Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show
The solar rechargeable battery

From the files of “why don’t they make that?” comes a rechargeable battery with integrated solar cell charger. The “SunCast” prototype uses flexible solar cells from IFE and some C sized NiMH rechargeable batteries. Scientists at IFE have been experimenting with the production of flexible solar cells and were kind enough to send some samples to the “SunCast” battery designer Knut Karlsen.  Read More

No need to dust the office ever again

With the number of ruggedized computers hitting the market you’d think that people are running around treating their laptops like last night’s leftovers. Of course that’s not the case, most people use their laptops in pretty clean, stable environments and won’t ever need the rough and ready specs of a ruggedized laptop, but there is a section of the workforce that does. Particularly in the areas of public safety, utilities, construction and the military, and it’s these markets that Lenovo have in mind with their range of eight ThinkPad laptops designated for use in field and vehicle semi-ruggedized computing environments.  Read More

Artist's impression of Kepler Spacecraft

On March 5, NASA will launch the largest camera ever sent into space in an attempt to find the holy grail of astronomy: an Earth-like planet. The $591 million Kepler craft will orbit the sun for at least 3.5 years, using an unprecedented 0.95-meter diameter Schmidt telescope packing an array of 42 CCDs, each with 2200x1024 pixels, to scan over 100,000 stars in the Cygnus-Lyra region of the galaxy. The craft is seeking planets in the “goldilocks” zone – not too close to the sun, and not too far – but the scope of the project means that no matter what scientists find, our understanding of the universe will be greatly enhanced.  Read More

Toyota's 1/X concept car made of seaweed

Toyota is taking the concept of green cars literally with the development of a hybrid concept car made from seaweed which will to be shown at the Melbourne International Motor Show in Australia this week. The 1/X (pronounced one-Xth) gets its name because it envisages a hybrid-powered car of the future with a fraction of the environmental footprint of today's cleanest cars.  Read More

Olympus E-620

Olympus has extended its digital SLR range with the unveiling of the E-620. The new addition will sit in the middle of the company's SLR line-up led by the flagship E-3 and extending through to the compact E-420. The E-620 is pitched as an "all-in-one" model that combines some of the best elements of the higher end units - like the flip-out rotating screen - with a high-degree of portability.  Read More

The bendy touchscreen display

Arizona State University's Flexible Display Center (FDC) aren’t resting on their laurels. Following the first prototype of their affordable, flexible electronic displays announced late last year, they’ve now added touchscreen capabilities to with support for real-time user input by either stylus pen or by touch.  Read More

Street Fighter IV

Back in 2005, an obscure developer by the name of Harmonix released a game called Guitar Hero for the PlayStation 2. In the four years since, we've been bombarded with copycats from rival developers, and sequels that remain remarkably similar to their predecessors. If we turn the clock back to 1991, we can find a similar situation kicking off with the release of a game called Street Fighter II, whose copycats and sequels became the royal family of arcades and home conversions for years to come, before vanishing into obscurity (along with the arcade itself) in the face of the first-person shooter craze. Now, ten years after the last "original" Street Fighter, we have the fourth game that even Capcom didn't think would happen, until they saw the sales figures for the Xbox Live Arcade release of Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting. But is there anything on offer here other than nostalgia for those of us who grew up playing six-button fighting games at the arcade? Read on to find out.  Read More

The X-Arcade Dual Joystick

The dual-analog controllers of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 have their moments, being particularly suited to first-person shooters, but certain arcade games like shoot 'em ups and fighting games just aren't the same without the six buttons and a stick of an arcade machine. With the release of Street Fighter IV, millions of gamers are coming to terms with the fact, and clamoring for a quality arcade stick to complete their home arcade experience. We've spent some quality time with an X-Arcade Dual Joystick - read on for our full review.  Read More

NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory and its Taurus booster lift off from Vandenberg Air For...

In bad news for NASA (and the planet in general), the Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) satellite did not reach orbit as planned yesterday. According to a launch contingency briefing from NASA, the Taurus XL from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base at 4:55 a.m. EST proceeded normally, with only typical "minor issues" reported as the rocket approached lift-off, but preliminary indications are that the fairing on the Taurus XL launch vehicle failed to separate.  Read More

The EyeClops Mini Projector uses LED illumination to project a 70 inch screen from almost ...

The toy shop has always been a place of immense fascination for children, but it is increasingly becoming a place where extreme high end electronics experiences are being delivered at mass market price points. Night Vision Goggles, f'rinstance, were until recently the exclusive domain of well-funded Special Ops teams, but are now available for USD80 in the local toy store, with Night Vision Binoculars soon to land at USD60. Similarly, this pocket-sized, EyeClops Mini Projector will be distributed through toy channels and uses LED illumination to project a 70 inch screen from almost any multi-media device. The battery-powered (or mains) projector has built-in speakers and a recommended retail of USD100.  Read More

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