Lockheed Martin has at least brought us into the era of exo-skeleton suits with their Human Universal Load Carrier, or ‘HULC’ for short. HULC works by transferring weight carried on the soldier to the ground by way of its titanium (sorry, no adamantium just yet) legs. While the exo-skeleton itself weighs about 53 pounds, it also manages to transfer its own weight so the user hardly notices the exo-suit is there. The suit is also tauted as having a wide range of natural movements, managed by an inboard computer that mirrors every movement of the wearer. This means that soldiers can run, jump, and crawl without being restricted by the exo-skeleton. HULC allows for the soldier to move heavy loads across rugged terrain without breaking so much as a sweat, hence the name ‘HULC’ (Hulk). We don’t know if this name was intentional, but the similarities are striking. Perhaps we can get some adamantium claws and regenerative shields too while we’re at it, Lockheed?
Check out a video after the break.
Wal-mart is testing e-Play kiosks for automated video game trade-ins. So far they have been placed in 77 stores in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. The machine scans a game, gives a quote and upon acceptance, credit is issued within a couple of days. The price is determined based on a proprietary algorithm that can change daily. If the test is successful, Wally World may eventually have them in most of their outlets and issue store credit.
Read More | Kotaku
Want your own mini-power plant? Dow Chemical has been working on the project Solar Solutions for the past year. They are developing solar roof shingles and hope to sell them by 2011. In collaboration with Global Solar Energy and home builders, they have been testing them with both simulated hail and fire to make sure they can handle extreme conditions. “The Beast,” a $2.5 million injection and molding machine, produces the shingles that should have a 20 year life span.
Read More | The Star
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is testing a fake speed bump to see if drivers will slow down. The optical illusion looks like a 3-D pyramid when seen from a distance. The first experiment in Phoenix seemed to work until drivers realized that there were no barriers. This time the NHTSA will run a larger test in a Philadelphia residential area, hoping that they will reduce pedestrian accidents. The markers only cost $60.00 to $80.00 apiece as opposed to real speed bumps which can run $1,000.00 to $1,500.00. At least they are acting reasonably about the devices that they realize will probably have only the same effect as flashing lights.
Read More | CNN
Some of us have enjoyed the advantages of Firefox ever since it was suggested to replace our ailing Explorer. Mozilla has now released their Beta 3 based on Gecko 1.9, which they have been working on for the last 30 months, after almost 2 million lines of code changing. They are now encouraging feedback for those who are brave enough to download it. After some initial testing and bug correction, they are planning on Release Candidate versions. If you have no fear, back up what you have now, check out their notes, download, and report back to Bugzilla if you run into complications.
Read More | Mozilla Release Notes
Headstrong is now in beta testing and is allowing its brain training software free of charge. Take their “fitness” test which then creates a custom program for you and suggests exercises to help thwart Alzheimer’s or what we simply refer to CRS disease. Developed by clinical neuropsychologist Nicola Gates, one of their claims is that you never have to worry about memory lapses again. We were a bit hesitant to take the test, but figured we would take a shot at it. It seems that they have forgotten us as they haven’t sent the results. Patience is not one of our virtues.
Read More | Download Squad
After the FDA did their homework, they came to the conclusion that iPods probably won’t interfere with pacemakers. After a scare when a high school student said he detected electrical interference, the agency may not have thought much of it, but just to be sure…
Several models’ magnetic fields were used in the test with a saline bag substituting for a human body along with the voltage delivered inside of the pacemaker by iPods. While the results of the testing is great news for music fans, if you have a pacemaker, remember to keep away from those microwave ovens.
Read More | Far East Gizmos
This has to be worth megabucks in advertising. First introduced in November of 2006, the HX G1 camcorder was launched October 23 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The cam for professionals features a DIGIC DV II HD image processor, a 20x zoom lens, and a Super-Range Optical Image Stabilizer, at shoots at 24 fps. After performing a number of tests, the XH was given the “a-ok.” Just as the Timex watch will be remembered as the watch that could go underwater, “take a licking, and keep on ticking,” the XH may be remembered as the cam that not only has been to space and keeps on filming, it carries a price tag of around $6,000.00.
Read More | Canon
Read More | The Bleeding Edge
Okay, we have been hearing a lot about dual core and quad core processors coming out of both the Intel and AMD camps. Now that Apple has released the Octo-core Mac Pro, people are wondering about the benefit of having all these cores at their disposal. In this video, we speak with AMD about what they believe is the fundamental difference between the way they do Quad Core chips as opposed to the way Intel does it. Check out the video to see how AMD feels quad core computing should be done.