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Top 10 Strangest Gadgets of the Future June 15, 2006

Posted by cbeech in News - Tech, Science, Tech.

Some very cool and very strange gadgets!



New kind of cement absorbs pollution May 19, 2006

Posted by cbeech in Science.
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An Italian company has begun marketing a cement that is capable of absorbing pollution from vehicles.

Italcementi, which spent 10 years developing its TX Active, said the building material is capable of reducing urban pollution by more than 40 percent, the Italian news agency ANSA reported Tuesday.

It functions via a chemical process called photocatalysis, whereby sunlight triggers a chemical reaction when titanium dioxide on the surface of the cement comes into contact with pollutants in the air. TX Active works most effectively in bright sunlight.

Italcementi said test results have been verified by independent bodies like the National Research Council.


Scientist warns of nanotechnology dangers May 16, 2006

Posted by cbeech in Science.
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A British scientist is warning that hundreds of nanotechnology products are about to go on sale despite a lack of biological safety testing.

Nanotechnology products — containing materials that are 10,000 times smaller than the width of a hair — are already being used in numerous products, from medical bandages to golf clubs and paints.

Edinburgh University Professor Anthony Seaton, one of Britain’s leading environmental health experts, says concerns that tiny particles from the products might cause respiratory, cardiac and immune problems had not been properly assessed, The Scotsman reported Wednesday.

 Speaking with the newspaper ahead of a presentation he gave Tuesday at the Nanoparticles for European Industry conference in London, Seaton said that recommended nano testing "simply hasn’t happened."

 A recent report from a U.S. science watchdog suggested there are already 200 products containing nanoparticles on the marketplace, with hundreds more to be introduced during the coming year.

 Nano critics point to asbestos — a nanoparticle already linked with cancer — and the high rate of heart failure in dense pollution areas, as early warnings of nanoparticles’ potential hazards when inhaled, the newspaper said.


US seeks laser weapon to shoot down enemy satellites May 16, 2006

Posted by cbeech in Science.
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The US government is conducting research into building a ground-based laser weapon that could destroy enemy satellites in orbit, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

The secret project, which according to the Times was partially made public through Air Force budget documents submitted to Congress in February, would use beams of concentrated light to destroy enemy satellites in orbit.

The weapon is part of a wide-ranging effort to develop defensive and offensive space weapons, the Times said, citing federal officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The weapon would use sensors, computers and flexible mirrors to counteract the atmospheric turbulence.


Non Reflecting Glass? May 4, 2006

Posted by cbeech in Science.
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When light passes through material such as glass, a portion of its energy is lost as it reflects off the material’s surface. Researchers at Japan’s Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (Riken) have come up with a theoretical design for preventing this phenomenon from occurring.

The researchers have designed a prism of engineered material — metamaterial comprised of an arrangement of nano-coils of precious metals such as gold or silver — embedded in a solid glass-like material. The prism structure has a negative refractive index, which makes it truly transparent to light, allowing it to pass freely through with no reflection.


Floating cities as an answer for global warming? May 4, 2006

Posted by cbeech in Science.
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With fears of artic melting and flooding taking place on more frequent basis some people are thinking into the future. Floating houses have been around for a while but just recently has there been a lot of development in foundation technology that will float whole city blocks. You can only image the possibilities.

The Dutch are gearing up for climate change with amphibious houses. If rivers rise above their banks, the houses simply rise upwards as well. Such innovation could be good news for hurricane and flood-stunned America. But are water lovers prepared to live on swimming family arks?

Looking out from the terrace, heaven and earth merge into a grey blur. Heavy rain pours so incessantly that one would expect Anne van der Molen to be getting just a little nervous.