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The designer Arndt Menke thinks we were too hasty in giving up on one of the strongest,
resilient, and lightweight natural materials. There are over 60,000 woody plants
worldwide but we use less than 300 of them in a terribly unsustainable way. The
Holzweg bike’s frame is totally made of wood and weighs a scant 2.3kg. The end result is
an incredibly light weight bike, strong and pretty darn good looking too.




No more finger fatigue

Emma is a little accessory that protects your hand and secures the pencil into an
ergonomic position. Wish I had this!
Emma is designed to make your fingers feel comfortable by improving blood circulation,
preventing ulcers and reducing hand fatigue as much as possible during periods of
consecutive writing. It also helps with new writers as it ergonomically instructs how to
properly hold a writing tool. The elderly can also benefit, allowing them to write for
longer periods more comfortably.
To ensure softness the product is made from high grade silicone and in a variety of
colors, one for almost everyday of the week!




FujiFIlm's 12 megapixel F200EXR camera
Meet the FujiFilm FinePix F200 EXR, the company's first camera to host its new 1/1.6-
inch Super CCD EXR sensor revealed back in September. The sensor promises high
resolution, high sensitivity, and a wide dynamic range without the noise typical of these
compact shooters. Spec-wise, we're looking at a 12 megapixel resolution, 3-inch LCD,
28-mm wide-angle 5x zoom lens with CCD-shift stabilization, a 5fps burst mode and 640
x 480 video recording in AVI (Motion JPEG) format, support for SD/SDHC and xD
Picture Card storage, and plenty of automatic shooting modes as well as manual control
over the shutter speed and aperture.




Dial4Light - Street Lighting by SMS




Lemgo, a German town situated between Hannover and Dortmund, is testing a new
mobile application in a field trial: By sending a 50-cent premium-SMS a street of houses
can be illuminated for 15 minutes.
Many communities in Germany turn off their street lighting system from 11 pm to save
energy and funds. It’s a bad solution for pedestrians at night, but a town like Lemgo saves
about 50,000 Euro a year.
A Lemgo citizen came up with a brilliant solution which serves both needs: saving funds
and lighting the streets for pedestrians late at night: A mobile application. Just send an
SMS to the streetlight - respectively to a GSM-modem in the junction box - and the way
home is illuminated. The new service is called Dial4Light and the inventor Dieter Grote
cooperates with the Lemgo public services to bring the service into the market. The
requests for the patent pending technology accumulate.
The inventor is thinking of many other areas of application: Emergency services can
illuminate the scene. Taxi drivers can switch on the lights for their passengers. Joggers
can turn on the floodlight at the sports field in the evening. Whether one premium-SMS is
enough for turning on the floodlight stays open.
By the way: You can also buy car-parking tickets by mobile phone in Lemgo.
Energizer Solar Recharger (BATEREIKU PRIKROVEJAS SAULES ENERGIJA)




Energizer Rechargeable Solar Charger is a portable solar-powered AA and AAA battery
charger that transfers sunlight to power, was a little light on the actual details. It's debut is
until January's CES.


Apparently, the device:

• will feature a USB-out port to power other devices (since some cell phones, cameras,
and GPS units have USB plugs, like most iPods for example);
• can be charged from an AC wall outlet in addition to the sun;
• and is weatherproof to withstand the elements.

Energizer says the Rechargeable Solar Charger will be available this summer and should
carry a suggest retail price of $49.99--a price that includes two Energizer Rechargeable
batteries.

SuperSpeed USB 3.0




Symwave announced that in January 2009 will be first test of the new SuperSpeed USB
3.0 technology for dara transfer.The USA company planned to show the new
specification on CES in Las Vegas.The Full Speed of the USB 1.0 is only
12Mbit/s(1.5MB/s),high-speed of USB 2.0 is 480Mbit/s(60MB/s) which is 12 times as
long to transmit than USB 1.0.
The new technology of USB 3.0 allow to transfer data 10 times long than USB 2.0 which
is 4.8Gbit/s(600MB/s).The USB 3.0 specification was released by Intel and its partners in
August 2008, according to early reports from CNET news. Products using the 3.0
specification are likely to arrive in 2009 or 2010.




Invention Allows Humans to Breathe Like Fish
By Bill Christensen

posted: 06 June 2005 09:07 am ET

Alan Izhar-Bodner, an Israeli inventor, has developed a way for divers to breathe
underwater without cumbersome oxygen tanks. His apparatus makes use of the air that is
dissolved in water, just like fish do.




The system uses the "Henry Law" which states that the amount of gas that can be
dissolved in a liquid is proportional to the pressure on the liquid. Raise the pressure -
more gas can be dissolved in the liquid. Decrease the pressure - gas dissolved in the
liquid releases the gas. This is exactly what happens when you open a can of soda; carbon
dioxide gas is dissolved in the liquid and is under pressure in the can. Open the can,
releasing the pressure, and the gas fizzes out.

Bodner's system apparently uses a centrifuge to lower pressure in part of a small amount
of seawater taken into the system; dissolved gas is extracted. The patent abstract reads:

A self-contained open-circuit breathing apparatus for use within a body of water naturally
containing dissolved air. The apparatus is adapted to provide breathable air. The
apparatus comprises an inlet means for extracting a quantity of water from the body of
water. It further comprises a separator for separating the dissolved air from the quantity
of water, thereby obtaining the breathable air. The apparatus further comprises a first
outlet means for expelling the separated water back into the body of water, and a second
outlet means for removing the breathable air and supplying it for breathing. The air is
supplied so as to enable it to be expelled back into the body of water after it has been
breathed.

Human beings have been thinking about how to breathe underwater since they started
swimming. This long-held desire plays an important part in one of the first great science
fiction novels, Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

It consists of a reservoir of thick iron plates, in which I store the air under a pressure of
fifty atmospheres. This reservoir is fixed on the back by means of braces, like a soldier's
knapsack.
(Read more about Jules Verne's diving apparatus)
(Check out this Functional Captain Nemo Diving Suit)

More recently, I distinctly remember an episode of the sixties sf series Voyage to the
Bottom of the Sea in which a scientist decides that the best way to breathe underwater is
to give himself gills. Alas, once equipped with gills, and fully acclimated to life in the
sea, Dr. Jenkins and his associate lie in wait outside the submarine Seaview, converting
every diver who emerges from the ship into mermen.




From The Amphibians - aired Mar-08-1965)

And, of course, everyone remembers the scene in which intrepid Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi
and Qui-Gon Jin don pencil-sized breathing masks to explore the swamp lakes of Naboo
in The Phantom Menace. This trick is used again in the most recent Star Wars movie.
(Hmm, perhaps those small cylinders are centrifuges...)

Read more at Like a Fish: Revolutionary Underwater Breathing System, or take a look at
more inventions from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and the Functional Captain Nemo
Diving Suit. Also, an excellent recent novel, Starfish by Peter Watts, refers to a
"recycler" that can be implanted directly in the diver. Thanks to alert reader Adi for
pointing this story out.

(This Science Fiction in the News story used with permission from Technovelgy.com -
where science meets fiction.)



The Shadowless Skyscraper
Very tall buildings are a tough sell in Paris. The Parisians don't want their lovely low-rise
city looking too much like Houston. So Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de
Meuron knew they'd have to win over skeptical neighbors to get their 50-story tower
built. Le Project Triangle, a combination office/hotel, is the first skyscraper to be
approved since Paris lifted a 31-year-old ban on high-rise construction in the city center.
Using computer modeling, the designers of Beijing's "bird's nest" Olympic stadium came
up with a building almost as startling: a slender glass-and-steel triangle, like a shark fin,
that they say won't cast shadows on surrounding streets. The pyramid is one of history's
oldest building shapes, but a slim triangle? That's new. Is it the shape of things to come?
The Mobile, Dexterous, Social Robot




Nexi is the first of a new class of robot being developed at MIT's Media Lab and referred
to as MDS, which stands for mobile, dexterous, social. Nexi can, or eventually will be
able to, move around on wheels (hence mobile), and it can pick up objects (dexterous).
But its most striking feature is its humanlike, albeit creepy, face, which can express a
startling range of emotions (social).


The Dynamic Tower




Each of the 80 floors in the world's first moving skyscraper — with offices and a hotel,
topped by apartments — will rotate 360 degrees, all at different speeds. Designed by
Italian architect David Fisher and located in Dubai (another is planned for Moscow), the
prefab, wind-powered tower will cost an estimated $700 million. The residences will sell
for $3.7 million to $36 million. The building should be completed in 2010.
The Bionic Hand




The world's first commercially available bionic hand took many hands many years to
develop. Created by Touch Bionics, it's multi-articulating, meaning each finger has its
own motor. Artificial hands are often hooklike, limited to simple open and close gestures,
but the iLimb has more subtle capabilities, like a credit-card grip for grasping narrow
objects. It also has a power hold for larger things like coffee mugs. Research on the
device began in the United Kingdom's national health system back in the 1960s. Now
hundreds of people around the world are using it. Next up for Touch Bionics? A
prosthetic wrist unit, prosthetic fingers and a full bionic arm.

Green Crude




If it weren't for that pesky climate-change problem, petroleum would remain a great
source of power. It's energy-dense, portable and (relatively) cheap. Remove the carbon
and it would be perfect — which is essentially what researchers at Arizona State
University (ASU) have been trying to do. Milton Sommerfeld and Qiang Hu have been
working on raising algae to turn into a biofuel that would be virtually identical to
gasoline. The fuel would actually be carbon-neutral, because algae consume carbon
dioxide as they grow. Unlike traditional corn or sugarcane — two plants used for most
ethanol biofuels today — algae can't be eaten, so using it for fuel doesn't cut into food
supplies. ASU isn't alone. Start-ups like Sapphire Energy in San Diego are vying to bring
the fuel to market — and give oil back its good name.

The World's Fastest Computer




On May 26, at 3:30 in the morning, a $133 million supercomputer nicknamed
Roadrunner broke the long-sought-after petaflop barrier: 1 quadrillion calculations per
second. Built by IBM for Los Alamos National Laboratory, Roadrunner will be used
primarily to simulate the effects of aging on nuclear weapons. Next up: the exaflop
barrier.

The Orbital Internet




In space, no one can hear you scream. But you will be able to send e-mail, thanks to a
new protocol being developed for use there. It's hard to maintain a stable connection in
orbit, so the interplanetary Internet will have to be especially tolerant of delays and
disruptions. In September, a satellite used the new protocol to relay an image of the Cape
of Good Hope back to Earth.
The Chevy Volt




No-emission electric motors — which began the automobile revolution — are the
technology of tomorrow for cars. But today's batteries can't support the typical driving
experience. Chevy's Volt is a nice compromise. The sedan has an electric motor with a
battery that can provide up to 40 miles (about 65 km) of range on a single charge. A gas
engine kicks in to recharge the battery while you're driving. Since nearly 80% of us drive
less than 40 miles a day, that means that unlike the Prius, the Volt could get drivers off
gas altogether. The best of both worlds lands by the end of 2010.

The Global Seed Vault




Superman had it right: if you want to keep something safe, build a mountain fortress
above the Arctic Circle. That's the thinking — more or less — behind the Svalbard
Global Seed Vault. Almost every nation keeps collections of native seeds so local crops
can be replanted in case of an agricultural disaster. The Global Seed Vault, opened this
year on the far-northern Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, is a backup for the backups.
It's badly needed — as many as half the seed banks in developing countries are at risk
from natural disasters or general instability. The vault can hold up to 4.5 million samples,
which will be kept dry at about 0°F (-18°C). Even if the facility loses power, the Arctic
climate should keep the seeds viable for thousands of years. Let's just hope we still like
corn then.

Hulu.com




When cable eventually dies, websites like Hulu will be held responsible. Unlike YouTube
and other amateur-video-upload sites, Hulu is a hub for network TV shows and movies:
Hulu offers shows from nbc, Fox, pbs and other channels, including free full episodes of
SNL, The Daily Show, The Office and other hits the TiVo-less masses often miss, plus
films like Ghostbusters, The Fifth Element and Lost in Translation. Created as a network-
approved alternative to YouTube's grab bag, Hulu was at first roundly mocked as a ham-
fisted corporate knockoff of the grass-roots glory that is YouTube. (It was also mocked
for its weird name.) Instead it proved that suits can play in the Internet video space too
and that studio content can coexist online with the user-generated kind. In doing so, it
delivered the final blow that untethered TV from that box in your living room.

The Tesla Roadster
Electric cars were always environmentally friendly, quiet, clean — but definitely not
sexy. The Tesla Roadster has changed all that. A battery-powered sports car that sells for
$100,000 and has a top speed of 125 m.p.h. (200 km/h), the Roadster has excited the
clean-tech crowd since it was announced in 2003. Celebrities like George Clooney joined
a long waiting list for the Roadster; magazines like Wired drooled over it. After years of
setbacks and shake-ups, the first Tesla Roadsters were delivered to customers this year.
Reviews have been ecstatic, but Tesla Motors has been hit hard by the financial crisis.
Plans to develop an affordable electric sedan have been put on hold, and Tesla is laying
off employees. But even if the Roadster turns out to be a one-hit wonder, it's been a hell
of an (electric) ride.

LAP CAT
Inventor: Omron




Studies show that the company of a cat can help keep you calm and happy. This robotic
version—known as NeCoRo in his native Japan and Max in the U.S.—is so lifelike in his
appearance, responses and movements that Maryland "robo-therapists" Alex and Elena
Libin have recommended him for nursing-home residents and dementia patients who
could use a pet's love but are unable to care for the real thing. Stroke Max with an open
palm or call him by name, and he will purr, turn his head, move his ears and blink his
eyes. He can also sit, stretch and "sleep" but never goes looking for a litter box.

Availability: Now, for research only
To Learn More: robotherapy.org

                           Autonomous Automobile
The trouble with most green-concept cars is that they require regular "refueling" with
hard-to-get hydrogen or ethanol. The Venturi Eclectic runs solely on wind and solar
power. Solar cells blanket the rooftop, and a wind turbine provides extra juice. When
that's not enough, a backup electric outlet can recharge the three-seat Eclectic in five
                                         hours.
                                   Available: 2008
                                http://www.venturi.fr/

				
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