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The 700 bhp water taxi

Outboard motors have seen enormous progress in a short time, not just in power output, but also in the sophistication of their emission-reduction technologies. We found a prime example this week in Sydney Harbour, Australia, where H2O taxis services 200 local pick-up points. The company upgraded its flagship 10.8m WaterBus from 450 bhp to 700 bhp using twin 5.3 litre V8 F350 Yamaha motors. Not only did it significantly increase cruising speeds, it halved the fuel consumption.  Read More

The BlueAnt Supertooth 3 portable speakerphone

Anticipating the changing of handsfree driving laws in the US, BlueAnt Wireless’ has released a new portable speakerphone device called the Supertooth 3 Bluetooth Handsfree, which incorporates advanced ‘Text-to-Speech’ technology with voice prompts providing guidance to help users pair the device and upload their mobile phone’s address book. The unit supports a selection of six different languages including American English, Spanish, French, Italian, German and British English, so that when a call is received, the Supertooth 3 announces the incoming caller’s name or Caller ID and the user can then verbally accept or reject the call.  Read More

Japan to get energy efficient 32-inch Bravia LCD

Massive screens are not the answer for everyone in the flat screen TV market and energy conscious consumers might be persuaded to think small with this new 32-inch addition to Sony's Bravia range which is set for release in Japan.  Read More

Flip Video Mino

In May last year we praised Pure Digital's Flip Video camera for its simplicity, ease of use and instant YouTube upload facility. Now, the Flip has been upgraded - and downsized - with the release of the Flip Video Mino, a 2GB flash video camera that's smaller than the average cell phone, with a 1.5 inch LCD screen and flip-out USB connector for immediate uploading.  Read More

TANDBERG T1 telepresence system

Saving on time, travel expenses and making instant face-to-face communications possible over huge distances, video-conferencing has become a must have technology for doing business in the 21st century. The latest offering from TANDBERG, the T1, is the company's first telepresence system to incorporate 1080p resolution and features a slim-line 65" custom LCD screen, high quality stereo sound and a PrecisionHD 1080p camera designed to enhance direct eye contact.  Read More

The Mundaneum – the analog internet

Historians typically trace the origins of the World Wide Web through a lineage of Anglo-American inventors like Vannevar Bush, Douglas Engelbart and Ted Nelson. Now Belgian Paul Otlet another pioneer of information management and universally accessible information is beginning to gain recognition for his Mundaneum. Great video here on the life of the man who used terms like web of knowledge, link, and knowledge network to describe his vision for a central repository of all human knowledge – 100 years ago.  Read More

The fully automated Infinistor tonneau cover opens at both ends

Saleen is best known as a producer of very fast cars, and often pioneers new ways of doing things. This one is different however, because we expect this functionality to become a feature on a lot of pick-ups over the coming decade. It’s an auto sliding and self-locking tonneau cover that opens from both front to back and back to front, effectively increasing usable luggage area and security and by just being so very clever and convenient. Saleen is the first, but the capability will be OEMed into most vehicle fleets in the coming year or three. Like most “firsts” the automated system comes as part of a premium model first up, in this case the S331 Supercrew, named for its 331 CID (5.4 litre), three valve SOHC V8 engine which produces 450 bhp and a colossal 500 lb-ft of torque at 4000 RPM.  Read More

Husqvarna Viking Designer Diamond

With a name suggesting it could conquer all, the Husqvarna Viking Designer Diamond is a sewing and embroidery machine for high-end sewing enthusiasts. According to Husqvarna Viking, it offers the largest and brightest, interactive VGA touch screen available in the sewing industry.  Read More

Fin-propelled Robofish
 Photo: UW

Scientists at the University of Washington have created a sub-surface robot that uses fins instead of propellers, and is able to wirelessly communicate enough information to move in tandem with other units. The Robofish is roughly the size of a 10-pound salmon and will be used to track animals and map the bottom of the ocean.  Read More

3 billion cars on the road by 2035 - is mobility as we know it sustainable?

Leading economic forecaster Global Insight has released a white paper exploring the potential future demand for vehicles to 2035. The paper predicts the global fleet could reach 3 billion vehicles by 2035, four times the current 800 million. It suggests that personal transport of the future will probably be very different having been through decades of ever-lengthening commutes, gridlocked roads, increasing parking issues, soaring fuel prices, road congestion regulations, air-quality concerns and climate change. Clearly, non-conventional solutions are needed.  Read More

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