Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show
The On Center Digital Takeoff Table - estimators currently using On Center's software are ...

Construction software specialist On Center recently unveiled its Digital Takeoff Table solution at the World of Concrete industry tradeshow in Las Vegas. The Digital Takeoff Table integrates the company's On-Screen Takeoff® program with a Wacom tablet to enable estimators to draw digital “takeoffs” directly onto the screen with Wacom's cordless, battery-free pen. Estimators currently using the company's software are forecasting an additional productivity increase of 25 percent with the new system.  Read More

Printable plastic solar cells

Scientists developing flexible, large area, cost-effective, reel-to-reel printable plastic solar cells have announced that trials have commenced which promise a new era of solar cells that are printed like money. These printable solar cells offer advantages over traditional solar technology because of the potential to mass produce the cells cheaply using polymer printing technology, a process which has already been used in banknotes in more than 20 countries.  Read More

Calcium carbonate in powder form

Expensive carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects are gaining momentum around the world as a way to combat greenhouse gas emissions (or is that sweep them under the carpet?), India’s Economic Times has reported that a team of Indian scientists have discovered a naturally occurring bacteria that could help fight global warming by converting CO2 into calcium carbonate (CaCO3) - a common compound found as rock all the world over.  Read More

Front view of The Thermoteknix VisIR 640 Thermal Imaging Camera.

I'm pretty sure I'm not the target market for high-end thermal imaging cameras like the VisIR 640 from Thermoteknix, but I want one anyway. I want it in the same way that I desperately wanted the X-ray specs advertised on the back of my Iron Man comics when I was 12. In this case, the object of my boyish compulsion features a 640 x 480 infrared sensor, integrated voice recorder, 1.3megapixel color camera, plus an innovative swiveling lens design which provides greater shooting flexibility, and like many examples of ex-military tech, it opens up a huge range of potential applications on civvy street.  Read More

The Alfa Romeo MiTo GTA Concept and its somewhat scary front end

If cars are purposefully given facial features to help personalise them to the public (they are), then we're not sure what to make of Alfa Romeo's high performance concept Alfa MiTo GTA which has a not-so-charming visage reminiscent of a berserker warrior. The famous GTA (Gran Turismo Alleggerito) signature indicates a lightweight (Alleggerito means reduced weight in Italian) sports throughbred, and the MiTo GTA boasts massively increased horsepower (from 155 bhp to 240 bhp), along with a dramatic, though unspecified, weight reduction brought about by a diet of carbon fibre and aluminium.  Read More

The front cover of the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, by its editor Giovanni A....

According to a paper published in the current issue of the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics by its editor Giovanni A. Fava, the drug industry has full control of many scientific societies, journals and clinical practice guidelines. Members of special interest groups act as editors, reviewers and consultants to medical journals, scientific meetings and non-profit research organizations, with the task of systematically preventing the dissemination of data which may be in conflict with their interest. This censorship may be the result of direct prevention of publication and dissemination of findings by the pharmaceutical company itself, displaying its power as an advertiser in medical journals, a supporter of meetings and the owner of the data.  Read More

Febot wind charging concept

We're always on the lookout for new, ‘greener’ ways of saving or renewing energy. South Korean designers Ji-yun Kim, Soon-young Yang and Hwan-ju Jeon have developed the Febot, a small, easily-assembled portable battery charger concept that harnesses the power of the wind rather than using electricity. Place a rechargeable battery inside the Febot and stick it on the outside of a window or wall, or any other outdoor surface, using the suction cap at the base of the unit.  Read More

Maserati GranTurismo S Automatic premier in Geneva

True to Maserati’s commitment to introduce a new model at each international car show, the GranTurismo S Automatic will premiere at the Geneva Auto Show next week. The major novelty is the combination of the automatic transmission with the most powerful wet sump Maserati V8 on the GranTurismo – until now offered as 4.2 litres with automatic transmission and 4.7 litres with an electro-actuated gearbox. The new model features a 4.7 litre V8 which develops 440hp (323kW) at 7000rpm and maximum torque of 490Nm at 4,750rpm. Thanks to smoothness of the ZF 6-speed automatic gearbox, the car remains consistent with the granturismo concept while at the same time offering peak performance.  Read More

Artists visualization of a solar satellite (Image: Space Energy via Mafic Studios)

The concept of Space-Based Solar Power (SBSP) has been doing the rounds for decades with fantastic claims of 24 hour a day solar power beamed from space via microwave to any point on earth. A start up company called Space Energy, Inc says it plans to develop SBSP satellites to generate and transmit electricity to receivers on the Earth's surface. To do this, the company plans to create and launch a prototype satellite into low earth orbit (LEO). The hitch: this concept is based on as yet unproven technology. Paul Evans investigates.  Read More

Orbita Mouse - scrollers delight

The design of the trusty mouse has come a long way from its humble beginnings forty years ago and throughout its many incarnations it has remained a staple for any personal computer user. The latest spin on this ever necessary peripheral – and we do mean spin – is the Orbita Mouse. This new take on the mouse basically becomes the scroll wheel traditionally found between the left and right buttons.  Read More

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