29 Jul

The Apple iWatch "watch" continues, with rumors about the product continuing to circulate. The latest rumor is that the iWatch will feature fitness tracking, similar to the tracking currently offered by the Nike+ FuelBand.

Perhaps at the root of the rumor is Tim Cook's public admiration of the FuelBand, which tracks a person's physical activity, providing information on number of steps, calories burned, and much more. The band interacts with the iPhone and other smartphones, as well as linking up with apps like Lose It! to allow owners to keep up with the number of calories consumed each day.

28 Jul

Would consumers pay $25 for a mere circuit board? British charity the Raspberry Pi Foundation is learning the fun way that they would. In fact, millions of Raspberry Pi units have sold in the past 18 months, despite the fact that the "computer" has no keyboard, mouse, or monitor attached.

To understand why so many consumers would be interested in a circuit board, it might help to go back to Raspberry Pi's beginnings. The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a British charity that helps children learn basic computer skills through the country's schools. To help ignite interest in technology and help children learn, the foundation created the Raspberry Pi, but its reach extended far beyond the school environment. While children are a large chunk of the device's owners, adults are finding the Raspberry Pi useful, as well, using it to help power other electronics. In Japan, for instance, the Raspberry Pi is powering robots, while in Malawi, warehouse doors are being powered by the product.

27 Jul

That's but one of the teaser claims made by a Colorado-based consortium called ET3. And the proposed means of travel isn't a supersonic jet. It's an airless, electric-charged tube that, once fully developed, is predicted to allow car-sized vehicles to travel as fast as 4,000 miles per hour (6,500 km/h) on international journeys.

At that rate of travel, passengers or cargo could get from New York to Beijing in as little as 2 hours.

Billed as Space Travel on Earth, ET3 -- Evacuated Tube Transport Technologies -- purports to be greener, speedier and less expensive than other high-speed transportation systems. According to the company's web site:

26 Jul

If you're constantly searching for extra plugs to charge all your mobile devices, a new accessory from Griffin could be just the item you need. The Griffin Powerdock 5 retails for $99.99 and charges iPhones, iPads, as well as Kindle tablets and Android devices. Smartphone and tablet owners need only slide up to five electronic devices onto the charger, plug them in, and watch as five items charge at once.

Perhaps best of all, the Griffin Powerdock 5 takes up minimal space and its aesthetically-pleasing design will make consumers happy to set it atop a countertop or end table. The charger leaves plenty of space for each device, allowing consumers to fit phones and tablets in with cases in place.

25 Jul

What would the Internet be like if new switching technologies allowed information to be transmitted up to 100 times faster?

University researchers in England recently demonstrated that an element known as graphene, composed of a single layer network of carbon atoms, can function as a speed-enhancer for the Web. The research was published in Physical Review Letters, a journal.

According to an announcement from the University of Bath, researchers working in the school's department of physics have discovered that by using "few-layer graphene", the response rate of an optical switch -- which converts photon signals into light pulses to transmit information -- can be reduced from a trillionth of a second to mere femtoseconds. Which, for those of us who aren't the hardest-core of techies, yields speeds that are nearly 100 times quicker.

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