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Archive for News

Cellphones may protect the brain from Alzheimer’s

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on January 10th, 2010

We’ve all heard that cellphone radiation can be bad for you, even if it does remain unproven. But a new study in mice suggests that using cellphones may help prevent some of the brain-wasting effects of Alzheimer’s disease.

After long-term exposure to electromagnetic waves like those in cell phones, mice that were genetically altered to develop Alzheimer’s performed as well on memory and thinking skill tests as healthy mice. So I guess cellphones could be good for us and bad at the same time.

CES 2010: Marvell Plug Computer 3.0 with WiFi, Bluetooth and Linux

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on January 5th, 2010

The new Marvell Plug Computer is packing a 2GHz Armada 300 processor, WiFi, Bluetooth and a hard drive. But alas, it isn’t for all of you consumers. So you and your smudgie fingered hands can’t have one.

The unit is marketed as a development platform for building embedded devices. Nothing on price yet, but remember this isn’t for you. It’s for developers. You are just browsing. That’s it. Nothing else to see here. Move along.

Google’s Nexus One Unveiling Expected Today

Posted in Google,News by Darrin Olson on January 5th, 2010

HTC Nexus One From GoogleGoogle is expected to release it’s own mobile phone in a press conference schedule for today, going by the name of Nexus One. The new phone will be the first to actually be sold by Google and will also run Google’s very own Android software stack for mobile devices.

The Nexus One is rumored to also become available through the T-Mobile and their wireless carrier network in addition to the unlocked version direct from Google. The Android software has already been available on a number of mobile phones starting back in 2008 with a device from HTC. The device Google is introducing today is expected to also be from HTC, touting a 3.7 inch touch screen, 5-megapixel camera and a Snapdragon processor.

San Jose Police will soon record all interaction with civilians

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on December 23rd, 2009

We’ve all heard and seen the stories of police brutality. They sure are taser-happy these days. Well, officers in San Jose, CA are being outfitted with head-mounted cameras. They hope this will help stop such situations. The kit includes a camera, a control piece and a computer for their belt. Every time an officer interacts with a civilian, they are supposed to activate the AXON camera.

Afterward, the officer can put the camera on a “buffer” mode that records limited video, or turn it off. At the end of a shift, the video is downloaded to a central server. The problem here is that the officer can turn it off at all. Obviously if you are going to give somebody a beatdown, why would you turn it on.

Maine to consider cancer warning labels on cellphones

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on December 20th, 2009

The debate continues as to whether or not cell phones can harm us, but one state may be ready take the next step in warning consumers about the dangers. If she has her way, a Maine legislator wants to make the state the first to require cell phones to carry warnings that they can cause brain cancer, even though there is no consensus among scientists that they do.

Cell phones carry these warnings in some countries, but right now no U.S. states require them. A similar effort is underway in San Francisco, where Mayor Gavin Newsom would like his city to be the nation’s first to require such warnings. These measures seem premature, given the fact that there is no hard data to support the claims.

Pixel art made from bacteria

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on December 20th, 2009

Scientists must have already discovered everything they need to know, so they have plenty of time for play. This looks like a cool piece of Mario art and it is, but this is created using glowing bacteria.

These pixels are made from genetically engineered bacteria and come from Team Osaka, at the nanobiology laboratories at the University of Osaka, Japan. Now you know what all that fancy lab equipment is really being used for.

LED traffic lights cause accidents

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on December 17th, 2009

USB traffic lightThis winter several American states are reporting that LED traffic lights are so energy efficient that they don’t produce enough heat to melt any snow that covers them. And this is causing accidents. One of the side effects of the previously used incandescent light bulbs was that they would melt any snow that covered them.

So the new LEDs have caused a few accidents and even a death is being blamed on them. Not to worry though, a fix is being worked on. I’m surprised none of the engineers thought of this problem before hand.

MacBook makes a run for the border, gets shot

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on December 15th, 2009

MacBook makes a run for the border, gets shotIt’s understandable to pay attention to your own safety when traveling abroad, but who knew that you had to worry about your laptop? Here’s the story. A young American woman was traveling to Jerusalem when gung-ho border security officers ask her a bunch of questions. They must not have liked the answers, so they went all pew pew pew and shot up her MacBook.

After that she was allowed entry into the country with her bullet-riddled MacBook. The woman has been promised compensation. What do you think? Was he just a PC guy?

Target cashiers now play a “game” at the register

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on December 8th, 2009

Target cashiers now play a "game" at the registerLooks like Target cashiers now play a “game” when they check you out at the register. The score depends on how fast you’re doing your job. And yes, we realize that this game sucks and looks like no fun at all. But hey, that’s life working at Target right? I’ve played games on a watch that are more interesting than this.

It sounds like a great way to shame employees into working faster. Especially after a few cashiers start acting all snooty because they hold the high score. Then you want to put them in their place and beat them. But only “the man” wins in this scenario.

Zlico’s System could be the end of Pap Smears

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on December 7th, 2009

Zlico's System could be the end of Pap SmearsUs guys don’t give women nearly enough credit. It ain’t easy being a woman, what with their monthly visits, the pain of giving birth and pressure to be rail thin, just to name a few of the trials they face. Then there are the gynecological visits. They don’t have it easy.

Millions of women go to their gynecologists every year for uncomfortable Pap Smear tests to make sure everything is working. Well, Zilco wants to help reduce the amount of waiting time to get results and eliminate stress with a new device that can do a quick and painless pap smear.

World’s smallest snowman built without snow

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on December 6th, 2009

World's smallest snowman built without snow There is an unseen world, filled with tiny things which resides in our own. It just got a little more festive. Scientists at the National Physical Laboratory have built the world’s smallest snowman. And they didn’t create it using balls of snow.

Instead they used two tiny beads. Beads typically used by physicists to calibrate electron microscope lenses. The pieces were welded together with platinum. It measures just 0.01mm (1/5 the width of human hair). It’s the result of manipulation of nanotech particles.

Light-Up Whisky Bottle

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on December 6th, 2009

Light-Up Whisky BottleNightclubs are flashy, vibrant and full of life. So why are your drinks boring? Ballantine’s Finest whisky has created a new bottle fit for any nightclub, with a luminescent coating that reacts to music. You can’t buy this retail just yet, but it can be found in pubs and nightclubs in Europe.

The bottle was created by London-based packaging agency The Core and is part of Ballantine’s ‘Listen to Your Beat’ campaign. The electroluminescent label lights up intermittently mimicking the look of an equalizer responding to music.

Moon coffee table book costs $90,500

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on December 2nd, 2009

Moon coffee table book costs $90,500Taschen, maker of all kinds of overpriced coffee table books, has reissued the Norman Mailer book Moonfire, which comes in an aluminum case with Apollo11 struts. The front cover is made to look like the moon’s surface and even comes with a separate piece of lunar rock in a Marc Newson case.

What will all of this cost you? This limited-edition book is $90,500. There’s a cheaper version for $1,500 for folks like you and me, but it’s probably garbage. This is one small step for people with too much money and one giant leap for Taschen’s pocketbook.

Self-powered diaper monitor system detects pee-pee, maybe one day poo-poo

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on November 17th, 2009

Self-powered diaper monitor system detects pee-pee, maybe one day poo-pooIt’s not that hard for a parent to figure out if their toddler has peed their diaper, but when it comes to old folks, maybe it could be a big help. A research laboratory at Japan’s Ritsumeikan University has developed a monitoring system for wet diapers. It consists of a self-powered sensor/transmitter and a receiver and is designed to assist the staff in hospitals and nursing homes with diaper checks. The sensor kit needs to be placed inside the diaper and then it sends signals to the receiver.

The sensor and the wireless transmitter are powered by a built-in battery that generates electricity using a chemical reaction in the presence of urine. That’s when you know. You have pee-pee.

Free public Wi-Fi for one UK town

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on November 17th, 2009

Free public Wi-Fi for one UK townLooks like a major Wiltshire town is buzzing with excitement as they are about to become the first in the UK to be able to enjoy free public wireless internet access. Swindon Borough Council plans for all 186,000 citizens to soon be swaddled under a blanket “Wi-Fi mesh” by April 2010.

With no connection charge while line rentals are free. The service will be called Signal, but here’s the catch. You will have limited access unless you pay for 20Mb upgrades. The fee is said to be “significantly less” than current broadband suppliers.