technology: July 2011 Archives

275x250.jpg Scientists in South Korea have created a genetically modified glow in the dark dog which they say can be turned on and off like a light switch.

The glowing beagle was born two-years-ago thanks to a cloning technique which boffins claim could be used to find cures for diseases including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Tegon's luminosity - which can be seen under ultraviolet light - is said to be controlled by adding a doxycycline antibiotic to her food at Seoul University.

While the £2million research could lead to huge leaps in medical science, it's already solved one of life's great questions, are dogs or cats the brightest.

275x250.jpg We've all seen videos of people dancing and singing in an Apple store - but have you ever wanted to know exactly how much you could get away with there?

Comedian Mark Malkoff did, so he put it to the test -- starting off by ordering a pizza to be delivered to him and seeing whether staff had a problem with that. They didn't.

The funny-man then moved on to holding a romantic date - complete with meal, music and dancing - amid shoppers. But again the blue-shirted Apple staff were happy to carry on as normal.

Even when Malkoff dressed as Darth Vader and asked them to fix his iPhone or then took his pet goat in, no-one seemed to mind. So if you can get yourself kicked out of an Apple store let us know what you were doing.

275x250.jpgThe personal computer has now overtaken the family dog as 'man's best friend', a poll conducted by YouGov has found.

A recent survey discovered almost two thirds of us consider our computers as "a more constant companion than a dog" and that this is especially true for younger dog owners.

People are also now spending more time with their PCs than their pooches and with many people having ditched newspapers for online news sites, dogs are being relied on less to perform household tasks.

In fact, only 6% of those polled believe "most people rely more on their dog than they do on their PC" (probably people who need a lot of slippers fetching) while 67% think the opposite is true.

So if you had to do without your pet dog or your computer, which would it be? And remember your dog can't fetch you Newslite.

275x250.jpg The Terrafugia Transition flying car is one step closer to taking to the sky after being cleared by the US National Highway Safety Administration.

Aviation bosses say the off-beat vehicle - which has wings which fold up for use on the road - could get UK clearance as soon as next year.

Makers say the flying car is made from carbon fibre runs on unleaded fuel and can cover up to 450 miles on each tank. On the road it can do 100km/h and 185km/h in the air.

Given it can also transform from car to plane in just 15 seconds it sounds like the ideal way to beat the morning traffic… assuming you have the £130,000 to buy one.

275x250.jpg Robotics engineers in the US have built a lightsaber-wielding robot which uses a Microsoft Xbox Kinect sensor to know where its opponent is and fight them.

The boffins from Stanford University created 'JediBot' in just three-and-a-half weeks and say it was quite a challenge to teach the robot lightsaber skills.

JediBot uses the Kinect sensor to detect objects in three-dimensional space and then react accordingly to opposition switching between attack and defence modes.

Luckily for the future of mankind, this probably isn't the beginning of the robot uprising as the lightsaber is currently just a wooden stick wrapped in foam.

275x250.jpgMore than half of British parents snoop on their children's online activity, a study has revealed.

Researchers found millions of mums and dads resort to checking up on their youngsters' goings-on on Facebook, looking through sent emails and internet history.
A recent study of 2,000 Brits found that 55 per cent of parents 'keep an eye' on a son or daughter by checking their social networking profile.
Four in ten parents admitted to regularly checking their children's social media status updates, 39% use Facebook to see who's been posting messages to their children, and 29% look through tagged images.
The number would probably be considerably higher… if so many parents didn't need to ask their children who to spy on someone online.

275x250.jpg We're not exactly sure why you'd want to, but an adaptor has gone on sale allowing iPhone-wielding photographers to use professional lenses on their phones.

The 'iPhone SLR Mount' costs £160 and allows users who are not happy with the current quality of photo from their Apple iPhone 4 to attach big Canon and Nikon lenses.

This means those using  the aluminium case and mount can take telephoto, wide angle, and macro shot by using their iPhone and current lenses in fully manual mode.

Makers say you'll be using lenses you already have, without having to carry a big SLR camera… though as you'll still be lugging all that heavy glass, it kind of defeats the point, right?

275x250.jpgWe think the grunting of female tennis players is as much a part of Wimbledon as the inevitable disappointment off seeing the last British player knocked out.

But the BBC has announced tennis fans (at least  those listening on the internet) can now turn down the volume of shrieking from Sharapova and Co.

Their 'Wimbledon Net Mix' is a downloadable service which allows listeners to control the volume of various microphone relative to that of commentary.

A BBC spokesperson said: "One of the biggest audio challenges for broadcasters covering sports events is knowing how much of the 'roar of the crowd' to include along with the commentary.

"This experiment lets you mix the sound the way you want it. By downloading our player you can adjust the commentary level relative to the sound of the court: the crowd, base-line grunting and ball."

Japanese boffins have created a robot to help train dentists by flinching and gagging just like a real patient as they are poked and drilled.

But that's not the good bit… the researchers enlisted the help of sex doll makers to perfect the doll's uber-realistic tongue and mouth.

Robotic experts at Japan's Showa University say the "Showa Hanako 2" medical automaton will be used to help train would-be dentists and can sneeze, cough and react to 'pain'.

She even features voice recognition technology to ensure dentists are capable of engaging in conversation while working and reports back on their performance via a computer link… so don't try anything funny.

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