2015 Detroit NAIAS Auto Show
Mikhail Kalashnikov's AK-47 assault rifle

It's the most effective killing machine in human history - a gun that, on its 62nd birthday, is still killing as many as a quarter of a million people every year, in every corner of the globe. Invented by a gifted tank mechanic to save Russia's motherland from the invading German hordes in WW2, the AK-47 went on to rise to global prominence during the proxy battles of the Cold War. Even today, a poorly trained militia group can become a force to be reckoned with once it finds a supply of AK-47s - such is its simplicity, reliability, affordability and sheer killing power. Abhorrent - yes, but with reference to its impact on humanity it is, sadly, among the greatest inventions of the 20th century. We take a look at this amazing weapon's history, its significance and its brutal dominance of world politics. Listen to the Podcast or  Read More

The Q3 Handy Video Recorder records video and stereo sound via two built-in condenser micr...

A portable camcorder that records MPEG-4 SP video format at 30 frames per second - in stereo - has been released by Zoom. The Q3 Handy Video Recorder combines 640 x 480 resolution video recording with studio quality audio through two built-in condenser microphones.  Read More

The creation of a new font – using a Toyota IQ

Be of no doubt that the Toyota IQ is a landmark automobile. It may look like another city car, but it's the first genuine luxury super compact and the recently announced relationship with Aston Martin to create bespoke interiors for the vehicle is just the start of a massive push by the world's biggest automobile manufacturer to recalibrate public consciousness on the magnitude of luxury motoring. The creation of the IQ Agility computer font is another step in that process, and a devilishly clever one at that. Watch the video of how it was done and admire the work, not to mention be astonished that the IQ writes better than most humans.  Read More

A typical SCORE generator will weigh between 10 and 20kg

Two years ago experts began work on a revolutionary new stove that could help reduce poverty in third world countries. The £2m SCORE project (Stove for Cooking, Refrigeration and Electricity) was designed to offer cooking, refrigeration and energy production from a wood-powered generator and subsequent developments have now brought the project to a point where it can be mass-produced.  Read More

The Phoenix concept car was a stunning entrant in the 2009 Michelin Challenge Design

First appearing in the Michelin Challenge Design earlier this year, the Phoenix concept features an orbital omni-directional four-wheel-drive system which allows for several types of motion - apart from moving forwards and backwards, it can rotate around its own axis and move sideways.  Read More

Will Microsoft's web based Office applications give Google a run for their money?

In a move anticipated for some time, Microsoft has announced that the next incarnation of its ubiquitous Office software will include free web based versions of several of the suites popular applications. Although late to the party, Microsoft’s foray into online applications - which have now entered the technical preview phase - is set to put the squeeze on well established online office suite rivals like Google and Zoho.  Read More

Ferrari announces free Roadside Assistance service for all cars not covered by warranty

We suspect that the retained value figures for all Ferrari automobiles just took a significant hike in value. In a stunning move, Ferrari has announced the launch of a new “With You” roadside assistance service which will be provided free of charge to owners of all Prancing Horse cars built since 1947 and not covered by either existing factory or POWER warranties. Under the new scheme, Ferrari clients will not only enjoy 12 months of roadside assistance if their vehicle breaks down, but also be offered cover for expenses involved in returning home or reaching the Ferrari Authorised Service Centre to which their car has been taken. The service is free, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, initially for Italian and UK owners, but to be extended to other European markets in the near future. No announcement has yet been made as to whether the scheme will be extended beyond Europe.  Read More

The Cranklock in action

Seconds are everything in cycle racing. A 10-second gap on the nearest guy behind you means he's got to work his butt off just to stay in touch. So a device that can reliably give you an effort-free 20-second advantage on a 3km twisty downhill stage is clearly going to be dynamite in the racing market. It's called the Cranklock, and it allows cyclists to enjoy motorcycle-style lean angles and massively improved cornering speeds by putting your center of gravity low and to the inside of the corner, like you can on a motorcycle. And if initial reactions from pro racers in New Zealand are any indication, it's going to revolutionize the world of competitive cylcing. Oh - and there's safety and security benefits for your average road rider, too. This is a sensational idea.  Read More

The assembled Mnemosyne

If there’s one thing you could expect to rely on when it comes to Flash memory it’s that as capacities increase over time, prices decrease. It’s a rule that has been borne out over the years and its continuation has been a source of comfort that everything is right with the world. Now Japan’s Solid Alliance has thrown our world askew with the release of the Mnemosyne, a 16GB flash drive that is yours for the paltry sum of one million yen (approx. USD$10,000.)  Read More

The 1906 San Fransisco earthquake killed over 3,000. A new technology could help shield bu...

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there are 500,000 detectable earthquakes every year, of which 100,000 will be felt and about 100 will cause damage. Engineers now use seismic vibration control technology - and base isolation in particular – to make buildings more earthquake-proof. But what about existing structures? Researchers from the University of Liverpool have now developed a means of effectively making buildings “invisible” to the destructive path of a quake.  Read More

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