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— Medical

Printable prescription pills will be safer and faster-acting

By - June 6, 2010 1 Picture
Compressed tablets are the most popular dosage form in use today. About two-thirds of all prescriptions are dispensed as solid dosage forms and half of these are compressed tablets. What may surprise many people is that nearly 99.9 percent of most prescription tablets are actually filler. The active ingredient is usually just one thousandth of a pill, so it has to be mixed with other ingredients to make the medicine big enough to pick up and swallow. The second thing that may surprise you is that the underlying production process has remained largely unchanged for over a thousand years ... though quality assurance is a lot better these days. Now researchers are looking at a fundamental shift in methodology which promises to create safer and faster-acting medicines – "printing" pills to order. Read More
— Military

Navy ray gun shoots down robotic targets

By - June 6, 2010 1 Picture
If you own an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), here’s piece of advice: don’t fly it near San Nicholas Island, California, or it could be blasted out of the sky – by a laser. Two such vehicles were successfully shot down there on May 24th by a US Navy laser weapon. According to the official press release, this marks "the first detect-thru-engage laser shoot-down of a threat representative target in an over-the-water, combat representative scenario.” Read More
— Music

Sonic Charge's Patternarium introduces Darwin to drum beats

By - June 6, 2010 1 Picture
I've been a registered owner of Sonic Charge's µTonic (pronounced MicroTonic) drum/percussion synthesizer for years - but a new online tool from Sonic Charge called Patternarium is likely to make it one of my most used plugins when I'm looking for some inspiration in the studio. They're calling it a "giant collaborative patch randomizer," and my explanation of that won't fit in this summary. Read More
— Science

Computer model tests Mars 'tumbleweed rovers'

By - June 4, 2010 2 Pictures
For over ten years, NASA engineers have been kicking around the idea of a tumbleweed-inspired Mars rover. This “tumbleweed rover” would be a rugged but lightweight ball, with sensors and other electronics securely suspended inside. It would move about simply at the mercy of the Martian wind, much like its botanical namesake. Until now, the only way of testing such rovers has been to build a prototype, then set it loose here on Earth and watch the fun. That could be about to change, however. Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a computer model that can test tumbleweed rover designs before they’re ever built. Read More
— Wearable Electronics

Smart textiles designed to evoke memories of absent people

By - June 4, 2010 3 Pictures
You’ve had a hard day at the office, your spouse is currently over 2,000 miles away and now your boss says he wants you to work late. It’s all you can do to contain your anger until you get into the bathroom, whereupon you let loose with a string of red-faced, high-cardio profanity. At that point, your spouse talks to you via your shirt. “Take it easy, it’s all right,” they coo from your collar, as they play your favorite song, and photos of them scroll across your chest. Hey, it could happen. No, really, it could happen, thanks to the Wearable Absence project. Researchers involved in the program are working on developing intelligent textiles, that comfort the wearer by evoking memories of absent loved ones. Read More
— Bicycles

What do you get when you cross a sex toy with a bicycle seat?

By - June 4, 2010 11 Pictures
What will they think of next? I came across the Ample Star Massaging Bicycle Seat by accident in the penny booth section of Asia's largest computer fair, Computex. It's akin to those massagers sold in department stores that are not there to soothe aching muscles so much as facilitate orgasm for females who don't want to have a sex store come up on the credit card statement. The major difference is that this one also serves as a giant flashing taillight, broadcasting your favorite dance rhythms to fellow road users. Read More
— Computers

ASUS Eee Keyboard now has Commodore rival

By - June 4, 2010 9 Pictures
What goes around, comes around - so goes the saying. Many moons ago a certain computer-in-a-keyboard affectionately coined the C64 took over the world and gave a whole generation a taste of things to come. Now Commodore USA has given the keyboard computer a modern facelift, resulting in an all-in-one solution powered by an Intel Atom processor and sporting a 5 inch touchscreen display. Read More
— Digital Cameras

PMA 2011, Las Vegas set to open its doors to the public for the first time

By - June 4, 2010 1 Picture
The dates for 2011’s PMA International Convention and Trade Show have been confirmed. In an unexpected twist, rather than being held in its traditional first quarter slot, the convention has been moved from February to September. The event will now be taking place September 8-10, 2011, in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. The shift in dates has been attributed to changes in “industry buying cycles and technology developments." More significant, though, is the announcement that the convention will be open to the public on September 10, with photo enthusiasts welcome throughout the day. Read More
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