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     Volume 5 Issue 94 | May 12, 2006 |

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Software Bug Zapper
If there was a league table of truly pointless gadgets this would be somewhere near the top, probably just below the ice oven. As we know most software has the odd bug well now you can pretend to fix them with the computer Bug Zapper. The computer bug zapper, hangs from a hook and looks a bit like a normal bug (as in flying) extermination system, with it's glowing yellow core of insect death. However the yellow light is just for show though it does make ZZZzzap sounds whenever a software bug is detected and destroyed. I so nearly believed that this was the long awaited silver bullet of software development until I found that it runs on batteries and not USB! How low tech is that!.

Retro CD Player is All-In-One Music Machine
Teac's Retro CD player doesn't just pay lip service to the days of yore, it actually plays artefacts from the original rock-and-roll era - yep, we're talking about vinyl! In addition to CDs, it will also take your 33-, 45- and 78-rpm records, allowing you to hear your favourite music as God and the record industry intended. It also has a USB port, so you can play mp3s from a flash drive or portable hard drive, and a FM tuner. This little baby comes with a price tag of about USD 200.

Man may have caused prehistoric extinction
U.S. and British scientists say they've determined prehistoric horses in Alaska may have become extinct due to hunting by man, rather than climate change. The previously accepted view has been that wild horses became extinct long before the extinction of mammoths and the arrival of humans from Asia -- eliminating the possibility they were over-hunted by man. One theory had been that a period of climate cooling caused their extinction. However, the researchers say uncertainties in dating fossil remains and the incompleteness of fossil records means the survival of the horses beyond the arrival of humans cannot be ruled out.

Bots in the Fashion World
This combo picture shows Japanese Kyoto University robot creator Tomotaka Takahashi's latest humanoid robot FT (Female Type). This bot is equipped with 23 actuators and two gyro sensors on the carbon fibre and plastic made svelte body, 35cm in tall and weighing 800g, which enables to walk and pose like a fashion model. Personally, I prefer the old school way of fashioning.

Swedes find tree growth gene
Swedish researchers say they have discovered an important gene that controls tree growth and development. Scientists at the Umea Plant Science Centre and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences say they have demonstrated how the growth and development of forest trees is controlled. The scientists say they have found that the FT gene that was previously shown to control the flowering time of annual plants, also controls tree flowering. They discovered that the same gene not only controls the flowering time of trees, but also the timing of when the trees stop growing and set bud in the fall. Researchers said finding -- that the same gene was involved in all the processes -- was highly unexpected. The Swedish researchers say their discovery might revolutionise forest tree breeding and can lead to the development of new tree seedlings with a dramatically improved growth and also tailor made quality parameters.

Truly High-Definition
A model poses next to a prototype model of the world's largest full-spec high-definition 65-inch LCD monitor produced by Japanese electronics giant Sharp, to display 3D computer graphic at the flat panel display exhibition in Tokyo.

What a Bananas Idea
If you're fed up of having a black mushy banana in your lunch box, you'll be pleased to hear a solution is at hand, the banana guard by Safe Banana. The Banana Guard is a specially shaped plastic container for storing your lunch time fruit. It accommodates and protects most shapes and sizes of banana. It's probably advisable not to carry it in you jean pocket. Nice!


Compiled by IMRAN H. KHAN


Source: AFP, Wired and Coolest-gadgets.com


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