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Michael Mulcahy

Top Articles by Michael Mulcahy
The Bowers and Wilkins MM-1 computer speaker strikes a sexy pose

Bowers and Wilkins has taken its five decade's experience with loudspeakers and created a true hi-fi computer speaker, which it unveiled this week at CES. The MM-1 is a serious speaker made small, with two separate drive units including an aluminum dome tweeter, and Digital Signal Processing that uses USB streaming to bypass the computer's own soundcard.  Read More

The Sangean Fatbox FB-100 makes an appearance at CES 2010. Perfect for worksites, the Fatb...

The degraded state of a worksite radio used to be a point of pride amongst tradespeople. The grungier, basically, the better. But one of the exhibits at CES that caught our eye might change all that. The Sangean Fatbox FB-100 has the look of a portable generator but, in fact, is a ridiculously rugged AM/FM radio and MP3 player that also safely protects an iPod against water, dust and the most brutal of treatment.  Read More

MIT's robo-fish takes a well-earned break in the lab with Valdivia y Alvarado

What is it with scientists and robotic animals? Did they not have pets as children? This year alone, we’ve seen robot ferrets, penguins, dogs, locusts, moles and bats. And now, scientists at MIT have come up with a robotic fish. Although we’ve seen mechanical fish before, this one is different in a very significant way – the robofish truly mimics the natural swimming action of real fish, flexing mechanical muscles to propel itself through the water.  Read More

The dangers of space junk aren't limited to space - occasionally it falls out of the sky, ...

The Soviet Union launched the very first earth-orbiting satellite in 1957, and the world looked on in awe as Sputnik flashed through the sky. Fifty years later, you’d be lucky to see anything. The U.S. Space Surveillance Network says there are almost 20,000 man-made objects in orbit, ninety-four percent of which are non-functional debris. And that’s not counting the hundreds of thousands of bits of junk too small to track. Little wonder the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has put out a call for someone – anyone – to come up with a way to effectively remove orbital debris.  Read More

The 'fastest kettle in the world' on its way to breaking a 100-year-old land speed record

Last month, we reported that the British Steam Car had its sights set on several long-standing world records – and we’re happy to report that they’ve smashed not one, but two in the last week of August at Edwards Air Force Base in California. On Tuesday, August 25, they broke the world’s longest-standing speed record with a 139.843mph measured mile and then, the next day, clobbered the record for a measured kilometer with a speed of 148.308mph.  Read More

The Airborne Laser provides speed-of-light capability to knock hostile missiles out of the...

On August 10, Boeing and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency were finally able to demonstrate that the US$1.1 billion Airborne Laser (ABL) program actually works. The ABL aircraft, a modified Boeing 747-400, took off from Edwards Air Force Base and located, tracked and fired on a target missile. Although a surrogate high-energy laser was used – rather than the megawatt-class laser that will ultimately arm it – instrumentation on the target verified the hit.  Read More

The Accent pacemaker sends a wireless signal to a home transmitter, which then forwards th...

The world’s very first fully implanted pacemaker, in 1958, lasted three hours before the batteries failed. It was replaced by one that lasted two days. Ultimately, Arne Larsson – surgical guinea pig – went on to receive 26 different pacemakers over the next 43 years. Now, a New York woman has become the first person in the world to receive a pacemaker that allows completely wireless monitoring, transmitting clinical data to her doctor each day via the Internet. And, if anything ever goes wrong, the doctor is alerted instantly.  Read More

SanDisk's slotRadio gives you a stylish player and 1000 songs preloaded on an SD flash car...

As flash memory card capacity increases exponentially and prices fall equally fast, manufacturers are looking for new ways to innovate. SanDisk, one of the world’s biggest makers of memory products, has partnered with the Billboard charts in order to compete with music players like the iPod. The SanDisk slotRadio is a small, stylish player that comes bundled with a micro SD flash card pre-loaded with 1000 chart-topping songs for just USD$99.99. It’s certainly great value, but the big drawback is the music won’t play on anything else.  Read More

The British Steam Car reached speeds of 131mph - well above the existing record - in testi...

There’s something endearingly quixotic – and awfully English – about the British Steam Car Challenge. The team has spent the last ten years trying to successfully marry Victorian-age transport with modern technology in an effort break a 100-year-old steam land speed record. And, on Friday August 7 at Edwards Air Force base in California, they finally beat that world record speed with a run of 131mph – but because the FIA wasn’t present, it’s not yet official.  Read More

The success of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles like the Predator means the US Air Force will, thi...

There was once a great Far Side cartoon that had ‘hopeful parents’ imagining a newspaper full of Help Wanted ads for skilled video game players. Well, it looks like Gary Larson might have been more prescient than he imagined. The US Air Force has just revealed that, this year, it will train more ‘pilots’ to remotely operate unmanned aircraft than pilots to fly fighters and bombers.  Read More

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