2015 Detroit NAIAS Auto Show
The three-wheeler STEM bike would be readily available from public solar-charging stations

Young German industrial designer, Tobias Bexten, has come up with a nifty little idea for city transport. The STEM is a compact electric three-wheeler, powered by a lithium-ion battery, that would be available for pick-up and return at a city-wide infrastructure of rental stations. But, if a popular Parisian bike rental scheme is anything to go by, Tobias could expect to see half his bikes stolen, and the rest vandalized, hung from lamp posts and tossed in rivers.  Read More

The emoticon isn't the only way to gauge happiness online

A mathematician and computer scientist working in the Advanced Computing Center at the University of Vermont have created a remote-sensing mechanism that examines the content of blogs to measure the emotional levels of millions of people. The result is the ‘We Feel Fine’ system, which purports to give an indication of how people around the world are feeling.  Read More

2.3? But I was being TENDER! Tender, I tells ya!

The iPhone app store ranges from the kinda useful to the utterly ridiculous - and here's an extreme example of the latter. The Passion application rates your sexual performance based on duration, power (as measured by the iPhone's built-in accelerometer) and loudness of orgasm, giving you a score out of 10 for your efforts. You can then compare "high scores" with other couples (or singles) around the world. That's right kids, to be the world's best lover, simply bang away like a jackhammer for 45 minutes, bellowing like a baboon. The ladies looooove that.  Read More

The VASIMR engine could make a manned flight to Mars in about a sixth of the time of conve...

Last week, as the world celebrated the first lunar landing, Apollo 11 astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins both called for NASA to make Mars its next goal. But the chemical propulsion system that took them to the moon would take six months, at least, to get a man to Mars and cost hundreds of billions of dollars. However, a new ion plasma rocket being developed by another former astronaut, Franklin Chang-Diaz, could potentially reach Mars in just 39 days using a fraction of the fuel.  Read More

The Novo-G reconfigurable supercomputer (Photo: University of Florida)

Today's computers can carry on a wide range of tasks thanks to a general architecture that allows for great flexibility at the cost of a non-optimal performance; on the other end, application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) can carry on a very specific task with great speed and energy efficiency, but are very inflexible. Now Novo-G, a reconfigurable supercomputer developed at the University of Florida that's described as the most powerful of its kind, is attempting to take the best from both worlds by being able to effectively change its hardware configuration as needed to compute with the greatest possible speed and efficiency.  Read More

Ferrari’s innovative new V8 – the 458 Italia

The 458 Italia is the latest incarnation of the mid-rear engined Ferrari berlinetta and will be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. While it’s true that every Ferrari is innovative by definition, it’s equally true that in the course of the Prancing Horse’s history, certain cars have marked a genuine departure from the current range. This is very much the case with the Ferrari 458 Italia, which is a massive leap forward from the company’s previous mid-rear engined sports cars.  Read More

Artists impression of a VES in New York

Demand for office and housing space in ever diminishing land space has led to taller and taller buildings reaching for the skies in cities around the world. This shortage of land in many cities has unfortunately also led to a scarcity of natural vegetation in urban settings. We’ve looked at several vertical-farming concepts - dedicated buildings that provide space to grow crops in city centers - but a new architectural system from Vertical Landscapes (VL) seeks to invite nature back into our cities on a broader scale. The architectural system transforms buildings into columns of vegetation to add a much needed touch of green, help clean the city air and possibly even produce small scale crops, all while retaining the building’s usual use for office or housing space.  Read More

Hybrid! Hail a cab from Colin Paton and there's a good chance you'll get in a Toyota Prius...

Scottish council, West Lothian (near Edinburgh), has given the green light to a local cab company to run a fleet of Toyota Prius vehicles. The decision makes Calder Cabs the first cab company in Scotland to offer the hybrid cars after the council determined that the Prius could be licensed as a private hire vehicle.  Read More

The Fresh shrinking milk jug

Milk goes sour in about a week, even if you keep it in the fridge. That's because Lactobacillus, the "good bacteria" that's found in yogurt, is constantly going about the job of oxidizing the lactose sugars in the milk into sour-tasting lactic acid - the same chemical that makes your muscles sore after exercise. But since this souring process requires the presence of oxygen, theoretically it could be slowed down even further if you kept the milk out of contact with oxygen. Rather than going with a high-tech nitrous contraption like the N2Wine globes we wrote about recently, one entrant to this year's James Dyson awards has come up with something devilishly simple: a shrinking milk jug that squeezes all the air out as you empty it. The inventor claims it lets milk last as much as a week longer. Simple and brilliant!  Read More

Panoramic windows will give driver and passengers an excellent connection with their envir...

C,mm,n (pronounced common) is an open community design project that is not only counting on its members to help design a car but is also tasking them with producing a whole new mobility solution to cope with the challenging demands of the future. The blueprints for the proposed electric car concept and the mobility concepts are freely available under an open source licence and contributions are welcome from anyone and everyone.  Read More

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