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Input Devices

Submission + - Wear Ur World: "Minority Report" Interface

konohitowa writes: MIT's indefatigable Patti Maes is showing off a wearable interface, dubbed 'WUW' for 'Wear Ur World', that lets the wearer interact with objects around them. According to the AFP story the device, a collaboration between Dr. Maes and Pranav Mistry, "... can turn any surface into a touch-screen for computing, controlled by simple hand gestures. The gadget can even take photographs if a user frames a scene with his or her hands, or project a watch face with the proper time on a wrist if the user makes a circle there with a finger." There is much gushing about being as cool as Tom Cruise, but the picture on the project's info page leads me to believe no one will be mistaking wearers for John Anderton. Some of you may remember Dr. Maes' work with intelligent agents and the Firefly project from the late 90's.
Technology (Apple)

Submission + - Does Steve Jobs listen to Podcasts?

aralin writes: "Steve Jobs isn't exactly known for going easy on products he finds difficult to use. He has called iPhone the best iPod ever and others agree. But I find it the worst iPod yet for listening to Podcasts. The problems are plenty, you cannot see the full title of episode before or after selecting it, you cannot see the show notes at all, which would be very useful for the links in them could be instantly looked up. Many popular podcasts like IT Conversations or PodTech use variable Author and Album field for names of their guests and subsections. That clutters the Author and Album lists, prevents you to find your music easily and polutes the Cover Flow view as well. Not to mention it takes me 15 seconds to pause a podcast when someone interrupts me. This all leads me to a question: Do you think that Steve Jobs listens to podcasts on his iPhone?"

Submission + - Mitsubishi Developing Perpetual Motion Machine?

konohitowa writes: Mitsubishi Motor's recently showed off a concept electric car that includes a roof mounted solar panel and "a fan in the front air intake system, to enable wind power generation". The latter strikes me as the marketing staff overriding the engineering staff, and the tail end of the article indicates as much: "... these features are designed to highlight Mitsubishi's environmental focus and efficient energy use, according to the company".

One can only assume the wind turbines won't make it into the production version (if there ever is a production version). Unless they have supplementary plans for a system that keeps your vehicle pointed into the wind while it's parked.

In this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!

Submission + - Impassable Northwesth Passage is open (esa.int)

An anonymous reader writes: The area covered by sea ice in the Arctic has shrunk to its lowest level this week, opening up the Northwest Passage — a long-sought short cut between Europe and Asia that has been historically impassable. Leif Toudal Pedersen from the Danish National Space Centre said: "We have seen the ice-covered area drop to just around 3 million sq km which is about 1 million sq km less than the previous minima of 2005 and 2006. There has been a reduction of the ice cover over the last 10 years of about 100 000 sq km per year on average, so a drop of 1 million sq km in just one year is extreme.

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