If the "HyperBike" ever had training wheels, they might look something like the "WheelSurf." Actually we should say training wheel, not wheels, because this contraption is just one giant ring big enough to fit a human being inside.
Hailing from the Netherlands, this $6,900 precarious-looking "mobile circle" runs on a gas-powered Honda engine that can reach more than 18 mph. The scariest-sounding thing of all is how you ride this thing: "The outer wheel revolves around propelling you forward while keeping the center level with the horizon. Steering is accomplished by moving … Read more
The chances of your flight being hit by a shoulder-fired, laser-guided missile are good enough that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has spent more than $100 million looking into ways to prevent it.
Defense contractor Northrop Grumman just completed 6,000 hours of in-flight testing on its Guardian directed infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) system, all part of the DHS initiative to adapt existing military technology to protect commercial aircraft from attack by surface-to-air-missiles (SAM) similar to the U.S.-made Stinger.
The DIRCM system works by first detecting the attack, then directing an invisible, eye-safe laser to the homing/seeker … Read more
Just in case you aren't busy enough playing Metroid Prime 3: Corruption today, here are the three virtual console games released this morning.Super C (1990, NES, 500 Wii points)--Super C is the sequel to the classic Konami action side-scroller, Contra. In Super C, you'll take on even more aliens and baddies, some of which used to be your allies. Breath of Fire II (1995, Super NES, 800 Wii points)--Play as one of nine available characters in this highly regarded RPG filled with demons, dragons, and magic. Ghouls 'n Ghosts (1989, Genesis, 800 Wii points)--The … Read more
With so many unimaginative dolts apparently working in technology marketing, we all too often see product names that are about as creative as Social Security numbers. But then there are those on the opposite end of the spectrum that are stupefyingly prosaic, as evidenced by the brilliant "Cat Speaker" just hours ago.
This next item falls into the latter category, though at least they didn't called it "The Big Flashlight," and it's actually pleasantly menacing: "The Beast." And that it is, considering it's only a flashlight but weighs 4.5 pounds … Read more
CARRIZOZO, N.M.--One of the great things about being on a lengthy road trip is that you tend to have time to pull off the road to check out some of the interesting things along the way.
Well, on Road Trip 2007, my adventure to discover the best science- and technology-related sites in the Southwest, I've been so busy I haven't had much of that kind of time.
I heard about the sale from the creator of the service, Reto Laemmler. He wrote to me, "There are no plans to shut down Xcellery, and in case of an acquisition [co-founder] Heng-yi and I will try to stay on board." However, the eBay listing says, "Xcellery is for sale because the founder team is focusing on other projects and cannot spend enough time on it anymore."
As of this writing, … Read more
LaCie announced yesterday its new Big Disk Extreme+ desktop hard drive, a fairly standard external drive whose standout feature is the massive capacity. It's available in 1-terabyte, 1.5-terabyte, and 2-terabyte capacities, starting at $350 ($850 for the 2TB drive). The design is LaCie's classic Neil Poulton d2 look: brushed gray body with a blue programmable one-touch button mounted on the front. Connection options include two FireWire 800 ports, one FireWire 400 port, and one USB 2.0 port. It comes bundled with LaCie's 1-Click Backup software, Silverkeeper (backup software for Macs), and two versions of EMC … Read more
A company named Wyzo recently released the first public version of its flagship product, the Wyzo browser. Built off the open-source Mozilla Firefox base, Wyzo is notable for incorporating the ability to download torrent files directly from the browser interface without a separate BitTorrent application.
Wyzo offers the ability to download torrent files only because of an extension named FireTorrent that comes pre-installed with the browser. The FireTorrent add-on uses technology such as iP2P, STUNT and unP2P to translate a torrent file into the actual download that the torrent represents. Unfortunately, one big problem I had with Wyzo was that I wasn't able to kill/remove any torrent downloads that stalled because of a lack of peers.… Read more
Nashville is hundreds of miles from the nearest forest fires. Recently smoke levels there were 20 times normal. Health officials in the southeastern U.S. can now look at maps showing where the smoke is, and where it's going.
This smoke forecasting is being done by the Center for Forest Disturbance Science in Athens, Ga. Both hourly forecast updates and daily peak values of smoke concentrations are available on the Internet.