Design In Motion. The Uber Keyboard…

Japanese industrial design company Minebea have created the greatest looking piece of computer equipment ever. It’s glossy, has much tech bling, is completely function and it’s a keyboard. The product of legendary designer Dr. Kazuo Kawasaki professor at Osaka University who had been Apple design director in early 1990s – the Cool Leaf will go on retail sale in japan on May 13. English variants of the keyboard will be release in July.

The surface of the keyboard is completely smooth with a mirror finish. When the keyboard is turned on the key labels light up to reveal the keyboards layout, the Leaf springs to life. The display is driven by a backlight which sends light through some very special plastic – light guide – which directs light evenly to the surface. The surface itself is made up of a series of touch sensitive layers, with individual layers using both capacitance and load pressure to detect key presses. The touch surface is able to sense multiple touches at once allowing such Windows classics as CTRL-ALT-DEL – or whats wrong with this damn machine -.

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32bit or 64bit, which bit is better ?…

32 or 64 bit, a question that seems as common as coffee or tea at the moment. It is a question that will fade away like a favourite old computer, eventually 64bit will be the dominant standard for both CPU’s and Operating Systems, 32bit will disappear. The progression of technology rolls on, stopping at all stations, are you ready for 128bit computing. Whenever possible the answer to the current bit question should be 64bit, it is the new standard for home computers.

Within every computer there is a single chip that runs everything, this chip is called the CPU or Central Processing Unit. Within that chip are a series of data pathways that shuffle data around to the different parts of the CPU. The memory spaces at the end of these pathways, the parking spaces for the data and the working memory within a CPU can be called the Registers – registers and caches technically –, but lets just call them all registers for now.

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The Time of the OLED is Fast Approaching…

This week scientist from the University of Toronto announced the development of a new production process for OLED panels. OLED are the next generation display that will replace Plasma and LCD TV‘s. While they are prohibitively expensive at the moment new advancements are changing this more every day. Many of the best mobile phone screens on the market are OLED with the Samsung display really popping due to OLED’s nature. Even current OLED screens are brighter with better colours than LCD, deep blacks and more vibrant colours. With new developments every day OLED’s time to shine is nearly here.

The developments involve a process that deposits a single-atom thick layer of chlorine onto a sheet of indium tin oxide. This layer replaces 2 to 3 layers that would be required with the old process, reducing the total number of layers required to make the OLED panel from 6 layer to 3. By reducing the number of layers each panel becomes cheaper to produce. The new design of the new OLED panel also has the advantage of being twice as efficient as previous OLEDs. “Our Cl-ITO eliminates the need for several stacked layers found in traditional OLEDs, reducing the number of manufacturing steps and equipment, which ultimately cuts down on the costs associated with setting up a production line,” says the University of Toronto’s Professor Zheng-Hong Lu, who led the research.

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Kinect SDK, Developers Waving Madly…

Microsoft in February announced the release of the software developers kit – SDK – for their now ubiquitous hands free controller, the Kinect. This is the part of the Kinects software that lets clever programs use its various functions. The kit itself won’t be released till September but the release does open the Kinect up to all developers. Officially allowing anyone to build the Kinects functions into any software. Write a game and want to allow players to use the Kinect to play, use the SDK to develop that part of the game’s code.

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Alienware’s New Extreme, the M18x. My Other Car is an Alienware…

Dell this week has announced two new Alienware gaming laptops, the M14x and M18x. With looks straight out of a Geiger inspired movie and extreme hardware these are not corporate laptops for tinkering in spreadsheets. The M18x especially is an exercise in the Extreme. Like a geek game of one up man-ship Dell has taken a turn at seeing who can shoe-horn the most extreme parts into the smallest space. While the M14x is already available the M18x will be released within the next month.

Alienware is Dells top end gaming brand with the machines being the complete opposite of a netbook. They are marketed directly at gamers with the ability to run the latest games at extreme frame rates, they have the muscle to back up the marketing spiel. With that much power on tap and a high end LCD panel the Alienware laptops also appeals to the home profession / graphic artist, anyone that needs a lot of power to achieve their goals will love these laptops. Alienware excel at power applications such as video editing, programming, 3D modelling and rendering, video conversion, photo editing.

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Lights Twisted Side, the Hidden Properties of Light…

University of Michigan boffins have discovered, while shooting lasers through glass, that light shining through non conductive materials exhibit strong magnetic characteristics.

The magnetic properties of light were thought to be so weak that they could simply be ignored. With this research that has all changed, the assumption as it turns out was drastically wrong. They discovered that extremely powerful light can generate magnetic fields 100 million times stronger than previously estimated. “Strong enough to induce useable voltages and create magnetic batteries.” Professor Stephen Rand says, adding, “Enough sunlight, focused into an optical fiber, could generate electricity – that’s is a simple way to think about it.”

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Chumby 8, Our Favourite Über Widget…

Chumby our favourite internet gadget company has just released Chumby 8, an upgrade to the already excellent internet device. Chumby is a small gadget that allows you to load add-on applications to the screen turning the gadget into anything you want. More than just the ultimate bedside device, think clock radio or alarm clock with a Star Trek twist. Chumby was the first device to really fulfill the term Widget.

If your sick of plain old alarm clocks, bored by the latest MP3 playing picture frame or just want a device to do more then the Chumby is for you. With 1500 apps available, the Chumby can be many things to many people. Load the Flicker application to make Chumby into a picture frame, Alarm Clock, Weather, social media dating applications all turn Chumby into something different. Load the news feeds, sports updates and horoscopes onto your Chumby and you have a live news centre. Load the financials and world clocks to turn Chumby into a world-wide stock tracker. Internet radio, games, social and online video applications all expand the Chumby’s usefulness.

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Bridgestone Rolls out E-Paper…

Bridgestone, a company normally known for putting rubber on the road has diversified into the display market with their AeroBee Electronic paper. An ultra low power display that doesn’t require power to hold the picture. E-Paper displays look much more like a newspaper than a normal LCD display. By moving black and white magnetic particles back and forward the display can show light and dark. All current e-Book readers use a variation of e-Paper, generally E-Inks panels.

Announced by Bridgestone at the Display 2011 conference this week were two industrial use tablets. A4 and A3 (21.4 inchs/54.4cm) models were on show – the largest electronic paper displays on the market -, with the ability to display 4096 colours, wacom touch screen surface and ARM CPU these are fully fledge giant tablets, supersized iPad anyone.

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It Wasn’t Video That Killed the Radio Star, it was Television, YouTube Television…

Google has been very busy of late, it takes a lot of work to prepare for a Television Revolution, are you ready for YouTube TV. As more and more people use the internet for their video content this may turn out to be a very clever idea.

On the content side Google’s is rumoured to have dedicated $100million – 20 x $5million celebrities and their show, logical since Celebrities + YouTube = ad space -. By packaging its original content into channels YouTube hopes to compete with broadcast and cable tv. YouTube will be offering 20 channels initially, shows will be professionally produced through YouTube’s partners and at their studios. Changes to homepage will be made to allow channel highlights and will start to appear towards the end of the year. YouTube Live is already available in public beta, it allows YouTube’s partners to stream video live. Nothing ground breaking but it does show that everything is in place to start streaming, YouTube Live here. Live has already established itself as the go to point for breaking news.

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Satin Black Celebration, the Corvette Z06 Centennial Edition…

Chevy 2012 Corvette Centennial package

Chevrolet the old girl of American Auto is 100 years old this very year. To celebrate and bring back that youthful feeling – late midlife crisis ? – Chevy is releasing the Centennial Edition Z06. The Centennial Package itself can be applied to all of the current Z06 models, all the way up to the King of the Hill ZR1.

No price has been released for the upgrade as of yet. To keep the party spirit going Chevy auctioned a Silk Black Centennial Corvette through Barrett-Jackson Auctions, who auctioned it off for charity, it sold for $175,000 USD

The Centennial Package brings together parts from previous option packs and some special parts from the next vette the Z07. It’s sort of like a best of compilation to celebrate. Carbon is used extensively, rockers covers, front splitter, roof and raised hood. Performance upgrades include Brembo ceramic brakes, Magnetic Ride Control. Tech include Heads up Display, Bluetooth hands free and Bose stereo. Lots of leather over heated seats finishes it off.

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