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— Good Thinking

New blast-proof curtain gets thicker when stretched

By - June 24, 2010 4 Pictures
OK, so first of all, how can a fabric possibly get thicker when stretched? Doesn’t that go against the laws of physics? Not, it turns out, when that material is auxetic. Cat skin and shin bones also apparently possess this quality. The University of Exteter, in collaboration with their spin-off company Auxetix Ltd, have developed an auxetic blast-proof curtain. If a bomb were to go off near such a curtain, the pressure wave would stretch the fabric outwards, thus thickening it and making it better able to hold back flying glass and other debris. The curtain is intended to be fitted over windows of buildings that are terrorist targets, or that are subject to events such as hurricanes. Read More
— Mobile Technology

Never forget that all important cord with the flipSYNC USB keychain

By - June 24, 2010 3 Pictures
One definition of the word frustrating is realizing you don’t have the right cord for the right job when you need it most - whether it be for an iPod, iPhone or one of the multitude of mobile devices that connect via USB. Presenting a simple yet effective solution to that particular problem is the Scosche flipSYNC, a keychain USB and sync cable about the size of a car alarm remote control. Read More
— Science

Human body louse genome sequenced

By - June 24, 2010 1 Picture
An international team of scientists has successfully sequenced the genome of that most majestic of creatures, the body louse. Like head lice, body lice attach themselves to human hosts and live off their blood. Unlike head lice, however, body lice can spread bacterial diseases. By understanding more about the creature, the team hopes to develop better methods of controlling it. Read More
— Computers

Anobit unites the best of two worlds for faster, cheaper SSDs

By - June 24, 2010 1 Picture
Solid state drives (SSD) have been around for some time. Unlike other data storage devices, however, their cost per GB seems reluctant to drop quickly enough to make sense economically not just to consumers, but to enterprises as well. Using a recently patented technology, the Israeli startup Anobit has announced an SSD series that makes a huge step toward making SSDs a tangibly faster and more affordable solution for the enterprise world. Read More
— Aircraft

Minix wing tip device promises 6% gain in fuel efficiency for airliners

By - June 24, 2010 9 Pictures
Fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions are huge priorities in the aviation industry – passenger airliners chew through amazing quantities of fuel. Take the Boeing 747, which guzzles somewhere around a gallon of jet fuel per second – it's clear that a percentile improvement in fuel consumption can make a huge difference to costs at the end of a long-haul flight. That's why the Minix wing tip deserves close scrutiny. It replaces the tilted winglets at the tip of an aircraft wing, can be retrofitted to any airplane, and smooths out the wing-tip vortex, reducing the aircraft's wing drag. Minix claims the design is five times more effective than a regular winglet and can save as much as 6% on an aircraft's energy costs. For a commercial Boeing 747, that equates to a saving of around 600,000 gallons of fuel per year, per aircraft. Food for thought. Read More
— Sports

ShadowBox captures all your extreme sporting moves in 3D

By - June 24, 2010 7 Pictures
No one believing your tales of gnarly moves pulled on some off-piste run? Can’t convince your friends you nailed a Spock 540 One Handed when no one was looking? Now you can prove it (or get a harsh dose of reality) with the ShadowBox – a "personal 3D sports recorder" that attaches to your extreme sporting implement of choice and uses GPS and G-Force data to record a "ride path" of all your extreme sporting moves. Ride data can be viewed immediately on the device or uploaded to a PC or Mac to analyze all your extreme sporting moves in 3D detail. Read More
— Home Entertainment

VIZIO expands integrated wireless range with three new Blu-ray players

By - June 24, 2010 1 Picture
Earlier this year we reported on an announcement from Vizio that would see 1080p “wireless HD” integrated into its new range of LCDs, and we’ve now got some information on the set-top boxes that will offer a similar array of support. Three new Blu-ray players have been announced, with the VBR210 and VBR220 utilizing 802.11n single-band 2.4GHz wireless and the more powerful VBR231 upgrading this to dual-band for improved reliability, making it the first dual-band Blu-ray player. Read More
— Science

Improving the power production of fuel cells using thin-film materials

By - June 24, 2010 1 Picture
Rechargeable batteries and fuel cells are seen as the two contenders to serve as a power source for the next generation of environmentally friendly vehicles. A significant barrier to achieving greater efficiency in the latter is the slow rate of oxygen production from the cathode, which limits the power output of the device. Now an unexpected find by MIT researchers regarding the behavior of incredibly thin sheets of material could lead to major improvements . Read More
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