Apr 23, 2011

Sony Ericsson Saps Walkman Logo on X8, Renames it W8

Take one Xperia X8, add a dash of color, paint a "W" on it and, voilà, you have the first Walkman phone running Android -- the W8. Not it on the US Sony Ericsson site yet, but a quick visit to the company's German page reveals the decidedly low-end specs: a 3-inch, 320 x 480 touchscreen, a 600MHz processor, 168MB of RAM and Android 2.1. The W8 may not recapture the luster the Walkman brand enjoyed in its TPS-L2 heyday, but at least it'll update your Twitter status. 

Apr 22, 2011

Fujitsu LifeBook Replace Optical Drives With Projectors

Optical disc drives may be passé nowadays, but the enclosures usually reserved for them in laptops need not go to waste. Fujitsu has just rolled out its latest line of portables and a pair of them pack a pretty awesome new extra: an integrated pico projector. The 13.3-inch LifeBook S761/C and 12.1-inch P771/C both fill their ODD slots with a small visualizer, and while the specs of its actual output aren't clear, the two machines have been fully specced and priced. 

The S761/C can offer you a Core i5-2520M CPU, a (presumably upgradeable) 1GB of RAM, 160GB of storage, and a 1366 x 768 resolution for a price of ¥219,450 ($2,675). Moving down in size class but up in price, the P771/C matches those specs, but for a squarer 1280 x 800 resolution, and asks for ¥255,150 ($3,110). Both will be available in Japan in mid-May, which is also when Fujitsu will release its LifeBook E741/C, whose claim to fame is the ability to authe 
 nticate users by reading the veins in their palms. 

Obama Is Sending Predator Drones to Libya

Robert Gates, the US Secretary of Defense, just said that Obama has authorized the use of of Predator Drones in Libya against Gaddafi's forces. In fact, the first mission of the Predator Drones in Libya had taken place earlier today.

They've already used drones for gathering intelligence in Libya, but sending in Drones armed with Hellfire missiles would mark a significant growth in our country's contribution to the now NATO led effort in Libya. These unmanned predator drones pack a punch but more importantly mean that by sending these drones, no troops are sent there. Hopefully, that won't change.

Apr 21, 2011

Ideum Releases MT55 HD Multitouch Table For Hands-on Museum-Goers

Ideum has taken the wraps off the latest addition to its growing family of multitouch tables, with the release of the MT55. The table, originally announced late last month, boasts a handsome 55-inch LCD display, which beams LED-backlit graphics in 1920×1080 HD resolution. As with its predecessors, the MT55's screen comes coated with a 5-mm layer of sturdy, tempered glass, and sits atop a pedestal made of aluminum and steel. Within that pedestal lurks an Intel Quad Core i7 CPU, with 4GB of RAM, a pair of 250GB SATA hard drives, and an NVIDIA Quadro 600 video card. 

The system runs Windows 7 Professional 64-bit, and comes packed with GestureWorks multitouch software for both Flash and Flex. The MT55 also features an integrated Bose Audio system, and can support up to 32 simultaneous touchpoints -- not quite as many as the 50 that its 100-inch counterpart can handle, but definitely enough to enthrall any class of 4th-graders on a field trip to the museum. You can find it here.

Nokia and Microsoft Sign Definitive Agreement, Bring Windows Phone Handsets Closer to Realization

Microsoft and Nokia's industry-altering announcement of a strategic alliance back in February has today been bolstered with the signing of a definitive agreement between the two companies. In announcing the inking of the paperwork, the Microkia crew point out that they're already hard at work developing "a portfolio" of Nokia Windows Phone devices, which will be shipping "in volume" in 2012, but there's still a twinkling hope that they can get something out on the market in 2011. Nokia devs have started porting key applications and services to Windows Phone, with mapping and navigation getting a highlight mention, while there will indeed be a "Nokia-branded global application store that leverages the Windows Marketplace infrastructure." Notably, this is described as a single portal where devs can serve their apps to users of Windows Phone, Symbian and Series 40 devices -- it'll be interesting to see how they work out the details of that. There's also confirmation that Microsoft will pay Nokia multiple billions of dollars as part of the agreement, some of which will be spent on completing an intellectual property-sharing agreement between the two teams. So yes, the third ecosystem is well and truly on its way.

Apr 20, 2011

Indulge Your Deepest Digital Paranoia with Signal-Blocking Faraday Bags

In light of recent cellular privacy revelations, your most paranoid neurons might be firing hard. You can put a tinfoil hat on your head, but what about your gadgets? These Faraday Bags put your device in a radio-proof vault.

The cases, like a standard (room-sized) Faraday cage, block out electrical charges and electromagnetic radiation—so zero signal bars for you, sir. The bags come in a variety of sizes, priced from $80 to $275 here.

Samsung Crafts an Underwater Flip Cam Clone

Samsung's new W200 digital camcorder is very, very similar to the recently murdered Flip. It looks the same, functions the same, and has about the same quality (1080p at 30 FPS). But it's got a trick—it swims.

The W200's waterproof up to three meters, and ruggedized against nasty falls. The W200 also snaps 5 MP stills, but the main draw will be for those who want to capture video where a smartphone might wuss out. Check for it in May.

Stuff Your Camera Inside the Body of an Easter Bunny

Just in time for the holiday, this adorably strange Micro 4/3 camera case has my ears (eh? EH?) perked up with excitement. Sure, it may not be "practical," but come on—it's a furry rabbit case.

No mention on pricing, but it's stitched of cotton and leather, so probably not cheap.

Apr 19, 2011

ASUS Bamboo-plated U43SD Laptop

The U43SD doesn't appear to stray from its predecessor's industrial design (save for its bigger 14-inch screen), but it steps up to the latest Core i3 and Core i5 processors, along with NVIDIA GeForce GT 520M graphics with 1GB of video memory. You can also choose from 5,400RPM and 7,200RPM hard drive options and either a six- or eight-cell battery.

Maxell's Vibrabone HP-VBC40 Earbuds Can Rattle Your Skull, if You'd Like

Maxell has taken a slightly different approach to the bone conduction trope with its new Vibrabone HP-VBC40 earbuds – headphones that combine standard stereo drivers with the same bone-rattling, vibration-based technology we've all come to know and love. According to Maxell, the Vibrabone's hybrid system enhances the bass that would be coursing its way through your cranium, while its dual volume control allows users to fine tune that bass flow. 

Apparently, this bass adjustment mechanism puts less stress on your eardrums, which might make the entire bone conduction concept seem slightly less creepy. The earbuds come in black, blue and white, and will be available in Japan toward the end of April, for a little under ¥4,000 or about $50.

Samsung Sells HDD Division to Seagate for $1.375 Billion

The Korean electronics giant has just announced that it's selling its hard disk drive-manufacturing arm to Seagate Technology for a neat $1.375 billion in equal measures of cash and stocks. As a result, Samsung Electronics will own approximately 9.6 percent of Seagate and get to nominate one new member to join Seagate's Board of Directors, while the two companies have further agreed to deepen their strategic relationship with related cross-licensing and supply stipulations. 

Samsung will provision Seagate's solid state drives with NAND flash memory, whereas Seagate will furnish Samsung's PCs and consumer electronics products with hard disk storage. 

Apr 18, 2011

The iPhone 4 is Killing Compact Cameras When it Comes to Photo Uploads

The iPhone 4 has steadily been pushing its way up the most-uploaded list at Flickr for some time now, it's almost toppled the Nikon D40 off the pedestal. It'll be around a month when Apple receives the Flickr crown, on Flickr, at least.

Interestingly, the D40 is three years old, and the iPhone 4 is under a year old. Behind the iPhone is the Canon EOS Rebel XSi, which is also three years old. The second chart, above, shows the decline of the most popular compact cameras, which coincidentally are all Canon PowerShots.

So what's behind this trend? Is it that more people own iPhones than compacts, or simply that the iPhone's always-connected status (well, if you're not on AT&T, anyway) is a better conduit for uploading pics on the fly?

MacBook Airs With Faster Blade SSDs

When Apple released its redesigned MacBook Air in October 2010, much was made of the switch to flash storage using a custom-built Mini PCI Express form factor SSD drive. It took a few weeks but these SSDs would ultimately be released as the commercially available Toshiba Blade X-gale SSD module, model TS128C. Now we're seeing user reports showing MacBook Airs equipped with a second, even faster SSD with a SM128C part number -- the "SM" hinting at its presumed Samsung manufacturing origins.

 Samsung's SSD manages up to 260MBps read and 210MBps write speeds compared to Toshiba's 210MBps read and 185MBps write performance. Of course, it's hardly unusual for Apple to multi-source components. And a recent decision to source parts from Korea's Samsung would have been a smart move to keep just-in-time supply lines fully stocked following the spate of disasters in Toshiba's home country of Japan. Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be any way of confirming which SSD you're about to purchase without cracking open the retail box and running the OS X System Profiler. Good luck with that.

Apr 17, 2011

The Minimalist, Lightweight Knife

These tiny, lightweight knives might make the perfect pocket knife for everyday use, and they're no doubt great for travel. Note: Probably not on planes.

Manufactured by Baladeo, the knife is available in two featherweight varieties, 22g and 34g, and performed pretty well in basic knife-related tasks (although, as Boing Boing notes, they are not workhorses).

The only "minor" issue they discovered while using the knife was that the locking mechanism slipped once and folded in such a way that it could have conceivably cut the tester's fingers. But it didn't!

Paper Alloy Takes

So you're anxiously awaiting your biodegradable car and your biodegradable 3D glasses, waiting for the day when everything you own can return to the loam from which it sprang. But, what about the computer you're using this very moment? It's probably made of non-green materials like injection-molded plastic, and slapping some bamboo on it isn't fooling anyone.

 Design and engineering firm PEGA comes to your rescue with a new composite material made of recycled paper and polypropylene alloy. Lightweight, durable, and inexpensive to produce, it acts just like typical ABS plastic -- and it even comes in the classic soul-killing beige. Maybe this is what Apple's been waiting for.

Apr 16, 2011

Google Announces Q1 Earnings: $8.58 Billion Gross Revenue

Well, it looks like Larry Page had a bit of good news and some bad news to deal with on his first quarterly earnings call as CEO of Google. The company has just reported $8.58 billion in gross revenue for the first quarter of 2011, which represents a 27 percent increase over the first quarter of last year, but is actually a bit less than analysts were expecting. That figure also doesn't include the company's so-called traffic acquisition costs, however, which totaled $2.04 billion for the quarter and bring the company's actual revenue down to "just" $6.54 billion. Net income for the quarter was $2.3 billion, which represents a more modest gain from $1.96 billion in the first quarter of 2010. Also cutting into profits quite a bit was Google's operating expenses, which were up a hefty 33 percent to $2.8 billion -- a sizable chunk of which went to the nearly 2,000 new employees the company hired during the quarter.

Interestingly, Google also revealed a few Android stats during its earnings call, saying that app downloads are up a full fifty percent from the fourth quarter of 2010, and that there's a total of three billion Android apps installed worldwide. As for Android devices, there's apparently 350,000 of those being activated every day. Head on past the break for company's full earnings report.

Apr 15, 2011

Brazilian Police Wear Glasses That Can Scan Faces to Find Criminals

In technology that is lifted straight from Robocop, Brazilian cops will be outfitted with glasses that can scan faces in a crowd and automatically pick out criminals. The glasses use advanced facial recognition technology that can scan 400 faces a second at 50 yards away.

Facial profiling! The glasses scans 46,000 biometric points on a person's face and compares it against a criminal database. When the glasses find a bad guy (it's actually a camera attached to the glasses), a red light pops up inside the glasses and alerts the officer on what to do.

The goal is to start using these Robocop glasses in test runs at crowded events (think soccer games and concerts) so police will be familiar with the technology come 2014 (when Rio de Janeiro hosts the World Cup). A big concern about the World Cup being in Brazil was the security, and if you saw Robocop, you'll know he handled his share of bad guys with ease. Hopefully, they can do the same!

Shooting Hoops in the Adidas AdiZero Crazy Lights, the Lightest Basketball Shoes Ever Made

The Adidas AdiZero Crazy Lights, which will make their debut on the feet of professional basketballers during next week's playoffs, each weigh just 9.8 ounces, making them the lightest basketball shoes ever made. They may or may not have helped prevent me from embarrassing myself in terrifying pick-up game earlier today.

The AdiZero Crazy Lights are, indeed, crazy light—when you pick one up, it's hard to believe that it's a professional-quality basketball shoe, something that the world's best players will rely on in some of their seasons' most important games. But they will! Thanks to some disciplined, scrap-what-we-have-and-start-from-square-one design, the shoes apparently offer all the comfort and support needed for play at the highest levels while still doing the least work of any shoe ever to keep players anchored down to terra firma.

Apr 14, 2011

Microsoft confirms IE10 won't run on Vista, millions of IE9 users shrug

If you're part of the dwindling group still using Windows Vista, you'll have to wait until your next upgrade to take IE10 for a spin -- Microsoft has confirmed that the latest version of its browser won't run on its last-gen operating system, either in developer preview form or when the final software ships. 

While it's tempting to interpret that as an attempt on Microsoft's part to put the widely loathed Vista in its past, there's actually a precedent for this -- remember that Microsoft cut off XP support when it unveiled IE9. 

Download iOS 4.3.2 NOW

iOS 4.3.2 is now available for download, which has fixes for Facetime, the 3G Verizon iPad 2 and other security issues. The update is available for iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS, iPad and iPad 2, as well as the third and fourth gen iPod touch. Just plug your device into iTunes.

Apple also released a separate 4.2.7 build for the Verizion iPhone 4, which only addresses security fixes.

Eye-Fi Mobile X2 Shoots Pics Straight to a Mobile Device

The Eye-Fi's "Direct Beam" magicalness is mobile—doing what the little Wi-Fi cards should have been all along. The new models skip your network entirely, creating a link between camera and mobile device.

What gadget? Lots! Smartphones and tablets will get a suite of Direct Beam-compatible apps dropped on them, allowing for in-the-field transfers. So, for instance, you could snap a photo, shoot it over to your iPad, and then edit it with the wonderful new touchy Photoshop. That's a pretty nifty setup, whether you're a photog pro or not. An 8 GB SD model will be out for $80 later this week.

Apr 13, 2011

This Biodegradable Golf Ball Is Made From a Lobster

Lobsters! Not only do they have delicious meat, their shells have use too! Researchers at the University of Maine have developed a biodegradable golf ball from lobster shells.

The material of the golf ball is made from crushed lobster shells with a biodegradable binder and coating. Lobster shells are a great resource to tap into as most of the stuff just heads to landfills (no one has a need for red shells, I guess). The balls work with both drivers and irons and flies a "similar distance to other biodegradable balls", though not as far as real balls. Which is okay!

Lenovo Hoping To Launch 23-inch Tablet This Year

Dual 14-inch touchscreens not big enough? 21-inches of touch sensitivity still failing to sate your fingers' need to roam wild and free? Maybe the 23-inch behemoth of a tablet that Lenovo is planning on unleashing this year will make those digits dance with delight. The plan is, apparently, to take one of the company's Windows-powered all-in-one machines, delete the stand, put it on a crash diet, slap a big 'ol battery on there, and then watch the eyes of pixel junkies around the world light up with glee.

William Cai from Lenovo said "It's obviously not for full mobility use, but it could be moved from room to room in the house... you could lay it on a table top and use it for family games." Never mind that -- with the addition of just a few legs this 23-inch slab could be a table.

Apr 12, 2011

Garmin Intros The Forerunner 610, Its First Touchscreen GPS

Over the years, Garmin's beefed up its line of Forerunner GPS watches, offering something for everybody withgraphs and even a dash o' pink. But the new, slimmed-down Forerunner 610 is the first to feature a touchscreen that you can tap to flip menus instead of feeling around for a host of bantam buttons. For your $350, it'll display distance, time elapsed, and pace all on one screen, though you can add other metrics, such as heart rate.

 The 610 is also the first in the line with a run / walk alert, which keeps Auto Lap and other features active even when it detects you're walking. As always, you can upload your runs to the web in excruciating detail, but this watch jumps on the social bandwagon with "Virtual Racer," a Nike Running-esque community where you can compare your stats with strangers' (or just try to best your own PRs, if you don't play like that).

The Collector Concept Turns Unused MicroSD CardsI Into a Refillable Thumb Drive

This concept USB drive, could potentially solve our problems by allowing us to toss all those thumb drives and find a use for the homeless microSD chips. The Collector wouldn't have any storage of its own, instead you'd slip up to three microSD cards into it and, when full, simply swap them out for more.

 It would also combine your smaller chunks of storage into a single block, so those three 2GB scraps would become a slightly less useless 6GB drive. Of course, keeping that pile of microSD cards (now bound by common data) organized might actually be a bigger headache than rifling through your drawers looking for that OFWGKTA mixtape you downloaded so many months ago.

Magnified LED Tweezer Is a Laser-Guided Bomb for Splinters

Getting a splinter sucks, but struggling to pull it out is even worse—the agony, the slipping, the grasping, the blood splattered walls, the shameful cries of pain—who needs it! With Carson's Magnigrip, you can pull with precision.

The Magnigrip is really just a normal pair of tweezers, with some sweet perks. The tip's illuminated with an LED, and there's a little magnifying glass for you to peer down through, allowing you to more accurately pinpoint that splinter, thorn, or lodged bullet in your thigh. A must for any camping trip or warzone.

Apr 11, 2011

Official Steve Jobs Biography Finally Has a Title and Release Date

Not only has Steve Jobs given the thumb's up to an official biography about his life—the first ever official biography—but he's also agreed to be interviewed by the author, Walter Isaacson.

Titled iSteve: The Book of Jobs, it will be published by Simon & Schuster and will also feature interviews and facts from his family and Apple peers. Not to mention rivals' thoughts, too.

Despite plenty of people having penned tomes about the Apple CEO's life, Isaacson is the only one to get the big seal of approval. Having come from CNN and Time magazine, he's also written books about Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein. Unfortunately we won't be adding this book to our Amazon wishlists before Christmas as it's got an early-2012 release scheduled in, but as Isaacson's reportedly been working on it since 2009, you can expect a thorough look behind-the-scenes which has never been given before.

Apr 10, 2011

Woz Speaks of Hypothetical Return to Apple

Steve Wozniak mentioned that he'd be up for a return to Apple, the company he famously helped start in 1976 with Steve Jobs. While Woz didn't elaborate on what he'd like to do there, he didn't shy away from questions regarding a possible return.

"I'd consider it, yeah," the 60-year-old computer engineer said in an interview, when asked whether he would play a more active role if asked.

Woz went on to say that he thinks Apple "could be more open and not lose sales" (ostensibly referring to policies such as App Store approval).

Stealth Unveils The LPC-670 Mini-PC: Small In Size, Vast In Price

Stealth has been in the compact computing game for some time, and the company has just rolled out its most powerful pint-sized PC to date, the LPC-670. Packing Intel's Arrandale Core i5-520M, Core i5-580M, or Core i7-620M silicon, up to 8GB DDR3 RAM, a DVD or Blu-ray burner, a max 750GB 2.5-inch HDD or 128GB SSD, optional 802.11g WiFi, gigabit Ethernet, HDMI and DVI connections, Stealth's new mini-PC has the brawn of much bigger machines. The price of such lilliputian luxury? An account-emptying $1650, and that's just for the base model.

Apr 9, 2011

Public Bathroom ToeOpeners

I'm not saying I'm as bad as Howard Hughes, but I will confess toalways tearing a bit of toilet-roll of paper towel off and using it to open public bathroom doors with on my way out.

At $50 a pop, these Toepeners would surely end up saving shopping malls, offices and other public venues money over the long-run, with less paper wasted and thrown on the floor. Not to mention the debt to society they owe, with 999,999,999* different types of germs transmitted on bathroom handles every day. Public bathrooms of the world, please unite and buy a Toepener or two now!

Delkin Elite 633 Claims To Be The Fastest SDHC Card With 80MBps Write Speeds

Delkin says that the 32GB Elite 633 SDHC is the fastest in the world, with 80MBps and 95MBps write and read speeds, respectively, handily trumping Sony's new Memory Sticks. 

This card's ideal for people who shoot gobs of 1080p video, 3D movies, and high-resolution shots coupled with RAW files, but with a price of $440, it's only worth it for pros. And debutants.

Your iPad Can Survive a Bowling Ball

The makers of the G-Form iPad Sleeve claim you can drop an eight pound bowling ball on the sleeve (with iPad inserted) from a height of three feet, and the iPad will still work afterwards. The sleeve will cost $60 when it's available on May 1.

Apr 8, 2011

Toshiba Intros Camileo P100 And B10 Pocket Camcorders With Pistol Grips

The seasons come and go, but Toshiba's line of Camileo pocket camcorders tend to look the same, with their pistol grips and flip-out screens. But now, Tosh is getting ready to ship two new models in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, and one of them, at least, takes the company's design in a different direction. The B10 camcorder has a candy bar shape with a front-facing lens -- much like the Flip camcorders that kicked off the pocket cam craze in the first place. The B10 shoots at Full HD resolution, snaps 16 megapixel stills, has 16X digital zoom, and takes SDXC cards as large as 64GB. Prefer the ole' pistol grip? The P100 boasts the same specs and adds 8X optical zoom -- still a rarity in inexpensive pocket cams. Toshiba hasn't announced pricing yet, though the two will go on sale sometime in the second quarter.

Nu-Screen HD Polishes Your Screen, Doesn't Moisturize Your Lips

If you've ever been concerned about fingerprint smudges compromising your smartphone's password, this might just be a viable solution. Nu-Screen, a company little known around these parts, has launched the Nu-Screen HD polish stick which promises to leave a "slippery smooth, non-greasy surface" on your screen. 

Apr 7, 2011

Would You Let Someone Advertise on Your House if They Paid Your Mortgage?

Like the 2011 version of selling your forehead to an online casino company wielding a painful tattoo needle, Adzookie's offering to pay your mortgage for as long as you can put up with advertising their eyesore-inducing logo.

Although the US mobile advertiser hasn't started painting anyone's houses just yet, according to Adzookie's CEO they've been inundated with requests—over 1,000 of them so far. Applicants must "like" Adzookie on Facebook first (which might suggest this is all one big publicity stunt—never!), and they do have several other caveats:

"You must own your home. It cannot be rented or leased. We'll paint the entire outside of the house, minus the roof, the windows and any awnings. Painting will take approximately 3 - 5 days. Your house must remain painted for at least three months and may be extended up to a year. If, for any reason, you decide to cancel after three months or if we cancel the agreement with you, we'll repaint your house back to the original colors."

I'm glad they're offering to repaint the house afterwards—given how much a job like that can cost, it'd almost be enough to make the homeowner beg on the doorsteps of Adzookie again.

Bluetrek Carbon Headset

The Bluetrek Carbon has hit the FCC, showing off a carbon fiber boom and construction said to create an exceedingly light result. It's clear to see that the stalk there is actual carbon, with the body of the thing being barely wider than a micro-USB port, it shouldn't look to gaudy hanging out of your head. There's no mention of price or availability.

Finally, Bacon Cologne!

No longer do you have to dribble bacon down your chin to get a hint of pig on your throat—perfumers Fargginay have invented bacon cologne which has a mix of 11 essential oils in both the Gold (citrus) and Classic (spicy maple) variants, which cost $36 each.

Apr 6, 2011

Samsung's 3D TV Experience Is Getting Cheaper

As the battle between active and passive 3D glasses display technology heats up, Samsung has responded by announcing its cheapest pair of active shutter 3D glasses will cost $50 (previously $130) beginning May 1st. Additionally, all of its 3D-capable 2011 HDTVs will come with two pairs of glasses packed in, unless the purchase is eligible for the Megamind/Shrek starter kit that already comes with them. This move comes just as FPR-based displays from LG, Vizio, Toshiba and Philips hit the marketplace.  

One Use Soap

The thinking behind the concept is that every time you wish to wash your hands, you simply break off a piece of the soap brick, to avoid contaminating the rest of the bar. Of course, it's not likely as hygienic as a liquid soap dispenser.

These Bike Inner Tubes Wince When Punctured, and Then Self-Seal

Michelin's developed new bike inner tube tech to cut down on the devastation a puncture brings when you're out riding. The Protek Max tubes contain a sealant which sees punctures compress and then self-seal, meaning you can hop back on that bike instantly.

The surface of the inner tube is actually visibly different to traditional tubes, with little raised bumps that stop them from twisting. They also aid the self-healing process, by making the rubber compress (as opposed to expanding.) The air pressure theoretically should close the hole, with the inbuilt sealant then locking them up.

On sale now, they cost around $9 in two different sizes.

Apr 5, 2011

Carbon Nanotubes Used To Detect Cancer Cells

Cancer's not slowing its march to ruining as many lives as it possibly can, so it's always pleasing to hear of any new developments that act as hurdles. The latest in the world of disease-prevention comes fromHarvard University, where researches have created a dime-sized carbon nanotube forest (read: lots of nanotubes, like those shown above) that can be used to trap cancer cells when blood passes through. A few years back, Mehmet Toner, a biomedical engineering professor at Harvard, created a device similar to the nano-forest that was less effective because silicon was used instead of carbon tubes. Today, Toner has teamed up with Brian Wardle, associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT, who together have redesigned the original microfluid device to work eight times more efficiently than its predecessor. The carbon nanotubes make diagnosis a fair bit simpler, largely because of the antibodies attached to them that help trap cancer cells as they pass through -- something that's being tailored to work with HIV as well. Things are starting to look moderately promising for cancer-stricken individuals, as hospitals have already began using the original device to detect malignant cells and ultimately prevent them from spreading -- here's hoping it's qualified for mass adoption sooner rather than later.

This USB Cartridge Could Turn Your Analog Camera Digital

Photographers who want to go digital but can't bring themselves to get rid of their analog cameras have something to lust for. RE35 understands your plight and has come up with a digital cartridge than fits into any 35mm camera.

The RE-35 cartridge has a pull-out sensor, instead of film, that records your images in the cartridge's built-in memory. The cartridge connects to your PC or Mac via USB so you can transfer images and charge the cartridge.

Apr 4, 2011

A Checkerboard Home For the Elderly

Designed by the architecture firm Aires Mateus in Alcácer do Sal, Portugal, this has got to be one of the coolest looking places you could ever hope your grandparents would live.

The project is based on a attentive reading of the life of a very specific kind of community, a sort of a micro-society with its own rules. It is a program, somewhere in between a hotel and a hospital, that seeks to comprehend and reinterpret the combination social/private, answering to the needs of a social life, and at the same time of solitude. Independents unities aggregate into a unique body, whose design is expressive and clear. The reduct mobility of those who will live in the building suggests that any displacement should be an emotive and variable experience. The distance between the independent units is measured and drawn to turn the idea of path into life, and its time into form.

Panasonic's First Rewriteable 100GB BD-RE XL Discs Launch Later This Month

For those stuck between the flexibility of HDD storage and the archiving ease of BDXLs Panasonic is finally ready to bridge the gap with its new triple layer BD-RE XL discs, set to arrive April 15th in Japan. Being the first rewriteable BDXL is the LM-BE100J's claim to fame, which works out since the 10,000 yen ($118 US) asking price means buying two is probably out of the question. The latest burners from Pioneer and Buffalo already support the new discs, owners of other hardware may want to double check their spec sheets before ordering.

Apr 3, 2011

Audi Teams Up with Renovo to Produce Yet Another Jaw-Dropping Wooden Bicycle

Renovo, no stranger to beautifully-crafted wooden bicycles, has partnered up with Audi, maker of beautiful automobiles, to create another sweet looking series of wooden bicycles.

Called the Audi Duo City, Sport and Road, the bikes are certainly pricey at $6,530, $7,350 and $7,460 respectively, but if you know anything about Renovo or Audi this shouldn't be much of a surprise.

Another distinction between models, besides price, is that the City and Sport have an 8-gear setup for city riding, while the Road is a 20-speed racer with thinner tires and a sleeker, more aggressive profile.

Hands-Free Faucets Actually Grosser Without You Having to Touch Them

Talk about irony. According to a study conducted at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, hands-free faucets have a significantly higher chance of playing home to bacteria like Legionella spp., which causes Legionnaire's Disease.

The reason is hands-free faucets have more components than traditional ones, and bacteria was found to thrive in these parts in particular.

The findings fly in the face of why hands-free faucets are popular, and in one isolated case they've actually caused the esteemed Johns Hopkins University to remove them from their clinical areas.

As far as everyday use in public restrooms countrywide is concerned, everyone can keep waving their hands under these magical faucets without worry. The Johns Hopkins officials have assured everyone that we have little to worry about—it's the clinics and other sterile environments that need to take notice.

Apr 2, 2011

Sony CEO Mentions He's Supplying Cameras To Apple

Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer reported that his company is producing cameras for the next batch of iPhones and iPads during a public interview with the Wall Street Journal. Traditionally, Apple's sourced its sensors from OmniVision, including the delightfully backside-illuminated 5 megapixel CMOS unit you'll find in the iPhone 4, but since Sony too has BSI tech and OmniVision has reportedly encountered delays, your next portable Apple product might house a Sony Exmor R sensor. Mind you, that may not end up actually happening, because of the context in which Sir Howard revealed the news -- according to 9 to 5 Mac, he said that the factory producing sensors for Apple was affected by the Japanese tsunami. Oh well.

Apple Facing Possible iPod Battery Shortages After Japan Quake

While electronics companies have seemingly avoided major issues with component shortages in the wake of the Japan earthquake, Apple may have to deal with a threat from an unexpected source: Kureha Corp., a niche producer of polymers for lithium-ion batteries.

Apple isn't the only company facing potential issues either. Kureha has a 70% market share for this particular polymer, and market researchers expect other companies to face shortages as well.

Apr 1, 2011

Nanogenerators Produce Electricity While You Dance

Dr. Zhong Lin Wang of theGeorgia Institute of Technology has reported that he and his team of Einsteins constructed nanogenerators with enough energy to potentially power LCDs, LEDs and laser diodes by moving your various limbs. These micro-powerhouses -- strands of piezoelectric zinc oxide, 1 / 500 the width of a single hair strand -- can generate electrical charges when flexed or strained. 

Wang and his team of researchers shoved a collection of their nanogenerators into a chip 1 / 4 the size of a stamp, stacked five of them on top of one another and can pinch the stack between their fingers to generate the output of two standard AA batteries -- around 3 volts. Imagine how convenient to charge your phone in your pocket sans the bulky battery add-ons. And that's only one application of this technology. 

Wrex Titanium Pocket Wrench

If you fear landing in an emergency situation requiring you to loosen nuts and bolts on the go, consider the Wrex Titanium Pocket Wrench.

Not only is the gadget conveniently sized, it packs an ultra sharp blade attached to the wrench's jaw, a wire stripping hole, a double-ended driver bit, a 1/4-inch hex bit driver with o-ring, and a bottle opener. Expect to pay $179 when it hits stores in early May.