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Architecture

Loftcube arrives in grounds of a Belgian Castle

A luxurious Belgian castle dating back to the 1880s might seem an unlikely setting for a futuristic and modern weekend away. Situated one hour outside Brussels, Chateau De La Poste is home to a fully renovated castle with 42 guest rooms amidst 42 acres of parkland, but guests can now opt for a quiet escape with the benefits of a pint-sized penthouse that lies hidden on this historical property - the Loftcube.Read More

Wearables

"Beauty and the geek" keyboard pants - would you wear them?

Where to start with the "Beauty and the Geek" wearable keyboard. It's tempting to launch into a spiel about cafe-hopping hipsters that might just (and I mean just) be tempted by a pair of jeans with a built-in keyboard. Anything to lighten the load, non? But it's hard to imagine even the least self-aware urbanite willing to subject himself to the inevitable crotch-stares that BatG would surely attract - even when he's not typing. Which isn't to dismiss Nieuwe Heren's design - it does incorporate some rather neat ideas.Read More

Architecture

Student scheme to protect Future-Manhattan from rising sea levels

A pair of students at the University of Pennsylvania have an audacious suggestion should rising sea levels make their presence felt in Manhattan, New York. Their scheme would see the installation of waterproof canopies to the lower stories of skyscrapers. Tingwei Xu and Xie Zhang say their idea has an "irreducible integrity," thanks to the canopies' various functions which, the students say, are each of equal importance. So in addition to keeping water out, these canopies provide additional structural support against lateral forces, provide green or agricultural space, and, judging by the visualizations, provide living and working areas in their own right.Read More

Aircraft

AgustaWestland AW609 tiltrotor aims for 2016 FAA certification

We’ve been following the development of Eurocopter’s X3 demonstrator with interest in recent years, but it’s far from the only aircraft that aims to combine the vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capabilities of a helicopter with the speed, range and altitude capabilities of a fixed wing aircraft. Tiltrotor aircraft that feature powered rotors mounted on rotating shafts or nacelles at the end of a fixed wing have been around for half a century, the most famous probably being the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey. While the V-22 is a military aircraft, AgustaWestland is developing its AW609 as a multi-role aircraft aimed at private, commercial, and government markets.Read More

Automotive

GM introduces new IntelliLink smartphone connectivity

This week, GM rolled out its IntelliLink infotainment system. The system connects wirelessy to your smartphone and provides voice-activated access to phone and audio functions. This latest example of the growing number of in-vehicle smartphone connectivity systems will be standard equipment on all Buick sedans and will be offered as an option on the GMC Terrain and Acadia. Read More

Mobile Technology

Sound Cover iPad case packs NXT speakers inside a smart cover

There's no shortage of options for those looking to add some extra audio oomph to their iPad. From the multitude of docks on offer to Bluetooth or Airplay-enabled wireless speaker systems and more portable options such as the Logitech Tablet Speaker or iLuv iSP150. But none are as portable as the Sound Cover, which as the name suggests, combines stereo speakers with that most ubiquitous of iPad accessories, the cover.Read More

Outdoors Review

Review: GEIGERRIG pressurized hydration pack

First of all, let's get one thing clear - conventional hydration packs aren't a problem that needs solving. You want a drink, you suck on the mouthpiece, it's as simple as that. Then again, standard-definition video, dial-up internet connections and friction-operated bicycle shift levers were all considered "good enough" at one time, too. It's hard to say if GEIGERRIG's pressurized hydration pack system will eventually join the ranks of HDTV, cable internet and indexed shifting, but based on my experiences with one of the company's test rigs, it could at least gain some converts.Read More

Urban Transport

New bike-scooter design inspired by consultation with Bordeaux citizens

In November 2011, the City of Bordeaux in France began a special consultation with its citizens. In an exercise that could easily have created a Homer mobile, participants were asked to make suggestions on what they would like to see included in the design of a new town bike. Over 300 citizens shared their ideas, which designer Philippe Starck has now used as the inspiration for what has been provisionally called the City PIBAL Streamer - an eye-catching concept where riders can opt to sit and pedal like on a traditional bike, or stand on the platform and use like a scooter.Read More

Science

Crab shells used to produce cheaper pharmaceuticals

Crabs and lobsters ... they're not just for eating, anymore. Chitin, one of the main components of their exoskeletons, has recently found use in things such as self-healing car paint, biologically-compatible transistors, flu virus filters, and a possible replacement for plastic. Now, something else can be added to that list. Researchers from the Vienna University of Technology are developing a technique in which chitin is being used to cheaply produce a currently very-expensive source of antiviral drugs.Read More

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