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16 Aug

Alphabet's top secret ideas lab, known as X, recently hatched an idea for a system that could hold onto renewable energy that otherwise would go to waste.

X, which famously launched Google's driverless car nearly ten years ago, has named the project Malta. It uses large containers of salt and antifreeze and could be situated nearly anyplace on Earth. X researchers and executives say that the system has the potential to outlast lithium-ion batteries and give hydroelectric plants -- as well as other clean energy sources currently in use -- a run for their money, price-wise.

Malta is another so-called "moonshot" project undertaken by X (others include drone delivery and Google Glass). Although maybe Malta ought to be classified more of a "Mars shot" since governments and venture capitalists are increasingly scaling back on funding entities that center on alternatives to fossil fuels. Even so, the folks at X remain committed to their modern salt storage facility.

14 Aug

New parents encourage their infants to get plenty of sleep for a variety of reasons. But a new study may have them putting baby down more often. As infants begin to form memories, the study found, sleep is necessary to help them consolidate what they’ve learned.

Researchers have previously studied the benefits of sleep on consolidating memories in babies as young as six months, but this study goes back to an even earlier age, testing the benefits of frequent naps in children at only three months of age. Even a nap that is only an hour and a half in length after learning something new can make a big difference.

12 Aug

Wine consumption has already been linked to cardiovascular health and lower inflammation risk, but a new study gives consumers another reason to enjoy that daily glass. When consumed in moderation, researchers say red wine can prevent Type 2 diabetes, a leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, and more.

A previous health study conducted between 2007 and 2012 surveyed 70,000 adults on their lifestyle and health habits. During the five-year period, 859 men and 887 women developed diabetes, but those in the study who were at the lowest risk for the disease were moderate drinkers.

10 Aug

Researchers at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) have come up with a smart glove that can translate the American Sign Language (ASL) into text. The wireless device also incorporates a virtual hand that can re-create sign language gestures.

UCSD engineers have dubbed the device "The Language of the Glove," and it was built for less than $100. Printable and stretchable electronics were one of the keys to the design -- chiefly because they are low-cost, commercially available, and a snap to put together.

Researchers are also developing the smart glove for other purposes, such as technical training, telesurgery, and defense.

Timothy O’Connor, a nanoengineering Ph.D. student at UCSD and the first author of the study, said in a press release, “Gesture recognition is just one demonstration of this glove’s capabilities. Our ultimate goal is to make this a smart glove that in the future will allow people to use their hands in virtual reality, which is much more intuitive than using a joystick and other existing controllers.”

08 Aug

The vivid yellow background and red title type bring to mind the packaging of Kodak products of yesteryear. And that's partly the point of Gudak, a device that uses an iPhone to re-create the disposable camera experience -- something thought to have become obsolete, given the ubiquity of smartphones outfitted with cameras.

Screw Bar, which created Gudak, has adorned the yellow background of the "label" with the following instructions:

"1 day/24 shoots available

Re-loadable after watching a full advertisement -- video

Wait up Full -- 3 days after you finish your roll to develop

Development process will not start unless you finish the roll

There is no PREVIEW!! Believe your instinct!! Have fun!!"

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