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Hand-cranked radio, torch and cell phone charger

September 24, 2005 The ETON FR300 is a wind-up radio that has a built-in torch, weather and TV band audio receivers, AM-FM radio and it can also charge your cell phone – accordingly, we reckon it qualifies as the ultimate emergency device as it keeps you on the air in more ways than one. The ability to listen to television when you’re not at home can be handy too – such as with sporting broadcasts or award shows or weather channels. All for US$50  Read More

Firelidar enables first responders to see through glass and flame

September 24, 2005 Tests on FireLidar, a new portable lidar (light detection and ranging) system developed by US Navy research, show it enables first responders the ability to see through glass and flame - a capability unavailable on the market today. The left side image was taken without FireLidar while the image on right shows a photo of a child in a firefighter outfit which is clearly visible through the glass and flame. This potentially life-saving technology has numerous military and peacetime search and rescue applications in that it enables the user to see through fire, smoke, glass (windows), water/steam, fog, and other similar environmental conditions.  Read More

Tower Hill wins London Award for Building in an Historic Context

September 21, 2005 The 2005 Award for Building in an Historic Context, awarded by RIBA London and English Heritage has gone to the Tower Hill Environs Scheme. The Stanton Williams project was considered an outstanding contender by the jury. The jury citation for Tower Hill Environs read: "The quality of the hard landscaping of this scheme is amazing, and balances well against the historic edifice of the Tower. The change in the approach to the Tower is remarkable, befitting its status as a World Heritage Site and Royal Palace. This project demonstrates a strong contribution from all parties: the architect, Tower Hamlets planning department, English Heritage and Historic Royal Palaces. Tower Hill Environs is an important new public square on the river for London".  Read More

Robot lifeguard wins 15th International BraunPrize - full details of finalists

September 19, 2005 The BraunPrize for 2005 has been awarded to Jens Andersson from Sweden for his design “Rescue Buoy” - a swimming robot in the form of a lifebuoy. The other four International BraunPrize finalists were Australian Greg Scott’s ingenious Yolk headgear for skiers and snowboarders, Canadian Lynn Borneman Animal Factor which monitors the health of a horse during strenuous activity, Chinese Wa Yao’s Mesh Editor, a mobile space-planning tool to facilitate the rapid creation of light and safe large-span structures and Brazilian Adriano Galvao’s Easy-XM which simplifies and reduces the amount of time required to take blood from patients.  Read More

Hot Property: The Stealing of Ideas in an Age of Globalization

September 12, 2005 The Professional Inventors Alliance USA has awarded the "American Innovation & Invention Book of the Year" for 2005 to "Hot Property: The Stealing of Ideas in an Age of Globalization" by author Pat Choate. A strong advocate of tight intellectual-property protections, Choate, an economist and Ross Perot's 1996 vice presidential running mate, says that international forums and domestic laws are already in place to stop intellectual property crimes. However, American policymakers are lacking the willpower to stem an impending economic, scientific, and technological decline. September 12, 2005 The Professional Inventors Alliance USA has awarded the "American Innovation & Invention Book of the Year" for 2005 to "Hot Property: The Stealing of...  Read More

Computer program learns language rules and composes sentences, all without outside help

September 2, 2005 Cornell University and Tel Aviv University researchers have developed a method for enabling a computer program to scan text in any of a number of languages, including English and Chinese, and autonomously and without previous information infer the underlying rules of grammar. The rules can then be used to generate new and meaningful sentences. The method also works for such data as sheet music or protein sequences. The development -- which has a patent pending -- has implications for speech recognition and for other applications in natural language engineering, as well as for genomics and proteomics. It also offers new insights into language acquisition and psycholinguistics.  Read More

False Alarm Theory: How Humorous Ads Work

August 28, 2005 Some ads tickle us and make us laugh. Research shows these ads grab attention, and IF they are well executed, then the liking for the ad washes over onto the advertised brand. Despite E.B. White’s famous wry prediction ("humor can be dissected, as a frog can, but the thing dies in the process”), humor in advertising has survived extensive dissection, exposing insights into its anatomy, function and origins. Yet it is true that the creation of humorous ads remains a creative process that owes more to intuition than to science. Dr Max Sutherland examines the use of humour in advertising.  Read More

The Dynamo wind-up torch and radio

August 24, 2005 Wind-up energy has always made sense – it just took most of us an extra 50 years to realise it. Not everyone can pop down to the store and buy another set of batteries for the torch or radio so having a wind-up device that does both makes infinite sense, particularly if you’re planning on covering all the bases for a power grid failure or some other disaster/emergency situation relating to the entire community. The Dynamo offers emergency lighting and an emergency radio receiver at US$26 (AUD$34.95) which makes it almost a no-brainer – having no running costs is even better. The idea is that you wind it for 90 seconds and it works for 20 minutes. For the lazybones among us, you can also plug it into the mains power or use three AAA batteries. oh, and it’s splash proof and hence ideal for the great outdoors.  Read More

The Jimi - a wallet for minimalists

August 23, 2005 A boy’s first wallet is a true Alladin’s cave – one of the true landmarks on the way to manhood, it is crammed full of many more “handy” things than it’s actually practical to carry. Adulthood wallets are even worse, being crammed with every version of credit, loyalty, membership, library, health insurance and now even building access cards plus topped up daily with receipts from every time you use one of those cards. There are times though when you don’t wish to carry a “hamburger with the lot” – when you want to feel svelte and free and minimalist. For such times, there’s the Jimi – Japanese for “simple” and in this case, a simple wallet. It’s cute, unbreakable and carries a few credit cards and some notes and it’ll disappear into a shirt or hip pocket without disrupting any lines. Sometimes referred to as the anti-wallet it fits into the same category as the Tsaya phone holster for gals in being one of very few objects that can be described as sexy, fun AND practical.  Read More

Nissan Wins Best in Design at Extreme Gravity Racer Series

August 20, 2005--Nissan Design America (NDA), known for designing cutting-edge vehicles, has used its automotive design expertise to win the Best in Design Category at the 5th Annual 2005 Extreme Gravity Racing Series held yesterday atop Jack's Peak Drive. Dubbed the Nissan Flying Torpedo, this sleek race machine competed with ten other automotive manufacturers for charity.  Read More

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