Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Gadgets: Bat Hangers

Bat Hangers by Veronika Paluchova

Photo: Last Launch

The Sweet Escape by Richard Silvera

Merchandise: Headphone Splitter

 Price: US$16

A robot can be an especially helpful fellow. This little silver guy wants to facilitate the GROOVE in your friendship and love. Turn up the jams and share music with a friend thanks to his mad earphone splitting skills. Compatible with any standard device with a 3.5 mm headphone socket such as MP3 players, PDAs and computers. Eyes of the robot are the headphone sockets. Includes key chain attachment for on-the-go. 1.5"


“Either way, it would mean that the Universe is fundamentally nonlocal, in the sense that every bit of the Universe can be connected to any other bit anywhere, instantly. That such connections are possible defies our everyday intuition and represents another extreme solution, but arguably preferable to faster-than-light communication. “Our result gives weight to the idea that quantum correlations somehow arise from outside spacetime, in the sense that no story in space and time can describe them.” 
Researchers look beyond space and time to cope with quantum theory, Physorg, Oct 28, 2012

Tech: A biology-friendly robot programming language

A biology-friendly robot programming language:
For researchers in the biological sciences, however, the future training of robots has been made much easier thanks to a new program called “PaR-PaR” (Programming a Robot). Nathan Hillson, a biochemist at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), led the development of PaR-PaR, a simple high-level, biology-friendly, robot-programming language that allows researchers to make better use of liquid-handling robots and thereby make possible experiments that otherwise might not have been considered. “The syntax and compiler for PaR-PaR are based on computer science principles and a deep understanding of biological workflows,” Hillson says. “After minimal training, a biologist should be able to independently write complicated protocols for a robot within an hour. With the adoption of PaR-PaR as a standard cross-platform language, hand-written or software-generated robotic protocols could easily be shared across laboratories.”
Source: Kurzweil

Friday, October 26, 2012

Great Design: Room in a Box

Save The Food From The Fridge

Symbiosis of Potato+Apple   Verticality of Root Vegetables

“Observing the food and therefore changing the notion of food preservation, we could find the answer to current situations such as the overuse of energy and food wastage. My design is a tool to implement that knowledge in a tangible way and slowly it changes the bigger picture of society. I believe that once people are given a tool that triggers their minds and requires a mental effort to use it, new traditions and new rituals can be introduced into our culture.”

Architecture: Floating Observation Deck

Architecture firm SOM has proposed adding a floating observation deck that slides up and down the sides of two new skyscrapers. The moving deck is one of several public realm strategies that the firm is promoting for the 100-year-old station, following an invitation from the Municipal Art Society of New York to re-think the spaces in and around the building. SOM suggests that the hovering deck would improve the quality of the public space around the building by offering an “iconic landmark” with a 360-degree panorama of the city skyline.

Architecture: Dubai International Airport

Dubai International Airport Terminal 3
Garhoud, United Arab Emirates
Photographer: Alisdair Miller

Tech: Feds Stay Ahead of the Robo-Car

"Google and several automakers are creating a future in which we’ll cede control and let the robot drive. It’s a brave new autonomous world, with Google having logged over 300,000 miles in its fleet of autonomous hybrids, and Audi, BMW and General Motors all racing to bringing the technology to market. But with great changes comes greater regulation, and after recent legislation making autonomous cars legal in California, Nevada and Florida, federal regulators are attempting to stay ahead of the rapid rise of the robo-car. 

At a forum in Washington, D.C., NHTSA Administrator David Strickland laid out the agency’s wide-ranging and far-reaching intentions to implement testing and ultimately draft rules for autonomous vehicles. And at an event in Detroit last week, NHTSA’s director of crash avoidance and electronic controls research, Tim Johnson, announced that the agency will conduct a two- to three-year, $1.75 million research project in conjunction with Virginia Tech to study the real-world implications of autonomous vehicle technology."
Source: Wired.com

Friday, October 19, 2012

Tech Links: October 19, 2012

China “Apple Store” is Being Real Honest


Hunting season is now open on software patents, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Stack Exchange and Google are teaming up to make it easy for geeks to shoot down overbroad and ridiculous patents. Thanks to a change in patent law that went into effect this month, third parties who think a patent application is flimsy or invalid due to previous art or obviousness can now file evidence and comments to the USPTO, starting Thursday morning. Previously, it was illegal for the USPTO to take outside parties comments into account when evaluating a patent application.

Verizon draws fire for monitoring app usage, browsing habits: Verizon Wireless has begun selling information about its customers' geographical locations, app usage, and Web browsing activities. The company this month began offering reports to marketers showing what Verizon subscribers are doing on their phones and other mobile devices, including what iOS and Android apps are in use in which locations.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Video Distraction: City Rising

"City Rising" by Tom Ryaboi

Video Distraction: ISS Startrails

"This Video was achived by "stacking" image sequences provided by NASA from the Crew at International Space Station. These "stacks" create the Star Trails, but furthermore make interesting patterns visible. For example lightning corridors within clouds, but they also show occasional satellite tracks (or Iridium Flashes) as well as meteors - patterns that interrupt the main Star Trails, and thus are immediately visible.

The many oversaturated hot pixels in some of the scenes are the inevitable result of high ISO settings the Nikon D3s in ISS-use are pushed to for keeping exposure times short (owed to the dramatic speed the ISS travels). As there are no dark frames or RAW data currently available, hot pixels are not easy to remove.

Thanks a lot to my favourite bad Astronomer, Phil at BadAstronomy for first posting the film.

Finally, please also be aware of Light Pollution one can see in many of these scenes! In the US join darksky.org for preserving the night skies for our children!!"

Friday, October 12, 2012

Lecture: The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics

Serge Haroche and David Wineland were awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics on Tuesday. They share the prize for independently developing methods to study particles of light…without destroying that light, which is usually what happens when it is observed. (For the record, other particles are relevant as well, but let’s just keep it simple and suggest that we’re talking about photons.) Their invention is clever and interesting, but can be hard to grok for the non-scientist.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tech: Live2D

Live2D, developed by Cybernoids, is the world’s first drawing technology to enable 3D rendering of 2D images. This technology supports a variety of portable consoles and smartphones, and Live2D is already being utilized for games that take advantage of the unique characteristics of hand drawn artwork.

“In 3D, the unique attractions of 2D art like Osamu Tezuka’s can’t be rendered properly. But with Live2D, we’ve worked to enable smooth 3D motion using entirely the original 2D drawings. So, this system makes the graphics appear exactly as the creator intended.”

“When the face turns sideways, you can show perfectly how the eyelashes and eyes move. You can also use the tools to work more easily and efficiently. This can be done in all kinds of ways, with all kinds of emphasis, depending on what the creator wants to do. This technology is an extension of drawing, so it works best if the creator has a good artistic sense.”
Source: diginfo.tv

Architecture: Namaste Tower

Mumbai, India is about to unveil a gorgeous new skyscraper to the world. Designed by Atkins Design Studio for W Hotel, the Namaste Tower aims to become a landmark structure, representing the burgeoning economic and cultural significance of India. The 62-story, 984-sq-ft tall building, which is currently under construction, will include a hotel, office and retail space. The traditional Indian greeting of “Namaste,” where the hands are clasped together, is the inspiration for the design of the tower. In Sanskrit “Namaste” means I bow to you.” It has a spiritual significance of negating one’s ego in the presence of another.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Lecture: Can We Have Brain-to-Brain Communication?

Some people think that the next big innovation in the coming decades is not going to involve the Internet because we can actually connect computers to the human mind. Therefore, Michio Kaku says this brain-to-brain communication would involve not just the exchange of information, but also the transmission of emotions and feelings, "because these are also part of the fabric of our thoughts."

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Architecture: Radisson Blu Hotel

At first glance this may look like just another luxury hotel but once you enter it, you’ll discover the worlds largest cylindrical aquarium. 82-feet high in the heart of the hotel’s lobby atrium the AquaDom holds one million liters of saltwater and is home to many species of tropical fish. The AquaDom is maintained by the Sea Life Berlin, which is located right next to the hotel. Sea Life Berlin houses 30 freshwater and saltwater tanks, which are home to thousands of sea dwellers.

Gadgets: Lockitron

Lockitron installs in seconds over your current lock. It's incredibly easy to invite family, friends and guests to your Lockitron. Lockitron is compatible with any smartphone thanks to our mobile website. Older phones can use Lockitron through simple text message commands.