Thursday, March 31, 2005

HemCon Bandage

Half of all deaths on the battlefield are due to uncontrollable bleeding. And though gauze is often no match for spurting wounds, the bloodthirsty HemCon Bandage is: It contains positively charged chitosan molecules, extracted from shrimp shells, that attract negatively charged red blood cells. As the cells are pulled into the bandage, they create a tight-fitting plug over the wound. "You can have a hole in your heart and 60 seconds later it's sealed," says HemCon inventor Kenton Gregory. The bandage made its debut in the 2003 Iraq war and was FDA-approved for nonprescription use in August. At $100 for a 4-by-4-inch square, it may sound expensive, but if the situation calls for it, we're guessing it'll seem like a serious bargain.

I think its incredible how far science has gone in the past couple years, its going almost too fast. But its new inventions like these that show going into the future can sometimes be a good thing. I also agree that the price is not so bad. If you consider hospital bills and equipment needed to keep someone alive, it all adds up and can lead to a lot more than $100.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Volvo Penta IPS

Drop the sailor’s cap and put on some racing goggles. With its new Inboard Performance System (IPS), Volvo Penta is boosting the comfort and white-knuckle fun of yachting. Volvo engineers built forward-facing propellers—like those in prop-driven airplanes—and stacked them side-by-side directly beneath the engines. Instead of pushing on water that’s already been chopped up by the engine, the blades pull on undisturbed drink, increasing efficiency and thrust. The IPS should be able to squeeze out 30 percent more horsepower; in tests, Volvo reported, it’s 20 percent faster. But it’s not all about speed. The entire propulsion system can turn like a rudder, so parking your 45-footer in a slinky slip won’t be nerve-wracking. Progressive electronic steering—a first in boating—will make it easy to turn the wheel at low speed, hard at high speed. And boaters will have a more civilized ride, thanks to vibration-dampening seals swaddling the drive unit, and submerged exhaust outlets that reduce rumbling. The good life just got better.

A new invention like this sounds like it'll really save some energy in the long run. What intersets me is that it takes in water the opposite way and it kind of seems a little confusing. Good thing theres a picture so that its easier to visualize.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Maybach 57 and 62

Sure, the Maybach costs upwards of $300,000. But it is also arguably the best car ever made, a seminal study in properly applied excess. The car weighs more than 6,000 pounds, yet the 664 lb.-ft. of torque coming from its twin-turbocharged V-12 pushes its 0-to-60 time into a Corvette's 5-second range. Its active air suspension chews corners with minimal body lean, the interior is decked out with options like a champagne chiller and entertainment system, and the roof's electrochromic panels can become transparent in seconds, giving you a high-tech sunroof. Solar panels run an interior fan that keeps the car cool when parked. $300,000-$350,000

If only cars this cool could be under 100,000. Like thats ever going to happen. But if it were I'd buy it as soon as i got my licsense. In fact I'd think there would be a stamped of poeple rushing to the dealer to buy it. I think the best featuure is thte solar panals because they keep the car cooled while its parked.

Acura TL

Just how smart is it? Let us count the ways: The Acura's eight-speaker audio system plays DVD-Audio discs--a first in North America. Bluetooth technology wirelessly diverts calls from your cellphone to the speakers, and engineers have answered our prayers and made a navigation system with speech recognition. And for pure unadulterated niftiness, you can't beat the 3-D solar sensor that calculates the sun's position and sets the climate control system accordingly. $32,650

I'm sure anyone having this car would fulfill their dreams. Especially a nicesound system so that when you turn up the speakers everyone can tell when youo're coming. I think everyone would love a car like that, one tht can play DVD's is even better. The only downside to that is the driver can never watch it. :-D

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Benjamin Heckendorn turns old-school game consoles into custom-designed portable units

Like any good hacker, Benjamin Heckendorn knows that the best way to pay homage to a beloved piece of gear—say, a classic Atari 2600—is to rip it apart and transform it into something else, preferably something portable, with wood grain. So when the sign shop he was working at got a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) milling machine—an industrial device that cuts three-dimensional parts from solid blocks of metal or plastic—he used it to craft a custom-designed handheld case from two one-inch-thick slabs of acrylic. Then he stuffed in a 2.5-inch screen from a portable TV and the guts of an Atari 2600, which he’d chopped up and resoldered to make more compact. Powered by three AAs and a nine-volt, that first portable system came complete with a brightness switch, speakers, buttons from an old Nintendo controller, and the signature faux-wood-grain trim.

Heckendorn, a part-time filmmaker and graphic artist, has since created several more portable Ataris, including one with a solid oak case, as well as portable PlayStations and Nintendos. Most of the newer systems run on rechargeable batteries and are more energy-efficient, thanks to active-matrix screens modified to be lit by white LEDs. As soon as Heckendorn finishes a system, he puts it up for sale on his site,, to pay rent and fund his films.

But why buy when you can build? Heckendorn has just written a how-to book, Hacking Video Game Consoles (Wiley, $30), with detailed instructions for eight different portables. And because few people have milling machines in their basements, half of the projects use hand-cut engraving plastic for the body, including the SNES system illustrated at left. Find the complete chapter on creating this portable here, and preview all the systems in the book at Heckendorn’s site.

I think anything thats portable is cool. I guess its the idea that you're not limited to what you can carry around with you that makes "portable" an exciting addition to any product. And people also get a kick out of seeing things smaller then their original size.

Stihl 4-Mix Engine

The two-stroke has always been the engine of choice for string trimmers and other handheld yard machines. Fast and powerful, its gas-oil mixture provides both fuel and lubrication, so there's no oil to check. Unfortunately, two-stroke exhaust is extremely dirty, and emissions laws may eventually doom it. Manufacturers are developing engines that marry the power of the two-stroke with the cleaner emissions of a four-stroke. One of the first is Stihl's 4-Mix. A unique design connects the intake manifold to the crank-case, meaning that unlike other four-strokes, the new engine can use a standard 50:1 fuel-oil mix and do away with the oil reservoir. Vacuum and pressure drive the mixture through the crank-case, so the engine can operate inverted (which would drain a normal four-stroke dry). Stihl says its new engine gets 5 percent more horsepower and 17 percent more torque than a comparable two-stroke. Look for it on a range of products, including pole pruners ($430–$600), string trimmers ($350–$400) and more.

This new engine is very efficient. The mix is convienient so that it doesn't pollute the air. I'm not really the kind of person who would know what all this means so it doens't make much sense at all. But it is interesting that there are these different types of engines and varities that I wasn't aware of and now I see why its so important.

Sharp Actius MM10

At a feather-light 2.1 pounds and just three-quarters of an inch thick when closed, this ultraportable laptop is a pleasure even when turned off. Its bright 10.4-inch display, comfortable keyboard and built-in wireless networking are similarly dandy, but what makes the MM10 unique is its PDA-like ability to synch with your desktop PC. It appears as an additional hard drive when placed in its "connection cradle" (which doubles as a battery charger), and the SharpSync software will automatically synchronize selected files and folders. $1,500

A laptop like this could come in handy. Whats even better is that it is so portable it can go virtually anywhere. But it could be easy to bet lost since its so light.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Sony Ericsson Unveils New Phones, One Has Walkman

With the latest additions, the world's sixth biggest mobile phone maker launched six new phones in two weeks, one of which was a variant of an earlier third generation model, compared with 25 in all of 2004.

"We'll launch more phones this year than last year, and next year we will launch more phones than this year," Miles Flint, the president of the three-year-old mobile phone venture between Sony and Ericsson, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Sony Ericsson's new product launches have so far been modest compared with those of bigger rivals -- market leader Nokia (news - web sites), runner-up Motorola and No. 3 Samsung. They typically launch 40 new products or more in a year.

Nokia also introduced three new models on Tuesday, ahead of the CeBIT electronics trade fair in Hanover, Germany next week.

Sony Ericsson is going to be pretty busy for the next couple of years if they are launching all those phones. The phones with a walkmen though, are pretty cool because its like a walkie-talkie and those can be a lot of fun.