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— Electronics

Scavenging ambient electromagnetic energy to power small electronic devices

As you sit there reading this story you’re surrounded by electromagnetic energy transmitted from sources such as radio and television transmitters, mobile phone networks and satellite communications systems. Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology have created a device that is able to scavenge this ambient energy so it can be used to power small electronic devices such as networks of wireless sensors, microprocessors and communications chips. Read More
— Computers

MSI debuts the world's first PCI Express 3.0 motherboard

Taiwanese manufacturer MSI has announced a new motherboard Z68A-GD80 (G3), which according to the company will be the world's first motherboard to utilize the PCI Express Gen 3 (3.0) bus standard. Featuring a BIOS with a graphical user interface, the motherboard boasts two PCIe 3.0 slots (1x16, 1x8), which provide a 2x faster transfer rate than the 2.0 standard with a maximum bandwidth of 32GB/s, and support for 3TB drives. It is also equipped with an Intel Z68 (B3) chipset and supports the LGA1155 socket to work with Intel Sandy Bridge CPUs. Read More
— Mobile Technology

Motorola DROID 3 QWERTY slider lands at Verizon

Motorola has officially unveiled the successor to the DROID 2 with the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) powered DROID 3. Coming in at 0.5-in (13 mm) thick, Motorola is calling its new device the world's thinnest smartphone with a physical full QWERTY keyboard. Motorola's original DROID (a.k.a. Milestone, 2009) and the DROID 2 (2010) were both well-spec'd Android QWERTY sliders when introduced, so we wouldn't expect anything less with the DROID 3. It outshines its predecessor with a larger and higher resolution 4-inch qHD 960 x 540 touchscreen, doubles the internal storage to 16 GB and now includes a front facing camera for video calls. Read More
— Aircraft

Airbus and DLR testing fuel cell technology to cut aircraft pollution and noise emissions

The goals of the Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE) to reduce CO2 emissions by 50 percent, NOx emissions by 80 percent and noise cut by 50 percent by 2020 has seen aircraft manufacturers and airlines looking at alternative fuels such as biofuel. While not feasible for powering the flight of the aircraft itself, Airbus has also been looking at the potential for fuel cell technology to power a number of aircraft functions, such as autonomous taxiing. Read More
— Bicycles

Bicycle-sharing system incorporates app and GPS

Some readers may be familiar with the car2go car-sharing system, which is now in use in several cities around the world. Users locate the closest available car via the internet or a telephone call, go to it, unlock it with a chip card, enter their PIN on its keypad, then drive it wherever they want (within its range). When done, they just leave it at the closest designated car2go parking spot, where the next user will pick it up. It’s a pretty neat idea, so if it works for cars, why not bicycles? That’s where the fledgling sobi (Social Bicycles) project comes in. Read More
— Electronics

Kisai Kaidoku fan-designed word-based watch from Tokyoflash

Tokyoflash Japan has unveiled yet another unusual watch - the Kisai Kaidoku. It was submitted to the Tokyoflash Design Studio Blog by 15-year old Tynan Mayhew from Canada and is the second fan-submitted watch design to makes it from concept to reality. Instead of the traditional numerical face and hands or digital readout, the LCD-based stainless steel wristwatch displays the time and date using flashing words. Read More
— Aircraft

New MIT algorithm targets safer skies

Proponents of flying cars like to state how much less likely collisions would be up in the air, where everyone wouldn’t be traveling on the same level, yet mid-air collisions between aircraft do already occur. Although certainly not as common as automobile collisions, approximately 10 to 12 aircraft do fly into each other every year, with many more reporting near-misses. This has led to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) mandating that by 2020, all commercial aircraft (and small aircraft flying near airports) must be equipped with a GPS tracking system, which would give more accurate information on their location than is provided by ground-based radar. Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has been tasked with creating an algorithm, that would use that GPS data to keep the planes out of each other’s way. Read More
— Science

Kinect-based system developed that recognizes what you're doing

When and if we ever do get our personal robot assistants, it would be nice to think that we could "be ourselves" in front of them, doing things such as scratching our butts or checking our deodorant - because they're just robots, right? They're not going to know what we're doing. Well ... thanks to research currently being conducted at Cornell University, there's already a Microsoft Kinect system that can correctly identify people's activities, based on observation of their movements. If such technology were incorporated into a robot, it's possible that it could admonish you for chewing with your mouth open – although more likely, it might offer to help you lift a heavy object. Read More
— Environment

Gemasolar Concentrated Solar Power achieves key milestone - 24 hours of uninterrupted supply

The Gemasolar Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant near Seville, Spain, has achieved a full 24 hours of solar power production one month after starting commercial operation. The 19.9 MW plant uses a huge array of mirrors to heat a molten salt storage system in the central tower which is then used to run steam turbines, resulting in the ability to continue energy production after the sun goes down. Read More
— Environment

Solar Ivy captures the sun's energy whilst creating a pleasing visual aesthetic

Solar Ivy was inspired by traditional mansions, where ivy decorates the exterior walls and reflects the organic essence of nature. Created in collaboration with Brooklyn-based parent company SMIT, Solar Ivy is a series of solar cells printed with conductive ink that resemble ivy leaves. The leaves have been designed to be placed on the outside of residential or commercial buildings as a way of utilizing and absorbing solar energy, whilst also doubling as a shade screen. Read More
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