Innovation, News

Puffing power: cigarette butts to revolutionise electronics industry

SONY DSC Cigarettes are dirty, toxic creatures. After they've been liberally smoked, their remains are tossed aside into street corners and flower pots to pollute and gradually infect the world. Incredibly though, these tiny polluters are more valuable to the electronics industry than they may initially seem. Some incredibly smart (or bored) scientists thought it would be a great idea to use these butts as an electrode coating for supercapacitors -- those nubs on electronics in charge of handling large quanities of electronic ...

Motorola, News, smartwatches

Moto360 pre-release review reveals one damn fine smartwatch

moto360 rev 2 Luca Viscardi is kind of a "big thing" in his native Italy, so naturally when Mister Gadget gets his hands on a smartwatch, it gets noticed. Especially so if it's the yet-to-be-released Moto360. Spending an extensive few days with the gadget has let Viscardi form his own opinion of Motorola's smartwatch, while leaking a few pictures and tasty tidbits too. And his conclusion? Well, he's not quite sure what to make of it, frankly. Aesthetically, the Moto360 could very well have been ...

Apple, smartwatches

Focus, simplicity and greatness: envisioning the Jobsian smartwatch

steve jobs logo Apple was a company on the brink of financial destruction 15 years ago. After being bullied by Microsoft with the emergence of the PC and prior to Steve Jobs' messianic return, Cupertino's sweetheart had suffered a 30% slump in sales in the final quarter of 1996, with two further years of red financials. Jobs' influence cannot be underestimated, but can be understood by the firm's massive growth from twig in the sand to the post-1997 innovative powerhouse that it is ...

Games, News, PC

Broforce crossover Expendabros is best film-to-game ever made (and it’s free)

Expendabros Many of you know Broforce as possibly the best retro-inspired shooter of 2014, and it's still only in beta. So fans, rejoice: this South African-born platform shooter gets a free Expendables themed update with the aptly titled Expendabros which is, best of all, free for Windows PCs. There are seven new Expendabros to play around with, and ten missions to wreck havoc in. Luckily, it's a Broforce game so these ten missions (most can be breezed through in under a minute, if ...

Wearable technology

Leap introduces LeapBand: the first wearable fitness tracker for kids

leap lead If you're a geek parent, you've probably given your kids a LeapPad at some point in your life. For those know know nothing about it, Leap's LeapPad is an inexpensive tablet for the little people, and it's pretty damn good. But would you plonk a toddler-friendly fitness tracker on your children's wrists? Leap hopes so, hence all the build-up I wrote before this sentence. This is the LeapBand, a R500 (US$50 give or take) activity tracker available sometime September in ...

News, smartwatches

Fugly Timex IronMan One smartwatch don’t need no stinking smartphone for 3G

timex gps+ display While smartphone and washing machine manufacturers ply newfound trades in the smartwatch industy, actual watch makers are entirely absent. It's just a hunch, but I believe watch makers would have more luck in what is, essentially, a beefed-up watch industry. Timex, tried and trusted Dutch watchmaker, seems to agree. The company's new IronMan ONE GPS+ is its rendition of the smartwatch, and is by all means, left-field. So left-field, in fact, it'll end up either somewhere in the ocean or ...

Games

Call of Duty, GTA and 9 more games that need an all-women reboot

Woman in games Games are manly, correct? What is a game if not a testosterone-fuelled adventure filled with grunting alpha males who piss bullets, swallow enemies whole and screw their way through interplanetary adventures? This stereotypical nonsense began in Eighties arcade games and carries on till today with the current crop of games (Watch Dogs, Grand Theft Auto V, Titanfall) not even bothering to break rank. It's not like most games have excellent characterisation anyway, so a sex-change would give game developers room to ...

iPad

Sell high, buy low: The iPads great and that’s why there’s a sales slump

ipad sales iPad's are a casualty of their own success, and are now in a sticky sales predicament, as in sales are down, way down. When a company's most innovative product is selling 9% less -- only 13.3-million sales in Q1 2014 -- it's usually easy to pin the blame on a lacklustre product. But because the iPad is such an all-round solid tablet, customers aren't replacing them. Or as a Business Insider report puts it, "the iPad is losing sales because it ...

Innovation, News

MIT boffins create visual microphone with packet of chips

MIT visual microphone Here's an age old conundrum: If a tree falls in a forest, and no one's around to hear it, does it make a sound? Well, if a video camera was recording the incident, then theoretically, yes. Thanks to an MIT, Microsoft and Adobe joint venture, a nifty processing algorithm has been developed that can extract audio from pixelated vibrations captured in the frames of video. As the accompanying YouTube snippet explains, researchers point a high-speed camera, positioned behind a pane of soundproof ...

Innovation, News

This production-ready robotic exoskeleton gives shipbuilders superhuman strength

Superhuman robotic exoskeletons are the stuff of legend. Tony Stark, the World Cup and even the U.S. Military have explored the possibilities that a post-humanist cage could grant its wearers. But comics are mere comics, the World Cup suit was used but once and the U.S. Military haven't exactly progressed much in their research. Enter South Korea, where Daewoo Shipbuilding is experimenting with a robotic exoskeleton that will propel its labourers into superhuman levels of productivity. Uncovered by New Scientist, the ...

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