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— Automotive

Electric tuk tuks introduced to Europe

Call them tuk tuks, auto rickshaws, mototaxis or any one of several other names, but they’re one of the world’s most ubiquitous vehicles – three-wheeled motorized rickshaws. They’ve been a fixture on roads in Asia, South America, Africa and Italy for decades, and have more recently made their way into the Netherlands, the U.K. and other countries. Given that they typically have quite small engines and are used mostly as runabouts, Dutch company Tuk Tuk Factory (TTF) decided to start making electric tuk tuks a few years ago and has now introduced them to the European market. Read More
— Electronics

Plastic/metal composite material is able to monitor itself

When engineers want to know how much stress mechanical components such as wind turbine blades or machine parts are subjected to, they usually do so via a series of sensors. These sensors are typically either built into components, or are glued onto them. A new polymer-metal composite material developed at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Applied Material Research (IFAM), however, may be about to change that – components made from the material are reportedly able to act as their own sensors. Read More
— Computers

Truly Ergonomic claims to revolutionize typing

There are a number of keyboards that claim to be ergonomic, but only one claims to be "truly ergonomic." Many input devices available today stagger the keys across the available keying area, resulting in even the most proficient touch typist having to move around more than is desirable. The makers of the Truly Ergonomic Keyboard claim that their redesign brings all keys within easy reach, which should lead to decreased discomfort in a world where most of us spend much of our lives tapping away in front of one computer screen or another. Read More
— Computers

Iomega's pocket-sized SSD storage solutions

EMC subsidiary Iomega has announced the creation of a pocket-sized external SSD storage solution with hardware encryption, write speeds said to be twice as fast as a 7200 RPM SATA hard drive, and a special feature to help protect the unit if dropped. The new unit also benefits from SuperSpeed USB connectivity, hardware data encryption and a long usage lifespan. Read More
— Music

Portable tones in a pipe: The Pipe Amp from FuzzHugger

FuzzHugger has just unleashed a portable, battery-powered amp that packs some serious volume and gorgeous 1960s fuzz tones into a pipe housing. The appropriately named Pipe Amp is about the size of a vintage effects pedal, doesn't have its own clean channel and can be used to drive a 4 x 12 cabinet. The fact that each one is hand-built and available in strictly limited quantities only adds to its must-have charm. Let the fuzz begin... Read More
— Computers

Western Digital ships 3TB SATA hard drive

Both Seagate and WD have announced 3 TB external drives, and now WD has broken new ground with a 3TB internal hard drive. The WD Caviar Green 2.5 and 3 TB hard drives are bundled with an Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI)-compliant Host Bus Adapter (HBA) that allows both 64-bit Windows 7 and Mac OS X Snow Leopard, along with 32-bit Vista and Windows 7 platforms to make full use of the new drives. Read More
— Telecommunications

New chip could allow antenna arrays to replace satellite dishes

There was a time not so very long ago when people who wanted satellite TV or radio required dishes several feet across. Those have since been replaced by today’s compact dishes, but now it looks like even those might be on the road to obsolescence. A recent PhD graduate from The Netherlands’ University of Twente has designed a microchip that allows for a grid array of almost-flat antennae to receive satellite signals. Read More
— Bicycles

Josh Hadar's electric three-wheeled masterpiece

Cutting edge New York artist Josh Hadar has created a three-wheel electric bike that is sure to turn heads. Based around a sprawling, chopper-like frame similar to that used in his earlier pedal powered designs such as "Uncle Stew's Trike", Hadar's new creation has a range of up to 30 miles and puts out 15 kilowatts at its peak, which, when combined with the weight of four 12-volt lead-acid batteries and two chunky wheels at the rear, is reportedly more than enough to put you on your derriere. Read More
— Science

Japanese company lays claim to world's cheapest hydrogen production process

At least half of the world’s usable hydrogen is obtained through a process known as steam reforming, in which steam reacts with fossil fuels such as natural gas to produce hydrogen gas. On a smaller scale, hydrogen can also be obtained through the process of electrolysis, in which ordinary water is split into its oxygen and hydrogen components by running an electrical current through it – consumers can even buy their own electrolysis-based home hydrogen extraction kit, in the form of the HYDROFILL. Now, however, Japan’s FUKAI Environmental Research Institute has announced a new technology for obtaining hydrogen that it claims is less expensive and more efficient than anything that’s been tried so far. Read More