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Artist's impression of NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander
 Image credit: NASA/JPL

NASA has announced the successful touchdown of the Phoenix spacecraft on arctic plains in the north of the Red Planet. The completion of the 10 month journey was confirmed with the detection of a radio signal from Phoenix (a signal which takes more than 15 minutes to reach Earth) indicating that it had reached the Martian surface. The spacecraft reached speeds of approximately 12,000 mph before entering the top of the planet's atmosphere and beginning its decent towards a soft touchdown on its three-legs made possible by parachute deployment and finally, the use of controlled thrusters. Launched on August 4, 2007, Phoenix is the sixth lander to touch down on Mars with only five of the 11 previous international attempts having succeeded including the first successful landing of the Viking program in 1976.  Read More

For those who still think in 35mm equivalents, the V20 has a 36-180mm zoom.

PENTAX’s new US$300 Optio V20 is designed to help overcome one of happysnapping’s greatest problems – blinking subjects. The 'Digital Shake Reduction' reaches new levels too, and compensates not just for the snappers shaking hands, but moving subjects too, and if your hands are shaking when you play back the images it will compensate for those movements too.  Read More

SanDisk's 8GB microSDHC card

Using mobile phones for multimedia activities has increased as phones have crammed more and more multimedia capabilities into their ever shrinking housings. SanDisk’s new Mobile Ultra microSD/microSDHC and Memory Stick Micro (M2) flash mobile memory cards, aim to meet the storage and speed requirements of digital photography, music downloads, videos, and GPS functionality that have become standard on such devices.  Read More

The Czeers MK1 solar speedboat

Electricity and water: we usually do everything we can to keep the two apart, but it seems the electric engine revolution is moving through the boating world as well. And when you're out on the water enjoying a speedboat, what more appropriate power source is there than the sun? The Czeers MK1 prototype solar speedboat is a 30-knot photovoltaic dream in delicious shades of carbon fiber and lush orange leather with 14 square meters of solar panels and a silently operating 80kw electric motor. Solar boats for environmental warriors eh? Next thing you'll be telling us they're making wind-powered ones.  Read More

Sharp's 8.4-inch LQ084V3DG01

In more news to come out of the Society for Information Display’s (SID’s) 2008 International Symposium, Seminar, and Exhibition, Sharp announced the availability of two new rugged TFT LCD panels. The 5.7-inch and 8.4-inch TFT-LCDs are VGA panel displays designed to suit a variety of applications, including point-of-purchase screens, VoIP products, medical equipment, test and measurement equipment.  Read More

Boeing A160T Hummingbird during its HOGE flight demonstration on May 9

Gizmag first reported on Boeing’s A160T Hummingbird Unmanned Rotorcraft back in 2005 and again in 2007 when the craft made its first flight. Now the craft has come very close to achieving the original 20 hour flight times envisioned (and unofficially broken a world record for unmanned aerial vehicles along the way) by remaining in the air for 18.7 hours.  Read More

Laddersmart safety devce

In the UK alone an average of 14 deaths and 1200 major injuries* are suffered by workers each year in accidents involving ladders and stepladders. The Laddersmart safety device is designed to help combat this ongoing problem in relation to rooftop access, locking the top of the ladder firmly into place and protecting the gutter at the same time.  Read More

GE and the C-MAR Group unite to design hybrid tugboat

Hybrid technology is slowly beginning to make its mark on the roadways as manufacturers of cars, buses and trucks embrace it as a cleaner, more efficient alternative. Efforts are also underway to expand this type of technology on the water - Foss Maritime announced plans to build the world's first true hybrid tug boat in early 2007 and now GE and the C-MAR Group hope to demonstrate the feasibility of a hybrid tugboat technology that will both conserve fuel and reduce emissions.  Read More

Ferrari world record price - US$11 million

It is perhaps appropriate that just a few days after Ferrari released details of its delectable new California model, that a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder should set a world record auction price of EUR 7,040,000 (US$11,070,000). No doubt buoyed by its "celebrity provenance" (it was owned by Academy Award winner James Coburn), the Nero Black covered headlamp Spyder caused a frenzy of bidding on the auction block.  Read More

A London black cab

While improvements in engine technology have led to a marked improvement in fuel efficiency and carbon emissions in vehicles running on internal combustion engines in recent years, even greater cuts in emissions need to be made to tackle the global environmental problems associated with them. We’ve seen commercial airlines turning to biofuels, trucks running on liquefied natural gas and buses using ethanol engines. One of the most promising solutions for the humble car of the future could is hydrogen fuel cell systems, with a number of car manufacturers investing heavily in development.  Read More

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