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Japanese manufacturer Landport has created an ingenious variation on the wind-up flashlight with the BunBun - a compact torch that can be charged simply by swinging it about in front of you. Once you extend the handle and bend it at the hinge, you can charge the built-in rechargeable battery by cranking the BunBun for 30 seconds. Just this short amount of charging will give you about 5 minutes of juice. Read More
AMD says that it has redefined the server market with the release of its Opteron 6000 series server platform. The company's gauntlet (of the throwing down variety) consists of eight and 12 core x86 processors giving twice the performance of the previous generation, significant improvements in memory bandwidth, better power management and attractive price points. Read More
Here’s something rather important that you might not know: there may be a worldwide phosphorus shortage within the next few decades. The majority of the world’s phosphorus is currently mined from non-renewable phosphate rock deposits, and widely used in crop fertilizers. Scientists have begun to question just how much more phosphorus is left, and what the agriculture industry will do once it runs out. The answer – or some of it, at least – could be bobbing in a pool of raw sewage. Ostara, a Canadian nutrient recovery company, has developed a method for harvesting phosphorus from municipal wastewater and converting it to fertilizer. Read More
It’s a jungle out there – an urban jungle. And if you have to negotiate a vehicle through it you’ll know how tough that can be, especially in an unfamiliar city or town. Take a wrong turn and it could be many miles before you regain your bearings and much wasted time before you reach your destination (don’t mention the wasted fuel). Sat-nav “institution”, TomTom, has launched TomTom Start2, a new entry level unit featuring advanced lane guidance, spoken street names and compatibility with the RDS-TMC traffic information system. Read More
Designer Yang Yongchang is proposing a fold-away solution to the keyboard envy sometimes exhibited by netbook users. For the iWEB design, a full-size QWERTY keyboard is jointed in two places and folded inwards so that when not in use it sits within the frame of a 6.5in display portable device. Open up the netbook, fold out the side flaps and enjoy the ease of use and comfort of those nice big keys. Read More
Sometimes even the travel-weary budget flier would pay just about anything for a couple of hours sleep after a long haul flight in “cattle class” - which is where the Sleepbox concept comes in. Imagine your joy at spotting one of these comfy cocoons at the airport lounge while you’ve got a few hours between connecting flights. Or if you’ve arrived late at night in a strange land and don’t want to risk finding a hotel room in the dark – or the lone cab driver parked in the shadows of the airport or train station. Check into the Sleepbox and you could be on cloud nine before your head hits the pillow. Read More
Researchers at Bionic Vision Australia (BVA) have produced a prototype version of a bionic eye implant that could be ready to start restoring rudimentary vision to blind people as soon as 2013. The system consists of a pair of glasses with a camera built in, a processor that fits in your pocket, and an ocular implant that sits against the retina at the back of the eye and electronically stimulates the retinal neurons that send visual information to the brain. The resulting visual picture is blocky and low-res at this point, but the technology is bound to improve, and even in its current form it's going to be a major life-changer for those with no vision at all. And the future potential - even for sighted people - is fascinating. Read More
Think about it. Where else would you unveil the world’s most expensive golf cart than Monaco? For a mere US$52,000, you can own the Garia Soleil de Minuit – the world’s most costly production luxury golf cart complete with double-wishbone front suspension, fridge and painted in the color of your choice. Driven out of the same factory as the Porsche Cayman and Boxter, the Garia Soleil de Minuit is designed to deliver the ultimate on-course driving experience. Whether it lowers your golf handicap is beside the point. Read More
By creating specific kinds of tiny structures on a material’s surface MIT researchers have made a liquid spread only in a single direction. While this may not appear to be a momentous breakthrough it has important implications for a wide variety of technologies, including micro-arrays for medical research, inkjet printers and digital lab-on-a-chip systems. Up until now the designers of such devices could only control how much the liquid would spread out over a surface, not which way it would go. This new system changes that. Read More
Looking more like a futuristic stretch limo than a bus, the Superbus is a 15-meter long vehicle that provides seating for 23 passengers who can embark and disembark via its 16 gull-wing doors (eight on each side). The electric bus runs on four E2M electric motors powered by rechargeable batteries with its highly streamlined shape and lightweight construction designed to keep energy consumption down as it hurtles along at 155 mph. Read More
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