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Alan Brandon

Look for a boost in smartphone performance and capabilities as the Intel Moorestown platform starts to appear in devices this year. Intel says that the new mobile Internet device (MID) platform will be launching during the first half of 2010, and should begin appearing in consumer devices on the market as early as the third quarter. The specs look promising and Intel was showing off a bevy of prototypes and reference designs at CES 2010, including units from Aava Mobile, EB, Inventec, Open Peak, and Winstron. LG also had a Moorestown-based smartphone on hand at the show. Read More
As eReaders such as the Kindle and the Nook establish themselves with consumers, manufacturers are already looking ahead to the next generation of devices. Moving beyond e-ink, tomorrow’s eReaders will feature color displays and the ability to show video as well. To meet the needs of the most demanding users, eReaders will also need to feature long battery life and displays that are bright enough to read even in direct sunlight. Qualcomm’s Mirasol displays, which will begin shipping this year, address these needs using technology that mimics the coloration of a butterfly’s wings. Read More
Audio manufacturer Sennheiser and sporting goods giant Adidas have collaborated on a new line of athletics-oriented headphones. Called simply the Sports line, the product range includes four models of rugged sweat- and water-proof headphones designed to fit whatever type of sports activity you are into. Read More
A common problem with most MP3 players, portable game systems, and Bluetooth headsets is earbuds that don’t stay in your ear. Many earpieces, like the ubiquitous white iPod earbuds, are designed to be “one-size-fits-all” but simply do not stay put when you’re exercising, gaming, or walking through the airport. Yurtopia aims to fix that problem with their Yurbuds custom-sized earbud enhancers. Read More
New from electronics maker Parrot comes the AR.Drone, a Wi-Fi helicopter with dual cameras and augmented-reality video streaming, that you control using your iPhone or iPod Touch. Although the RC flyer is still in the prototype stage, Parrot has been demonstrating it at the 2010 CES show in Las Vegas. The AR.Drone features four rotors and interchangeable hulls for flying both indoors and outside. Built-in flight stabilization technology keeps the drone steady while you use your iPhone’s motion sensors to steer it remotely over the craft’s Wi-Fi network. Read More
If one rotor is good, four must be better. That’s the general idea behind the CyberQuad, a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) from Cyber Technology. The CyberQuad is an electric, remote-controlled reconnaissance platform that features four ducted rotors to provide lift and maneuverability, allowing the remote-control UAV to be used in urban and enclosed environments. The four rotors give the CyberQuad the payload capacity and stability of a helicopter-type UAV, while the ducted design avoids the dangers associated with exposed propellers. Read More
Nothing ruins a motorcycle trip like the smell of burning nylon and the sight of your possessions scattered across the highway. Soft-sided panniers are great when you want to pack some gear for a weekend getaway, but they’re not so great if they come into contact with your bike’s hot exhaust pipe. By applying a Zircotec ceramic coating to your bike’s exhaust system, the manufacturer says you can get rid of the heat shields and protect your panniers (and passenger!) from heat damage. Read More
NASA's recently upgraded Hubble Space Telescope has made the deepest near-infrared image of the universe ever taken. Taken using a newly installed camera, the image shows deep space objects such as galaxies that formed only 600 million years after the Big Bang, making them the oldest galaxies ever seen. The image was taken with the Hubble’s new Wide Field Camera 3, which astronauts installed in May. Read More
As art museums go, the Micropolitan Museum has a very small collection. Literally. Presented by the Institute for the Promotion of the Less than One Millimetre, the Micropolitan Museum of Microscopic Art Forms is an online “portrait” collection of mini- and micro-organisms photographed through a microscope. Inside the virtual museum’s halls you can find a zooplankton family portrait next to the glowing image of a mother copepod posing with her children (Okay, her children are actually egg packages). Down the hall, a postmodern bloom of diatoms shares exhibit space with a Rubenesque polysiphonia cystocarps. Read More
The Santa Barbara Instrument Group (SBIG) is adding two new models to its line of specialized, high-resolution CCD cameras for astrophotography and spectography. The ST-8300M and ST-8300C both feature an 8.3 megapixel CCD, thermoelectric cooling, and a USB 2.0 interface. The camera bodies accept both standard c-mount and Nikon lenses making them suitable for a variety of applications. SBIG claims the cameras’ antiblooming and microlens technology improves their sensitivity. Both cameras can also be used as autoguiders to control motorized telescope mounts. Read More
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