WOW-POW = World Of Wonderful POWer: August 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Most cows point north?

Most cows point north?
CNN has a video about a new study that says cows worldwide rest and graze in a north-south line.

Charge your mobile phone just by walking the dog… for 6 hours straight.

While not really intended for developed countries the start up M2E Power, based in Boise Idaho, announced that it will start selling a cell-phone charger next year that can convert every day movement into energy for cell phones. The micro-generator device is designed to convert regular motion, like walking the dog, grocery shopping etc into power with the charger said to be able to convert six hours of everyday movement into an hour of talk time. In the future, the company planes to embed its micro-generator with integrated battery storage system into the mobile phone itself. While not really suitable for developed nations with good electric infrastructure the motion-harvesting mobiles fill a real need in developing nations with inadequate power grids, off the grid adventurers, or most importantly the military.
More at Businessweek

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hydrogen-Producing Bacteria Provide Clean Energy

A new "green" technology developed cooperatively by scientists with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and North Carolina State University (NC State) could lead to production of hydrogen from nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
Read more here

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Video Review of the Sony Z90 US; A Mobile Media Marvel! was foolish enough to lend us a Sony Z90 US 13.1” notebook computer for several days and here is our video review. This sucker Smokes! It honestly is the fastest laptop we have played with due to its Centrino 2 CPU. It came with the works, 2.8GHz CPU, 320GB HDD, 4GB DDR3 RAM, and Blue-Ray drive. (Correction, video says 7200RPM drive but it is really a 5400RPM) Not just fast, this thing can play any HD 1080p video without working up a sweat. In fact, we played 2 HD videos simultaneously with not a stutter or hiccup. If you need a Crysis graphics crunching laptop this is the one but it will cost yah as isn’t cheap. The top of the line VAIO Z90 goes for almost $4000 but what would you expect from a notebook more powerful than most high end desktops. Available at

Toshiba ArrayFort holds 432 terra bytes HDD

The AF7500 holds up to 432 SATA Hard Disks, has 16 port FibreChannel and up to 1.5Gbytes / sec through-put.

As you would expect there will be lines longer than the Apple 3G lineup when this puppy is released today in Japan for a cool 92,205,300 yen ($838,230 USD).

Would make a nice BitTorrent device!

from Nikkei (Japanese)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Chainsaw Maid! A Claymation Massacre

A nice relaxing claymation zombie movie from Japan called Chainsaw Maid. Now before you watch, I won’t lie to you, there is a lot of clay blood. What does this have to do with Power or gadgets? Chainsaw… Maid… Zombies… clay Blood? Need I say more?
A bit more info at the director’s website. Via Japanprobe

Human cell sized Microbatteries to power miniature devices in future.

Developed by MIT engineers, Micorbatteris which are about half the size of a human cell and built with viruses could power a range of miniature devices. While the batteries have not yet been built yet, 2 of the 3 main components have already been tested according to an article published in the Academy of Sciences which describes the assembling and testing of the new technology. The researchers used a common technique called soft lithography to create a pattern of tiny posts on a on a clear, rubbery material. On top of these posts, they then deposited several layers of two polymers that together act as the solid electrolyte and battery separator. Next the anode was formed by the a viruses that self-assemble atop the polymer layers on the posts. Creating the batteries does not require any special expensive equipment and can be done at room temperature. No word yet on when these batteries will be available.
More at Physorg

Grow Your Own Homes more than just smoke

Eco Architecture or the art of growing your own furniture, structure, or shelter out of trees is now ready to for the big time as a new company, Plantware, plans to roll out these structures worldwide. Shaping living trees into useful objects, known as tree shaping or arborsculpture has been around for years but now the company had been able to implement the trees into park benches, playground structures, streetlamps and even gates. “The approach is a new application of the well-known botanical phenomenon of aerial root development,” says Prof. Eshel of TVU. “Instead of using plant branches, this patented approach takes malleable roots and shapes them into useful objects for indoors and out.” Not happy with just single structures Plantware’s CEO Gordon Glaze betting that entire homes will be constructed with the eco-friendly technology and hopes the first home prototype will be ready in about a decade.
More at ScienceDaily

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Better Way To Make Hydrogen From Biofuels

Researchers here have found a way to convert ethanol and other biofuels into hydrogen very efficiently. A new catalyst makes hydrogen from ethanol with 90 percent yield, at a workable temperature, and using inexpensive ingredients.
Umit Ozkan, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Ohio State University, said that the new catalyst is much less expensive than others being developed around the world, because it does not contain precious metals, such as platinum or rhodium.
Read more here

Sharp / Willcom D4 Full Video Review WS016SH phone UMPC

Here is a Video Review and impressions of the Sharp D4 after a several days of getting our grubby mitts on it. First off the Sharp D4 comes with a full Intel ATOM chipset and 1.33GHz CPU, 1GB of RAM, and 40GB HDD and is billed as the smallest ATOM based UMPC running Vista. Shame on Sharp for not having the option to upgrade the RAM to 2GB as no Vista computer should be sold with less. With all that said, the computer did perform decently with RAM never being an issue and was a nifty little tablet to have around. We loved the way sharp integrated the mouse into the screen bezel as it was very natural to use it this way. The screen was also typical Sharp goodness enforcing Sharps reputation as the best LCD maker in the industry. However, all was not rosy with the D4. The biggest annoyance was the 1-1.5 hour battery life with the standard battery. We got to use the device with the large battery which made the device much more useful with a 4 + hour battery life. We also didn’t like the keyboard which required too much force to press the keys down in our view. We got to compare the D4 to a Sony UX92 early in the movie so have a look.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Panasonic Toughbook Tablet PC for Doctors at IDF

Yet another tablet displayed at the IDF conference in San Francisco. This one is from Panasonic and is part of their Toughbook series. It is designed primarily for the medical and health care field so has a large curved handle so it can be carried like a brief case as well. No specifications were give but we can assume it will also be Vista capable and should be built to take abuse. As an R5 owner I can tell you Panasonic Toughbooks are the strongest and most practical notebooks made. Amen…
More pictures at Ubergizmo

Pictures of the Intel’s UrbanMax tablet concept

Intel has just started showing off its UrbanMax. concept UMPC at the IDF conference in San Francisco. Intel has not revealed much about the specs or power except that it has a slide and tilt keyboard, has a resisitive touchscreen and the demo was running Vista so it must have some processing horse power. The slate styled convertible laptop is really too big to be classified as a UMPC but does make a great sub note with a very usable keyboard. Also from the pictures it looks to have the same type of mouse as the Raon Everun uses but god knows where the right and left mouse buttons are.
More pictures at Jkkmobile

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Scientists studying many different parts of the planet's ecosystems are warning that Earth may be on the verge of a sixth major mass extinction event. In a series of papers published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers examining biodiversity around the globe paint a gloomy picture for the planet's species. Warning signs include recent mass die-offs of amphibians and declining fisheries.
Over the course of the Earth's history, there have been at least five major extinction events -- the End Ordovician, Late Devonian, End Permian, End Triassic, and End Cretaceous. But are we facing a sixth major extinction?
Listen to Paul Ehrlichon on Science Friday

Photosynthesis Replicated: Scientists Split Water Into Hydrogen And Oxygen

An international team of researchers led by Monash University has used chemicals found in plants to replicate a key process in photosynthesis paving the way to a new approach that uses sunlight to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The breakthrough could revolutionize the renewable energy industry by making hydrogen – touted as the clean, green fuel of the future – cheaper and easier to produce on a commercial scale. (didn't MIT announce something similar last week?)
Read more here

Monday, August 18, 2008

Lenovo's IdeaPad U8 MID gets officially released for the Olympics

Lenovo IdeaPad U8 MID has just been officially released in China to coincide with the Olympics and authorized by the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee for free viewing of the events via CMMB digital TV. The Lenovo IdeaPad is a10.6-ounce tablet like device that features an 800MHz Intel Atom Z500 CPU, 1GB of RAM upgradeable to 2GB thankfully, 6GB SSD, dual cameras, 5-hour battery life, and support for China’s digital mobile TV. The IdeaPad comes well connected with 802.11b/g wi-fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and EDGE as well as China-specific TD-SCDMA 3G network support and WiMAX. Its expected to be introduced tomorrow at Intel's San Francisco IDF conference.
More at Pocketables

Backyard nuclear reactor can be yours for a cool 25 million.

Hyperion Power Modules has announced that they have received their first customer for 6 of what the company describes as “a small, compact, transportable, nuclear power reactor”. Can I get fries with that?) Each module can supply enough heat to produce about 25 MW of electricity when connected to an efficient steam turbine cycle. Just about enough for a large town or small city. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission currently reviewing their manufacturing license with scheduled manufacturing planed to begin in 2012 and a projected completion sometime in 2015. Sure to be a hit with the neighbors, a single truck can deliver the HPM heat source to a site and the reactor is supposed to be able to produce 70 MW of thermal energy for 5 years. Now if I could get one of these in my car…
More here

Solarjo Power Purse packs more than just good looks

“Solarjo Power Purse packs more than just good looks. Appearing at first glance as sleek as any other designer handbag, this classy clutch is studded with enough solar cells to charge a cell phone battery in just two hours.” While functional most of these solar bags have looked anything but stylish but Solarjo’s approach to integrating the solar cells as part fabrics pattern works surprisingly well. The purse has an included battery tucked away inside its lining and uses a USB cable connection that can be used to charge just about any device. The bag is not cheap at $285 and is set to hit the market at the end of 2008.
More at Inhabitat
Solarjo’s website

Brewing up your own Biodiesel at home Video

Feel like cooking up you own batch of biodiesel? Make Magazine has just posted a great Youtube video “How To” on making your own batch of Bio- "White Lighting" diesel at home. It does require a diesel car, a lot of vegetable oil, and some caustic chemicals but all in the name of saving the planet.
More at Make

Mobile Linux phones getting buried by Android?

Mobile Linux phones getting buried by Android? According to Ostatic, Orange has pulled the plug on their plan to deliver Access Linux Platform's OS on a Samsung smartphone later this month. Is this a sign of weakening confidence for small companies supplying mobile Linux for handsets? Researchers at J. Gold and Associates are predicting that Google's Linux-based Android platform will merge with the new and open source mobile platform from Symbian. These two huge organizations would quell any competition from upstarts who might dare to produce Linux-based handsets. Pure speciation but who knows. What does Orange say about their decision? Their take as to why the canceled it is to "a number of advances in mobile technology." mmmm...
More Here

Worldwide Mini-Notebook Shipments to Exceed 5 Mn Units in 2008 but what about the rise of the Androids (smart phones)

As we already know, the fasting growing sector of the computer market today is the newly created UMPC / MID / Mini-note sector and now we have some numbers. Gartner Inc is reporting that worldwide mini-notebook shipments will reach 5.2 million units in 2008 and 8 million units in 2009. Gartner is also predicting that mobile computing devices and the mini-notebooks market is expected to experience strong growth with as many as 50 million mini-notebooks shipped in 2012. Gartner’s Annette Jump said the demand for mini-notebooks is driven by several factors, including screen size, weight, price, ease of use and their basic, but sufficient, PC functionality.

However, Gartner has not taken into account the rise of truly smart phones like the iphone and soon to be released Google’s Android hand sets. Most teenagers can tell you, people are looking for a “tricorder” type devise that can do it all, phone, camera, organizer, net browser, document processing, and email all while fitting in a pocket. A device that you can put in a cradle with external monitor and keyboard / mouse at your home or office but carry with you and use on the run. With Android’s open architecture, truly productive applications for handsets should be available by next year that we believe (WoW-PoW) will overtake the rise of the mini-note category. Sadly the Apple iphone, while selling exceptionally well, has missed the boat so far with their awful selection of software available at their App Store and their short sited policy controlling third party application development. Let’s hope Steve Jobs sees the light when Android turns up the competition.

Solar Cell World Efficiency Record set at 40.8 Percent

U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) scientists achieved a 40.8% world record in solar cell efficiency that converts 40.8 percent of the light into electricity. This is the highest confirmed efficiency of any photovoltaic device to date. The record setting solar cell design differs from the previous record holders. Traditional cells use germanium wafer as the bottom junction of the device where as the new design uses compositions of gallium indium phosphide and gallium indium arsenide to split the solar spectrum into three equal parts that are absorbed by each of the cell's three junctions for higher potential efficiencies. Known as inverted metamorphic triple-junction solar cells which are extremely thin and light and represents a new class of solar cells. NREL says that these new cells have an advantages in performance, design, operation and cost. Don’t look for these in your local solar market yet as the new cells are more suited for the space satellite market and for terrestrial concentrated photovoltaic arrays.
More Here

Oregon has broken ground on the first “Solar Highway” demonstration project.

Oregon has broken ground on the first “Solar Highway” demonstration project. Being installed on Interstate 4 and Interstate 205 interchange in Tualatin, the 8000 square foot solar highway is will consist of a 104 kW solar photovoltaic system slated to product 112,000 kilowatt hours per year. According to CleanTechnica the array will supply 28% of the energy needs where the project is located. The system consisted of solar panels installed along the highway and produce electricity during the day sending the power to the electric grid and at night drawing the power from the grid to power lighting on the highway. The entire solar photovoltaic system cost $1.3 million, and should be completed and operational in December of this year. If all goes well Oregon DOT plans more highway projects with a goal to generate 2 million kWh every year.
More Here

Thursday, August 14, 2008

it's official-'Beer goggles' are real!

THE next time you hear someone blaming "beer goggles" for their behaviour, you may have to believe them. People really do appear more attractive when our perceptions are changed by drinking alcohol.
Read more:

Alex Roy Video tour of a psychotic Audi R8 with a liquid-cooled infrasonic wave pulse generator

There is a great video with Alex Roy, famous for his 31 hour cost to cost run, interviewing the owner of an Audi R8 named Blackbird that has got more stealth features than an A117 Stealth Fighter. It looks to be outfitted for Cannonball Run type cost to cost races as every gadget is designed to either evade police or go fast. They even have a device called a liquid-cooled infrasonic wave pulse generator, which besides possibly making you sterile if you stand in front of it has no other use that I can think of.

Raon Digital Everun note has some balls, coming this way in September

Pocketables is reporting that the Raon Digital Everun Note will be hitting the USA and Korea next month. The tiny 7” inch 1024x 600 notebook will be running AMD’s Turion Dual Core CPU at 1.2GHz and have ATI’s RS690E Graphic chipset hopefully giving this tiny notebook some cycle crunching balls over the avalanche of other sub-notes being offered of late. It comes with 1GB of RAM, 1.8” 80GB HDD or 12GB SSD, and will have all the usually radio connections likes WiFi b/g and Bluetooth. A few short comings are notably apparent, like possible lack of a 3G WWAN interface, short battery life, and web camera located in the hinge so people can look up your nose whenever your teleconferencing. The mouse is the usual Raon Digital affair, their semi optical / mouse pad solutions that I found very usable.
More at Pocketables

Somewhat normal looking electric bike by Ultra Motor has 20 mile top speed and 20 mile range.

Ultra Motor, known in India for their Electric Scooters, will be offering their new A2B Electric bike in the USA. Ultra Motor USA claims that their A2B can serve up unassisted power rides of 20 miles cruising at a speed of 20mph. Plus, the A2B can be upgraded to double its range with the addition of a secondary battery pack. Bike specs are 73lb / 33kg weight with its aluminum frame, 36V Lithium Ion batteries, and a BLDC hub 500W motor. The best feature of this bike besides the dual suspensions, disk brakes, and wide enduro tires, is that is looks like a fairly normal compact bike cleanly integrating the battery packs into the frame unlike most other e-bikes that have huge boxy protrusion hanging off of them. No word yet on pricing.
The A2B has also been designed to fit in with Ultra Motor’s urban bike recharging stations, called LEV City Initiative, their solutions for greener and cleaner city transportation. Find out more at Ultra Motor

Turning Waste Into Ethanol

Say the word “biofuels” and most people think of grain ethanol and biodiesel. But there’s another, older technology called gasification that’s getting a new look from researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory and Iowa State University.
By combining gasification with high-tech nanoscale porous catalysts, they hope to create ethanol from a wide range of biomass, including distiller’s grain left over from ethanol production, corn stover from the field, grass, wood pulp, animal waste, and garbage.
Read More:

Solar Collector Changes Asphalt Roads Into Energy Source

Anyone who has walked barefoot across a parking lot on a hot summer day knows that blacktop is exceptionally good at soaking up the sun’s warmth. Now, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has found a way to use that heat-soaking property for an alternative energy source.
Through asphalt, the researchers are developing a solar collector that could turn roads and parking lots into ubiquitous—and inexpensive–sources of electricity and hot water.
read more:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Jenn over at Pocketables.Net has her full review of the Sharp Willcom D4 online now. 

You might remember we "unboxed" the D4 on video (this was actually the very unit Jenn now uses!)

Hop on over to read the full review

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

In Depth Video of video of MOMA’s Home Delivery exhibition

Although we reported on the Museum of Modern Art in NYC’s prefab housing exhibit over a month ago, Scribe Media has put together an excellent video of MOMA’s Home Delivery exhibition, held this month. While the video is long, it is full of interviews and images of the exhibition as well as interviews with architects who displayed their prefab designs and the curator of the exhibit. As Inhabitat put it “it’s a must-see for anyone interested in a current survey of the potential of prefabricated housing”.

Video of the Tokyo Model Railroad Convention Nerd Love Fest

As a gadget lover I really love Japan since it is a Nerd's Paradise. Not only do nerds flourish here but they even have their own heaven, Akihabara with girls dressed in maids uniforms. If that is not heaven on earth I don't know what is. That said here is a video of a nerd love fest this weekend: The 9th International Model Railroad Convention held at the Tokyo Big Sight convention center. Over 10,000 nerds attended and Fuji TV was on hand to record some video of the trains. So if your ever have a chance to head to Japan don’t forget your pocket protector and polyester pants.
Thanks to Japanprobe for the heads up.

Turning hot air into energy.

The nasty hot exhaust air that escapes from (my mouth) a car's tailpipe may now improve gas mileage. Researchers are close to meeting a challenge set out by the U.S. Department of Energy to improve fuel economy by converting hot car exhaust into energy to power the vehicle. General Motors and a supplier for BMW AG working with Ohio State University say they are close to meeting the DOE’s goal. Their research into thermoelectrics, creating electricity via temperature differences, may be on the verge of paying off with up to a 10% increase is efficiency. Cost effective thermoelectric generators should be on the verge of production in about three years the article predicts and can works for years as they are not susceptible to wear. One of these hooked up to my mouth could power our office and one up my butt could power a small city! Gonna have to patent the underwear model.
More at Physorg

Nissan to offer FR Hybrid system that rivals the Prius by 2010

Nissan Motors, a late comer to the hybrid field, has announces that its new FR Hybrid system rivals that of the Toyota Prius in EV Running Distance. While still in prototype stage, the “parallel hybrid” vehicle incorporates a transmission integrating an electric motor and two clutches. Scheduled to be introduced in 2010 in a newly designed car, Nissan claims that their FR Hybrid systems yields about 1.6 times higher mileage than the same vehicles without the system. The unique transmission, which is based on a 7-speed automatic transmission, is equipped with a clutch and a motor instead of a torque converter. It has another clutch on the rear end of the transmission mechanism. With two clutches, the vehicle can run as an EV using only the electric motor. No word on pricing.
More at the Nikkei

Suida Design Labs solar power Sun Table for $2200

Suida Design Labs has started offering up their solar power Sun Table for $2200. Pumping out 13 amp hours at 12 volts, which equals 156 Watt / hours, there is enough juice to run a laptop or portable TV for over 4 hours according to the website. With built in battery located under the table and included inverter for AC devices the Sun Table takes 4 hours to charge fully in direct sunlight. Designed for outdoor use it can get soaked in the rain with no ill effects and is designed to be serviceable so it should lasts for decades. Great for the patios and decks however it is too heavy at 45lbs for any type of portable use.
Order yours at

Video of the Autonomous Catamaran the Harbor Wing

EngineeringTV has got a pretty extensive video about an ASUV or Autonomous Unmanned Surface Vehicle called the Harbor Wing. Basically like UAV of the sea, the ASUV has a unique winged sail that rotates 360 degrees for great maneuverability with no reefing or stowing of sails and wings work even better up wind than down. Designed for civilian work the Harbor Wing sail allows it to do long range surveillance, sampling, and monitor missions like monitoring of sea life with almost no maintenance. The catamaran also has a battery powered propulsion system that is charged by onboard solar cells and kicks in when the winds are below 5 knots. Crap this thing would be great just to have a personal sail boat. Where can I get mine?!
More details info at and more videos at

Video of iphone games BeJeweled, PacMan, MonkeyBall, CrashBandicoot, and Tap Tap.

We have been steering clear of the iphone news here. However, Business Week has a pretty good Video demo of the games available for the iphone and the gaming experience.
As they put it “wireless devices need not always be about getting things done”. They cover BeJeweled, PacMan, MonkeyBall, CrashBandicoot, and Tap Tap. If you are thinking of buying any of these games the video will give you good idea of what they are about before taking the plung.
More videos at BusinessWeek

Monday, August 11, 2008

Girasole Elettrica 100% Electric Car Video Review Teaser.

Girasole Elettrica 100% Electric Car Video Review Teaser. We at WoW-PoW.CoM got our hands on a Girasole Electric Car to review. Here is a quick 1 minute teaser video. We should have a full video review by mid August 2008. The car was a lot of fun to drive. Kind of like a glorified Golf Card but with much better speed, power, and range due to its Lithium Ion Batteries. It is not really suitable for highways but works great as an in town run-about. Rang is reported to be 120km (about 75 miles). The small 2 seater is sold in Japan and we got to drive ours around the surf and beach town of Kamakura (famous for the Daibutsu) We will let you know more about it and our reactions later this week.

Google & Street View : house on fire

Google's Street View is currently making the rounds here in Japan, meanwhile it's snapped a house on fire in Eagle Point DrSherwood, AR 72120, USA.
Nothing is known if there was anyone (or pets) hurt in the fire, let's hope not!
update: a few more amazing Street View pics from Mashable
and GStreetSightings and StreetViewFun

Friday, August 8, 2008

Full Video Review of the Kohjinsha SX3 (SX3KP06MA)

As promised we got our full video overview of the Kohjinsah SX3 (SX3KP06MA). After getting over the Wow factor of having a built in DVD-RW drive in such a small thing what really stood out on this computer was its beautiful screen. It is not just that it has great 1280x768 resolution but also its glossy liquid smooth look which probably comes from the high gloss screen. It makes everything seem very clear. We also appreciated the daylight readable brightness which is pretty standard for Kohjinsha’s. So far the glare didn’t bother us but we have only had it for a few days. The SX3s performance was better than the SC3 which is strange as they use the same CPU and ATOM chipset. The SX did not have any problems playing videos or DVDs but we have not tried any HD 1080P videos yet. Battery life was also good but not great at about 3.5 hours. I would recommend the double sized battery for overseas business trips. The price is higher than we would have liked (about $1100-1200) but it in a real PC and not a netbook.
Enjoy the video. Available at and

WoW PoW Exclusive: Video un-boxing of the Kohjinsha SX3 (SX3KP06MA) DVD-RW UMPC.

A quick video of the SX3 unboxing. We got out hands on the Kohjinsha SX3 from and The Kohjinsha SX3KP06MA is a UMPC with a built in DVD-RW drive. The cool think about the SX3 is that it is the same size as the Asus EEE PC but has the DVD-RW built in. We compare the 2 computers at the end of the Video. It has a 1.33GHz ATOM CPU with full ATOM chipset, 1GB of RAM with 2GB MAX, and 60GB HDD. So far we are very impressed with the screen which is beautiful and very bright. It has a 1280x768 resolution. The computer also seems very fast and video playback with the nice screen should be good. We will have a full Video Overview by the end of the day. Enjoy.

update: new photos under the hood here

Putting Wood Chips In The Fuel Tank

While the norwegian company "Norske Skog" is struggling with unprofitable paper production and trees are rotting from the roots up, the world is researching alternatives to petrol. Scientists believe we should put wood chips in the tank.
Read More here:

New Bicycle Seat Improves Penile Sensation In Bicycling Police Officers

An innovative study examined, for the first time, if noseless bicycle saddles would be an effective intervention for alleviating deleterious health effects, erectile dysfunction and groin numbness, caused by bicycling on the traditional saddle with a protruding nose extension.
Read more here:

Thursday, August 7, 2008

UMPCFever with the aigo MID P8860

Joe over at UMPCFever has been playing with the aigo MID P8860 for a few days now.

Check his reviews here

Cheap three-wheeled electric car coming in 2009

The Swiss company Cree has created a three-wheeled electric vehicle that is full of sustainable features. The award-winning SAM car seats two in an agile body that is 90% recyclable, has a maximum speed of 85 kilometers per hour, and touts an emission-free 15 kilowatt electric motor that charges fully in just 6 hours. The design was recently re-tooled by Impact Automotive Technologies in preparation for a limited release of 500 cars in September, with 5000 units targeted for 2009. The car’s highly efficient engine consumes about 5kwh per 100km, and it converts kinetic energy from breaking, rolling to a stop, and driving downhill into electrical energy. With production ramping up later this year the projected price point is about 6,600 Euros. It is great to see all of the electric cars coming out however tandem seating is fine for motorcycles but sucks in a car.
More at Inhabitat

Stretchable silicon camera leading to Bionic Terminator Eyes

By combining stretchable optoelectronics and biologically inspired design, scientists have created a remarkable imaging device, with a layout based on the human eye. Researchers at the University of Illinois and Northwestern University have developed a high-performance, hemispherical "eye" camera using an array of single-crystalline silicon detectors and electronics, configured in a stretchable, interconnected mesh. The work opens new possibilities for advanced camera design. It also foreshadows artificial retinas for bionic eyes similar in concept to those in the movie "Terminator" and other popular science fiction. The camera's design is based on that of the human eye, which has a simple, single-element lens and a hemispherical detector. The camera integrates such a detector with a hemispherical cap and imaging lens, to yield a system with the overall size, shape and layout of the human eye.
More at Physorg

Evil Cannibal galaxies stealing defenseless dwarf galaxies’ globular clusters.

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has identified thousands of globular clusters -- more than 5 billion years old -- in the Virgo cluster of galaxies. One of the results of these discoveries led astronomers to understand more about the life and evolution of cannibal galaxies. Evidence of Messier 87’s galactic cannibalism comes from an analysis of the globular clusters’ composition. “In Messier 87 there are three times as many globulars deficient in heavy elements, such as iron, than globulars rich in those elements”, Peng said. “This suggests that many of these ‘metal-poor’ star clusters may have been stolen from nearby dwarf galaxies, which also contain globulars deficient in heavy elements”. Studying globular star clusters is critical to understanding the early, intense star-forming episodes that mark galaxy formation. They are known to reside in all but the faintest of galaxies.
More at Science Daily

Sanyo New Solar Module Plant to pump out 4 billion modules by 2020

Looks like Sanyo has followed Sharp’s lead and is getting serious about solar cell productions. Sanyo has just opened a new production base for solar cell modules with an annual production capacity expected to reach 40MW by the end of fiscal 2008. Sanyo's annual production capacity of solar cell modules will become 340MW globally and Sanyo plans to increase its production capacity to 600MW by the end of fiscal 2010, and then to 4GW at the end of fiscal 2020. Sanyo estimates global production of solar cells will reach 40 to 45GW in fiscal 2020. Hopefully this will being prices of solar cells down to a competitive level in the next 2-5 years.
More at the Nikkei

Seiko Epson Develops 500ppi 3D XGA Display for Mobile Phones

Seiko Epson Corp developed a 3D display that is targeted at mobile phones and can show high-resolution 3D images visible to the naked eye with no special glasses. Despite its small size (2.57 inch), the 3D display features a pixel count of 1024 × 768 (XGA). Seiko Epson plans to commercialize the display in two years, the company said. "The resolution of the display is about 500ppi," said Goro Hamagishi, general manager of the Display Development Center "It is one of the world's highest resolutions of the direct-view-type displays that do not use projectors." To display 3D images, a special lens called "lenticular lens" is placed on pixels so that different images can be seen from different angles. A lenticular lens is composed of an array of many hog-backed convex lenses, each of which is as large as a few pixels.
More at the Nikkei

Icon A5 Amphibious Sport Plane Folding Wing Videos

Following are 2 videos of the Icon A5 Amphibious Sport Plane. The first video is of the wings folding. The second is more details explanation about the ICON A5. Starting at just under $140,000 it is in the high range of Sport Aircraft with delivery set for 2010, but it does work on land or water. Equipped with a 100-hp Rotax 912 ULS, folding wings and a cockpit that looks more like a cars, the Useful Load is between 430 - 530 lbs and maximum speed is 105 kts putting in squarely in the Sport Pilot rules category. While the aircraft looks great, Icon’s splashy PR campaign, car inspired dashboard (not suitable for serious pilots as it limits the type of Avionics) and sophisticated sales pitch are clearly aimed at investors and non-pilots. Hopefully they are just looking to expand their base by bringing in new pilots. I worry that they may end up like so many other start up aircraft companies that litter the aircraft industry scrap heap. I think I will hold off on my deposit for a while.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Fujitsu Lifebook U2010 Video Unboxing

JOE over at UMPCfever has unboxed the mighty cool Fujitsu U2010. Head over to see the full video and photos

Fuel Cell Efficiency May Be Improved by Material With 'Colossal Ionic Conductivity'

A new material characterized at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory could open a pathway toward more efficient fuel cells. The material, a super-lattice developed by researchers in Spain, improves ionic conductivity near room temperature by a factor of almost 100 million, representing "a colossal increase in ionic conduction properties". Other fuel cell materials force ions to travel through tight pathways with few spaces for the ions to occupy, slowing their progress. Rather than forcing the ions to jump from hole to hole, the new material has "lots of vacant spaces to be occupied, so the ions can travel much more quickly” and does so at room temperatures.
High temperatures have been a major roadblock for developers of fuel cell technology.
More Here

Kite Power Generate Energy for 10 Homes

Scientists at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands recently tested a free-flying, 10 square meter kite to a generator to produce 10 kilowatts of power (enough energy for 10 homes). They are currently planning to scale the experiment with a 50 kilowatt kite and a 100 megawatt array called the Laddermill that could potentially power 100,000 homes. The promise of kite power lies in its inexpensive materials and its potential to harness enormous amounts of power, since high altitude winds can carry hundreds of times more energy than those on the ground. Airborne kites produce power by pulling on a ground-bound generator, which reels the kites back once they reach their maximum height. Also, unlike a field-full of wind turbines, kite power requires a minimal amount of land use.
More at Inhabitat

SylvanSport's Swiss Army knife of vehicles: Mobile Adventure Gear

Described as "mobile adventure gear", the Go includes a lot of functions. The lightweight vehicle/camper/trailer has the silhouette of a turtle's shell or an igloo. It can serve as a wheeled tent that sleeps two, or it can be converted to haul nearly its own weight in equipment, such as mountain bikes and kayaks. It has numerous other functions and configurations, and it folds neatly for storage, like a Swiss Army knife. The designer, who kayaks and bikes himself, Dempsey wanted a more comfortable, versatile alternative to all the equipment customary for a sojourn outdoors: a tent, roof racks for bikes, trailers for kayaks. Priced at $7,995, it isn’t cheap but it falls close to the midrange of traditional pop-up campers and is much cheaper and more economical than an SUV.
More at Business Week

Breakthrough In Quantum Mechanics: Superconducting Electronic Circuit Pumps Microwave Photons

Researchers at UC Santa Barbara have recently reached what they are calling a milestone in experimental quantum mechanics. Using a superconducting electronic circuit the researchers were able to controllably pump microwave photons, one at a time, into a superconducting microwave resonator. Up to six photons were pumped into and stored in the resonator, and their presence was then detected therefor creating and detecting their photon number states. The breakthrough is that the researchers where able to create and detect the photon number states (Fock states) which has never been done before. What does this mean? Quantum computers are one step closer to reality. "Harmonic oscillators might allow us to get a quantum computer built more quickly," researcher Cleland said.
More Here

Samsungs Digital Photo Frame also doubles as USB SVGA computer monitor

Samsungs SPF-83M digital photo frame also doubles as a USB based SVGA extend computer monitor. The included USB hardware and software allow PC users to extend their computer displays and choose between landscape or portrait layouts. The 800x600 photo frame is priced from $200-$250 in Japan. Besides acting as a monitor and digital photo frame the SPF-83M can do video playback (MPEG-4 SP, ASP/L3, L5 720x480, 2Mbp, 30fps) as well as MP3 Audio playback. No need to hook it up to your computer though as the frame includes 4 types of memory card slot, SD, MMC, Memory stick, and Compact Flash.

Full review at PCWatch but grab your translator as it is in Japanese.

Volunteer Astronomer makes major find of Cosmic Ghost without ever leaving the sofa.

A Dutch volunteer in the Galaxy Zoo project, Hanny van Arkel, discovered a mysterious and unique celestial object now being dubbed the “Cosmic Ghost”. The Galaxy Zoo project ( allows members of the public to take part in astronomy research online by allowing them to scan archived images. van Arkel came across the image of a strange, gaseous object with a hole in the center while using the website to classify images of galaxies. "The strange 'Hanny's Voorwerp' (as it is also known) looks like it could be the nearest example of a luminous quasar," said C. Megan Urry, Israel Munson Professor of Physics & Astronomy. Talk about Armchair astronomy.

More at ScienceDaily

Sharp to enter the LED lighting business

Sharp will enter the LED lighting market for business, factories, commercial spaces this September. The DL-N001N's efficiency is the "industry's highest" at 74lm/W, Sharp said. Its luminance is valued at that of two FLR40 fluorescent lumps, yet it can cut power consumption by 25%, according to Sharp. The translucent white and semi-transparent panels use a polycarbonate material to prevent light absorption while boosting reflective efficiency of the surface where LEDs are embedded. As a result, "The models can efficiently use 80 to 90% of light emitted from LEDs," Sharp said.
More at the Nikkei

Gizmodo’s Mark Wilson got his hands on the Martin Jetpack.

Gizmodo’s Mark Wilson with the Martin Jetpack. The lucky bastard was able to score a ride and live to tell us about it. Mark says “The sensation is not as I’d expected. I don't feel pulled up, but it isn't weightlessness either. I simply rise.” “Chopping the throttle ended the flight. The landing was softer than I’d have thought, with none of the pack’s weight burdening my spine or legs.”
Lots more and video at Gizmodo

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

In the cockpit video of Patty Wagstaff’s acrobatic flight routine

In the cockpit video of Patty Wagstaff’s acrobatic flight routine. What does this have to do with Power or Gadgets? Who cares, it is just cool to watch and she performs amazing, lunch loosing acrobatics!

Video of the ElectraFlyer C with pricing and explanation

More video of the ElectraFlyer C with pricing and explanation. Flying times with the largest battery pack are 1 hour 30 minutes and with soaring times a bladder busting 5 hours! Prices for the largest Lithium Ion battery pack is $8500, the propulsion kit (18 HP engine & electronic speed control) is $4200, and the charger is $895. For those who do not know airplanes these prices are bargains compared to 20-50k it costs for certified reciprocating engines. The most amazing part is the TBO on the Electric motor is 100,000 hours or 50-100 x longer than any standard gas powered engine. Links to the maker’s website

Giant Grass Miscanthus Can Meet US Biofuels Goal Using Less Land Than Corn Or Switchgrass

In the largest field trial of its kind in the United States, researchers have determined that the giant perennial grass Miscanthus x giganteus outperforms current biofuels sources – by a lot. Using Miscanthus as a feedstock for ethanol production in the U.S. could significantly reduce the acreage dedicated to biofuels while meeting government biofuels production goals, the researchers report. Using corn or switchgrass to produce enough ethanol to offset 20 percent of gasoline use – a current White House goal – would take 25 percent of current U.S. cropland out of food production, the researchers report. Getting the same amount of ethanol from Miscanthus would require only 9.3 percent of current agricultural acreage.
More Here

Drill powered skateboard can be yours with 5 minutes of jerry rigging

Instructables has directions for making a drill powered skateboard in 5 minutes. By attaching a battery-powered electric drill to the front of your skateboard you can have endless hours of life deifying fun. The 3 factors that will enhance your drill powered death ride: More Volts, Higher voltage battery-powered drills work best. Greater Torque, Drills that can generate more torque move fatter loads. And last but not least, Big, Bad Rubber Wheel as the more rubber that meets the highway, the higher the performance. Video of drill powered bicycles gives and idea of how much power these things pump out
More at Instructables

Wind Powered Vehicle called the Ventomobile ready for the road

Wind Powered Vehicle, Ventomobile, Ready To Race In The Netherlands. Students of the Team InVentus at Stuttgart University constructed a vehicle that is solely powered by wind energy called the Ventomobile. Looking like a recumbent bicycle with a big propeller at the top, it took the students months of intense construction work to make. According to the students, the first wind tunnel testing produced very promising results. The three-wheeler’s two-bladed rotor has a diameter of two meters and efficiency has proven to be extremely good.
Much more at ScienceDaily

1080p projector phones coming to Japan next year!

Great article in the Nikkei about the future of mobile phones in Japan. If you live in Japan you already know that the rest of the worlds mobile phones are years behind the ones available in Japan. (The iphone? Ahh its okay… but where is the digital TV and XGA screen?) According to the Nikkei it looks like 720p screens and phones with projectors are coming this year with 1080p just around the corner “The development of HDTV-compatible mobile phones is progressing apace. 720p-compatible processors are already here, and 1080p-compatible products will likely arrive in 2008. By 2009, mobile phones will incorporate HDMI connectors”. read more

WAKE n' BACON - wake up to the smell of BACON!

This cool device is the creation of Matty Sallin, Daniel Bartolini, Hsiao-huh Hsu :

An alarm clock that wakes you up with the smell and sizzle of cooking bacon.

"No one likes to wake up, especially by an alarm. This clock gently wakes you up with the mouthwatering aroma of bacon, just like waking up on a Sunday morning to the smell of Mom cooking breakfast. Unless you're Jewish."

read more here

Leaf shaped Solar Powered streetlights ever see light of day?

Jongoh Lee’s conceptual and elegant Invisible Streetlight are solar-powered street lights that look like leaves of a tree. Touted as alternative to the standard street globes posted throughout parks and other public spaces but these lamps are designed to wind around existing branches, seamlessly integrating into their environs to enchanting effect. While the concept is great, it remains to be been seen where thin long lasting batteries and LED’s bright enough ever materialize.
More at Inhabitat.

Mind control coming to your PC just in time for Christmas

Emotiv Systems, Mind reading brain-computer interface gets reviewed at BusinessWeek. Wile still fine-tuning their mind-reading headset called the Epoc, Emotiv Systems is planning to ship their mind reading interface at the end of this year for $299. The device tested purports to eavesdrop on your thoughts and translate them into computer instructions, so you can play a game or arrange photos without using your hands or speaking words. The neuroheadset” uses EEG and has 16 sensors that reads the brain’s electrical signals and communicates your thoughts wirelessly with your PC. It works by tracking the patterns your neurons make as they fire. Since no two people’s patters are alike it requires training which is done via an included fantasy game training program. The headset looks dorky and I would not be seen in public wearing one but it did work perfectly. To find out more details ablout how it works read the rest of the article at BusinessWeek.

Video of the 100% Electric motor glider flying at Air Venture.

Great Video of the ElectraFlyer C flying at Air Venture 2008 in Oshkosh. Really just a converted Moni Motor Glider the ElectraFlyer C flew around the patch and showed its stuff with respectable takeoff angles of attach and flybys. More data about the coming electric aircraft revolution here

Monday, August 4, 2008

Asus R710 GPS with Heads Up Display Youtube Video

A Youtube video making the rounds is of the prototype Asus R710 GPS with Heads Up Display. Don’t expect F16 type views here, but the simple display projects distance and turn indicators. In the video the projection seems to be coming from the left side of the device but my hope is that it will adjustable. No word on price or release date but such a handy feature will surely be copied by other GPS makers and should only get better with completion. A bit more info at CrunchGear

Lenovo shows off its low budget laptop with a re-badged MSI Wind

Lenovo has joined the fray with its own netbook called the S10. With prices starting at $399, the Lenovo netbook is very similar to the MSI Wind with 10” 1024x600 screen, 1.6GHz ATOM processor and choices of memory & HDD size selections. In fact it looks like a re-badged Wind. It comes with XP Home but will be offered in a Linux flavor eventually. To be released in China first, (September 5th) the S10 netbook comes will equipped with WiFi, Bluetooth, ExpressCard, Webcam, and multitouch mouse pad. US launch is expected in October.
Lots more data at