It's not too often that a new musical instrument is invented, let alone presented before a bunch of experts. Yet that's precisely what Sophie Leger did with her creation a few days ago at the 151st meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in Providence, R.I. Introducing the Tritare, "an electric, guitar-like instrument which uses six 'Y'-shaped networks instead of six simple strings."
Call us cynical, but we doubt that cities will be blanketing the country with high-bandwidth Wi-Fi networks anytime soon. In the meantime, we'll be left to our own devices--literally, as well as figuratively. So we're thankful that the ever-useful Lifehacker has posted this article, which gives instructions on how to "turn your $60 router into a $600 router."
Battery life--or lack thereof--has been an increasingly vexing issue as the wireless universe continues to expand. But MIT researchers think that they may have made a key discovery in a technology from the past: the capacitor, which was invented more than 300 years ago but has roots that go back to 600 B.C. And according to ScienCentral Video News, the work at MIT could lead to a phone or laptop battery that can be fully charged in seconds.
When we first heard that people were making make-believe "pets" of their robotic Roomba vacuum cleaners, we hoped that it would be a mercifully fleeting fad. But the popularity of "RoomBuds" hasn't waned and, in fact, is apparently being taken to the next level: In addition to having a wealth of costume options, RoomBuds can now be programmed to take on multiple personalities.
Chris Pirillo lost 30 pounds in three months, and he's offered no fewer than 50 tips to show how he did it. Many pieces of his advice are old (though still valuable) standbys, but one of them jumped out at us, for obvious reasons: "Video games helped me lose weight."
Deathforecast.com may be a grim-sounding name, but at least it's accurate. This page lists a couple dozen questions or so to estimate how long you'll live, supposedly based on "scientific data obtained from dozens of health studies."
Under most circumstances, a combination of 200 liters of Diet Coke and more than 500 Mentos mints would be a recipe for disaster. But EepyBird.com, which bills itself as "entertainment for the curious mind," turned the concoction into an impressively controlled experiment, all caught on video.
What if Manhattan were somehow relocated to San Francisco Bay? Or Lake Michigan? Those are some fanciful ideas that Jason Kottke contemplated in a post called "Manhattan Elsewhere," in which he mapped Gotham next to some of his other favorite cities and included 3D landscape renderings.
As the specter of a robotic society looms, it's about time that someone start thinking about some rules to keep things from getting out of control. The Japanese government has apparently been thinking along these lines, according to this LiveScience.com article, which reports that the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is drafting "safety guidelines for next-generation robots."