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Good Thinking

Engadget HD on Vampire Energy - don't shoot the plasma

July 31, 2008 Yesterday we showed you GOOD Magazine's data on Vampire Energy, but Ben Drawbaugh from Engadget HD didn't like the look of it. Using a Kill A Watt, he measured the standby draw of a 60-inch Pioneer Kuro plasma to be 20 Watts - that's an annual cost of $20 (based on a price of $0.11 per kilowatt-hour) - far from the $159 figure that GOOD Magazine claimed.Read More

GOOD Magazine on Vampire Energy

July 30, 2008 Power wastage associated with standby modes in consumer electronics devices makes up a staggering 1% of global carbon dioxide emissions, and costs the average household the equivalent of one months bill every year. GOOD Magazine has dubbed this wastage "vampire energy" and assembled a compelling graph that shows the average yearly cost of standby modes in common household devices - with the increasingly common plasma TV costing a whopping $159.76 per year to leave on standby.Read More

Six-month anti-piracy strategy delays Dark Knight piracy for just 38 hours

July 29, 2008 Warner Bros. devoted six months to an unprecedented anti-piracy strategy for the release of "The Dark Knight", and have deemed the 38 hour period between the film's premiere screening and its first appearance on file-sharing sites to be a success - keeping bootleg DVDs off the streets as the film racked up a record-breaking US$158.4 million on its all important opening weekend. Read More

Protect your HDTV with TV Armor

July 29, 2008 While shelling out for a big-screen HDTV gives you a nice big picture, it also provides a nice big target for common hazards like the infamous flying Wii controller. TV Armor screen protectors are clear plastic screens that come in a range of sizes to fit TVs from 30-52 inches, protecting them from scratches, fingerprints, marks, splashes and household projectiles. Read More

Hirsch Electronics' versatile building security solution

Increasingly, building managers and government organizations are finding they have to adopt more sophisticated security systems to protect their employees, customers and buildings from security threats. Recognizing the need for flexibility on this arena, Hirsch Electronics has manufactured the Verification Station- a high-security, multi-purpose biometric system which allows a building administrator to select and change at will the means of entry to a building if the security situation is heightened. Employees may be required to use smart cards or fingerprints or they may have to use a number of authentication processes, perhaps their finger and smart card or their finger, smart card and identification code.Read More

Novel approach to car stereo theft-prevention

Instructables is a website dedicated to supplying information from members on how to complete a vast array of DIY projects. One of the more unusual, but potentially useful, ideas is to hide your fancy new car stereo with a crappier one in order to ward off would-be thieves.Read More

DNA Barcode initiative

July 6, 2008 Barcoding is little more than half a century old, yet it has permeated every corner of civilisation. Barcodes enabled machines to recognise objects, and was the first viable technology for enabling computers to track vast systems. Barcodes saved money and time in every area of logistics, but more importantly brought order so that we could measure and analyse very large and complex systems. Now, in an ambitious initiative scientists want to apply this concept to life by using DNA - nature's unique barcode of every species of animal, plant and microbe - to create a vast library of every living organism on the planet. Such a global DNA barcode database would prove invaluable in numerous ways, from identifying new species of organism and monitoring biodiversity to detecting fraud.Read More

New technique lifts fingerprints off cleaned guns

Wiping the gun clean has long been considered best practice for villains but may soon become a quaint custom that will ultimately prove fruitless. Researchers have developed a method to ‘visualize fingerprints’ even after the print itself has been removed by measuring the corrosion of the surface by deposits from the fingerprints. The technique can enhance – after firing– a fingerprint that has been deposited on a small caliber metal cartridge case before it is fired. The technique promises the ability to reopen many cases and solve cold cases around the world because the “underlying print never disappears” according to the scientists. Read More

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