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— Environment

The chilling power of sunlight

By - May 5, 2010 1 Picture
The sun is already being used to power air-conditioning systems so it seems a natural progression to apply it to refrigerate perishable foodstuffs - a huge consumer of fossil fuel-based energy. Scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg, Germany, are taking this task to heart with two solar refrigeration trials in the Mediterranean region – one at a Tunisian winery and the other at a dairy in Morocco. Read More
— Mobile Technology

Own Voice for Ovi Maps - do I really sound like that?

By - May 5, 2010 1 Picture
Custom GPS voice packs are a bit like mobile phone ring tones. They let you add a "uniquely personal touch" to your device by shelling out cash for something that will also be used by countless others who share your refined taste. Now you can get truly unique voice directions by listening to your own dulcet tones thanks to Nokia’s new Own Voice for Ovi Maps. The app lets users record their own driving instructions and share them with family, friends and soon to be former friends. Read More
— Medical

Saving lives with a salad spinner

By - May 4, 2010 2 Pictures
Like test tubes and Bunsen burners, the centrifuge is a standard piece of equipment in scientific and medical labs the world over. But what happens when there’s no lab to speak of? In developing and third world countries access to centrifuges, not to mention the power to drive them, can make separating blood to diagnose a range of diseases a difficult task. Now a couple of university students have come up with the ingenious idea of turning the humble salad spinner into a rudimentary centrifuge that could be used in medical clinics in developing countries around the world. Read More
— Military

Unmanned helicopter demonstrates impressive cargo airdrop

By - May 4, 2010 4 Pictures
Lockheed Martin and Kaman Aerospace Corporation have transformed a 6,000lb power lifting K-MAX helicopter into an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and successfully tested airdropping cargo by parachute to simulate resupplying troops in the field. The test involved cargo airdrops from 300ft-400ft using a four-hook carousel during one flight, demonstrating how the UAV could conduct four drops in a single mission. Read More
— Marine

Unlocking water fern's secrets could pave the way for more efficient ships

By - May 4, 2010 1 Picture
Ships are big polluters and one of the key reasons for this is the energy lost due to friction as they move through the water. Numerous innovations in marine paint technology have sought to address this issue and now a group of German material research scientists have unlocked a secret that could radically improve fuel consumption... and it's all down to the marvelous properties of one small plant. Read More
— Environment

Paper Mate launches biodegradable pens and pencils

By - May 4, 2010 1 Picture
According to the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association (WIMA) over three billion retractable ball point pens and over 500 million mechanical pencils were shipped in the US in 2007. Many have since been lost – try looking down the back of the sofa – and will probably find their way into landfill. To address this problem Paper Mate has introduced a line of biodegradable pens and pencils that feature components that break down in soil or home compost in the space of a year. Read More
— Home Entertainment

Solo Internet radio features iPhone remote app

By - May 4, 2010 4 Pictures
If you like to find out what else is on radio, the Grace Digital Solo Wi-Fi Internet radio tuner could be one to add to your collection of music devices. Solo connects to practically any home stereo system or powered speaker set via its stereo RCA jacks and promises easy set up with its built-in Wi-Fi 802.11g card that connects directly to any 802.11b/g/n wireless router. There’s also an free iPhone app that turns your phone into a remote that allows you search, skip, and power the Solo anywhere within range. Read More
— Aircraft

Barcelona Moon team enters Lunar X PRIZE

By - May 4, 2010 4 Pictures
Barcelona Moon, a new Spanish team led by entrepreneur Xavier Claramunt, has officially announced its entry into the ongoing $US30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE. To win the Grand Prize, a team must soft land a privately-funded spacecraft on the moon, send a rover at least 500 meters out onto the moon’s surface, and transmit a specific set of video, images and data back to Earth. The as-yet-unnamed Spanish rover, appropriately enough, looks rather like a sombrero. Read More
— Good Thinking

Simple, effective, revolutionary: V-Lock is the perfect keyhole

By - May 4, 2010 2 Pictures
Some inventions struggle because they're too complicated to explain. The V-Lock, on the other hand, is gonna do great, because it's instantly understandable even without an explanation, hugely useful and forehead-slappingly simple. Everyone who's ever unlocked a door in the dark will understand the problem and designer Junjie Zhang's clever solution in a flash. We love it and we'll take a dozen please. Read More

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