2015 Geneva Auto Show
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

Ronald Prinn, director of MIT's Center for Global Change Science, and his group have revis...

Researchers at MIT have continued a study of climate risk and released a new report to show that even moderate carbon-reduction policies can substantially lower the risk of future climate change. It also shows that action is needed quickly if global emissions reductions are to provide a good chance of avoiding a temperature increase of more than 2°C above the pre-industrial level — a widely discussed target. But the researchers determined that failing to take prompt action could result in extreme changes that could become much more difficult, if not impossible, to control.  Read More

The EcoATM will reward you for recycling your phone (Photo: EcoATM)

Even though many people are aware of the importance of recycling their mobile phones, it is reported that only about ten percent of used phones actually make it into a recycling program. Would people be more diligent with mobile phone recycling if it was not only convenient, but lucrative as well? An EcoATM machine currently being trialed in Nebraska, accepts your used mobile, scans it to assess its market value and rewards you with a retail coupon or gift card.  Read More

Toyota to show very futuristic FT-EV compact concept

Toyota is set to show a new compact four-seat electric vehicle concept at the Tokyo Motor Show which is even smaller than the iQ. The FT-EV II is designed primarily for urban driving with drive-by-wire technology controlled by a joystick which incorporates the accelerator, brakes and steering to free up legroom in the space currently used by those components. This is a very futuristic vehicle with a second windscreen below dashboard level, and see through tailights for greater rearward visibility.  Read More

La Montre Verte on test in Paris recently

A wrist-bound sensor that gathers information about pollution as the wearer walks about town was a surprise hit with visitors at a conservation festival in Amsterdam last month. La Montre Verte (The Green Watch) follows the example of similar projects in London, New York and San Francisco and puts ozone and noise pollution detection in, or rather on, the hands of citizens.  Read More

The X-Ray Observatory set for launch after 2020 might be the spacecrafts to use femtosecon...

Theoretical work commissioned to the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) by the European Space Agency has recently concluded that lasers capable of generating extremely short pulses — known as "femtosecond comb lasers" — could be of great help in measuring the distance between two or more spacecraft to an accuracy of just a few microns, an essential component to formation flying space missions scheduled for the next decades.  Read More

Nokia Booklet 3G - 'Key feel and pitch is good for a unit of it's size'

Recently at Nokia's NokiaWorld 09 event, the company unveiled what appears to be the first in a line of netbook devices, the Booklet 3G. Dave Weinstein was there to get a first hand look at the device.  Read More

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