After a misspent youth at law school, Noel began to dabble in tech research, writing and things with wheels that go fast. This bus dropped him at the door of a freshly sprouted Gizmag.com in 2002. He has been Gizmag's Editor-in-Chief since 2007.
The weird properties of artificially engineered metamaterials
are at the core of research into invisibility cloaking, but engineers from Duke University in North Carolina suggest that these materials could also provide a boost to another of technology's quests - wireless power transmission. In this latest hard-to-get-your-head-around metamaterial scenario, it's not the cloaked object that "disappears" - it's the space between
the charger and the chargee.
Having already made the leap into hybrid drive-trains with the GT3 R Hybrid
and 918 Spyder
, Porsche has now delivered a taste of possible future all-electric models by showcasing two Boxster E prototype variants at the Michelin Challenge Bibendum in Berlin last week. Designed to retain the driving dynamics of their ICE driven brethren, the 4WD and 2WD prototypes are being used to investigate the integration of EVs into the company's infrastructure as well as "explore the everyday practicality of all-electric vehicles."
The world's failure to end as predicted last weekend may have left many survival shelters overstocked, but if there's still a little space on the bunker shelf you might want to consider expanding your rations smorgasbord with the Tactical Sammich. Available in Pepperoni or BBQ Beef, the Tactical Sammiches have a claimed shelf life of over two years if maintained at 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26.7 degrees Celsius) or less.
There are good passwords and bad passwords
, but none of them are totally secure. Researchers at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, are working on strengthening an approach to password security that's not just about what
you type, but how
you type it.
Having two arms doesn't make you a juggler. The same principle applies in robotics where even the most dextrous of bots must be programmed to move according to a particular task. Input systems based on laser tracking are used in industrial robotics to achieve this, but Fraunhofer researchers are looking to streamline the process significantly with a device that uses inertial sensors to detect movements in free space. In other words, you can teach a robot new tricks just by showing it the required action.
Solar Impulse has successfully completed its first international flight. After spending most of last week on standby
waiting for favorable weather conditions, the Swiss solar powered aircraft made the run from Payerne to Brussels on Friday 13 May in a flight that lasted 12 hours 59 minutes. Hats-off to the Solar Impulse team!
Boeing has successfully kicked-off its test flight program for the Phantom Ray
unmanned airborne system (UAS). The fighter-sized technology demonstrator reached an altitude of 7,500 feet and a speed of 178 knots in its first flight on April 27 in the skies above NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California. A second successful test flight followed on May 5.
NASA, the double-helix model, Elvis ... there's a long list of things that emerged during the 1950s which still resonate strongly in 2011, but none more so than the humble silicon transistor
. Transistors are the bricks with which the shiny house of modern consumer electronics has been built, but for more than 50 years these bricks have been limited to two dimensions. Now there's a third. Intel has announced that it is putting its revolutionary Tri-Gate 3-D transistor into mass production. The first 22nm microprocessor (codenamed Ivy Bridge) to use the transistors will be rolled-out later this year, delivering huge gains in performance and efficiency compared with chips that use current 2-D planar transistors and helping keep pace with Moore's Law
Medigus has developed the world's smallest video camera at just 0.039-inches (0.99 mm) in diameter. The Israeli company's second-gen model (a 0.047-inch diameter camera was unveiled in 2009) has a dedicated 0.66x0.66 mm CMOS sensor that captures images at 45K resolution and no, it's not destined for use in tiny mobile phones or covert surveillance devices, instead the camera is designed for medical endoscopic procedures in hard to reach regions of the human anatomy.
G-Form has taken its expertise in protecting the bodies of cyclists and skaters and applied it to consumer electronics, first with a case for iPad
that's tough enough to withstand a bowling ball attack and now with what's billed as "the world's most rugged case for laptops." Made from a flexible, lightweight material that hardens upon impact, the Extreme Sleeve for Laptop will ship at the end of May in 11”, 13” and 15" sizes. Could be just the thing if you're looking to drop your MacBook off a balcony ...