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Gizmag's Dave Weinstein with the QA telepresence robot

As a race we humans probably only have a few years to make good use of robots before they become self aware and take over the world, so we need to get in while we can. One of these good uses is through robotic telepresence, which lets a user move and interact with a remote environment through a robotic proxy that serves as the user's eyes and ears and follows their commands. Judging by the impressive show put on at CES 2009 by the QA telepresence robot from California based company Anybots, life-sized robot surrogates are definitely starting to reach a level of technological feasibility that could make rushing to a plane to reach that important meeting a thing of the past.  Read More

Ford to produce EV based on the all-new Transit Connect global commercial vehicle platform

True to their word Ford Motor Company has become the first of the big three to announce plans to market a pure battery electric-powered light commercial vehicle in North America. Based on the all-new Transit Connect global commercial vehicle platform, the Transit EV will be available in U.S. Ford dealerships in 2010.  Read More

The Kindle 2

Not surprisingly, the leaked photos we showed you over the weekend weren't part of an elaborate Photoshop hoax. Amazon has announced the Kindle 2, which is thinner than an iPhone, weighs in at 10.2 ounces (0.29kg) and one-ups the original Kindle in a number of key areas.  Read More

Does this work with that?

We're still getting a heap of traffic to our Guitar Hero World Tour vs Rock Band 2 article, and a lot of it is from people looking to find out whether the Guitar Hero World Tour instruments work with Rock Band, and vice versa. We've done some experimenting - here's the results.  Read More

Denny Hulme's widow Greeta and Jock Freemantle

Last week we ran the news that New Zealand-based Hulme Supercars had demonstrated a 600 bhp two-seat CanAm version of the lightweight carbon fibre machine at the New Zealand round of the A1GP series. A subsequent conversation with Hulme MD Jock Freemantle has revealed the news that a Hulme Spyder will follow the CanAm with a supercharged 640 bhp Chevrolet LS9 engine as used in the ZR1. The initially-announced F1 car will now be third in the development queue.  Read More

Surface Power Solar Vacuum system

Irish company Surface Power has launched what it claims is the world’s most efficient solar hot water panel. A report from Silicon Republic states that certification by testing house TUV Rhineland has shown that the innovative product is up to 131% more efficient in morning and evening time and 76% more efficient at midday than other panels.  Read More

Windows 7

If you're interested in downloading the Windows 7 beta, but haven't found the time to do so yet, we recommend you do so right now, as Microsoft will be closing the beta program within a few days.  Read More

Windows 7

So you want to install the Windows 7 beta on your IdeaPad S10, or another netbook without an optical drive. A Google search will turn up hundreds of guides, but we've read nearly all of them, and they either assume you have access to a Windows Vista machine, are needlessly complicated, or just plain don't work. This guide might not have pretty pictures guiding you along the way, and you'll need to deal with a command prompt, but hey - it works.  Read More

Experiences, not possessions, lead to greater happiness

Can money make us happy if we spend it on the right purchases? New research suggests buying life experiences rather than material possessions leads to greater happiness. The study demonstrates that experiential purchases, such as a meal out or theater tickets, result in increased well-being because they satisfy higher order needs.  Read More

Igarashi Design's riderless robotically controlled motorcycle

We're familiar with the soccer playing exploits of intelligent machines in Robocup and have been treated to a taste of what autonomous robotic systems are capable of in events like the DARPA Urban Challenge, but could a rider-less motorcycle robot compete with the speed demons of MotoGP? That's the vision of Japanese computer graphics designer Yutaka Igarashi who has conceived a new robotically controlled motorcycle design aimed at beating the lap time of a MotoGP bike around a circuit.  Read More

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