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Darren Quick

Darren Quick

Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.

— Good Thinking

Routers of the future... maybe

There are exceptions, but for the most part routers are decidedly unglamorous, which is why they are generally secreted away under a desk or otherwise hidden from view. With the Internet now so much a part of daily life they are almost invisible. So long as their lights keep flashing to provide us with our Internet fix we don’t even notice them. Now the UK’s largest broadband provider, TalkTalk, has asked Goldsmiths, University of London to give the humble router a face-lift with their vision of what the routers of the future might look like – and they’re probably not what you expected. Read More
— Mobile Technology

SimpleTOUGH portable USB drive withstands 10 foot drop

It seems ‘rugged’ is the new black when it comes to external hard drives. Following the acquisition of SimpleTech, Hitachi has released a rugged portable USB drive under that brand - the SimpleTOUGH. The new drives are designed to endure some serious punishment with a rubberized body that's engineered to withstand a 9.8 foot (3 m) drop and take the pressure of a one-ton truck. The units also include an integrated, flexible, foldaway USB cable so the forgetful among us won’t get caught short. Read More
— Automotive

First-ever flexible ceramic heat shield material

Take note of the name ZircoFlex, because it will most likely, in our not-so-humble opinion, immediately become part of the lexicon and bag of tricks of every automotive, marine, aerospace and industrial manufacturer, fabricator, constructor, inventor and race engineer on the planet. We've previously written about Zircotec’s plasma sprayed ThermoHold coatings, which when applied to the surface of metallic and composite components can reduce surface temperatures by up to 33 percent. Until now, the process has had two major limitations being the need to treat parts directly using 14000ºK plasma sprays and the natural brittleness of ceramic coatings which has limited their use up to rigid substrates. Patent-pending ZircoFlex™ is a flexible ceramic heat shield material that will be available in a roll, offering a low-cost, easy-to-apply solution to the thermal protection of vital engine components. The product is set to revolutionise the use of ceramic materials for heat protection in a wide range of applications. Read More
— Home Entertainment

Logitech unveils four new 360-Degree Sound multimedia speaker systems

Logitech has announced four new multimedia speaker systems featuring omnidirectional acoustics for a wider sound sweet spot. Unlike standard PC speakers that use forward-firing drivers, the four new Logitech multimedia speaker systems feature 360-Degree Sound courtesy of the forward and backwards facing drivers found in each satellite. Logitech claims this allows sound to be transmitted more consistently over a wider space to provide better sound when you drag yourself away from the desk. Read More
— Around The Home

The Amana Jot Refrigerator makes a cool noticeboard

There’s no doubt the refrigerator is the central hub of the kitchen, serving more than its primary purpose of keeping things cold. In recent years we’ve seen fridge manufacturers pack their products with all manner of technological additions, from iPod docks to touch screens and TVs. In most households though, the humble fridge remains a central place to stick notes that are sure to be seen. Whirlpool has saved us the hassle of hunting for a scrap of paper on which to scribble such missives with the Amana Jot refrigerator. Read More
— Environment

The M3 mobile water desalination system cuts the cost of producing clean water

Desalination is a popular source of potable water in Middle Eastern countries, where large energy reserves and the relative scarcity of water suitable for drinking led to desalination in the region accounting for close to 75% of total world capacity in 2007. If that figure hasn’t already dropped it almost certainly will as access to clean water becomes an issue for many places around the globe. And the shortage isn’t just limited to developing countries, with places like California and parts of Australia facing their worst droughts in recorded history. A new mini-mobile-modular (M3) “smart” water desalination and filtration system could help determine the feasibility of desalination in areas that may be considering it for the first time. Read More
— Digital Cameras

New technique reduces processing power needed for facial recognition

The human brain has an amazing capacity for recognizing patterns, particularly faces. While we are able to differentiate different faces with apparent ease, computer facial recognition systems have a much harder time of it, relying on powerful computers and complex models to accurately identify the majority of differences between faces. This has held facial recognition systems back from being widely adopted, but now researchers at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) have developed a technique that significantly reduces the amount of computer power required without compromising accuracy. Read More
— Robotics

Learning robot puts on a happy face

Robots generally aren’t the most expressive of entities, but their faces are becoming increasingly realistic as the number of artificial muscles controlling them rises. Today, a highly trained person must manually set up these kinds of realistic robots so that the servos pull in the right combination to make specific facial expressions, but researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) are looking to automate the process by giving robots the ability to learn realistic facial expressions. Read More