Place to enhance your knowledge and learn any of future gadgets and new technology nowadays.



:astig:The Movito represents an environmentally safe electric scooter. It is worth mentioning that lately the Movito received the highest appreciation in Create the Future Design Contest, launched by NASA. The scooter's original design is credited to Tai Chiem. The Movito runs on a carbon-cutting in-wheel electric motor, which can be found inside a modular base that can be removed in order to form a two seat electric car. The scooter is made from two modular parts, including an upper chassis and a base that generates the driving force with the help of an electric motor and rechargeable batteries. The Movito's chassis is rather slim, well sculpted, and very lightweight, which was achieved thanks to an in-wheel motor. Due to the fact that the Movito's propulsion system is developed as a self-contained unit, two of the scooter's bases can be removed and aligned in parallel in order to make a two-seat electric car, informs the official website of Create the Future Design Contest. The Movito is a scooter designed for dense urban landscape. It features a GPS system with a touch-screen interface and storage for a helmet. It has a futuristic design and two-toned colors that could be rather appealing to youth. ( www.infoniac.com )

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:ayokona:

The Open Cloud Manifesto, which is backed by IBM, calls for the computer industry to keep cloud services as open and interoperable as possible to make them easier for consumers to use and switch between. “In order for customers to realise the most benefit, it is important to pull the community together in order to keep the cloud open,” Karla Norsworthy, IBM’s vice president of software standards, told the BBC. But it has emerged that several major technology companies, including Microsoft and Amazon, have decided not to sign up to the manifesto, while Google has backed out at the eleventh hour, having previously agreed to the project. And the Cloud Computing Interoperability Forum, which campaigns for open standards in cloud computing, also withdrew its support. Microsoft said it had been given just two days to sign up to a “secret” manifesto, and had no input into the project. “We had concerns about process and governance that led us to question IBM’s intentions,” said Steve Martin, developer platform project manager at Microsoft. However, IBM played down talk of a rift, saying that many other key technology companies, including Cisco, Sun, AT&T and AMD, had signed up to the manifesto. “The aim [of the manifesto] was to serve as a rallying cry to the industry to get focused around the importance of the cloud environment being open,” said Ms Norsworthy. “We are pleased about the number of vendors who have signed up. As regards Microsoft, we are still hopeful about working together on giving customers the flexibility they have come to expect from technology that is open.” But Steve Martin hinted that the manifesto might be an attempt by some companies to claw back the cloud computing lead enjoyed by their competitors. “It appears to us that one company, or just a few companies, would prefer to control the evolution of cloud computing, as opposed to reaching a consensus across key stakeholders (including cloud users) through an ‘open’ process,” he wrote on his company blog. “An open manifesto emerging from a closed process is, at best, mildly ironic.” Cloud computing is an emerging technology in which software and services are stored 'in the cloud' – on servers linked to the internet, that can be accessed anywhere, from any computer – rather than stored or installed on individual.

( www.telegraph.co.uk )


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:astig:At the South by SouthWest Festival visitors were told that in just two or three years they will witness the appearance of a second generation Surface - a computing gadget from the software giant Microsoft. Currently, according to the developer Joe Olsen, the device is in the development stage. It is worth mentioning that Mr. Olsen works for a company named Phenomblue that writes applications for the Surface. Surface represents a multi-touch computer that resembles a coffee table. The device features a flat screen that is able to read multi-touch gestures. Surface may also read content found on printed material that is placed onto the screen. This became possible with the help of five cameras installed inside the device. When developing Surface, engineers took into consideration enterprise, tourism and public-facing solutions. The second generation of the multi - touch screen is called Second Light. The device is going to be developed on the first model and feature a second projector within the table computer. This projector will be able to project pictures onto a layer above the face of the screen. In fact, Surface 2 will be able to superimpose secondary pictures above the images on the screen. For example it might overlay satellite picture over a street map, reports News BBC. In addition, the device will include infrared sensors. With their help the device will be able to read gestures and motions without having to touch the screen. Erik Klimczak, who holds the position of creative director of Clarity Consulting, a company that also produces applications for the Surface, mentioned that he hopes the next generation device will include HD cameras.
( www.infoniac.com )

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:ahaha:

The application, which will be unveiled at the CITA wireless convention in Las Vegas tomorrow, will be free to download, and will allow iPhone and iPod touch owners to make free calls from one Skype account to the other. In future, the service is also expected to support video calling. Skype, which has 450 million registered users worldwide, said that the number one request from its customers was being able to use the service on their iPhones. “There’s a pent-up demand,” said Scott Durchslag, Skype’s chief executive. “I’m firmly convinced that if Skype could find a way to bridge all those cellphone cameras and laptop cameras it might kick-start a video telephony opportunity.” Several other companies, including Truphone, have already offered released software that turns the iPhone and iPod touch in to an internet telephone, but this will the first to offer Skype functionality under the Skype brand. Skype is already available on a wide range of other handsets, including the T-Mobile G1, which runs Google’s Android operating system, and more than 100 other Java-enabled phones.

( www.telegraph.co.uk )


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:okay:A black-haired cybernetic fashion model is going to be presented at a fashion show that will take place in Japan. The latest technological invention is dubbed HRP-4C. It features 30 motors that help the cyber model to walk and move her arms and 8 motors on the face that help HRP-4C express anger, surprise, as well as other emotions. Recently the developers carried out a demonstration of their latest invention in technology . During the demonstration the robot model tottered out, blinked, and said "Hello, everyone" using a tiny feminine voice. It is worth mentioning that while the robot was saying these words, its mouth moved. Surely this prototype is not yet ready to hit the podium in Milan. During the demonstration her eyes always looked surprised and she continuously opened her mouth and eyes as though she was astonished when one of the engineers had asked HRP-4C to smile or show an angry look. The walk of the Japanese engineers' latest invention was also not really ready for a fashion show. This was partly due to the fact that she must maintain her knees always bent. Though HRP-4C features sensors in her feet, there's no sensitive balance of a real person. ( www.infoniac.com )

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:sobrakana:

It appears that cross-license breaches are all the rage lately, with Intel playing über trendsetter, while AMD and Nvidia race to keep pace by filing a volley of their own counter-suits. Nvidia, in a move which AMD would probably call 'soooo-last-week', is the latest example, announcing it has now strutted its stuff down to the Court of Chancery, in Delaware to file masses of paperwork against Intel for breach of contract. The filing comes just weeks after Intel filed its suit against Nvidia, claiming it was tired of the Green Goblin's claims that a four year chipset cross license between the two extended to CPUs with integrated memory controllers and processors using the new Quick Path Interface. "Shut up, it so does not", Intel bitched in its filing, eliciting this most recent "pffft... oh yes it does, girl-friend!" from Nvidia. Nvidia's CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang, said, "Nvidia did not initiate this legal dispute," but added the firm had to defend itself and the rights it had negotiated for, "when we provided Intel access to our valuable patents." Jensen reckoned Intel's actions were meant to block his firm from using license rights Intel had originally agreed to. Not content with just refuting Intel's statement that Nvidia doesn't have a bus license for processors using an integrated memory controller, the firm is also counterclaiming that Intel "manufactured this licensing dispute as part of a calculated strategy to eliminate Nvidia as a competitive threat."

Nvidia, dabbing its eyes so as not to smudge its mascara, continued that Intel is trying to stop it from making chipsets for Nehalem-based processors without an integrated memory controller, too. NV goes on to say it has heard gossip that Intel is also "planning other means to prevent Nvidia from enjoying its license to make chipsets for [Arrandale and Clarkdale] CPU products", including integration of the GPU onto the same substrate as the CPU, just to "make it difficult, if not impossible, for Nvidia to connect its MCP chipset to the CPU." Intel, claims NV , is so jealous of its success that it's doing its utmost to renege on the cross-license and disadvantage Nvidia in the marketplace, using such dirty tricks as "improperly encrypting its buses, or degrading the performance of the buses." "Whether it be by public repudiation of the license, or bad faith gaming of the technology, Intel is plainly preventing Nvidia from enjoying licensing rights that it bargained for while, at the same time, making full use of its cross license to Nvidia's patent portfolio", Jensen whined. But if Intel thinks Nvidia doesn't have any tricks of its own up its sleeve, the chipmaker's got another thing coming, apparently. Nvidia may resort to blocking Intel chipsets from supporting SLI and revoke its peer-to-peer writing technology from its side of the deal. ( www.atomicmpc.com.au )


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:okay:The latest invention in animation technique allows developing lifelike eyes in just minutes. In order to make a more realistic copy of the eye, a scientist from the University of Rennes 1 in France made two equal digital photos of an eye. From one of the images Guillaume Francois applied a software program to be able to get rid of the effect of cornea, which is the transparent layer found on top of the iris, on the light that enters the eye. Afterwards the software used the photograph of the eye without the cornea in order to construct a comprehensive 3D model of the iris. To be able to do this, the software assumed that the iris' lighter parts correspond to tissue's thicker regions, due to the fact that more light is dispersed by thick tissue. Then the effect of the cornea was reintroduced with the help of the information provided by the untouched photo. At the final stage the software added the sparkle caused by light that catches the corner of the eye, informs New Scientist. With the help of their latest invention, scientists managed to create a virtual eye that has 95 percent of its iris pigments matching those in the image of the real eye. The entire process requires only a few minutes, thus animators are free to make specific changes to their design in no time. According to Chunk Hansen, who works as a computer scientist at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, this latest animation technique can be used to develop artificial eyes that more accurately copy a person's healthy eye. ( www.infoniac.com )

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:okay:Formula 1 specialist supplier of performance engineering solutions, BERU, is developing a pedal-powered speedster called The Factor001, which claims to be world's most advanced bicycle. The bicycle includes an ultra-light carbon chassis, high-tech ceramic brakes, as well as a hard-wired system able to gather such information as heart and respiration rates. The Factor001 features a hydraulic braking system, and its frame can be individually measured. In addition, the bicycle has a number of high-tech systems, such as GPS, radio transmitter, and a computer that offers biometric and performance information after each ride. One more thing to mention - Factor001 weights just 7kg. The bicycle is not that cheap. It is expected to hit the market in March at a price of GBP20,000 ($27,600). The first to see the world's most advanced bike will be the visitors of London's Science Museum. Factor001's debut is part of "Fast Forward, 20 ways F1 is changing our world". ( www.infoniac.com )

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:ayokona:Patronising BBC tech news show Click has bragged to the world plus dog, that it created a botnet of more than 20,000 PCs using software it downloaded from the World Wide Wibble. Click, which famously described the chip as the "brains of the computer" and a modem "like a taxi" set up the botnet as part of an investigation into global cyber crime. We guess its rationale was that if idiots like telly people can set up a botnet, imagine what someone with brains could do. Almost 22,000 computers made up Click's network of hijacked machines, which has now been disabled and its victims notified to make their systems more secure from telly presenters. Spencer Kelly managed to buy his own low-value botnet by visiting chatrooms on the internet. He said that if this had been done with criminal intent it would be breaking the law. We are not sure that is actually true as you are receiving stolen data. You are also breaking and entering a person's network and nicking their bandwidth without permission which does make you technically a criminal. Click ordered its PCs to carry out denial of service attacks on two test e-mail addresses set up by the programme. It apparently took a few hours for the inboxes to start to filling up with thousands of junk messages. By prior agreement, Click launched a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on a backup site owned by security outfit Prevx. Apparently it took only 60 machines to overload the site's bandwidth. The result is loads of dire warnings about the perils of bot nets and shedloads of long 'easy to follow' explanations from the 'zany' BBC tech presenter. ( www.theinquirer.net )

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:please:In an attempt to show what the future education will look like, Japanese engineers tested for the first time their robot-teacher with a beautiful name Saya. Engineers worked on the Saya project for 15 years and after being tested as a receptionist, they decided to see her playing the role of a teacher. Saya can speak several languages and, according to its creators, has the ability to set tasks for children in the classroom, move and express anger when children misbehave. The current project is just one of the first steps of the Japanese engineers to fill each home in the country with a robot by 2015. It is worth mentioning that some robots are already used as traffic wardens and there's one robot that serves as a companion of patients with Alzheimer's. Initially Saya was created for companies who look forward to cut costs by replacing some office workers like the secretaries and receptionists with the robot that could express different human emotions. Tokyo University already uses the android as a receptionist. Saya wears a shape-hugging yellow shirt and her job is to meet visitors. The man who invented Saya is Professor Hirohi Kobayashi of Tokyo University. He was reported as saying that the most difficult is to develop software that could mimic the human mind. However, he hopes that in a few years the industry will create androids with physical and mental skills similar to a two-year-old kid. ( www.infoniac.com )

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:astig:

Celebrations are taking place in Switzerland today to mark the 20th anniversary of the birth of the world wide web. In March 1989, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, then a scientist at CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, published a paper, entitled Information Management: A Proposal, which aimed to provide a framework for academic institutions to organise and share electronic documents across the internet, and were crucial in the creation of the world wide web. “Tim pulled together ideas of a markup language, getting files on the internet and hypertext,” said Wendy Hall, a professor in the computer science department at the University of Southampton. “The things that made it work were open standards and protocols so anyone could set up their own web server and HTML documents, the fact that it was completely distributed and scalable, and that it worked over the network.” Sir Tim will mark the occasion with a speech to scientists and technologists in Geneva, exploring the history of the web, and future applications of internet technology. Earlier this week, Sir Tim warned a parliamentary round-table that allowing advertisers to target internet users by tracking their browsing habits was akin to putting a “spy camera” in people’s homes. ( www.telegraph.co.uk )


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:astig:Deaf people have now the possibility to feel music and may even cheer up concerts for people who don't have hearing problems. Engineers at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada, came up with their latest invention - a chair that can translate music into tangible sensations. The latest invention of Canadian engineers converts the sound of different musical instruments or notes into motion at different intensities, reports NewScientist. The chair features vibrating coils that are installed throughout the device in order to transfer sensations to the skin. Depending on the type of music, the chair can also blast air and produce rocking motions. Recently the invention was presented in Toronto, where engineers showed how the device works. ( www.infoniac.com )

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:ahaha:

Ben Hourahaine, a future trends analyst, claims that, by 2259, cash will be obsolete because technology, known as RFID, will means that as soon as a customer walks in to a pub, a reader above the door will scan their microchip, automatically note their order and deduct a payment. High-tech beer pumps will be able to brew the perfect pint on the spot, tailored for each individual drinkers' tastes, while magnetic levitation trays will deliver drinks straight to wherever customers are sitting. Buying another round will be as simple as placing an order on the touch-sensitive tables dotted around the pub, while friends will be able to enjoy a drink with pals in different towns or other countries, thanks to hologram technology that will make it feel as though the other person is in the room. Even the glass customers drink from will boast cutting-edge technology, he suggests, keeping the drink at the perfect temperature, as well as a running tally of the number of units consumed. Mr Hourahine said: "The average British pub is steeped in history, and despite significant developments in bar technology over the past 250 years, the majority of pubs have managed to retain their original character and popularity amongst local communities. "Exciting technological innovations will only enhance the customer's experience, actively engaging them and inspiring them." According to the most recent figures from the British Beer and Pub Association, around 39 pubs are closing each week in the UK as a result of the economic downturn and increased competition from supermarkets.

( www.telegraph.co.uk )


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:astig:With the help of digital marks that are built into movies, it will be possible to spot the seat from which a video pirate made an illegal copy of a film. Through audio watermarks it is possible to say the approximate distance of the pirate from the cinema's speakers and even spot the actual seat of a pirate. Together with his team, Noboru Babaguchi of Osaka University in Japan says that if the cinema, where the pirate showed up, is known, then it is possible to identify where the person was sitting. He says that the audio watermark is introduced into the soundtrack of a movie by a little variation of the waveform of music and speech at standard intervals. Noboru Babaguchi and his colleague developed a watermark that has its specific signal in each channel of the soundtrack. The soundtrack is played by different loudspeakers in the cinema. If the researchers study the audio recorded on the pirated tape, they can identify the distance between the microphone of the camera and the loudspeakers, informs NewScientist.

"This is a brand new application of the digital watermarking technique," researchers write in a paper that will be published in IEEE Transactions on Multimedia.

( www.infoniac.com )


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:ayokona:

NVIDIA has been propping up volume by selling below cost for a bit now, and the latest price drop of the GTX260 is sure to bring smiles to the faces of users. The problem is that add-in-board (AIB) partners can't make money on them. Losing money on each card is not a good business strategy, and making up for it in volume does not make things better. Mercedes could sell S-Class cars for $US10, and volume would skyrocket, but that wouldn't be a very sound business strategy. For some reason, Nvidia not only thinks this is a sound strategy, it is implementing it. The problem is the same one we told you about almost a year ago, the GT200 die is too damn big. Even with a shrink, it is still too damn big, almost twice the size of its closest rival, the ATI R770/4870. Even with poor yields and an expensive board, the card loses to its much more economical rival from ATI. This means Nvidia has to fight a price war against an an opponent with lower costs. That brings us back to the latest news, the 260 has dropped to $US169, which puts it between the price of a 512M and 1G 4870. The problem is that the GTX260 costs Nvidia partners a little less than that to make, they are going to bleed cash over this one. Hang on for a close look into the costs of building a modern GPU. We will say up front that the numbers given here are the best case scenario. If we are given a range of prices, we will give Nvidia the benefit of the doubt and pick the cheapest. In reality, things are worse than we are stating.

Starting out with the selling price, retailers won't touch a product without a 15 per cent margin... it isn't worth their time. That means that $US169 retail price boards have to sell for $US144 to trade to meet that number. Lets assume packaging, shipping and add-ins like cables, dongles and software only cost $US9, probably quite low all-told. That means the NV partners need to get the 260 out the door for $US135 or they are losing money. The first problem is that Nvidia sells the ASIC bundle, basically a 260 kit with chips and RAM for between $US110 and $US120. Lets be kind and say it is $US110, and there are no shipping or handling costs. FWIW, the GT206 costs around $US80-100 to manufacture based on TSMC volume wafer costs and yields someone told us about. Nvidia isn't making much on this, if anything, 14 16 x 32 high bin GDDR3 chips aren't that cheap, cost for volume purchasers is between $US1.50 and $US2.00 per unit. I would bet NV is losing money here on the kit, 14 x $US1.50 = $US21. $US21 + 80 = $US101, best case, they have $US9 wiggle room, more likely it is a money loser, not counting MDF funding or rebates.

So that leaves the OEMs with $135 - 110 = $US25 to make the boards. Board components are well over $US15, this includes all the passive components, resistors, caps and bits with magic smoke in them. Think everything other than that included in the kit. That puts us at $US25 - 15 = $US10 left in the pot. A 10 layer PCB is north of $US10, this is easy enough to get prices on. $US10 - 10 = $0. Ruh-roh Shaggy, we have a problem. Heatsink/fans are $10 or so as well, and that brings us to $0 - 10 = $-10. Whoopsy, we have a bigger problem. Add in about $US5 labour that all the AIB vendors tell me it takes to make a board, and we are at $-15.
Looking at the best case numbers, Nvidia board partners are eating $US15 per board, but it's likely more than that. They can either jack up the price and hope people pay... or lose money.

Nvidia doesn't like partners who buck their pricing proclamations, and people will buy from the one company which doesn't raise prices. The OEMs are trapped. If someone steps out of line and hits the $US169 price point, they will clean up on sales, and the others will lose. Bad situation, but Nvidia has a price point to hit, and they aren't the ones taking a bath. Actually they are, just not that much, and Nvidia can do no wrong. Just ask them. Ironically, the price cut will spur sales, and everyone will lose money, except the end users. They win. At the end of the quarter, Nvidians will surely blame economic conditions: it can't be that they are putting their own ego and market share above piddling things like profit. Market share is king, and if they ever have a sane reason to back this nutjob theory up, we will bring it to you. Don't stay up waiting.

( www.atomicmpc.com.au )


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:siga:According to a US security company, botnets, which represent networks of hacked computers used to support cybercrime without any awareness from their owners, may become mobile in the near future. It is worth mentioning that a new cell phone virus is able to spread by sending out a number of text messages that ask users to visit a weblink. In its latest report, Fortinet, a network security firm with headquarters in California, states that though users have to choose in order to follow the link, the cell phone worm generates a bridge that connects cell phones with the Internet. Statistics show that one in four computers in the United States is part of a botnet. Botnets can link millions of computers that can be then used to send out spam email or get money from website owners. One of the latest cell phone viruses is entitled Yxes.A or Sexy View. The worm targets cell phones that are running the S60 3rd edition of Symbian OS. One of such phones is Nokia 3250.According to Derek Manky, project manager for cyber security and threat research at Fortinet, in the near future different mobile devices will face much more threats than they do now.

"We are just starting to see the tip of the iceberg with Sexy View, but we predict much more to come with the growth of mobile platforms, applications and broader bandwidth," he said.

Besides being able to interfere with a cell phone's function, Sexy View is able to collect information about the serial number of the phone and the cell phone number of the user, which is the main goal of the worm. Gathered information is sent back to a remote server. However, experts still don't know how hackers use the gathered information. In case the cell phone worm is upgraded to the level where it can gain more access to a phone, it may lead to the creation of botnet-like mobile networks. Thus, hackers will be able to attack websites using zombie cell phones.( www.infoniac.com )


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:bringiton:

A new kind of warfighting technology was inveiled by security company Lockheed Martin at the recent Association of the United States' Army Winter Symposium in Florida. It's not a weapon, or a new kind of vehicle. But it could be a soldier's new best friend. The Human Universal Load Carrier (yes, it's a HULC suit) is a powered exo-skeleton designed to increase a soldier's load carrying capacity while deployed on foot. As a great deal of a soldier's fatigue and even potential for injury comes from the large loads they are forced to carry, the HULC allows even greater weights to be carried, and with less risk. "With our enhancements to the HULC system, soldiers will be able to carry loads up to 200 pounds with minimal effort," said Rich Russell, director of the extremely cool-named Sensors, Data Links and Advanced Programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "Lockheed Martin is developing an entire line of ground Soldier technologies that will improve Warfighters' ability to effectively complete their missions." The HULC suit features battery powered, titanium re-inforced leg struts that allow load to be transferred directly to the ground, while an onboard computer handles the syncing of the exo-skeleton's movement with its user. The HULC (HULC! HULC!) allows a full range of squats, crawls and upper-body lifting, and is hydraulic powered. ( www.atomicmpc.com.au )


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:argh:With the help of their latest invention in science - a 3D Printer, researchers managed to create the exact copy of a man's thumb bones. The device can now be used to help surgeons restore damaged bones by creating their precise copies, which are made from the patient's cells. According to Christian Weinand of the Insel Hospital in Berne, Switzerland, who leads the team of scientists that replicated his thumb bone, theoretically it is possible to copy any bone. The scientist "grew" his substitute bones on the backs of laboratory mice. However, it is not always necessary to use a surrogate mouse. This is the case when a person, who lost a thumb, is able to replace it with his or her own toe. Currently surgeons are able to replace a thumb with the patient's toe or by using bone fragments. The new method implies a number of steps. Initially it is important to have a 3D image of the bone that is going to be copied. In case the bone has been damaged, one can create a mirror image of the bone's intact twin. Afterwards the picture of the bone is inserted into a 3D inject printer that puts thin layers of a material (selected beforehand) on top of one another till the 3D object shows up. The researcher filled their latest invention with tricalcium phosphate along with a type of polylactic acid. These are natural materials that persist in human body, informs NewScientist. After successfully replicating a bone, the copy itself features small pores on its "scaffolds". This is where bone cells can eventually settle, grow and then completely displace the biodegradable scaffold. Scientists removed CD117 cells from bone marrow that remained after hip-replacement surgical operations. These cells develop into primordial bone cells, also known as osteoblasts. The latter were syringed on top of the bone scaffolds in a gel that was created to nourish the CD117 cells as well as support them. In the final step, scientists sew scaffolds under the skin on the backs of laboratory mice. After 15 weeks the scaffold had turned into human bone.
( www.infoniac.com )

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:okay:Stavanger, Norway-based Pixavi has used embedded Linux to build what it claims is the first wireless videoconferencing camera capable of 720p HD conferencing. The ruggedized, battery-powered Xcaster offers CD-quality audio, 5Mpix stills, collaboration tools, Bluetooth, and 802.11n WiFi. The Xcaster is primarily aimed at industrial environments that require mobile videoconferencing and rugged operation, says the company. The aluminum-shielded product is IP68-rated for waterproofing, and offers impact resistence to up to two-meter drops onto concrete, claims Pixavi. Specific applications include manufacturing, oil, gas, and chemical industries, building and construction, telemedicine, surveillance, shipyards, mining, firefighting, law enforcement, the military, and journalism. Specifications listed for the Xcaster include
  • Processor -- undisclosed
  • Flash -- 16GB onboard flash (for up to 48 hours 4CIF video)
  • Display -- 480 x 640 TFT touchscreen; 200-cd brightness; dual 271x480 video-mode canvases; transflective/LED backlighting
  • Networking -- 1 x Ethernet port (RJ-45)
  • WiFi -- 802.11n (ST 5000n with dual-band 2.4- or 5Ghz radios) or 802.11g (ST 5000g); internal and external antennas
  • Bluetooth -- Bluetooth 2.0
  • USB -- 1 x USB 2.0 port
  • A/V I/O -- HD/SD video I/O
  • Video -- H.263 and H.264 codecs for 720P (1280x720) HD, 4CIF, CIF, all at 25fps
  • Video-conferencing support -- SIP, H.323, H.239 (collaboration)
  • Camera:
    • 5.1-Mpixel autofocus camera
    • 4 x optical plus 12X lossless digital zoom
    • Image stabilization
    • CMOS 1/2.5-inch
    • Signal noise ratio -- 50db
    • Dynamic range -- 70db
    • Rolling shutter
  • Audio:
    • 16-bit stereo recording
    • Digital omni-directional microphone
    • Hands-free support
    • Bluetooth headset support
    • Stereo speakers
    • AAC LC/LD CD quality
    • Echo cancellation
    • Headset connection
    • Line in/out
  • Audio formats -- G.711, G.722, G722.1, G.728, AAC-LC/LD
  • Networking features:
    • Diffserv QoS
    • UPnP
    • Firewall traversal technology
    • STUN server support
    • ISMA 2.0 streaming
  • Other features -- laser pointer; power and status LEDs; tripod mount; stylus; IR port
  • Ruggedization -- IP65 splash proof; 4 joule impact proof; shock proof
  • Power -- DC input/charging; Power over Ethernet (PoE) support
  • Battery life -- 2.5 hours (ST 5000n) or 5 hours (ST 5000g) operating life; 200 hours standby
  • Dimensions -- 5.1 x 2.3 x 1.2 inches (130 x 110 x 30mm)
  • Weight -- 1.1 lbs (500 gr) for ST 5000g; 1.8 lbs (800 gr) for ST 5000n
  • Operating temperature -- 14 to 95 deg. F (-10 to 35 deg. C); extended temp version to ship later
  • Operating system -- Linux
( www.linuxdevices.com )

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:ayokona:The kids of today don't know the value of decent music because the sound quality of MP3 players like the Ipod is so bad, an accoustic boffin has claimed. Jonathan Berger, Professor of Music at California's Stanford University has done tests on his students and worked out that today's generation prefers the tinnier and flatter sound of digital music, while previous generations preferred the meatier sounds of vinyl. Kids of today have no concept of hi-fi because they have been listening to Ipods for so long they think it is 'right'. When MP3 technology was first released, punters thought it was pants, but over time, thanks to Apple telling people it is marvellous, today's teen thinks that it is good. Professor Berger says that the digitising process leaves music with a "sizzle" or a metallic sound. If kids don't hear it they think there is something wrong. What has become worse is that record producers are starting to make master recordings with the MP3 player in mind. This means that they are just a hodge podge of sound which is often turned up to attract some attention from the kid listening to it. ( www.theinquirer.net )

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:please:Always Innovating announced an open-source Linux netbook that boasts a detachable touchscreen tablet and 10-15 hour battery life. Running OpenEmbedded/Angstrom Linux and Mozilla's Fennec browser, the Touch Book weighs less than two pounds, offers WiFi 80211.b/g/n, and uses the Texas Instruments OMAP3-based BeagleBoard design. The Touch Book offers a "3D touchscreen interface" that incorporates Mozilla's touchscreen oriented Fennec browser, says the company. Fennec, which reached "second alpha" stage in late December, is designed for mobile and touchscreen devices on x86 and ARM processors running both Linux and Windows Mobile.

Specifications listed for the Touch Book include:

  • Processor -- TI OMAP3530 600MHz
  • Internal memory -- N/A
  • Flash -- 8GB micro SD card
  • Display -- 8.9-inch touchscreen with 1024 x 600 resolution; supports 720p HD video
  • WiFi -- 802.11b/g/n
  • Bluetooth -- Bluetooth radio
  • USB -- 6 x USB 2.0 (3 x internal, 2 x external, and 1 x mini-USB)
  • Audio -- speakers; microphone; headphone
  • Other features -- QWERTY keyboard; 3-dimensional accelerometer
  • Dimensions -- 9.4 x 7 x 1.4 inches (with keyboard)
  • Weight -- 2 lbs (with keyboard)
  • Operating system -- Touch Book OS Linux (OpenEmbedded and Angstrom)
( www.linuxdevices.com )

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:bringiton:The capital of Japan housed a number of companies that presented their latest inventions in technology, but not just any technology. The exposition, entitled PV & FC Expo 2009, held at Tokyo Bog Sight, host the largest show of photovoltaic (solar cells) and fuel cell technology, bringing together companies and investors. Among the most impressive inventions on the exposition there was the dancing hydrogen-powered robot along with her robot dog companion. Despite the fact that there are still debates regarding the possibility of hydrogen economy, the number of visitors, as well as the commercial interest at the exposition shows that hydrogen economy will definitely become an element of a future sustainable economy. Among other latest inventions at the FC Expo 2009, there was Yamaha's FC-dii hydrogen fuel cell motorbike. It can be powered either by fuel cell, which uses methanol, or by external li-ion battery. Several hydrogen powered gadgets were presented at the exposition by Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies. One of them was a hydrogen powered assisted-drive bicycle. Currently its price is $4,600. The bicycle features hydrogen packs that generate power when needed. These packs can be recharged. In addition, there were a number of hydrogen powered toys along with fuel cell/energy generation learning kits, such as the H-racer 2.0, which is rather pricey, $120, but it features a solar cell and a "hydrogen station." The popular Japanese company Kawasaki was not left unnoticed. It presented its fuel cell light rail concept. Many consider that hydrogen represents one of the few practical options to substitute natural gas and oil for means of transport. It can be produced using solar, wind or wave power, as well as from biogas. ( www.infoniac.com )

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:astig:

TipJar is a collection of money-saving tips submitted and ranked by the web community. Advice is divided in to several categories, including at home, at work, travel, shopping and family. So far, more than 2,060 people have contributed more than 1,520 tips to the TipJar since the site launched on Thursday. Users have cast more than 21,750 votes about the usefulness of tips. The voting system means that the most useful tips will get greater prominence on the site. Among some of the tips shared so far are: “Buy a water filter and take your own water to the gym/sports etc. Bottled water is expensive, unnecessary and bad for the environment,” posted by Dough Roller; “Master the thirty day rule. Whenever you’re considering making an unnecessary purchase, wait thirty days and then ask yourself if you still want that item,” shared by The Simple Dollar; and “Drink a lot of water all day long, your body will thank you,” posted by CG in El Paso, Texas. TipJar is an example of generating ideas through “crowdsourcing”, said Google. ( www.telegraph.co.uk )


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:ahaha:It is quite possible that soon Pentagon will possess a new-generation anti-missile weapon and namely a high-powered laser that would be fired from the nose of a large aircraft and wipe out missiles shortly after their launch. In December 2008 engineers ended a round of testing of their latest invention. A prototype of the weapon mounted in the jet plane on the ground shot several infrared laser beams at a target in one second bursts. Sixteen months ago engineers tested the system in the air. They found that the weapon was successful in identifying a simulating missile and was ready to fire a powerful laser beam when necessary. Several major defense companies are involved in the project, including Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grunman. They worked in cooperation with US forces engineers, reports NewScientist. It is worth mentioning that engineers plan to test the airborne shooting of their latest invention in August 2009. There is yet no information regarding the funding of the project since the new Obama administration has to decide whether it is necessary to carry on developing the laser after 2009. The video of the weapon is available here. ( www.infoniac.com )

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:siga:

In many industries, grey hair and wrinkles confer a certain amount of wisdom, knowledge in gravitas. In the world of computing, it’s the absolute opposite; the huge success enjoyed by web entrepreneurs like 24-year-old Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg shows that youthful ambition is the order of the day. And so it is with the founders of Twitterfall, Tom Brearley and David Somers, two 19-year-old computer science students at the University of York who have made one of the best Twitter tools on the market. Twitter, the microblogging service beloved by geeks, celebrities and politicians, is a fantastic communication platform, in which users send messages of 140 characters or less ruminating on the things that interest them. It provides a fascinating real-time insight into the hot topics of the day, and has played a key role in many recent breaking news stories, such as the Mumbai terrorist attacks and Hudson plane crash, where eyewitnesses provided a rolling account of events through Twitter.

The problem is, keeping a handle on these “trending topics” through Twitter itself is nigh-on impossible, which is why enterprising software developers like Tom and David have been quick to spot a gap in the market. Twitterfall is barely two months old, but it already has thousands of users who swear by it. This clever website allows Twitter nuts to track the major “trending topics”, presenting tweets in a waterfall-like cascade that tumbles down the page. Better still, it allows users to filter tweets by keyword or topic, enabling them to track the things that matter to them. There’s even a geolocation tool built in to the site, so that you can narrow tweets on a particular topic to within a set radius of your home or office.

Twitterfall, then, is rather like a Google for the Twitterverse. David Somers came up for the idea of Twitterfall in January, just two hours before Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, took to the stage in San Francisco to deliver Apple’s Macworld keynote in place of the unwell Steve Jobs. David had noticed how many Twitter users were discussing Macworld, and the strain it was placing on Twitter – a site well-known for its downtime – as Apple fans constantly refreshed Twitter’s own search engine to see what new messages had been sent about Macworld. “I thought, what if I do these searches instead, and then push the results out to people who are looking for information about Macworld rather than making each individual person search for new tweets?,” recalls David. “I’d already seen examples of this kind of technology being used to push content to people’s web browsers rather than them having to visit a site all the time. So even though there was only two hours before the Apple keynote, I decided to give it a go. I thought people might like it.”

One frantic instant message later to Tom pleading with him to rustle up a design, and the duo had built a rudimentary webpage that showed a cascading wall of tweets that contained the word ‘Macworld’. “It was a really simple site,” says David. “Then all we then did was mention the service on Twitter. I knew people were searching for Macworld, so I put that keyword in my tweet: ‘Are you searching for Macworld? Try this webpage’. It wasn’t even called Twitterfall at the time. “But people liked it. My tweets with the link to the site got re-tweeted, and within hours two or three hundred people were using it.” For Tom and David, hobbyist programmers who have always enjoyed coding and building websites, the success of this proto-Twitterfall was a revelation. “I’ve always wanted to make something and have people use it,” says David. “I’ve got all these little projects on the go, and you usually do it for yourself and no-one is interested. “But to see this response... amazing. It’s something which I think is very unique to Twitter – the platform is such an easy way to get something out. There I was, having made this new thing, and within five minutes, people were starting to use it.” In just a few short weeks, Twitterfall’s cachet has skyrocketed. It’s simple premise and highly customisable interface, as well as the ability to use it as a personal desktop Twitter client, has won lots of new fans – not least here at the Telegraph, where we have Twitterfall projected on to a wall alongside rolling news headlines from around the world – and Kevin Rose, founder of Digg, who mentioned the site on his own Twitter feed, resulting in a surge of traffic to Twitterfall. “We got 9,000 people a day after Kevin Rose mentioned it on Twitter,” says David. “We’d only been getting 300 or 400 a day before that.” Twitterfall’s capacity was severely tested earlier this month, when two major events sent users flocking to the site to track tweets about the Schiphol plane crash and the Gmail outage. “The day of the Schiphol plane crash was our biggest day ever,” recalls Tom. “That was about 40,000 people. So in five weeks we went from an audience of 20 users to 40,000.

Companies, in particular, could be interested in the tools that Twitterfall offers, says Tom. “You can watch people talking about your brand on Twitter,” adds David. “You can monitor it on Twitterfall and reply to a tweet that mentions your company in 15 seconds. You’re making this connection and breaking down barriers of communication.” “That’s the power of Twitter for brands, and the power of Twitterfall,” says Tom. “Twitterfall is great for searching and tracking trends in real time.” There’s lots of neat features on Twitterfall that make it stand out from a raft of competitors. Hover over a TwitPic link, for instance – the popular service used by the Twitterverse to share photos – and Twitterfall will show you a thumbnail image of the picture you’re about to click on. It’s even got an “anti-Rick Roll” feature, says Tom, expanding the shortened TinyURL web links commonly used in tweets so you can see which website you’re going to be redirected to. ( www.telegraph.co.uk )


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