more top stories »
— Digital Cameras

New Cyber-shots with big zoom announced

Sony has announced a couple of superzoom additions to its Cyber-shot camera range. Both the compact and the DSLR-like models can record full high definition movies, are GPS-enabled and have the ability to generate 3D stills without requiring the now familiar dual lens setup seen in other cameras. They both offer autofocus speeds comparable to digital SLRs and borrow some advanced technology from the company's Handycam camcorders. Read More
— Science

Researchers able to lift fingerprints from clothing

Promising early results from research undertaken by the University of Abertay Dundee and the Scottish Police Services Authority could lead to fingerprint evidence being obtained from clothing, for use in criminal prosecution. Refining an existing technique that's been used to successfully recover print detail from smooth objects such as glass and plastic, forensic scientists have managed to create a kind of photo negative of fingerprint impressions on fabric. It's a bit hit and miss at the moment, but even when clear ridge detail isn't retrieved, the technique could still prove useful to investigators looking for other evidence. Read More
— Good Thinking

Get some virtual culture with the Google Art Project

Google has announced a collaboration with 17 of the world’s most acclaimed art museums that lets people view over 1,000 high res artwork images and 17 "gigapixel" images while taking a virtual stroll through their galleries using “Street View” technology. While nothing can beat seeing a work of art in person, the Google Art Project could be the next best thing for those without the time and money to pop on a plane and trade elbows with crowds of tourists looking to catch a glimpse of what some of the best museums have on offer. Read More
— Automotive

Tesla announces lithium-ion battery recycling program in Europe

When weighing up the impact of electric-vehicles on the environment two factors come to the fore. EV's produce no emissions locally, but depending on where the energy comes from, they can still be producing greenhouse gases back at the power plant ... the so called "long-tailpipe" argument. That's one. The second is batteries – or more specifically, how much energy goes into making them and what to do with the massive battery packs in these cars once they've passed their lifespan. Auto manufacturers building EV infrastructure are taking this second factor into consideration and now EV pioneer Tesla has announced a battery recycling program throughout Europe that will help reduce the carbon footprint of its vehicles. Read More
— Computers

Google catches Microsoft with pants down, copying search results

Google doesn't have a lot of competition in the search world – it rose from obscurity in the late 1990s to its current position of utter dominance on the back of its clever results ranking algorithm; Google is the megalithic entity it is today, because for the last decade people have chosen its results over MSN, Yahoo and other search options. And now it seems Microsoft's new(ish) search competitor, Bing, is copying Google results in order to make its own search results better. In an embarrassing sting operation, Google claims it has proven that Bing is taking Google search results and displaying them as if they're coming from the Bing engine – and you'd have to imagine the guys at Google are absolutely delighted. Read More
— Architecture

Lunar Cubit: pyramids for the renewable energy age

The Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) is a competition that challenges entrants to think outside the box to create functional yet beautiful renewable energy generation facilities. First prize has just been awarded to such a submission, but this one thinks outside the pyramid. The Lunar Cubit concept design consists of nine pyramids made from solar panels in a configuration modeled on the Great Pyramid of Cheops in Giza. The pyramids would not only be capable of providing electricity to 250 homes, but are also designed to serve as a lunar calendar. Read More
— Robotics

Why Knot? Seth Goldstein's tie-tying robot

Seth Goldstein must hate doing up his ties even more than I do. I changed my lifestyle about four years ago so I'd never have to wear one again, but Goldstein has put countless hundreds of hours into designing a robot that can do the job for him. The 'Why Knot?' kinetic sculpture is hypnotic to watch, as the video after the jump shows – and it makes you wonder at the marvel of our human machinery when you see how difficult this simple task is for a purpose-built robot to replicate. Oh, and when you watch it in double-speed, it also sounds a bit like glitch techno music. Very cool. Read More
— Aircraft

The future of air travel – are you sitting comfortably?

We've come a long way from the early days of aviation. Aircraft cabins used to have more in common with our living rooms; seats were over-stuffed armchairs you could push around, and in-flight entertainment was a game of backgammon or bridge. It's tempting sometimes to wish for a return to those days – now it's more about either squeezing more people in, or providing a more comfortable experience only for those who can afford it. In this article, we're going to take a look at some new cushy options for your tush, and some others that seem quite outlandish ... Read More
— Science

Hubble finds a new contender for galaxy distance record

Pushing the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to the very limit of its technical ability, an international collaboration of astronomers believe they have discovered the oldest and furthest ancient galaxy ever seen. Light from the new object is thought to have taken some 13.2 billion years to reach the telescope, with the age of the Universe itself said to be 13.7 billion years. It's also said to be older than the current record holder, which set the bar by forming 600 million years after the Big Bang. Read More
— Outdoors

Ski slope power station design headed for Denmark

A collaboration led by the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has announced that it's been selected to design a new waste-to-power station on the outskirts of Copenhagen. In an attempt to unify an industrial area and residential housing, the project will turn the vast roofing expanse of the power station into an Alpine ski resort. Skiers will begin their downward journey from the top of the smokestack, which will also pump out smoke rings every time a ton of carbon dioxide is produced to remind citizens of the impact of power consumption. Read More