Computational creativity and the future of AI
BAE's M1151 Survivability Concept is packed with the latest armor-based protection

Recent developments in the military sector have demonstrated an increasing importance in protecting troops in the field, whether this be by automating vehicles or enhancing armor-based protection and maneuverability. BAE Systems has decided against picking a specific area to test with its M1151 Survivability concept but, instead, has lumped a range of technologies into a single vehicle, and is currently unveiling the fruits of its research at the AUSA (Association of the United States Armys) annual exposition in Washington.  Read More

Nissan to show half-width 'Land Glider' tilting electric vehicle at the Tokyo Motor Show

The term convergence normally refers to the merging of consumer electronics, entertainment and media, but if recent trends are anything to go by, it could equally apply to the melding of the car and the motorcycle. BMW’s enclosed C3 motorcycle is now emerging as a road safety pin-up vehicle and at the Frankfurt Motor Show last month both Volkswagen and Renault exhibited tandem half-width cars that looked for all the world like four-wheeled motorcycles. Now comes news that Nissan is to unveil an electric tandem four-wheeled “Land Glider” concept at Tokyo Motor Show, and the wording of the press statements looks like Nissan is very confident the vehicle will reach showrooms.  Read More

Amazon Kindle e-book reader goes global

Amazon has announced an international version of its Kindle e-book reader. Priced at US$279, the global version of the Kindle will work in over 100 countries and shares the same specs as its U.S. only counterpart - a 6" diagonal E Ink anti-glare display, slimline 8" x 5.3" x 0.36" footprint, 2GB internal memory (1.4GB of which is available for user content - that's enough for 1,500 books) and a weight of just 10.2 ounces (0.29kg).  Read More

Victorious MAX after the Escape from Berkeley win

Even before entering the Progressive Automotive X-Prize competition, Jack McCornack had started to pull together all the things needed to knock out a sporty two-seater car capable of achieving 100 miles per gallon. Fueled by the desire to make his creation a template for others to repeat and determined to bring it together within a strict budget, the race was on to bring MAX into the world - a Lotus Seven replica which just happens to run on vegetable oil. Paul Ridden traces the history of this fascinating project.  Read More

Grand Prize winner Gesture by Jin-gwon GO  (Images: Fujitsu Limited)

In May of this year, Fujitsu called on the imagination of the public to help the company come up with some mobile designs for the future. Offering budding designers the choice of being realistically practical or wildly imaginative, the company received around 2000 entries over the Summer and has just announced the winners at the CEATEC technology trade show in Japan.  Read More

The Dora Links doll gives a long time kid's favorite a 'tweenage' tech-savvy update
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Around the same time we reported that Nickelodeon was teaming up with Mattel to produce an older, “tweenage” version of the Dora the Explorer, an explosion of outrage erupted from parents concerned by the teaser silhouette which had many thinking Dora was to become a “sexed up” version of her former self. They need not have worried, as the recently unveiled “Dora Links” doll recreates the much loved kids icon as an “age appropriate” interactive doll that connects to a computer via USB and offers an educational and fun experience both on and offline.  Read More

Dr Christopher Solomon and a composite sketch of him generated by the EFIT-V system

Human memory is a notoriously unreliable thing that can be easily influenced. That’s good news for criminals and bad news for law enforcement agencies that often rely on eyewitnesses to provide a description of a criminal. Around the world, law enforcement agencies employ sketch artists to piece together faces in a process similar to assembling a Mr. Potato Head toy. The witness describes key features, such as hair length, nose size or sharpness of the chin, and the artist combines them to create a likeness. Research into psychology suggests that this kind of method doesn’t take into account how the memory actually works, so researchers have developed new software that helps witnesses recreate and recognize suspects using principles borrowed from the fields of optics and genetics.  Read More

An electron microscope image of a house dust mite - don't worry, it's dead

Instead of light, traditional high-resolution electron microscopes use a particle beam of electrons to illuminate a specimen. However, the particle beam also destroys the samples, meaning that electron microscopes can’t be used to image living cells. Electrical engineers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have proposed a new scheme that can overcome this critical limitation by using a quantum mechanical measurement technique that allows electrons to sense objects remotely without ever hitting the imaged objects, thus avoiding damage.  Read More

Dr. Chris James demonstrates brain to brain communication, using BCI to transmit thoughts ...

Brain-Computer Interfacing (BCI) is a hot area of research. In the past year alone we’ve looked at a system to allow people to control a robotic arm and another that enables users to control an ASIMO robot with nothing but the power of thought. Such systems rely on the use of an electroencephalograph (EEG) to capture brain waves and translate them into commands to control a machine. Now researchers at the University of Southampton have used a similar technique to show it is possible to transmit thoughts from one person to another.  Read More

Columbia's Bugaboot Thermo Hiking Boots will help keep your feet warm and dry all day

Winter sports offer all manner of exhilarating and exhausting possibilities - from negotiating seriously difficult trails, to mountain trekking or adrenaline-producing snowmobiling. But what if your boots aren’t up to the job, and you have to confess to your fellow hikers that you can’t go on because your feet are too cold? Enter Columbia’s Bugaboot Thermo Hiking Boots - the first hiking boots to integrate a three-temperature heating system to provide protection from the cold…and scornful looks from your hiking buddies.  Read More

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