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The surface tension that allows liquid droplets to hold their shape can also be used to ad...

Liquids are softer than solids, so incorporating droplets of a liquid into a solid will always make it weaker ... right? Actually, no. Scientists at Yale University have discovered that if the drops are just the right size, they can actually make the solid stiffer. Their findings could pave the way for composite materials that use liquids for added optical or electrical functionality, yet that don't compromise strength.  Read More

NuDown NuTech uses a hand pump to adjust insulation level

Back in 2009, Utah-based company Klymit came up with a wild idea for cold-weather clothing: replace traditional insulation with gas. Its NobleTek inflatable clothing earned plenty of attention from the outdoor and technology industries, but it never really seemed to catch on. Under the guidance of start-up NuDown, the inflatable insulation has been repackaged into a simpler form. In place of a mandatory argon gas inflator, it now uses a simple hand pump to adjust your core warmth.  Read More

The TorrX is designed to take the guesswork out of pumping sports balls

In the same way that car tires are meant to be kept at a precise air pressure, balls made for organized sports are likewise designed to be used at a specific hardness. That's why the TorrX was invented. It's a portable electric pump, that automatically inflates or deflates a ball in order to reach a given pressure.  Read More

Ford's new Sync 3 system Ford has announced an updated to its Sync in-car communications and entertainment system, adding an improved smartphone-like interface, along with better performance and speech recognition capabilities.  Read More

Inventec's system is claimed to be faster and safer than existing helicopter-based water-d...

When you're using helicopters to dump water on forest fires, it goes without saying that the faster you can obtain and deliver water from lakes or other sources, the better. Most currently-used systems are able to gather H2O at rates ranging from 1,700 to 4,000 liters (450 to 1,056 US gal) per minute, which is fairly impressive. A new system developed by Spanish firm Inventec, however, is claimed to be capable of sucking up 1,000 L (264 gal) in just five seconds – that scales up to a rate of 12,000 L (3,170 gal) per minute. What's more, it's also said to be safer.  Read More

The EauBerge Paris Capsule Hotel would be located on the banks of the Seine river in Paris... Paris is a world class city, but it's also a tourist trap, and there's a definite lack of decent inexpensive hotels in the city center. In a bid to change this, Parisian firm MenoMenoPiu Architects recently designed a concept capsule hotel that would offer tourists an affordable place to stay, right on the banks of the Seine river.  Read More

Jaguar Land Rover is researching the use of vehicle roof support pillars as 'see-through' ...

Having shown off its transparent bonnet concept earlier this year, Jaguar Land Rover is now looking into how to make other parts of its cars disappear. The firm is researching how to let drivers see through a vehicle's roof support pillars, while also developing a ghost car navigation system.  Read More

The 500K features a membrane design with full anti-ghosting – a rarity among gaming keyboa... The Cougar 500K gaming keyboard may look a lot like the company’s high-end, mechanical 700K offering, but it actually makes use of lower-cost membrane tech. However, this won’t impact functionality as you might expect, with the 500K offering full N-Key Rollover – also known as anti-ghosting.  Read More

Engineers have designed an experiment that uses Lego blocks to determine a fundamental ato...

Lego is a popular Christmas gift, and young and old alike can derive hours of pleasure building with those little plastic blocks. But, like a lot of playthings, the novelty wears off soon enough and you find yourself drifting back to watch Christmas TV re-runs. But what if you could use that Lego to construct real scientific equipment; would that maintain your enthusiasm? Well hang on to your plastic blocks, because engineers have designed an experiment that uses Lego and a few other bits and pieces that allows any keen tinkerer to build a device that not only determines Planck's Constant but may also help quantify the international standard unit of mass.  Read More

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