Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tech News...

Technology News


Mazda-2 : World Car of the Year

For the past 4 years, a panel of almost 50 automotive journalists get together and choose the best overall car form around the world. For 2008, their choice was the Mazda-2. What was their reasoning?

Although the Mazda-2, called the Demio in Japan, is not currently on sale in the US, it has still make quite a stir throughout the automotive world. To be chosen as a world car of the year, Mazda's newest and most compact car had to appease the judges.

To even be considered, the vehicle must be sold on 2 different continents. From there, it will be pitted against dozens of other cars in categories such as performance, handling, overall design style and comfort. Another prominent judging area is how friendly the engine is to the environment.

The Mazda-2 will initially be fitted with either a 1.3L or 1.5L petroleum engine with a 1.4L Diesel within a few months. It is available as either a 3-door or 5-door hatchback.

Hopefully after seeing the impact of the little car, Mazda will decide to release it to the US. There has already been a huge movement for that reason and winning this award might be just the push we needed to get it done.


World's First Eyeball Tattoo - Ouch!


A Toronto man has been the first to get an eyeball tattoo. Basically, he has turned the whites of his eyes blue.

Corneal tattooing is usually used for patients that have had trauma to their eye, not for this, which is called body modification.


It took 40 injections of blue ink in order to complete this procedure. Pigment was injected under the top layer of the eye using a syringe. The syringe injected the ink into the eye. At first they had tried a traditional needle with ink on it, but when the ink didn't hold, they switched to the syringe.

The man has reported that all is well so far, but it feels like he has something in his eye.

I can barely stand needles poking me anywhere, but in the eye? I can't even imagine. I wonder what would happen if you decided to change your mind after it was done?

Who here wants to get the world's next eyeball tattoo? Maybe a colorful rainbow would work nicely.


Diet Sunglasses Turn Off Your Appetite

Got the dieting blues?Got the dieting blues?
You've all heard that joke about a chubby guy or gal being on a "see food" diet. Well, a Japanese company named Yumetai seems to have given some serious thought to the matter, creating dieter's sunglasses with deep blue lenses that make the food you're eating look, well, disgusting.


Now you know why food isn't blueNow you know why food isn't blue
There's more to it than that - according to Yumetai, there's a scientific explanation behind these sunglasses and the lenses are blue for a very good reason: the color blue acts to calm the brain's appetite center.

At the same time, the lenses block rays of red light which tend to stimulate the appetite. Make sense? Hey, if you're a desperate dieter you'll believe just about anything but if you think about it, there aren't many obese Japanese walking around outside the sumo dojo.


This colorful 3D graph adds cred to Yumetai's siteThis colorful 3D graph adds cred to Yumetai's site
If you want to put the diet sunglasses to the test, you can order them online from the Yumetai Website for just 1,890 yen (about $19) plus shipping. The aviator-style sunglasses weigh just 25 grams (about an ounce) and are made in Japan.


Considering the many millions of dollars Americans lay out on diet remedies every year, it may be time for a new approach.

Plus, the fact that many fattening foods already look disgusting doesn't seem to stop those intent on pigging out in style. What have you got to lose? Well just maybe, your appetite!


Thomas Edison has long been credited for the invention of sound recording

Thomas Edison has long been credited for the invention of sound recording, thanks to his phonograph. However, researchers have recently discovered a a 10-second recording that was created 17 years before the phonograph was invented. It is believed to be history's earliest recording of sound.

The PhonautographThe Phonautograph

Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville was a French typesetter who invented a device called a phonautograph in 1857. The phonautograph recorded sound by directing it through a large barrel, where the vibrations would cause a stylus to move, etching the sound onto paper blackened by smoke. It was through this invention that history's first recordings of a human voice were made.

Scott's invention had recorded sound a few times, but it was an April 9, 1860 recording that was the most clear. This recording was of a person singing a song called Au Clair de la Lune. The result - called a phonautogram - was merely a visual recording of sound. In fact, sound reproduction in any other format was still inconceivable at that point in history. It was only very recently that audio historians and sound engineers were able to translate the phonautogram into more than just an etching. Working with a high-resolution scan of the phonautogram, they used optical imaging along with a "virtual stylus" to turn the recording into something that could be played back. This is impressive, considering the inventor of history's first sound recordings never intended for them to be heard.

Scott was born in Paris in 1817 and was greatly interested in the written word, working as a librarian and a typesetter. It appears that when he invented the phonautograph, he did so under the belief that recording sound was in the same vein as recording written words. Scott felt so strongly about not straying from visual representation that, in his memoir published in 1878, he denounced Edison for reproducing sound with the invention of the phonograph.

Whatever his intentions for his invention, Scott's contribution to history - the earliest known recording of sound - can only be lauded.

Liquid Computer Speeds Things Up

You've heard of liquid cooled computers. Often times these are the ultra tricked-out gaming rigs that run multiple of the latest video cards, the fastest CPUs (overclocked), and an enormous power supply to ensure everything receives its required amount of juice. But odds are that you haven't heard of a computer made at least partially from liquid. Neither had John Campbell, a senior political science major at Texas Christian University, until he created the first one in 2005.

Credit: Austin Bowler: John Campbell's first liquid computerCredit: Austin Bowler: John Campbell's first liquid computer
The first such model was created inside a deep freezer stuffed with tanks of gels and liquids as well as a myriad of actual computer parts. Campbell, working largely alone, used parts from roughly ten to fifteen old computers. Combined with materials costs for liquids, he estimates that the cost of parts was close to $500 for the first iteration of the liquid computer. Campbell explains that his machine attains a mild state of super fluidity, relying on freezing cold temperatures in the liquids to help reduce friction and thus reduce the resistance of his computer's actual wires. This in turn creates a greater flow of electricity and thus higher efficiency.

Campbell claims that his design could speed up the super computers of the world, such as the ones used in medical research: "...such as those that take three years to pick out an aspect of the human genome." He goes on to tout that his system could potentially double or triple the speed of emerging computers going into the future. Says Campbell, "Everything will be twice as fast and faster for the global economy."

Campbell does realize the potential for his technology and also realizes that it will only take off if he can market it appropriately. That doesn't sound like much of a problem. Reading comments from friends, professors, and coworkers, one comes away with the distinct impression that John Campbell is one to get things done. He currently has a list of approximately twenty seven inventions to patent, including his liquid computer. He has designed marketing plans before, says one of his professors, who runs a team currently using one of John's plans in a national marketing contest - in which the team is currently in eighth place out of six hundred universities taking part in the contest.

John Campbell's technology certainly has promise. Who wouldn't be worried, however, of the notion that our computers in the future will be the size of deep freezers normally banished to the deepest recesses of the basement or the garage? Not to fear, since his initial design, Campbell, now working with a team of five others, has reduced the size of the design to that of a modern day desktop computer.


No comments:

Post a Comment