Posts Tagged tech news

Technology and Tastebuds – Digital Lollipops Could Taste like Turkey


Ah Thanksgiving, I believe it exists not only to remind us of all the things we have to be thankful for, but also to drive home the fact that eating is a wonderful thing. Of course too-much-turkey hangover, and a 5 pound weight gain overnight …not so much. If only we could have all the pleasure of food and snacks, with none of the pesky after effects.

Now, what if you could eat a nice leafy green salad, and have your tastebuds tell you that it was a bacon double cheeseburger with fried onions and extra ketchup? Well, it could happen, in fact, Nimesha Ranasinghe, a Ph.D. research scholar at the National University of Singapore, is in the process of developing a device that actually simulates flavors directly on the tip of your tongue, using a “lollipop” consisting of a silver electrode.

In fact, Nimesha and his team are able to reproduce our most established basic tastes, like, sweet, salty, sour and bitter, and by combining these flavors, a person’s taste receptors are fooled by simply varying the alternating current from the lollipop and slight but rapid changes in temperature. Imagine being able to one day believe you are tasting real food!

Where could this technology take us? I can think of a vast market for such a device. From dieters to diabetics being able to experience foods that shouldn’t be on the menu, to advertisers being able to offer up sample tastes of their next delicious offerings, to entertainment venues like movie theaters, where you would be able to taste what you see on screen. Yup, it could be huge… but for the time being, I’m sticking with my turkey and gravy – and then I’m going to take a nap.

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OraQuick – 20 Minute, at Home, HIV Test

One of the scariest health epidemics of my generation was HIV. I remember quite clearly its emergence on the scene, the graphic news footage of those first infected, people slowly dying from something so misunderstood and scary. It doesn’t seem to be big news anymore, but it’s still killing people all over the world.

Well, OraSure, the company that brought us the first healthcare administered oral specimen HIV test available all the way back in 1994, have now developed OraQuick, a simple at-home test that allows people to test themselves in the privacy of their own homes for the virus that causes AIDS. Imagine, an FDA approved, over-the-counter HIV test that requires only a simple mouth swab and 20-40 minutes of your time.

It is estimated that there are over a quarter of a million Americans that are completely unaware that they have been infected with HIV, testing yourself can help protect your health and, it will certainly help to curtail the rampant spread of HIV. The OraQuick In-Home Oral HIV Test is a private, confidential way to test yourself and get your results in only around 20 minutes.

The OraQuick test will be available this month at many retail outlets in the USA including Walmart, or at Oraquick.com for only around $39.99. The testing kit comes in a durable plastic case with step by step instructions and a pre and post test information booklets. Remember that there is always a slight risk of a false negative or positive result, so please follow-up with a medical professional.
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See Through Technology – Real X-Ray Vision!

In one of our cars we have that annoying little back-up beeper, you know the one, it senses if anything is behind your car and emits a faster and faster beep tone the closer you get to running whatever it is over. The other car has a backup camera, much less annoying, and it has in fact, prevented me from running over my father in the driveway more than once. This next item may make both of those totally obsolete…

Check out what researchers at Keio University, in Japan, are working on, a system that by means of something called optical camouflage, will make the backseat of your car appear invisible (wish that existed on the night of my senior prom) Anyhow, the technology isn’t new, the concept was developed by Susumu Tachi and his colleagues, almost 10 years ago and works by capturing footage from behind an object, and then transmitting that footage onto the object itself. Check out Tachi’s invisibility cloak HERE.

This tech has now been integrated into what is being hailed as a see-through Prius which is going to be shown at this month’s Digital Content Expo in Tokyo, Japan. This nifty little Prius actually gives it’s driver the feeling of operating a vehicle that is made of glass. Researchers have now modified that idea to perhaps create a new safety feature in our cars. It appears that a display attached to the driver’s headrest might someday project what was visible behind the car onto the back seat making the backseat seem invisible. Awesome.

I’m all for a little augmented reality in my car, and anything that replaces the annoying beep alert is tops in my book, and while a good old fashioned head turn used to be good enough, I do see some real benefit to really being able to see behind my car. Hey dad? Where’d you go?
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OUYA – Thinking way Inside the Box

I probably shouldnt admit it, but I clearly remember our very first video game console. The Magnavox Odyssey. My parents brought it home, and I was mesmerized as it was hooked up to the TV, so many games choices (both Pong and Hockey) and I was able to sit in front of it for hours, with anyone willing to play. It was the beginning of my love affair with technology. Gaming on the TV was always a good time, but it’s about to get better…

Check out OUYA, getting ready to change the rules of gaming, and of game developing right back to the way it used to be. OUYA is a world-class controller, console, and interface all bundled up  into one beautiful, very inexpensive package. This Android based OPEN system not only allows for tweaking, but encourages it, and better still, it gives developers a home where they can dispense with some of the financial hurdles and publishing fees and get back to making awsome games that folks can play in their living room.

You win, because all the games on it will be free, at least to try, and developers win because it opens the doors for almost anyone to bring a new game to market. No longer do you have to invest in a license or software development kit (SDK or “devkit”) The OUYA is one! Imagine all that power in the palm of your hands. Anything published to Android is fair game on this little cutie, so play games, listen to music, watch videos… need I say more?

With more than 60,000 people behind OUYA, I think its a pretty safe bet we’ll be seeing the little cubes turning up sometime next Spring, so if you’d like to have one, head on over to OUYA.tv and pre-order one, and when you do something really cool with it, I want to be the first to know! Deal?

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Welcome to the iPhone® 5 and Much More

Credit: CNET/James Martin

In front of the invite only audience and with the world waiting, Apple CEO Tim Cook just hosted Apple’s September 12 event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Performing Arts in San Francisco. Included in the announcements were the launch of the iPhone 5, debut of the new iPod® Nano and iPod Touch and feature demonstrations of iOS6 and the new iTunes. Complete details on each topic are forthcoming, but the short of it is:

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Lavazza makes Coffee for your Fiat

I know I am not alone when I tell you that I can’t even begin to engage my brain in the morning without a cup of coffee. Okay, truth be told, it’s two cups of coffee and without it, everyone knows to not even talk to me. I often wonder how caffeine-free people make it through their day, or how they get anything done. One of these days I’m going to have to quit drinking coffee, but it’s not going to be today!

Especially since Lavazza (famous coffee maker) is making the first ever car coffee maker, to be offered as an option on the brand new Fiat 500L. Imagine, cruising down the road, with the aroma of freshly brewed espresso wafting through your luxurious new Fiat. With your brew bubbling right between your front seats, and plugged into its very own power source, you will have everything you need to keep you going.

Called the “coffee experience kit” it comes with two auto friendly cups, an espresso making base with a spoon and sugar holder (no word about milk or cream) Simply snap the new Lavazza into your Fiat’s secure center docking station and let Lavazza work its magic as your coffee pod is steeped in perfectly heated water, making an awesome cup of fresh espresso. Who needs Starbucks’s?

Well, I guess I do. While it seems like the new Fiat will soon be available in the U.S., it doesn’t look like the Lavazza coffee maker will be an available option for us. It appears that our sue-happy society (think McDonalds coffee on lap disaster) has got corporate attorneys too nervous to let us actually have an on-board coffee maker, but I’m not going to count out finding a retrofit kit on e-bay and hey, espresso is small darn it, I can drink it at a red light, as soon as I’m finished making my calls, putting on my make-up and finding a good radio station. For those that can, the kit is expected to be around 300 bucks and the new Fiat to go with it, $22,500.

source: usatoday.com

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Do you Think these Clothes are Going to Clean Themselves?

Few things strike as much dread into the middle of my day as much as the laundry. I think its right up there on my list of things I have learned to hate the drudgery  of quite a long time ago. Vacuuming, kitty litter emptying and laundry. Hate em. We’ve put a man on the moon, how come I’m still doing this stuff the way my mom used to? Sure the washing machine is bigger and higher tech… but its the same boring job.

Well, scientists might actually have my best interests at heart. Mingce Long and  Deyong Wu say they have developed a fabric coated with titanium dioxide (think suntan lotion ingredient) That breaks down dirt and kills different microbes when exposed to certain kinds of light, more specifically, their product can clean itself when exposed to sunlight… very nice.

The report on this fabric describes a regular cotton fabric that’s coated with nanoparticles (I told you about them yesterday, they’re a size between molecular and microscopic) made from a compound of titanium dioxide and nitrogen. Their tests show that a cotton fabric coated with theses particles removed an orange dye stain when it was exposed to sunlight, and the coating even stayed intact after washing and drying. What a minute, washing and drying? Am I missing the point here?

A similar study is being done at the University of California, where scientists have created another compound that also allows cotton to break down toxins and bacteria when exposed to light. Heck, I’ll just make my family eat dinner outside in the sun, and kill two birds with one stone. Now we just have to figure out a way for the food to cook itself, then, life will be good.

Source: zmescience.com

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Kiddie Voice – No Child Left Behind

It was just a day or two ago that I told you about the Child Minder safety alarm. I found it a shame that our hectic lifestyles could put any of us in such a haze that we could actually forget our child in the backseat of the car. It’s an unbelievable tragedy and I thought the 70 dollar safety alarm had its place, even if it saved just one kid.

But can the interest of safety go to far? As of February, one Florida county has an ordinance  that requires all licensed daycare centers to install alarms in school vehicles that remind drivers to check for children upon vehicle shut off, and of course a patented  device called Kiddie Voice was there to meet the call. Kiddie Voice, was specifically designed to make the driver walk to the back of the van or bus in order to deactivate the system.  This  feature ensures that drivers check all the seats before they leave the bus.

I understand that a parent who usually doesn’t take their child to daycare could make a tragic mistake, but a school bus driver? It must be so, because stories of child fatalities or heat related injuries on day care vans and school buses continue to make news. But did we really need an ordinance? Palm Beach County passed a similar ordinance last year and more counties in the U.S. are soon to follow suit. Who knows what comes next?

Well, in case your county is next, the Kiddie Voice Child Reminder System is available at atwecgrp.com for under 300 bucks and is activated when the ignition is turned off and can only be disarmed by a button located in the back. Do you think its actually possible to legislate common sense?

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Commercial Free DVR – How can it Survive?

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In a Flash Laser – Customize your Tech

Personally I use my stuff as is. My daughter is the one that wants to buy all the little covers, skins and cases for her things. I thought about the personalization option when I bought her the iPad, but I figured she’d just cover it up with all her “bling.” I never really saw anything unique enough for me to want it… until now.

Check out In a Flash Laser, a small company that’s big on talent. Offering quick custom engraving services for your tech devices you can have almost any high quality illustration, logo, line art, autograph, drawing, text, or photograph, permanently engraved on the back of your iPads or iPods, or create some beautiful art on your Macbook air or pro. Does your tablet or Kindle need to stand out from the crowd? In a Flash has got it covered, literally.

Of course In a Flash Laser doesn’t just engrave electronics, although that’s what makes them really cool… they also engrave smartcovers and aluminum and leather cases as well as, wood marble and tile, not to mention custom flash drives, water bottles and Christmas ornaments.

Heck, if you can think of it, In a Flash Laser can probably make it your own. iPad etching uses 2 different lasers and shows up as white and grey shades with a cost of only $79.99 and this custom engraving has a turnaround time of only a few days! Check out the website at ipadlaserengraving.com to order, or just to peruse an overwhelming gallery of amazing personalization options.

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