NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has sniffed the Martian air and now its Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument has taken its first taste of soil. The microwave-size internal laboratory of the nuclear-powered rover received its first sample on November 9 and spent the next two days analyzing it. Taken at the Rocknest area of Gale Crater, the purpose of the sampling is to study soil composition with a special emphasis on seeking organic molecules. The…"NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has sniffed the Martian air and now its Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM)"
In a world where “phone” means a pocket computer, it isn’t surprising that credit cards are turning into interactive security devices. This coming January, MasterCard Worldwide will makes its largest deployment of its Display Card, in Singapore. The card looks and acts like a conventional credit, debit or ATM card, but it also has an LCD display and keypad that allows users to access account information and make more secure financial transactions. The digital age…"MasterCard Worldwide will makes its largest deployment of its Display Card, in Singapore"
We can thank Amazon and Barnes & Noble for making tablets more affordable. B&N created the cheap seven-inch tablet with 2010’s Nook Color. Amazon took the concept to new levels with last year’s Kindle Fire. Now the two companies are back with improved models. How does the Nook HD compare to the Kindle Fire HD? Let’s take a look. Things are more confusing this year, as both tablets have siblings. A slightly upgraded Kindle Fire…"How does Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD compare to the Nook HD"
The core design of ceiling fans hasn’t altered in the 150 years or so since they first made an appearance. Most ceiling fans cool by blowing air straight down, which is fine if you’re standing directly underneath the blades, but of less use for regulating and homogenizing the overall air temperature in the room. Nik Hiner, via his company Exhale Fans, is trying to disrupt the industry with an innovative new design. The Exhale fan,…"The Exhale fan, developed by Hiner with help from Richard Halsall"
The last of the power trio of microphones unveiled at this year’s CES by Blue Microphones has finally been released. Laying claim to being the first true studio condenser microphone capable of delivering professional-quality audio to a 30-pin-packing iDevice or any computer, laptop or tablet with a spare USB port, the Spark Digital bridges the gap between supreme analog quality and convenient digital portability. Essentially a digital version of Blue’s analog Spark microphone, the Spark…"The last of the power trio of microphones unveiled at this year’s CES"
She’s one of the most privacy-conscious stars, but she’s clearly happy to bare all in the name of art. Sienna Miller might have kept most of the details of her first pregnancy under wraps but now her pregnant body is out there for the world to see. The 30-year-old star decided to take the plunge a la Demi Moore and show off her baby bump in a portrait by acclaimed artist Jonathan Yeo In July,…"Sienna Miller might have kept most of the details of her first pregnancy under wraps"
It’s normally the children and teenagers asking for the latest mobile phone in their Christmas stocking. But given the release of a new credit card-sized ‘My Phone’ aimed at the elderly, this year there will be many grandparents doing the same. The ‘no-frills’ £55 phone, launched by Age UK in time for Christmas, has been designed to make phone calls easy for people unfamiliar with modern technology or with bad eyesight. Rather than press numbers…"Age UK launch ‘no frills’ £55 mobile phone to make calls on the go easier for elderly just in time for Christmas"
With celebrities attracting some of the biggest followings on Twitter, it’s probably not all that surprising to see a celebrity step out in a dress that can literally display tweets in real-time. The creation of London-based fashion company CuteCircuit, the Haute Couture Twitter Dress was worn by former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger at the launch party of the EE 4G mobile network in the U.K. The dress is embedded with LEDs and recharges via USB.…"Nicole Scherzinger wearing CuteCircuit’s Twitter dress at EE’s 4G launch"
Given their impressive flight capabilities, it’s not surprising to see researchers turning to the world of flying insects for inspiration when developing new kinds of micro UAVs. With their ability to both fly at high speeds and hover, the dragonfly would seem an obvious candidate forbiomimicry, but we hadn’t seen any attempts to model a micro UAV on the dragonfly’s four wing design – until now. A multi-disciplinary team from Georgia Tech has developed a…"Georgia Tech has developed a robotic four-winged ornithopter called the TechJect Dragonfly"
Despite offering numerous advantages over its rotating brethren, most notably the ability to reach the high-speed winds found at higher altitudes, kite-based energy systems are yet to really get off the ground in a meaningful way. But things are looking up. Earlier this year, NASA revealedit is investigating ways to improve the aerodynamics and autonomous flight control of kites for power generation applications, and now Berlin-based wind energy developer NTS GmbH has teamed with the…"A kite makes its maiden voyage at the test site in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania"