Forget space, it seems as if the kitchen is the final frontier for computing. Companies have tried for years to create a computer that offers the right mix of design, functionality, and price so that people feel comfortable incorporating it into the household hub. (See also 3Com's Audrey, or even our recent post on Pandigital's kitchen TV.) As our Webware colleagues tend to roll their eyes at "yet another social network," so we kitchen geeks often scoff at yet another kitchen computer.
Space scientists and the Mars rover-loving public had quite a scare this week.
On Monday, scientists behind the solar-powered rovers Spirit and Opportunity said that they were planning to put the robots to sleep because of a NASA recommendation to trim $4 million from the program's budget. But a day later, the space agency said in a statement that neither of the robots would be shut down because of budget cuts, according to the Associated Press.
Taxpayer outcry must have been strong.
It's easy to see why: In their four years exploring the Red Planet, Spirit and Opportunity … Read more
The electric sports car has gone commercial.
Tesla Motors on Monday moved into commercial production with the Tesla Roadster, an all-electric sports car. The car isn't in mass production yet--Tesla is actually only putting out about one or two cars a week right now, but it will steadily increase production. By early next year, it hopes to be producing around 100 cars a month.
So far, more than 900 people have put reservations in for the car, including Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, George Clooney, Dustin Hoffman, and Arnold Schwarzeneggar. The Roadster costs $98,000. But for … Read more
Here's one that's sure to chap the hides of eco-warriors everywhere: An engineering lecturer from a university in the U.K. has converted a full-size Hummer H3 into a remote controlled toy.
So those folks who get bent out of shape when they see people commuting alone in ginormous SUVs will really love the idea of a Hummer that can pollute without anyone in the car. Now that's progress.
James Brighton from Britain's Cranfield University converted the new right-hand drive version of the H3 in about a month's time. No doubt it's certainly an … Read more
It was good enough for John D. Rockefeller Jr.
To promote itself, Detroit Electric--a new joint venture between Zap and China's Youngman Automotive Group--plan to release a limited number of cars based around the Detroit Electric, an electric car produced by the Anderson Electric Car Co. in the early part of the 20th century.
Anderson produced various models of the Detroit Electric from 1907 to 1939. Customers included Henry Ford and Rockefeller. It was also featured on a stamp. TV host Jay Leno has some of the cars in his collection.
When the opportunity came up to buy … Read more
Specialty automaker DiMora Motorcar promises to make an eco-friendly 1,200 horsepower sedan, called the Natalia SLS 2, available next year. By eco-friendly, the company suggests that its new V-16 powerplant will be ultraefficient and so emissionsfree that it doesn't even need a catalytic converter. DiMora lists a host of high-tech features for the Natalia SLS 2, such as 60 computer systems "tightly integrated to control the vehicle's performance, safety, comfort, communications, and entertainment." Along with mundane features such as four-wheel-drive and four-wheel-steering, the Natalia SLS 2's more outlandish technologies include special paint that will … Read more
The next generation in voice technology may bypass the mouth altogether. A couple of weeks ago we saw a consumer product called the "Roadrunner" headset with microphones strategically placed next to the voicebox--which readers say was based on military versions--but a new technology takes the concept to a level worthy of a sci-fi novel.
Ambient's "Audeo," which colleague Rafe Needleman saw demonstrated at a conference in September, is described as a "voiceless phone" that uses sensors worn around the neck. A trained individual "can send nerve signals to their vocal cords … Read more
Don't get me wrong: I'm all for domestic robots. I own a Roomba. I professed my admiration for the Robot Chef. But the humanoid dish-washing robot we saw last year creeps me out. (Blame it on watching too much Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.)
Fortunately, that doesn't mean I have to give up hope of ever having robotic help in the kitchen. Readybot, a proof-of-concept kitchen-cleaning robot built by a club of Silicon Valley engineers, looks totally non-threatening, like a boxy R2-D2. Because it's put together by a group of enthusiasts, the robot uses common, mass-produced … Read more
Microsoft's Surface has yet to become a permanent act on the Vegas Strip, but the tabletop computer did play a one-night gig at Caesars Palace last week.
The it-list gadget was shown off at Caesars Pure nightclub at the drawing party for the National Heads-Up Poker Championship. Among the celebrity hands that got to touch the Surface were those belonging to Jason Alexander, Don Cheadle, and Shannon Elizabeth, along with the fingers of some pro poker players, including Howard Lederer.
But it will still take more than a good card on the river to get your hands on the … Read more
We have no idea what transportation vehicles will look like in 2025 but, if we ventured to guess, the "Embrio Advanced Concept" wouldn't appear anywhere on the list of possibilities. Call us narrow-minded, but we just don't see a one-wheeled motorcycle taking off for the masses.
Designed by Canada-based Bombardier Recreational Products, it sounds something like a mashup of a motorized unicycle and a Segway--for two people, if you can believe that. "The vehicle uses sensors and gyroscopes to balance up to two passengers on a large single wheel whilst driving," according to Newlaunches, … Read more