Computational creativity and the future of AI
The SABA Motors entry for the Automotive X PRIZE

Things are beginning to heat up in the race for the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE, as the kick-off date for the actual on-the-road events approaches. The fun will begin April 26th in Michigan, continue through August, and culminate in a September awards presentation in Washington, DC. A number of the contenders were on hand at the Detroit Auto Show this week, where the official announcement was made.  Read More

Holophone offers Professional 5.1 Surround Sound at the camera for US$600

The vast majority of multi-channel sound (stereo, 5.1, 6.1, etc) is produced post-production, making it difficult to squeeze professional-grade discrete 5.1 audio quality into modest production budgets … until now. The Holophone PortaMic 5.1 and PortaMic Pro surround microphones both sit atop your video camera and offer a cost-effective means of recording surround sound directly to a camera or indeed, any stereo recording device. At US$600 and US$1000 respectively, the microphones permanently offer professional discrete surround recording from a single point source for a once-only price off, with no additional mixing required. Bargain!  Read More

Like this cellphone, cameras from Asia Optical will soon feature TI's DLP Pico projection ...

If you’ve seen a digitally-projected movie in the theater, then chances are you’ve seen the work of Texas Instruments’ DLP projection system. With a resolution of 1920 x 1080p, DLP’s exceptionally sharp, clear picture has made it a favorite of the film industry. Soon, that same high-end technology will be available on consumer cameras.  Read More

The Barbecue Hand Crank produces a stream of air at the turn of a handle

Avid fans of the barbecue grill will know there is little more annoying than having to constantly attend to making sure the charcoal keeps on burning, often resulting in ever bigger huffs and puffs and the odd singed eyebrow. Well huff and puff no more with what is a very simple yet effective looking solution to backyard breathlessness, the Barbecue Hand Crank. As the name suggests, the hand held and operated portable blower lets the user produce a stream of constant air with a simple turn of the handle.  Read More

The Stelton Simply Espresso

If you frequently travel to a lot of different places, then you are doubtless familiar with one of the biggest challenges facing today’s jet-setter - finding a decent cup of coffee. Well, help is on the way. In fact, scratch that, it’s here. Danish fancy-gadget-seller Stelton is now offering the world’s smallest battery-powered espresso machine.  Read More

Alzheimer’s Disease: new research offers hope

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, the insidious fatal disease which slowly kills all your brain cells. Already the seventh leading cause of death in the US, it is soon to reach epidemic levels as the boomers becomes senior citizens. There are more than 30 million people with dementia worldwide, but by 2050, this figure will increase to over 100 million. Two sets of findings released in the last few days bring hope that the accelerating research effort will find better ways to treat the disease, delay its onset, or prevent it from developing. Most significantly, a simple and inexpensive eye test could aid detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s at an earlier stage than is currently possible and a “cocktail” of commonly available supplements has shown promise in improving memory and fighting Alzheimer’s.  Read More

The Lounge-Tek Lounge-Book laptop stand

This is a very simple product which we suspect will have people across the world saying, “I’ve been waiting for one of those” – it’s a Lounge-Tek Lounge-Book laptop stand and it enables you to work on your laptop without needing to hold it, while sitting in an armchair, on the sofa, on a chaise-lounge or even in bed. Really simple, really practical, and available in a range of colours and materials from standard at EUR99 (US$142) through to Gold-plated at EUR240 (US$350)  Read More

ABS avalanche airbags now offer wireless remote activation

Avalanche airbags, designed to prevent burial in an avalanche by providing extra buoyancy, aren’t new but until now skiers have had to activate the bag themselves. If they don’t realise in time they have set of an avalanche it may be too late for the airbag to be of use, resulting in burial and often, death. ABS has introduced a world-first - a remote, networked electronic system which allows airbag inflation to be triggered by other members of a skiing party, allowing them to help each other in an emergency. The new wireless system can be retrofitted to old-style backpacks with double airbags.  Read More

VW Turbo Diesel Touaregs finish 1-2-3: same results, different year at Dakar 2010

Volkswagen’s turbo diesel technology completed a comprehensively successful title defence in the 2010 Dakar Rally, finishing 1-2-3 with WRC legend Carlos Sainz (bottom right) finally winning the most prestigious “raid” in the world at his fourth attempt. In the motorcycles, Cyril Depres (top left) won his third Dakar Rally, after 9000 km across Argentina and Chile. He rode in triumph into Buenos Aires to complete his third Dakar victory and the tenth consecutive victory for Austrian brand KTM. Indeed, apart from Sainz and Quad bike winner Marcos Patronelli who finished second last year, all the winners were old hands. Yamaha dominated the Quads as usual with a 1-2-3, the “tsar” (Russia’s Vladimir Chagin) won the truck category for the sixth time, driving a Kamaz (bottom left). The rugged Russian Kamaz truck won EVERY stage in the 2010 event, finished 1-2 and picked up a ninth Dakar win.  Read More

The rise and fall (in weight) of the handbag

The rapid development of personal entertainment and communication technologies is causing quite seismic changes in the weight the average UK female carries in her handbag. Research conducted for UK Department Store chain Debenhams each year for the last two decades shows that the doubling of weight of the handbag between 2002 and 2006, due to the adoption of laptops, has been completely reversed in just three years by the adoption of smartphones, replacing laptops and filofaxes.  Read More

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