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Dec 17, 2010

Panasonic's G2 Camera Now Compatible With 3D Lens

Thanks to the 1.11 update for Panasonic's $600 DMC-G2, the camera is now compatible with Panny's $250 3D lens. Now you can get started filming the Avatar sequel too.

Unfortunately, You Can't Eat These Radioactive Jars of LED Jam

Considering I've just polished off half a jar of jam, you could say I'm a fan of all things preserved. But inedible LED jams? JellyLamps' bright hues make me sad I can't slather a knife-full on a bit of crust.

When turned upside down, the LED light inside each jar of JellyLamps jam switches on, and glows neon. When flipped over, rightside-up, it looks just like a normal jar of jam—albeit, one that's made from fruit plucked from the bushes of Chernobyl.

Unfortunately they're very pricey for what they are. Each jar runs off two AAA batteries (which casts 50hrs of light, apparently), and costs $45

These Headphones Are the Closest You Will Ever Get to the World of Tron

Disney has teamed up with Monster to create these official Tron: Legacy T1 headphones, which have lights that glow and move and generally please the eyes.

These noise-isolating cans are designed for gaming, and as such, come with a detachable boom mic so that you can make yourself heard while raiding or rushing in whatever Blizzard game.

Available in White/Silver or Black, the lines and general styling of the headphones certainly aren't lacking in flair, but I would have preferred something a bit more minimal to go with all those nice blue lights.

Dec 16, 2010

Watch With Real Dinosaur Bone Fragments

Some watch manufacturers think adding a sapphire crystal face, compass or having a diving depth of 1,000m is enough. Me? I won't consider strapping something to my wrist unless prehistoric animals have been set in the dial.

Louis Moinet's Jurassic Tourbillon watch has fragments of fossilized dino bones set in the dial, and is encased in 18K white gold with 56 diamonds equating to 3.46 carats. A watch sparkling with diamonds—however ugly it may be—would attract a pretty penny alone, but the addition of dinosaur bones? Well, the one thing I'm certain of is that you won't be able to barter a cave drawing for one of them.
 
 

LG Optimus 2X: The First Dual-Core Smartphone

LG pulled the covers off their Android-powered Optimus 2X smartphone, revealing the first handset to pack a Tegra 2 chipset—featuring a 1 GHz dual-core processor—under its hood.

The added processing power apparently allows the Optimus 2X to playback 1080p video with no lag on its 4-inch, 800x480 screen, and can supply visuals to larger displays thanks to HDMI mirroring. And you can even use the HDMI connection to play Android games on a larger screen, still using the phone as a controller. Toss in 8 gigabytes of internal storage, along with front and rear cams (8 megapixels and 1.3 megapixels, respectively), and you have yourself a seemingly solid handset.

The Optimus 2X, slated for a 2011 release in Asia and Europe, will ship with Android 2.2 (Froyo), but of course, a 2.3 (Gingerbread) update will follow. There's been no announcement about a U.S. release yet. Specs below:

Key specifications:
1Ghz Dual-core Processor (NVIDIA Tegra 2)
4-inch WVGA screen
8GB memory (up to 32GB via microSD)
1,500 mAh battery
8 megapixel rear camera and 1.3 megapixel front camera
HDMI mirroring
1080p MPEG-4/H.264 playback and recording



Dec 15, 2010

Over 300,000 Android Phones Are Being Activated Each Day

This is a jump-up from the 200,000 sold each day which Eric Schmidt confirmed in August.Andy Rubin, Android's creator, took to Twitter to make his proud boast—only the second time he's ever tweeted. @Arubin  @morrildl


Follow Me. Call Me. I Love You. Be Stupid.

What do you have to say in ten characters or less? You'd better think of something clever, because Diesel Watches wants you to have a brand-new LED panel watch, into which you can program anything you like. Ideas include: BrushTeeth, Pay Bills.

Diesel's new watches feature a scrolling LED message display, a silicone strap, and come in black, blue, white, purple, grey, and glow-in-the-dark.
 
 

Listen Exclusively to the Mos Eisley Cantina Band On Coloud's R2-D2 Headphones

Need some R2-D2 cans to match your bathing-suit and Droid phone? These headphones could be clamped 'round your head for 50 notes. Boba Fett, Stormtrooper, and Darth Vader and models are also available, but you can't go wrong with Artwo.

You can probably guess that Coloud's headphones are going to put style over substance, especially at that price-point. Nonetheless, for people who don't feel the need to spend hundreds, a bit of off audio quality or tinny bass won't be too much of a problem. Surprisingly, they even have an inline-mic on the headphone cable, for receiving phone calls.

Available now, the headphones are 39.90 Euros, which converts roughly to $53.



Dec 14, 2010

Not Just Another Face In the Facebook

With most Facebook updates there is, inevitably, backlash against the changes that greet users when they sign in for the first time. Not so with artistAlexandre Oudin. He saw an opportunity.

For anyone who wants to copy his style, all you have to do is block the other photos you're tagged in and upload photos to your profile pictures album that are the exact size (yes, down to the pixel) of the display on Facebook and voilà !
 
 

Zuckerberg Will Donate the Majority of His Wealth

Joining up with Bill Gates, George Lucas, Warren Buffett, and 50 other billionaires, Zuckerberg has agreed to donate the majority of his wealth to charity, as part of the Giving Pledge movement Gates launched back in August.

It's the largest philanthropic work ever done, with over 50 billionaires pledging to give away most of their fortunes to various charities. They're not legally bound to do so, but if they renege then I imagine all hell would break loose. Just imagine having Gates' beady glare on you, wherever you go. *shudder*

15 other billionaires signed up recently, alongside Zuckerberg. AOL's co-founder Steve Case, and investor Carl Icahn are just some of the names you might recognize. The charities on the receiving end of the Giving Pledge's handout haven't been named yet, but considering Gates fascination with green issues, I wouldn't be surprised if we saw some funky eco-friendly initiatives start looking or greener.

Military-Designed "Bat Hook" Lets You Charge Your Phone from Overhead Power Lines

It's ridiculous all the half-baked solutions we depend on to resuscitate a dead phone. Especially when there's a potent supply of free power just waiting to be tapped, right above our heads. No, not the sun—overhead power lines.

The Bat Hook is as simple as any plug-in charger, but it's great for on-the-go. It's just a weighted hook with a razor blade in it, strung on the end of a cord: you toss it over the nearest power line. Its blade pierces the live wire, neatly and safely conducting electric current down to you, for convenient charging of gadgets, jumpstarting cars, or powering your roadside business. It even works in the rain!

The explanatory video from the Department of Defense says something about how it's only for trained Special Operations soldiers, and "you should never throw something over power lines," but that is clearly just marketing hype, calculated to give the Bat Hook an air of exclusivity.

Dec 13, 2010

In the Future, Even Our Cookware Will Be Modular

Ever have those moments where excess spatula handles run wild in your kitchen? Yeah, me neither. Still, you shouldn't deny yourself a snap-together cookware system, if only for the purpose of saying you have a snap-together cookware system.



Even Earbuds Can Be Beautiful

The a-JAYS series is designed specifically for iOS devices—check out how the L-shaped plug aligns perfectly with the starkly top flat of an iPhone 4. The cables themselves are completely flat—which means fewer tangles in addition to an appearance unlike your typical headphones. Form following function! And aside from sound, the only thing I could ask of my headphones is that they don't collapse into a tangled piled of hell after a few days of use.

If they're anything like their standard earbuds, they'll probably sound pretty good too—but so do a lot of hideous audio products.




Plantronics Voyager Pro UC Is a Headset That Knows When You're Using It



If you're a headset devotee, you'll know that they don't always stay put on your ear. The Plantronics Voyager Pro UC packs capacitive sensors so it knows when you're wearing it—and when to direct calls to itself.

Think of the Voyager Pro UC, which will get its full announcement at CES in January, as asmart Bluetooth headset. Thanks to capacitive sensors, it knows when you're wearing it—if it happens to be buried in your bag across the room, calls will just go to your handset as usual. If you pop it on your ear mid-call, it'll reroute the audio there immediately. An included USB dongle lets you use it with a PC, and the sensors will automatically switch, say, your Skype status to "In a Call" when you're actually in a call.

And for those looking to get even more intimate with their earpiece, the Voyager Pro's "Whisper Alerts" will quietly intone the subject lines of emails from a set group of Outlook VIPs in your ear without anyone being the wiser. Clever! Pricing and availability will be announced early next year.



Dec 12, 2010

Bamboo Earbuds Are an Exercise in Simple Technology

Gadgets don't always have to be chockablock with high-tech innovations. Sometimes, a clean, simple design is perfect. Just $24.

Sony's Active-Shutter 3D Glasses Shipping Now For $150

Sony may ship two pairs of glasses "free" with the LX900 TV, but for anyone needing to pick up an extra pair or two they're available now on Amazon for $150 each.

Compatible with Sony's HX800, HX909 and LX900 3DTVs, the batteries last for up to 100 hours before needing charging, but don't forget you'll need to purchase an emitter for $48 if you haven't done so already, and a 3D Blu-ray player. The 3DTV is pretty crucial too, but then I don't expect anyone to be buying these glasses for kicks.

One Spork Multitool To Rule Them All

You love sporks. You love multitools. And now? Look on with a delicate blend of respect and astonishment that the two coexist, in blissful harmony that is the CRKT Eat'N Tool.

The CRKT Eat'N Tool is a bottle opener, screwdriver/pry tip, three metric wrench reliefs and a carabiner all in one. Oh, and a spork. Don't forget the spork. You can get one of your own for $7 here.



Dec 11, 2010

The Tannenboing: A Different Kind of Christmas Tree

For those tired of traditional Christmas trees—their prickly needles, their tiresome ornaments, their limited lifespans—there's another way! The Tannenboing, which bills itself as the "modern, sustainable" Christmas tree, is low on upkeep and high on surreal futuristic style.

So what exactly is your new tree? A brushed aluminum spiral that extends to a height of six feet when suspended from the ceiling. It can hold up to 250 ornamental items weighing up to 20 pounds around its curving track, and it will either have the effect of making it look like you have a whole whole lot of presents under your tree or not really very many at all, I haven't quite been able to figure out.

Scientists Say There's a Planet Lined With Diamonds

The extremely hot planet Wasp-12b has such a high carbon-to-oxygen ratio that scientists are saying that the planet's surface might be littered with diamonds. The lead researcher specifies: "You might see land masses and mountains made up of diamonds."

Astronomers are saying that it's the first carbon-rich planet ever observed. Planets in our solar system typically have a 1 to 2 carbon to oxygen ratio, Wasp-12b, on the other hand, has more carbon than oxygen. Because of all that carbon (and that there's no water on the planet), astronomers believe that Wasp-12b could have diamonds in its core (but current technology is limiting them from seeing the actual core).

Before you start building your DIY space shuttle though, you should know that the planet is 1,200 light years away and ridiculously, ridiculously hot (like 2315 degrees Celsius hot). There was also murmurs that Wasp-12b was going to be eaten by its star. So maybe diamonds aren't forever.



Dec 10, 2010

TV and Internet Are Turning Teenagers Into Loners

A new study found a direct link between the time teenagers spent staring at screens and their inability to have meaningful relationships with their parents and peers.

You've likely been at one end of this debate—either you were a teenage TV zombie being told by your parents to go play outside, or you were that parent trying to keep your kid from spending another mindless hour on the Internet. In this battle, it turns out, the wisdom of age prevails.

The study, published in this month's Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, found that every hour of TV watched increased the teen's likelihood of detachment from friends and family 4% and each hour of Internet increased it 5%. Let's break that down: If you're 16 and watch 4 episodes of 24 after school, you're 20% more likely not to like hanging out with your parents.

Gorillatorch Switchback Is Half Headlamp, Half Lantern

Sometimes you need a light that you can set on a table. Sometimes you need a light you can strap to your forehead. The 130 lumen Gorillatorch Switchback just happens to be both.

The Switchback's main module has 5 LEDs—one XP-G LED spotlight and 4 white and red LED flood lights—which are adjustable from 5 to 130 lumens. Clip it to a supplied headband and it's a headlamp. Pop it in the supplied shell and it's a lantern. Pop Gorilla's signature magnetic spider legs on that lantern and you can wrap this thing pretty much anywhere you damn please. $60 over at Joby.






Dec 9, 2010

Concept-to-Reality Watch Has Gone at Sale at Tokyo Flash


The readability on this watch design is actually pretty simple. The top circle on the face represents hours, the bottom left is minutes (in groups of five) and the bottom right circle is single minutes. For a more detailed look at how they're read, check out the video below or the product page here. The Satellite costs $93/ £60

Visual Sound Is A Phone Concept For The Deaf With Transparent Touchscreen

We don't give much thought to deaf users of phones, but Pratt Institute student Suhyun Kimhas worked hard on this stunning Visual Sound concept, which converts voice to text and vice versa.

The scroll-like device has a touchscreen for text to be typed in, which then gets converted to voice for the other person on the line, whose audio then turns into text for the deaf user of the phone to read. If the Visual Sound concept ever got put into production, I'll be one of the first to snag one—not only does it look great, but it might help when phoning from noisy locations.

Roly Poly Iron Prefers Not to Burn Down Your House

I can't speak for everyone here, but who hasn't burned down 2, 3 even 4 dwellings with a rogue iron? The Roly Poly, an iron concept by Wonkook Lee, may be our last hope.

The Roly Poly Iron is loaded with an extra set of weights. When you hold it, these weights shift inside the handle, making the horizontal positioning natural. But as soon as you let go, sensors note your recklessness and shift the weights properly to actually stand the iron back up on its hind legs.
 
 

Dec 8, 2010

Minimalist SD Reader Also Looks Like a Toaster

There's usually nothing very interesting about transferring files off an SD card. But! Elecom's newest, adorable little reader lets you pop in four of your cards (SD, microSD, and miniSD) at once. Then, sit back and stare at them.

I dig the plain cube look (who wants their SD reader to stand out?) that makes the cards themselves part of the visual charm. And for $48, sucking down data off four cards at once (up to 64 GB at once) ain't such a bad deal.
 
 

Samsung Nexus S: The New Official Google Phone

The new Google phone has 16GB of internal storage and 512MB of RAM, as well as a gyroscope and VoIP support. It's got a 1GHz Cortex A8-based Hummingbird and 4-inch 800x480 Super AMOLED screen, just like the Samsung's Galaxy Seseseses, which are available on every carrier. So it's not a tremendous leap forward in terms of specs, but it's still an attractive option for those looking for a pure, Google-approved Android experience. It'll be available unlocked or on T-Mobile, though according to Google's product page it doesn't support T-Mo's 4G-ish HSPA+ network.

There's a 5MP camera on its back and a VGA camera on the front, and, maybe most uniquely, its 4-inch "Contour Display" is curved to better cradle your face when you're chatting someone up,

But they also noted that "the case also feels somewhat cheap, unlike the solid feel of the iPhone and some previous Android phones."

You'll be able to get your hands on a Nexus S on December 16, unlocked for $529 or with a 2 year T-Mobile plan for $199, at Best Buy locations or directly through Google.


Dec 7, 2010

Daily Aspirin Can Reduce Your Chances of Dying From Cancer Up to 60%

Researchers have found a drug that's unexpectedly effective at reducing one's chances of dying from many common forms of cancer, in some cases lessening fatalities up to 60%. It's a small, long term daily dose of aspirin.

In a new report, stemming from eight long term studies including some 25,000 patients, British researchers found that a small, 75 milligram dose of aspirin taken daily for at least five years reduces risk of dying from common cancers roughly 10 to 60 percent. Here are some of the findings, published today on the website of medical journal The Lancet:

• After 5 years of daily aspirin, death due to gastrointestinal cancers decreased by 54%.
• After 20 years, death due to prostate cancer decreased by 10%
• After 20 years, death due to lung cancer decreased by 30% (among those with adenocarcinomas, typically seen in nonsmokers)
• After 20 years, death due to colorectal cancer decreased by 40%
• After 20 years, death due to esophageal cancer decreased by 60%

The Last Word In Toilets

This is the Giovannoni Washlet. And while I don't recognize exactly what each component of its feature set is supposed to do, I do know what awesome sounds like. And "tornado flush" sounds awesome.

The toilet—pardon me, washlet—also has a "triple-jet rimless flushing system" and a "hygienic glazing" for its ceramic surface. To me that says this bad boy will flush anything, anywhere, any time. This toilet is a vortex from which nothing shall emerge. And it also deodorizes!

According to TOTO, the company producing this über-potty, the Giovannoni Washlet "captures both the essence of Italian style and the sophistication of Japanese bathroom culture." I can't argue with that. Especially since the only culture in my bathroom is growing between the shower tiles.



Solar Camera Strap

The modern DSLR requires so little power that, you can forget to charge its battery. But this concept by Weng Jie would solve the problem. It's simply a camera strap with solar paneling.

This strap would be more useful as DSLRs require less power. But on top of that, the solar rig here has a lot more surface area (I'm guessing double or triple) than that of your average pocket solar adapter.

So with less power requirements and more power output, a solar camera strap seems like a pretty brilliant idea in my book.

Sennheiser's New Gaming Headsets Will Make Your PC Games Sing

Sennheiser's expanding its gaming headset lineup with four new sets o' cans—the flagship Sennheiser PC 360, the surround sound PC 333D and PC 163D, and the PC 330 G4ME. Hey, if they're good enough for your music, then they probably will make your games sound pretty great too.

The flagship PC 360s have been available overseas for awhile, but now they're making their way stateside for $299. They use Sennheiser Open-Aire speaker tech, have a volume control on the right ear cup, and their mic can be muted simply by lifting it up.

The $209 PC 163Ds have virtualized 7.1 surround sound so no one will sneak up on you in the game and an open ear design so no one will sneak up on you in real life. The $239 PC 333D also has pseudo 7.1 surround with a closed cup design, as well as a noise canceling mic, and rounding out the set is the PC 330 G4ME for $169.95.



Dec 6, 2010

This Generator the Size of a Pencil Tip Shakes Up Big Power

Japanese researchers have cooked up a minuscule kinetic battery capable of generating more energy than anything of its kind. Through only the slightest vibrations, the tiny device cranks out 22 milliwatts—20 times more than anything similar before it.

Twenty two milliwatts might not sound like terribly much—certainly a long way from powering your PS3—but could revolutionize the way we use smaller, button-sized batteries—just imagine a tiny way to store and generate power that could be tucked away anywhere. Devices that suck small amounts of juice could power themselves just by being in your pocket.

The secret behind the microgenerator lies in its use of Galfenol, a magnetic material developed by the US Naval Research Laboratory in 1998—it's super tough, and can take temperatures over 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit.
 
 

Scosche solBAT II Sun-Powered USB

What if you could charge pretty much any gadget, from iPhones to Blackberries, with a pocketable solar panel? Well, you can now with the solBAT II. It's a small plastic box that's far lighter than any cellphone, the SolBAT II is essentially a solar panel connected to a battery connected to AC and USB ports.

The catch is that the solBAT II takes a long time to charge—4 to 5 days in all, according to the package. After sitting that long in my window, the device still hadn't reached its 1500mA capacity.

Price: $30, but as low as $20 on Amazon.

Dec 5, 2010

The Mouse I Would Like to Have

The OM wireless optical mouse is a flat surface the size of a hand, only 10 millimeter thick at its highest point. In theory, it makes your hand relax. In the practice, it's a very cool concept.
Apparently, most of the hand strain comes from the sides of current mouses. Buy getting rid of them, the OM would solve this problem, the designer says. Whatever. I just think it looks great.


Samsung's Big Time, Pocket-Sized Pico Projector

You may not be able to tell from this context-deprived picture, but Samsung's SP-H03 pico projector is small. Really small. Like, hockey puck small. And it puts 854x480 resolution and 1GB of internal memory in the palm of your hand.

The SP-H03 weighs just half a pound, and brings grownup specs to the pico category. In addition to that WVGA resolution, it's got impressive 30 lumen brightness, microSD memory expansion up to 16GB, and an itty bitty 1W stereo for media presentations.

It'll be available this month for $300 and if you end up using it more for putting home movies up on the garage door, well, who's gonna know?
 
 

Fold this iPhone Speaker Out to Increase the Volume

As far as iPhone speakers go, this one looks more like an educational toy from a museum shop than a speaker. It's got a novel twist however, if you can pardon the pun, with each fold making the volume increase/decrease.

A typical Yanko Design concept, it was designed by Chun-Chieh Yang and folds up to a small square-shaped size for easy transporting. 

Dec 4, 2010

Lens Bracelets Are the Ultimate Stocking Stuffer for Your Fave Photog

You could buy your photographer friend a nice new lens this holiday season—and drop several hundred bucks—or you could buy one of these charming lens bracelets. Not exactly, say, functional, but totally more cute!—and cooler than Silly Bandz.

You can pick up the set of two bracelets (in 24-70mm and 50mm models) for $15.

An Inelegant Solution To an Unserious Drinking Problem

Classic dilemma: you'd like a shot. You'd like a beer. You have limited cabinet space. Never fear! The Shot in a Pint glass holds both beer and liquor better than you ever could.

Sure, it's not the most practical solution, since it can only hold one libation at a time. But in terms of saving space, and adding a touch of whimsy to your crippling dependency, you really can't do much better. Twenty bucks for a set of two, and I'd suggest not putting anything more expensive in them.

Don't Worry, the Balloon Bench Won't Float Out of Your House

Japanese design firm h220430's whimsical Balloon Bench isn't exactly traditional. But it looks a whole lot more fun to sit on than your average sofa—even if the balloons aren't real. Or, have some drinks and pretend you're floating.

The bench's trick is a little less graceful than actual levitation—the plastic "balloons" would have to be bolted into your ceiling to support your weight. And I'm not so sure how comfortable a bench made from aluminum would be (quick guess: not very). But still—I'll trade comfort for looking a little more awesome the next time I sit down.



Dec 3, 2010

Complex $1.2 Million Manufacture Royale Accordion Watch Plays a Simple Tune

Manufacture Royale's Opera $1.2 million watch doesn't just open up for show, there's some functionality built into that unfolding, accordion-like action too. Minute hand repeater plays C#, hour hand plays in A. Your wallet weeps to the tune of "empty."

The watch will be limited to a run of only 12 timepieces, each comprised of 319 gears, springs and other bits of 18k rose and gray gold. The band is unashamedly alligator skin.



Match Your Adidas Shoes With Sennheiser's HD 25 Originals Headphones

I adored my shell-toed Adidas sneakers as a youngster. If only these Sennheiser HD 25 Originals had been around then, I could've matched them with my shoes. If you've got the shoes, the attitude, and $360 spare, step right in.

They've got a frequency response of 16-22000 Hz, a sound pressure level of 120dB, and weighs 162g. Plug into your chosen media player, and hit up some old skool Run DMC.



This Three-Person Bathtub Is Made From a Single Rock Crystal

I love big bathtubs and crazy jacuzzis, but this thing defies imagination. It's an 8.3-feet diameter bathtub made from a single rock crystal. If Superman had a tub in his Fortress of Solitude, this would be it.

And he will use it with Lois Lane and Wonderwoman, because it can fit three people. Made by Italian company Baldi using diamond cutters, the bathtub took six months to carve out of a giant quartz rock. The rock itself was found in the Amazonia rainforest.

I can't decide if the effect of the halogen lighting through the rock is the coolest or the tackiest thing ever in a bathroom. Probably both, and that's why I want to spend an hour inside.
 
 

Dec 2, 2010

Monster Vision Max 3D Glasses

3D is a bit of a mess in itself, but to make matters more complicated, a pair of shutter glasses that work with your Samsung TV won't work with your Panasonic TV or not very well. Monster is changing that, almost.

Their Vision Max 3D glasses promise universal compatibility on all 3D TVs—which is fantastic—but you'll need to use Monster's base station to make said TVs work with the glasses.

$250 buys you a base station (transmitting shutter sync information over 2.4GHz) and one pair of glasses. $180 buys you an extra pair of glasses.

It's not a bad idea—not at all. But so long as you can't just bring your glasses to a friend's house to watch a movie, so long as the glasses themselves can't decode every manufacturer's particular 3D timing, so long as you need a intermediary piece of equipment to make it all work, Monster's solution doesn't look much more tempting (or flexible) than that of the original manufacturers.
 
 

Bring Pleasing Visual Conformity to Cabling With the Rigid E-Line Cord

Turn your death-trap of precarious wiring into a design feature with E-Line. By placing a grooved, flexible exo-skin around the inner power cord, E-Line creates a semi-rigid cable you're able to spend hours obsessively tidying into a pleasing shape.

But don't throw out your last-gen floppy cables in a frenzy of excitement—the E-Line Cord is only a design concept at the moment. It'll be several weeks at the least before the Chinese can ship a supertanker full of clones of these out to the US.

Dec 1, 2010

Humans Can Only Walk In Circles and We Don't Know Why

Humans can't walk in straight lines. If there's no fixed point of reference, we just walk in circles and inevitably get lost. Nobody knows why, but researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics have confirmed it in several experiments.

If you walk, drive or sail blindfolded, in the middle of the fog or at night, with no stars in sight, you will not be able to keep a straight line. No matter how hard you try, you will end going in circles because, for some mysterious reason, humans have a tendency to lean to one side more than the other. Some people speculate that this is because one side of the brain is the dominating one. Others point out that the reason may be purely mechanical, because one of our legs is always sightly shorter than the other. But, according to the results of the study, these are not the causes for this unique behavior. At least, there's not one single explanation and it may be a combination of many.

Whatever it is, don't get into a dark forest without a compass—screw the GPS.

The Starship Enterprise's Universal Remote

The Cyclops universal remote would fit in so well in someone's Star Fleet quarters, I'm surprised it doesn't have a replicator button on it. Fortunately, you won't have to wait for the far-flung future to own one.

The Cyclops, from GenosTV, is a wireless universal remote that's meant to be ergonomically superior for two-handed use. One version will be designed for all consumer electronics, while apparently there will be another that's geared more specifically towards gaming systems. They'll also incorporate Bluetooth, meaning you can use this bad boy to send text messages as well.

As for what star date you'll be able to have one of your own: there's no official word yet, but apparently the Cyclops is "ready to go to manufacturing" and should be available in time for the holidays this year. Presumably the instruction manual tells you how to set it to stun.
 
 

Traditional Terracotta Roof That Happens to Harness the Sun

There are plenty of technical hurdles keeping the masses from decking out their roofs withsolar panels, but their general ugliness doesn't help much either. Tegolasolare puts their photovoltaic panels second to the surrounding architecture, not the other way around.

The Italian company's red clay roof tiles look just like traditional terracotta and incorporatephotovoltaic panels, as opposed to merely accommodating them. It's a perfect example of how forward-looking, sustainable technology can exist in harmony with traditional architecture.
Of course, lose the drab solar roof look and you lose your eco-savvy neighbor visibility along with it, and really, what fun is having an Earth-saving roof if it looks just like your regular old one?