Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show
Bullseye!
 Pic credit: Intellectual Ventures

Mosquitoes have plagued mankind since time immemorial. For many they’re just annoying pests that leave an itchy reminder of their bloodsucking ways, but for much of the world’s population they’re carriers of deadly disease – malaria in particular. So far man’s efforts to combat mosquitoes have so far proved fruitless but the Wall Street Journal is reporting that researchers in the US are looking to take the battle into the space age by using lasers to kill the nasty little buggers.  Read More

Kalorik Wine Cooler

Even if you’re a wine buff, this wine cooler with an in-built microprocessor might still surprise you. The Kalorik Wine Cooler is programmed to maintain the ideal drinking temperature for two bottles of wine, and gauges the temperature of the wine itself, not the bottle. It has an LCD and screen and wireless links to two temperature probes inserted into the bottles.  Read More

The Cajun Crawler was built by a team of mechanical engineering students at the University...

Take one DIY Self balancing electric vehicle project, replace the wheels with 6 pars of short legs based on Theo Jansen kinetic sculptures and the result looks like something out of “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy”. A dynamically stabilized, ride-on robot that crawls.  Read More

iPhone OS 3.0

Apple today unveiled OS 3.0 for the iPhone and iPod touch, which is set for release this summer (that's June-August for those of you south of the equator). It's far from the revolution some were expecting, and strikes us as more of a defensive play to bring the iPhone further in line with its hardware capabilities, users' desires, and the increasingly heated competition from Android, BlackBerry and Palm's imminent release of the Pre. Read on for the full details.  Read More

Barbie turns 50

Barbie turned 50 this month but she doesn’t look a day older than at her debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York on March 9, 1959. Sure, she’s copped some flak along the way for being empty-headed and ‘tarty’, and reinventing herself to conform to current fashions, but essentially she’s still as glamorous as ever, not to mention technologically savvy.  Read More

New study demonstrates the pervasive influence of children on parent purchases

"Most parents seem to be completely unaware of how much their little ones make them buy“, said Claus Ebster, one of the researchers from the University of Vienna that unobtrusively monitored 178 parents shopping with their child in Austrian supermarkets, after which they were interviewed. When asked how many products their children had made them buy, on average parents only reported half the number of purchases that had been secretly observed. "Considering that the majority of purchase decisions in a supermarket are made in the store, neither retailers nor parents should underestimate the importance of child-induced purchase decisions", said Udo Wagner, professor of business administration of the University of Vienna.  Read More

iPhone 3.0 firmware update due March 17

Apple is set to preview the iPhone software version 3.0 at an invitation only event on March 17th and, as is traditional in the lead up to any Apple event, the rumormongers have been busy with predictions of what will and won’t be added to the device. So we thought it would be timely to do a bit of a rumor roundup in readiness for the imminent announcement.  Read More

Anton Grimes' Link scooter system

With an ever increasing load on the public transport system we need to look for smarter and more environmentally friendly ways of getting from A to B in built up areas. The public bike systems that have been successful in several European cities (Paris, Barcelona, Stockholm and soon London) are one way of achieving this, but the Link scooter system, designed by Anton Grimes of University of New South Wales in Australia, may provide an alternative to bikes that is a little easier for the less energetic. The Link is basically a modular transport solution concept, which allows users to hire an electric lightweight scooter from a hub. When the user has reached their destination, they simply return the scooter to another hub for recharging.  Read More

As far as a I got in my quest to join

Groucho Marx famously said he wouldn’t want to be a member of any club that would have him as a member. That means he probably wouldn’t have been rushing to join Affluence.org, even though he’s one of the select few with would’ve had enough cash to meet the entry requirements. Described as, “Facebook for the filthy rich”, by its founder, Scott Mitchell, Affluence.org requires members to have a verified net worth of at least USD$3 million or an annual household income of USD$300,000.  Read More

Kogan Agora Netbook

Kogan Technologies today launched the Agora netbook series, featuring the Agora and the Agora Pro. The 1.6GHz Atom based netbooks are the cheapest available in Australia, starting at AUD$499. Both models come preloaded with the gOS operating system, a variant of Ubuntu Linux, but in an interesting move, Kogan's support team is offering to guide customers through the process of installing other supported operating systems including Windows XP and Windows 7.  Read More

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