new ‘Frozen Smoke’ may enable higher capacity batteries

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(credit: screenshot from UCF video by mike) the new material multiwalled carbon nanotube aerogel, nicknamed ‘Frozen Smoke’ developed by UCF

the next time when someone asked you for a smoke, don’t dismiss them immediately. they could meant to say ‘do you have batteries’. researchers from the University of Central Florida have engineered the world’s lightest carbon material which could be used to detect pollutants and toxic substances. additionally, due to its flexibility and sensitivity, the carbon nanotubes could be used in robotic application to induce ‘feelings’ to the robot’s fingers or hands, enabling them to handle anything from a power saw to holding a packet of crackers without crushing them.

the new carbon material belongs to the family of lightest solid known to man, commonly termed as the “frozen smoke”, or also known by its technical name, aerogel. the researchers created a multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) aerogel which are so small that each of them is several thousands time thinner than a strand of human hair. in MWCNT, nanotube takes the place of silica, a major component in sand, which increases the materials’ practical application. another property of the nanotubes is its large surface area which means great amount of energy could be stored in the aerogel, thus increasing the capacity of lithium batteries or supercapacitors.

aside from energy storage and pressure sensitivity applications, the MWCNT can be developed to undertake sensing roles. taking advantage of its larger surface area, combining with improved electrical conductivity enables the development of sensor that is capable of screening for toxins in food or water supply. similarly, this technique can be used to develop equipment capable of detecting traces of explosive. in essence, this invention is a significant milestone for the researchers and its development could open up to new areas of explorations and applications.

having said that, we are excited about this development as it could realize two of our many dreams for this world: one, a longer lasting battery that people like Steve Jobs could use and two, robotic arms (or even feet) that has ability to sense or feel which could lead to the development of a humanoid that will eventually take over the world. nah. we are just kidding (about the taking over the world part).

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(credit: screenshot from UCF video by mike) the multiwalled carbon nanotube aerogel looks a burnt foam rubber but trust me, it is more than that

University of Central Florida via Inhabitat

Bentley lifestyle products include iPad and smartphone cases

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(image credit: Bentley) Bentley iPad and Smartphone cases | from £45.00 |

it’s a norm for luxury automotive brand to move into lifestyle products to capture the heart and mind of their target consumers. Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and among the many others have been doing it and now, Bentley is entering the game with a few leather products that are made from the same hide that are used in Bentley cars. the company that does Bentley’s leather interior is none other than Ettinger, a company that has been hand-crafting leather pieces for the last 70 years. Continue reading “Bentley lifestyle products include iPad and smartphone cases”

game of luxury: Swarovski crystals studded Kinect

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(image credit: Microsoft CZ) Swarovski studded Kinect | about €899.00 |

there are nothing in common between Australia pop diva Kylie Minogue and Microsoft Kinect, until now. so is Kylie going to do a Kinect dance on her tour? nope! as part of her tour “Aphrodite Les Folies”, Kylie will making 35 appearances in 15 European countries, including Czech Republic. the stop over at Czech Republic was unlike any other concert, as Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect will spiced up this particular event with fifteen Xbox 360 and Kinect gaming stands. in this stop, fans had the opportunity to dance to the tune of Kylie’s hit “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” featured in the video game ‘Kinect Dance Central’. Continue reading “game of luxury: Swarovski crystals studded Kinect”

Gucci lends its designer touch to the iconic Fiat 500 car

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(image credit: Fiat) 500 by Gucci | from €17,000.00 |

no, 500 hundred is not a sequel to the movie 300 but it’s a Fiat 500 car pimped out by legendary designer brand Gucci. Gucci creative director Frida Giannini collaborates with Fiat’s design office to customize this iconic Fiat vehicle which comes in glossy black or white. the car is accented with Gucci distinctive green and red strip, including the exterior, the seats, gearshift, carpet and seat-belts. in case, your don’t know it’s a Gucci-pimped out ride, there is the iconic Gucci interlocking ‘GG’ slapped on the hubcaps and car seats’ headrests, and topped off with cursive Gucci signature on the tailgate as well as the door pillars for good measure. Continue reading “Gucci lends its designer touch to the iconic Fiat 500 car”

jilted? incinerate your Ex’s contact with FIREYourEX app

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(image credit: FIREYourEX) FIREYourEX Android App | €0.99 |

jilted? want to get your Ex out of your life? how about starting off with deletion of his or her contact from your Android smartphone? FIREYourEx is a novel Android App that lets you ‘incinerate’ your Ex’s contact instead of just simply deleting it. well, not literally though. it’s more like virtually incinerate the contact. execution is as simple as launching the app and selecting your ‘target’ contact, and just watch the contact number goes up in flames right before your eyes. how’s that for a vengeance for an unrequited love? you can even share your burning up experience through email or social networking sites, so your friends would know that your relationship has just went up in flame, virtually. check out the demo video after the break.

FIREYourEX android app cost €0.99 (about US$1.37) and is available on the Android Market now.

Thanks to Ramos for the heads up!

iPad 2 – dual-core A5 chip, FaceTime and HD video

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(image credit: Apple) Apple iPad 2 | from US$499.00 |

after the all the speculations about the features of the next iPad, the iPad 2 was announced during the Apple Special Event on the March 2nd by Steve Jobs himself. surprise. surprise. surprise. the iPad 2 now sports a dual-core A5 processor and touted to possess up to 9x graphics performance. on contrary to the speculation, the iPad 2 does not have an SD or micro SD slot. which comes as a no surprise because it is an Apple after all. pro-retina display users will be disappointed as iPad 2 still uses the same 9.7-inch LED-backlit multi-touch display with IPS (in-plane switching), but no mention of which grade of IPS was employed. display resolution remains at 1024 by 768 pixel at 132 pixel per inch (ppi).

perhaps the most significant improvement over its predecessor is the faster processor and the inclusion of two cameras (front and back). the back camera boost video recording in 720p (up to 30 frames per second) with audio and its capable of taking still images with up to 5x digital zoom. Apple has incorporate what they called “advanced backside illumination sensor” in the back camera which allows capturing “great moments even in low light.” the upfront is a VGA camera capable of VGA video recording up to 30 frames per second and VGA still images. included with the camera functions are photo and video geotagging but that’s only available over WiFi. no mention of it being over 3G, though. the iPad 2 now also sports a three-axis gyroscope along with the accelerometer and ambient light sensor.

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(image credit: Apple) along with iPad 2, Apple also introduced Smart Cover, an accessory for the new iPad 2

iPad 2 now supports video mirroring and video out for up to 1080p with the optional Apple Digital AV Adapter or Apple VGA Adapter and audio now supports Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound pass-through, also via the optional Apple Digital AV Adapter. on the aesthetic aspect, the highly annoying hump back is gone and now the iPad 2 sports a flat aluminum backing and slightly curve sides, which kind of reminds us of the original iPhone. the iPad 2 is a tad smaller in terms of height and width but has a significantly thinner profile of just 8.8 mm (original iPad was 13.4 mm thick) and a tad lighter than its predecessor.

iPad 2 is available is the same connectivity-storage combo as the original iPad. it will come in WiFi only model and the WiFi + 3G model, with storage capacity option of 16 GB, 32 GB or 64 GB. some critics may not see the new iPad 2 as a huge improvement over the original iPad but we certainly love the fact that humpback its gone and it has two color – black or white – to choose from. iPad 2 will be available next week in US with a retail price starting from $499.

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PARROT WiFi and Bluetooth wireless digital photo frame

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(image credit: PARROT) DIA PARROT by NoDesign | about US$500.00 |

we thought this is the sleekest digital photo frame in the market right now. though we are not sure what’s the market sentiment for such a product but this Mac-ish wireless digital photo frame from PARROT boost an unique technology for image display. if you thought the photo frame’s image looks a little different, well, you are not wrong. due to the separate depth location of the screen and the backlight source which makes the photo frame looks somewhat like a lighted box. the translucent 10.4-inch screen has a resolution of 800 x 600 pixels and display photos in 24-bit color. Continue reading “PARROT WiFi and Bluetooth wireless digital photo frame”

BRATT is a self defense tool that is also a bottle opener

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(image credit: Triple Aught Design) Triple Aught Design BRATT | US$99.00 |

there are times where we need a single handy tool that lets us pop a bottle of booze or two. it would be awesome if that little opener could do much more, such as fending yourself against hostile drunks. the BRATT, acronym for Be Ready Always Titanium Tool, from Triple Aught Design lets you do just that and more. there are two variations of BRATT: Spanner or E-Key. whether you need to pry open cans of paint, yank out some nails, tighten some screws or pop open a beverage, the BRATT does it all. that’s not all, it is a ‘last ditch’ self defense impact device too. Continue reading “BRATT is a self defense tool that is also a bottle opener”

Firmship FS 42 is a classic boat worthy of calling it home

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(image credit: Firmship) Firmship FS 42 | €329,000.00 |

there are no fancy cutting edge tech here but the beauty lies in the fact that this boat was designed with cues from the classic boat of the yesteryear. what makes this boat special (no, not the price but we come to that later) is that the interior has been liberated by the magical hands of Belgium design duo, Studio Job and the exterior bolded up by nautical architect Willem Nieland. we do not know how else to put it but simply to say that this boat has every attention to details – from the teak wood used throughout the ship’s interior including the doors, the deck furniture to the meticulous symbols curved into the door knobs to the sofa adorn with subtle prints of Moby dick, anchors and so on. Continue reading “Firmship FS 42 is a classic boat worthy of calling it home”

Kross Faucet breaks out of the traditional faucet design

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we continue our worship for beautifully designed faucet with the Kross Faucet by ISMA Creative Faucets. on the first glance, the Kross Faucet doesn’t look anything close to faucet but it is one and function like one complete with a matching square handle for temperature and volume adjustment. we just wonder how the stream would look like, would it be a rectangular stream? nah. we are just kidding. anyway, it looks pretty awesome and it will definitely feel at home in any contemporary interior. the Kross Faucet is available in black, nickel and white. colors that speaks of contemporary.

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via Yanko Design