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Motorcycles

Confederate's X132 Hellcat "affordable" überbike is finally in production

Birmingham UK may be the birthplace of many an historic motorcycle marque but Birmingham Alabama is where we'll find Confederate Motorcycles, builder of exclusive "heirloom" machines for the rich and famous. These aren't custom choppers; not the Bondo-filled multi-lacquered fantasy machines of reality TV fame. These are properly engineered and prototyped limited-production models that in the past have sported prices tags of well over $100K. This time, with the X132 Hellcat, Confederate has created a machine that could almost be thought "affordable" whilst still retaining its obsession with detail and stunning design.Read More

Science

Kepler mission discovers most Earth-like planet to date

The ongoing search for Earth-like worlds has taken another promising step. On December 5, NASA announced the discovery of the planet most likely so far to sustain life outside of the Solar System. The exoplanet, given the undramatic name of Kepler 22b, was found by NASA's Kepler spacecraft as part of its mission to seek out Earth-type planets in our galaxy. Though Kepler 22b is not the first such planet to be detected in recent years, it is the first one orbiting a star similar to our Sun and at a distance where it is capable of possessing liquid water, which most scientists regard as essential for life to exist. Though this is a significant milestone, the question remains, how good a candidate for a second Earth is Kepler 22b? Could there be life there or is it a planetary blind alley?Read More

Good Thinking

Amazon makes a move which could fundamentally change retail sales

Online retailing leader Amazon is to make a compelling offer this coming Saturday – use their smartphone app to compare prices, and they'll effectively pay you $5 to walk out of the store. It is an historic move in the evolution of retail sales. As smart phone penetration heads for ubiquity, the price comparison app might go mainstream quite quickly from here. For the customer, it means getting accurate comparison information before a purchase. For the shopping app provider it means an opportunity to make a bid on a customer's patronage at the time- and point-of-sale, inside a competitor's bricks and mortar, at the same time as creating a marketing intelligence tool par excellence. A bold move indeed.Read More

Science

Nanoscale electronic circuit suggests new possibilities for computers

A team of scientists from Montreal’s McGill University have successfully formed a circuit between two wires which were separated by a gap of only 15 nanometers – that’s about the width of 150 atoms. It is reportedly “the first time that anyone has studied how the wires in an electronic circuit interact with one another when packed so tightly together.” Along with being one of the smallest electronic circuits ever created, it has also led to a discovery that may have big implications for the world of computing. Read More

Automotive

Oerlikon Graziano's next-gen transmissions for agricultural equipment

In a move that should see the humble agricultural equipment of the future both cleaner and more efficient, Oerlikon Graziano - a supplier to the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini - has come up with an innovative a range of transmissions, including a mechanical continuously variable transmission (CVT) for small tractors. Released at Agritechnica in Germany last month, these new drive-trains are claimed to provide higher road speeds and be easier to operate so that the equipment can get to its work site much quicker without the need for a float or trailer.Read More

Automotive

Ferrari debuts active aerodynamics system

For the past couple of years, many of the technologies destined for Ferrari’s road-going supercars were initially developed on the automaker’s track-only 599XX. Based on the 599 GTB Fiorano, the 599XX is made in very limited numbers, and serves as a kind of mobile testbed for new ideas. While it is possible for a few of Ferrari’s favorite people to buy the cars, the company still prepares and drives the vehicles on their behalf, at test tracks and race tracks in Europe and the U.S. Although the car was premiered in 2009 at the Geneva International Motor Show, the latest version is being presented at this month’s Bologna Motor Show. One of the more noteworthy features on the new model is its active aerodynamics system.Read More

Computers

Art. Lebedev's Popularis and mini six keyboards up for pre-order

Unveiled more than three years ago, the Optimus Popularis keyboard has been finally made available for pre-order at Art. Lebedev design studio's website. Each key of the Popularis incorporates a tiny LCD running at 64 x 64 pixels resolution and can display any chosen image (or even an animation), performing any function assigned by the user. Art. Lebedev is also taking orders for the Optimus mini six external keyboard which offers six programmable LCD keys.Read More

Around The Home

SatPlus Sat Chair is satellite dish in disguise

Want to install a satellite dish at your home but can't due to a building regulation or uncooperative landlord? Hiding an in-built dish and LNB, the SatPlus Sat Chair will let you pull in those satellite signals and the landlord will be none the wiser. The chair can be installed on a terrace, balcony or anywhere else you want to install a satellite dish without breaking any rules - although it might look out of place on the roof.Read More

Good Thinking

The WHILL turns any wheelchair into an electric vehicle

Wheelchair users with full use of their arms generally don't need electric wheelchairs ... but sometimes, especially if those users have long distances to cover, it sure would be nice to have one. Instead of going out and buying themselves a full electric wheelchair, however, those people may soon have the option of using a WHILL. Recently spotted by Gizmag staff at the Tokyo Motor Show, the prototype device clamps onto the wheels of an existing manual wheelchair, temporarily providing it with electric drive.Read More

Computers

AOC releases 15.6-inch portable USB display

Recent days have seen the release of AOC's catchily-named E1649FWU display. Its name isn't important. What is important is that this is a portable 15.6 inch 16:9 LED display with a maximum resolution of 1366x768 at 60 Hz. Most impressive is that the e-fwoo (as I'm calling it) is solely USB 2.0-driven, which means a single cable, connected plug and play to your computer, for video signal and power.Read More

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