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     Volume 5 Issue 113 | September 22, 2006 |


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Sci-tech

Educators Make Anti-Bully Game
The pre-release controversy over Rockstar's much-maligned schoolyard sandbox title Bully continues. Gamasutra reports that nine universities are banding together to create a video game that teaches kids how to deal with bullying. Not a bad idea, in general: I like the idea of using video games as an educational tool, as the interactivity and fun factor are great for keeping kids' attention. But if this is really being developed out of some sense that Bully, the game, is going to warp childrens' minds and that there needs to be some kind of pre-emptive pushback against the impending assault.

Music on the Go
The Musical Bot
A model from Japan's robot venture ZMP unveils the world's first music robot "miuro", which can play various types formatted digital music, with four built-in stereo speakers, and is technically supported by Japanese audio maker Kenwood. The egg shaped robot can move automatically or by remote control with recognition of the map of the room and also dance to tunes. ZMP will put it on the market at the end of this year with a price of USD 950.


Mobile Music
It's the music that makes the party, and designer Nik Nowak is doing his part to make sure the party never stops with the Music Booster. His creation combines power and convenience by marrying a stereo and speakers to an ATV-like chassis, assuring you can bring the tunes whether your celebration is in a palace or a parking lot. There's no info on when the Music Booster might actually be available but it will surely be interesting to try out once it's in the market.

Sinus procedure has improved
A University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine official has said surgery to open the sinuses has changed to become less painful and allow for faster healing. Dr. David Kennedy, vice dean for professional services at the university, said the changes to surgical procedures treating sinusitis have reduced complications related to the procedure. The changes include the usage of tiny endoscope cameras, computer navigation systems, hemostatic gels and a greater emphasis on after-care. The emphasis now is on both doing a more complete surgical procedure and on much more aggressive post-operative care, Kennedy said. Sinusitis basically involves inflammation of the mucosa tissue that lines the sinus cavities behind the forehead, eyes and cheeks and is a common chronic illnesses.

Portable Mini Drives
If you want more storage than can be offered by a USB flash drive in something more toteable than an external hard drive, Formac has the solution for you. It's mini drives come in 60GB, 80GB and 120GB models in a 129mm x 92mm x 22mm portable package. And they don't require external power adapters, so they lighten your load. The drives are available now, priced between £70 and £160.

Touch Screen Message Boards
You can throw out the sticky notes, white board, message pad or whatever else your family uses to communicate with members in absentia. Philips' concept In Touch screen is a mirror that also functions as a touch screen message board. Each household member can be represented by a thumbnail image; with a stylus, you touch the image of the person for whom you want to leave a message, and a drawing space opens for you to jot down your note. Alternately, you can touch the blue light in the right-hand corner of the screen to record a short video message. The board is also MMS and SMS compatible so you can send a note to a family member when they're out of the house. Unfortunately, there's no word if and when the In Touch will come to market.

The 20-carat TV
No, you're not seeing stars -- this TV is inlaid with 160 real diamonds. That's 20 carats worth. Until early this week, it was on display at the International Fair of Berlin IFA. Its USD 127,240 price tag makes it the “most expensive LCD TV in the world.” So, unless your home is scheduled to be featured on “MTV Cribs,” I doubt this set will be in your living room anytime soon.

 



Compiled by
IMRAN H. KHAN

Source: AFP, Wired, New Scientist and Webindia123

 

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