October 22, 2005

Can your printer tell on you?

This seems like a direct threat from the big brother:

October 22, 2005 in Tech/Science | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 20, 2005

Dancing cellphone

Disappointed with your cellphone's lack of enthusiasm? Then you'll be relieved to hear that Motorola has devised a handset that dances for joy when it receives a call.

The "ambulatory" device, as it is described, sits on four vibrating feet that shake with different strength and in slightly different directions to make the whole handset wriggle around.

The device could, for example, shimmy in a clockwise direction to signal an incoming call from the office, or wobble counter-clockwise to alert the user to a new message.

Motorola even proposes using accelerometers to let the owner teach the phone how to dance when a certain person calls. A further party trick would see the device detect the beat of a music track and dance along in time.

Read the dancing cellphone patent here.

October 20, 2005 in Tech/Science | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 11, 2005

Einstein's Big Idea

Exactly 100 years ago, Albert Einstein grappled with the implications of his revolutionary special theory of relativity and came to a startling conclusion: mass and energy are one, related by the formula E = mc2. In "Einstein's Big Idea," NOVA dramatizes the remarkable story behind this equation.

PBS Broadcast Date: October 11, 2005 from 8 to 10 pm

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October 06, 2005

Baby you can park my car

Nissan has developed an egg-shaped car for drivers who find backing out of tight parking spots a hassle.

The car's body pivots 360 degrees so that its rear end becomes the front.

The Pivo, shown on Friday at a Tokyo Nissan showroom, is still an experimental model and probably will not go on sale publicly for several years. It is a three-seater electric car that looks like a big egg on wheels. Its body revolves in a complete circle while its wheels stay put.

Such moves are possible because Pivo's steering, wheels and other parts are controlled electronically by wireless, or electronic signals, not mechanical links between the cabin and the vehicle's chassis.

"This is a cute car for people who have problems parking," said Nissan Motor Co. chief designer Masato Inoue.

Pivo, also planned for display at the Tokyo auto show opening next month, highlights other technologies, including a system that allows the driver to control devices inside the car simply by raising his or her fingers off the steering wheel.

Finger pointing

That is done through a camera embedded in the steering wheel that senses heat. Lifting one finger might turn on the radio. Two fingers might set car navigation equipment.

The technology works much like voice-recognition capabilities already available in some advanced cars, but Tokyo-based Nissan says some people prefer finger-pointing than talking.

Pivo also allows the driver to see blind spots via cameras attached to the outside of the car.

Inoue says it is possible to design a gasoline-engine vehicles that spins in the same way if electronic controls are approved for traffic safety. But they are unlikely to have the round look of Pivo because a conventional engine requires more room than an electric motor.

October 6, 2005 in Tech/Science | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 26, 2005

Mysterious Stars Surround Andromeda's Black Hole

Stars race around a black hole at the center of the Andromeda galaxy so fast that they could go the distance from Earth to the Moon in six minutes.

The finding, announced today, solves a mystery over the source of strange blue light coming from Andromeda's center. But it generates a new puzzle: The stars' phenomenal orbital velocity suggests they should never have formed in the first place.

Astronomers first spotted the blue light near Andromeda's core in 1995. Three years later, another group determined that the light emanated from a cluster of hot, young stars. Nobody knew how many were involved.

Continue reading.

September 26, 2005 in Tech/Science | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 30, 2005

Botany Photo of the Day

Inspired by NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day, the gardeners and plant enthusiasts at the University of British Columbia's Botanical Centre have grown their very own photo blog. The first entry, on April 5, 2005, of a Chinese parasol storax, let it be known that these pictures would be painterly and lush. From a close-up of ferns, a Himalayan blue poppy, or this delicate fragrant granadilla, the diverse plants of Canada and the plentiful holdings of the UBC garden bloom forth. Categories include mosses, conifers, and the always-popular flowering plants. If you're the type who thinks fungus is don't-touch-that gross, dare to view these beauties. The garden syndicates its content through RSS, so plant a feed and see a new picture blossom each day.

August 30, 2005 in Photography, Tech/Science | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 27, 2005

Cellular Squirrel project

Do you suffer from mobile telephone calls at inopportune times? Could you use a cute PA to take calls for you while gaming, or asleep? A dissertation project from MIT by HCI specialist Stefan Marti may have your solution: Cellular Squirrel.

Of course you will always want to talk to people who are thinking the same things as you, so Cellular Squirrel waves and moves about rather than making a sound. His oddly bulbous figure makes use of "socially strong non-verbal cues like gaze, posture, and gestures, to alert and interact with the user" rather than intrusive alerts in order to minimise user stress and social disruption.

August 27, 2005 in Tech/Science | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 23, 2005

The Air Car

The Air Car. A car that runs on compressed air. While not a new idea, or unique,
the MDI car can reach a speed of 68 mph and has a claimed range of
roughly 124 miles. To recharge the tank, the car reportedly needs to be
plugged into the grid for 3 to 4 hours or attached to an air pump in a
gas station for only 2 minutes.
Is the wind of the future about to break? Will this technology pass gas as our urban fuel of choice?

July 23, 2005 in Tech/Science | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 29, 2005

Sustainable energy source could solve Bermuda Triangle riddle

Are methane-producing bacteria the explanation of the Bermuda Triangle mystery?

June 29, 2005 in Tech/Science | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 28, 2005

Haute couture

A new aeroplane has been designed entirely in virtual reality.

June 28, 2005 in Tech/Science | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack