Computational creativity and the future of AI

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NoLube SIMpull THHN Building Wire

April 4, 2007 Electrical contractors will no longer have to lubricate feeder-sized THHN to pull it through conduit with the introduction of a revolutionary new No Lube SIMpull THHN building wire by Southwire. SIMpull THHN incorporates a patent-pending technology to reduce friction and with it the mess, labor and cost associated with lubrication. In addition, No Lube SIMpull THHN’s design results in a cleaner appearance, easier to read print and a reduced susceptibility to nylon tearing. Independent tests have shown the new cabling reduces total installation time by an average of 30 percent.  Read More

The One-Stop Bill Pay Kiosk Network

March 23, 2007 The power of consumer demand for convenience is driving innovation and automated kiosks become smarter by the day as they are the most cost-effective way to meet a customer in a convenient location – where they live, work and shop. The newly created ChoicePay kiosk is likely to proliferate quite quickly, as it aims to hook together hundreds of national and regional billers to create a network of self-service bill payment kiosks to be placed primarily in payment centers, convenience stores and supermarkets. The product of a partnership with Source Technologies which will integrate the ChoicePay multi-biller, bill payment functionality into the CONCOURSE line of self-service kiosks, to enable bill payment for cash paying consumers across America. Billers that support walk-up payments for cash-preferred customers can reduce the cost associated with processing attended payments, which can average US$1.501 or more per transaction.  Read More

Coca-Cola and GLAM*IT make Europe’s first Magazine on a Bottle

March 22, 2007 The concept of miniature magazines appearing on products of all kinds drew a step closer today when On Product Publishing International (OPP) announced that Coca-Cola Belgium will be the first soft drink company to use the Magazine on a Bottle concept. Coca-Cola light and Sanoma Magazines have joined forces to create the world’s first soft drink combined with a magazine, using the labeling innovation. In April 2007, chilled Coca-Cola light 500ml PET bottles on sale in Belgium will have a free copy of a special mini edition of GLAM*IT magazine attached to the bottle. GLAM*IT is a Belgium’s leading young and glamorous fashion title. The Coca-Cola light edition consists of content which is typical for GLAM*IT but reduced to fit the bottle size. A light version of GLAM*IT has thus been created, to further associate Coca-Cola light with the lighter side of life.  Read More

Nanotechnology offers vastly improved fingerprint acquisition

March 16, 2007 With the spate of Crime Scene Investigation shows currently running on television networks around the world, it’s hard not to be impressed with the evidence that technology can uncover. Well the science of fingerprinting looks set to move to a whole new level in the near future thanks to refinements to the fingerprinting process offered by two developments in nanotechnology. Described as revolutionary by people who are not prone to exaggeration (the United States Secret Service), the new nanotechnologies will enable fingerprints to be clearly developed that current techniques cannot detect.  Read More

Flexible large area printed semiconductor device

March 15, 2007 Nanoident has opened the world’s first manufacturing facility for printed semiconductor-based optoelectronics. The factory will offer high-volume production and will use the company’s Semiconductor 2.0 Platform to deliver printed semiconductor-based products. With its environmentally friendly production process, the OFAB can produce printed electronic devices quickly and at a fraction of the cost of a traditional silicon-based semiconductor fab. The technology will yield cost-effective, custom designed devices for applications such as industrial, chemical, biological, biometric and X-ray sensors, printed OLED displays for smart packaging and electronic signage. According to c/net news, a traditional factory that can produce 40,000 square meters of silicon computer chips would cost about $1.3 billion and require about 5,000 employees. The Nanoident factory costs about $10 million and can be run by about 50 people.  Read More

Using MATLAB Builder for Java from The MathWorks engineers can utilize buttons on the Java...

March 13, 2007 Given the increasing use of algorithms, we expect many of our readers will rejoice at MathWorks newly announced introduction of two MATLAB builders that let application developers create algorithms in MATLAB and then incorporate them royalty-free into enterprise applications based on Java or .NET technologies. The new builders eliminate the time-consuming and error-prone process of recoding an algorithm created in MATLAB into Java or a .NET language. The new MATLAB Builders for .NET and Java will save considerable effort by repackaging algorithms developed in MATLAB into deployable components that can be used royalty-free in desktop and Web applications.  Read More

iDashboards 5.0 offers direct linking to Excel spreadsheets

March 13, 2007 In the game of business, access to information is critical, and access to one’s own company information is even more critical. iDashboards is an enterprise Business Intelligence software application designed to help companies leverage their information assets in real time through visually rich, responsive, and personalized Business Intelligence dashboards, and the latest version is now available. The bit we like most is the connectivity to Excel Spreadsheets – employees no longer have to email Excel spreadsheets back and forth, as they can view the data online, in rich presentation format.  Read More

The beer-launching mini-fridge

March 10, 2007 Here’s further evidence that necessity is the mother of invention. Duke University Electrical and Computer Engineering/Computer Science graduate John W Cornwall seems to rejoice in building interesting contraptions but his latest just could be a killer app. He has designed a fridge that gets the beer for you. His beer launching fridge took “about 3 months and several hundred dollars” to build, resulting in the world’s first fully automated, remote controlled, beer-launching mini-fridge. With a “magazine” of 10 cans, his first fridge was controlled by a keyless entry system. Such was the response to a video of the catapulting fridge, there’s now a good chance the fridge will go into limited edition production with a price tag of US$1500.  Read More

Photoshop CS3 Extended – multimedia workflow and efficiency

March 8, 2007 Adobe is to expand its digital imaging product line in Autumn 2007, offering two editions of Adobe Photoshop CS3. As well as Photoshop CS3 software (currently in beta and available for download here), there’s to be a CS3 Extended version – everything in CS3 plus a new set of capabilities for integration of 3-D and motion graphics, image measurement and analysis. Photoshop CS3 Extended could significantly simplify your workflow if you’re in architecture, engineering, healthcare and science. CS3 Extended is primarily intended for film, video and multimedia professionals, and graphic and web designers and the idea is to leverage the power of the Photoshop image-editing toolset and paint engine when editing 3D and motion-based content. Film and video specialists can perform 3-D model visualisation and texture editing, paint and clone over multiple video frames. Animators can now render and incorporate 3-D content into their 2-D compositions. Graphic and web designers can create an animation from a series of images – such as time series data – and export it to a wide variety of formats, including QuickTime, MPEG-4 and Adobe Flash Video.  Read More

Innovative machines invade the forest – the Sawfish Underwater Harvester

March 8, 2007 The logging of forests is a very expensive affair, and when there’s a lot of money involved, you can always count on some very special machinery. Two perfect illustrations of this are Plustech/TimberJack/John Deere’s walking tractor prototype (videos here, here and here) and Triton Logging's Sawfish Underwater Harvester. The value of underwater forests in Canada was deemed so large that Triton has developed the Sawfish, a 3-tonne, 3.5-metre-long, yellow submersible with high-resolution cameras so an operator can direct it from the surface. The Sawfish then grasps the base of the tree with its powerful pincers, attaches an inflatable flotation bag to the tree, fills the bag with compressed air and then it cuts the tree with its 1.5-metre chainsaw and the flotation bag carries it to the surface – it can actually handle larger trees than any land-based mechanical harvester due to water buoyancy. As the world’s only deep-water logging machine, it’s a mash-up of remote control, timber-harvesting and submarine technology that can cut down a dozen trees in an hour, at depths of up to 300 metres. The machines are now available to other logging companies at a price around US$750,000 and with no new roads to build and no fires to control, logging underwater suddenly makes economic sense.  Read More

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