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Friday, 29 Jan, 2010

Technology

Latest Invention: Touchscreen that Boasts Unlimited Finger Tracking Capability

Most of the devices that feature touchscreen technology and claim to support multi-touch are limited to the use of just two fingers. Cypress Semiconductor decided to solve the problem and came up with one of the most useful inventions for touchscreen devices - a tablet-sized capacitive touchscreen that boasts unlimited finger tracking capabilities.

The device allows the user to manipulate several images at a time thanks to the TrueTouch technology. With the development of tablet PCs, such technology can become one of the most used, says Cypress spokesperson Dhwani Vyas.

According to Mr. Vyas, the company's capacitive touchscreen is the most useful invention in the field, as it is the first to provide multi-touch all-point tracking of unlimited fingers for handheld devices. He added that the TrueTouch technology could be used in 7-17 inch touchscreens.

"The inclusion of multi-touch support in the Windows 7 operating system has opened up the large laptop, netbook and tablet PC market to touchscreen interfaces," says Vyas.


Friday, 29 Jan, 2010

Offbeat

Huge Monument to Be Made Using NYC Garbage

Terreform 1, a non-profit design group that attempts to promote eco-friendly design in cities, has recently presented the design of a large-scale monument, which the group is going to create from garbage that is produced each average day in New York City in one hour.

The project of Terreform 1 is dubbed Rapid Re(f)use and it would be interesting to note that the One Hour Tower will include the New York Statue of Liberty in a negative silhouette.

In order to be able to use the garbage, the design group decided to use automated robotic 3D printers that are modified to process the garbage, informs Designboom.

Metal will be the primary material, while organic compounds will be used to create temporary scaffolds.


Wednesday, 27 Jan, 2010

Technology

Military UAVs to Be Used to Monitor Pollution and Climate Patterns

Back in 2007 NASA received two autonomous, high-altitude long-range airplanes to study the atmosphere. It is worth mentioning that the $38 million aircrafts were initially meant to be used for military operations, being able to fly in the air for 31 hours non-stop.

NASA decided to use the possibilities of the UAVs to observe pollution and climate patterns. To be able to do so, the agency had to equip the aircraft with a number of complex instruments, such as laser hygrometers and atmospheric chromatographs, reports Wired.

Among other gears that will be mounted on the UAVs, there's cloud physics lidar (a laser-based system that takes detailed pictures of clouds and mist), micrometeorological measurement system (a series of sensors that register temperature, wind speed, and pressure) and airborne compact atmospheric mapper (a Nikon 8800 digicam that monitors cloud patterns by taking pictures every 20 seconds, and 2 spectrographs that estimate the level of gases such as the pollutant nitrogen dioxide).
Wednesday, 27 Jan, 2010

Environment

Huge Biodome to Simulate Tropical Rainforest in British Zoo

The Chester Zoo is soon to feature a biodome that will simulate the tropical rainforest climate of the African Congo. The biodome, called Heart of Africa, will expand over an area of 172,000 sq ft.

It will become the home for a large number of animals, including gorillas, chimpanzees, okapi (giraffe-like creatures), birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish, and invertebrates.

The visitors will be able to observe not only the rich fauna of the Heart of Africa but also enjoy the wonderful jungle canopy that will flourish over their heads, informs Architect.

It is worth mentioning that Heart of Africa is expected to open in 2014 and its authors hope that the biodome will become the largest conservation and animal attraction in Europe.
Friday, 18 Dec, 2009

Technology

Latest invention: Futuristic Santa Sleigh Developed by GE Researchers

Researchers from the GE Global Research have a tradition - each year they present their latest inventions during the holiday season. In 2008 scientists showcased the world's first OLED Christmas tree that featured the company's bendable, paper-thin lights.

In 2009 they decided to create something even more special and presented a futuristic technologically advanced sleigh that combines top 10 latest inventions that scientists from Global Research developed this year.

Below you can get more information on the new sleigh, including information regarding the lightweight carbon fiber compounds used to make the frame, the icephobic coatings to help avoid ice buildup, self-powered OLED lighting that offers clear illumination even at 30,000 feet, sodium batteries that collect and store extra power, as well as new sleigh blades that are manufactured using ceramic matrix composites for ensuring a more efficient flight and a wireless medical sensor that would keep Santa informed about his health.


Friday, 18 Dec, 2009

Science

List of 10 Most Important Discoveries of 2009 Topped by the Finding of Ardi

According to Science journal, a prestigious magazine of the American Association for the Advancement of Science with over 10 million readers, the most important breakthrough in 2009 was the discovery of Ardi - a short, seven stone, 4-foot tall creature that resembled an ape. Researchers claim that Ardi lived 4.4 million years ago and just like humans walked on two legs.

Topping the list of 10 most important landmarks on 2009, the finding of Ardi was followed by the repair of Hubble Space Telescope, as well as the latest developments in gene therapy and the identification of pulsar gamma ray emissions in outer space.

The skeleton of the short female creature was unearthed in Ethiopia. Researchers consider that Ardi inhabited African forests and today she is considered to be the oldest representative of the human family tree discovered so far. It is worth mentioning that the discovery of Ardi was reported in October, shedding light on the times when people starting leaving the trees.

It is possible that the skeleton could fill in the gaps on the evolution of apes and their transformation into humans. The finding has already overturned an earlier theory that humans evolved from chimps, offering evidence that the evolution of both, humans and chimps, took place in the same time and that both evolved from an even older common ancestor. Ardi does not really represent the missing link - researchers described the creature as its "cousin," reports The Telegraph.

The name Ardi is a shortened version of Ardipithecus ramidus, which translates as "root of the ground ape". The Science journal says that the discovery: "changed the way we think about early human evolution".


Thursday, 17 Dec, 2009

Technology

Road Printer Makes Perfect Road Signs with a Push of a Button

Hoyoung Lee, Doyoung Kim and Hongju Kim designed this Road Printer for Designsory. This device was developed to print road signs right onto the surface of the road with just a push of a button. In addition, Road Printer makes the signs accurately and quickly jet-spraying them on the surface.

The computer inside the device includes a set of preprogrammed templates, including Stop, U Turn, Bus and Arrow Signs.

The buttons on the device are so big that the person can push them with his feet. The device can charge thanks to a solar panel mounted on its top.

Road Printer works similar to an inkjet printer, painting road signs by swinging from side to side and applying the paint. One can easily refill the reservoir located at the rear with fresh new paint.



Thursday, 17 Dec, 2009

Technology

Latest Invention: Bicycle Wheel that Collects and Stores Kinetic Energy

If you like this invention then vote for it here.

Researchers from MIT came up with a Bluetooth-enabled bicycle wheel. Their new invention allows riders to take advantage of the built-in sensors in order to keep track of their friends, fitness and traffic.

Dubbed the Copenhagen Wheel, the new intention is able to collect and wisely redistribute kinetic energy. According to the director of the project Carlo Ratti, a greater number of people in Copenhagen shifted from cars to bicycles and this trend continues spreading to other major European cities, including Paris and Barcelona.

Ratti explains: "It's sort of like 'Biking 2.0' - whereby cheap electronics allow us to augment bikes and convert them into a more flexible, on-demand system." The project director also mentioned that the new invention makes use of a technology that resembles the Kinetic Energy Recovery System, which played an important role in Formula One racing during the last few years, bringing to a small revolution within the industry.

When the rider hits the brakes, the kinetic energy is recovered by an electric motor installed in the wheel. The energy is then stored by the built-in batteries for further use. "The bike wheel contains all you need so that no sensors or additional electronics need to be added to the frame and an existing bike can be retrofitted with the blink of an eye," said Ratti.

It is worth mentioning that the new invention was created in collaboration with Ducati Energia and the Italian Ministry of the Environment. The bicycle will enter the production phase in 2010.


Thursday, 17 Dec, 2009

Technology

FASTRA II - 12TFLOPS Desktop Supercomputer

Scientists from the research group ASTRA, based in Belgium, recently presented their new desktop supercomputer, which is believed to be the world's fastest PC, being powered by six NVIDIA GTX295 dual-GPU cards along with one GTX275 single-GPU card.

The desktop supercomputer was installed at the University of Antwerp. It was built to considerably accelerate the interpretation of sophisticated, 3D medical images. The computer was developed in cooperation with Tones.be and ASUS. With 13 GPUs, FASTRA II can reach a total power of 12TFLOPS.

To be able to fit all the necessary hardware in one case, the researchers ordered a special cage where all graphic cards would be stored, being connected to the motherboard with the help of flexible riser cables. The whole system includes 4 power supplies that are meant to satisfy the 13 GPUs. It used at full speed, FASTRA II will be able to outrun even a moderately sized supercomputer.

With 8 graphics processors functioning in parallel, the current system is able to reach the performance of 350 modern CPU cores. It would be used to carry out tomography tasks.

It would be interesting to note that this desktop supercomputer costs less than 4000 Euros.


Thursday, 17 Dec, 2009

Technology

Latest Invention: Exclusive Portable Gadget for FBI

With an idea to obtain a portable device that would identify fingerprints and faces, the FBI Hostage Rescue Team teamed up with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

The Federal Bureau of Investigations said that it requires a tool that would be more portable that is currently used 20-pound rugged laptop along with a fingerprint scanner that is used in anti-terrorism missions.

Researchers from NIST managed to come up with their new invention - a new application developed for a portable touch-screen device. To create their new invention Mary Theofanos, Brian Stanton, Yee-Yin Choong and Ross Micheals from NIST, collaborated with FBI agents and even watched them perform their job, which considerably improved the development process.

In the end, both researchers and FBI agents found the new invention quite useful. It is worth mentioning that even the FBI Hostage Rescue Team expressed its great surprise after testing the new application, which more than fulfilled their needs. NIST researchers developed a handheld device able to take images of fingerprints or faces and transmit the information wirelessly to the central hub for further examination. Everything can be performed with just a few touch strokes.

However, researchers decided to take their application further - they developed a demo application for 2-inch by 3-inch screen smartphones with touch-screen.
Wednesday, 16 Dec, 2009

Technology

Teknibank - Lightweight, Mobile and Easy-to-assemble Bank

Yoann Henry Yvon visualized a mobile bank that would be able to follow its clientele and not stand in one place like all the other banks. Teknibank represents a concept that is meant to considerably increase bank services.

The creation of Yoann Henry Yvon has a prefabricated 28-square-meter mobile kiosk built on acrylic colored plates that serves as a drive cashier for fast service. Inside, the bank has a reception desk and a number of small seats mounted in the waiting room.

The Teknibank offers the same services as a traditional bank. However, it can also move a cashier within city limits, thus being able to offer easy and prompt service to its clients. The bank features glass panels and aluminum plates. Besides being lightweight and mobile, the bank can also be easily assembled in about 48 hours.

The building illuminates in the dark, which not only makes it more useful but more attractive and stylish as well.






Wednesday, 16 Dec, 2009

Technology

Boeing 787 Dreamliner Carries Out First Test Flight

Recently Boeing Co managed to carry out the first test flight of its fuel-efficient 787 Dreamliner. It is worth mentioning that Boeing 787 is rather lightweight, made using 35 tons of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic. The plane is expected to help reduce the costs supported by airlines by millions of dollars.


Today, December 16th, 2009, the company sent its new plane on a test flight from Paine Field in Everett, Washington. The flight, which started at 10AM local time, lasted four hours and pilots Michael Carriker and Randall Neville made everything possible so the Boeing 787 would accomplish the mission successfully.

There will be more test flights, with the company aiming to check six of its new planes during the next nine months. If all tests are successful, the company will receive the Federal Aviation Administration certification.

Previously the company faced certain problems with Boeing 787, mainly linked with new materials applied and assembling fuselage and wing structures brought from Japan, Italy and elsewhere in the United States, reports DailyMail. While Boeing attempted to solve the problems, one of its main competitors, Airbus, continued attracting buyers with its A350 plane. According to some analysts, Boeing has already invested about $10 billion in its new project. The company estimates that its first Boeing 787 will be delivered to All Nippon Airways by late 2010.


Some specialists consider that Boeing will still face a number of problems on its way to certification, but still, a lot of them, including transport analysts Howard Wheeldon, lowered their level of skepticism after the recent successful test flight. They say that Boeing 787 could revolutionize the aviation industry, mainly due to the new technology used onboard the plane.


Tuesday, 15 Dec, 2009

Environment

China Builds Largest Solar-Powered Office Structure in the World

A huge 75,000-square meter building constructed in Dezhou in the Shangdong Province, China, claims to be the largest solar-powered structure in the world. Having the shape of a fan, the building includes spaces for exhibition centers, scientific studies, meetings and trainings. In addition, the structure has a hotel. Everything inside the building harnesses solar power.

The designer of the building was inspired by the sun dial. The new building brings a message saying that it is important to search for renewable resources today.

Besides featuring solar panels for harnessing solar energy, the construction also boasts a number of other advantages like the new roof and wall insulation technology which allows saving up to 30 percent of energy, reports China.org.cn. The external part of the construction makes use of about 1 percent of the amount of steel that was used to build the famous Olympic Stadium, Bird's Nest. It is expected that the new solar-powered construction will house the 4th World Solar City Congress.




Tuesday, 15 Dec, 2009

Technology

Seagate Presents Thinnest HDD in the World

Recently Seagate presented, what the company claims to be, the thinnest hard disk drive in the world. Its new 2.5-inch device was dubbed Momentus Thin and is destined to be used in laptops and netbooks.

Seagate's HDD is just 7mm in height. It would be worth mentioning that the most hard disk drives used in laptops are 9.5mm high, which means that the ne device is 25 percent thinner.

Dave Mosley, the company's spokesman stated that new thin hard disk drives will push computer makes to develop thinner and lighter netbooks and laptops. Seagate informed that its new HDD will come in two capacity points, i.e. 250GB and 160GB, informs TGDaily. The company also mentioned a number of other tech specs for its device: 8MB cache, Serial ATA 3Gb per second interface, 5400RPM spin speed.

It is expected that the new drive will be shipped to the company's OED and integrator partners in the beginning of 2010.


Tuesday, 15 Dec, 2009

Technology

Japanese Could Soon Buy Life-Size Robots That Represent Exact Copies of Their Owners

Sogo & Seibu, a department store chain in Japan, looks forward to introduce a new service that will allow customers to purchase lifed-sized robots that have the same look as their owner.

The department store chain plans to start receiving orders from different department stores in Japan in January 2010.

Initially it will offer only two models, but in case three or more people will become interested in these robots then these will be selected by lot, reports CrunchGear.

It is worth mentioning that the life-sized robots are made of silicone. They will be able to move their upper body and speak a limited amount of words with the owner's recorded voice.

Each unit will cost $225,000. The machines will be made by Kokoro, a robotics company that managed to draw a lot of attentions with its realistic Androids that were able to provide directions to people who paid a visit to the Aichi Expo back in 2005.


Tuesday, 15 Dec, 2009

Science

First Solar-Powered Telescope that Scans for Dangerous Space Objects

Recently NASA managed to launch a solar-powered infrared telescope called WISE, which stands for Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer. The goal of the telescope is to spot asteroids and comets that could collide with Earth, causing serious damage.

It is worth mentioning that WISE is not the first infrared spacecraft that was launched into space by NASA, surfing through the heavens along with Herschel Space Observatory from European Space Agency and NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. However, WISE represents the only telescope able to scan space for earth-threatening space objects. It will spend about 9 months in orbit, taking photographs every 11 seconds. By using radio transmission, all information will be brought to Earth, being downloaded four times a day on NASA's computers, reports SmartPlanet.

At the end of the mission NASA will possess enough data to make a detailed image of the sky, featuring a large number of space objects, including asteroids and comets.


Monday, 14 Dec, 2009

Environment

Latest Invention: Solar-powered Refrigerator for Remote Areas in Kenya

If you like this invention then vote for it here.

An organization with headquarters in Kenya managed to develop a portable solar-powered refrigerator system, which can be transported to distant regions in Africa using a camel. The new invention of the Nomadic Communities Trust was developed in collaboration with Princeton University and The Art of College of Design in California.

The new system was designed to refrigerate vaccines and a number of other medicines in regions that are located far from cities where it is possible to find special equipment.

The writer Jace Shoemaker-Galloway mentioned that the refrigerator system will have portable solar panels that can be folded so the device would be easier to transport. The new invention also features a foot-powered backup system. In order to prevent any discomfort for the camel, it was decided to use an ergonomic aluminum frame instead of sisal ropes, informs CleanTechnica.

Before deciding to use it in Kenya, the new invention was tested on camels at the Bronx Zoo. Now the Nomadic Communities Trust looks forward to try the system in its native country.


Monday, 14 Dec, 2009

Science

Our Brain is Overloaded with More Than 100,000 Words a Day

A study showed that 100,000 words a day could make a person register problems with concentration. It was reported that an adult hears or reads about 100,500 words each day, with the bombardment of words coming mainly from such source as the radio, phone, video games, the internet and newspaper.

It is worth mentioning that the team of researchers, led by Roger Bohn, calculated only the time people spend outside working hours, which means that the amount of words that flood a person's brain is much higher. Over 100,000 words represent about 34GB of information that overloads our brain, which might even lead to some changes in its structure.

Previously, Susan Greenfield, one of the most well-known researchers in UK, has warned numerous times that children's brain is greatly affected by a social networking websites. The latter, according to the scientist, considerably shortens a child's attention and makes him or her more selfish. In addition, regular computer use could also overload the brain.

According to Oxford University neuroscientist Professor Colin Blakemore, an increasing amount of information perceived by the human brain can make the latter grow in size, as new information leads to development of new nerve cells.


Monday, 14 Dec, 2009

Science

Younger-looking People More Likely to Live Longer

Scientists claim that people, who look younger than their age, are likely to live a longer life. A team of scientists led by Professor Kaare Christensen, from the University of Southern Denmark, decided to test the idea that the perceived age of an individual may provide an overall indication of his physical condition.

Scientists observed twins in order to find the link between the perceived age and survival. In addition, they attempted to find the connection between the perceived age and several important characteristics that are related to the age, including physical functioning and mental power.

It is worth mentioning that the starting point of the study was the spring of 2001. Back then, scientists carried out physical and intelligence tests on 1,826 seventy-year old Danish twins. They also took pictures of their faces for the research. Scientists formed 3 groups of assessors who were asked to rate the perceived age of the study participants by looking at the photos. None of the assessors was aware of the real age of any of the twins.

Afterwards, according to the official website of the British Medical Journal that published the study, researchers studied the death records of twins to be able to track their survival over a seven-year period. The team found a strong connection between the perceived age and the longevity of a person, reports Daily Mail. They discovered that an older-looking twin was more likely to die first if his or her perceived age was bigger than that of the younger-looking twin. In regards to cosmetic surgery, Professor Christensen mentioned that such procedure was rather uncommon in the part of Denmark where researchers carried out their study, which is why this factor was not taken seriously into consideration.
Friday, 11 Dec, 2009

Environment

In Harmony Veritas - Scientific Structure that Harnesses Green Energy

The project called "In Harmony Veritas" was developed by designers Chanturia Angela and Ivanyuk Yuliya. Their complex makes use of green technologies, being able to generate energy the eco-friendly way.

The small scientific complex represents a hi-tech city and its goal is to illustrate how future cities might look in the future - small, eco-friendly, structured and developed in synch with nature.

When designing their project, Chanturia Angela and Ivanyuk Yuliya had in mind a city that harnesses various green energy sources, including solar, wind, sea and tidal energy.

The plan of the whole project is to create a system able to generate electricity in coastal areas. "In Harmony Veritas" is expected to become a complex that would play the role of an organism representing a small piece of environment and harnessing energy the eco-friendly way to improve the ecosystem, informs EcoFriend.

The designers wanted to create a sustainable structure where researchers would carry out their studies.




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