Wireless Bluetooth Bamboo Keyboard

Wireless BT Bamboo KB

Here’s a very cool idea – A beautiful, natural, and environmentally friendly wireless Bluetooth bamboo keyboard for all of your electronic devices. This idea is a project being promoted through the crowd-funding site Indiegogo, it’s the brainchild of brothers Chase and Chris and it’s worthy of checking out.

Visit their site to read about the prototyping and all the R&D that’s been invested in this project, these folks could use our help with funding support.

Family Guy, Giggity!

The CableTV.com team have put together an interactive map of Family Guy characters. You can see all of the characters in one image, and scroll to find out facts about each.

They are also giving away a volume 1-10 Family Guy DVD set and the Monopoly Family Guy board game to fans who discover the secret character within the image.

80 of Your Favorite Family Guy Characters
Created by the team at CableTV.com

Samsung tests 5G technology – But What Does It All Mean?

All the news and technology websites have been abuzz for the past few days with news that Samsung has been testing out new 5G mobile broadband communications which are capable of speeds hundreds of times faster than current download and browsing speeds offered by 3G and even the new 4G. But what will this powerful new era of mobile broadband mean for consumers? We’ve taken some time to demystify and explain all the hype surrounding this new 5G phenomenon, and give you some stats about how it works, when it will be available, and what we can use in the meantime.

What is 5G?

5G generally stands for the 5th generation of mobile communication standards (just as 3G meant 3rd generation) While Samsung had been calling this new communications standard ‘5G’, it’s not actually a defined set of standards just yet like 3G or 4G, but rather just a general name or concept for the technology that will inevitably succeed 4G in the not so distant future. It will still be some time before there is a uniform set of standards and minimum and maximum download speeds established for 5G.

What speeds is it capable of?
In its trials, Samsung reported that it transmitted data of just over 1gb per second, potentially meaning that watching and downloading high-quality and 3D movies, whole TV series, games and other huge data files in a matter of seconds will soon become the norm. Compare this to 3G, which is capable of maximum speeds of up to 7.2Mb per second (although user testing unfortunately often finds that the average speed is much, much lower than this), and 4G, at a maximum of 8-12Mb per second. So, 5G is definitely a huge leap and a jump forward in terms of speed. 5G also has potential benefits for things like remote medical services, allowing rural doctors to communicate with each other and patients much more quickly and efficiently than before.

How does it work?
So – how has Samsung managed to achieve these huge speeds? New towers? General network upgrades? A little of both. Samsung announced that it has developed “the world’s first adaptive array transceiver technology operating in the millimeter-wave Ka bands for cellular communications”. But what does this mean, exactly – Samsung summarizes things nicely for us, stating that “the implementation of a high-speed 5G cellular network requires a broad band of frequencies, much like an increased water flow requires a wider pipe” – so essentially, their new towers allow for a higher range of frequencies to be utilized when transmitting data.

When will it be available?
Sadly, 5G network capabilities aren’t expected to be available to regular internet and mobile subscribers like us until at least 2020, when Samsung is planning to commercialize the technology. Even after that, it will probably still take some time for full roll outs to be completed, and for local carriers to start offering it to their customers. But with the impressive capabilities and speeds which are already being explored, we think it will be well worth the wait!

What’s available in the meantime?
While this all sounds very exciting, 5G is still very much in the initial testing stages. In the meantime, phone and internet networks are still busy working on rolling out the latest in 4G technology. 4G enable devices are already available at plenty of trusted retailers such as The Good Guys, so be sure to speak to a tech expert about what kind of network speeds your particular handset can achieve, based on your phone network carrier.

What do you think of Samsung’s latest 5G network trials? Do you think there’s any we’ll see it become available any sooner than 2020 as more companies start trialing the new technology?

Apps that help you pass the time

Apps that help you pass the time 

There is always the possibility to be caught passing the time just because the bus or the train has not yet arrived or lining up to get a ticket or an entry to a certain place. At this point of time, boredom can easily set in and it is the most awful state to be in. However, with the explosion of the internet and mobile technology, and also by simply downloading apps, passing the time has never been that awesome and cool.

Games Apps

Adults and the young will surely keep awake and alive by playing mobile games. Angry Birds is a game app that keeps the young and the old with wide-open eyes while figuring it out how to destroy Pig’s brick and ice fortress. It is a popular game that can be easily downloaded on iPhones, Ipad and androids tablets. The Plant and the Zombies is another engaging mobile game that will surely bash boredom. If you have skills in playing poker or blackjacks, the best way to pass the time is play mobile casino. You kick out the boredom and at the same time, you can earn extra money that you can use to level up your gadget.

Entertainment Apps

Love to read? Take your mid-range tablet or your Kindle and read you favorite authors. You can even reread some of the classic novels and recall passages that have been part of your life. You can download and read free online magazine like the Cosmo, Vogue and the iconic Reader’s Digest. If you want to be entertained and laugh out your boredom away, get Youtube app and watch funny and crazy videos. The best way to have fun is to have some good laughs. Google reader is a hybrid reader and audio and you can follow your favorite blogs or stream music.

Music

Tuneln Radio is unlike Pandora as it only streams popular radio channels. It lets you tune in most locals and abroad radio channels. Spotify on the other hand will allow you to listen to your music even without an internet connection. To avail this feature you must have Spotify Premium account. The app is free but there is a monthly subscription fee.

Passing the time is a moment when you are in a slow pace and looks like there‘s no need to hurry up. It’s a state when you can easily have moments of pleasures all for yourself.

 

Chinese Social Media Landscape Map

Here’s a great infographic on the Chinese social media, mapping what China has that relates to a similar function the rest of the world uses outside the great firewall. If you’re learning Chinese like me and you have an interest in the media available to you to meet and interact with your Chinese friends, this is a great tool to help you find the right apps of interest.

 

Chinese social networking

Check out SeeISee.com for a detailed description and explanation on this great graphic.

 

For an introduction to diamonds and the jewelry trade, visit www.applesofgoldjewelry.com.

Study Shows That Bees and Flowers Communicate Using Electrical Fields

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Scientists from the University of Bristol have discovered that flowers use patterns of electrical signals in concert with the flower’s other attractive signals to enhance floral attraction to insect pollinators such as bumblebees.

Read SciTechDaily for details and analysis of the paper described below.

Abstract from the paper:

Insects use several senses to forage, detecting floral cues such as color, shape, pattern, and volatiles. We report a formerly unappreciated sensory modality in bumblebees (Bombus terrestris), detection of floral electric fields. These fields act as floral cues, which are affected by the visit of naturally charged bees. Like visual cues, floral electric fields exhibit variations in pattern and structure, which can be discriminated by bumblebees. We also show that such electric field information contributes to the complex array of floral cues that together improve a pollinator’s memory of floral rewards. Because floral electric fields can change within seconds, this sensory modality may facilitate rapid and dynamic communication between flowers and their pollinators.

The Giant Spider–Retro Creature Feature due to release in 2013

Do you like B-movies as much as I do, especially sci-fi and horror b-movies? If so, here’s a treat for you…

Below is a new trailer to Christopher R. Mihm’s upcoming retro creature feature, The Giant Spider — due to release in 2013. Check the website for more info.

Synopsis:
When radiation left behind by atomic weapons testing creates a gigantic killer mutant arachnid, it’s up to a trio of scientists, an Army general, and a newspaper reporter and his fiancée to figure out how to stop the hungry beast from devouring the entire county.

Museum 3D Reprints Fragile Pieces to Give Visitors a More Hands-on Experience

museum

In order to make fragile museum objects more accessible so visitors can interact with them and learn more about them, designer Maaike Roozenburg created the ‘Smart Replicas‘ project. The aim is to examine how 3D prototyping can be used to replicate historical items and how augmented reality can be used to enrich them with information. They are presented in small glass cabinets with tiny pieces of card giving a visitor minimal information. It is such a pity because these objects were not made to be shown in a museum, but to be used.

Read the full article at psfk.

Diamonds Popular w/ Defense Department

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From Fox Business News:

Diamonds were in demand this Valentine’s Day for romantic reasons, but the U.S. military is interested in the synthetic version of this gem all year round for entirely different use.

While American defense companies may not be in the jewelry business, defense sector giants like Raytheon are certainly exploring the potential of this quintessential gem for defense applications.

Laboratory-grown diamonds, when combined with semiconductor gallium nitride, have very promising potential to be an essential component to next generation radar, communications and electronic warfare systems. Research suggests that it is possible to get more power and see farther with diamonds- making them a potent defense asset.

www.wpdiamonds.com

Dung Beetle Uses The Milky Way For Navigation, First Animal To Do So

Dung Beetle Navigating by Milky Way

Researchers have known for a while that dung beetles use the sun, the moon or other light source to navigate. Once the beetle acquires a dung ball from the poop pile they want to get away with their “loot” asap to prevent the competition taking it away. And they use a light source to help ensure they navigate in a straight line to prevent circling back to the original poop source and run into the competition.

Researchers from Wits University placed the beetles in a planetarium and clearly observed behavior showing the beetle can use the milky way’s band of light as an alternate light source when all other good sources are not available.

Read this fascinating article over at PlanetSave for the full details.

Geek News Links Jan 4 2013

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imageHouston, We Have Another Problem: Astronaut Alzheimer’s [Science Blogs]
As if space travel was not already filled with enough dangers, a new study out today in the journal PLOS ONE shows that cosmic radiation – which would bombard astronauts on deep space missions to places like Mars – could accelerate the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

 

imageDad Hires In-Game ‘Assassins’ To Discourage Son’s Gaming Habit [Huffington Post]
Frustrated by his adult son’s incessant gaming habit, a man in China reportedly hired a number of in-game master “hitmen” to annihilate his son’s avatar over and over again in an attempt to deter him from playing.  http://www.partybingo.com/

 

 

imageHigh Quality Photos From Star Trek Into Darkness [Superhero Hype]

Star Trek Into Darkness is coming out May 17 2013 (3D/2D theaters and IMAX 3D).

 

 

imagePentagon Looks to Fix ‘Pervasive Vulnerability’ in Drones [Wired]
Drones may be at the center of the U.S. campaign to take out extremists around the globe. But there’s a “pervasive vulnerability” in the robotic aircraft, according to the Pentagon’s premier science and technology division — a weakness the drones share with just about every car, medical device and power plant on the planet.

 

imageField Testing a Four-Legged Robot [Defense Tech]
DARPA recently completed field testing of its LS3 four-legged robot system at Fort Pickett in central Virginia. Check out the great video with the robot playing follow the leader through open fields and tough terrain.

 

 

bookcoverDesigners Pick their Favorite Book Covers of 2012 [NY Times]
The NY Times asked people in and around the world of graphic design to name one of their favorite book covers from 2012 and briefly describe its appeal. [via kottke]

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Video Mapping, New Concept of Entertainment

Projector

image mappingVideo mapping is becoming popular as an exciting way to spice up events or conferences. Video mapping usually manipulates common entertainment technology (such as projectors) in creative and innovative ways. It is a technique that consists of projecting video images on buildings, streets, people or just about any kind of complex surface or 3D form to alter the viewer’s senses and perspective. The projectors used for video mapping are capable of bending and highlighting just about any form or space. These projectors are able to create unbelievable optical illusions that baffle the minds of viewers. The clever use of suggestive play of light “turns” a physical object into something very different just by altering its perception of form. Video mapping can be applied in virtually limitless ways. It depends on your requirements and preferences. If you are interested in the projectors used for this performance you can check out for more information about projectors at projectorshop24.co.uk.

Video mapping is a relatively new concept and it is becoming more and more popular these days. This new use of common technology has taken many by surprise, leaving them with an unexpected experience. The main reason of its rapid success is that the public gets heavily emotionally invested in the show. Each viewer gets a sense of “exploration” with every video mapping show. The spectacle is not just “another nice video projection”, but it is quite surprising and exciting because it involves not only physical space, but virtual space too.

There two common ways of understanding how to make a video mapping projection.
1. Prepare images to project on a designated surface of your choice. The images can be projected as if the streets or buildings were some kind of blank screen. Remember that there are almost no limits here. You may choose just about anything depending on your requirements and creativity. The surface itself creates some kind of mask which saves you from doing all the time consuming calibration that video mapping usually requires.
2. The Masking. This is exactly what it means: masking is about creating masks (some kind of opacity templates) with the exact form and position of the different elements of the building, space architecture, 3D object etc. On those masks, or in the space between them, is where the images and video are going to be projected, using a relatively simple technique called alpha channel.

With enough creativity, video mapping may be just what you need to dramatically spice up just about any event. The viewer’s will probably never forget the experience.

This Youtube video shows a good example of what’s possible here, this is impressive.