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Richard Moss

Richard Moss
Richard is a freelance writer and journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. He’s contributed to Ars Technica, Edge Magazine, Polygon, and many other publications. When not writing or trying to read the entire internet, you’ll likely find him dancing, playing games, dabbling in creative stuff, or learning about whatever catches his eye.

DrumPants, the wireless device that converts your pants into a wearable MIDI controller and music sequencer, can now bring a different kind of music to the ears of those around you. Its creators have recently started a beta test program that uses DrumPants triggers (sensor strips that wirelessly connect to a control box) to control lights and doors and to give a voice to those who have none. People with injuries or disorders that limit their ability to speak can tap the trigger on their body or wheelchair to activate an app that reads out loud any customizable statements or text messages, thereby enabling them to communicate more effectively with others.

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British company Pi Supply has created a low-power, low-cost e-ink display module for the Raspberry Pi do-it-yourself single-board computer. PaPiRus, as it's called, comes in three interchangeable screen sizes (1.44, 2.0, or 2.7 in), and like all e-paper devices it's readable in sunlight and it remains on (which is to say it can display a static image) for a very long time without power. Its creators note that it is particularly well suited to data-logging applications and outdoor displays.

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The rise of cloud gaming services such as PlayStation Now may have ushered in a new era of convenience for blasting virtual aliens and monsters to smithereens, but on-demand play brings with it one huge unwanted drawback: the bandwidth required is astronomical. But researchers at Duke University and Microsoft Research think they have a solution that'll let gamers have their on-demand cake and eat it too. They have developed a tool called Kahawai (Hawaiian for stream), which splits the rendering calculations between your device and a remote server rather than offloading them all to the server.

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A 17-year-old Canadian has earned first place at Intel's 2015 International Science and Engineering Fair, which the company claims is the biggest high school science competition in the world. Raymond Wang's system to improve air quality in airplane cabins scooped the US$75,000 top prize ahead of a low-cost HIV testing device and a new containment enclosure for undersea oil wells.

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A study of skin wound healing in 40 (human) volunteers has found that electrical stimulation significantly speeds up the healing process. The researchers hope to now develop and test dressings and devices that could be used in treatment of human or veterinary surgical wounds, sports injuries, and other serious skin trauma.

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Great news if you're planning a visit to exoplanets Kepler-7b or HAT-P-7b. An international team of astrophysicists has identified daily weather cycles using Kepler telescope data on these and four other far off worlds. The nightly news isn't about to start reading extrasolar weather reports, but this new knowledge will help improve our understanding of the Earth's place in the cosmic puzzle.

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Electrical engineer Charles Sharman noticed several years ago that as they got older, the children he taught at Sunday School tended to migrate from Lego and other building toys to video games. He wanted them to keep creating, so he started a company called Seven:Twelve Engineering and began designing a building toy that could hold the attention of these older kids. That toy is called Crossbeams, and it can be used to design and assemble a huge range of toys – including big, detailed, moving cars and helicopters.

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Research into the underlying causes of a genetic disorder that causes premature aging and death has revealed a key driver of aging in all people. Better yet, this mechanism is reversible – and with it, perhaps, scientists may be able to slow or reverse the aging process.

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In what could just as easily prove to be a very bad idea as it could a good one, a startup company called Feelreal has created a virtual reality mask and helmet that lets you smell virtual environments. The company claims its devices stimulate both the olfactory (smell) and tactile (touch) senses, thereby immersing you in virtual water mist or wind or a battlefield. Read More
A new nanoscale plasmon laser developed at Northwestern University changes color in real time through a process as simple as swapping one liquid dye for another. The scientists responsible for the technology claim this is the world's first liquid nanoscale laser, and it could find uses in medical diagnostics as well as military or security applications. Read More
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