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— Computers

PopDrive makes data protection simple and foolproof

Having been responsible for the daily tape backup routines in various office locations in a previous working life, I can tell you it's a royal pain in the behind. The PopDrive system from DHK Storage puts a couple of 2.5-inch form factor HDDs in a RAID configuration so that if one fails, it can be replaced without fear of data loss. The lightweight, pocket-sized unit's drives can be swapped out without the need for tools, and physical connection to a computer system is made possible via 3Gb/s eSATA or USB 2.0. Read More
— Electronics

Veebeam wirelessly transmits computer content to your TV

If you're looking for an affordable way to stream high definition online movies to a big screen TV, then Veebeam could just be what you're looking for. The device comes in both standard and high definition varieties, and is made up of a wireless USB antenna that's connected to a laptop or computer and a receiver box that's hooked up to an HDTV. The system is said to be capable of wirelessly playing any content from one to the other, whether it's online movies, sports or news updates, digital photos or holiday videos. Read More
— Digital Cameras

World's first full HDR video system sees like the human eye

Anyone who regularly uses a video camera will know that the devices do not see the world the way we do. The human visual system can perceive a scene that contains both bright highlights and dark shadows, yet is able to process that information in such a way that it can simultaneously expose for both lighting extremes – up to a point, at least. Video cameras, however, have just one f-stop to work with at any one time, and so must make compromises. Now, however, researchers from the UK’s University of Warwick claim to have the solution to such problems, in the form of the world’s first full High Dynamic Range (HDR) video system. Read More
— Electronics

Interactive shop window displays in the works

Window shopping of the future will be exactly that, with consumers able to make purchases from in front of the store, even after hours. Using 3D imaging technology, researchers in Germany are developing a system capable of recognizing facial gestures and hand position, so that shoppers can control a digital shop window display. The system allows for transactions, and can collect data on shopper trends without collecting personal data such as facial recognition. For those germ-conscious shopaholics who think public touchscreens are a conduit for nasties, this is the interactive shop window for you. Read More
— Medical

Magnetic pill could boost body's absorption of drugs

Many people take pills to help manage or cure serious illness, and some of these life-saving drugs can only be absorbed in very specific parts of the intestine. The problem with oral administration is that pills often don’t dissolve at exactly the right site in the gastrointestinal tract where medicine can be absorbed into the bloodstream. A new drug delivery system developed by scientists at Brown University uses a magnetic gelatin capsule and an external magnet that can precisely sense the force between it and the pill and vary that force, as needed, to hold the pill in place. The team has successfully used the technology with rats and in future it could provide a new way to deliver many drugs to humans, including those with cancer or diabetes. Read More
— Music

B-Keeper lets the drummer set the pace for pre-programmed music

There was a time when the tempo of a band's performance was left in the capable hands of the drummer. But as pre-programmed, sequenced music started to creep into both studio and live work, the beat-master found himself being shackled by the pace set by the invader's metronome-like click track. Now researchers at Queen Mary, University of London's Centre for Digital Music have developed some clever software that puts the power to control tempo back into the mighty limbs of the band's time-keeper. Read More
— Environment

India’s first tidal power plant gets the go ahead

Even with its potential for providing predictable and sustainable electricity generation with no visual impact, tidal power still accounts for only a fraction of a percent of the world’s total electricity generation. That is slowly changing though, with numerous tidal power plants being constructed or planned for coastlines around the world. India is the latest country to wade into the tidal power waters with the announcement of its first commercial scale tidal current power plant to be constructed in the Indian State of Gujarat. Read More
— Science

Fruit fly research could lead to simpler and more robust computer networks

Over the years science has gleaned an enormous amount of knowledge from the humble fruit fly. Drosophila melanogaster was used to provide the post-Mendelian foundations for our understanding of genetics and has also been used extensively in neuroscience research. The latest fruit fly-inspired innovation could simplify how wireless sensor networks communicate and stands to have wider applications for computing. Read More
— Automotive

Follow the leader: SARTRE road train technology successfully demonstrated

Reading the morning paper while behind the wheel of your car might sound like surefire recipe for disaster, but in the not-too-distant future it might just become a safer and more economical option than actually doing the driving yourself. That's the theory behind SARTRE (Safe Road Trains for the Environment) project – a synthesis of personal and public transport that will allow cars to be daisy-chained and automatically controlled by a lead vehicle in a process dubbed "platooning." The project has now made the leap from simulator to real roads in the first successful demonstration of the technology at the Volvo Proving Ground near Gothenburg, Sweden. Read More