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— Science

Light-activated membrane acts like a traffic signal for gas

By - August 3, 2010
Colored lights have been controlling the flow of motorists since the first traffic light was installed in 1868 in London. Now scientists have developed a membrane that uses colored light to control the flow of gas. The membrane blocks gas from flowing through it when one color of light is shined on its surface, and permits gas to flow through when another color of light is used. The technology could be useful in research applications and controlled drug delivery as well as industrial processing tanks that require the ability to turn the flow of gas on and off safely. Read More
— Science

New startup uses Internet to predict the future

By - August 3, 2010 4 Pictures
There’s no doubt that most people would like to know the future. It’s a desire that has kept palm readers, astrologists and tea-leaf readers in business for hundreds of years. Now there’s a company called Recorded Future that says it can use information scoured from tens of thousands of websites, blogs and Twitter accounts to predict the future. And before you laugh, it’s got some heavyweight backers including Google and the CIA. Read More
— Automotive

GM increases production capacity of Chevy Volt by 50 percent

By - August 2, 2010 2 Pictures
It looks like orders for the Chevrolet Volt have been flowing in since GM announced it was taking orders just last week. The auto-maker has now announced it will increase U.S. production capacity of its “extended range electric vehicle” by 50 percent, from 30,000 units to 45,000 units, in 2012. The announcement came as U.S. President Barack Obama toured the Detroit-Hamtramck facility, where the Volt is being produced for sale later this year. Read More
— Spy Gear

Surveillance: two rare glimpses into who's watching you, and how

By - August 2, 2010
If it hasn't become apparent to you yet, you are living in an age when your every online step is being monitored. The notion of communications privacy has been steamrolled in the interests of security, and the occasional tiny chance we get to peek back at the people who make it their business to watch us is truly frightening. Two new stories from America this week give a rare glimpse behind the curtain at just how closely you're being watched, and by whom. Read More
— Environment

New process that harnesses heat energy could double efficiency of solar cells

By - August 2, 2010 2 Pictures
Photovoltaic solar cells convert light energy from the sun into electricity. Although significant strides have been made in increasing the efficiency of photovoltaic technology, they usually only result in incremental increases. Researchers at Stanford University have come up with a way that could more than double the efficiency of existing solar cell technology and potentially reduce the costs of solar energy production enough for it to compete with oil as an energy source. Instead of relying solely on photons, the new process, called “photon enhanced thermionic emission,” or PETE, simultaneously combines the light and heat of solar radiation to generate electricity. Read More
— Around The Home

FridgePad turns an iPad into the world’s most expensive fridge magnet

By - August 2, 2010 2 Pictures
Computers have already conquered the study and the lounge room and have been making steady inroads in their assault on the kitchen with devices such as Internet capable fridges and digital recipe readers. As soon as the iPad was released, more than a few people were pondering its potential as a kitchen computer to provide the functionality of these devices and more. Heck, a few creative types even mounted iPads into their cupboard doors. For those of you who like the idea of a kitchen iPad but perhaps aren't that handy with a jigsaw, you might try the FridgePad. Read More
— Electronics

Silcon that melts while cooling could improve solar cells

By - August 2, 2010 2 Pictures
You might think it was a simple law of physics that most solids melt as they get hotter, and harden as they get colder. A few materials, however, do just the opposite – they melt as they cool. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have recently discovered that by dissolving certain metals into silicon, they can add that silicon compound to the relatively short list of exotic substances that exhibit retrograde melting. Their accomplishment could ultimately result in less expensive solar cells and electronic devices. Read More
— Music

AmpliTube for iPad available from the App Store

By - August 2, 2010 9 Pictures
Following on from success with the iPhone, IK Multimedia has now released an AmpliTube app for the iPad. Using an iRig interface adapter, the app offers guitar and bass players real-time, mobile tone-modeling and multi-effects solutions on the bigger multi-touch screen of the iPad. It is available in both free and paid-for versions, the latter giving players 11 effects, five amps and cabinets, plus two microphones to play around with. Read More
— Aircraft

Boeing Sugar Volt looks to the skies in the year 2035

By - August 2, 2010 2 Pictures
Although the theme of AirVenture 2010 was "Salute to Veterans," the future of air travel was also brought to the fore – and that means electric airplanes. The focus on e-aviation culminated in the World Symposium of Electric Aircraft last Friday and among the many interesting designs discussed was Boeing's Subsonic Ultra Green Aircraft Research (SUGAR) Volt concept. Borne out of the same NASA research program that gave birth to MIT's D “double bubble” concept, the SUGAR Volt is a twin-engine aircraft design notable for its trussed, elongated wings and electric battery gas turbine hybrid propulsion system – a system designed to reduce fuel burn by more than 70 percent and total energy use by 55 percent. Could this be the future shape of commercial air transportation? Read More
— Mobile Technology

iPhone FaceTime not just for faces, declares phone sex industry

By - August 2, 2010
Steve Jobs has done his level best to keep pornography and adult content out of the iPhone App Store, but if the history of the Internet has shown us one thing, it's that any attempt to place a wall between porn and the raging tide of user erections is the definition of futility – for each one you strike down, another one springs up stronger than the first. So it will come as little surprise that the adult industry has scrambled to take advantage of the new iPhone 4's ability to make face-to-face – or face-to-other-bits videocalls. Read More
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