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Tuesday, April 5, 2016


New e-bike and scooter sure don't look retro
Some people think that in order to gain mainstream acceptance, electric vehicles should look as normal as possible. Other people believe that such innovative technology should be reflected with bizarre looks. Falling in the latter category are the new Raker electric scooter and Trayser e-bike.​  read more
2016 MotoGP tech: Of tires, electronics and tiny wings
The pinnacle of motorcycle racing reaches a tipping point, as a new generation of spec electronics is enforced in an effort to shrink costs. Add to the mix a new tire supplier and wings designed to keep these motorcycles from flying, and we have the recipe for an excitingly unpredictable year.  read more
HTC Vive review: This is VR the way we always imagined it
Most of us grew up imagining VR as first-person simulations. This is where today's VR is the most magical, and it's where the stellar HTC Vive leaps past its competitors.  read more
Review: Ford's Mustang GT is a V8-powered smile generator
The rest of the world finally has getting a slice of Ford's all-American apple pie: and if our week in a bright red Mustang GT Fastback is anything to go by, Ford has managed to instil the latest pony with some of the magic that's seen it remain a blue-collar hero for over 50 years.  read more
Review: One Smart Piano learning system
The One Smart Piano learning system​ promises to have you playing your "first piano piece in minutes" with the help of light up keys and an accompanying app​. So how long before a complete novice can tap out something beyond a children's ditty?   read more
Container-based homes designed to meet a multitude of needs
Canadian firm Honomobo has launched a new range of shipping container-based homes. Able to serve as standalone tiny house, garage suite or home extension, they can also be outfitted with solar power and upgraded insulation.  read more
Opportunity has close encounter with Martian dust devil
NASA's Mars Opportunity rover has captured a rare image of a Martian dust devil traveling across the surface of the Red Planet. The rover craned back to take in the view as it scaled the southern edge of the Marathon Valley in search of fresh minerals to mine. read more
Daimler sends autonomous truck platoon on Stuttgart to Rotterdam road trip
Daimler has let three of its autonomous trucks loose on public roads, setting them the task of driving from Stuttgart to Rotterdam as a fully connected platoon. As well as demonstrating the scope of Daimler's own autonomous tech, the road trip is a part of the European Truck Platooning Challenge.  read more
Facebook is now using AI to describe photos to the blind
Browse through your Facebook feed and you'll see photos play a prominent part, meaning visually impaired users are missing out on a lot of updates. Now Facebook's engineers have harnessed the power of an artificial intelligence network to describe these pictures to blind or partially blind users.  read more
Ryobi opens the door for modular, app-connected garages
The new Ryobi Ultra Quiet Garage Door Opener can double as a carbon monoxide sensor, wireless speaker, fan or parking assistant if you're open to mixing and matching the brand's plug-and-play modules.  read more
BEAM me up: Expandable habitat module headed to the ISS
When the SpaceX CRS-8 mission heads for the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday, it will be carrying the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), which is intended to test the feasibility of expandable module technology.  read more
Sweet technique inspired by bonbons yields better polymer shells
Inspired by a centuries-old technique used by chocolatiers, engineers have developed a new way of making polymer films that is both uniform and predictable  read more
Highly elastic metallic glass brings bounce to hardened materials
Bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) are artificial materials made in the lab that boast superior strength and hardness to conventional metals. By tweaking this recipe just a little, researchers have been able to produce a bouncy material with the highest degree of elasticity of any BMG.  read more
Wi-Fi that finds you
A team at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) has developed a system that enables a wireless access point to accurately locate users down to a tenth of a meter, without any added sensors.  read more
Scientists create "active" 3D printer plastic
​3D printers are capable of producing items that can perform all sorts of functions. In the case of commercial-grade printers, however, the build material itself is typically inert. US researchers have set out to change that.  read more
Bentley makes Continental GT even faster 
Billed as the “fastest production Bentley ever,” and with literally no change in engine displacement, the Continental GT Speed is a three-ton car with a top speed of 206 mph (331 km/h), and more power and torque than its tamer GT cousin.  read more
Roborace previews its autonomous, driverless race car 
Believe it or not, autonomous race cars will soon be battling it out on the track. Last week, Roborace's newly-appointed design chief Daniel Simon released the first look at the Roborace car.​  read more
Hubble zooms in on galactic core
​A new Hubble image has presented a stunning glimpse of the nuclear star cluster known to shroud Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*) – the supermassive black hole that lurks at the heart of our galaxy.  read more
Portable system provides on-demand drug production
Manufacturing drugs is a complex process, often involving multiple facilities and taking weeks or months to arrive at the finished article. The lack of flexibility in the system led MIT researchers to develop a compact, all-in-one solution to allow for streamlined, speedy drug production.   read more
Does a nearby star host an Earth-like planet?
The ALMA telescope's latest observation is one of its most impressive yet, providing us with the best ever look at a planet-forming disc. The disc is of particular note, as it includes a gap in the material at the same distance from the star as the Earth from the Sun.  read more
Hybrid system could clean up coal power
A new system that combines two existing technologies — coal gasification and fuel cells — could up coal-burning efficiency to between 55 and 60 percent, in effect halving the amount of carbon dioxide produced for producing the same amount of energy using today's methods.  read more
Artist illuminates the Uluru desert with 50,000 glowing spheres
You may think that Australia's Uluru, or Ayers Rock, is majestic enough. British artist Bruce Munro, however, has created a solar-powered light installation close to the rock formation that he hopes will give visitors an even more magical experience.  read more
Mouse gums turned into fully functioning skin
Researchers at Japan's RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology have created skin tissue complete with sebaceous glands as well as hair follicles. They started with mouse gums.​  read more
Ball-shaped bashers strike a precise MIDI beat
Using samples can bring a convincing level of realism to drum sounds when creating digital music, but the real deal would be even better. A Polish innovation called Perc marries digital and acoustic beat-making with the help of MIDI commands and ball-ended bashing.  read more
Sony's got videography highs and lows covered
Said to be the smallest camera in Sony's full-frame line-up, the UMC-S3C combines 4K resolution video recording prowess with the highest low-light sensitivity in its class. The lightweight box is compatible with E-mount lenses and eliminates the need for network cabling for extended mobile use.  read more
Lightweight multi-spanner will fix your bike, open your beer
There's no shortage of options out there when it comes to portable multi-tools, but that doesn't mean there's no room for more. Wrenchit is a lightweight multi-spanner with 10 different interchangeable wrench bits that's designed for making small-scale bolt adjustments on the go.​  read more
Scrivener 2 is the App of Choice for Best-Selling Authors — Now 50% off
Ever tried writing a novel in Microsoft Word? Trust us, you don’t want to. That’s why writing professionals around the world use Scrivener, the word processor and project management tool that stays with you from your first, unformed idea all the way through to the final draft. As you’re writing, outline your ideas, take notes, and view research all at once. Scrivener takes all the tools you have scattered around your desk and makes them available in one application.  read more