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— Digital Cameras

Ricoh announces CX4 compact digital superzoom

By - August 18, 2010 16 Pictures
Ricoh has announced a successor to its popular CX3 compact superzoom which sports a new body design, tracking auto-focus and improved image stabilization. Described by the company as "workmanlike yet stylish", the 10 megapixel CX4 retains its predecessor's high resolution LCD display, wide-angle optical zoom lens and 720p video capability but now benefits from improved noise reduction and a special night landscape mode. Read More
— Automotive

Researchers develop new thermoplastic fiber composite material to build safer cars

By - August 18, 2010
Vehicles used to be predominantly made of steel, but to reduce weight and cost today’s vehicles are now built from a mixture of materials including steels, aluminum and fiber-reinforced plastics. Highly stressed load-bearing structures and crash components constructed from composites are designed to buckle on impact to help reinforce the body and protect the vehicle‘s occupants in the event of a collision. But these materials tend to chip into sharp-edged splinters on impact. Researchers have now found a way for the automotive industry to mass-produce a particularly safe class of materials that can absorb the enormous forces generated in a collision without splintering. Read More
— Laptops

Cleverly designed laptop stands save your back

By - August 18, 2010 17 Pictures
Laptop computers are appropriately named, as they do sit nicely on your lap. If you’ve ever tried using one down there, however, you’ll know that it’s not the most ergonomic set-up imaginable – you have to bend your head down, keep your knees up, and feel your thighs getting toasty warm from the computer-generated heat that is evidently not able to disperse into the air. In order to position laptops in other ways, various companies have offered laptop stands to put on your desk, devices for turning your lap itself into a desk-like computer workspace, gizmos that allow you to swivel your laptop over from the passenger seat of your car, or that let you use it beside your bed. If only there was one that held your laptop in front of you while you were lying on your back... there is, of course, and Hong Kong-based company Omax has a variety of them to choose from. Read More
— Electronics

Researchers develop ultrahigh-power energy storage “micro-supercapacitor”

By - August 18, 2010
Supercapacitors, also called electric double layer capacitors (EDLCs) or ultracapacitors, are electrochemical capacitors that have an unusually high energy density when compared to common capacitors. They bridge the gap between batteries, which offer high energy densities but are slow, and “conventional” electrolytic capacitors, which are fast but have low energy densities. An international team of researchers are reporting the development of a mirco-supercapacitor with remarkable properties that has the potential to power mobile electronics, wireless sensor networks, biomedical implants, RFID tags and embedded microsensors, among other devices. Read More
— Environment

Air-cleaning paving slabs assessed in Germany

By - August 18, 2010
Last month, we told you about an experiment with air-purifying concrete that was recently conducted in the Netherlands. Researchers resurfaced 1,000 square meters of a busy road with concrete paving stones that contained titanium dioxide (TiO2), a photocatalytic material that removes automobile-produced nitrogen oxides (NOx) from the air and converts them into nitrate with the aid of sunlight. When the air was tested up to one-and-a-half meters above those stones, NOx levels were found to be 25 to 45 percent lower than above regular concrete on the same road. Now, a similar study is underway in Germany, and is already showing promising results. Read More
— Games

Sony takes aim at gamers with new Ultimate Weapon Gaming headsets

By - August 18, 2010 2 Pictures
Hardened first person shooter (FPS) veterans know that your ears can be as important as your eyes when battling hordes of enemy combatants. Such veterans will also be aware that the staccato of gunfire and the sound of exploding body parts aren’t always appreciated by other members of the household – particularly in the early hours. In response to extensive research to show what different gamers want from their headsets, Sony has unveiled its DR-GA500 and DR-GA200 headsets designed to maximize spatial awareness without waking up the neighbors. Read More
— Military

Glass-based system developed for testing laser weapons

By - August 18, 2010 3 Pictures
Traditionally, when someone wished to measure the total power delivered by a laser beam, they had to use something called a ball calorimeter. As the laser heated the interior of the ball, temperature readings would be taken. Now, however, a system has been created that utilizes reusable glass boards. It can measure a laser's total energy along with the total power and power density anywhere inside the beam more than one hundred times per second. It should be a boon to developers of high-energy laser weapons, as it will reduce the time required for testing, and get the weapons in the field faster. Read More
— Music

Amptweaker invites musicians to help finish new TightBoost pedal

By - August 18, 2010 2 Pictures
Renowned amp design engineer James Brown will be taking a new guitar effects pedal to the Nashville Amp Expo shortly and is asking for help with final tweaking. The new TightBoost pedal offers musicians a clean gain power boost without producing unwanted distortion, and the comments from show visitors invited to try out the new pedal could well help to shape the final production model. Read More
— Automotive

imaGinyze augments your driving experience with AR iPhone app

By - August 18, 2010 5 Pictures
imaGinyze is a new app that brings augmented reality to your car via the iPhone. When mounted properly in the center of your dash, an iPhone with imaGinyze installed will detect the lane that you're in, marking it with border lines that match up with the painted lines on the road, and filling the inside with a blue overlay. Once the app has established your lane, it can detect any vehicles that are in front of you within a given range. imaGinyze will also flash a "Vehicle Ahead" alert when you're approaching a car from behind. Cars to the front are color-coded according to proximity – first green, next yellow as you approach, and then to red when you get close. Read More
— Computers

OWC Mercury Extreme Pro SSD achieves 853MB/s write and 1GB/s read in performance tests

By - August 18, 2010 2 Pictures
Other World Computing (OWC) has announced that super fast data transfer rates have been achieved during performance testing using four of its SSDs. Its drives were simultaneously connected to a Mac Pro via a couple of FirmTek eSATA controller cards, and 10GB read and write tests were performed. The test configuration managed to notch up some rather brisk data transfer rates of 853MB per second write and 1GB per second read, which should be more than enough to keep even the most active high definition video editors relatively grumble-free. Read More
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