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LitebookIf you live in an area with long winters and tend to hibernate, or if you spend most of your time in the basement with your ‘puter, you might suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Symptoms include depression, low energy, irritabilty, carb cravings (!), low concentration ability, insomnia, even social withdrawal and reduced libido.

The Litebook may be the answer to your problem. It uses bright light therapy which involves regular (usually daily) exposure to an artificial light source at an accepted therapeutic intensity (> 2,500 lux). Exposure duration and distance from the source are set within certain limits.

Specifications:

  • Size: 6” x 5” x 1” (15cm x 12.5cm x 2.5cm)
  • Weight: 8oz. (225g)
  • Impact-resistant ABS plastic injection-molded case
  • Operates on AC (110-240v) and DC power with optional Adapter
  • Low power consumption
  • No UV Radiation
  • UL certified
  • Power adapter cord length 6’ (180cm)

The Litebook will become available this October at a MSRP of £199.00 (~$375.00). A battery recharger is also available for £235.00 (~$442.00). Occasional mild side-effects may occur, including headaches, a ‘stinging’ sensation in the eyes, and nausea, but we think that beats a 20-bags-of-Cheetos-a-day habit.

Read More | Litebook Product Page

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HydraCoach“The HydraCoach Thinks While You Drink.” Such is the claim of Sportline, the makers of the HydraCoach “interactive” water bottle. It tracks your fluid consumption and calculates your “personal hydration needs.” We didn’t even know we possessed such needs. We just assume that when we get thirsty, we drink water.

Other Product Capabilities:

  • Paces an individual to ensure hydration goals are met.
  • Monitors and motivates an individual to stay properly hydrated.

“With the launch of the world’s first ‘intelligent’ water bottle, we intend to revolutionize the water bottle and hydration industry,” said Brian Anderson, president of Sportline. “The benefits of proper hydration are sought after by athletes, fitness and outdoor enthusiasts, people trying to lose weight, the elderly, individuals on medication, and everyone who is generally health conscious.”

The HydraCoach goes on sale in December with a MSRP of $29.99. That’s big bucks for a bottle of water. We are thinking of substituting tequila to see how it calculates those personal hydration needs.

Read More | Hydracoach Product Page

winebotNEC and Mie University have teamed up in Japan to create the 2-foot Winebot, a cute little bugger that can not only discern good wine from bad, it can also name the brand and suggest a cheese.

“There are all kinds of robots out there doing many different things,” said Hideo Shimazu, director of the NEC System Technology Research Laboratory and a joint-leader of the robot project. “But we decided to focus on wine because that seemed like a real challenge.”

Speaking in an underage voice, the robot names the brand and adds a comment to its taste. It can also be programmed to recognize wine that its owner prefers. Because of its ability to analyze the chemical composition of wine or food placed next to it, it could caution its owner about such health-related factors as fat or salt content.

Winebot doesn’t come cheap. “Buying one of these would cost about as much as a new car,” Shimazu said. “We’d like to bring that down to 100,000 yen ($1,000) or less for the tasting sensor if we were to put it on the market.”

We figure that if you can afford the wine and cheese, you can afford the Winebot.

Read More | USA Today

Unless you dropped off the face of the earth a few weeks ago, you probably ran across our own Nate True’s Time Fountain. In case you missed it, do a quick search and you will find it all over the Internet. We decided to take a closer look at what makes the Time Fountain tick. If you were amazed by the original video, consider this your “behind the scenes” look, explaining how the DIY project works.


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SmartcartCart filled parking lots may soon be a sight of the past.  A new smart cart created by a college student with all sorts of gadgets called “B.O.S.S” - which stands for “Battery Operated Smart Servant” - actually follows the shopper around the store, avoids obstacles, and most importantly, it can be made to return itself! While that sounds cool and all, we will certainly miss the days of the teenage part-timer running around parking lots to collect stray carts in the rain.

Read More | CNN

Folding@home Screenshot

Remember SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Life) from college?  Students on college campuses, and people from home, all across the country interconnected through the World Wide Web searched for alien life through the magic of distributed computing. Well, Folding@Home (FAH) is another distributed computing application, but for molecular simulation - specifically, protein folding - and it will be available for the Playstation 3.  Using the potential of the Cell processor will allow for capabilities only possible before from supercomputers.  Additionally, technologies in the new RSX graphics processor in the PS3 allow for real time graphical representation of the folding process.

 

Read More | Folding@Home at Stanford

We know many people who are wary of discarding their old hard drives, especially after the drives have died without offering the option to reformat. We know people who have opened them up and scratched up the platters manually, and others who just have a drawer full a bunch of drives. At Gear Live’s , Pablos of the Shmoo Group asked everyone to bring their old hard drives so that we could give them a proper burial. The result? An 8,000-degree hard drive meltdown, thanks to a little thermite.


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Make your own kind of electricityIf only there were a way to harness the electricity of the people just walking down the street ...

Researchers in Japan are working on that one, and they might have hit on the answer. Specifically, it’s scientists at the East Japan Railway Company, and they’re testing the development of a ticket gate that would generate electricity from each person who walks through. That’s potentially thousands or even tens of thousands of people each day, and even a small amount of electricity generated by each of these people would be enough to power the station for perhaps the entire day.

The technology involved is piezoelectricity, the same kind of energy used in quartz clocks and computers, which use frequency multipliers to reach the megahertz range. The scientists actually have a device in place, at the railway company’s head office in Shibuya; and they are testing it for a week or so. The machine embedded in the gate generates a small amount of electricity each time someone walks through. Assuming that tests are successful and the company can justify the installation cost in eventual savings, piezo-powered gates will begin appearing in train stations sometime later this year.

Read More | Orgismo via TreeHugger


Not a periscope, but ...Now this is a powerful device. The ZScanner 700 looks heavy-duty, and it certainly is. It will also take a toll on your finances.

The handheld unit can make a three-dimensional polygon mesh of anything in just a few minutes. The ZScanner 700 comes with a set of reflective markers, which you attach to your target. Hook up the scanner to your laptop and sit back and watch. Using lasers and dual cameras, the scanner will zip a scan of the object to your computer. Once you have the image, you can do everything you’d expect to be able to, including rotating, burning and dodging, reducing resolution, and all kinds of other fun tricks. It’s all 3D, and it’s one continuous scan.

Designed primarily for the medical community, ths ZScanner 700 would also fit well in the hands of a heavy-duty graphic designer.

You’ll pay a pretty penny for this one, though. Pricing starts at $39,000 USD.

Read More | Zcorp via Medgadget


Hybrid ScooterSo we have hybrid cars now. Why not hybrid scooters? That’s the question that a Dutch student asked and then answered himself in designing the Fhybrid, which runs ons an electric motor powered by a lithium ion battery that can get its juice from a tank of hydrogen. The student, Crijn Bouman of Delft University of Technology, actually has a prototype, which you can see him riding in the photo at right.

The scooter is front-wheel drive, so that when you brake, the machine can take that energy and plug it back into the battery. The current distance capability is 124 miles. That’s a lot of trips back and forth to the market.

Oh, yes, Bouman’s top speed is 40 mph.

As of now, the scooter is just a prototype, wich a simulated fuel cell to recharge the battery. Hydrogen production is still costly to depend on as a viable fuel source. But a guy can dream, can’t he?

Read More | LiveScience

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