Portable Gaming News. Razor Blade, Neo Geo and The Forgotten Handheld

Portable gaming gadgets are one of the common passions for the members of the Highpants team. While most of us have moved on to our Smartphones for that gaming on the go feeling there are more options.

Portable Gaming news today brings us tales of the latest, the newest and the classic. The Razor Blade is the latest in gaming technology and sales that have surprised many. The latest new gaming handheld to be announced is the SNK Neo Geo Portable while the classic is our forgotten portable gaming manufacturer Game Park, producers of the GP2X Caanoo.

Portable gaming at times may seem to be ruled by the big three but there are still interesting options for those looking for something a little different.

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The Virtob Evolving Virus. The Zombie Master

In the depths of the Bitdefender Virus Labs sits trapped in their secure network a most disturbing virus. Recently discovered is a new evolutionary branch of the computer virus. A virus able to infect other types of Malwares - Trojans and Worms -, turning them into its zombie slaves. Once hybridized the new zombie is controlled by the virus, with all of the zombies functions becoming available to the controlling virus.

Bitdefender Virus Labs have observed this behaviour in the Win32.Virtob Virus. They found that the Virtob virus was able to take control of the Win32.Worm.Rimecud worm. Once in control it took advantage of the replication and transport functions of the Rimecud worm. If the worm is able to spread it then carries the Virtob virus with it, with the combined features from both pieces of malware able to inflict a lot more damage than the creators of either had intended.

In order to study the phenomenon Bitdefender Virus Lab concentrated on the Win32.Worm.Rimecud -Win32.Virtob pair. With an initial study finding that no less than 40,000 such malware symbioses out of a sample pool of 10 million files existed. The phenomenon is now being seen more often in Virus Labs around the world, possibly indicating that the creators of virus’s are now taking advantage of the zombie mechanism.

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Steam Mobile App Beta. Steam Engine Gaming on The Go

Valve is preparing to bring it’s legendary Steam Gaming system to a Smartphone – Android or Apple iOS – near you. Over many years Steam has built up an enormous following of dedicated gamers by offering an easy to use system that streamlines the gaming experience, providing easy gaming at discount prices. Now with the open beta program taking applications Steam is preparing to revolutionize mobile gaming. Allowing your Steam experience to cross all boundaries.

Steam has over the years built a strong brand name amongst PC gamers. Applying the extremely successful PC online game distribution model to smartphones the new Steam Mobile App brings the Steam game store, chat functions, friend lists along with news and reviews.   Sensibly Steam Mobile uses the same log in as your PC account, leveraging the existing user base onto the mobile platform and giving its users another portal into their online gaming lives.

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The Pirate Bay. Are You Ready To Copy The World!?

The Pirate Bay, those nefarious pirates of the ether, with a patch over one eye and the other eye on the future have some very clever plans afoot. Their recently announced grand vision is to allow everyone to pirate the whole of the physical world.

The most optimistic amongst us may initially think of the Star Trek replicator, but alas that is still a ways off. Instead The Pirate Bay – TPB – have established and released the first standard interchangeable 3D model file format and the mechanism for sharing those designs. This new file format is intended to be interchangeable between 3D printers, allowing anyone with the equipment -a compatible 3D printer- to make use of any shared designs and in turn share your designs with the world.

Being a very creative group of peg legs TPB have even coined a new term for these files and this new form of sharing, Physibles – Data objects that are converted into Physically Feasible 3D printer objects-.

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Alternative Sound Sources. Speakers That Can Kill?!

Music, some say an essential part of our souls expression, for others simply an auditory sensation to tap your toes to. No matter which holds true for you listening to our favorite music is an almost universal passion. Providing the driving force for this passion is the greatest technological stalwart in history, the speaker, the trusty direct drive voice coil. It’s a tried, true and simple technology designed to move air, but it is by no means deadly enough. The other unusual thing about humanities fascination with tunes is the desire to play them on every item we can use to generate noise. Like a Rolf Harris mad scientist it seems there are many other ways to generate noise, dangerously deadly and unusual ways.

The most dangerous of all speaker technology has to be the Tesla coil speaker. This stunning speaker generates bolts of lightning containing millions of volts of electricity. It can even play a catchy rendition of the Ghost Busters theme song. Sounding much like the Commodore 64 Ghost Busters video game soundtrack, very 8bit. The danger and power of these speakers is obvious with the arcs of lightning leaping 6 feet from the coil. The wire mesh suit worn by the musician is to stop the bolt of lightning giving you that warm and electrified feeling. The speaker itself uses clever electronics and optic fiber to control the frequency of the electrical dis-charge, in turn controlling the tone of the spark. Not hi-fidelity by any stretch of your imagination but amazingly deadly. Video’s included -after the link below- for your viewing pleasure.

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The X-Box 720 Rumour Mill. Windows and Direct X Coming To a Console Near You.

As the new year gets underway the rumour mills have started to grind their gears and crank up the noise once again. The rumour mills attention at the moment seems to be focused on the next generation X-Box 720, code name Loop.

The latest round of rumours surrounding the X-Box 720 raise some rather interesting questions about what Microsoft has up its sleeve for its X-Box 720. Will the next gen console be using the Radeon HD 6670 graphics card, a last generation low-end graphics card?

Also tales of an X-Box Tablet seem to be rolled into this latest batch of buzz. After a heated debate here at Highpants we have concluded that there is no possible way that the next generation top-end X-Box will use a graphics processor that is no step up from the current generation. The rumour contends that the 6670 is 6 times more powerful that the current graphics processor in the X-Box 360, not even close to the truth. So where does the truth lie and what does Microsoft have install for the console world?

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Moon Base Alpha 2020, The Moon Base International

Moon Base Alpha, the dream of astrophysicists and science fiction fans alike may have moved one step closer to reality, thanks to a few bottles of vodka. The Russian space agency Roscosmos has recently invited it’s international brothers NASA and ESA – European Space Agency – over for a vodka or two. Russian it seems is floating the idea of an international Moon base, Moon Base Alpha. With plans to start firing unmanned modules off in the next decade and completing the construction as early as 2020, it is an ambitious plan. Now when Russia asks you over for a vodka you accept the offer, they do have the best vodka after all.

Roscosmos chief Vladimir Popovkin told Vesti FM radio station, “We don’t want man to just step on the Moon. Today, we know enough about it, we know that there is water in its polar areas, we are now discussing how to begin exploration with NASA and the European Space Agency.”

Popovkin also revealed the options being considered by Roscosmos, including either setting up a base on the Moon or launching a space station to orbit around it. Roscosmos has already scheduled two unmanned missions to the Moon, the Luna Glob and the Luna Resource which are scheduled to launch within the next 8 years.

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The X-Prize and The T-Ray Tricorder Breakthrough! Next, Doors That Go Swooosh?

Science fiction writers since the earliest days of the genre have looked into the futures crystal ball and built a story on top of their predictions. Jules Verne was one of the first and greatest at predicting future technology and then building his tales atop of this future vision.

There is a level of self-fulfilling prophecy to science fiction. This as a peculiar effect that combines circle of Noid life – inventing our dreams – and the fact that a good prediction has a level on inevitability to it.

Gene Roddenberry, the writer of the original Star Trek series was also a master of the Science Fiction black arts with many of his predictions spot on. Take the Tricorder for example, an idea that seemed so useful and logical that it might be considered inevitable. Let’s just hope that someone remembers to invent those doors that go swoosh in the original Star Trek TV series.

Which brings us to today events. The announcement of the $10,000,000 X-Prize competition for the first team to invent a working medical Tricorder. An announcement that has seen scientists working away feverishly. There is nothing like a big pile of cash to focus people’s attention.

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NASA’s Amazing New Time-lapse Video: Lightning And The Milkyway.

NASA has once again combined two of our favorite subjects here at Highpants, combined to create a stunning video of galactic proportions. Space and time-lapse are of course the two subjects of interest.

NASA has once again created an amazingly eye catching time-lapse video, this time showing the Milky Way rising over the horizon while thunderstorms and sprites are viewed exploding to life over Africa. The Earth passing by below. Shot from the amazing vantage point that is the International Space Station the video has an almost dream like quality to it. For those amongst us that have dreamed of traveling in space -since being knee high to a grass hopper- the video takes us places we have only dreamed off. Tugging the heart strings for just a moment as it takes us back to the childhood that formed such dreams.

This isn’t the first Time-lapse created by NASA recently, let’s hope it’s not the last either. September 2011 saw NASA release the amazing Aurora Australis from Space time-lapse. This also had the same effect on everyone at Highpants, one of those oww ahhh moments we love so much. This earlier video went on to become one of the YouTube sleeper hits of 2011. All of the video’s start off life on NASA JPL Astronaut Photography, a site worth keeping an eye on as they are adding new video’s all the time.

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The Alienware X51 Mini Desktop. Bringing Value Gaming To The Masses!

Some may say Dell smells, but here at Highpants we say Dell is the epitome of doing just enough. Working with razor thin margins on one side and competing with the Chinese on the other, we can understand their predicament. Alienware, Dells house of extreme gaming hardware may just be taking a page out of its parent companies book. The X51 Mini Gaming PC , is a full blown mini gaming PC on a budget. With prices starting at $699 this is the Alienware Aurora ALX’s little brother, with the same gaming pedigree and styling of its brethren, the X51 is pure Alienware. Is this the Alienware for everyone?

The case continues the Alienware extreme styling tradition. Wrapping the X51 in Alienware’s black angular casing this new mini-gaming machine is easily identified as pure Alienware. This is the first compact gaming machine from Alienware, it’s just as happy on the desktop as it is nestled with your components next to the TV.

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Star Wars The Empire Strips Back, The Burlesque Show. The Greatest Show On Earth!!!

It is a dark time for the rebellion. Although the Death Star had been destroyed imperial troops have driven the Rebel forces from their hidden base and perused them across the galaxy.

Star Wars: The Empire Strips Back continues the cabaret tradition of Burlesque Combining the sensual art of the tease with an outrageous parody of one of the earliest science fiction traditions – dressing up in Star Wars regalia – has produced the must see shows of the year. Star Wars: The Empire Strips Back pays homage to one of science fictions greatest cultural contributions in the sexiest kind of way.

Light-sabers are at the ready as the Rebels continue their fight against the Empire. The rebels amongst us lucky enough to be in Melbourne during February should escape the heat and head down to the Athenium theatre. As Barnum and Bailey would say this is ‘The Greatest Show on Earth”,

While not an officially sanctioned Star Wars production this is a most amusing parody of a classic in the great tradition of Burlesque. Without giving too much away many of the most memorable scenes from The Empire Strikes Back are re-enacted for our enjoyment.

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The KODAK PLAYFULL Dual. A Pocket Full of Dreams

While KODAK is currently trapped in a Chapter 11 nightmare they haven’t shut up shop completely. Take the KODAK PLAYFULL Dual micro camera for example, this plucky little camera has all of the talents of it’s much larger full sized competitors. HDR Capable, super slow motion, dual wide angle lenses all wrapped in a case that looks like it fell out of a cereal box..

The PLAYFULL Dual is a true dual mode camera, trying to live up to its name the PLAYFULL Dual includes switchable dual wide angle lens —26 mm for stills and 31 mm for video -. Once captured your KODAK moments can be shared directly to your TV through the mini HDMI or uploaded to your computer using the USB2.

With many tricks up its sleeve KODAK may have developed the perfect pocket camera without even realizing it. With included modes such as; burst mode that will capture up to 20 frames in one shot, automatic panorama and intelligent portrait which captures pictures based on the subject – smile, eyes and face angle-, the Dual is full of surprises. The biggest surprise of all has to be the HDR -High Dynamic Range – capable CMOS sensor, which may make this the perfect pocket camera even for a professional photographer.

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Daniel Rozin’s Magic Mirrors, The Art of the Incredible!!!

Modern art always seems that much more modern when it has electronics bits that move and things that whir. Daniel Rozin is an artist that has embraced the digital interactive generation by creating the most astounding interactive art pieces. With a Steampunk like combination of low tech and high tech working in harmony these art works are fascinating on many levels. Then there is the noise, there is something strangely enticing about the mechanical noise of the wooden installations, the whirring of gears and clicking of wood pieces.

The displays themselves are magic to watch, with much amusement to be had when people catch a glimpse of themselves, they are appearing in the art, a part of it. The surprised glint in their eyes when the realize what they do in front of the installation will be reflected in the mirror. A moment not too dis-similar to teaching some-one to use a mouse for the first time, seeing the connection between the mouse and pointer on the screen, that astounding moment.

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NASA X-37B Space Plane MIA. High Flying Spy In The Sky, Next Generation Research Tool or Weapons Platform?!

The X-37B, a Space Plane with many masters, a true multi-purpose platform jointly developed by NASA, Boeing, DARPA, the US Air Force and more widely the US Defense Department. Starting life as the Space Shuttle utility belt the X-37B has evolved to be one of the most flexible and economical space platforms in use today.

Dressed in its black and white tux – heat shield – this James Bond wanna-be has once again disappeared from view, in easy to spot low Earth orbit - 300km -. Off on another top secret mission, what tales will he tell his masters upon his return? Orbital tracking records indicate the X-37B has been off station since the 12th of January, 2012. This is the third such disappearance of an X-37B since orbital testing began in 2010.

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AMD’s New Fusion APU, They Call Me Trinity!!

The CES show in Las Vegas was the scene for the latest spaghetti western showdown between AMD and Intel, proprietors of PC processors. AMD was showing off its soon to be released – Q1 2012 – Trinity APU working in an Ultra-Thin laptop. AMD’s take on the Ultrabook seems to have been the surprise - in the box – this show.

At the same time Intel is up to hilarious shenanigans. Having a moment, like the scene from your favorite spaghetti western. Something’s gnawing on Intel’s conscience. Had they rushed out the  demo, crossing the desert with something to hide. The trickery was exposed with the appearance of VLC’s UI, it wasn’t live but a clip. The laughter grew once more as the demo continued with no-one at the controls.

Intel’s Ultrabook specification is the yard stick AMD is using for these new Trinity laptops. Intel has set tough criteria with the spec’s calling for a combination of desktop level power while still allowing 8 hours battery life. To achieve this Intel defined the the 17W envelope. This is the most power the current generation battery can provide for 8 hours of go time. Trying to squeeze all this into a super-slim laptop is no easy task, something had to give. In Intel’s case graphics power, try to find an Ultrabook that can play the latest Call Of Duty, it isn’t going to happen.

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IBM, Expanding Humanities Boundaries And The Atomic Limits of Magnetic Memory

Life’s smallest boundaries. As incredible as the constantly shrinking world of our electronic gadgets may seem to be we are fast approaching the next major boundary, the atomic boundary. Data storage, just as with all other technology is approaching this hard wall.  As Clint Eastwood once said ‘A man has to know his limitations’, especially if you wish to invent ways around these same limitations. A team of IBM scientists led by Andreas Heinrich – IBM Research Almaden, California – are preparing for this next barrier.  Their work has led to the invention of a memory storage technology that may be able to use as little as a dozen iron atoms to store  information. Not quite at the next sub-atomic level but instead a step closer, maybe the final step before we push past this next limitation.

“The chip industry will continue its pursuit of incremental scaling in semiconductor technology but, as components continue to shrink, the march continues to the inevitable end point: the atom. We’re taking the opposite approach and starting with the smallest unit — single atoms — to build computing devices one atom at a time.” said Andreas Heinrich, the lead investigator into atomic storage at IBM Research  Almaden, in California.

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KinectFusion. Real Time 3D Modelling For The Masses, Animators Rejoice !!!

Since the earliest days of computer generated graphics – CGI, Tron and Max Headroom for example – artists have tried their hand at 3D animation. Applications such as Light wave and 3D Max have been available for over two decades now. Possibly one of the most difficult aspect of 3D animation is building the 3D models to use in your animations, especially when photo realistic animations are your aim. This is about to change with the creation of the KinectFusion, a combination of hardware and software that allows any artist with a reasonably powerful video card and Kinect for Windows to generate true to life 3D models of any objects in the immediate environment, all in real time.

Fusion is actually capturing far more than a single object, it will create a model of the entire scene in the surrounding environment. Moving the Kinect around the scene, capturing many angles, the Fusion system will use the information from every angle combining the data into a single model. The more angles you move the Kinect through the more detail it will collect of the scene. Currently the Fusion system is limited to room sized environments.

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HP’s New Super Villain, The Spectre

CES in Las Vegas is in full swing, the Technorati are filling the digital wireless airwaves with stories of the latest gadgets and must have consumer electronics. HP has generating their fair share of buzz with the announcement of one of the sleekest 14″ laptops on the market, the HP Envy 14 Spectre. Aimed squarely at the MacBook Pro market HP has built a modern classic in glass and aluminium.. While the name may conjure up images of a villainous super organisation of James Bond ilk – SPECTRE SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion – HP’s Spectre is in fact the latest super stylised Ultrabook laptop.

HP have covered this latest Ultrabook in glass, the Emperor has new cloths on and they’re transparent. HP’s Spectre’s coverings are no ordinary glass though, toughened and scratch resistant this is as tough as it is good looking. At 20mm thick and a tad under 1.8kg’s the Spectre is in the middle of the laptop size and weight game, with the specifications of much larger laptops shoe horned into the sleek chassis. The glass treatment continues with the touch pad surface of the Spectre. The HP Imagepad which HP describes as ‘a HD image sensor enabling highly precise multi-touch gesture control’.

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Microsoft Metro, Watching Elephants Learn To Dance…

Microsoft has over decades built a reputation as the most famous corporate Dinosaurs. With legendary stories of inflexibility and decision by technical committee, it was a well-deserved reputation. Five years ago behind closed doors a single decision was made that would rock their world, like an evolution altering asteroid. A decision that somehow slipped under the media’s radar. A decision that has been slowly changing Microsoft from the inside.

Fast forward to today and the time has come to pay the reaper. Microsoft has a new design team and philosophy, their mobile phone operating system is winning design awards and with its brand new partner Nokia they need 2012 to be the year that the changes take hold.

The background for this particular tale begins way back in 2007 with the release of the iPhone. Apple single-handedly changed the landscape and the rules, all in one foul sweep. The Apple way quickly came to dominate the small touch screen world. Steve Jobs knew that people needed to be able to work naturally with their devices, his premise being that the machines should work with us, we shouldn’t’ have to change the way we work just to use a phone and he was right and even Microsoft realized it.

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AMD’s Radeon 7000 Series: When Übervideo Cards Go To War

The battle for video card dominance continues, AMD is the latest player to show their hand. Mere days before Christmas AMD announced the 7000 series video cards demonstrating a fully redesigned architecture. AMD’s new design has been branded GCN – Graphics Core Next – and signifies a change in design philosophy.

The first card to use the brand new silicon pixel pushers will be the Radeon HD 7970, the new king of Über video cards. Quickly establishing itself as the fastest single card solution on the market AMD is pushing hard to build a lead over it’s opposition, NVIDIA and Intel.

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Microsoft’s Curtain Call Keynote at CES gets the Pogo Treatment

The end of an Era. Microsoft has drawn the curtain on an industry institution, The Microsoft Keynote at CES. For the past 15 years they have had a grip on the podium that kicks off America’s largest consumer and electronics show. This is the show that every Technoid worth his weight in silicon attends. Like Mecca it is every noids duty to make the journey at least once in their life time. With Steve Ballmer and Ryan Seacrest taking center stage for Microsoft’s final keynote address to the CES the attending Technorati seemed to have given the final show a collective Meh. Still Ballmer did his best to emulate a living human being with an intact sense of humor.

In honor of this auspicious occasion Australian techno - doff doff – remix masters Pogo have pulled together a salute to the partnership. It’s funny, it’s moving and it will get you tapping your toes. With the highlights of 15 years of keynote events presented in 120 seconds Pogo have packed in the memorable moments. With enough source material to give the best reality TV show an entertaining run for its money Pogo selected from 11 Bill Gates speeches – blue screen of death included -, 4 speeches from pre-eminent monkey man Steve Ballmer, 8 celebrity guests – including the Rock – and far too many interview sweaters to count.

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Japan’s F-Bomb Anti-Virus Virus

The next generation battlefield is quickly evolving, cyber warfare is that new battleground and Japan is building its defenses. Hacking of government servers is no longer the domain of the lone wolf hacker, instead these are the acts of the governments of the world. The cyber arms race is well underway and those who are unprepared will be left in the dark.

The Japanese government is well aware of this new battle field, and is making preparations. Fujitsu has been put to work developing the cyber defense weapon on behalf of the Japanese Defense Ministry. The development of the Fujitsu virus – F-Virus -began in 2008 with the aim of being able to halt and trace any malicious software that may be attacking Japanese government servers. The F-Virus has so far been tested in a limited offline network, there are legal challenges to overcome before it can be let loose on the world. With an estimated cost of $2.3 million the F-Virus is possibly cheapest weapons development program in history.

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Gorilla Glass 2: Welcome To The Jungle

Gorilla Glass, protecting our favourite gadgets this Superman tough glass is the unsung hero of the gadget world and is about to receive an upgrade. Producing by Corning the new generation of Gorilla Glass will be demonstrated at the upcoming CES show in Las Vegas next week. With hammers at the ready Corning will be demonstrating the almost indestructible nature of the Gorilla. Corning takes great pride in destroying its Gorilla Glass and posting the videos, not an easy task if the demonstrations is anything to go by. The testing that Corning puts Gorilla Glass through confirms the glass is tough, flexible and scratch resistant, with some saying it’s as tough as steel while still being crystal clear.

Corning Gorilla Glass has been a tremendous success for Corning, enjoying excellent market acceptance across mobile device industries. Handset and tablet device manufacturers are clearly driving toward higher functionality from thinner designs. Corning’s latest innovation in Gorilla Glass technology is very well positioned to meet these challenges and enable broader touch technology penetration,” said James R. Steiner, senior vice president and general manager, Corning Specialty Materials. Product details will be included in an announcement planned for Monday, January 9, 2012.

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Nature Blows, Rattles and Rolls! The Typhoon and Earth Quake Connection

Nature is a harsh mistress. The more we study the natural world the more we come to understand how the various natural system are inter-connected. Recently scientists from Florida International University have established a connection between large Typhoons and earthquakes. While earthquakes are a complex event with many causes this is one more piece of the puzzle that will help us understand the world we live in.

The most destructive earthquakes are the result of the Earth’s crust being made of a number of separate plates – tectonic plates – that just won’t stand still. As the plates are made of rock and earth they are rough causing friction as they grind together. This friction causes the plates to lock at the edges while the rest of the plate behind continue to move forward, building up pressure where the plates meet – convergent plate boundaries  -. When this pressure is released earthquakes are the result. The amount of energy that is released during an earthquake is astronomical. The total energy released by Japans recent earthquake - total energy or seismic moment – equates to 600 million times the energy released by the Hiroshima atomic bomb. All of that energy had built in the crust and was released in just a few minutes of shaking.

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Mogees, Making The World Our Musical Instrument

Musical expression is one of humanities greatest talents, so deeply engrained in who we are that it evolves with us. As soon as new technologies are created we fold it into the ways we express ourselves. The Mogees research project is one such technology, exploring gestural interfaces for musical expressions. Mogees uses a simple contact microphone that feeds audio data in real time to some very complex software to convert any surface into a musical instrument. From a panel of glass to a tree if you can tap it Mogees can convert it into a musical instrument.

The Mogees project has been developed by Bruno Zamborlin, a Ph.D. Student at Goldsmiths Digital Studio – University of London – , in collaboration with Frederic Bevilacqua, Norbert Schnell and the real-time music interaction team at IRCAM – Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique.

The first demonstration of the technology took place with the live performance at the Beam festival, Brunel University in London June 2011. Since then the technology has continued to evolve.  It is currently used in the Airplay project by the IRCAM composer Lorenzo Pagliei.

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Online Education Revolution, MITx

In the world of Science and Technology three little letters on your resume can make all the difference, especially if those three letters are MIT.  Massachusetts Institute of Technology - MIT – is one of the worlds leading education institutions  that is also a powerhouse for research and development. Not only are MIT’s course subjects leading edge but the way courses are being delivered is going through an online revolutionary.

MIT’s latest education initiative, MITx isn’t just a platform to make their courses available online, they’ve been doing that for 10 years through the OpenCourseWare – OCW – program that has served over 2,100 courses to more than 100 million people world-wide. Instead MITx is a complete open source education platform. Other education institutions – public or private -  are free to join and integrate MITx into their own education platform.

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A Fist Full of Silicon, Intel’s OEM Engineers To Sample Prison Life…

Engineering Samples, these unreleased CPU’s are intended to allow Intel’s partners to perfect the next generation gadgets, they are a rare and treasured beast that are never intended for public sale. Like a classic Clint Eastwood western the double cross is not something that Intel takes lightly, being caught selling Intel’s next generation technology to it’s competitors for Intel is the ultimate betrayal. So as you can imagine when Intel discovered that it had been double crossed by employees of one of it’s OEM business partners in Taiwan it’s wraith was fast and fierce. Working with Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau – CIB – the four suspects were quickly tracked down and taken into custody in the city of Taoyuan.

The four suspects by all accounts were seemingly intelligent engineers working for one of Intel’s major OEM – Original Equipment Manufacturers who turn Intel’s chips into the gadgets we all love – Criminal masterminds they were not though. Selling the chips on EBay in full public view doesn’t display the normal criminal flare required for such an operation. Especially when you consider they sold the chips for an average of $400 each, when AMD would have written a blank cheque to get their hands on the samples which included  Intel’s latest 22nm chips which are due for public release later this year.

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Australia’s Evolving Hybrid Shark.

Marine biologists have for the first time observed a potential new mechanism of evolution. While cataloging sharks it was discovered that Australian Black Tipped sharks are adapting to the changing environment off the Australian East Coast through interbreeding with it’s cousin, the common Black Tipped shark. It is believed that if the changes are successful this will produce a stronger species, unlike all of Hollywood’s versions of man building a super shark nature is in charge here, and unfortunately she hasn’t integrated lasers just yet.

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Chameleon Magnets aka Electrically Induced Ferromagnetism

Magnetism is more than just a fun property to experiment with in Science 101, not just a scientific curiosity. Scientists have discovered the Chameleon Magnet, a perminant magnet that can be switched on and off at will. Magnetism is the glue that holds every atom and molecule together. The very small world of nano magnetism – magnatism of atom’s nd molecules – is very a different beast, not high school magnetism. In this world free electrons can be used to pass spin information on to other electrons, large groups of electrons spinning in sync can set up a magnetic field. All of these bizarre effects are being studied and applied to Chameleon Magnets and Spintronics, the science of using the spin of electrons to do work in electronics gadgets.

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LG’s Übertelevision! The Road To CES

LG, manufacturer of gadgets that we can all afford have embarked on a media campaign with a bang. The build up to CES has that effect on large corporations. With many drool worthy gadgets being prepared for demonstration at the show, anticipation is building. Like a slow running game of Wheel of Fortune LG has been slowly revealing the latest TV technology. IPS monitors were demonstrated in early December, now LG has turned its attention to every one’s favorite window on the world, the TV.

Two new Über TV’s have had the preview treatment along with updates to LG’s Smart technology used in the Cinema TV’s and Smart Remote controls. LG may have caught the rest of the TV market napping at the wheel with their 55 inch OLED TV, a spectacular technology tour de force that will be the first large screen OLED to market.

With amazing color, extreme refresh rates and the looks to match OLED is the next generation TV. LG has yet to announce the official list price but with much simpler manufacturing process – when compared to other OLED technology – this is the OLED that will battle the top end LCD TV’s. Top end LCD TV technology isn’t standing still though, nor is it waiting for OLED’s to dominate. LG has been pushing LCD technology to it’s limits in the process producing the 84 inch Ultra Hi-Definition 3D LCD TV, a television that dwarfs all but the tallest man. With twice the resolution and four times as many pixels this is the leading edge of big screen LCD’s.

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AMD’s Radeon 7000 Series, When Über Video Cards Go To War

The battle for video card dominance continues, AMD is the latest player to show their hand. Mere days before Christmas AMD announced the 7000 series video cards demonstrating a fully redesigned architecture. AMD’s new design has been branded GCN – Graphics Core Next – and signifies a change in design philosophy.

The first card to use the brand new silicon pixel pushers will be the Radeon HD 7970, the new king of Über video cards. Quickly establishing itself as the fastest single card solution on the market AMD is pushing hard to build a lead over it’s opposition, NVIDIA and Intel.

Boundaries are being pushed in order to shift the 7000 series from idea to reality. The first graphics processors produced using the 28nm chip process, the first to use PCI Express 3.0, the first to use Direct X 11.1 3D library along with the new ZeroCore power saving technology, Multi-Point Audio and  Partially Resident Textures. AMD has gone back to the drawing boards for this one and it looks to have paid off.

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