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Computers

Official Adobe de-blur presentation video surfaces

Last week we posted an audience video of the a 'sneak peek' presentation from the Adobe Max developer conference that showed a remarkable de-blurring Photoshop plug-in in development. Adobe has now posted their official high quality video of the presentation segment, and the effect is easy to see. Adobe's presentation staging is pretty awesome too. Video after the break.Read More

Robotics

Artificial vision used to detect rotten oranges and pick through mandarins

There’s a reason that the oranges you see in the store usually aren’t rotten – someone at a sorting facility has already looked over all the oranges coming in from the fields, and taken out the spoiled ones. This is typically done with the help of ultraviolet light, which illuminates the essential oils in the rinds of rotten oranges. Such an approach is subject to human error, however, plus workers can only remain in the vicinity of the harmful UV light for limited periods of time. Now, scientists from Spain’s Valencian Institute of Agrarian Research (IVIA) have created a machine that does the same job automatically. While they were at it, they also came up with one that sorts oranges according to aesthetic appeal, and one that sorts mandarin segments.Read More

Music

Madrona Labs launches computer music controller with touch-sensitive walnut playing surface

Even though touch-sensitive digital music interfaces like Roger Linn's LinnStrument offer users access to whole new worlds of sonic expression, there's still something very appealing about the feel of real wood beneath the fingers. The Soundplane Model A throws cold plastic playing surfaces out the window and presents players with 150 walnut keys incorporating patent-pending continuous capacitive sensing technology, for a computer music controller with the feel of an acoustic instrument.Read More

Science

'Robotic biologist' crunches raw data and formulates equations

While some people may have been impressed (or intimidated) by the recent development of a system that automatically raises and analyzes cell cultures, it turns out that another facet of the biological research process may also be going to the machines. An interdisciplinary team of researchers recently demonstrated a computer system that is able to take in raw scientific data from a biological system, and output mathematical equations describing how that system operates - it is reportedly one of the most complex scientific modeling problems that a computer has solved entirely from scratch. While the system is known affectionately as "ABE," it is also being referred to as a robotic biologist. Read More

Automotive

Toyota and Peugeot announce plans for hybrid race cars

Toyota is the world's largest car maker and it is going sports car racing. Next year it intends to enter the hotly-contested LMP1 class with a car powered by a petrol hybrid power-train. Toyota's intention to promote its hybrid engine prowess appears certain to invigorate Le Mans racing as Peugeot already has a hybrid diesel under testing for next year and Porsche is rumored to have a hybrid race car ready by 2013.Read More

Games

NVIDIA unveils bigger and brighter 3D Vision 2 displays and glasses

While the latest 3D TV revolution has had a slow start, the use of 3D technology for video games has proven more popular with over 600 3D-supported games currently available on the PC. However, one of the big downsides 3D gaming solutions, such as NVIDIA’s 3D Vision, share with 3D TV is the noticeably dimmer image that results from wearing active shutter glasses. NVIDIA has now updated its 3D gaming technology with the unveiling of 3D Vision 2, that uses a new technology called NVIDIA 3D LightBoost that is claimed to increase the brightness of 3D images by up to two times. Read More

Medical

Surgical system uses 'cocoon of air' to keep incision sites clean

A Texas company is developing an innovative medical device to reduce the risk of infection during surgery. Nimbic Systems' Air Barrier System (ABS) dispenses purified air through a flexible nozzle which can be fixed adjacent to the patient's incision, shielding the wound by producing a non turbulent flow of filtered air and reducing the presence of infection causing microorganisms. Read More

Space

NASA charters suborbital research flights aboard Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo

Although Virgin Galactic is generally known as a space tourism company, it sees research experiments as a future mission segment and significant business opportunity. To this end, the company has signed a contract with NASA to provide up to three charter flights on its SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceplane. The deal follows the curtain closing on the Space Shuttle program earlier this year and is part of NASA's Flight Opportunities Program, which is charged with providing reduced-gravity environments for research experiments while encouraging the emerging commercial space industry. Read More

Wearables

Limited edition URWERK UR-110 ZrN - a timepiece built for discretion

The appeal of a luxury timepiece has little to do with being able to tell the time. They are signifiers of status, wealth and taste (or the lack of it) and the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars/pounds/euros that they cost can be justified to some extent by the use of precious metals and gemstones, or the history of hundreds of years of artisanal craftsmanship that some brands possess. Then there is a whole other level of horology that transcends even these considerations. Where "value" is judged in a similar way to modern art. Where timepieces are created in strictly limited numbers around a unique conceptual design using cutting-edge materials and extraordinary mechanical skill. Urwerk is a Swiss watchmaker that has prospered at these lofty heights for ten years and its latest creation admirably demonstrates the attributes required of these astonishingly expensive mechanical masterpieces.Read More

Environment

2011 World Solar Challenge gets underway down under

The 11th World Solar Challenge got underway on Sunday with participants starting out from Darwin, Northern Territory, on a 3,000-kilometer (1,864 mile) solar-powered car race across the red center of Australia. The start follows three days of scrutineering and a day of qualifying that saw Solar Team Twente from the Netherlands take pole position in a field of 37 teams from 20 countries. But the margin was tight, with the team’s 21Connect solar car coming in just 0.00.3 seconds ahead of fellow compatriots and four time winners, the Nuon Solar Team.Read More

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