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Telecommunications

China's Beidou satellite navigation system begins operations

China’s independent Beidou satellite navigation system has been operating since 2000. Consisting of just three satellites (and one backup), that first generation system offered only limited coverage to customers in China and neighboring regions. Now, to end any reliance on the US-maintained Global Positioning System (GPS), the second generation of the Beidou system has begun operations. The system currently consists of 10 satellites and covers the Asia–Pacific region, with the number of satellites gradually increasing to a total of 35 that will cover the entire globe by 2020.Read More

Mobile Technology

Apple files patents for hydrogen fuel cell technology to power mobile devices

Two recent patent applications by Apple indicate the company is looking at developing a hydrogen fuel cell system to complement the rechargeable batteries in a “portable computing device” – which could refer to Apple’s range of mobile iDevices, its MacBook range of notebooks – or both. The applications say the technology could potentially power portable electronic devices for “days or even weeks,” which would be sure to silence critics and users who have long complained about the poor battery life of not just Apple’s, but all mobile computing devices.Read More

Automotive

Sedan? Supercar? Roadyacht.

Unlike pretty much every other supercar in the history of supercars, the Savage Rivale Roadyacht GTS has four doors and four seats. While at first glance this might not sound all that super, a look at the car's spec sheet reveals that the Netherlands automaker may have just built a vehicle that earns this epithet. The car is powered by a 6.2-liter V-8 tuned as high 670 bhp, weighs just 2,820 lbs (1,280 kg) at the curb and while it may still be the most unlikely vehicle we've seen all year, this supersized-supercar is real and it's soon to be here. Read More

Environment

New technique removes even trace amounts of heavy metals from water

Once released into the environment from industrial sources, trace amounts of heavy metals can remain present in waterways for decades, or even centuries, in concentrations that are still high enough to pose a health risk. While processes do exist for removing larger amounts of heavy metals from water, these do not work on smaller quantities. Now, however, scientists from Rhode Island’s Brown University have combined two existing methods, to create a new one that removes even trace amounts of heavy metal from water.Read More

Mobile Technology

Free Wi-Fi coming to Japanese vending machines in 2012

Free Wi-Fi is on its way to some Japanese vending machines. Working much like a mobile hotspot at your local coffee shop, people located near the machines would be able to connect to the internet for 30 minutes at a time and surf the web. The vending machines are for the drink company Asahi. Connecting to the web using a machine can be done without any kind of log-in, and if your initial 30-minute connection to the network expires, you can connect again and keep on surfing. The service is available to anyone, to use with any smartphone, tablet, or computer and does not require the purchase of a drink from the machine.Read More

Aircraft

Unmanned K-MAX helicopter makes first combat cargo flight in Afghanistan

The unmanned Kaman K-MAX helicopter has made its first combat resupply mission in Afghanistan. Designed to reduce the reliance on truck convoys that are often targeted by IED (improvised explosive device) strikes when resupplying front-line troops in remote areas and manned aircraft that place their crews in danger, the unmanned aircraft is a modified K-MAX intermeshing rotor helicopter with the ability to lift a payload of over 6,000 pounds (2,721 kg).Read More

Aircraft

Controversial stealth aircraft canopy for sale on eBay?

Twenty-eight years ago, the United States Navy decided that it wanted a field replacement for its A-6 Intruder ground-attack aircraft. A team from McDonnell Douglas and General Dynamics won the contract to design the plane, which would be an all-weather, aircraft carrier-based stealth bomber, known as the A-12 Avenger II. Its first flight was planned for December 1990, but technical difficulties and cost overruns kept the team from meeting that deadline. By January 1991, in fact, the Secretary of Defense cancelled the program due to breach of contract. A legal battle between the Navy and McDonnell Douglas ensued, and continues to this day. Now, however, it’s possible to own a literal “piece” of the story – a cockpit canopy reportedly made for the A-12 is for sale on eBay.Read More

Bicycles

Ridekick provides an electric boost to regular bicycles

Although some cycling purists may sneer at them, electric bicycles certainly do come in handy when hills need to be climbed on morning commutes, or loads need to be hauled. E-bikes can be quite expensive, however, plus their motors and batteries make them heavy and clunky when their electric-assist feature isn’t being used. That’s where the Ridekick ...well, where it kicks in. The motorized trailer quickly hooks onto an existing bicycle, pushing it to speeds of up to 19 mph (30.5 km/h), for a distance of about 12 miles (19 km) per charge. When you want your regular ol’ human-powered bike back, you just unhook it and go. Read More

Music

Konkreet Labs hacks MeeBlip into "Synth in a Book"

It's probably best to make clear from the outset that Konkreet Labs' Synth in a Book is, for now, one of a kind. But as a demonstration of just what can be done with a MeeBlip hackable synthesizer kit, it may just be the perfect specimen. Though this particular hack may not be for the faint of heart, MeeBlip's range of synths include all-in-one kits suitable, MeeBlip says, for everyone.Read More

Good Thinking

Paypal founder backs Blueseed "visa-free entrepreneurship and tech incubator"

Paypal co-founder and billionaire Peter Thiel, who is currently the Seasteading Institute's "most generous funder" has continued his commitment to creating floating autonomous states by backing Blueseed. The new initiative hopes to create a floating "entrepreneurship and technology incubator" off the coast of San Francisco, allowing the next generation of creative entrepreneurs to legally develop new technologies without US working visas.Read More

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