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Good Thinking

Yumemiru app aims to let you control your dreams

We all wish we could control what our dreams are at night, whether it's to pretend we have powers like Superman or simply to enjoy a relaxing stroll through a mansion on the Moon that happens to have a talking lion for a butler, complete with monocle. Sadly, we're still a long way away from programming our sleeping moments like a Netflix queue, but one Japanese app may have a quick solution. The Yumemiru app for iOS can detect when you enter dream sleep and then plays a soundtrack to influence what happens in your dreams.Read More

Games

Programmer nails real-time rendering of ultra-realistic human skin

Graphics researcher Jorge Jimenez has cracked the problem of rendering what he calls "ultra realistic skin" in real-time with consumer-level computer and graphics hardware. It's a breakthrough made possible by the process of separable subsurface scattering (SSS) which quickly renders the translucent properties of skin and its effect on light in two post-processing passes. The code is based wholly on original research using DirectX 10. Jimenez describes the achievement as the result of hours of "research, desperation, excitement, happiness, pride, sadness and extreme dedication."Read More

Deep Blue luxury catamaran designed as submarine support vessel

Luxury yacht designers Ardoin Yacht Design and U-Boat Worx submarines have collaborated on the perfect companion for U-Boat's one, two or three person submarines. The Deep Blue catamaran can carry the submarine and 12 passengers to your diving spot at up to 30 knot speeds, then hydraulically lower and raise the submarine for launching and docking.Read More

Aircraft

NASA launches search for greener propellant

NASA has put out the call for greener propellant fuel for use on the spacecraft of the future. Though it does not appear that NASA has stipulated that alternative propellants must match the performance of current mainstay hydrazine, it's clear that only high-performance substances need apply. Environmental credentials are where the new fuel must demonstrate an edge over hydrazine, which is a corrosive, toxic pollutant. As well as the environmental benefits, use of greener propellants should prove more economical, reducing the need for involved safety procedures that can lengthen launch times.Read More

Automotive

Kia presents the bulldog-like 4WD Track'ster concept

The Chicago Auto Show got underway on Wednesday, and Kia had one of the noteworthy debuts of day one. The company's Track'ster concept is essentially a race-inspired hot hatch version of its popular Soul. The car gets a potent powertrain and aggressive look. Kia is clearly empowered by its recent success. Once essentially the baby brother of Hyundai, a brand that itself has a historical reputation as a cheap, entry-level automaker, Kia is really starting to come into its own. According to the company's numbers, it launched more new models in the US between 2009 and 2010 than any other automaker and was one of the world's fastest growing auto brands.Read More

Robotics

iRobot launches new 710 Warrior robot

iRobot, the company behind household helpers, such as the Roomba and Scooba, and military and police robots, such as the PackBot and Negotiator, has released an updated version of its Warrior 700 robot. Like its predecessor, the newly launched 710 Warrior is designed for EOD (explosive ordnance disposal), reconnaissance and surveillance missions and can lift loads of up to 220 lbs (100 kg) and carry payloads of more than 150 pounds (68 kg) over rough terrain.Read More

Red Bull unveils 2012 Formula One car

Current world F1 champion Red Bull Racing has unveiled the car with which it will defend the title in 2012 - the Renault-powered RB8. With No. 1 driver Sebastian Vettel looking for a hat-trick this year, Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey OBE is taking no chances with the design, which traces it roots back to the RB5 of 2009.Read More

Bicycles

Grow bikes get bigger as your child does

Ahh kids. They grow up so fast - much to the consternation of parents faced with continually having to buy larger shoes and clothes. As much as any kid loves their first bike, they quickly outgrow these as well. But what if there was a way to save the hip-pocket nerve for a couple more birthdays without having the little dears look like they should be riding around with the clowns on miniature bikes at the circus? Well, there is and it comes from Spanish bike manufacturer Orbea, which has come up with its line of Grow bikes that - as the name suggests - grow along with your child.Read More

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