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     Volume 6 Issue 6 | February 16, 2007 |

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High five for Next-Gen Energy

An employee of Japanese fuel cell battery venture FC Rand D displays a robot hand, powered by fuel cell battery for the demonstration of the company's products at the International Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Expo in Tokyo. Some 500 companies had exhibited their technology of next generation energy at the event.

A Cool Three-Wheeler

When the New York Times calls the B.R.P. Spyder "a tricycle for adult situations," they're talking sophistication, not smut. Not that this sleek three-wheeler ("the love child of Henry Ford and Isaac Asimov") couldn't serve as an alfresco BarcaLounger in a pinch. But the 2008 Can-Am Spyder Grand Sport Roadster, which recently got its official introduction, is apparently lots of fun. The first street-legal vehicle from Bombardier Recreational Products (a Canadian maker of snowmobiles, watercraft and other off-road stuff) has a 106-horsepower Rotax V-twin that can reach 110 mph.

Nano-batteries Could Last Decades

Mphase's nano-material-based batteries carry some cool properties: indefinite shelf life is claimed, and, by being built up from subatomic particles rather than chunky cells, they can be formed into any required shape. They can be integrated into circuits, for example, or placed on a chip die. They're not susceptible to the problems that come with traditional batteries, such as susceptibility to temperature extremes, and can be fabricated from a variety of chemistries. They're even eco-friendly, as claimed by CEO Ronald A. Durando in an interview with Gizmag: "Protecting the environment is critical. We are pleased to have developed a green strategy that can help minimise the impact of various chemistries on the environment."

NightCove: Sleep System for Suckers

As soon as somebody called this NightCove lamp a "sleeping solution," we knew we were in for some majorly expensive hooey. The idea is that a combination of different-coloured light and some noises can put you to sleep and wake you up. The purveyors of this lamp have put together soothing marketing materials that conjure up some wonderful, energising and miraculous benefits, and it's all "based on medical and scientific research." Yeah, junk science. How about this sleep solution: Turn off the lights, close your eyes, go to sleep. At 2,300 USD for each one of these alarm clock come lamps, they urge you to buy two. Don't.

Sony's Flash-based UX390 UMPC

Sony's VAIO UX390 is one of the few UMPCs out there with a flash-based drive. It's got Windows Vista installed and of all the UMPCs around, it's the only one that can give OQO's Model 02 a run for it's money. The question is, does it? The folks at CNET gave it a test spin and deemed it the best UMPC they've seen to date. They loved the 32GB flash drive, the extended battery life and the UX390's ports. Two thumbs up to Sony's latest gizmo.

New GPS Shoes

We thought child abduction panic was a totally 1980s sort of thing, but maybe not. How else to explain an inventor's drive to create shoes with embedded GPS systems? Press a button, and the Quantum Satellite Technology sneaker transmits a GPS signal to a 24-hour monitoring service that will tell parents, employers, suspicious spouses and others exactly where the shoe is. In an emergency, you can call the monitoring service and they'll activate the GPS remotely. Sneakers cost 325 USD to 350 USD, and the monitoring service is 20 dollars a month.

The New CD

Big changes are afoot for the iPod in the wake of the Beatles settlement -- the iPod is about to become the new CD. Apple Inc. and the Beatles' Apple Corps announced that a 15-year legal spat over the "Apple" trademark had been settled in Steve Jobs' favour. The iPod could become the new CD, especially if Apple starts offering cheap shuffle iPods pre-loaded with hot new albums or artists' catalogs. Imagine a whole range of inexpensive, special-edition iPods branded with popular bands containing a new album or their whole catalogs. These cheap album iPods could be sold at bus stations and airports: instant music, no computer required.

Compiled by

Source: AFP, Wired and Gizmodo.com

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