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Environment

New GreenZero chargers eliminate vampire power drain

The spring-loaded PumPing Tap concept that would eject electrical plugs from an outlet when not actively drawing electricity attracted a fair share of criticism from readers when we looked at it earlier this week. Bracktron has come up with a more practical solution with its line of GreenZero chargers that detect when the device being charged is unplugged or fully charged and automatically shut off to eliminate stand-by – also known as vampire power – consumption.Read More

Automotive

New Chrysler 300 Luxury Series sedan: 8-speed auto, 31 mpg, lots of trimmings

Chrysler has launched its new 300 Luxury Series with what it has dubbed “the most luxurious and fuel-efficient Chrysler flagship ever.” Coupling a ZF 8HP45 eight-speed automatic transmission to a 292 horsepower, 3.6-liter aluminum Pentastar V6 engine, the 2012 Chrysler 300 Luxury Series sedan gets 31 mpg (7.5 l/100 km) on the highway and 19 mpg (12.4 l/100 km) in the city, for a combined fuel economy figure of 23 mpg (10 l/100 km). Read More

Environment

WindFlip proposes a unique method of deploying offshore wind turbines

While large offshore turbines can be very effective at harnessing the power of the wind, they do pose at least one challenge – how do you get them out into the ocean? One option is to bring them to their deployment site on board a ship, partially assembled, then put them together on location. Doing that kind of work on the pitching deck of a ship can be challenging, however, and requires crews to stay out at sea longer. Another option involves towing them from shore in their final, vertical orientation, but this requires an uninterrupted channel of deep water, and limits the speed at which they can be transported. Now, Norwegian company WindFlip is developing an alternative method that can accommodate shallow water, while allowing for relatively high transport speeds and a minimum amount of time spent putting the turbines in place.Read More

Good Thinking

Help! app gets the word out when things get sketchy

In the TV series Max Headroom, one of the sources of security for hardcore news videographer Edison Carter was the fact that his camcorder was constantly transmitting a live audio/video feed back to his co-workers at Network 23. If anyone attacked him out in the field, his colleagues would know about it, and would have the attack recorded on tape for the police. Well, given that we're now probably at about the time in history when the series was set, perhaps it only makes sense that we may soon be able to get a smartphone app that does pretty much the same thing as Edison's camera. Its working name is, appropriately enough, Help!Read More

Sports

Edgetrack and wefunk to launch world's first telemetry-enabled racing board

Contrary to celluloid legend, Marty McFly did not invent the skateboard in 1955. Street surfing actually originated a little later and has gone from a few home brewers mounting some roller skate wheels onto the underside of a plywood board to an international sport which challenges both the creative ingenuity and physical capabilities of its participants. The design and structure of board and components have improved greatly over the years, but there appears to have been little headway in feeding back vital performance data to riders. Designer and manufacturer of military grade tracking technologies Edgetrak and performance board producer wefunk have now joined forces to fill the void. The newly-formed Stealth Division has just put the finishing touches to a new operational prototype longboard called the Mach1, the first deck in the world to feature built-in telemetrics.Read More

Wearables

Aftershokz headphones deliver sound through cheeks rather than your ears

When you think of headphones, no matter what comes to mind, it's likely a set that fit inside or on top of your ears. There is another way however - headphones that transmit sound through your cheekbones using bone conduction. Initially developed for military use, we've seen a few examples of this technology before in headphones, waterproof MP3 players and even mobile phones and the latest to cross our desk - Aftershokz Bone Conduction Headphones - will be on show at CES next week.Read More

Good Thinking

"Repair It Yourself" shoes make cobbling easy

The Repair It Yourself (RIY) concept by Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Eugenia Morpurgo is a canvas shoe designed to be as repairable as possible. It's a design that not only addresses the shortcomings of traditional shoemaking, but also poses questions as to the sustainability of our consumer habits.Read More

Aircraft

New "scalable effects" warhead demonstrated in flight test

Aerojet has conducted a successful demonstration of its "scalable effects" warhead. The recent flight test was carried out at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico using Lockheed Martin's new Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System-Plus (GMLRS+). As the name suggests, the scalable effects warhead allows the user to select the explosive yield of the weapon depending on the nature of its intended target. Read More

Digital Cameras

Samsung adds Wi-Fi-packing DV300F to DualView lineup

Samsung has unveiled its latest DualView compact camera. The range, which kicked-off in 2009 with the release of the TL225 and TL220 models, packs front and rear LCD displays so photographers can get themselves in the picture without the hit and miss framing that results from holding the camera at arm's length. The new DV300F is the first in the DualView line to include Wi-Fi connectivity to allow users to cut out the middleman and email shots or upload them to their social media site of choice directly from the camera. Read More

Aircraft

NASA's twin GRAIL spacecraft now together in lunar orbit

Nasa’s twin GRAIL (Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory) spacecraft are now in orbit around the Moon. Having achieved lunar orbit at 2 pm PST on New Year’s Eve, GRAIL-A was joined by GRAIL-B at 2:43 pm PST on New Year’s Day. The twin spacecraft are now in a near-polar, elliptical orbit with an orbital period of approximately 11.5 hours. In readiness for the science phase of the mission which is due to start in March 2012, both spacecraft will undergo a series of burns to place them in a near-polar, near-circular orbit with an altitude of about 34 miles (55 km) and orbital period of just under two hours.Read More

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