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     Volume 6 Issue 32 | August 17, 2007 |

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The coolest Universal Remote Control

he latest in Universal Remote Control's line of remote controls is the MX-980. It's got a 320x240 LCD that supports custom images (BMP/JPG/PNG/GIF/Animated GIF) to represent devices, as well as RF, an on-board speaker, MSC-400 Master System Controller integration, RS232 and relay controls, a backlight, and a motion sensor to light up the screen when you stomp on over. It's a high end remote, costing $599, so it's more for the people who are serious about their universal remotes being universal.

Physicists Figure Out How To Cause Levitation
If there was a cooler movie prop in my childhood than the hoverboard from Back to the Future, Part II, I don't know what it was. That hoverboard made me really, really want to be living in the year 2015. And while as I got older my pragmatism and cynicism lead me to believe we would definitely not have hoverboards by that time, I might just be proven wrong in the most awesome way possible: by real hoverboards. That's because a group of physicists claim to have figured out how to reverse what's known as the Casimir force, causing objects to repel from each other rather than be attracted. What's that mean? Hoverboards could become a reality sooner than we think
.Shower Head music player aims to Clean and Entertain
This concept for a combination shower head/MP3 player definitely falls under the unnecessary gadgets category, but that doesn't make it any less cool or imaginiative. The concept consists of a speaker/charging base/shower head holder mounted to the shower wall while the detachable shower head has control buttons for the MP3 device. While no specifics were given as to how MP3s would be loaded on the device, one would assume an SD card, or similar removable flash media, would be the storage method of choice. If this ever comes out, consider me in, because just looking at it makes me want to start singing in the shower.

Flashlight Makes You Vomit
Look out, because here come cops with flashlights that will make you hurl. Intelligent Optical Systems has created this weird flashlight that's so bright it temporarily blinds you, and then it gets you all disoriented and dizzy. Using special types of really bright LEDs, the flashlight's beam pulses and flashes while quickly changing its colour, and all this somehow makes you feel like you're going to throw up. Of course, if you want to avoid blowing chunks all over the cops, all you need to do is close your eyes and the flashlight isn't going to hurt you, but then you're not going to be able to aim that gun very well with your eyes closed, are you? Intelligent Optical Systems plans to start testing the 15-inch flashlight this fall on some lucky volunteers at Penn State University. This could be the latest in the line of non-lethal weapons to come.

Radio Station Looks Like a SciFi Movie Set
This might look like something humans would set up if they were settling on a harsh planet such as Mars, but it's actually something humans set up to settle a radio station in the harsh country of Poland. Yeah, it's the headquarters of Krakow-based Rmf FM, and if you think the outside looks neat, wait until you see the inside. Next time, maybe.
Is it a Boat? Is it a Plane? No, it's the Hydroptère
A60-footer that goes by the name of Hydroptère is hoping to travel at over 50 knots (58mph) and become the world's fastest racing ship. Using "wings", the French-built craft glides over the waves, instead of ploughing through them like a traditional sailing vessel. Even the captain, Alain Thébault, who has crossed the English Channel in just over half an hour, reckons it's more like flying a glider than piloting a yacht.

A breeze of just 12 knots is needed to allow the Hydroptère to fly. Rising 15 feet out of the water, just the carbon fiber ailerons - as strong as the landing gear on an airplane - beneath the trimaran's keels remain in contact with the water, reducing drag to almost zero, and allowing the yacht to hover over the waves. One crewmember steers, while the others bounce around the boat, tightening and loosening sails. And should something go wrong, there is a panic button on the boat, which brings it to a swift halt. The Hydroptère currently holds the one-mile and 500-meter records, and has got French knickers in a right old twist. The nation, whose fast train, the 357-mph TGV, became the fastest thing on two rails earlier this year, is counting on the boat to capture the world speed record for sailing, currently held by an Irish windsurfer. Already the trimaran has hit 47.2 knots in training, just 1.5 knots below the two-year-old record held by Finian Maynard, which Captain Thébault will be attempting to smash in Brittany this winter. "The 50-knot mark in sailing is a bit like the sound barrier in flying," he said. "After that, everything is possible."

Compiled by IMRAN H. KHAN

Source: Wired and Gizmdo Online

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