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— Health and Wellbeing

MIT designing system to protect implants against wireless attacks

An assassin waits for his target to walk into range, then presses a button on a radio transmitter, causing the target’s pacemaker to deliver a lethal dose of electricity. Such a scenario may be fictional for now, but as more and more medical implants are designed to wirelessly send and receive data, it becomes increasingly possible. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are certainly aware of the dangers of wireless attacks on implants, so they’ve developed a countermeasure – a wearable signal jamming device. Read More
— Home Entertainment

Nintendo Wii U faster than PS3 and Xbox 360, but no Blu-ray on board

Nintendo has announced that its Wii U gaming console will not feature a Blu-ray drive, and will instead stick to a proprietary disc format. Patent fees related to the technology are too high, the company explained. The Wii U will, however, compete with existing consoles in terms of hardware - it is equipped with a customized CPU from IBM and a GPU from AMD, and is rumored to be 50 percent faster than PS3 and Xbox 360. Read More
— Science

PolyZion project developing zinc-plastic battery

While today's lithium-ion, lead acid, and nickel metal hydride batteries may offer far better performance than their predecessors, they are still not perfect - they're heavy, expensive, and have been known to short circuit and catch fire. Now, however, scientists involved in the PolyZion research project are developing zinc-plastic batteries for use in hybrid and electric vehicles. Their aim is to produce a rechargeable battery that is lighter, cheaper, safer, greener and better-performing than anything currently available. Read More
— Games

New research tool predicts what online gamers will do next

Is there such a thing as free will, or are our actions predetermined by the way our brains work? If recent research conducted at North Carolina State University is anything to go by, it might seem that the latter is more likely to be true – at least when it comes to gaming. After analyzing the behavior of 14,000 players of the online role-playing game World of Warcraft, an NCSU team was able to predict the future actions of those players with up to 80 percent accuracy. Read More
— Aircraft

Flying-high in 2050: The Airbus Concept Cabin

Airbus engineers have outlined their vision of what passengers could expect from air travel circa 2050 - and it sounds like a lot more fun than today's cattle class experience. The Airbus Concept Cabin focuses on high levels of customization tailored to suit individual needs including auto-morphing seats and personalized entertainment. Passengers' body heat would also be harvested via the use of smart materials that integrate the electrical system and do away with the need for conventional wires. Read More
— Wearable Electronics

Solar Bikini goes into very limited production

Those lucky enough to be currently enjoying the Northern Hemisphere summer will no doubt be heading for the beach for a good bronzing as often as possible. These days, of course, the digital device is an important part of the sun worshiper's kit, and making sure they have enough battery power to go the distance can be a major concern. The Solar Bikini from New York designer Andrew Schneider is said to be capable of charging a smartphone or media player while the wearer lays back and soaks up the summer sun. Now available for custom order, each bikini sports 40 thin and flexible photovoltaic strips connected by conductive thread, which ends at a USB port. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Nasal spray vaccine could prevent type 1 diabetes

A nasal spray vaccine currently being trialed in Australia could prevent the development of type 1 diabetes. Previous research showed that the nasal vaccine was successful in preventing the disease in mice, and now the results of a study involving 52 adults with early type 1 diabetes has provided encouraging evidence that it could also be effective in preventing the disease humans. Read More
— Computers

Google brings Search by Image and Voice Search to desktops

While Google is still by far the most dominant search engine on the Web, it can't afford to rest on its laurels with Microsoft constantly adding new features to its Bing search engine. At Google's 'Inside Search' event, the company has announced several new features designed to ensure it stays on top of the lucrative search engine game. Users will now be able to search using images, enter search terms by voice and have the top search results pre-rendered so they appear instantly. Read More
— Aircraft

'Batcopter' studies bats in flight

There are millions of Brazilian Free-tailed bats living in caves across Texas, and every night, those bats are somehow able to swarm through the air without crashing into one another. The researchers at Boston University’s Intelligent Mechatronics Lab wanted to know what the bats’ secret was, so that it could be applied to the flight control algorithms for their autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). In order to learn more, they decided to fly a remote-control UAV into one of these bat swarms, and record the creatures’ reactions with three ground-based high-speed FLIR cameras, and on on-board 3D HD camera. The craft that they used, named the Batcopter, is a classic example of seat-of-the-pants engineering. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Ultrasound said to offer better technique for measuring blood pressure

Not only is the old inflatable-cuff-around-the-arm an uncomfortable way of having one's blood pressure measured, but it turns out that it doesn't always provide enough information, either. If a physician wishes to check for vascular diseases such as atherosclerosis, thrombosis or aneurysms, for instance, they're going to want to know how the blood is flowing in areas besides the patient's arm. Because the cuff works by temporarily stopping the blood flow, however, it's not going to work too well on a patient's neck or torso. Fortunately, scientists from The Netherlands' Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) have discovered that ultrasound can be used instead, and that it provides more details. Read More
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