Did you know...
- that US space scientists have recently unveiled an aviation
breakthrough - a plane that will someday fly coast to coast in America in just
30 minutes and scoop oxygen out of the air for its fuel. On its maiden flight
this month the prototype is expected to fly at seven times the speed of sound
- nearly 8047km/h. Scientists believe the jet will eventually be able to reach
Mach 10 and will be a possible form of cheap space travel.
- that Professor Kevin Warwick of Reading University, the
first man to have a microchip implanted in his forearm, will be undergoing
another procedure soon. The plan is to implant a transponder into his arm
positioned about halfway between the elbow and shoulder. "Once the implant
is switched on, the nerve fibres will be tapped into. A progression of
experiments will be tried. One of the first will be to record and identify
signals associated with motion. For example, when the index finger is moved,
it will send a corresponding signal via the implant to the computer, where it
will be recorded and stored. The next step is to transmit this signal back to
the implant, hoping to generate an action similar to the original. The aim is
to be able to record a movement, then reproduce it when we send the signals
back to the arm."
- that scientists in Scotland have developed a way of holding
and rotating objects as small as a hamster chromosome. They use special lasers
which allow scientists to examine the microscopic material from any angle.
Researchers at the University of St. Andrews have been able to use their
technique to maneuver glass beads one hundred times narrower than a human
hair. Scientists already use "optical tweezers" which hold objects
in tightly focused laser beams, but the new technique will give them more
- that a wearable-computing company specializing in wireless
items has won several patents for devices including a credit card terminal
that fits on a wrist and can print receipts. The other devices from
Orang-Otang Computers include a phone that fits under a shirt sleeve and
slides into the palm with a flick of the hand, a digital audio recorder for
the wrist that hides in a shirt when not in use. There's also a wearable
laptop and a wearable camera.
- that Swedish software engineers are working on a new
invention which can control computers with head movements. "All one will
need apart from the software, is a regular web camera," says developer
Martin Krantz. He is confident the innovation will ultimately spell the end
for conventional input devices like the mouse.
- that there are more than half a billion GSM mobile phones
in use worldwide, according to a report by the GSM Association. The figure
equates to one in 12 people on the planet and means the technology accounts
for more than 70% of all handsets.