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Author Archives: Jonathan Kimak

Google’s New Satellite Takes Its First Picture

By Jonathan Kimak

Last week the GeoEye-1 satellite, which is co-owned/sponsored by Google, took a photo(above) of the Kutztown University campus in Pennsylvania. The satellite is primarily funded by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency(NGA) with Google being the second largest funder.

The satellite is able to take pictures at a resolution of 41cm which is close enough to zoom in on the home plate of a baseball diamond. Google is only allowed to receive photos that are a maximum of 50cm resolution due to government restrictions. The NGA will receive their photos at a 43cm resolution.

Even with restrictions the satellite will provide Google Earth and Google Maps with the best pictures yet.

Right now the GeoEye-1 is undergoing calibration to ensure it achieves maximum resolution.

VIA [ Wired Blog ]

Mini Motion USB Controllers

By Jonathan Kimak

Aptus Games has recently announced several new games that will be released later this month for the PC. Each game comes with a unique mini-motion controller designed to look like the on screen object in the game. The skateboarding game has a miniature skateboard controller, the baseball game has a controller with a mini bat and ball.

Now while Aptus calls these motion controllers to me they just seem like glorified joysticks, only less functional. There doesn’t appear to be any real motion capture at all.

Screenshots of the games look rather low-res so I’d suggest waiting until the games are released and quickly sent to the dollar bin before even considering buying any of these.

[ Aptus Game Controllers ] VIA [ Everything USB ]

Save Time, Money And The World With The Aquaduct Bike(Trike)

By Jonathan Kimak

This unique bicycle won the 2008 Innovate Or Die contest and was created by five IDEO engineers and designers. The Aquaduct allows a person to carry a large amount of water while filtering it into clean drinking water at the same time.

Since many villages in third world countries rely on water from distant wells or lakes just getting enough water for a family can take all day. And after the transport is over the water could still be unsanitary to drink.

The Aquaduct uses the pedal power to force the water through a filter resulting in clean, ready to drink water by the end of the trip.

Check out the video after the jump.

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Learn Some Basic Circuitry Skills And Create Some Halloween Fun

By Jonathan Kimak

Every so often there comes around a neat little DIY project that can be both fun and educational. If you don’t know much about circuitry, this halloween project might be the thing that finally moves you from gadget user to gadget maker.

The project is to create a light-sensitive jack-o-lantern that turns itself off during the day and comes alive during the night with two glowing LED eyes. All you need is a phototransistor, several transistors and resistors, LEDs and some AA batteries(plus holder). The detailed list can be found at the Evil Mad Scientists website.

Of course, placing something you just made into a goopy mess of a pumpkin might not be too appealing to you. But you can always buy a fake pumpkin from a craft store so that you only have to do this once but get years of use out of it.

[ Evil Mad Scientist ] VIA [ DVICE ]

Better Get One Of These Now Before They Sell for 10 Grand On Ebay

By Jonathan Kimak

This might not be a big seller for Christmas, but it is possible that this could be the next furby or tickle-me-elmo. But then again it could just be something neat that only does modest sales.

The toy is Kota the Triceratops robot. It’s large enough for a young kid to sit on and has 11 different movements and reacts to touch and sound. It isn’t mobile and that may or may not be a good thing if you think of the balancing skills of some toddlers.

It will wag its tail and even play some adventure music if it’s in the mood. But don’t take my word for it, check out the video of Kota in action after the jump.

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United Arab Emirates Goes Big With LEDs

By Jonathan Kimak

What do you do when you’re a tiny little country that makes more money than countries 5 times your size? You spend money on crazy stuff. At least that’s what I think the United Arab Emirates(UAE) are doing. They’ve created skyscrapers with tennis courts on them, are planning to make rotating buildings and now are going for a 33 storey LED display.

The LED display will cover the entire side of a building and will have images viewable 1.5km away. With a display that powerful they’d better be careful what sort of advertisements get played. There could be a lot of traffic accidents from a 330 foot Victoria’s Secret ad.

[ Cool Buzz ] VIA [ Ubergizmo ]

Gmail wants you to post sober

By Jonathan Kimak

When you combine night time with alcohol and loneliness you may end up pondering the meaning of life. But you don’t want to ponder alone, so you drunkenly call or email someone that you probably shouldn’t be calling or emailing in your current state of mind.

There’s nothing that I know of to prevent drunk dialing but now google has created an application to stop you from drunk emailing.

Called Mail Goggles, the add-on to gmail will force you to complete some math questions during certain times when you’re most likely to send something you will regret later. The default active time for Mail Goggles is nights during the weekend but you can change the settings to suit your own habits(If you’re brave enough to admit that you have any).

[ Gmail Blog ] VIA [ Crunch Gear ]

Functional Wallpaper

By Jonathan Kimak

Designer Duncan Wilson has created an interesting way to decorate your wall at the office or at home.

Pixelnotes cover a wall in 5 layers of tiny perforated square notes. Each layer of notes are colored a different shade of grey while the deepest layer is a bright primary color such as red. The notes have an adhesive top similar to Post-it Notes.

If you ever need a piece of paper to jot something down you can just go over and rip off a piece. The on-going usage of the notes will create a constantly changing display of color and shapes that could make your workplace a tad more enjoyable and functional than a plain wall.

Of course if you’re one of those people who actually spend their time at work doing actual work you might not even notice that there are walls in your office.

[ Duncan Wilson’s Pixelnotes ] VIA [ Likecool ]

No More Needles

By Jonathan Kimak

I’m not afraid of needles, they don’t really hurt me and I don’t faint at the sight of blood. But for many people needles are a nightmare. Well, now there may be an alternative.

Inventor Yoshio Oyama has come up with an injection mechanism that use small ampules instead of needles. The ampules are pre-loaded with whatever needs to be injected(medicine, vaccinations etc..). The device, called the Mother’s Kiss, can speed up the whole process of injection.

With a needle the syringe must first extract the needed medicine from a container and then inject the medicine into the patient. Since the ampules already have the medicine in them there is no extraction step needed.

The Mother’s Kiss can also reduce the rate of infection from contaminated needles that get reused in poor villages that can’t afford to use a new needle each time.

This could be a great way for all future injections to be a less dreadful experience.

VIA [ medGagdet (with video) ]