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— Automotive

Johnson Controls shows off ie:3 demonstrator car at Detroit Auto Show

Of the various vehicles that were displayed at this month’s Detroit Auto Show, undoubtedly the biggest crowds were drawn to the cars with the most striking exteriors – witness the Porsche 918 RSR, for instance. Given that we drive our cars from the inside, however, isn’t the interior what’s most important? That’s what Johnson Controls seems to believe, as its ie:3 demonstrator vehicle showcased a number of the company’s innovations for vehicle interiors. According to Michael Warsaw, Johnson’s VP of Industrial Design and Marketing for North America, “Everything that you’ll see in this vehicle is ready for the next generation of automobiles.” Read More
— Automotive

Tiwi monitors and mentors teen drivers

Teens may not be poor drivers by their very nature, but they are inexperienced drivers, and as such they may not even be aware of the fact that they’re speeding, paying insufficient attention to the road, or driving like complete maniacs. A parent or other experienced driver can advise them when they’re riding shotgun, but sooner or later, they’ve got to be allowed out on their own. The tiwi, a new device unveiled at CES this month, is intended to act as an electronic version of that ride-along parent – it makes teen drivers aware of their transgressions when they’re driving alone. Read More
— Computers

Motion Computing unveils new CL900 rugged tablet PC

Looks like Panasonic has got some serious competition in the rugged tablet arena in the shape of the Motion CL900 from Austin's Motion Computing. The new tough kid on the block has been shock-proofed, is dust and moisture sealed, and benefits from a Gorilla Glass multi-touch display and Vertak bonding. Upon release it will be powered by Intel's next generation Atom processor, have durable solid state storage and Wireless-N connectivity. Let the battle commence... Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

iPhone's first Killer sex app: Body Heat wireless vibrator orchestration (NSFW)

Let's talk for a minute about the female orgasm. For a lucky minority of women, these exist in abundance, ready to be plucked ripe off a well-fruited vine at a moment's notice. If you're one of these girls, you can stop reading now and get back to washing your hair with that herbal goop that makes you bellow like Meg Ryan. If you're at the other end of the scale, where orgasm is a fleeting, furtive animal that must be hunted with patience and skill, then this device might be up your alley … so to speak. Read More
— Music

Flaxwood's new Hybrid guitar launched at Winter NAMM

A few short years ago, Flaxwood challenged traditional thinking about what is necessary to produce great guitar tone. Its guitars are made by breaking down recycled wood fiber, mixing it up with an acoustically sensitive polymer and then injection-molding it into the familiar shape of a guitar. In an effort to introduce the technology to a wider audience, the company has allowed a traditional axe to mate with one of its own. The result of this unholy union has now been born. The appropriately-named HYBRID has a European alder wood body and a bolt-on Flaxwood neck and is available in single coil or humbucker pickup configurations. Read More
— Aircraft

Global Observer unmanned aircraft makes first hydrogen-powered flight

Following on from a successful maiden flight under battery power in 2010, AeroVironment’s high altitude, long endurance (HALE) Global Observer unmanned aircraft has now taken to the skies using hydrogen-fueled propulsion. The aircraft reached an altitude of 5,000 feet during the four hour flight on January 11 at Edwards Air Force Base (EAFB) in California. Both the endurance and the altitude of the system will be expanded in further test flights in order to achieve the planned operational altitude of 55,000 to 65,000 feet. Read More
— Automotive

Ford’s home EV charging station stacks up against competitors

Home charging stations aren't included in the purchase price of the growing numbers of electric vehicles from major automakers, so unless you live next door to a public charging station or are one of the 4,400 Volt owners to snap up a free one from GM, you’ll be forced to shell out some extra cash if you want a faster charging option than is possible with the included 120-volt cable. At least Ford’s home charging station for its new Focus Electric is shaping-up to be little cheaper and more flexible than some competitor offerings. Read More
— Automotive

Dakar 2011 - VW, KTM, Kamaz, Red Bull again

The Arab world has a new sporting superstar following the success of Qatar's Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah in winning the 2011 Dakar Rally – the longest and toughest motor race in the world. Al Attiyah headed a 1-2-3 finish for Volkswagen’s TDI diesel Touareg 3 race cars, while the usual suspects fought a tooth-and-nail battle on KTMs for the laurels – Depres and Coma battled throughout the event on times with Coma besting last year's winner at the end. In the truck section, Kamaz's Vladimir Chagin repeated last year's win while Red Bull sponsored the three major category winners for the third year in a row – we're not sure what that means but it's quite some feat. Read More
— Science

Microfluidics and sunlight combined to purify water

It has been known for some time now that sunlight can be used to purify drinking water. The practice of Solar Water Disinfection (SODIS) basically involves just leaving water sitting in direct sunlight, where a combination of heat and UV rays kill off waterborne pathogens – the process is called photocatalysis, and it’s what’s at work behind both the Solaqua water purification device, and a system recently created by students from the University of Washington. Now, researchers from Hong Kong Polytechnic University have taken things a step further, by combining photocatalysis with microfluidics in a microreactor. Read More