Monday, March 26, 2012

TOP 10 TECH THIS WEEK


Any company with the gumption to call its product "the Ferrari of electric bikes" has our undivided attention, and that's just what EH Line has done with its Street Racer. It's not going to go hundreds of miles per hour, but it can zip you up to 28 mph, and then you can assist with the pedals at the same time.

Beyond its speedy road capabilities, it's a trainer, too, letting you ride it in stationary mode while it simulates the hills and valleys of real-world bike riding. And, you can simulate that same terrain while you're riding on flat land. It's pretty light for an electric bike, but its price isn't: $9250.

What happens when you mount jet engines upside down on a specially designed wing? You get better lift and a quieter aircraft, according to engineers at NASA who designed AMELIA (Advanced Model for Extreme Lift and Improved Aeroacoustics).

The advantage of that enhanced lift? You can use a runway that's 25% the size of a runway you'd need for conventional aircraft. And because those engines are on the top side of the wing, the wing itself prevents a sizable portion of the planes noise from reaching the ground. Beyond those advantages, this design can make wings smaller, creating less drag and better fuel efficiency.

This is not some pie-in-the-sky concept, either -- NASA already has flying prototypes using this technology, so you can expect this to be implemented in commonplace aircraft fairly soon.

Want to try the next version of the astonishing and powerful image editing software, Adobe Photoshop? You can now download the Adobe Photoshop CS6 Beta free. The new version, code-named "Superstition," is the 13th version of Photoshop, which many (myself included) believe is the best software application ever developed.

This new version packs pure magic, letting you move objects within a photo and miraculously replace that object's background -- it's called Content Aware technology, introduced in the previous version but a whole lot smarter now. It also sports faster processing, and a pleasant new darker background that makes it easier to focus on the work at hand.

One advantage Android phones have over their competitors is their ability to connect to USB devices, and this USB reader uses that advantage to give those already versatile phones even more capabilities.

On board this $40 Sanwa USB reader is a plethora of slots, accommodating microSD, SD and miniSD cards, and it can even accommodate a mouse or a game pad. It works with a variety of Samsung, Sony and Toshiba Android devices.

When people say the words "diamond ring," they're usually thinking about a metal band with a diamond attached. But a Swiss jeweler went a step further, using a powerful laser to create this solid diamond ring, a work of pure art and beauty.

It took an enormous diamond to carve this spectacular bauble, with the finished 150-carat size worth a lot more than two months' salary for just about anybody, unless you're some kind of billionaire -- its $70 million price tag makes this a ring the bride will want to wear only in the presence of armed guards.

How do you get from New York to Beijing in two hours? According to the Evacuated Tube Transport Technology (ET3) Network, it's all done with a series of tubes. Strap yourself into a car-sized passenger capsule with five of your closest friends, and you'll be zipped along inside a vacuum tube that spans the Earth. It's levitated with magnets (maglev), flying along in a friction-free environment in which you can travel at 4000mph.

Using currently available technology, the organization says it can accomplish 50 times more transportation per kilowatt hour than electric cars or trains, at 1/10 the cost. The first step is constructing a 3-mile, 375 mph demo track just to show everyone that it's possible. The group is currently looking for a location in the Los Angeles area to do just that.

Why should you care about a professional camera that costs $3499? This shows you the kind of technology that will be available in everyday cameras and maybe even smartphones someday soon. The biggest attribute of the new Canon 5D Mark III: its spectacular low light performance, where it can almost take pictures in the dark.

Not only can it do that, it can snap those shots quickly at six frames per second, and shoot super-crisp high-definition video, looking even better than the Saturday Night Live opening video shot with its predecessor, the D5 Mark II. It does all that with highly advanced image processor called Digic 5+, whose technology we hope will trickle down to the rest of us before too long.

Here's another NASA aircraft project, this one using frozen liquid natural gas as its fuel. Called SUGAR (Subsonic Ultra Green Aircraft Research) Freeze, this 154-seat plane aims to solve that problem of jet aircraft gobbling fuel like there's no tomorrow.

Why natural gas? Because there's so much of it -- particularly in the United States -- and it creates less pollution. In addition, this design requires 64% less fuel than a typical 737 you might be flying today.

We got our hands on the brand-new Angry Birds Space game this week, and we think you'll like it even if you can't stand the first Angry Birds games. It's the most inventive Angry Birds edition yet, which is in some ways familiar and others completely alien to the gameplay of its predecessors.

You get a lot of fun for your $.99 (or up to $2.99, depending on which device you're using), but one thing's for sure, when you take away gravity, the laws of physics are still in play, brilliantly demonstrated in this worthy update to an already iconic game.

Lamborghinis are already frighteningly ferocious land rockets, but this concept by Mark Hostler takes the supercar into another dimension. His Ferruccio concept is a forward-looking flight of fancy that imagines what Lamborghini might do next, giving it an aggressive scissors-like nose, an impossibly low stance and a formidable double-turbocharged power plant under the hood. [continues next slide]

Yes, there's a V12 engine designed into this fierce raging bull, but its futuristic valves are activated by "computer-controlled pneumatic solenoids," according to its designer.

Looking like a Batmobile turned into a weapon, we're not sure this scary conveyance would pass muster with anyone who's concerned about auto safety.

Tech took to the air this week, and the result was spectacularly fuel-efficient airliners, a speedy trip from New York to Beijing in two hours, and even birds flying through space in pursuit of their porcine nemesis. Step into the cockpit with us as we fly through that maelstrom and a lot more on this week’s Top 10 Tech.

Beyond that otherworldly excitement, back here on terra firma we found a car that might be too scary to drive, an electric bicycle whose maker compares it to a Ferrari, a monster camera that might show the way to the future, a super-convenient attachment for Android phones, as well as a brand-new version of our favorite software application on the planet.

And for our romantic readers, the icing on the cake was probably the most spectacular piece of jewelry we’ve ever seen. It’s been an unusual week, one you won’t want to miss as we’ve narrowed down thousands of possibilities to the Top 10 Tech This Week.

So… I want to meet a friend in Japan… I pull out my smart phone, launch the ET3 app and tell it, “I want to go to Ichi Ban Cafe in Tokyo.” 5 minutes later, a satellite-controlled G-Ride (Google driverless vehicle) pulls up to my current location. I get in and it takes me to the nearest ET3 terminal and within 2 hours I’m dining on yakisoba and sippin’ a lime shu-hi with my good buddy Yoishi!

We should seriously start to lobby congress to consider an ET3 infrastructure a homeland security issue. This will disgorge some of the wasteful military spending in favor of a worthwhile project :-)

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1 comment:

Love Kpop said...

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