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— Inventors and Remarkable People Feature

Video: Is Steve Durnin's D-Drive the holy grail of infinitely variable transmissions?

Ready for a bit of a mental mechanical challenge? Try your hand at understanding how the D-Drive works. Steve Durnin's ingenious new gearbox design is infinitely variable - that is, with your motor running at a constant speed, the D-Drive transmission can smoothly transition from top gear all the way through neutral and into reverse. It doesn't need a clutch, it doesn't use any friction drive components, and the power is always transmitted through strong, reliable gear teeth. In fact, it's a potential revolution in transmission technology - it could be pretty much the holy grail of gearboxes... If only it wasn't so diabolically hard to explain. We flew to Australia's Gold Coast to take a close look at the D-Drive - and it looks to us like Durnin has pulled a rabbit out of his hat. Check out the video after the jump and see if you can work out if there's a catch. Read More
— Science

Save those cigarette butts, and use them to protect steel

By - May 13, 2010 1 Picture
It has been estimated that every year, 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are added to the world’s ecosystem. That would be bad enough if they were simply disgusting, but when they’re left on beaches or washed down storm sewers, they can be lethal to fish. Unfortunately, there’s nothing that can be done with the butts, other than throwing them out... until now, perhaps. Researchers from China’s Xi’an Jiaotong University claim that cigarette butts can be used to make an excellent rust inhibitor. Read More
— Home Entertainment

Designer 3D glasses for the fashion conscious

By - May 13, 2010 3 Pictures
A chance meeting at 35,000ft some three years ago between a movie studio executive and a Polaroid eyewear product development manager has resulted in the first Designer 3D collection of frames that are RealD approved and certified (RealD technology is used in most 3D applications). During an international flight, Rhett Adam from Look 3D Eyewear was given a “heads-up” by a studio exec about the impending 3D onslaught and quickly identified a new market. By the time he’d landed in his native Australia, the then 35-year-old had put in place plans to quit his job and embark on a new adventure. From those humble beginnings, Look 3D Eyewear was born and the company now has four series of passive 3D viewing glasses that come in a huge variety of styles. Say goodbye to looking like a nerd while viewing 3D content. Read More
— Environment

Want to safely break down eco-unfriendly plastic? Try fungus

By - May 13, 2010 2 Pictures
Bisphenol A, commonly known as BPA, isn’t something you want leaching into the environment. It’s the compound in polycarbonate plastic that has been suspected of causing health problems since the 1930’s, and that more recently got people all over the world throwing out their plastic water bottles. When polycarb is broken down in the recycling process, or even when it’s just left in the dump, its BPA content is released. Where it ends up is a question that has a lot of people worried. A new study, however, indicates that fungus could be used to keep BPA at bay. Read More
— Good Thinking

GOLD TO GO - the Gold Bullion vending machine

By - May 13, 2010 8 Pictures
This Wednesday saw the official opening of the world’s first permanent gold-dispensing vending machine. Created by German company TG Gold-Super-Markt, the GOLD To Go ATM is located (unsurprisingly) in the lavish Emirates Palace Hotel, in Abu Dhabi. Now, when hotel guests want to exchange their cash for something a little more economically-stable, they won’t have to bother with gold store clerks or business hours. Read More
— Games

Wii 2 news and rumor roundup

By - May 12, 2010 1 Picture
Following the release of the iPad the online rumor mill now needs to find something else to focus on. The product most likely to fill that gap is Nintendo’s successor to the Wii. Since its launch in 2006, speculation has steadily been mounting about what features the next-gen Wii will pack and when it will appear. As usual, Nintendo hasn’t exactly been forthcoming with any details about its follow up console, prompting information hungry fans to gobble up any morsel of gossip. So we decided to put our ear to the ground in an attempt to glean just what the next-generation Wii will offer. Read More
— Marine

How old is the Batboat III ?

By - May 12, 2010 5 Pictures
Now you might be excused for thinking you were in some time-warp with this motorboat which fetched EUR 57,176 (US$77,588 ) at auction recently. Known as the Batboat III, it is powered by a 10.5-liter twin overhead camshaft V8 engine and has caused quite a ripple of excitement among nautical types. Given the above information and the accompanying photograph, have a guess at how old it is. Read More

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