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Music

Highly resonant wood could be commercially produced for Stradivarius-quality "fungus violins"

Earlier this week, we brought you the story of a radiologist and two violin-makers, who used computed tomography (CT) imaging to create a copy of a 1704 Stradivarius violin. The instrument that they produced was almost an exact replica of the original, as far as the shape, thickness and volume of its wooden parts was concerned. As one of our readers pointed out, however, much of the tonal quality of Stradivari's instruments was likely due to the microstructure and resonance characteristics of the wood of which they were made, caused by the growing conditions at the time. Well, it turns out that someone is working on reproducing that aspect of the violins, too. Read More

Around The Home

The Espro Press takes a new approach to coffee-making

Coffee lovers Chris Mclean (design engineer) and Bruce Constantine (engineer/ entrepreneur) have spent the last two years developing a precision coffee brewer dubbed Espro Press. The product is similar to classical french presses, however Espro Press features a two-stage micro-filter that reportedly preserves coffee flavors and prevents sediments or muddiness in the coffee.Read More

Architecture

Futuristic bridge planned for Wuxi Xidong Park, China

China's L & A Design Group has created plans for an iconic pedestrian bridge projected for Wuxi Xidong Central Park, in Jiangsu, China. The bridge will connect the north and south foreshores of the park, and includes a man-made island in its design. The island will offer pedestrians commanding waterfront views and the opportunity to relax and enjoy the surrounding gardens or tea room facilities.Read More

Games

OnLive app brings high-end PC and console games to tablets

Tablets and smartphones may now be cemented as a solid platform for games, but there's still a big difference between the mostly casual games available in the Apple and Android markets and the titles aimed squarely at the hardcore gaming crowd. A large part of the issue is the hardware, since even the iPad 2 can barely hold a candle to the processing power of the Xbox 360 or PS3; and that's without even bringing up the capabilities of a modern gaming rig. The video game service, OnLive, however has found a way to bridge the two with its new app that delivers console and PC titles to portable devices and, more importantly, makes them playable.Read More

Good Thinking

Top 10 things you CAN'T have for Christmas 2011

With Christmas fast approaching it means it's time for our annual look back at some of the technology that caught our eye and had us wishing our fortunes didn't match that of the Greek economy. While not all of the items on this list can be had for an extremely large wad of cash, those that are available for purchase will only find their way down the chimneys of those with a lottery winning or ultra-wealthy - and ultra-generous - family member or friend. Still, Christmas is a time for miracles so it is in that spirit that Gizmag presents its 2010 top 10 list of things you can't have for Christmas this year. Read More

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

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