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Ben Coxworth

Ben Coxworth

An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.

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— Automotive

Tuk Tuk Factory launches all-electric e-Tuk Vendo

By - May 3, 2012 5 Pictures
When most people in the western world think of tuk tuks (if they even know what they are), they likely picture rather beat-up, primitive, noisy vehicles that zip around the crowded streets of exotic foreign lands. A Dutch company known as Tuk Tuk Factory, however, recently started building its own electric tuk tuks for sale within Europe. Apparently the traditional gas-powered vehicles from Asia couldn’t meet European environmental, quality or safety requirements. While the company’s existing models have all been aimed at ferrying around passengers, last week it launched the e-Tuk Vendo – an all-electric three-wheeled mobile catering machine. Read More
— Science

3.2 billion-pixel Large Synoptic Survey Telescope camera comes a step closer to reality

By - May 2, 2012 9 Pictures
Although the pixel count for consumer cameras continues to rise, they will all pale in comparison to the 3,200-megapixel Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) camera. Although the enormous astronomical camera has yet to be built, last week the U.S. Department of Energy gave its approval for the project to proceed to the next phase of development. This means that a detailed engineering design can begin, along with a production schedule and budget. If everything goes according to plan, construction on what will be the world’s largest digital camera should begin in 2014. Read More
— Science

Squid-inspired tech could lead to color-changing smart materials

By - May 2, 2012 3 Pictures
If you’ve ever watched a cephalopod such as a squid changing color, then you’ll know that it’s a pretty amazing process – they can instantly change the appearance of their skin from dark to light and back again, or even create pulsating bands of color that travel across it. They are able to do this thanks to muscles that manipulate the pigmentation of their skin. Now, scientists from the University of Bristol have succeeded in creating artificial muscles and cells, that might someday allow for the same sort of color changes in smart clothing that can camouflage itself against different backgrounds. Read More
— Medical

New concept could lead to low-cost DNA sequencing in everyday clinical practices

By - May 1, 2012 1 Picture
Doctors and scientists wishing to decode a human genome can now do so in a day for US$1,000 a pop using the recently-released Ion Proton sequencer. With a price tag of $149,000, though, the machine isn’t cheap – nor is it the be-all and end-all of desktop gene sequencing. For one thing, the tiny $900 MinION sequencer should be available soon. Also, a team of scientists from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Yale University have now developed a concept of their own, which could end up providing an even less expensive high-speed sequencer. Read More
— Electronics

Engineers produce multiple colors of lasers using a single material

By - May 1, 2012 1 Picture
Ordinarily, if you wanted to include blue, green and red laser light sources in the same device (such as a BluRay player), you would need to build in three separate lasers – each one incorporating different semiconductor materials. Now, however, engineers from Rhode Island’s Brown University have succeeded in creating different colors of lasers, all using the same nanocrystal-based semiconductor. Among other things, this opens the door to digital displays that could produce various colors of laser light simultaneously. Read More
— Science

"Decorated" nanowires could lead to better batteries and solar cells

By - May 1, 2012 3 Pictures
Higher-density batteries, more efficient thin-film solar cells, and better catalysts may all soon be possible, thanks to a new technique that allows nanowires to be “decorated” with nanoparticles. Using the novel technology, scientists from Stanford University have been able to festoon the outside surfaces of nanowires with intricate chains of metal oxide or noble metal nanoparticles, thereby drastically boosting the effective surface area of the nanowires. Other researchers have previously tried to achieve the same end result, but apparently never with such success. Read More
— Digital Cameras

Compact MoveeGo camera rigs are designed especially for small camcorders

By - April 30, 2012 3 Pictures
There was a time not so long ago, when amateur film-makers were simply told, “If you want your footage to look professional, use a tripod.” While that advice still stands, the market is now being flooded with relatively inexpensive devices that allow basement videographers to smoothly execute camera moves that were previously only possible using Hollywood-style gear. One of the latest contenders in this field is MoveeGo, a two-device system that lets users of small cameras get SteadiCam-like handheld shots, or sleek tracking shots. Read More
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