Electronic Paper Now Works in Full Color

E Ink of Boston announced that it has succeeded in making electronic paper work in full color.

Like ordinary paper, electronic paper works entirely by reflection. This means that, unlike competing electronic displays like LCDs, it never needs a backlight. In addition, it only needs power when the image changes. Once an image has been produced it will remain visible even with the power switched off.

Laptops, palmtops and cellphones with rigid electronic paper screens will be on the market within the next two years

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Liquid Crystal Displays ‘Painted On’

Liquid crystal displays could soon be painted on to surfaces, using a technique currently being refined by researchers at Philips laboratories in the Netherlands.

The process removes the need to sandwich liquid crystals between two layers of plastic or glass. Instead, a liquid crystal mixture is painted directly onto a surface and then treated with ultraviolet light.

The technique could potentially allow manufacturers to make displays more quickly because the liquid crystal mixtures do not have to be carefully poured between two surfaces.
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Epilepsy Gene Identified

Scientists have discovered the gene they believe plays a key role in triggering epilepsy in young people.
Dr Guy Rouleau and colleagues at McGill University Health Centre Research Institute in Montreal, found that mutations in the gene GABRA could cause juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME).

This is one of the ‘classical’ epilepsy syndromes and typically begins in early adolescence. More here.

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Surveillance Cameras to Predict Behaviour

Camera software, dubbed Cromatica, is being developed at London’s Kingston University to help improve security on public transport systems but it could be used on a wider scale.

It works by detecting differences in the images shown on the screen.

“It could detect unattended bags, people who are loitering or even predict if someone is going to commit suicide by throwing themselves on the track,” said its inventor Dr Sergio Velastin.
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Microbiologist Conspiracy

It’s a tale only the best conspiracy theorist could dream up.

Eleven microbiologists mysteriously dead over the span of just five months. Some of them world leaders in developing weapons-grade biological plagues. Others the best in figuring out how to stop millions from dying because of biological weapons. Still others, experts in the theory of bioterrorism.

Throw in a few Russian defectors, a few nervy U.S. biotech companies, a deranged assassin or two, a bit of Elvis, a couple of Satanists, a subtle hint of espionage, a big whack of imagination, and the plot is complete, if a bit reminiscent of James Bond.

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Photonic Structure Increases Light Bulb Efficiency

A microscopic tungsten lattice — in effect, a tungsten filament fabricated with an internal crystalline pattern — developed at the Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories has been shown to have potential to transmute the majority of this wasted infrared energy (commonly called heat) into the frequencies of visible light.

This would raise the efficiency of an incandescent electric bulb from 5 percent to greater than 60 percent.
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Yes, the Office of the Future is a Cubicle

If cars were designed like office cubicles, buyers would start with a chassis and then integrate the rest on their own.

That’s typical of the sub-optimal way today’s office environments are integrated with the IT tools of knowledge workers, says IBM and Steelcase. Their solution is BlueSpace, a cubicle-like workstation prototype that is uniquely integrated with advanced computers, sensors, displays and wireless technologies.

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Convenience Driving Food Innovation

A quick tour through this year’s supermarket industry trade show in Chicago on Sunday proves the trend toward convenience shows no sign of abating, as food makers try to shake things up in a slow-growing industry.

Big companies are putting their corporate muscle into developing pre-mixed or bundled foods that travel easily and offer consumers a greater variety of flavors.

ConAgra, the maker of Healthy Choice meals and Bumble Bee tuna, are making their pitch at the grab-and-go crowd with two snacks in a tube that take their names from Hershey Foods brands through a licensing agreement.

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National Biometric ID’s

I just came across this article about how two US congressmen want biometric identification on every person. They’re trying to avoid the controversial ‘national ID’ issue by creating what would be new drivers licenses with biometric information embedded. What does the ImpactLab community think about having your retinal pattern embedded on a smart card?

My greatest fear is the development of a personal IR signature that can be detected from space so governments can track every single living person on the planet at any given time.
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Fire Extinguisher Balls

The Far Eastern Economic Review has an article about a Thai inventor who has come up with throwable fire extinguisher balls. You just toss them into the fire, or place them in high risk areas, and – boom – they explode from the heat and spew various fire-retardants all over the place. According to the article, they will soon be on sale in Thailand’s 7-Eleven stores and are being considered by US-based fire and safety supply company Tyco.
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Ground Effect Flying Boat

A company called Flightship has produced the worlds first commercial flying boat that operates on the principle of ground-effect. These types of crafts have been on TLC showing a huge soviet landing craft based upon the same principle. The first commercial version of this craft has a capacity of only 6 passengers, but a larger version called the Dragon Clipper will seat 40! Check out the videos on the site, this thing really is a sight to see.
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