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Monday, 25 Jan, 2010

Environment

Korean Consortium to Build $6 Billion Green Energy Power Plant

Samsung C&T teamed up with Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) to construct a renewable energy power plant. The $6 billion complex will be built in a small town near Toronto.

The two companies expect that the power plant will produce about 3.7KWh per square meter by making use of solar plants. At the same time the complex will have systems that will allow harvesting wind energy, informs JoongAng Daily.

By 2016 the renewable power plant is expected to produce about 2.6GWs of green energy using solar and wind power generators that extend over an area of 202.3 square kilometers (78.11 square miles). The project is going to represent the world's largest complex that harvests solar and wind energies. According to the signed contract, the new power cluster will operate for 20 years.


Monday, 25 Jan, 2010

Technology

Latest Invention: Flying-Wing - New-Gen Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

VTOL Technologies, a British company, recently presented its new UAV that boasts improved stability, hovering ability and lower footprint compared to previous models. The latest invention of VTOL features four movable rotors which allow the vehicle to deliver heavy cargos despite its rather small size. The new UAV, dubbed Flying-Wing, is also four times more endurable compared to other vertical take-off and landing UAV vehicles.

According to VTOL Technologies, its latest invention represents a mix of new technologies that considerably improve the vehicle's performance, while considerably simplifying the flight controls and increasing its drag.

The main idea was to create an UAV that would be able to function properly even when one or two motors break down. It is worth mentioning that the vehicle was designed to be able to withstand wind gusts and show quick stall recovery, informs Gizmag.

The new UAV could be used in an urban environment and even launched from moving cars. It can operate perfectly in tight spaces and land on the deck of a vessel in any weather. It took 8 years for the British company to develop the Flying-Wing. VTOL Technologies says that its latest invention could be used in counter piracy operations for the Summer Olympic Games that will take place in London in 2012. It could also prove to be useful in traffic monitoring, border surveillance and humanitarian relief.

Some technical specifications of the new UAV:

  • Gross Takeoff Weight: 3.25Kg
  • Width: 1.25m
  • Length: 0.61m
  • Height: 0.28m
  • Max forward speed: >80kts
  • Max sideslip: 15kts
  • Noise levels: <65db
  • Power Source: LiPo cells

Monday, 25 Jan, 2010

Offbeat

Transformers Fan Makes Optimus Prime Replica from Junk

The famous action movie Transformers has gathered a lot of fans and some of them were apparently so excited that they decided to do something extraordinary to show they're true fans of the movie like this man from Taiwan, who managed to create a 14-foot model of Optimus Prime from junk.

The chest of the robot replica is made using old house windows; its back was created using old TV antennas mixed with several gears and old tires that were previously kept in a garage for a long time.

This statue of Optimus Prime not only shows that there are a lot of great artists around the world who can do works of art from junk, it can also motivate people not to throw old things away and use their imagination to make something inspiring.



Monday, 25 Jan, 2010

Offbeat

Aircraft from 1960s Transformed into Luxury Hotel

The old 120-seater aircraft located at Teuge Airport, Netherlands, has been transformed into a luxury hotel. The German plane from the 1960s features a luxurious sauna, Jacuzzi, three flat screens, Blu-ray player and more.

The rich guests are provided 24-hour service. The luxury interior of the aircraft has been designed by a Dutch company called Hotelsuites.nl.

The cockpit of the East German government vehicle remained unchanged so guests could go back to the Cold War period and observe the look of the original cockpit of that time, reports WeHeart.co.uk.

In addition, guests who like extreme sports are welcome to try parachute jumps and/or perform stunt plane rides, which will surely make their stay unforgettable.




Friday, 22 Jan, 2010

Technology

Green Noise - Device that Coverts Noise into Electricity

Some of the noisiest places on the planet are the airport runways. But designer Hung-Uei Jou decided to makes use of noise pollution to turn it into electricity.

He designed a gadget dubbed Green Noise that is able to identify, trap and transform sound energy into power that can be used to power runways lights.

The Green Noise has the shape of a conical speaker, which allows the device to catch sound waves easier. It stands on a tripod base and can work in any weather. Currently there are no specifications on the device.



Friday, 22 Jan, 2010

Offbeat

Top Ten Most Popular Passwords Headed by 123456

Imperva, company that specializes in protecting business applications and databases, has recently unveiled its research entitled "Consumer Password Worst Practices." The company analyzed about 32 million passwords that were revealed to the public after social media application developer RockYou became the victim of a hack attack.

It is worth mentioning that in December of 2009, a hacker managed to break into the website's database and obtain information that included unencrypted usernames and passwords of every user. Imperva studied the security breach and decide to publish the most popular passwords used by users of RockYou, informs News.com.au.

The list of the top ten most used passwords includes the following examples:

1. 123456

2. 12345

3. 123456789

4. Password

5. iloveyou

6. princess

7. rockyou

8. 1234567

9. 12345678

10. abc123

According to Amichai Shulman, Imperva's CTO, over the past two decades little has changed. Shulman referred to a 1990 Unix password research which reported a similar selection pattern.


Friday, 22 Jan, 2010

Technology

Researchers Turn Textiles Into Flexible Electronics

Scientists from Stanford University decided to mix carbon nanotubes with fabrics and come up with wearable electronics. In their study, which was recently published in Nano Letters, researchers focused on creating lightweight, flexible and wearable electronics.

According to the team, the practices of "dipping and drying" a cloth in carbon nanotube ink can easily help create highly conductive fabric, which can be used, for example, to power portable devices.

The cloth is dipped into nanotube ink and then it's pressed in order to level out the coating. After absorbing the nanotube ink, the textiles are able to preserve electrical connection across the entire garment. The material keeps its properties even when it stretches, folds or is dipped into water.

Researchers are looking forward to carry out more studies in the field to figure out, for instance, how textiles can be applied to more useful batteries. They will also study how safe is having carbon nanotubes in clothes that a person could wear against his or her skin.


Friday, 22 Jan, 2010

Environment

Eco-Friendly Hotel With Built-in Ski Slope

This incredible structure was designed by Michael Jantzen, who decided to create a hotel that would not only be comfortable for those willing to spend some time in one of the 95 rooms, but also be self-sufficient.

It is worth mentioning that the hotel is powered by wind and solar energy. But probably the most impressive part of the design is the huge 400-feet ski slope incorporated into the building. The eco-hotel is meant to provide comfort for Aspen visitors and for everyone who cares about the environment.

The structure features 8 wind turbines and a series of solar cells. Windows that face south will help warm up a big thermal mass mounted in the floor of the hotel's lobby. They will produce passive solar heating together with several deeply hidden earth pipes.

The equipment in the eco-friendly gym in the hotel will produce electricity. On top on the slope there's a bar where guests can have a drink.



Thursday, 21 Jan, 2010

Current Events

Atmos 566 - the Watch that Runs on Small Temperature Variations

Marc Newson, a designer from Australia, came up with an interesting concept timepiece for the famous Swiss watchmaker Jaeager-LeCoultre.

The watch is called Atmos 566 and it features the new Jaeger-LeCoultre 566 Calibre that comes in two colors: clear or blue Baccarat crystal.

Besides displaying the hours, minutes and the current month, the timepiece offers the view of the night sky as seen from the Northern Hemisphere. In addition, Atmos 566 shows the cardinal points and astrological signs.

It runs on small changes in temperature, which means that it will work non-stop forever, being powered by … nothing. There are only 48 pieces of the watch in Baccarat crystal and 28 in blue Baccarat crystal. The price for a timepiece ranges between $2,600 and $70,600.


Thursday, 21 Jan, 2010

Environment

Green Stadium for London 2012 Olympic Games to Be Constructed from Recycled Guns and Knives

As it is already known, the next Summer Olympic Games will take place in London in 2012. It was recently unveiled that the new sustainable Olympic Stadium is going to be built using recycled guns, bullets and knives.

Engineers would melt down the weapons confiscated by the police and use them to construct the stadium. It is worth mentioning that in 2009 the Metropolitan Police managed to confiscate over 52 tons of scrap metal.

Populous, a company previously known as HOK Sport, is the one that designed the eco-friendly stadium. Specialists from the design firm thought about using a minimum number of resources for the new stadium, so it would be possible to significantly reduce the environmental impact of the construction, informs Footprint.

It would be interesting to note that in 2009 the Metropolitan Police gathered 3.3 million spent bullets totaling 28 tons and used them to make photo frames and jewelry. In addition, they decided to recycle old uniforms and use the new material in car manufacturing.




Thursday, 21 Jan, 2010

Technology

The Puffin - Super Quiet, All-Electric Jet from NASA

The Puffin is a personal aircraft that NASA is now working on. It represents an all-electric jet that has space for one person and which has the potential of becoming a popular product in the field of air travel technology.

The aircraft features 2 prop electric engines and lithium phosphate batteries. Being able to reach a speed of 300mph while registering a very low noise level and heat signature (compared to combustion engines), it was initially designed for secret military operations. The noise level is 10 times lower compared to special low noise helicopters.

The aircraft performs a vertical take off, standing on its four expandable legs. When the propeller rotors start spinning the jet takes off and then leans forward to start speeding up in horizontal position. As you can see in the image, the pilot operates the jet in lying position.

The aircraft received the name Puffin due to its resemblance to the bird. Since this jet uses electric motors it is eco-friendly. In addition, using its electric engine, Puffin can go up to 9,150 meters. Currently the major disadvantage of the aircraft is the low battery capacity - on a full charge Puffin can fly about 80km. For more information click here.



Thursday, 21 Jan, 2010

Current Events

Google's YouTube Makes First Step into Movie Rental Business

The popular video sharing website YouTube makes its first steps to becoming a rental outlet. Its goal is to help promote movies that are going to be shown at the Sundance Film Festival that will be held at Park City, Utah.

The move represents a test for YouTube that looks forward to motivate more movie studios to rent films via the Google-owned website. Thus the Silicon Valley giant will enroll into competition with vendors like Apple Inc.'s iTunes store, Amazon.com Inc., Netflix Inc. and Blockbuster Inc.

The cost of YouTube's first lot of rentals is going to be $3.99 for a 48-hour viewing period, informs Physorg.com. Movie studios will have the possibility to set the prices they want. The period of rental viewing could be set from one to ninety days.


Monday, 28 Dec, 2009

Technology

Latest Invention: Synthetic Tree that Converts the Movement of Leaves into Power

Scientists from the Cornell University managed to create a tree that generates energy by making use of flittering synthetic leaves that are connected to the stem of the tree. They named their latest invention "Piezo-tree."

The tree generates electricity when the wind blows and makes the leaves move; their motion is transformed into energy. It is worth mentioning that the key component of the Piezo-tree is flexible piezoelectric material known as Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF).

Researchers decided to use the material for their latest invention due to the fact that PVDF is able to resist unpredictable wind strength. More information is available here.


Monday, 28 Dec, 2009

Technology

Fastest High-Speed Train on the Planet Recently Presented in China

Recently China launched the fastest high-speed rain in the world. With an average speed of 217mph (350km/h), the train aims at connecting Wuhan, located in central China and Guangzhou in the south. It will cover a distance of 663 miles (1,068 km) and will be able to reduce the travel time between the two destination points by more than 3 hours (from 6 to 2h 45min).

While traveling from one point to another, the high-speed train will pass 20 cities and will link the most developed regions in the country will the less industrialized ones, reports The Times of India. The train is the result of collaboration between Siemens, Bombardier and Alstom.

It would be interesting to note that during trial runs the high-speed train was able to reach an impressive speed of 245mph (394km/h).

Not so long ago China came up with a huge rail development program, which involves the expansion of the high-speed rail service to over 42 lines by 2012. The program is expected to considerably improve the country's economy and help industrialize less developed regions.


Monday, 28 Dec, 2009

Offbeat

Origami Specialist Builds Paper Plane that Breaks World Flight Record

Takuo Toda, a Japanese engineer, was able to launch a paper plane that set the new world flight record, staying in the air for 26.1 seconds. Now he looks forward to break the 30-seconds barrier.

It is worth mentioning that earlier, the engineer, who also happens to be the president of the Japan origami aeroplane association, managed to launch a plane that stayed in the air for 27.9 seconds; only that time that plane was made using not just paper but cellophane tape as well.

The new paper plane was launched in a Japan Airlines hangar, located near Haneda airport in Tokyo. Toda made the 10cm plane by hand using just one sheet of paper which he did not cut and did not use scissors and glue, reports The Guardian. According to the engineer that key to a successful flight of a paper plane is avoiding a flat trajectory, plus you have to launch the aircraft as high as possible so it would have enough time to perform a long flight down to earth. "The throwing technique is very delicate," he says.

In 2008 Toda, together with his friend Shinji Suzuki, who works as an aeronautical engineer and professor at Tokyo University, decided to have 100 paper planes launched onboard the International Space Station, orbiting 250 miles above our planet. Their planes were created from heat-resistant paper covered with silicon. During trial runs, these planes managed to resist temperatures as high as 250C and wind speeds that reached mach 7. Unfortunately, the attempt was put off. But Toda intends to accomplish his plan and hopes to get help from China or Russia.


Friday, 27 Nov, 2009

Technology

Latest Invention: Solar Cells Thinner Than Human Hair Developed by Sanyo

If you like this invention then vote for it here.

The new invention of Sanyo, the company that not so long ago announced about its goal to become one of the largest solar manufacturers in the land of the rising sun by 2010, is a solar cell, which, according to the company, is thinner than a human hair.

The thickness of Sanyo's new invention is just 58 micrometers. The new solar cell was developed to reach a conversion efficiency of 22.8 percent.

The solar cells are made of two types of silicon, their flexibility level is similar to that of a paper and its cost will be 25 percent lower than the solar cells used today.

Although the new solar cells are likely to hit the market in a decade or so, their low cost and flexibility, could help modernize the solar industry.


Friday, 27 Nov, 2009

Technology

Latest Invention: Muscle Suit at Tokyo Exhibition Easily Lifts Heavy Cargo

If you like this invention then vote for it here.

A wide range of robots can now be observed in Tokyo, where the International Robot Exhibition 2009 has recently opened with 192 companies along with 64 organizations from the land of the rising sun and overseas presenting their new inventions.

The exhibition takes place at the Tokyo's Ariake district and one of the most impressive machines presented there is called the "Muscle Suit," which was created by engineers from the Tokyo University of Science's Kobayashi laboratory.

The robot caught the attention of the audience after it managed to easily lift a 50-kilogram bag of rice. The new invention makes use of air pressure to contract and relax the rubber muscles. It is worth mentioning that due to the economic recession, Japanese companies decided to create robots that would be useful rather than aesthetically attracting.

The new invention of researchers from the Kobayashi laboratory could help people with physical disabilities and the elderly. In addition, the machine could be used to ease the work of factory employees.

The exhibition also presented other robots that can carry out dangerous and heavy work. One of these machines was presented by Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. The company's new invention can be used to introduce toxic agricultural chemicals into the soil, which means that farmers' risk of getting sick is significantly decreased, informs The Mainichi Daily News. The MOTOMAN robot revealed by the Yaskawa Electric Corp. can quickly lay bricks with its two arms.

The robot exhibition will be opened until Sunday, November 29th.


Friday, 27 Nov, 2009

Technology

Arctic Drifter to Help Researchers Explore the Arctic Circle

This is an apparatus developed to travel across the landscape of the Arctic Circle collecting information. The Arctic Drifter represents a unit in which scientists can live and work, gathering data for a better understanding of the surrounding environment.

Due to its size and flexibility, the mobile media-centric unit is able to easily travel through ice, water and even crevasses. In addition, it can travel in extreme weather conditions. The Drifter is 15 meters in diameter, covered with Hypalon air-bags. It is worth emntioing that the same material is used for heavy-duty inflatable boats, informs studio les betes.

With the help of the FlyEye system, which is a network of multi-band sensors, the unit can gather ultra-high-resolution spherical projections by combining smaller pictures in real time. Besides, the pictures from the sensors network can be instantly projected on the surface inside the unit.


Friday, 27 Nov, 2009

Technology

Camera Designed for Visually Impaired

If you like this invention then vote for it here.

Designer Nadeem Haidary presented its new concept - a camera developed for blind people. The camera allows visually impaired people to take pictures accompanied by sound clips that are registered simultaneously. Thus blind people will be able to share their happy moments with the loved ones

The pictures could be vectorized and laser cut, which would allow creating 3D images that blind people could "see" through touch.

Researchers at the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, carried out a number of tests and interviews to see the camera's possibilities. It is worth mentioning that the camera is made of durable materials.

Engineers made the camera easy to use for the blind people. To turn the camera on the user has to simply turn the main ring and to zoom in one has to pull the lens out. By pressing the button once, the user takes a picture and if the button is held than the audio clip is recorded. More images and information available here.



Friday, 20 Nov, 2009

Offbeat

Motorcycle and Car in One Amazing Mix Called the Snaefell

Working as a technician as a hospital in Saint-Etienne, France, Francois Knorreck is passionate about motorcycling.

During his free time he enjoys building, designing and tuning motorbikes. His latest creation is this impressive mix of motorcycle and car.

To make it, Knorreck needed 10,000 hours of hard work and 15,000 Euros.

He called the creation the Snaefell and it is now ready for a ride.

The motorcycle used in this amazing fusion is a 1976 Laverda and the sidecar was created using different parts from Renault, Citroen, BMW, Volkswagen and Audi.



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