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All posts by Andy Walker

  • Intel, Opening Ceremony unveil $1000 smartband for supermodels

    Guess who just crashed the wearable party? Intel, partnering with fashion company Open Ceremony, has finally unveiled the MICA fashion-first smartband that was announced back in January. The microchip maker was largely in charge of the electronics while Open Ceremony's design team took care of aesthetics. The result is something so snazzy that the companies needed a pair of supermodels to showcase it. And what's more -- it'll likely set buyers back a full US$1000 once its released. It seems just as the Guardian Angel pendant was geared towards female buyers, the MICA, or "My Intelligent Communication Accessory" is the same...

  • ACHIRES the bipedal robot will somersault into your heart

    I'm not completely sure if robots chasing humans on wheels is scarier than robots chasing humans on two legs, but the University of Tokyo just took one step closer to the latter. Its latest bipedal robot can reach speeds of 4.2km/h -- fast enough to chase a very unfit human being. As fate (or a slow news week) would have it, a robot clocked at the speed of melting butter is not anything special. Tokyo's little sprinter, dubbed ACHIRES, can only keep the pace for a mere ten seconds, not nearly enough to take it to Usain Bolt, or Haile...

  • Vanadium ‘CellCube’ batteries could power South Africa independent of Eskom

    We've seen questionable substances used for energy storage in the past year, from hemp to used cigarette butts, but the latest breakthrough seems more traditional than others. Vanadium, a metallic element falling between titanium and chromium on the periodic table, can be used for shed-sized batteries that according to the creators, lasts forever. Vanadium is a nifty little element and is used in creating strengthened steel alloy (it was part of the Ford Model T, for example). Batteries containing the element are not rare either -- the initial patent for a vanadium-based battery came about in the late Eighties, but the...

  • Sony Xperia family grows by four, adds Z3 waterproof tablet to IFA 2014 lineup

    IFA is Germany's and probably Europe's biggest trade show, and it's just a week away, with launches and announcements coming from Samsung, LG, Motorola and ASUS (among others). Some of the most eagerly anticipated gaggle of devices will come from Sony. There are four mobile devices coming from the Japanese giant, including a waterproof tablet. Thanks to the wonderful world of leaked specifications and 9to5Google, the world gets a glimpse of the coming devices before IFA (which isn't that much of a wait anyway). But what can we expect? A very confusing naming system, it seems. Sony doesn't quite understand the definition of "budget", but...

  • Samsung’s all-metal Galaxy Alpha is 2014’s most pointless phone

    Can you list all the models available in the Samsung Galaxy family today? I just tried, but ran out of fingers. Perhaps it's fitting then that the Korean tech giant should add yet another device to its over-complicated and never-ending lineup, just before the iPhone 6's launch. And wouldn't you know it? The phone Samsung's aiming squarely at its American rival is flaunting a similar jacket and shades, like a less popular kid trying too hard. "With an entirely new appearance, the Galaxy Alpha focuses on both beauty and functionality combining a stunning metal frame and slim, light weight design with...

  • The Apple’s out the basket: possible iWatch, iPhone announcement coming 9 September

    It's official, Apple is planning something mega come 9 September, just 11 days away. Will it be the launch of Apple's ultra-secretive iWatch, or the first official sighting of the iPhone 6? Hilariously, the first official announcement of the season inspires even more speculation than any clarifying factoids. But we kinda know what the new iPhone will feature. Have a look at our iPhone 6 rumour round up for a summary. Either way, we'll likely get an announcement that it is in fact, a real device running iOS 8. But what of the iWatch? It's a more speculative matter. For one, there...

  • Samsung and LG unveil lastest Moto 360-slaying smartwatches

    It must be smartwatch Christmas in the wearables industry, because Korean rivals -- Samsung and LG -- have just announced new devices coming soon to their already numerous lineup. The LG in question is a Moto 360-killer while Samsung is looking for a more complete approach -- it's essentially a watchphone. The LG G Watch R Let's start with the LG, though. It's round, like the Moto 360, and that's about the most important part. According to LG's seemingly chuffed press release, the watch boasts "a refined aesthetic that is reminiscent of traditional timepieces." And its right. The watch exudes a stately...

  • Seagate debuts 8TB drive, ideal for storing trillions of cat pictures

    Just like RAM and RRAM manufacturers, hard disk makers are hellbent on providing faster, larger, stronger storage media for consumers' endless data storage need. As a result, Seagate has announced its (and the world's first) 8TB consumer drive. Yep, 8TB -- 16 times what the world was introduced to in 2005. It's a lot of space, and would take a few months of downloading to fill its boots. Seven years prior, the world's first 1TB hard drive was launched by Hitachi. IDC's research manager for HDDs, John Rydning, uttered a few words to PCWorld back then, that seems hilariously...

  • The most definitive iPhone 6 ‘leak’ is here, and it’s scrumptious

    We've been covering the iPhone 6's barrage of rumours and leaks for a good while now, documenting the phone's transformation from concept, to dummy to (hopefully) the real thing in a few weeks time. But we can safely say that all the rumours of the iPhone's purported sleek new body has been wrong thus far, at least judging by the latest video. The Gimli-bearded @Doldo411, YouTuber humorist extraordinaire, unveils the first live action shots of the iPhone 6, and what results is pure amazement. Not only is the iPhone slimmer and sleeker than we had previously believed, Apple is allegedly using...

  • Pinlight Display technology acts like Star Wars holo-projectors

    Virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR) is all the rage, with major corporations researching their possible advantages and implementations. But no current apparatus can totally immerse the wearer into the virtual world, without taking a little out of the experience. A PhD student, Andrew Maimone, at the University of North Carolina is developing new technology, that will take on the likes of Google and Samsung in the VR race. Maimone notes that Samsung's Gear VR implementation of using a smartphone screen acting as a VR headset "isn't very compelling." But a new joint venture between researchers and Nvidia is looking...