Category: News


If Harry Potter had had a whole car instead of just one measly little invisibility cloak, it might have been something like this.

To promote the Mercedes F-Cell’s zero impact on the environment, the company turned one into an invisible car. The tech sorcery involved modding an F-Cell  on both sides with fairly mundane hardware — cameras on the right, to capture the imagery on that side, and tacked-on sheets of LEDs on the left, to display the live feeds. The result is a pretty remarkable illusion.

Of course, I can’t say much for the safety of this thing — how could other drivers avoid you if they can’t see you? — but it’s still immensely cool. If you happen to be in Germany, you might be able to spot the invisible F-Cell as it tours the country. (Or, erm, maybe not.)

[via Mashable]

Nokia has sent out mails to all its Ovi Share users informing them about the sad demise of the service. For those who haven’t heard of it before, Ovi Share was Nokia’s version of Dropbox, which allowed those with an Ovi account to upload content such as images and videos from their phones onto Nokia’s servers.

Unfortunately, this service is now shutting down. After March 13, users will no longer will be able to upload files and the last date to download any files that you may have uploaded is May 30. On May 31, the service will shut down completely.

According to Nokia the Ovi Store shutdown is “part of Nokia’s revised services mission to focus on mobile and location based services“. However, you will still be able to access Nokia’s other services with your account.

Unfortunately for Symbian users, none of the major online storage services have a native app that can be used for storing your files online. Hopefully, Microsoft will release a Symbian version of their SkyDrive app, although we won’t advise holding your breath for it.

Flying robot quadrotors perform the James Bond Theme by playing various instruments including the keyboard, drums and maracas, a cymbal, and the debut of an adapted guitar built from a couch frame. The quadrotors play this “couch guitar” by flying over guitar strings stretched across a couch frame; plucking the strings with a stiff wire attached to the base of the quadrotor. A special microphone attached to the frame records the notes made by the “couch guitar”.

These flying quadrotors are completely autonomous, meaning humans are not controlling them; rather they are controlled by a computer programed with instructions to play the instruments.

Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science is home to some of the most innovative robotics research on the planet, much of it coming out of the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Lab.

This video premiered at the TED2012 Conference in Long Beach, California on February 29, 2012. Deputy Dean for Education and GRASP lab member Vijay Kumar presented some of this groundbreaking work at the TED2012 conference, an international gathering of people and ideas from technology, entertainment, and design.

The engineers from Penn, Daniel Mellinger and Alex Kushleyev, have formed a company called KMel Robotics that will design and market these quadrotors.

More information: http://www.upenn.edu/spotlights/penn-quadrotors-ted

iPad 2 cockpit

Nearly a month after making a proposal to replace its inflight manuals with 18,000 iPad 2s, the U.S. Air Force has awarded a $9.36 million contract to Phoenix-based vendor Executive Technology to make the purchase. Apple’s tablet supposedly beat out competition from the PlayBook, Xoom, Galaxy Tab and Nook Tablet.

Bloomberg reports the Air Force will opt for the 32GB, Wi-Fi model at a subsidized price of $529 compared to the normal rate of $599. Someone ought to warn the USAF that Apple is planning an event for its next iPad next week. Actually, Executive Technology has acknowledged a refresh is looming, but noted it has a year to make purchases with the funding – so far 63 iPad 2s have been purchased.

The devices will act as electronic flight bags for paper manual and chart replacement, which can sometimes weight up to 40 pounds. In comparison, an iPad weighs in at a fraction. Apple’s iPad was previously adopted by both Delta and Alaska Airlines as part of a trial program in 2011. The USAF has plans to implement the devices largely the same way.

“Aircrews fly nonstop worldwide missions and require access to flight publications both on and off the aircraft, throughout all phases of flight,” Captain Kathleen Ferrero told Bloomberg in an email. In the USAF’s eyes, the iPad 2 was the perfect device for the job.

[via Bloomberg]

Hyundai’s stealthy i-oniq concept hybrid has been uncloaked, and the vision tantalizes the ocular receptors. With a design that suggests a three-way love triangle between a Fisker Karma, Tesla Model S and Porsche Cayenne, the Hyundai i-oniq is indubitably a futuristic display of sex on wheels.

Hyundai-i-oniq-Concept

Although brute in external appearance, the Hyundai i-oniq is rumored to be fairly docile under the hood with a 1.0-liter three-cylinder gas engine and 108-hp electric motor. The battery capacity of Hyundai’s new enigma is unknown, though the Korean car manufacturer claims that the i-oniq will be able to travel up to 75 miles on its Lithium-ion-powered motor alone before falling back on the old-school combustion engine. At the end of the day, that equates to a 435-mile combined range.

With a 173.2-inch long measurement, the Hyundai i-oniq is buddies with the Ford Focus, which is just a foot and a half shorter. If Hyundai plans on using a majority of its design blueprints for a potential mass-production iteration of the i-oniq, the car will certainly bring a much needed swagger and zest to the hybrid and EV markets. What do you think of the Hyundai i-oniq concept?

Verizon Offering its Employees Limited-Edition Droid RAZRs

By 

Verizon employees are in for a treat in the form of a limited-edition cell phone. According to Android and Me, Verizon employees are being offered the option to buy limited-edition versions of the Droid RAZR and Droid RAZR MAXX that will only be made available to Verizon employees.

So, what makes the phones limited-edition? The employee-only version of the phones will come with a red and black back, along with the devices number and the production run of the handset. The front of the phone will also have “Limited Edition” engraved on it, just so everyone knows you’re rocking something slightly more awesome than the traditional run-of-the-mill model.

Verizon employees will be able to score the 16GB Droid RAZR for $99, and the Droid RAZR MAXX for $199, with both coming with a free multimedia dock as well.

What do you think? How long do you think it will take for these to start showing up on eBay and Craigslist?

[via Android and Me]

Tesla Model S Test Ride (video)

By  on February 13, 2012 in Cars

After more than a year of dreaming and drooling, I took another step closer to my silly dream car of the moment: Tesla let me ride in the front seat of a Model S.

I fully realize how ridiculous it is that only a select few actually get to ride along, let alone get behind the wheel, of a BMW/Mercedes competitor being sold on a reservations-only basis. I fully realize how ridiculous it is to, without having ever set foot in the thing, put down a $5,000 deposit on a car whose sticker price easily climbs above the $70,000 mark with options. And I fully realize how ridiculous it is to spend upwards of $80k to be one of the first in the world to take delivery of a car having no idea how the thing will handle once you load it up with seven passengers and luggage, let alone how well those giant, bleeding edge battery packs might hold up five or ten years down the road.

But Tesla’s tapped into something with their combination of Silicon Valley ingenuity, future looking clean tech, and luxury playboy moxie. Reservations for the Model S Signature are long since sold out, and plenty of folks plunked down another $5k each to reserve the new Model X crossover at last Thursday’s launch event.

As for me, I’ll have to be content to dream and drool a bit longer. My all too brief ride along in a Model S Signature made me want one all the more, but that doesn’t change the simple economics of the proposition: I don’t have the money to spend on a $60-90,000 automobile, even if it combines sexy fastback styling, room for up to seven, 5 Series– esque luxury and performance, and zero tailpipe emissions. Which is good, because now I don’t have to fret over which color to order mine in, let alone if I could possibly justify spending upwards of 60 large on a car.

54th Grammy Awards Winners List

Winners in selected major categories at Sunday’s 54th Annual Grammy Awards:

General Field

  • Song Of The Year: Rolling in the Deep, Adele
  • Record Of The Year: Rolling in the Deep, Adele
  • Album Of The Year: 21, Adele
  • Best New Artist: Bon Iver

Pop Field

  • Pop Performance by a Duo or Group: Body and Soul, Tony Bennett & Amy Winehouse
  • Pop Vocal Album: 21, Adele
  • Pop Solo Performance: Adele, Someone Like You
  • Alternative Album: Bon Iver, Bon Iver

Rock Field

  • Rock Album: Wasting Light, Foo Fighters
  • Hard Rock/Metal Performance: White Limo, Foo Fighters
  • Best Rock Performance: Walk, Foo Fighters

R&B Field

  • R&B Song: Fool For You, Cee Lo Green, Melanie Hallim & Jack Splash
  • R&B Performance: Is This Love, Corrine Bailey Rae
  • Traditional R&B Vocal Performance: Fool For You, Cee Lo Green & Melanie Fiona
  • Best R&B Album: F.A.M.E., Chris Brown

Rap Field

  • Rap Album: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Kanye West
  • Rap Song: All Of The Lights, Jeff Bhasker, Stacy Ferguson, Malik Jones, Warren Trotter & Kanye West
  • Best Rap Performance: KanyeWest, Jay-Z for Otis
  • Rap/Sung Collaboration: All of the Lights, Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi & Fergie

Country Field

  • Country Solo Performance: Mean, Taylor Swift
  • Country Performance by a Duo or Group: Barton Hollow, The Civil Wars
  • Country Song: Mean, Taylor Swift
  • Best Country Album: Own The Night, Lady Antebellum

Jazz Field

  • Jazz Vocal Album: The Mosaic Project, Terri Lyne Carrington & various artists
  • Jazz Instrumental Album: Forever, Corea, Clark & White
  • Improvised Jazz Solo: 500 Miles High, Chick Corea
  • Large Ensemble Jazz Album: The Good Feeling, Christian McBride Big Band

The 54th Annual Grammy Awards were held on February 12, 2012, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles being broadcast on CBS. Nominations were announced on November 30, 2011 on prime-time television as part of “The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live! – Countdown to Music’s Biggest Night”, a one-hour special broadcast live on CBS from Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live.Kanye West received the most nominations with seven. Adele, Foo Fighters, and Bruno Mars each received six nominations. Lil Wayne, Skrillex, and Radiohead all earned five nominations.

A total of 78 awards were presented following the Academy’s decision to restructure the Grammy Award categories. Paul McCartney received the MusiCares Person of the Year award on February 10, 2012, at the Los Angeles Convention Center, two nights prior to the Grammy telecast.LL Cool J is set to host the show. It is the first time in seven years that the event will have an official host.

On February 8, 2012, the Academy announced that the 54th Grammy Pre-Telecast Ceremony will stream live internationally. The show took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center and was streamed live in its entirety internationally at Grammy’s official website and CBS Television Network. The ceremony was co-hosted by Dave Koz and MC Lyte. A total of 68 awards was presented in the Pre-Telecast ceremony. This year’s official poster is designed by Architect Frank Gehry.

The night before the awards, Whitney Houston died in Los Angeles, and show producers quickly planned a tribute, with Jennifer Hudson performing. The awards show began with a Bruce Springsteen performance followed by a LL Cool J prayer for Whitney Houston. Adele, with six nominations, won all six awards, tying the record for most wins by a female artist in one night with Beyoncé. Foo Fighters and Kanye West followed with earning five and four awards, respectively.

 

Whitney Houston ruled as pop music’s queen and the first person to reach #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 with seven consecutive singles. All of her top 10 hits reached #1. These are her biggest hits.

1. “I Will Always Love You” – 1992

2. “Greatest Love Of All” – 1986

3. “How Will I Know” – 1985

4. “All the Man That I Need” – 1990

5. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” – 1987

6. “Where Do Broken Hearts Go?” – 1988

7. “Didn’t We Almost Have It All?” – 1987

8. “Saving All My Love For You” – 1985

9. “I’m Your Baby Tonight” – 1990

10. “So Emotional” – 1987