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Computers

ASUS unveils ET2700 All-in-One PC with 10-point multi-touch display

When it comes to big screen all-in-one computers, Apple's iMac seems to rule the roost. PC users have plenty of choice at smaller screen sizes but there's a bit of a gap at the 27-inch end of the space-saving format. ASUS has finally introduced its ET2700 All-in-One PC Series to fill the void. Available with up to Core i7 processing power and up to 2TB of onboard storage, the new AIO models are also said to be the first in the world to offer 10-point multi-touch display interaction.Read More

Mobile Technology

LightPad adds a keyboard and 11-inch rear- or 60-inch front-projection display to a smartphone

In terms of display size, smartphone manufacturers are faced with striking a balance between a size that is big enough to be comfortable to view and type on and one that is still small enough to fit inside a jacket packet. Advances in imaging technology have enabled miniature projectors that provide extra screen size in a compact form factor. This has led to a flood of such devices appearing at CES in recent years, such as the SHOWWX laser pico projector. CES 2012 doesn't look like being any different with QP Optoelectronics announcing it will debut its LightPad that adds a keyboard and bigger display to a smartphone at the world's biggest consumer electronics show this coming January.Read More

Inventors & Remarkable People

Film-makers doing a sci-fi space flick - without using any computer-generated effects

When you think about the best-loved movies depicting space travel, what names come to mind? Star Wars, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Trek - The Motion Picture, Silent Running, Battlestar Galactica? Interestingly enough, all of those enduring films were made decades ago, and utilized hand-built model spaceships for their space-flight sequences. Today, even low-budget productions usually use CGI (computer-generated imagery) for the same purpose – it’s logistically much easier to create and “film” a virtual spaceship on a computer, than it is to build, light and shoot an actual model. Nonetheless, that second approach is exactly what New York film-makers Derek Van Gorder and Otto Stockmeier are taking with their short film, C.Read More

Robotics

Japanese researchers develop six-legged "Asterisk" robot that can pick up objects

Fans of the sci-fi film Minority Report will no doubt recall the autonomous insect-like searcher robots deployed to find Tom Cruise's character mid-way through the flick. While not as elegant (or sinister) as its film counterparts, the Asterisk robot being developed by the Arai Robotics Lab at Osaka University in Japan does an excellent job of resembling a big, mechanical bug with some interesting skills. After over six years of development, this unusual "limb-mechanism" robot now boasts an impressive array of functions that may soon find it performing vital tasks in numerous areas of society, including search and rescue.Read More

Bicycles

Pedal Powered Talk Show combines a cargo bike and a TV interview set

The guys over at Portland, Oregon’s Metrofiets are a pretty talented bunch when it comes to designing cargo bicycles for more than ... well, for more than hauling cargo. Not long ago, they made headlines with their Beer Bike, that incorporates a tap-equipped wooden bar, space and hardware for two kegs, and a rack created specifically for carrying pizza boxes. They’ve also built bikes that have served as a mobile coffee shop, and as a go-anywhere bicycle repair station. Their latest creation, however, is aimed at the world of broadcasting – it’s a two-wheeled human-powered talk show set.Read More

Drones

Vision-based system that imitates insects designed to improve navigation of UAVs

Along with the well known defense applications, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are also used for crop dusting, bushfire and environmental monitoring, and infrastructure inspection. Such applications can see them flying close to the ground and amongst obstacles meaning it is of the utmost importance for pilotless craft to be able to accurately determine their heading and orientation to the ground. By imitating the method insects employ, Australian researchers have designed a vision-based system to provide real-time guidance for these eyes in the skies. Read More

Computers

Dell launches Alienware Aurora gaming rig

Alienware, Dell's subsidiary responsible for designing gamer-centric PCs, has updated its lineup of desktop PCs with the Alienware Aurora R4. Like all Alienware offerings, the specs are customizable with the Aurora R4 offering a choice of Intel Core i7 3000-series six-core CPUs, dual high-end GPUs from AMD or NVIDIA and up to four HDDs or SSDs. It's also equipped with liquid CPU cooling, active venting and an easily openable micro ATX chassis with external and internal lighting, while the famous alien head logo serves as a power button. Read More

Robotics

Oculus telepresence robot incorporates user's existing netbook

When you think about it, telepresence robots are quite a neat idea. Not only do they allow you to see and converse with people in another location through video conferencing, but you can also move them about within that location – almost as if you were there in person, walking down the halls. Such devices typically don’t come cheap, however. As with other robots, part of what you’re paying for are their computerized “brains,” along with all of their input/output peripherals. The Oculus Telepresence Robot, however, takes a different approach. It utilizes a user-supplied netbook to serve as its brains, eyes, ears and vocal cords. This results in a lower price, potentially opening up telepresence technology to people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it.Read More

Children

Santa gets his own Google Voice number, makes and receives holiday calls

Who wants to send Santa a wish list when you can just call him instead? Santa has scored his very own Google Voice number, a number you or your children can call the jolly old man at and say hello, or detail what you'd like to see under the tree. Santa is obviously pretty busy this time of year, so chances are you're going to get his voicemail rather than the man himself. This morning his outgoing message indicated he and Mrs. Claus were working on decorating the tree, but offered the option to leave a message he could check when the tree decorating was complete.Read More

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