Thursday, January 19, 2017

Human-powered centrifuge

Gizmodo reports: [edited]

Inspired by an ancient toy, researchers from Stanford University have developed a hand-spun centrifuge.

A centrifuge is an essential tool for hospitals and labs across the world, but they are expensive, bulky, and require electricity. In poor regions these instruments can be hard to come by, thus limiting the ability of point-of-care healthcare workers to do their work.

In demonstrations, the paperfuge was able to centrifuge blood at 20,000 RPM — a speed comparable to those exerted by conventional benchtop centrifuges. The paperfuge was able to separate pure plasma from whole blood in less than 90 seconds, and to isolate malaria parasites in 15 minutes.

The 20p 'paperfuge' can reach spinning speeds of 125,000 RPM, and exert centrifugal forces equivalent to 30,000 Gs. It’s a hundred times faster than previous non-electrical centrifuges, and is the fastest rotational speed recorded for a human-powered device.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Lucky Knot Bridge

NEXT Architects reports: [edited]

The proposed steel pedestrian bridge in the Chinese mega city Changsha will be 185 metres long and 24 metres high.

The bridge is a key project in developing the area’s public space, and was designed with recreational, ecological and tourist activities in mind.

The bridge connects multiple levels at different heights (the river banks, the road, the higher-placed park as well as the interconnections between them). The final shape of the bridge is the result of - literally and metaphorically - knotting all these routes together.

The bridge will offer a spectacular view of the river, Meixi Lake, the city of Changsha and the surrounding mountain range. With its LED light arrays, the bridge is set to become a landmark attraction in the route that traces the path of the Dragon King Harbour River.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Nintendo Switch

Trusted Reviews reports: [edited]

Nintendo Switch will be released in the UK on 3 March, priced at £280.

At home, the Switch sits in a "Nintendo Switch Dock" that's used to connect to your TV. Once removed from the dock, it transitions to portable mode.

The gamepad will be rechargeable through the console. The battery life can range from 3 to 6 hours depending on the game you're playing. The gamepad's screen is 720p. There is a stand provided.

Nintendo Switch will include two detachable controllers known as "Joy-Cons", which can be used as part of the portable tablet or during local multi-player. Just like the gamepad, these will be charged through the console.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Alzheimer Treatment Allows Dentin Regrowth

Motherboard reports: [edited]

Researchers at King’s College released a study stating they’ve discovered a medicine that can prompt teeth to regrow over cavities or injuries.

Researchers realized that an experimental Alzheimer’s drug called Tideglusib had the side effect of encouraging dentin growth, which is the bony part of the tooth made of calcified tissue. It makes up most of the tooth, just above the pulp but under the hard enamel.

Tideglusib, used in clinical trials as a neurological drug as a way to encourage brain cell growth, encouraged the tooth to generate more stem cells and grow dentin over the exposed area, according to the report.

Normally, a tooth only grows a tiny layer of dentin over an injury — not nearly enough to save a tooth from needing to be drilled or removed to prevent infection. But when Tideglusib is applied to the injured spot on the tooth, it blocks the enzyme that usually stops dentin growth, glycogen synthase kinase (GSK-3), and the whole spot heals up by itself.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


weatherHYDE reports: [edited]

billionBricks is a Singapore based non-profit design and innovation studio providing shelter and infrastructure solutions for the homeless and vulnerable.

[WeatherHyde is] a life saving fully insulated, lightweight emergency kit that provides maximum privacy and protects the homeless and vulnerable from extreme weather. The only reversible tent that protects in both winter and summer, it is woman friendly and enables a single person, tool-less installation within 15 minutes and does not need any anchoring.

weatherHYDE has been awarded the Iron A' Design Award in the category of Social Design in 2016 by the grand jury panel of the A’ Design Award & Competition which consists of internationally influential press members, established designers, leading academics and prominent entrepreneurs.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Somerset to London, 28-12-16

Bring Back That Leroy Brown [2011 Remaster] - Queen
Black Or White - Michael Jackson
Mary of the 4th Form - The Boomtown Rats
Two Hearts (2016 Remastered) - Phil Collins
Here Comes Summer - The Undertones
Two Doors Down - Mystery Jets
Beds Are Burning - Midnight Oil
Always On My Mind - Pet Shop Boys
He's Gonna Step On You Again - John Kongos
The Way You Make Me Feel - Michael Jackson
Rehab - Amy Winehouse
The Golden Path (ft wayne coyne) - The Chemical Brothers
This Is the Remix - Girl Talk
Hey Ruby, Shut Your Mouth - Ruby and The Party Gang
Brændt - Lis Sørensen
Smooth Criminal - Michael Jackson
Too Young - Phoenix
Gasoline - The Airborne Toxic Event
You Got The Dirtee Love, feat. Dizzee Rascal - Florence + The Machine
Bagboy - Pixies
Stuck On Repeat (Edit) - Little Boots
Bruises - Chairlift
It's A Sin - Pet Shop Boys
King Creole - Elvis Presley
Try - Nelly Furtado
You & I (feat. Shara) - Ellusive & Telykast
Just Like Paradise - David Lee Roth
What You Know - Two Door Cinema Club
Eyes Without A Face - Billy Idol
In The Air Tonight (2015 Remastered) - Phil Collins
Electric - Melody Club
Standing In The Shadows Of Love - The Four Tops
Bad - Michael Jackson
City Of Blinding Lights - U2
Best of Friends - Palma Violets
One More Night (Cutmore Club Mix) - Maroon 5
Good Night Moon - Shivaree
Kiss With A Fist - Florence + The Machine
That's Not My Name (LA Riots Remix) - The Ting Tings
Easy Lover - Phil Collins & Phil Bailey
One Nation Under a Groove - George Clinton/Funkadelic
My Pretty One - Cliff Richard
Break Away - The Beach Boys
TVC 15 - David Bowie
I Wanna Prove to You - The Lemon Twigs
Hammer To Fall [2011 Remaster] - Queen
Common People - William Shatner

Monday, December 26, 2016

London to Somerset, 26-12-16

What Have I Done To Deserve This? - Pet Shop Boys
Boom! Shake the Room - DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
Frozen - Tegan and Sara
You Can't Hurry Love - Phil Collins
Sigourney Weaver - John Grant
Lady Marmalade - Labelle
There's A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop Swears He's Elvis - Kirsty MacColl
O.N.E - Yeasayer
Inhaler - Foals
Where The Streets Have No Name (I Can't Take My Eyes Off You) - Pet Shop Boys
Tilted - Christine and the Queens
Birmingham Blues - Electric Light Orchestra
Suburbia - Pet Shop Boys
Monkey Wrench - Foo Fighters
Rolling In The Deep [Explicit] - Adele
Rhythm Is a Dancer - Snap!
Hey Mama, Close to Me, For Your Love - Black Eyed Peas vs the Cure vs The Zombies
She's a Rainbow (Radio Edit) - World Of Twist
Chinese Rocks - Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers
Get What You Want - Operator Please
Friday On My Mind - The Easybeats
Going Under - Evanescence
Heartbreak Hotel - Elvis Presley
Apache - Micheal Viners Incredible Bongo Band
When The Haar Rolls In - James Yorkston
My My My - Armand Van Helman
On Your Radio (Radio) - Richard Lanham
Green Light (Radio Edit) - Roll Deep
Save The Last Dance For Me - The Drifters
Opposites Attract - Paula Abdul
Superstar - Aeroplane
Pop Culture - Madeon
Hold on to Love - Peter Skellern
Testify (feat. Crystal Waters) - Hifi Sean
Use It Up And Wear It Out - Odyssey
Your Love Alone Is Not Enough - Manic Street Preachers
Sussudio (2016 Remastered) - Phil Collins
These Boots Are Made For Walking - Nancy Sinatra
Private Idaho - The B-52's
High Horse - The Jim Jones Revue

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Review

Digital Photography Review have published a full review of Olympus' flagship Micro Four Third camera.

Snippets from the conclusion follow:

"The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II is befitting of the term 'flagship,' and performs every bit as quickly as such a title implies - and it should, given the $2000 MSRP (body-only). In terms of outright speed, the E-M1 II is unmatched in the world of Micro Four Thirds cameras, and gives many higher-specced cameras with larger sensors a run for their money. But the fact remains, the sensor in the E-M1 II is only a quarter of the size of a full-frame, 35mm-sized sensor, and you can purchase a camera with one of those larger sensors for less money."

"The E-M1 II's build quality is top-of-class. The body is made of aluminium and magnesium alloys and feels sturdy. Everything is weather-sealed and the camera proved itself in the continuous rain and cold weather in Iceland."

"Ergonomics are about as good as its gets. The grip is just right, allowing for one-handed shooting with lighter lenses, and the front and rear dials are perfectly placed. The camera is a customisable to the point where it's over-the-top. Twelve buttons and dials can have their function changed, with separate settings for still and video shooting."

"Its biggest feature is undoubtedly its in-body 5-axis image stabilisation. It can reduce shake by a claimed 5.5 stops. We've been able to take handheld 2 second exposures."

Neural Network-based Image Colorization

Satoshi Iizuka, Edgar Simo-Serra & Hiroshi Ishikawa report: [edited]

We provide a service that uses AI to automatically colorize black and white images based on "Let there be Color!: Joint End-to-end Learning of Global and Local Image Priors for Automatic Image Colorization with Simultaneous Classification" Iizuka and Simo-Serra et al. SIGGRAPH 2016.

[Here's some I made up earlier, Ed.]

Thanks to Brook Jordan for the link.

Monday, November 21, 2016

'Conventional' Digital Camera Sales Plummeting

Statista reports: [edited]

“The best camera is the one that’s with you”. This phrase, attributed to photographer Chase Jarvis, explains the impact that smartphone cameras are making on the world of photography. The cameras built into our phones may still be inferior to dedicated digital cameras, but they keep improving and have the advantage of being part of an item that we already carry around with us.

When the first touchscreen smartphones arrived in 2007 and 2008 members of the CIPA, an association of the world’s camera makers, shipped almost 120 million digital cameras.

In 2015, CIPA members shipped 35.4 million digital cameras, down more than 70 percent from peak sales in 2010 – the year that Instagram was launched.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Google Music Using Big Data To Build Playlists

Wired reports: [edited]

Google knows where you are, what you’re doing, what you’re thinking and watching and searching for and chatting with your friends about. Which means nobody should be better equipped to soundtrack every second of your life than Google Play Music. The company’s taking advantage of its smarts to deliver you the sounds [it thinks ed.] you want.

Next time you open Google Play Music on any device, the first thing you’ll see is a list of playlists you might like, plus a short description for why the app made any given selection. It’s a bit like Google Now, the predictive feed of everything you probably want to know about right now, except fully focused on music. Think of it as a super-smart, hyper-personalized set of radio station presets. Just open the app, tap one, and go.

To do all this, the Play Music team is tapping into the full Google Data Machine for the first time. It’s choosing playlists by looking at the music you’ve listened to before, of course, but also your search history, your YouTube plays, even what’s in your email and calendar. It considers that data alongside things like time of day, location (a bar is different from a library is different from your office), the weather, and more. So you like classical at work, but you need a boost because it’s raining and you’ve been in meetings all day, plus it’s almost time to get to the gym? Play Music might show you Epic Movie Scores, followed by your favorite workout jams.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Moley Robotic Chef

Forbes reports: [edited]

In 2018, Moley will launch the world’s first integrated cooking robot — a robotic kitchen that has access to a number of famous chefs and their recipes. And it will clean up after itself as well.

Two articulated robotic motion capture systems record each movement of the master chef. Among the hundred dishes included in the beta version is Tim Anderson’s crab bisque, a particularly difficult recipe that requires striking the right balance between tomatoes, crabmeat and spices. It took Anderson five attempts to make this soup with the motion capture system.

Once the movements have been recorded, the user can choose the number of portions, type of cuisine, dietary restrictions, calorie count, desired ingredients, cooking method, chef, etc. from the recipe library, before placing pre-packaged containers of measured, washed and cut ingredients on designated spots, and pressing 'start'.

Price: $92,000.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Microsoft Surface Studio

Released date, early 2017.

Full specifications here

Review by illustrator Gabe at Penny Arcade here

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Iceland taps into energy of molten magma

New Scientist reports: [edited]

Drilling into hot rocks to tap geothermal energy is one thing. Drilling deep enough to tap the energy from magma oozing into volcanoes is quite another, offering a massive increase in the potential to exploit Earth’s inner heat.

That is the task of a rig now drilling 5 kilometres into the rugged landscape of old lava flows in Reykjanes, at the south-west corner of Iceland. Drilling began on 12 August. By the end of the year, the Iceland Deep Drilling Project (IDDP) hopes to have created the hottest hole in the world, hitting temperatures anywhere between 400 and 1000 °C.

At that depth, pressures are more than 200 times atmospheric levels. The consortium of energy companies and researchers behind the project expects the water to be in the form of “supercritical steam”, which is neither liquid nor gas and holds much more heat energy than either.

A well that can successfully tap into such steam could have an energy capacity of 50 megawatts, compared to the 5 of a typical geothermal well, says Albertsson. This would mean some 50,000 homes could be powered, versus 5,000 from a single well.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Nintendo Switch

The Guardian reports: [edited]

Nintendo has unveiled its new console, the Nintendo Switch, which will be released in March 2017.

The console is a hybrid machine, half portable and half traditional console.

The device, which takes games loaded on cartridges, can be used as a traditional console like a PS4 or Xbox One, with the machine docked with the TV and a wireless controller, called the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, used to play games on it.

But it can also be used in a number of portable modes. The main body, which has a screen, can be undocked from the hub and carried away. Owners can then either attach controllers (called “Joy-Cons”) to its side, and use it like a portable games console – think a massive PS Vita – or prop up the screen and use the wireless controllers instead.

A second type of wireless controller allows owners to dock the two mini controllers to either side of a wireless body, and play using that. The Joy-Cons are included; the Pro Controller is an optional accessory.