2014 Paris Motor Show highlights

Inventors and Remarkable People

1702 Portrait of Newton by Godfrey Kneller

August 16, 2007 New research suggests that a key aspect of the calculus, commonly attributed to Sir Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibnitz in the late 1600s, may in fact have been discovered more than two centuries earlier by scholars at the Kerala School in southwest India.  Read More

Happy birthday to the WWW

August 7, 2007 The invention of the Internet cannot be pinned down to any specific time, place or person as it was developed primarily for military and scientific applications throughout the 60s and 70s in the US. The World Wide Web on the other hand, the basic software building-block that makes access and categorisation of the billions of documents that sit on the Internet possible, can be attributed to one person - Tim Berners-Lee. The world wide web turned 16 yesterday – here’s the original post that started it all.  Read More

Anshul Samar, the 13-year-old CEO of Elementeo.

May 21, 2007 Thought YOU were ambitious? How's this from a 13-year-old: "Our goal is to achieve 1 million dollars in revenue by the end of middle school, which is next year." The surprise hit of this year's TiECON, the Elementeo chief has already booked 450 sales of his upcoming first product. His whole executive team is around the same age, including his 11-year-old sister, VP of sales. He's looking for US$100k in investment capital, or 2500 pre-orders, to start production of Elementeo - and with his ability to deliver an elevator pitch like this on demand, you'd have to back him to get it. Via VentureBeat.  Read More

HP Garage gets listed on National Register of Historic Places

May 18, 2007 The garage-start-up that becomes a global company is part of every budding entrepreneurs dream. In America, the HP Garage has become a symbol of what can rise from humble beginnings with hard work and determination. Now the National Park Service has begun listing the famed HP Garage and house at 367 Addison Avenue, Palo Alto on the United States National Register of Historic Places. Recognized as the birthplace of Silicon Valley, the garage was the building in which Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard set up shop in 1938. One hopes that they’ll subsequently consider the Cupertino garage where Wojniak and Jobs kicked off Apple in 1976 and the rented Menlo Park garage where Sergei Brin and Larry Page set up Google in 1998.  Read More

Scientists move a step closer to being able to make objects invisible

May 4, 2007 A computer model designed by a mathematician at the University of Liverpool has shown that it is possible to make objects, such as aeroplanes and submarines, appear invisible at close range. Scientists have already created an ‘invisibility cloak’ made out of ‘metamaterial’ which can bend electromagnetic radiation – such as visible light, radar or microwaves – around a spherical space, making an object within this region appear invisible. Until now, scientists could only make objects appear invisible from far away. Liverpool mathematician Dr Sebastien Guenneau, together with Dr Frederic Zolla and Professors Andre Nicolet from the University of Marseille, have proven - using a computer model called GETDP - that objects can also be made to appear invisible from close range when light travels in waves rather than beams. Scientists predict that metamaterials could be of use in military technology, such as in the construction of fighter jets and submarines, but it will be some years before invisibility cloaks can be developed for human beings.  Read More

Scientists Develop New Tool To 'Freeze' Crime Scene Memories

April 27, 2007 The Crime Scene Investigation TV writers regularly impress us with their rapid deployment of new technologies, so it’ll be interesting to see how long it is before we see Gil Grisham or Horatio Kane employing the latest innovation developed by scientists at the University of Portsmouth. It’s a self-administered interview that 'freezes' the memory of crime scenes in the minds of witnesses. The tool - a self-administered interview applied by witnesses at crime scenes - combats natural memory decay by using the latest research in cognitive psychology techniques. It 'freezes' images and details of crime scenes and perpetrators in the minds of witnesses, particularly small and seemingly insignificant details that provide major leads for detectives that turn out to be crucial in solving cases.  Read More

Steorn’s “perpetual motion machine” – power broker or power joker?

April 27, 2007 Steorn is publicly unveiling its “perpetual motion machine” this July, according to the latest video from CEO Sean McCarthy. The Irish company made international headlines after declaring news of its invention, which would theoretically violate the so called laws of thermodynamics, in a full page ad in The Economist in August 2006. However, because its “over 100% efficient” energy system still remains over 100% unverified, McCarthy is currently viewed by academia as about as scientific as an X-men sequel. An examination of the model by a panel of 22 scientists, (chosen out of a whopping 4500 applicants), is expected to complete its investigation into Steorn’s claims in the following two months. The result could simply be a punch line to what many scientists already regard as a bad joke...or it could revolutionize the world’s energy systems and utterly demolish our understanding of physics.  Read More

Chemist Inventor 'Sniffs' His Way to Prestigious US$500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize

April 3, 2007 Dr. Timothy M. Swager has a nose for explosives. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor of Chemistry claims he can “almost always take a whiff of a chemical and make a pretty good guess as to what class a volatile compound might be in.” But Swager’s nose is nothing compared to the amplified chemical sensors he invented to detect vapors of common bomb-making chemicals, such as TNT. For his entire body of inventive work, the Lemelson-MIT Program named Swager the 2007 winner of the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize, the most-prestigious cash prize for invention in the United States. This year, the prize criteria were modified to specify the winner be a mid-career inventor who is rising in his or her field.  Read More

Power Boots enable a human to run at 22mph

March 19, 2007 A few years ago we ran a story on the Russian-built Saigak Power Boots, which enabled a human wearing them to achieve nearly 22 mph while running. We could never quite understand what happened to the boots as they disappeared from view and … now we know – they were too unsafe in the wrong hands, and The New York Times has an excellent article on Viktor Gordeyev’s petrol-burning seven league boots and why they never got to market and an array of images that we’re sure will fire the imagination of more than a few Gizmag readers.  Read More

Gates still tops the world’s 946 Billionaires rich list – but not for long

March 13, 2007 Forbes magazine does great lists. This week it published a list of the world’s richest people and found there are a record 946 billionaires on the planet and Bill Gates is still numero uno – in a world where success is equated with the accumulation of dollars, no-one plays the game quite as well as Gates, who also donates more money to charity than anyone else in history. Gates has been the world’s richest man for 13 years but could lose the mantle to Mexican Carlos Slim Helu who added an astonishing US$19 billion to his net worth in 2006 and is now just US$7 billion shy of top spot. This year, there were 178 new billionaires and 32 who dropped off the list. The average billionaire is 62 years old, two years younger than in 2005 and 60% of list members made their fortune from scratch. The whole fascinating story can be found here.  Read More

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