Two years after it debuted its first Explorer Mouse with BlueTrack sensing technology, Microsoft is back with another update to its line of pointers. This time around we get three more devices: the Wireless Mouse 3500, the Wireless Mouse 2000, and the Comfort Mouse 4500, all available for presale on Amazon on Wednesday, February 24.Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500 ($29.95): Like the Wireless Mobile Mouse 4000 that came before it, this update pairs your computer with a small USB plug called a "Nano Transceiver" and features a symmetrical shape with ambidextrous access to the rubber side grips. … Read more
You can actually find useful things on eBay.
This has undoubtedly been proven by an extremely clever person, Nathan Myhrvold. At the TED 2010 conference, Myhrvold revealed that his invention company, Intellectual Ventures, had developed a mean, heartless, and very sophisticated laser gun, one that might remind you of your favorite science fiction movie. (Which, in my case, is "Galaxy Quest.")
This laser gun has, unlike so many other guns, a rather positive purpose. It kills mosquitoes. It zaps them like the deadly little flying worms that they are.
In fact, on the Intellectual Ventures site, there is some mind- and body-blowing footage of a mosquito being dispatched to its Hades by this gun. (I have embedded it here because it's just so mesmerizing.)
One of the more ingenious aspects to this fine Death Star creation is that it was made from parts bought on eBay and other similar sites. The components largely consisted of parts from such devices as laser printers, Blu-ray Disc writers, camcorders, and video game consoles.… Read more
Score one for the Airborne Laser.
In a milestone for the ambitious directed-energy project, now dramatically downsized, the Pentagon's Airborne Laser prototype weapons system destroyed a ballistic missile that was in flight. The shootdown took place February 11 off the central coast of California.
"The Airborne Laser Testbed team has made history with this experiment," said Greg Hyslop, vice president and general manager of Boeing Missile Defense Systems, in a statement released Friday. Boeing is the prime contractor for the Defense Department project.
The U.S. Missile Defense Agency was equally enthusiastic about the results. "The … Read more
MIT has demonstrated a laser that's built from germanium and that works at room temperature, a move the university said could be useful for high-speed optical data pathways within computers.
Lasers today are widely used to transmit large amounts of data over long distances, but the technology isn't economical for short-haul trips. However, many researchers are investigating ways to integrate lasers directly with conventional computer chips in an effort to reduce those costs and make high-speed communications more widespread.
Today's lasers typically are made from gallium arsenide and other expensive materials that have to be attached to computing chips after each component has been separately manufactured. In a paper to be published in Optics Letters, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers said Thursday they made the germanium lasers work using a technology called indirect-band-gap semiconductors that other researchers thought wouldn't work. And the germanium technology is more easily integrated during manufacturing with today's chips. … Read more
Aaxa Technologies, which makes a line of Pico projectors, is about to release what it calls "the world's first laser pico projector with an internal media player and storage."
So far we haven't been terribly impressed with the first few batches of Pico projectors, but some laser-based models appear to be more promising--though expensive. The Aaxa L1 has a $599 price tag and a ship date of February 12. Pico projectors that use LED-based light sources tend to range in price from about $250 to $350.
Aaxa says the L1 uses its PCOS technology, which combines … Read more
SAN FRANCISCO--SPIE, an international society founded in 1955 to advance light-based research, gathered this week in San Francisco for SPIE Photonics West, a huge industry exhibition showcasing some of the newest developments in optics and photonic technology.
Companies exhibiting at the show, which ran from January 23-28, unveiled the lasers, fiber optics, lenses, medical optics, nano interfaces, and optoelectronics that are powering the next generation of consumer gadgets.
I'll be the first to admit I'm a Star Trek fiend. I loved J.J. Abram's new movie and I'm currently re-watching the original series on Netflix via my Xbox. But that's telling: I'm using the latest real-life tech to experience the earliest fake tech. I love the tools of the Star Trek universe, and one that I love most is the phaser.