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Good Thinking

Paypal founder backs Blueseed "visa-free entrepreneurship and tech incubator"

Paypal co-founder and billionaire Peter Thiel, who is currently the Seasteading Institute's "most generous funder" has continued his commitment to creating floating autonomous states by backing Blueseed. The new initiative hopes to create a floating "entrepreneurship and technology incubator" off the coast of San Francisco, allowing the next generation of creative entrepreneurs to legally develop new technologies without US working visas.Read More

Music

The scientific formula for predicting a hit song

You hear a new song. Will it be a hit or a flop? Researchers from Bristol University in the U.K. say they can now tell you - well, sort of. After studying the Top 40 singles charts over the last 50 years and examining the audio characteristics for hits and flops, the team has come up with a formula as to what makes for a successful song and used it to devise software that "predicts" hits. The next step is a web app to allow budding musicians to score their own songs.Read More

Around The Home

FLEXiT offers a new take on task lighting

For people who want portable LED lighting that mounts just about anywhere, there are already devices such as the Joby Gorillatorch, most of which are variations on the tried-and-trusted flashlight form factor. Striker’s new FLEXiT Light takes a bit of a different approach, however. Instead of incorporating three or so LEDs within one lens, it utilizes a bendable array of 16 high-output bulbs.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

New discovery could lead to better artificial hips

For many people who have suffered from an arthritic hip, the replacement of their natural hip bone with a prosthetic implant has meant an end to constant pain, and the restoration of a normal range of movement. Unfortunately, the ball-and-socket joints of the prostheses do wear down over time, so younger patients in need of the implants are typically told to either wait until they are older, or must face the prospect of someday requiring repeat surgery to service their device. A recent discovery, however, could lead to longer-lasting artificial hip joints – this could in turn allow patients to receive prosthetic hips at a younger age, without the need for additional surgery when they get older.Read More

Electronics

OreObject, a luxury mouse for affluent geeks

We've seen quite a few gadgets made out of gold throughout the years. From a gold-plated USB flash drive to a 24 carat Gold- and Platinum-leafed Aston Martin DB7, gold has long been a symbol of class and a way to add a little flash to what might otherwise be an ordinary gadget. Now we can add computer mice to that long list of fancy gold items, with the new Sphere 2 by Ore Object. The mouse is made of surgical grade stainless steel with either a titanium, gold, or platinum finish. Both stain and dirt resistant, the mouse's surface repels germs, and can be easily sanitized if necessary.Read More

Motorcycles

Lazareth's 250 hp, Ferrari-powered Wazuma V8 quad goes up for sale

In my part of the world, quad bikes (or ATVs) are everywhere. They're great for dropping in and out of the fields to check the vines, as well as hitting the road or dirt track for a bit of well-earned fun. Although there are quite powerful examples, for the most part quads are unlikely to generate the same kind of drool as, say, a Ducati superbike. That's certainly not true of Lazareth's Wazuma V8F - which is built around a 250 horsepower Ferrari 3 liter V8 engine, features a BMW gearbox and sports customized Brembo braking and Momo rims. As you've probably already worked out, though, this unique beast of a quad doesn't come cheap.Read More

Science

Large Hadron Collider researchers find new particle

British researchers say they've seen a new particle using data from the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider. The chi b(3P) is the first new particle that has been clearly observed using the LHC, the world's largest particle accelerator, which is housed in a 17-mile (27-km) long tunnel near the border of Switzerland and France.Read More

Automotive

Forget face detection - this Japanese car seat can tell who's sitting on it

Who needs face detection when your car can know who's sitting in it based on their rear-end? A group of Japanese researchers at the Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology (AIIT) have developed a car seat that can identify drivers while they're sitting down. The way the technology works is pretty simple. The seat is retrofitted with 360 different sensors. Those sensors take into account things like your weight, the highest value of pressure on the seat, and where you come in contact with the seat. The idea is that we all sit in car seats relatively the same way each time, so the seat should be able to tell who is sitting in it, ensuring that the person is the owner of the car rather than a car thief. Read More

Electronics

US$25 Raspberry Pi personal computer nears launch date

Budding computer hackers/scientists are about to get a welcome gift, albeit a bit late for Christmas 2011. The non-profit Raspberry Pi Foundation (RPF) is nearing the release date of its surprisingly powerful and remarkably affordable Raspberry Pi line of bare-bones machines that have been developed in an effort to broaden kids' access to computers in the UK and abroad. How affordable? The figure above was no typo. Read on to learn just what US$25 will get you when these nifty, fully-assembled, credit-card sized computers go on sale next month (sorry, case, monitor, keyboard and mouse not included ... we did say bare bones).Read More

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