Monday, June 21, 2010

Toshiba AC100 Netbook Runs Android and Has Massive Seven Days of Standby Battery Life [NetBooks]

Toshiba AC100 Netbook Runs Android and Has Massive Seven Days of Standby Battery Life

Finishing off the hat-trick of laptops, Toshiba's AC100 is their first machine to run on Android, and is shaping up to be a very tidy netbook with up to eight hours of battery, or up to SEVEN DAYS standby life.

Yep, seven days. It runs on an NVIDIA Tegra 250 chip, with an insy-winsy 512MB of DDR2 RAM, and 8GB NAND flash memory. The SD/MMC card reader will expand the storage so you can easily cart around more media if needed, and the 1.3MP webcam with microphone will get you using video-chatting apps once downloaded from the Market.

It's running Android 2.1 Eclair, and hardware-wise, has a 10.1-inch TruBrite screen with LED-backlighting, and 1,024 x 600 resolution. That could definitely be improved upon. It weighs 870g, and only has one USB port and one miniUSB, but there's also a HDMI port for connecting to TVs etc too. Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and optional 3G round it off.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

The LIFE Project to Create a Mini Star on Earth with 192 Lasers [Science]

Well, this is crazy. The LIFE project at the National Ignition Facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has plans to create a mini sun in the lab, one that could create more energy than it takes to create.

Yes, we're talking about fusion here. By focusing 192 huge laser beams at one 2mm ball of frozen hydrogen gas, they hope to create nearly limitless free energy. Oh, and it gets better:
In addition, the LIFE engine design can be 'charged' with fission fuel. The resulting fission reactions will produce additional energy that can be harvested for electricity production. Moreover, by using depleted uranium or spent nuclear fuel from existing nuclear power plants in the blanket, a LIFE engine will be capable of burning the by-products of the current nuclear fuel cycle. Because the fusion neutrons are produced independently of the fission process, the fission fuel could be used without reprocessing. In this way, LIFE may be able to consume nuclear waste as fuel, mitigate against further nuclear proliferation, and provide long-term sustainability of carbon-free energy. A LIFE engine, via pure fusion or through the combination of fusion and fission, will generate the steady heat required to drive turbines for generating from 1,000 to 2,500 MW of safe, environmentally attractive electric power 24 hours a day for decades.

So wait, not only will it create free, limitless energy, but it will also do so while getting rid of harmful nuclear waste? OK, I guess I'm on board.

[Gizmodo via The LIFE Project via Kottke]

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The internationally geolocated geek's slavery [GeoLocation]

Hi, I'm Rani and I am a geek. I'm also international because I live in Israel, which is located outside US. As a geek I love gadgets and new tech but you've probably figured that out already, if you've seen my blog.

Last month I got my latest toy, a Google Nexus One, which hasn't left my hands since (my wife is close to taking my two year old boy and leaving home). I download and test apps on a daily basis and try to read the reviews as much as time allows. I find the geolocation apps to be very game-ish with their continuing appeal on me to win more points and activate more mayorships as well as complete challenges.

Lately I've started to feel a little frustrated. There is no single venue in Israel in the indexes of SCVNGR, in my city there are about 40 places in Gowalla (a few of which I created), and last but not least, FourSquare, which is better but still I already registered at least a dozen venues. So I'm like making my town visible to the people coming to visit here. I feel like a lone rider boldly going where no one has gone before.

I said a lone rider for a reason. Not only the Israeli places are missing in the geolocation apps but also available friends are scarce. I have more then 500 contacts in my gmail account and more then 250 friends, mostly close friends, and non are SCVNGR usrers, 1 is a Gowalla user which until recently was my only FourSquare friend. I now have 7 friends in FourSquare, 2 of which didn't log in for centuries, 3 promotion companies, 1 from Thailand which I don't even know and asked me to befriend him. I did, what do I care... The last one is the one from Gowalla which is my only true friend. As I said, this is pretty frustrating being the pioneer. I actually feel a little like those pioneer to came and tamed the land here in Israel in the beginning of the previous century. Brave, strong headed, motivated and patriots.

If you are a non-US located geolocation user like me, let me know how is it you experience the check-ins lifestyle? What other locations are miserably abandoned like Haifa?
BTW, you can reach me as ranibaron in FourSquare, Gowalla and SCVNGR.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Horizon's Cheap Personal Fuel Cell Now On Sale—Charge Gadgets Cleanly and Cheaply [Fuel Cells]

Horizon's Cheap Personal Fuel Cell Now On Sale—Charge Gadgets Cleanly and Cheaply
First seen at CES years ago, Horizon's MiniPak has (finally) gone on sale for $100. It's the first personal, portable fuel cell—if you don't count the Japan-only Toshiba one—and is like a mini power plant for charging gadgets.

It eats refillable cartridges (coming bundled with two), with each cartridge giving the equivalent of 1,000 AA batteries. At $100, you can see it's going to end up saving you quite a bit of money. Not to mention help save the environment, with fuel cells being a clean and cheap way to generate energy. More on that can be explained here.

A bunch of connectors are included, so your smartphone/gaming console/other portable device should be supported, with up to 2W of power surging through a USB port. It's dead-small too, fitting in the palm of your hand, only slightly larger than the object you're charging up.

[Gizmodo via MiniPak via GizMag]

Samsung Galaxy Beam Brings First Android-Based Pico Projector Phone to Singapore [Pico Projector]

Samsung has announced that their Galaxy Beam (formerly 'Halo') handset is headed for Singapore next month. What makes this phone so special is it that it is the first Android handset to feature a built-in DLP pico projector. Running Android 2.1, the Beam also boasts a 3.7-inch Super AMOLED display, an 8 megapixel autofocus camera with flash, and a front-facing VGA camera. Rounding out the phone are support for 7.2Mbps HSPA data, Bluetooth 3.0, 802.11n WiFi, A-GPS, and FM Radio. There's no mention of price yet but we don't expect this to have mass-market appeal. Start saving now.

[AndroidGuys via Engadget]

NOTE: Samsung Galaxy Beam Brings First Android-Based Pico Projector Phone to Singapore originally appeared on AndroidGuys.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Audi Car Concept Sees 62 Speakers Added For 360 Surround Sound [Cars]

Audi Car Concept Sees 62 Speakers Added For 360 Surround Sound
Considering my car is bombed out in a shed somewhere, I'd be happy with any car—but given half the chance I'd love to see this Audi Q7, complete with all 62 speakers, in my garage.

It's the Audi Sound Concept, which sees the car manufacturer's engineers cramming in 52 mid-range speakers, five woofers and five tweeters into one of their small Q7 cars, with speakers hidden in the dashboard, ceiling and doors. Sound like overkill? It probably is—but Audi's used "wave field synthesis," an audio rendering technique which doesn't have many compatible audio tracks that are playable with the audio system, so this is very much a prototype showing The Future, if nothing else.

If the car ever does turn up on a showroom floor, good luck driving it away on holiday—there's no boot to stow your luggage, with most of it being used to hold the amplifier and cables.

What a shame only 32 tracks can be played on the system so far. If I was driving that baby, I'd crank up some Queen extra-loud.

[Gizmodo via Gizmag]

Nintendo 3DS Revealed at E3: No Price or Release Date Yet [Ninteno]

Big N today took wraps off of their much-anticipated Nintendo 3DS handheld video game system at the E3 2010 show.


The new handheld looks sort of like a DSi, but features a widescreen 3.5″ 3D display at the top which requires no glasses to see the its 3D effect. In addition to the classic touchscreen interface, control is provided through an analog “slide” control, which is located above the D-Pad, and the 3DS also includes a motion sensor and gyroscopic controls. There’s also a special “3D depth” slider, which lets you adjust the 3D effect to your personal taste (and eyeballs).


The system will also be backwards-compatible with games from the DSi. They also revealed that the 3DS would feature a significantly improved graphics chipset, capable of cranking out graphics that look almost as good or better than a Wii from what we can tell. Check out the example screen from the launch title Kid Icarus Uprising for an example of what to expect:


Nintendo also surprised us today, showing off a dual-lens camera on the back of the 3DS, allowing you to shoot your own 3D images, although it’s not clear if it supports video, or just still images.


Nintendo also revealed the 3DS will support playback of Hollywood blockbusters in 3D on the handheld’s glasses-free display. In addition, the 3DS will be able to communicate wirelessly, even when asleep, allowing game downloads, and even persistent universes which continue to update when you’re not playing.


Word from launch developers is that the 3D effect on the 3DS is nothing short of spectacular, with objects literally flying off the screen without need for any glasses.


Nintendo’s initial first-party titles for the 3DS include Kid Icarus Uprising, Mario Kart, nintendogs + cats, PilotWings Resort, Animal Crossing, StarFox 64, Steel Diver and Paper Mario.

There’s no word yet on pricing or a release date for the 3DS, but as soon as we know, we’ll be sure to let you know.


[technabob, Photo Credit: Engadget]

Mac Mini Gets an Aluminum Unibody Update [Mac Mini]

Apple today launched an updated Mac Mini, which now has an aluminum unibody housing and far more powerful hardware than the previous iteration.
The specs now start with a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, 2 GB of RAM, 320 GB hard drive, and an NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics chip, all of which will set you back $699.
Those in need of a slightly more powerful machine can get the $999 version, which sports a 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo, 4 GB of RAM, dual 500 GB 7200-rpm hard drives, GeForce 320M graphics, and Mac OS X Server Snow Leopard.
Both versions come with an SD card reader, 802.11n WiFi, 4 USB ports, a Mini DisplayPort jack, and a HDMI-out jack. The elegant new enclosure was created by Apple’s unibody construction process, and it’s only 7.7-inches square and 1.4-inches thin.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Xbox 360 Project Natal is Named Kinect [Microsoft]

I’m betting Microsoft is a little disappointed with USA Today, who let slip today that the name for what was previously known as Project Natal, will be released under the name “Kinect.”


In their Game Hunters column, they also revealed some of the likely titles that we’ll see for the controller-free game control system. According to the article, the games in development include:

  • Kinectimals lets you train and play with 20 different virtual cats, including a lion, cheetah and tiger.
  • Joyride, a racing game, lets players use their hands to hold an imaginary steering wheel — pull your hands toward you and push back out for an acceleration boost — and their bodies to execute jumps and tricks.
  • Kinect Sports has six activities including boxing, bowling, beach volleyball, track and field, soccer and table tennis. To serve a volleyball, you mimic the real motion; in soccer, you can kick the ball or do a header.
  • Kinect Adventures includes a river-raft time trial and obstacle course, playable by up to four players. On the raft, playing as a duo, you and a partner must lean one way or another to steer. Jumping helps the raft reach special areas for extra points.
  • Dance Central, in development by MTV Games, brings a So You Think You Can Dance experience home.
  • Star Wars characters and iconic Disney favorites will be featured in separate new games being developed at Microsoft in conjunction with LucasArts and Disney.

There’s still no word on the pricing or release date for Kinect, but Microsoft plans on a big gala reveal during their Cirque Du Soleil spectacular, scheduled for Tuesday, 6/15 at 3:30pm ET on MTV.

[technabob via Joystiq]

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fastest Electric Motorcycle in the World is Racing Today [Electric Vehicle]

Fastest electric motorcycle in the world is racing TODAY
Electric motorcycles are getting better all the time, but this MotoCzysz E1pc represents a giant leap into the future. Even though it looks like multiple rows of batteries with two wheels on either side, it's the most advanced motorcycle in the world.

You're looking at lots of batteries there, 10 times the capacity of the Toyota Prius, giving this crotch rocket enough power to blast it to 140 mph, way beyond the next-fastest electric motorcycle.

Today, the E1pc Digital Superbike undertakes its supreme test, the Isle of Man TT 2010 motorcycle race, 'designed to break motorcycles and its riders.' Here's a video preview of one of its test runs:


Just How Deep is the Deepwater Horizon Gusher? [Oceans]

Just How Deep is the Deepwater Horizon Gusher?

The ocean is a deep, deep place. And the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe, it turns out, its pretty damn deep as well. Just check out this great infographic from Our Amazing Planet.

Just How Deep is the Deepwater Horizon Gusher?

[Gizmodo via Our Amazing Planet via The Daily What]

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Future Car's Body is a Carbon Fiber Battery [Future Cars]

Future car's body is a carbon fiber battery
What if you could use carbon fiber as a battery? That's the idea scientists at the Imperial College of London are working on, aiming to build a car out of carbon fiber material that would not only function as a battery, but will be a strong and light substitute for the sheet metal on cars today.

Not only will it save weight and volume in a car, it would eliminate the need for wiring, letting engineers route electricity through the car's carbon fiber structure. The technology could be taken way beyond cars, also built into airplanes, cellphones, or anything that uses batteries. Just imagine a cellphone as thin as a credit card. Brilliant.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

New Toshiba Screen Lets You Bend to Zoom in Google Earth [Flexible Display]

Toshiba is showing off a novel user input case for its flexible LCD screen: you can physically bend the screen to zoom in or out in Google Earth. Shown off at the Society for Information Display 2010 Conference, the bend sensor in the display changes resistance values as the screen is flexed.
The 8.4-inch LCD panel is only 0.1 mm thick and displays at an SVGA resolution of 800 x 600 pixels. Custom software from Toshiba handles the translation between changes in the bend sensor’s resistance values and the level of zoom in the aerial Google Earth display.
It’s a surprisingly simple gesture that looks awfully intuitive. Check out a video of the flexible display in action below and let us know what you think. Do you want to see consumer devices begin to incorporate flexible displays?

[Mashable via Engadget]

50-core processor brings us one step closer to the Singularity [Intel]

50-core processor brings us one step closer to the Singularity
You're looking into the eye of a monstrous processing beast. Intel just showed off this 50-core processor it's calling 'Knights Corner' an energy-efficient 22-nanometer processor that will somehow shoehorn more than 50 cores onto a single chip. Sheesh, and we thought 12 cores was mind-blowing.

Intel, you're teasing us — no release date was announced. But as soon as this baby's unleashed, computers will be able to do lots more things at once — in this case, 50 processes at the same time.

Meanwhile, programmers will need to know how to write software that can be efficiently multi-tasked by this 50-headed beast, so Intel's now seeding a few developer kits to get code writers working on this multi-headed hydra. When they do, computers will be a lot faster, one step closer to the Singularity, when computers are as smart as humans.

[DVICE via Electronista]