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— Sports

Waxing skis as wrong as 'tarring a plastic boat,' says researcher

By - June 14, 2010 2 Pictures
For the past several years, debate has been brewing amongst cross-country skiers as to the merits of ski-waxing. Back when all skis had a wooden base, adding wax was essential in order to get them to glide across the snow. Many skiers still swear by waxing today, even though skis now have supposedly “no-wax” polyethylene gliding surfaces. Waxing can be a tricky process, though - if you use a wax with the wrong temperature rating, you can end up sticking to the snow, or slipping back and forth in one spot. It’s also time-consuming, and requires the skis to be periodically stripped of their built-up wax layers. Now, a researcher from Mid Sweden University (MSU) claims to have proof that modern skis work better without wax, and says that “those who claim otherwise are practicing voodoo and not science.” Read More
— Automotive

Morgan plans limited edition EvaGT

By - June 14, 2010 1 Picture
Morgan has released a teaser image of an upcoming four seater Coupe to be known as the EvaGT. Taking its inspiration from the British sports saloons of the early 1950s such as the Bristol 400 series and the Frazer Nash BMW 328, the EvaGT will run a direct petrol injection, twin turbo 3.0 liter BMW six-cylinder motor producing 306bhp and 400nm torque. Though power is modest in terms of supercar figures, the EvaGT uses aluminum body panels and its bonded aluminum chassis is developed from the Morgan Aero SuperSports, where it is used successfully in European GT3 racing, meaning that the car tips the scales at just 1250 kg (2755 lbs). This gives it a top speed of 170 mph (273 km/h), a 0-100 km/h time of just 4.5 seconds and distinctly un-supercar-like fuel economy of 7.06 liters/100kms (40 mpg) along with Euro 5 and 6 emissions compliance at 200 gms Co2/km. Read More
— Automotive

Variable Turbine Geometry Audis sweep Le Mans 24 Hour

By - June 14, 2010 21 Pictures
Not all that long ago, the mere thought of running a diesel in any form of motorsport would have had you laughed at. Diesel victories are now commonplace in long distance races thanks to the excellent power characteristics, reliability, the low fuel consumption of diesel engines and a battle between the two main TDI-engined cars in the form of the Peugeot 908 and Audi's R15. Audi Sport Team Joest added to the diesel legend on the weekend with a 1-2-3 victory using newly developed Variable Turbine Geometry (VTG) turbo-chargers on the R15's 440 kW V10 engine. The Peugeot 908s locked out the first two rows in qualifying and led the race until the 16 hour mark, but one by one, they suffered engine failure, and after 24 hours, Audi took all three steps on the podium. It wasn't exactly a rerun of the hare and the tortoise though, as the winning R15 racked up more 5,410 kilometers - more distance than has ever been achieved in 78 prior runnings of the French endurance classic. This was all the more remarkable in that it eclipsed a record set in 1971 by a Porsche 917 when the Hunaudières straight had no speed-slowing chicanes. Well done Audi! Read More
— Medical

Plastic antibodies effective in living animals

By - June 14, 2010 2 Pictures
From bricks to jackets, it seems just about anything can be made using plastic nowadays. The latest items to get a plastic fantastic makeover are antibodies – proteins produced by the body’s immune system to recognize and fight infections from foreign substances. Scientists are reporting the first evidence that a plastic antibody works in the bloodstream of a living animal, opening up the possibility of plastic antibodies being custom tailored to fight everything from viruses and bacteria to the proteins that cause allergic reactions. Read More
— Digital Cameras

Sony outs easy-to-use 14MP A290 and A390 digital SLRs

By - June 13, 2010 11 Pictures
A few weeks after the customary rumors spoilt everyone's surprise, Sony has confirmed the specs for its new entry level α290 and α390 digital SLR cameras. Both cameras feature a brand new grip design and share a host of features including a 14.2 megapixel sensor, SteadyShot in-camera stabilization, compatibility with Sony's Alpha mount lenses and user-friendly on-screen guides to help users new to digital SLRs. The α390 also benefits from a tilting LCD display with the option of live image preview. Read More
— Electronics

Scientists develop substitute for lead used in electronics

By - June 13, 2010 1 Picture
Lead is a toxic substance, and it’s in your mobile phone. It’s also probably in your TV, your computer, and just about any other electronic appliance where mechanical movement is transformed into an electrical signal. All those devices utilize PZT, a substance which contains lead, and that generates an electrical charge when subjected to pressure. While lead has been phased out of most consumer goods, a suitable alternative has never been found for use in electronics... until now, perhaps. Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) have developed an innocuous material with PZT-like qualities, and it’s made in a fashion somewhat like cookies. Read More
— Games

You Rock Guitar brings real strings to rhythm gaming

By - June 13, 2010 5 Pictures
Part of the reason for the drop in popularity of rhythm games in recent times may be because the appeal of the plastic, button-oriented peripherals is starting to wane, and indeed avid fans of the genre have been crying out for a way to play "real instruments" alongside a game. The solution could already be here in the form of You Rock Guitar, a multi-use peripheral that acts as a MIDI controller, can be plugged into an amplifier, headphones, or directly to a computer via USB for use with software like GarageBand and Cubase. Most interestingly it's compatible with Rock Band and Guitar Hero on all three platforms. Read More
— Music

AS301DTS USB audio tube – surround sound with a visual treat

By - June 12, 2010 9 Pictures
Call me old fashioned but when I see the comforting glow of a vacuum tube I know that I'm in for some sonic pleasure. And that's precisely the thinking behind the aim AS301DTS USB audio tube headphone amplifier. OK, so the vacuum tube doesn't actually work, it's designed that way to trigger the very mental connection I opened with. That done, the tiny device then promises to deliver bass-enhanced surround sound to just about any pair of headphones attached to it. Sweet. Read More
— Science

Dark Pulse Laser emits trillionths-of-a-second bursts of nothing

By - June 12, 2010 1 Picture
OK, you’re right, it 's impossible to actually beam “nothing” across a room. It is, however, possible to beam light across a room, sending information in the form of extremely short dips in that light. That’s what America’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has been doing with its dark pulse laser. Whereas regular lasers transmit information by using darkness as a zero point and light pulses as data, this one uses light as a zero point, with darkness as the data. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Regenerative body parts in the works

By - June 12, 2010 1 Picture
A Canadian researcher is hoping that within ten years, people will be able to regrow tendons, spinal cords or heart valves lost to injury or disease. Dr. Brian Amsden, a chemical engineering professor from Queen’s University, is developing a technique wherein cells from a patient’s body would be placed on a polymer prosthetic that stimulates cell growth. After the cells had established themselves sufficiently, the prosthetic would be implanted in the patient’s body. The polymer would then biodegrade, leaving behind nothing but the patient’s own tissue. Read More
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