I decided that most of them were running Windows XP for their operating systems and Linksys brand routers. That being said the following article is based on the above specifications and will involve no extra cost in setting up the VPN connection.
Configuring a free VPN solution in your home [Computer Networking Help]
Comment on this post

eBay of the day: Megaphone Helmets

eBay of the day: Megaphone Helmets: " Just look at the picture. There's really nothing more to say. A pair of immeasurably awesome megaphone hats from the 1950s. Includes a pair of shoulder-mounted battery packs which can also be used to transmit morse code through the hats. Ebay item #6045938976, 5 days to go, £45 starting bid. Awesome. (Thanks Richard)

2006-03-23

Linux-based iSetBox from Media Systems does it all

Linux-based iSetBox from Media Systems does it all: "Filed under: Home Entertainment, Media PCs

It might sound a bit more like an Apple fanboy wish list than an actual product from a Bulgarian company named Media Systems, but the iSetBox looks like it'll turn a few heads either way if ever makes it to market. The device claims to be an all-in-one entertainment center, and we really can't find much that isn't in this box. It includes a CD and DVD writer, can record analog and digital TV, offers a web browser and email client, and can even has a 6-in-1 card reader to further its media inputs. If that wasn't enough, the Linux-based unit can listen to and record digital and analog radio, sports Ethernet networking, and has a myriad of digital and analog inputs and outputs to further its reach into your home's media devices. If you find the unit still lacking, you can add WiFi, Bluetooth or other niceties via a PCI card. The whole box is controlled via a single remote control, which can create playlists of the numerous media formats supported. It's hard to imagine something this feature-filled ever making it to market, but we sure wouldn't mind if it did.

Whale song reveals sophisticated language skills

Whale song reveals sophisticated language skills: "Humpback whales' complex crooning has its own syntax – similar to human language's hierarchical structure – a new analysis reveals

Samsung aims to bring solid disks to market

Samsung aims to bring solid disks to market: "Filed under: Storage


Not that it should come as much of a surprise that the largest flash memory manufacturer in the world would be dabbling in solid state disk drives (SSD), but once Samsung gets their legal ducks in a row we don't have any reason to believe they won't make good on taking that 32GB NAND SSD we saw appear at CeBIT to the consumer market. The demand is obviously there for a laptop drive that, according to Samsung, would consume less than 5 percent of the juice of regular hard drives, and weigh less than half, not be nearly as susceptible to shock or climate, or emit the same heat or noise. No, it won't be cheap (yet), but sooner or later flash memory will be the only thing anyone uses, and Samsung really wants to get this show on the road already.

2006-03-22

Gigabyte's GN-BT06T Bluetooth Media Adapter

Gigabyte's GN-BT06T Bluetooth Media Adapter: "Filed under: Home Entertainment, Wireless

We spied this little GN-BT06T device from Gigabyte while browsing the FCC today and like what it has to offer. Basically it's a Bluetooth media receiver, but it works both ways. Not only does it take music from your audio player and pump it to your Bluetooth headphones, but it can also use music from your computer and jack into your stereo. We're not sure when this will be available or what it'll go for, but we like where it's headed.

2006-03-21

Scientists synthesize plastic suitable for printing electronics

Scientists synthesize plastic suitable for printing electronics: "Filed under: Displays
A team composed of academic and corporate scientists from the US and UK have succeeded in creating a conductive plastic that could soon lead to the cheap printable electronics that we're often promised but have yet to see. Researchers from Merck, PARC, and Stanfords University and Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory were able to tweak the structure of a regular organic polymer to create a so-called 'semi-conducting polythiopene,' which improves upon standard silicon in that it can be laid down using simple inkjet printing techniques while at the same time producing less waste. Although the new material will never replace silicon as the choice for hardcore computing applications, the fact that this team has already created transistors with the new technology may mean that the promised land of ubiquitous, disposable e-paper is closer than we think.

2006-03-20

IBM's Magic Block: voice recorder with speech recognition

IBM's Magic Block: voice recorder with speech recognition: "Filed under: Misc. Gadgets, Portable Audio


If IBM is ever able to manufacture it's Magic Block voice recorder, it'll make just about every other recorder obsolete overnight. The Magic Block is a concept for a digital voice recorder that includes a few handy features -- such as biometric security and an intriguing design that limits accidental recordings -- and one function that makes it unique: built-in voice recognition software that can recognize both spoken words and the actual speaker, allowing a user to search for text as well as for comments from specific speakers. Since IBM already makes speech recognition software, we assume this is something that may be more than just some pie-in-the-sky design. Then again, given that a top IBM exec recently declared that there's 'no such thing as the next big thing,' maybe the company has already given up on actually bringing new products like this to market -- though we really hope not.

2006-03-17

Fore-Edge Painting

Fore-Edge Painting: "

Add 'fore-edge printing' to the collection of interesting things you can do with print.

Martin Frost, who has produced more then 3000 such paintings since 1970, explains, 'Unlike the spine and covers of a bookbinding, the page edges are not usually decorated, however…

A fore-edge painting is where the page block is fanned and an image applied to the stepped surface. If the page edges are themselves gilded or marbled, this results in the image disappearing when the book is relaxed. When refanned, the painting magically re-appears.'

2006-03-15

Sharp DC2J1DZ115 - world's smallest WiFi module

Sharp DC2J1DZ115 - world's smallest WiFi module: "Filed under: Wireless
Is there a reason for Sharp to boast that its DC2J1DZ115 is the world's smallest WiFi module? After all, unlike the world's smallest MP3 player, this isn't a product consumers can actually buy. However, smaller WiFi modules mean smaller, cheaper (we hope), lower-power WiFi devices, so as far as we're concerned, the smaller the better. Now let's get these modules into cameras, phones, PDAs and DAPs ASAP!

Inveneo Communications Systems IT hardware uses alternate energy sources

Inveneo Communications Systems IT hardware uses alternate energy sources: "Filed under: Wireless, Networking
An entire IT infrastructure powered by alternative energy sources has completed testing in Uganda and is now available for deployment to developing countries or areas where power and broadband options are limited. Inveneo intends their Communications Systems, which are composed of a Hub Station with satellite, cellular, or wired Internet connection and Communications Stations for local use by end users, to be adopted by governments, NGOs, and charitable organizations in conjunction with cheap PCs for delivering ubiquitious networked computing access. Communications Stations are connected to the Hub through long-range WiFi connections, with all the hardware cheap to maintain thanks to open-source software and hydro, solar, wind, or bicycle generator options for power. The Inveneo gear is supposedly available immediately, although their online store is closed as of this writing, so pricing remains a mystery. [Warning: PDF link]

Curvy experimental keyboard from Israel

Curvy experimental keyboard from Israel: " Remember the Samchillian Tip Tip Tip Cheeepeee - the crazy looking MIDI keyboard system built from a hacked, painted ergonomic QWERTY keyboard? Eitan Shefer, an industrial designer from Jerusalem, liked the concept so much that he redesigned it as his final year project. He's made a really great video [google video link] which explains the whole thing, including the relative keyboard layout - you don't press a key to get a specific note, but to get one relative to the note playing at the moment. Great for widdly guitar solos, not (I think) so great for chords. Full details of the project are on Eitan's website. Also on the Samchillian tip (ha!), this page has some interesting videos of Leon (the inventor) playing a $$$ Yamaha Disklavier grand piano with the Samchillian.

PSP gets price cut, GPS, camera, VoIP and future media download service

PSP gets price cut, GPS, camera, VoIP and future media download service: "Filed under: Gaming, GPS


Looks like those GPS add-on rumors were true. Now that Ken Kutaragi's PlayStation business briefing has ended we can tell ya that a new GPS receiver (PSP-290) with game support will indeed drop this “autumn” with a new GPS-enabled Hot Shot Golf title loaded-up for first release. Sony also let fly a new USB-attached PSP-300 EyeToy camera add-on for September launch which will support a new video and VoIP chat service coming in October. Also of note is the announcement of a new digital distribution system (HUB?) allowing users to download “games and applications” directly to Memory Stick – an early use will be for downloading and playing PSone games (via new emulator) directly off your memory cards, although specifics around that service have yet to be announced. Rounding things out are the announcements that a future firmware release will bring Macromedia Flash compatibility and a new RSS Channel function to save and playback internet radio and video content. All this and the PSP base-unit price will be cut to $199 by the end of the month. Still no mention of that rumored Sony Mail client or NAND drives, but then that’d just be greedy at this point, eh?

2006-03-13

For The First Time: Longevity Modulated Without Disrupting Life-sustaining Function

For The First Time: Longevity Modulated Without Disrupting Life-sustaining Function: "Within a hormone-triggered cascade of molecular signals that plays a crucial for a wide range of physiological functions, researchers for the very first time have identified a protein that functions specifically to extend lifespan and youthfulness -- without disrupting fertility, immunity or the organism's response to stress.

Easy Up, Not-So-Easy Down: Builders Replace Bridge In Only Days Using Lightweight, ...

Easy Up, Not-So-Easy Down: Builders Replace Bridge In Only Days Using Lightweight, ...: "Using new fiberglass-polymer materials, contractors in Springfield, Mo., have just subjected a decaying, 70-year-old bridge to a makeover that was as quick as it was dramatic. Instead of snarling traffic for two to three weeks while they repaired the crumbling deck, girders and guardrails by conventional methods--laying plywood, tying steel rebar and pouring concrete--the workers used pre-fabricated plates and cages developed by a National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported university-industry partnership to finish the job in a mere five days.

Doodle Search: New Software Can Hunt Through Online Catalogs Using Only A Sketch

Doodle Search: New Software Can Hunt Through Online Catalogs Using Only A Sketch: "Working with support from the National Science Foundation's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, Imaginestics, a company located in West Lafayette, Ind., has created 3D-Seek: a new kind of search engine that lets users find items in an online catalog without ever needing to know the items' names, part numbers or keywords.

Live from CeBIT: Hands-on with the Samsung Q30 with solid-state disk

Live from CeBIT: Hands-on with the Samsung Q30 with solid-state disk: "Filed under: Laptops, Storage


Things are drawing to a close (for us) here at CeBIT. However, we just couldn't pass up the chance to run our fingers over that modded, Samsung Q30 laptop which tosses out the traditional hard disk drive (and fan) in favor of a solid-state disk (SSD) throwing down 32 mad GBs of heat and vibration-free storage. After all, it's not everyday we get to hold a silent, 2.5-pounds light, 0.7-inch thin, laptop with 12.1-inch display in our mits. Click on for a few shots including the SSD nekkid, next to its mechanical brethren.

Held comfortably in one hand -- hardly any torque on the wrist.


Yeah, we know, it says 16GB...must have plugged all the thirty-two's into the prototypes.

2006-03-10

TomTom Buddies lets you track your friends on the road

TomTom Buddies lets you track your friends on the road: "Filed under: GPS


Back in the day, if you wanted to gather a group of drivers into a convoy, you kept in touch by CB radio. With TomTom's new Buddies feature, you can finally toss that relic and stay in contact with Sodbuster, Pig Pen and Rubber Duck via GPS. Once you add a Buddy, you can track each other in realtime, share points of interest and send instant messages (though we really hope you don't do a whole lot of IMing behind the wheel). And if you need a little privacy as you roll into Chi-town, you can hide your twenty and tell your good buddies they can catch you on the flip-flop.

2006-03-09

Matrox TripleHead2Go gives your laptop 3 more screens

Matrox TripleHead2Go gives your laptop 3 more screens: "Filed under: Displays, Laptops, Peripherals


Just when we thought adding a second external display to our laptop would be the ultimate in desktop luxury, Matrox has thrown us for a loop with the TripleHead2Go, a box that -- you guessed it -- lets you add up to three external displays to almost any Windows PC. Like Matrox's earlier DualHead2Go, the device connects to your computer's VGA port and tricks the PC into believing that the three 19-inch displays now gracing your desk are actually one mammoth 3840x1024 display (and, yes, you can still use your laptop display, giving you a total of four screens). The TripleHead will be available in April for $299, which seems like a small price to pay to get behind three screens. Of course, that price doesn't include the actual displays themselves -- or the bigger desk you'll need to buy to hold them.

2006-03-08

NEC's "KotoHana" LED flower knows how you feel

NEC's "KotoHana" LED flower knows how you feel: "Filed under: Misc. Gadgets

We were just saying to ourselves the other day, 'man, if we just had an LED flower that could sense our emotions... then we'd be happy.' Well dreams do come true, because NEC is going to be presenting their KotoHana (the talking flower) at CeBit this year. It's pretty hard to tell what's going on here, but there seems to be a 'Sensibility Technology' that recognizes the user's feelings, and then tells the flower over a wireless connection. The system works over the internet, so that even from far away the flower's LEDs can light up to reflect your true feelings to that special someone.

UltraCell's UC25 / XX25 two-day laptop fuel cell

UltraCell's UC25 / XX25 two-day laptop fuel cell: "Filed under: Misc. Gadgets, Laptops
We've been hearing the siren's call for fuel-cell laptops for what already seems like too many years now, but we'll admit nothing whets our appetite like the promise of two day run time, which is exactly what UltraCell claims they're showing off in their UC25. It's only a pre-production model designed for military purposes right now, but UltraCell apparently had it going on at IDF in SF this week, and hopes to commercialize their products by the second half of this year. Hot, as always, but until we've got them powering our respective Vaios, PowerMacBooks, and OQO / UMPCs, we're gonna have to continue wearing the skeptic's hat and hoping for a real product and not just a whole lot of hydrocarbon-free smoke, so to speak.

Ipodmame brings Pac-Man to the iPod

Ipodmame brings Pac-Man to the iPod: "Filed under: Gaming, Handhelds, Portable Audio, Portable Video


Love it or hate it, you've got to admit that the iPod would certainly be a lot more fun if you could play Pac-Man on it. And now, thanks to the ipodMame project, you can. A subset of the iPodLinux project, iPodMame aims to bring the MAME game emulator to iPods, allowing owners to play classic games on their audio players. Currently, the emulator is confirmed to be able to run Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man on the nano and iPod with video. Other classic games supported by MAME are also supported, so you should be able to play Pengo and -- yes! -- Joust on your iPod.