Archive for January, 2009

Radio-controlled live flying beetle demonstrated by US researchers

Radio-controlled live flying beetle demonstrated by US researchers

Creepy but true: researchers at the University of California, Berkley, have managed to create a live remote-control beetle.  Using six electrodes hooked up to the beetle's brain and muscles, and a 1.3g radio module carried on the bug's back, the flying rhinoceros beetle can be remotely-controlled from a nearby laptop.  While the researchers have managed to electrically-control insects before, this is the first time it has been done wirelessly.

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Apple iPhoto can differentiate between cats

Apple iPhoto can differentiate between cats

When Apple's Phil Schiller told us that the company had picked the best facial recognition software they could find for the newest version of iPhoto, he obviously wasn't kidding.  Despite claims from the Apple representatives back at Macworld that iPhoto wouldn't recognize pets, early tests by MacLife suggests otherwise.  The app was capable of spotting their test subject - Lola the cat - with just as high accuracy as humans, after a little manual training.

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Motion-Controlled DIY MP3 player: Video Demo

Motion-Controlled DIY MP3 player: Video Demo

Accelerometers are found in all manner of cellphones and mobile devices nowadays, usually responsible for flipping screen orientation from vertical to horizontal when you want a widescreen view of a webpage.  However that's not all they're good for, as this DIY motion-controlled MP3 player demonstrates.  The work of an unnamed Japanese engineer, different motions - such as tilting, tapping and rotating - translate to controls such as play, pause, track skipping and volume control.

Video demo of the Motion-Controlled MP3 Player after the cut

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AT&T Q4 income up 2.4% to $2.4bn net; 1.9m iPhone 3Gs activated

AT&T Q4 income up 2.4% to $2.4bn net; 1.9m iPhone 3Gs activated

After Verizon Wireless' strong financial report yesterday, we've been waiting to see whether AT&T could match their arch-rival's performance.  The good news (for investors and employees) is that it's been a pretty successful quarter - and year - for them too, helped in no small part by Apple's iPhone 3G.  In fact AT&T activated 1.9m new iPhone 3G handsets, nearly 40-percent of which were new to the carrier, helping push Q4 2008 net income to $2.4bn and whole-year net income to $12.9bn on revenues of $124bn.

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Pharos Traveller 117 aka VM103 clears FCC: still not got pricing right

Pharos Traveller 117 aka VM103 clears FCC: still not got pricing right

With Velocity Mobile's 103 (not to mention its other handsets) conspicuous by its absence in the market, the company's ODM supplier, Invantec, is back with a new brand and a very slightly tweaked device.  The Pharos Traveller 117, which has just cleared the FCC, looks like it's coming to the US, bringing with it a 2.8-inch VGA resolution touchscreen, quadband GSM, triband UMTS, WiFi and GPS.

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Finger-eating Bandai robot prompts Japanese complaints

Finger-eating Bandai robot prompts Japanese complaints

Oh, what utter fools we've been.  While everyone was expecting the robot invasion to come from the skies, wiping us out in sleets of laser beams (or maybe just nets) , in actual fact they're planning on taking us one piece at a time.  A Japanese 3-year-old has lost the tip of a finger in the deadly transforming limbs of a TV tie-in toy robot; apparently he's one of several young people affected by the finger-feasting monster.

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