Some NHL players will become guinea pigs in November to test Therma Blade’s new heated skate blades. Inventor Tory Weber claims that the prototypes cut down on friction up to 50% and allow players to skate faster with less energy needed. There is a resistor in the blade that heats it by battery to 5º C (~41º F,) regulated by a microprocessor in the heel. Apparently the warmth thickens the film of water between the ice and the blade and acts as a lubricant. We don’t know much about the way skates work. We thought that perhaps there would be less chaos at the hockey rink if the players’ feet were warmer.
Read More | Reuters
Dean Takahashi has a write-up regarding the upcoming 65nm microprocessors reportedly shipping on new Xbox 360 units. The more efficient processors are included on the new Falcon boards that are included standard in all units going forward. Of course, Microsoft still needs to sell its existing stock of 90nm chip systems and as a result is being, shall we say, coy about the new processors and their availability.
Also of note is that these new Falcon boards curiously do not include replacement 65nm ATI graphics processors, which some have speculated are at least partially responsible for the frequently discussed Red Rings of Death issue that Microsoft recently took steps to correct. Takahashi remarks that he expected the 65nm chips—both processor and graphics—to have appeared long before now but speculates that the problems with the 90nm boxes may have pulled Microsoft’s engineers away from the efficiency shift to concentrate on damage control.
The crux of the report is that buying a new Xbox 360 right now is probably not the wisest consumer decision, at least until someone determines how to effectively differentiate between the chip sizes from the outer boxes. Once the last of the 90nm systems have been liquidated from stock all 360s sold will include HDMI and the more efficient chips, which many believe (or perhaps hope) will be more reliable than 360s have historically been. The moral of the story then is for those considering an Xbox purchase to wait for a few months for the holiday buyers to clear out the older stock, something Microsoft hopes you won’t do which is why they remain so elusive with details on the new chips.
Read More | San Jose Mercury
This new gadget can “smell” your meat and let you know if the stuff that is beginning to turn that strange shade of grey is still edible. Using a microprocessor and complex algorithms, the Sensor Fresh can take more than 2,000 readings in less than a minute, and comes with an extra sensor card that is good for 200 uses. Running on 2 AA batteries (not included,) the Sensor Fresh carries an MSRP of $89.99, with additional replacement cards available in two-packs for $9.99. We have an even better device that is a lot less expensive. If our princess of a cat won’t eat it, we know it’s time to let the meat go.
Read More | Cooking Enthusiast
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