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Showing posts from May 26, 2013

Crazy Homemade Lightsaber Burns Through Objects

A teenager specializing in DIY lasers has apparently made his own version of a functional Star Wars lightsaber . In a video demonstration, he uses the device to light things on fire — paper, a match, even a ping-pong ball . DIY laser enthusiast Drake Anthony describes himself as a teenager in Eureka, Illinois , who has been building lasers and electronics since he was 12. Online he goes by the name Styropyro and recently showed off his homemade lightsaber. Anthony

Aware2 camera that takes photos with 300 MP, enters testing phase

An American company called Aqueti, has a project somewhat challenging to develop a camera with a resolution of 300 megapixels. For this, together with a 160 micro cameras 14 megapixel sensor. Each can capture 2.24 gigapixel images in RAW mode. Then they are grouped into a smaller picture. The photos have a panoramic effect similar to the human eye, but with the ability to zoom like a telephoto lens. The camera still faces some problems in exposure time and focus, but its creators say the quality is similar to DSLRs found in the market. The prototype Aware2 weighs 24 kg and was recently used in testing during the anniversary of the town of Edenton, North Carolina. According to Aqueti, the next models will have approximately one third the size of the prototype, but it is still high price - comparable to a television camera. The company believes that they will be hired to cover events and special celebrations. Source: Peta Pixel

AMD's Opteron X-series launch competitor of Intel Atom for the microserver CPU market

AMD might not be able to keep up (down?) with Intel in the CPU power consumption race, so it's taking another tack with the new Opteron X-series: horsepower. It just announced the Opteron X1150 and X2150 64-bit processors for microservers, part of the Jaguar-codenamed family of CPUs arriving in the next-gen Xbox One and Sony PS4 consoles. Thanks to its ultra-low power 6-watt Atom S1200 chips, Intel excels in the low-power server market, and at 9W and 11W respectively (minimum), AMD's CPUs consume considerably more juice. But AMD is pitching them as a better solution overall, thanks to those four cores (compared to two in the Atom), integrated AMD Radeon HD 8000 graphics on the X2150 model, support for 32GB of RAM and integrated SATA ports. AMD's chips are pricier, though, at $64 (X1150) or $99 (X2150) compared to $54 for Intel's Atom S1200 (all in quantities of 1,000). To top it off, Intel has new 64-bit Atom SoCs coming soon promising even lower power consumpt

Apple agrees to $53 million settlement for some iPhones, iPods denied warranty coverage

Documents have been filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California for a $53 million settlement between Apple and customers denied warranty coverage on their iPods and iPhones due to water damage . The case is due to Apple's policy not to extend warranty coverage on devices where the indicator tape inside them showed exposure to liquids, however plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit argued the indicator could change color due to moisture or humidity. Apple does not acknowledge any wrongdoing in the settlement, which is still awaiting approval from the court, however customers with warranty claims

Foxconn and Mozilla join hands over Firefox OS

In a Chinese invitation we received earlier today, Foxconn Technology Group and Mozilla confirmed an upcoming press conference that will detail and make their Firefox OS partnership official. The event will take place in Taipei next Monday (just a few days before Computex truly kicks off), and it'll see Mozilla welcome the 19th partner to its Firefox OS alliance. There isn't much meat in the email, though we did spot a little hint in the rundown that says one or more "latest" Firefox OS products will be displayed. Whatever they may be, we shall keep an eye out for them as soon as we land in Terry Gou 's back garden next week.

Verizon launches Droid RAZR HD and RAZR M in blue

Motorola is no stranger to launching phones in bolder hues, and it's not letting up just because Google is at the helm. Case in point: Verizon has started carrying blue versions of the Droid RAZR M and Droid RAZR HD at the same prices (free and $100) as their subdued black and white counterparts. Our known affinity for the color is a bit tempered here, however. Like the pink Droid RAZR M that surfaced a few months back, the color only goes around the edges -- both RAZRs are otherwise as black as can be. Still, that little splash of blue may be enough to stand out in a frequently drab world.

Bell intros Fibe TV Wireless Receiver, Priced $199

Some Canadians can get multi-room TV through their providers, but a truly wire-free option hasn't been on the table -- no doubt a disappointment for backyard viewing parties. Bell is filling that void today with what it says is the first carrier-supplied wireless TV package in Canada . Fibe TV subscribers can now pick up as many as five Wireless Receivers (really, Motorola VIP2502 boxes) to extend their HD viewing and DVR control to the whole home without cables. It sounds easy; the real challenge, we figure, will be getting a Wireless Receiver in the first place. Customers have to live in Montreal, Quebec City or Toronto for Fibe TV to even be an option, and each Wireless Receiver costs either $7 per month or $199 up front.

Future game consoles will get under your skin

Imagine playing through a level of the popular zombie shooter " Left 4 Dead " on a system that tracks your heart rate, eye movements, even how clammy your skin is getting, all to measure just how scared you are.For 250 lucky — or extremely unlucky — test subjects, fear-based gaming was a reality, at least in an experimental program led by the game studio Valve. If the game could sense that a player was already frightened and frantic, it might ramp up the difficulty to make the gameplay even more frightening and frantic. The point? To make "Left 4 Dead" more fun, of course.

1976 Apple 1 computer sold for $668,000

An auctioneer says one of Apple's first computers — a functioning 1976 model — has been sold for a record 516,000 euros ($668,000). German auction house Breker said Saturday an Asian client, who asked not to be named, bought the so-called Apple 1 , which the tech company's founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak built in a family garage. Breker claims it is one of only six known remaining functioning models in the world. Breker already sold one last year for 492,000 euros. It says the computer bears Wozniak's signature. An old business transaction letter from the late Jobs also was included. The Apple 1, which was sold for $666 in 1976, consisted of only the circuit board . A case, a keyboard and a screen had to be bought separately. © 2013 The Associated Press . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed This post was originally published on: MSNBC

Robots, drones tested to help Australians with farming

SYDNEY — Moving carefully along a row of apple trees , two of Australia 's newest agricultural workers check if the fruit is ripe or the soil needs water or fertilizer.Meet "Mantis" and "Shrimp", agricultural robots being tested to do these tasks and more in a bid to cut costs and improve productivity in Australia's economically vital farm sector , which exported the U.S. equivalent of $38.8 billion of produce in 2012. Australia is one of the leaders in the field and, with a minimum wage of about $15 U.S. an hour and a limited workforce, has a big incentive to use robots and other technology such as unmanned aircraft to improve efficiency.