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Darren Quick

The integrated solar panels

Blinds are handy things. They give us privacy at night and block the sun’s rays during the day. But what if there was a way to capture the light from the day and give it back at night to illuminate the house? That’s the thinking behind Vincent Gerkens’ concept design which takes a Venetian blind and combines it with flexible solar cells and electroluminescent foil to produce the ‘Blight’ – that’s short for ‘Blind Light’, but I’d be tempted to give the name some more thought if I were Vincent given the images of pestilence and decay the word evokes. The Blight captures solar energy during the day and uses it to power the electroluminescent foil covering the blinds to produce light at night.  Read More

The all-in-one Dell Studio One 19

Dell has embraced the migration of the PC from the study with their new all-in-one Studio One 19 system that is designed to be as home in the living room or kitchen as it is in the study. The new system features optional multi-touch and facial recognition security capabilities, the option of Intel Celeron, Dual Core Celeron, Pentium Dual Core, Core 2 Duo or Core 2 Quad Core Processors, either nVidia GeForce 9200 or GeForce 9400 integrated graphics and up to 4GB of RAM.  Read More

A male model struts his stuff for the media

Let’s be honest, for most people exercising is a bit of a pain and the following day you can wind up sore in muscles you didn’t even know you were using. Researchers at the University of Tokyo have developed a system that could help lessen such painful surprises by displaying muscular activity in real time.  Read More

Black & Decker's Remote Access Control

Black and Decker is giving homeowners a way to lock up their daughters when they aren’t even home. The company's new motorized locks are designed to complement the emerging electronic ‘smart homes’. They can be activated remotely and can even directly control home security and automation systems, and vice versa.  Read More

The Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 3Gb/second hard drive

It’s not all Flash based memory in the world of new storage devices. Traditional HDD’s still have some life in their platters and Seagate and AMD have teamed up to give good old Serial ATA (SATA) HDD’s a speed bump with the first public demonstration of next-generation high-speed data transfer 6Gigabit/second units for bandwidth-hungry desktop and laptop PC applications including gaming, streaming video and graphics multimedia.  Read More

Ultramafic rocks (in red) that potentially could absorb CO2 (Image: U.S. Geological Survey...

The debate about the benefits of using Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) to fight against climate change is ongoing. One one hand there are reservations regarding suitable sequestration sites that provide sufficient security to store CO2 for centuries as well as the cost of implementing such a system, which could draw important funds away from the development of renewable energy technologies. On the other, we are still heavily reliant on burning fossil fuels to produce energy and this infrastructure can't be replaced overnight. CCS is obviously attractive to existing power generation companies as it allows them to keep hold of their existing infrastructure and for this reason, it is more than likely that CSS schemes will continue to gather momentum. So where to we can CO2 be stored? Scientists at Columbia University’s Earth Institute and the U.S. Geological Survey have produced a new report that maps large rock formations in the United States that can also absorb CO2 and are exploring ways to speed up the CCS process.  Read More

Cloud seeding in action

Rainmaking has advanced since the days when a ritual dance was believed to invoke the wet stuff, but while modern day cloud seeding has been shown to change the structure and size of clouds, it’s still debatable whether the practice actually has any effect on rainfall. After all, even if precipitation does occur after cloud seeding there’s no way of knowing whether it would have rained anyway. This uncertainty hasn’t stopped widespread use of cloud seeding in countries around the world including the US, Russia, Australia and China, which boasts the largest cloud seeding system in the world. Now a breakthrough by an international team of scientists could help in the development of new materials which could be used to enhance the process.  Read More

Jaime Oliver and his Silent Drum

New technology means new ways to create and express music and new types of interfaces that broaden the definition of a "musical instrument" way beyond traditional parameters. Georgia Tech’s Center for Music Technology seeks to recognize the creators of new musical instruments with the Guthman Musical Instrument Competition. The first winners of the competition include a robotic guitar, SLABS touch pad and a Silent Drum that generates sound by manipulating the elastic spandex head of a drum shell.  Read More

The proposed 'space diaper'

While the thought of rocketing into space might make some people want to soil themselves, going to the toilet in zero gravity is a very real problem for space faring astronauts. Until now the solution has been to strap themselves onto a toilet that is similar to traditional western style but employs a vacuum cleaner-like machine to suck the wastes away – doesn’t sound too pleasant does it. Now it seems the Japanese are approaching the problem from a different tack with Pink Tentacle reporting that the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has teamed up with engineers from the private sector to develop a next-generation space toilet that is designed to be worn like a diaper.  Read More

The 'Virtual Cocoon' virtual reality headset

To date most virtual reality devices have been focused on providing input for just two senses – sight and hearing - and while haptic technologies are on the march, we've yet to see a complete VR system that convincingly mimics all aspects of our perception. In a taste of what could be, last week at the Pioneer 09 science show in London researchers unveiled a mock-up of a virtual reality headset designed to stimulate all five senses.  Read More

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