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Paul Ridden

Environment

Green ideas get ecomagination showcase

General Electric (GE) has already chosen a dozen new partners to accelerate and commercialize technologies to help build the next generation power grid, as part of Phase I of its ecomagination challenge. Idaho's Solar Roadways project received the highest number of community votes in that round, and looks to be doing well in the current phase. As the hopefuls in the "Powering Your Home" phase go before the judges, we take a quick look at some of the entries that have caught our attention.Read More

Science

New microscope captures 3D movies of living cells

In some cases, looking at a living cell under a microscope can cause it damage or worse, can kill it. Now, a new kind of microscope has been invented by researchers from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute that is able to non-invasively take a three dimensional look inside living cells with stunning results. The device uses a thin sheet of light like that used to scan supermarket bar codes and could help biologists to achieve their goal of understanding the rules that govern molecular processes within a cell.Read More

Computers

Stealth introduces rugged All-in-One panel PCs

Stealth Computer has taken some of its rugged industrial PC know-how and developed an all-in-one solution for interactive kiosks, outdoor computing, or marine, aviation, security and industrial environments. The SVPC's panel is sealed against windblown dust and rain, splashing and hose-directed water, comes in three screen size options and benefits from touchscreen user interaction. The PC part of the package offers dual-core processing, HDD or SSD storage and sports a multitude of I/O connectivity options.Read More

Computers

New form of computer memory uses 100 times less power

Researchers from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of the University of Illinois have developed a new low-power digital memory which uses much less power and is faster than other solutions currently available. The breakthrough could give future consumer devices like smartphones and laptops a much longer battery life, but might also benefit equipment used in telecommunications, science or by the military.Read More

Good Thinking

Banana peels can be used to purify water

The skin of a banana has been used to great comic effects in numerous slapstick routines for many years. It's also good for the skin and is a traditional cure for warts. You can polish shoes and silver with it. You can make wine with it and it's even been known to find itself being dried, wrapped in paper and smoked. Now, research published in the journal of the American Chemical Society claims that mashed up peel can remove heavy metals from river water.Read More

Music

The evolution of the guitar synth peaks with the GR-55 from Roland

In the late seventies, Roland took the sonic palette available to keyboard players and opened it up to guitarists, with the introduction on the GR-500. It was quite simply a marvel, but is positively primitive when compared to the latest evolutionary leap taken by the company with the GR-55 guitar synthesizer. Featuring a pair of independent synthesizer sound engines and a Composite Object Sound Modeling (COSM) engine, the device makes hundreds of different sounds available to the player – anything from pianos to strings, drums to synths, various acoustic and electric guitar and bass emulations, as well as numerous amplifiers.Read More

Home Entertainment

Logitech's new Z906 THX-Certified Surround Sound speakers

Logitech has announced that its veteran digital 5.1 speaker system, the highly regarded Z-5500, is to be retired and replaced by a newer model at the end of the month. On the face of it, the upgrades to the new Z906 system appear to be purely cosmetic. It offers similar specs to its ancestor but loses out slightly on the total RMS output, although Logitech says that it will still shake your house. The system benefits from multi-source simultaneous digital and analog input, wire-free remote and room-filling Dolby and DTS surround sound technology.Read More

Urban Transport

Like a Swiss Army Knife you can ride: The Voltitude folding electric bike

Last January, we said that the Robrady-designed db0 was one of the best folding electric bikes we'd seen. The Swiss entry into the market has turned its back on this traditional bicycle-with-motor design in favor of a folding pedal-electric assist scooter. Users are said to be able to fold or unfold the Voltitude bike in about one second, and with one hand, thanks to its unique EasyFold system. Swiss and EU legislation limits the electric assist to 15.5 mph (25 kph), although some frantic footwork could see it achieve faster speeds if required, and the onboard battery is good for between 12 and 25 miles (20 to 40 km) between charges.Read More

Science

New model explains mystery of missing sunspots

Direct observation of sunspots has, more or less, been going on continuously since they were first observed in the seventeenth century. So, you can imagine the puzzled expressions on the faces of astronomers the world over when the phenomena all-but disappeared from view for a couple of years recently. Now, research sponsored by NASA and the government of India has produced the first computer model that explains the prolonged cyclic minima during 2008 - 2009. The simulations suggest that plasma currents deep inside the sun interfered with the formation of sunspots.Read More

Computers

Behold the beast: the AMD Radeon HD 6990 graphics card

Not too long ago, we were all salivating at the release of NVIDIA's GTX 580 graphics card and scrambling to make the most of the world's fastest Direct X GPU. Now AMD has bounced back with the announcement that its new Radeon HD 6990 card has beaten NVIDIA's 3DMark 11 performance score in industry standard benchmark testing for a single graphics card. AMD says that its new powerhouse GPU is able to automatically unlock higher clock speeds, features technology aimed at giving gamers the best possible visual experience, and supports a number of different display options, including expanding the field of view over five monitors with Eyefinity technology.Read More

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