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— Environment

Less is more for cost-efficient wind farms

While there are increasing numbers of wind farms being built around the world, many of these projects are underperforming and not producing as much power as expected. New research suggests the reason could be that the wind turbines are being placed too close together. The researchers say that spreading the turbines out will result in a more cost-efficient for wind farms and they’ve come up with a formula through which the optimal spacing for a large array of turbines can be obtained. Read More
— Environment

Deforestation driving CO2 buildup

Genghis Khan and his Mongol hordes had an impact on the global carbon cycle as big as today's annual demand for gasoline. The Black Death, on the other hand, came and went too quickly for it to cause much of a blip in the global carbon budget. Dwarfing both of these events, however, has been the historical trend towards increasing deforestation, which over centuries has released vast amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, as crop and pasture lands expanded to feed growing human populations. Even Genghis Kahn couldn't stop it for long. Read More
— Automotive

The practical V12 Ferrari FF - four-seat, four-wheel-drive, 660 bhp

UPDATED - NEW IMAGERY Ferrari’s new FF is unquestionably the most practical and versatile Ferrari yet. Four-seats, four wheel drive and the carrying capacity of a “shooting brake”, all styled by Pininfarina, offer a previously unavailable blend of sporting DNA and usability. The technological input is as one might expect from a company at the forefront of Formula One – an innovative lightweight four wheel drive system, the latest magnetorheological damping system, a transaxle dual-clutch F1 gearbox. It’s the unprecedented provision for four people and their luggage which makes it a milestone though. Bravo Ferrari. Read More
— Science

Players control real microorgansims in 'biotic video games'

A common criticism of single-player video games is that they isolate their players, shutting them off from anything or anyone that exists in the real world. Well, that certainly can’t be said of the lab-based “biotic games” created by Stanford University physicist Ingmar Riedel-Kruse – while they may be fashioned after arcade classics, his games require players to manipulate living microorganisms in real time. If you want to “kick” a soccer ball into a net, for instance, you have to get an actual paramecium to do it for you. Read More
— Home Entertainment

Sanwa brings us one step closer to universal 3D glasses

Japanese company Sanwa has recently announced that its new 400-3DGS001 3D glasses are compatible with multiple brands of 3D televisions, such as Sony, Panasonic, Sharp, and Toshiba. While the glasses aren't truly "universal" they are a step in the right direction, reminding us that a day may come when we have multiple 3DTVs in our homes. That day is probably a long way off, but we're glad that at least someone is planning ahead! Read More
— Robotics

Learning to crawl before they walk makes for smarter robots

Everyone knows that, unless you’re extraordinarily gifted, you need to crawl before you can walk. Turns out the same principle could also apply to robots. In a first-of-its-kind experiment conducted by University of Vermont (UVM) roboticist Josh Bongard created both simulated and physical robots that, like tadpoles becoming frogs, change their body forms while learning how to walk. He found that these evolving robots were able to learn more rapidly than ones with fixed body forms and that, in their final form, the changing robots had developed a more robust gait. Read More
— Automotive

Audi’s pint-sized Auto Union Type C e-tron study

When it comes to local emission-free transport its hard to beat a child’s pedal car. But if you’re looking to give your kid’s ride a little more grunt while still maintaining some green cred then Audi’s Auto Union Type C e-tron study should fit the bill. The prototype vehicle, which will be on show at the 62nd International Toy Fair in Nuremberg, is based on the UKP10,000 (approx. US$15,900) limited-edition pedal car model sold through Audi dealers, but adds an electric motor that can propel the vehicle to speeds of up to 18.64 mph (30 km/h). Read More
— Computers

Bluetooth Keypad adds numeric keypad to Apple Wireless Keyboard

The LMP wireless numerical keypad for the Apple Wireless Keyboard that made its way through the FCC last November is now available for purchase. Now called the Cropmark LMP Bluetooth Keypad it integrates with the Apple Wireless Keyboard by way of a linkage bar or can be used as a standalone unit to provide an extra 28 keys of number-oriented typing goodness to any Bluetooth enabled Mac. Read More
— Spy Gear

New tech creates 3D faces from 2D images

Biometric technology allows for the verification of an individual’s identity via parameters such as their fingerprints, iris, voice, DNA ... or facial features. However, given that most people’s faces have so much in common with one another (two eyes, a nose, etc.), it’s sometimes difficult for biometric systems to tell them apart based on flat two-dimensional images. With that in mind, researchers from Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Boca Raton have created a computer algorithm that is capable of creating 3D models of faces based on 2D images. Read More
— Motorcycles

Can-Am Spyder roadster hybrid to make public debut

Those attending the International Motor Show in New York this weekend will be the first to get a close up look at Bombardier Recreational Products’ (BRP) Can-Am Spyder hybrid concept vehicle. In developing the hybrid Spyder roadster BRP are aiming to achieve a 50 percent improvement in fuel efficiency than the current Can-Am Spyder roadster with comparable acceleration and a total range of 375 miles (604 km). Read More