DARPA demonstrates ARGUS IS, the 1.8 Gigapixel Camera with Wide Area Persistent Stare…

The ancient art form of discreet surveillance has evolved alongside the technology we use for such purposes. DARPA has this week given us a glimpse of what is now possible, demonstrating ARGUS IS, the latest revolution in surveillance technology.

ARGUS is unlike any other high altitude camera that came before it.  Designed and constructed by DARPA funded engineer Yiannis Antoniades ARGUS also represents a new surveillance strategy, Wide Area Persistent Stare. WAPS signifies the new ability to capture a live high resolution video stream of a huge swath of landscape, over long periods of time.  Not only is ARGUS capable of 1.8 gigapixel images but it captures them at 15 frames per second.

The first example of ARGUS’s work was also released to the public recently. The incredibly detailed image captures 10 square miles of Virginia, with Quantico City front and centre in the image. Visit the DARPA site see the original ultra high resolution image (8400×6300).

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Hennessey Venom GT: The Road to High Speed Victory…

The Hennessey Venom GT is the latest hypercar to shoot for the record books, beginning its road to high speed victory. This week the stunning Venom GT took its first World record, the acceleration World Record, eating up the 0-300kph (186mph) record.

Guinness was on hand to work the stopwatch and check the numbers, mind blowing numbers at that. The official world record time for 0 to 300kph (186 mph) is now 13.63 seconds thanks to Hennessey and his Venom GT.  As a little bonus the Venom GT also snagged a second unofficial record for the fastest time to 200 mph at 14.51 seconds.

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The Motorola X Phone, the Indestructible Phone…

News often comes from most unusual sources, this week buried deep within Google’s earning s report was a surprising nugget of information regarding Motorola’s highly anticipated Smartphone, the X Phone.

According to the Google’s document Motorola is set to announce the X Phone at this year’s Google I/O conference on May 5, on July 8 the phone will be available through Google Play for $300. Alternatively it will be available from most carriers for $300 on a contract.

Larry Page even spelled out where he sees phone improvements coming from in the future; durability, battery life and design. Motorola has already set the standard for tough phones; following on from the almost indestructible Droid Razr HD will be a hard task.

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The Next Generation Consoles Draw Near, Playstation 4 and Xbox 720 Specs and Announcements Await…

The rumour mill has been working overtime this week with snippets of information regarding the next generation Playstation and Xbox whirling through the electronic ether. While an official release date for both consoles is still to be announced the event to announce the release date has firmed up along with technical specifications.

Both consoles are due for release in the second half of this year (2013) with hardware produced by AMD. While they will use the same supplier they have both taken very different approaches.  This time around the roles have been reversed, Sony’s PS4 will be very PC like internally (think original Xbox) while Microsoft has a radical dual APU design up its sleeve.

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Unusual Sound Sources: The Battle of the Floppy Drive Orchestra’s, MrSolidSnake745 versus Whiteside…

Floppy drives may not be the musical instrument for everyone, seriously if you want to annoy the entire office play these video’s loud. They are though a humorous trip down memory lane, surprising all with their untapped (till now) musical abilities.

Heck, you need to be over a certain age to even remember what a floppy drive was used for, the torture that many endured at the coal face of their disk drive. Hands up who remembers the multi disk install? The death of the floppy was near when Windows Office 97 Professional was released, requiring 55 floppies and hours of time swapping disks to install, it was a killer exercise.

Presented for your viewing pleasure are arguably the two best tracks by the two best floppy drive musicians on the internet. MrSolidSnake745 performs a rousing rendition of Ghostbusters while George Whiteside stuns with a compelling performance of Phantom of the Opera.

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Alien Skulls discovered in Mexico, the Cemetery of the Gods…

Digging in the dirt can literally be like traveling back in time, especially if you know where to dig. The small town of Onavas Mexico is one such place, digging in the dirt on this occasion unearthed a very alien looking skull within a 1,000 year old cemetery.

The site known as El Cementerio was discovered in 1999 by locals digging new irrigation channels. So far 25 graves have been discovered in the cemetery, 13 of which exhibited artificial cranial deformation.

While most of the skulls appeared to be very human in appearance, with round eye sockets and normal jaw, one skull appeared a little different. Along with the deformed skull the eye socket, cheek and nose aren’t particularly normal in appearance. Combine all of these slightly unusual characteristics with the cone head shape and you have one very alien appearing skull, more than a little creepy looking.

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The Pebble Smart Watch Prepares to Ship…

Inspector Gadget watch out the Pebble smart watch is finally here. Pebble set Kickstarter on fire when it launched, raising $10,000,000 in record time. The first batch of Pebble smart watches are now being prepared to ship on January 23. The extra demands of the unexpected popularity have slowed the production process apparently.

The Pebble watch is no ordinary wrist bound chronographer, this is the smartphone of the watch world. With its own operating system and downloadable applications this is the first Über watch that ticks all of the boxes. With the perfect low power e-paper display (e-Ink), ARM processor and Bluetooth the Pebble is a true smart watch.

Think of Pebble as a second screen for your Smartphone, once the Bluetooth connection is established your assistant’s talents are only limited by which applications you choose to install.

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UFO Landings Captured on Video…

While there are a multitude of videos capturing UFO’s in flight it is a different story for UFO’s landing. This week a single frame of security video capturing this rare event was released to a hungry world. A video containing one of the most convincing images to date, an image of a UFO at rest.

Of the landing videos released recently few have caused as much controversy as the UFO landing shot from a highway in New Mexico. While it is believed by many to be a hoax the video itself is very convincing. Is it too good to be true?

Presented for your viewing pleasure are two videos for your inspection, videos that may cause you to question, are they already here and taking up our parking spaces?

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IBM’s Watson Supercomputer, the Greatest Profanity Machine in History…

IBM’s supercomputer brothers Deep Blue and its game show playing brother Watson are two of the most powerful supercomputers ever created. The culmination of 70 years of quickly evolving technology, these machines are some of the greatest examples of our creativity.

Eric Brown and his team at IBM are always looking to improve their supercomputer technology; this time round they had the bright idea of improving Watson’s language skills, adding internet slang. In an effort to make the machine more current vocabulary wise they added website The Urban Dictionary and Wikipedia to Watson’s database. Unfortunately Watson was a little too eager to absorb the internet, taking in the good and the bad habits that we all display. It turns out the bad may out-weigh the good.

The net result for IBM was the creation of the world’s greatest profanity machine in history. Any question could be asked of Watson with a guaranteed result of more profanity than an Irish pub full of Irish sailor’s fresh back from profanity training in Dublin. With exceptional flaming abilities on display Watson could bring a scientist to tears in record time, calling them a ‘hot mess’ while their findings were described as ‘bullshit’.

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Project Piston, the Steam Box Prototype Xi3 Style…

A match made in heaven, Steam and micro PC maker Xi3 have been seen around the halls of CES in compromising positions. With Xi3 hardware on display at Steam’s booth and Xi3’s CEO talking up everything Steam something is in the air.

Project Piston is result of this not so secret partnership, a micro computer not much larger than a Rubik’s cube that also happens to be the Steam Box prototype.

The latest product developed by Xi3 is designated the X7A, this is thought to be the technological foundation of the Steam Box prototype. Keeping with Xi3’s compact form factor and modular design the X7A measured a mere 11cm at each corner, a tight squeeze for a fully fledge PC. Clever by design Xi3 have split the PC’s motherboard into 3 parts that are laid around the inside surface of the cube. See the previous Highpants article on Xi3’s excellent chrome cube for more information.

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