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Automotive

Mitsubishi reveals Concept PX-MiEV II plug-in hybrid SUV

With its Concept PX-MiEV II making its world premier at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, Mitsubishi is breaking away from electric mini-cars and applying its MiEV electric vehicle technology to the oft-derided SUV. But Mitsubishi hopes to convince the SUV-naysayers with its concept plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV), which it describes as having "high environmental performance and fuel efficiency." To the technology borrowed from the i-MiEV, the PX-MiEV II adds a conventional engine, with the result that the hybrid matches the range of a conventional car, but with significantly improved fuel efficiency. Thus, claims Mitsubishi, its hybrid SUV will happily cruise at 60 km to the liter (141 mpg), to a range of more than 800 km (or 500 miles).Read More

Aircraft

Jetman jams with jets

Jetman's death-defying aerial antics took another turn recently, when he teamed up with a pair of jets for some formation work. In what could easily have turned into a replay of Icarus's last adventure, Jetman (Swiss pilot Yves Rossy) strapped on his tiny wings and leaped from his rotary-wing elevator to meet up with his bigger brothers.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Genetic genocide: Genetically altered mosquito warriors could wipe out humanity's biggest killer

War, plague, famine, heart disease, cigarettes, road trauma: six very effective killers of human beings. But they're all amateurs when their records are compared to the number one mass murderer of all time. The humble mosquito, and the deadly diseases it carries, is estimated to have been responsible for as many as 46 billion deaths over the history of our species. That staggering number is even more frightening in context - it means that mosquitoes are alleged to have killed more than half the humans that ever lived. So if any species deserves the full wrath of human technology, this is the one. And here, it seems, is how we might take our revenge - genetically modified strains of mosquito that are designed to cripple their own offspring and systematically destroy entire populations. And these mutant, auto-genocidal mozzies are already loose in the wild.Read More

Electronics

Home-built privacy monitor made from an old LCD

Many of us still keep old LCDs that should have been discarded long time ago. There might be a good reason, however, to refrain from disposing of this obsolete equipment. By following a few simple steps, anyone can turn an old LCD into a privacy monitor with contents visible only to the person wearing a pair of special glasses (also home-built), while anyone else can only see a white surface.Read More

Automotive

Honda's sporty EV-STER concept unveiled

More from the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, where Honda today unveiled the two-seater EV-STER, which it describes as the "next-generation electric small sports concept". Honda says that its lightweight frame made of "carbon materials" grants a range of approximately 160 km (99 miles) while simultaneously improving performance. Honda very much emphasizes the EV-STER's driving experience, citing the ability to customize motor output and suspension settings, as well as its twin-lever control instead of a steering wheel.Read More

Computers

Little Printer prints tiny personalized ticker tape "newspapers"

Even though computers were supposed to usher in a paperless society, the fact is that for some things, people still like the simplicity and durability of printed text. Now more than ever, though, we’re being told to cut back on unnecessary paper use. Well, that’s where the Little Printer comes in. Announced today by UK tech company BERG, the small box-shaped device is designed to search the internet using user-defined criteria, then print off a cash register receipt-like mini newspaper upon request. Users can then stuff that printout in their pocket, jam it into their wallet, or use the back of it for their next shopping list.Read More

Automotive

Volkswagen debuts Cross Coup crossover concept in Tokyo

The opening day of the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show has seen Volkswagen unveil its Cross Coupé crossover concept. Featuring a long wheelbase and short overhangs, the all-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid is visually a cross between a four-door coupé and a compact SUV. The vehicle also represents the first public outing of Volkswagen's new modular transverse matrix (Modularer Querbaukasten or MQB) platform, which is intended to form the basis of a variety of different models (including the upcoming Golf and Audi A3), allowing the use of the same set of components while providing the flexibility for individual models to have a variety of wheelbase, track and external dimensions.Read More

Medical

Researchers create bone-like material using 3D printer

Over the past decade, 3D printing technology has made the transition from huge expensive units used by industry to produce prototype components to small desktop units like the DIY MakerBot Thing-O-Matic that are within the reach of home users. But home users looking to produce custom household objects aren’t the only ones set to benefit from advances in 3D printing technology, with 3D bio-printers offering the prospect of creating organs on demand for replacement surgery. Now researchers have used a 3D printer to create a bone-like material that could be used to create customized scaffolds to stimulate the growth of replacement bone tissue.Read More

Motorcycles

The 137mph Energica electric superbike

Italian electric race-bike outfit CRP Racing has announced its first road-going superbike, the Energica. With 100 kW of power and top of the line chassis and suspension, all clothed in modern Italian style bodywork, the Energica is capable of speeds up to 220 km/h (137 mph) and range of 150 km (93 miles) on a single charge, due in part to a power train efficiency close to 95 percent. The package includes such niceties as ride-by-wire throttle, a brace of radial-caliper Brembo disc brakes, Ohlins suspension, digital multifunction LCD dashboard and LED lights.Read More

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