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Not satisfied with your Kevlar body armor? Well, you may be in luck. American researchers have used lasers to create the world’s first practical macroscopic yarns from boron nitride fibers. The development could unlock the potential of the material for a wide variety of applications, including radiation-shielding for spacecraft, solar energy collection, and stronger body armor. If the supplied photo is anything to go by, it also does a great job at holding up a quarter. Read More
Lacie continues to bolster the media streaming market and has recently introduced another model into its LaCinema range which, like most of its predecessors, was inspired by designer Neil Poulton. As such the new Mini HD sports a familiar sleek, piano-black design with front and rear USB ports to connect media for local playback, HDMI 1.3, RCA and optical audio along with 100Mbps Ethernet for connecting to a wired network. Read More
We've seen the value of using multiple rotors in unmanned microcopters like the CyberQuad, DraganFlyer X8 and more recently Parrot's AR.Drone. The HexaKopter is another case in point - the 1.2kg, six-rotor device has a flight-time of up to 36 minutes and can carry around 1kg along with a high-definition camera that delivers some amazing images. And it's also a lot of fun. Read More
Bloom Energy has definitely generated some buzz this week with a story on 60 Minutes ahead of the official launch this Wednesday of the Bloom Box – an electricity generating fuel cell box designed to sit in the back yard and provide enough power to reliably, more cleanly and cheaply power a house. Read More
Samsung has unveiled its second generation foray into the ever increasing pocket camcorder market. The follow up models to the HMX-U10 both feature 2” LCD screens and are able to capture 1920x1080 HD video at 30fps.The HMX-U20 offers the added extra of a 3x optical zoom. Read More
Although great strides have been made recently to make offices more energy efficient, fluorescent office lighting is still great cause for concern. Installing controllers which automatically switch off lighting when no movement is detected is one method of saving energy but Solaroad Technologies proposes recycling otherwise wasted light energy by placing cylindrical photovoltaic harvesting and storage devices on top of workstation cubicle walls. Read More
The explosion in popularity of video games, coupled with the widespread availability of computers at home and school, has given educational software developers the impetus to harness the power of video games as a way of teaching children. Whether or not such educational games are effective in teaching the three R's is a topic for another day, but an Arizona State University scholar says commercial blockbuster video games can teach educators a thing or two about how to better educate children. Read More
Laptops might have gotten smaller and more powerful but, aside from the weight reduction, they haven’t really improved in terms of comfort while they're actually being used in one's lap. Devices like Logitech’s Comfort Lapdesk address this problem by providing a padded barrier separating a user’s legs from the often hot underside of the laptop. Now, Logitech’s new Speaker Lapdesk N700 has taken the basic Comfort Lapdesk, added a fan to keep your laptop running cool and integrated some high quality speakers to give your laptop some audio oomph. Read More
Claw vending machines have caused wide-spread frustration in arcades the world over for decades. Known as UFO catchers in Japan, and sometimes as 'teddy pickers' or 'skill testers' in other countries, these games offer little entertainment and even less hope of success. Well, for me anyway... But now that Japan-based company Mechatrax has developed the Robo-catcher I might have some improved hope of entertainment, if not some realistic chance at winning. Read More
Turning sunlight into electrical power is all but a new problem, but recent advancements made by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have given a new twist to the subject. While not currently aimed at solar panel technology, their research has uncovered a way to turn optical radiation into electrical current that could lead to self-powering molecular circuits and efficient data storage. Read More
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