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Digital Cameras

New batch of Nikon COOLPIX cameras unveiled

I can't help but wonder whether Nikon has been waiting for temperatures in my part of the northern hemisphere to dip below zero before announcing additions to its appropriately-named COOLPIX range of compact digital cameras. Probably not, but all nine models are released this month and include a new line aimed at today's family, some with built-in GPS, and a powerful new ultra-zoom.Read More

Environment

125 MW solar power plant to land in Arizona by end of 2013

Maricopa County, Arizona is set to play host to a 125 MW photovoltaic solar power plant, according to an announcement on Tuesday from Fluor Corporation. The company has won the separate contracts to build and maintain the facility, which upon completion will fleetingly join the ranks of the the world's largest photovoltaic solar farms. The project, known as Arlington Valley Solar Energy II (AVSE II) will be built on 1.8 square miles (4.7 sq. km) near to the Arlington Valley Combined Cycle Facility, a 577 MW natural gas plant also designed and built by Fluor.Read More

Architecture

Smart and stunning "Garden and the Tower" concept wins OIC headquarters competition

"Garden and the Tower" is Atelier Thomas Pucher's winning design for the headquarters of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to be built in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The design is envisaged as "a global sign, made of light." The tower, very much the centerpiece of the design, will have a textile skin which, if we understand the design intent, will not only let sunlight and daylight in by day (an environmentally friendly way of illuminating the interior) but intentionally let artificial light out by night, to dramatic effect should the visualizations prove remotely accurate. The designers' approach to managing heat gain suggests that there's beauty in the function too.Read More

Electronics

Charge your phone using pedal power with the K-TOR Power Box

K-TOR has added a new portable charging device to its lineup. The new Power Box puts your legs to work toward converting kinetic energy to electricity. Use it enough and you might just get your weekly workout. It is quite simply a pedal-powered generator equipped with a dual-pronged outlet so that you can plug in an AC adapter and charge your device directly from your leg power. The box works for devices rated 20W and below, including low-power netbooks, tablets, smartphones, video devices and portable game systems. Read More

Urban Transport

Overade foldable bicycle helmet design saves space as well as your skull

While bike helmets have become lighter and more comfortable to wear in the last couple of decades, their shape has remained largely unchanged. Not surprising when you consider the shape of people's heads hasn't really changed that much recently. As a result helmets are as awkward to carry around and take up just as much space in a bag as they ever did. Unfortunately, this leads many to risk their safety by just leaving the things at home rather than deal with the hassle. Not content with this state of affairs, designer Patrick Jouffret and engineer Philippe Arrouart came up with a bike helmet design that folds down to a much more convenient size when not on your noggin.Read More

Space

IBEX space probe provides a peek at interstellar material

Over the course of a year, NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) scans the entire sky. During February, its instruments are aligned in the correct direction to intercept atoms that have crossed the boundary from interstellar space into our solar system, become caught by the Sun's gravity and slung around the star. This has now allowed IBEX to capture the most complete glimpse of the material that travels in the galactic wind in the space between star systems. The results indicate this material doesn't look like the same material that makes up our solar system.Read More

Robotics

UPenn's GRASP lab unleashes a swarm of Nano Quadrotors

Remote-controlled quadrotor robots have been around for some time, but in the following video just released by a research team at the University of Pennsylvania's General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Lab, science fiction edges much closer to science fact. Displaying complex autonomous swarm behavior, the miniature craft perform some astounding maneuvers and provide an interesting glimpse into what the future may hold for surveillance, search and rescue, light construction and warfare. Read More

Health & Wellbeing

RESPeRATE aims to let users breathe their way to lower blood pressure

People suffering from hypertension (also known as high blood pressure) are typically advised to switch to a healthier diet, get more exercise and lose weight, plus they are often put on a combination of several medications. As of today, UK residents are now also able to get a prescription for what is definitely a different type of treatment – a system known as RESPeRATE. It monitors the patient’s breathing and uses sound to guide them into taking longer, slower breaths, thus relaxing their bodies. According to its makers, multiple clinical trials have shown that it causes significant, lasting reductions in blood pressure.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Mask stuffed with micro-components could work miracles for severe facial burn patients

Engineers and researchers at the University of Texas, Arlington in collaboration with military medical institutions aim to develop a mask that would use mechanical, electrical and biological components to speed up the healing process following severe facial burns. The flexible polymer face mold is to be fitted with sensors for the monitoring of the healing process. If necessary, embedded components would selectively administer the appropriate pharmaceuticals to the right section of the wound. The aim of the Biomask project is not only to prevent further disfigurement, but also to facilitate facial tissue regeneration in injured soldiers.Read More

Aircraft

SpaceX tries out its new SuperDraco rocket engine

SpaceX, the California company that is developing the reusable Dragon spacecraft, recently test-fired its new SuperDraco engine. Presently, the Dragon capsule is equipped with less-advanced Draco engines, which are designed for maneuvering the spacecraft while in orbit and during reentry. The SuperDraco, however, is intended to allow the astronauts to escape if an emergency occurs during the launch.Read More

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