technology: June 2010 Archives

275x250.jpgA car which also doubles as a plane will go into production after getting a classification exemption from the FAA.

The Terrafugia Transition 'flying car' will now be classified as a "light sport aircraft" despite being heavier than is normally allowed.

Makers claimed they would not be able to fit safety features, like airbags and crumple zones while adhering to the normal weight limit.

The plane/car runs on unleaded fuel, can cover up to 450 miles on each tank, and when not flying drivers can fold up the wings and go on normal roads.

Because of the FAA exemption they will also only need 20 hours flying time to get a light sport pilot’s permit… unfortunately they will still need £130,000.

275x250.jpgApple iPhone 4 users have been given official advice on how to deal with a problem of dropping signal -- "don't hold it like that.'

After the new phone launched yesterday many users complained they lost signal strength when holding it by the bottom left corner.

The problem is thought to be because holding the £500 in this way connects two parts of the case which also act as antennas.

Particularly bad for left-handers, the signal reduction can even mean the iPhone 4 stops working as a basic phone.

But when one users emails Apple boss Steve Jobs for advice he wasn't expecting the blunt reply which simply said: "Just avoid holding it in that way."

275x250.jpg A car which does the equivalent of 300 miles per gallon and produces water instead of exhaust fumes is set to be trialled in Leicester.

Makers say that if all goes as expected in the 12-month test, they will start production of around 5,000 of the eco-friendly vehicles per year.

The Riversimple car is a two-seater which has a range of 240 miles on each tank of hydrogen and accelerates from 0-30mph in 5.5 seconds.

In tests, 30 of the cars will be made available for drivers in Leicester to rent… presumably the test being how many people point an laugh.

275x250.jpgA pair of wellington boots which can charge your mobile phone by converting energy from the heat in your feet, have been revealed by boffins.

Makers say the eco 'Power Wellies' use a unique power generating sole which creates a electrical current to charge portable gadgets.

Thermoelectric modules are connected electrically forming an array of multiple thermocouples, which are sandwiched between two thin ceramic wafers.

When the heat from the foot is applied on the top side of the ceramic wafer and cold is applied on the opposite side, from the cold of the ground, electricity is generated.

The charge is stored and at the end of an average day it's said your phone will have an extra hour of talkative… unless you've been dancing, in which case you may have a couple of hours.

A Japanese magician who has started using the Apple iPad in his street show has become an online hit.

Shinya uses a mix of pre-programmed clips and props in his tricks which include producing a pigeon out the the tablet device.

Filmed outside a Apple store in Tokyo, he also creates smoke from the screen and then 'connects' with a friend who bends a fork via the power of the iPad.

A video of his his tricks - based around a theme of communication - has already been viewed over 700,000 times online.

But no matter how hard he tries, Shinya will have not be able to improve on the Steve Jobs trick of getting people to pay £429 for an iPad.

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