Rethinking the camera

CCA students reconsider the digital camera
Matty Martin’s Punch is a camera that prints photos by punching a halftone pattern into paper, offering an alternative to the digital printers or polaroids that require film or ink cartridges. “Meant to bridge the disconnection between digital photography and tangible images,” Punch makes printing an easy and inexpensive process. The camera requires no ink or film, can be charged by hand and will work with any paper, from a dollar bill to a business card.”
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Core77

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Optical data connections

Light Peak: One connector to rule them all?
“Light Peak moves data at 10Gbps over cables up to 100m , which leapfrogs USB 3.0, which manages about 4.8Gbps over shorter distances than the current USB 2.0 connection. To put this in a little context, USB 3.0 can move the 700MB of a CD in a second, but Light Peak can shift a full-length HD film on a Blu-Ray disc, capable of holding between 25 to 50GB, in 30 seconds. Intel says that 10Gbps is only a start and that they have kit running in the lab at up to 100Gbps.”
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guardian.co.uk

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Digital book subscriptions

Disney to Introduce Children’s E-Book Site
“In what it bills as an industry-defining moment — though rivals are sure to be skeptical about that — Disney Publishing plans to introduce a new subscription-based Web site. For $79.95 a year, families can access electronic replicas of hundreds of Disney books, from “Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too” to “Hannah Montana: Crush-tastic!” DisneyDigitalBooks.com, which is aimed at children ages 3 to 12, is organized by reading level. In the “look and listen” section for beginning readers, the books will be read aloud by voice actors to accompanying music (with each word highlighted on the screen as it is spoken). Another area is dedicated to children who read on their own. Find an unfamiliar word? Click on it and a voice says it aloud. Chapter books for teenagers and trivia features round out the service.”
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NYTimes.com

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Location-based games

gpsAssassin Could Be The iPhone’s Next Highly Addictive Hit Game
“After picking a nickname, the game presents you list of possible actions, the most important of which is “Scan for targets”. This will bring up a list of any players within a five mile radius (anyone within a two mile radius is shown under a list of ’short range’ targets). After tapping on someone’s nickname, you enter Attack mode, where you choose from a list of actions. This is where the game’s real fun kicks in: you can choose from a list of available attacks created by other users, which range from silly (’Throw Nail Polish” or “Robotic Kitty”) to more conventional forms of violence. Better yet, you can get creative and think up your own attack, which is especially fun when you personally know the person you’re attacking. Your target will then be informed that you’ve attacked them with whatever weapon you choose, and depending on your strength they’ll find out who emerged as the victor.”
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TechCrunch

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Power-free nanosensors

Nanosensing Transistors Powered by Stress
“Nanoscale sensors have many potential applications, from detecting disease molecules in blood to sensing sound within an artificial ear. But nanosensors typically have to be integrated with bulky power sources and integrated circuits. Now researchers at Georgia Tech have demonstrated a nanoscale sensor that doesn’t need these other parts. The new sensors consist of freestanding nanowires made of zinc oxide. When placed under stress, the nanowires generate an electrical potential, functioning as transistors.”
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Technology Review

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Analyzing materials

Laser sight: NYU’s real-life tricorder
“The setup is simple: a laser, a microscope, a digital video camera, and a PC. Take the laser and fire it through the microscope “backward” – from behind the object you are looking through the lens. The image that hits the microscope looks like a pattern of rings, like ripples in a pond. With a little computing power, Dr. Grier can read the pattern of circles and create a real-time image that teases out the defining characteristics of an object. With an ordinary microscope, you can only see a two-dimensional image. But the ring pattern made by the laser allows the user to measure how far the object is from the lens. Since different materials refract light in different ways, you can tell exactly what the target is made of.”
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csmonitor.com

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Personal web crawling

A Web Spider for Everyone
“As the quantity of information on the Internet continues to grow, so does the question of how to process it all and make it useful. A startup called 80legs, based in Houston, TX, is hoping that an inexpensive, distributed Web crawling service could help startups mine the Web for information without having to build the giant server farms used by major search engines. The company launched this week at DEMO, a conference in San Diego that showcases new companies.”
Technology Review

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Crafted technology

NTT Docomo Reveals Scrap Wood Cell Phone Concept
“The Japanese cell phone giant’s phone uses three-dimension compression molding to resist bugs, mildew, and water. Each handset retains an air of originality, featuring the natural coloring and grain patterns of the wood sans artificial colors. Presumably, potential buyers would be more likely to hold on to their phones longer–wood has much more of a feeling of permanence than plastic.”
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Inhabitat

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