SpareOne Cell Phone Runs On a Single AA Battery

SpareOne cellphone claims 15-year battery life, we go hands-on -- Engadget

Xpal Power (owners partners of Energizer and PowerSkin) has leveraged its battery-tech know-how into the SpareOne, a cellphone that can maintain its charge for up to 15 years on just a single AA battery. It's designed to be used for sponsorship, hotel use and (most importantly) emergencies, to throw into your trunk and forget about until you need to contact roadside assistance.

We’re all for the latest and greatest smartphones and the amazing technology that comes with them, but if you’re in some kind of emergency and all you have is your battery-eating 4G Android phone, it’s not going to last you very long. We’ve heard of lives being saved thanks to iPhone apps and the like, but having an emergency phone around that has a little bit better battery life seems like a good idea to us. That’s where Spare One ($50) comes in.

[...] the battery is only half of the magic. Users will also need to provide their own SIM card. Sprint and Verizon operating on CDMA networks aren’t compatible with SpareOne, which means that some users will want to keep a GSM SIM card from T-Mobile or AT&T handy. In the case there isn’t a spare SIM card lying around, users can still make an emergency call to 911.

Using the phone is relatively simple. After inserting the battery and SIM card, users turn on the phone and start making calls. Users can program up to the numbers on the speed dial. In case you ever get caught in the dark, SpareOne also has an integrated flashlight. The phone is set to go on sale some time in Q1 2012 for the very affordable price of $49.99. While it’s not a smart or even feature phone, 10 hours of talk time is an attractive option, especially in an emergency situation.


Heated Fabric Using Carbon Nanotube Coated Fibers

Carbon Nanotube Coated Fibers Could One Day Lead To Self-Heating Clothing

Working with Hokkaido University, Kuraray Living has created a soft washable fabric woven with carbon nanotube coated fibers that produces heat when electricity is applied. So when it's perfected, your electric blanket could get a lot less bulky. The material has been in development since 2007, but recent advancements in carbon nanotube technology have given its creators hope that it could be used in commercial products as early as 2013.

Nano Patents and Innovations: Full-Face Heating CNTEC Fabric Heater Coated with Carbon Nanotubes Unveiled by Japanese Trio

Full-Face Heating CNTEC Fabric Heater
Image Credit:  Chakyu Dyeing Co., Ltd. / Kurarayliving Co., Ltd. / Matsubun Textile Co., Ltd

Bunshi FUGETSU | CRIS -Creative Reserch Institution- Hokkaido University

Thanks to a new dispersion technology using a zwitterionic surfactant (a special type of dispersant solution in which a single molecule can have both positive and negative electrical charges simultaneously) developed and patented by us at Hokkaido University, it is now possible to achieve non-destructive dispersion of CNT agglomerates into individual tubes(Fig. 1).

During January to middle of March in 2009, the conductive fabric/heater system was installed in the water storage tank of JR Hokkaido's "Ryuhyo-Norokko" train that runs between Shiretoko-Shari and Awashiri. According to JR Hokkaido railway company, the fabric heater shows good performance in preventing the water from freezing in wintertime, when the temperature inside this train drops to around -20°C (Fig. 4)

  Here is one more example. A CNTs-based road heating system has been in use in Sapporo Campus at the sidewalk near the main entrance of Hokkaido University. A CNT-coated heat-generating yarn tucked, with the help of a rubber mat, under the interlocked base material serves as the source of heat for snow-melting (Fig. 5).


OLPC's XO 3 a $100 Solar-Powered Tablet

The Next List: Yves Behar wants design to change the world - Feb. 24, 2012

A $100 solar-powered tablet is coming soon

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- You may not have heard of Yves Behar, but chances are you've seen his designs.

He's the visionary behind the popular Jawbone Jambox sound system, Herman Miller's Sayl chairs, Swarovski chandeliers, and even New York City's free condoms.

The Swiss designer, now based in San Francisco, has plenty of commercial hits. That gives him the financial freedom to pursue his belief that design can change the world. It's a passion he put to work on his most famous project, One Laptop Per Child, better known as "the $100 laptop."

Now he's nearing completion of the sequel: A $100 tablet. It's rugged, solar-powered, and designed for children in the world's poorest countries.

Gizmo - OLPC XO 3.0 Tablet - YouTube

The first tablet from One Laptop Per Child gets unveiled! It is a pretty nice device and should cost $100. It features a very low power consuming Marvell ARM processor, up to 1GHz speed, 500MB of RAM, USB ports, 4GB of storage. It can also run Android, Sugar OS, even Linux.

OLPC's XO 3 tablet uses 1GHz ARM SoC to run Sugar Linux or Android - News - Linux for Devices

One Laptop per Child (OLPC) demonstrated a "fully functional" version of its long-delayed XO 3.0 tablet, equipped with a 1GHz Marvell Armada PXA618 processor running Sugar Linux or Android 3.x. Like OLPC's XO 2 laptop, the eight-inch tablet is aimed at educational systems in developing nations, and it will feature an optional sunlight-readable Pixel Qi touchscreen plus the ability to draw power from an optional solar panel or crank charger.
The XO 3.0 tablet will feature the 1GHz Marvell Armada PXA618 SoC, a member of Marvell's PXA610 line of ARMv7 processors, and will also include an Avastar Wi-Fi SoC, say Marvell and OLPC. The XO 3 ships with a standard LCD touchscreen or an optional Pixel Qi low-power, sunlight-readable display, say the partners. Other features are said to include a "unique" charging circuitry that can be charged directly by solar panels, hand cranks, and other alternative power sources. Alternative power has been a longtime goal of OLPC that wasn't implemented in earlier XO designs.


Buckyball Solids Found in Space

Nasa's Spitzer telescope spots first solid buckyballs in space (Wired UK)

After finding gaseous clouds of buckyballs in space last year, astronomers have now discovered the carbon balls in a solid form, around a pair of stars some 6,500 light-years from Earth.

Buckyballs are microscopic spheres, where 60 carbon atoms are arranged -- with alternating patterns of hexagons and pentagons -- into a football-like pattern. The unusual structure makes them incredibly strong, and ideal candidates for things like superconducting materials, medicines, water purification and armour.

NASA - NASA's Spitzer Finds Solid Buckyballs in Space

"These buckyballs are stacked together to form a solid, like oranges in a crate," said Nye Evans of Keele University in England, lead author of a paper appearing in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. "The particles we detected are minuscule, far smaller than the width of a hair, but each one would contain stacks of millions of buckyballs."

Buckyballs were detected definitively in space for the first time by Spitzer in 2010. Spitzer later identified the molecules in a host of different cosmic environments. It even found them in staggering quantities, the equivalent in mass to 15 Earth moons, in a nearby galaxy called the Small Magellanic Cloud.

In all of those cases, the molecules were in the form of gas. The recent discovery of buckyballs particles means that large quantities of these molecules must be present in some stellar environments in order to link up and form solid particles. The research team was able to identify the solid form of buckyballs in the Spitzer data because they emit light in a unique way that differs from the gaseous form.

"This exciting result suggests that buckyballs are even more widespread in space than the earlier Spitzer results showed," said Mike Werner, project scientist for Spitzer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "They may be an important form of carbon, an essential building block for life, throughout the cosmos."

Buckminsterfullerene - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Buckminsterfullerene (or buckyball) is a spherical fullerene molecule with the formula C60. It is a cage-like fused-ring structure (truncated (T = 3) icosahedron) which resembles an association football ball, made of twenty hexagons and twelve pentagons, with a carbon atom at the vertices of each polygon and a bond along each polygon edge.

It was first intentionally prepared in 1985 by Harold Kroto, James R. Heath, Sean O'Brien, Robert Curl and Richard Smalley at Rice University.[2] Kroto, Curl and Smalley were awarded the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their roles in the discovery of buckminsterfullerene and the related class of molecules, the fullerenes. The name is a homage to Buckminster Fuller, as C60 resembles his trademark geodesic domes. Buckminsterfullerene was the first fullerene molecule discovered and it is also the most common in terms of natural occurrence, as it can be found in small quantities in soot.[3][4] Solid and gaseous forms of the molecule have been detected in deep space.[5]

Buckminsterfullerene is the largest matter to have been shown to exhibit wave–particle duality.[6] Its discovery lead to the exploration of a new field of chemistry, involving the study of fullerenes.


Electricity Production by Use of Space Bacteria Found in British River

Space bacteria found in British river could be new power source for the world | Mail Online

Bacteria usually found orbiting high above the Earth have been found in a British river - and could be a new power source for the world.

The mysterious organisms, found in the the mouth of the River Wear, in Sunderland, can generate electricity using a special battery called a microbial fuel cell.

The Bacillus stratosphericus - usually found 20 miles above the Earth - is believed to have been brought to the surface by atmospheric cycling, which causes evaporated water rise into the stratosphere and then fall again.

Microbial fuel cell: How bacteria can generate electricity

Inside an MFC, the organisms produce carbon dioxide, protons and electrons when kept in a solution without oxygen.

Liberated electrons form a negatively charged anode while the protons create a positively charged cathode.This produces both charges necessary to produce an electric current.

Bugs from space offer new source of power - Press Office - Newcastle University

Publishing their findings today in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, Grant Burgess, Professor of Marine Biotechnology at Newcastle University, said the research demonstrated the “potential power of the technique.”

“What we have done is deliberately manipulate the microbial mix to engineer a biofilm that is more efficient at generating electricity,” he explains.

“This is the first time individual microbes have been studied and selected in this way.  Finding B.Stratosphericus was quite a surprise but what it demonstrates is the potential of this technique for the future – there are billions of microbes out there with the potential to generate power.”

The use of microbes to generate electricity is not a new concept and has been used in the treatment of waste water and sewage plants.

Microbial Fuel Cells, which work in a similar way to a battery, use bacteria to convert organic compounds directly into electricity by a process known as bio-catalytic oxidation.

A biofilm – or ‘slime’ – coats the carbon electrodes of the MFC and as the bacteria feed, they produce electrons which pass into the electrodes and generate electricity.

Until now, the biofilm has been allowed to grow un-checked but this new study shows for the first time that by manipulating the biofilm you can significantly increase the electrical output of the fuel cell.


Ubuntu for Android

Ubuntu Android add-on designed to replace PCs - Computerworld

Canonical has released a version of Ubuntu that can drive PC monitors from Android phones
IDG News Service - Canonical has unveiled software that will give Android smartphones the ability to run full desktop computer sessions on computer monitors and television sets.
"The processors at the heart of smartphones are approaching the power of low-end laptop processors, so we use the horsepower to power a desktop experience," said Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth. "If you link your phone to a computer monitor and keyboard, then the phone can drive a full desktop session."

The company launched the software, called Ubuntu for Android, at the Mobile World Congress, being held this week in Barcelona.

The software works as an add-on to the Android mobile operating system, which is also based on Linux. When connected to a computer screen, keyboard and mouse, the software will launch a full desktop environment based on the Ubuntu Unity shell.

Ubuntu for Android | Ubuntu

A full Ubuntu desktop, on your docked Android phone

  • Complete desktop solution for full productivity on docked Android phones
  • Easy to integrate with existing Android phones in development
  • Certified apps for business users from Adobe, Citrix, VMWare and more
  • Drives sales of multi-core phones with faster CPUs, more cores, more RAM and high-end graphics
  • Drive adoption of 4G handsets since office apps shine with low latency and higher bandwidth
  • Canonical leads in ARM Linux support, co-creator of Linaro with ARM
  • Target the enterprise thin client, and emerging market first-PC markets
  • Ubuntu and Android share the same kernel, running at the same time, accessing data and applications
  • The world’s favourite free desktop fully integrated with the world’s favourite open phone

Why Ubuntu for Android can succeed where others failed | Android Central

It's Ubuntu for Android, not Ubuntu on Android

Android runs on the Linux kernel. Ubuntu runs on the Linux kernel. We're looking at one kernel, with modules and drivers for all the hardware, and only the processes presented to the user change based on how the screen is being displayed. Plug your phone into a monitor through the HDMI output, and the processes that run to give you Android on your phone are suspended, and the processes that run to give you Ubuntu on the desktop are initialized. Make sense?
Doing it this way, your desktop experience isn't dependent on the Android OS running on your phone. In other words, it's not really Ubuntu on Android. It's Ubuntu with Android.
It's not a dual-boot solution either -- it's done dynamically and triggered when you plug in an external monitor. Because it's all running off the same kernel, you can just hop back and forth. That's the way it should be done.


Recent Geological Activity on the Moon

NASA - NASA Spacecraft Reveals Recent Geological Activity on the Moon

New images from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft show the moon's crust is being stretched, forming minute valleys in a few small areas on the lunar surface. Scientists propose this geologic activity occurred less than 50 million years ago, which is considered recent compared to the moon's age of more than 4.5 billion years.

Smithsonian Institution Senior Scientist Tom Watters explains more about the Moon's recent geological activity in this short video.

New Images Show Recent Geologic Activity on the Moon | Newsdesk

In new LROC images, the team discovered small, narrow graben typically only hundreds to a few thousand meters (yards) long and tens to hundreds of meters wide, indicating the lunar crust is pulling apart at these locations. Graben are formed when the crust is stretched, breaks and drops down along two bounding faults, creating a trough or valley. The team proposes that the geologic activity that created the graben occurred less than 50 million years ago (very recent compared to the moon’s current age of more than 4.5 billion years).
Newly detected series of narrow linear troughs are known as graben, and they formed in highland materials on the lunar farside. Forces acting to pull the lunar crust apart formed the Virtanen graben, informally named for a nearby impact crater. These graben are located on a topographic rise with several hundred meters of relief revealed in topography derived from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) stereo images (blues are lower elevations and reds are higher elevations). The rise is flanked by the rim of a ~2.5 km diameter degraded crater.
Graben are troughs formed when the lunar crust was stretched and pulled apart. This stretching causes the near-surface materials to break along two parallel normal faults, the terrain in between the twin faults drops down forming a valley.


Brain Boosting with Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (TDCS)

£500 electric shock machine can boost learning and memory - but scientists worry it could be misused | Mail Online

Researchers have found brain stimulation via small electric shocks can boost memory and learning

A machine which stimulates your brain with tiny electric shocks can improve memory, problem-solving and mathematical abilities, psychologists have found.


Dr Roi Cohen Kadosh, a neuroscientist, uses a high-tech system called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to stimulate precise regions of the brain with a tiny buzz of electric current.

When he stimulates the parietal lobes, which are responsible for our skills in reading, writing and numeracy, he can boost mathematical skills.

The electric current triggers the area to produce chemicals that cause brain cells to develop or change. This process — ‘neural plasticity’ — is essential to learning (our brains change structure when we take on new information).

Why Cognitive Enhancement Is in Your Future (and Your Past) - Ross Andersen - Technology - The Atlantic

Let's look at the nature of the new technology. Last week a team of ethicists from Oxford released a paper on the implications of using Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (TDCS) to improve cognition in human beings.  Recent years have seen some encouraging, if preliminary, lab results involving TDCS, a deep brain stimulation technique that uses electrodes placed outside the head to direct tiny painless currents across the brain. The currents are thought to increase neuroplasticity, making it easier for neurons to fire and form the connections that enable learning. There are signs that the technology could improve language acumen, math ability, and even memory. The Oxford paper argues that TDCS has now reached a critical stage where its risks must be carefully considered before the research goes further.

The ethics of brain boosting

Julian says: "At this stage, we need more research to understand better the risks and benefits, in specific populations, in real life. Any regulation should prevent misuse and abuse, but facilitate good research. This kind of technology could be as important as the internet and computing. Those are external cognitive enhancements. This is basic fundamental cognitive enhancement."


A New Grasshopper-Like Insect

Illinois Natural History Survey News | University of Illinois


A new species of Neotropical Orthopteran has been described by INHS Entomologists Sam Heads and Steve TaylorRipipteryx mopana belongs to a group of small and unusual insects related to grasshoppers that includes the North American pygmy mole crickets.

This new species comes from the Toledo District of southern Belize, an area of tropical rainforest that is largely unexplored by entomologists.  It was named in honor of the Mopan, a Mayan people that live primarily in the area of Belize where the species was discovered.  The entomologists will return to the region this coming spring to study the local insect fauna in more detail.

ZooKeys Article
Press Release

New species of grasshopper-like insect discovered in Belize - The San Pedro Sun News

“Belize is famous for its biodiversity, but very little is known about the insects of the southern part of the country and this is particularly true of the Orthoptera” said entomologist and lead author on the paper, Sam Heads. The Orthoptera are the order of insects that include the familiar grasshoppers, crickets and their relatives. “Ripipteryx mopana is the first representative of it’s family ever to be found in Belize” said Dr. Heads.


NASA's Deep Space Outpost Near the Moon

NASA plans manned Deep Space Moon outpost • The Register

NASA is looking at the possibility of parking a manned outpost beside the Moon as a way station for astronauts on their way to deep space missions.

According to a memo from William Gerstenmaier, NASA's associate administrator for human exploration and operations, cited by Space.com, the agency is putting together a team to assess the possibilities of a potential location on the far side of the Moon known as Earth-Moon libration point 2 (EML-2).

Libration, or Lagrangian, points are parking spots in space where a small object is equally affected by the gravitational pull of two large masses, which cancel each other out, holding the craft in place.

DailyTech - NASA Preparing to Explore Earth-Moon Libration Point 2

The Lagrange points for the Earth-moon system

There are five libration points, or Lagrangian points, which mark positions where the combined gravitational pull of two large masses provides the centripetal force needed to rotate with them. This combined gravitational pull of the two large masses balance each other out, and spacecraft is able to basically park in this stationary spot.

Exploration and potential use of EML-2, which is located near the lunar far side, could open up the use of telerobotic science on the far side of the moon and provide a platform for radio astronomy as well as solar and Earth observation. It could also enable assembly and servicing of satellites and telescopes. NASA sees the effort eventually creating international partnerships as well as new opportunities with commercial companies and academic institutions.

EML-2 could serve as a gateway for capability-driven exploration of multiple destinations, such as near-lunar space, asteroids, the moon, the moons of Mars and, ultimately, Mars itself, according to NASA officials.

A capabilities-driven NASA architecture is one that should use the agency's  planned heavy-lift rocket, known as the Space Launch System, and the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle "as the foundational elements."


World's Smallest Chameleon

Tiniest Chameleon, Brookesia Micra, Discovered On Madagascar Island

A species of chameleon small enough to easily perch on a match head has been discovered on a tiny island off Madagascar, a group of scientists has announced.
In addition to the discovery of Brookesia micra, now the tiniest chameleon ever discovered, the researchers also announced the discovery of three additional tiny chameleon species.


The team of scientists found the tiny reptiles in Madagascar's wild northern regions during expeditions between 2003 and 2007. For three of the species, "we immediately identified them as new species," said Glaw, a veteran herpetologist and curator at the Museum of Natural History in Munich.
"In general, these tiny chameleons are so small that it's really hard to see the small differences with the naked eye," he said.
The researchers warn that at least two of the newly-discovered chameleon species are extremely threatened because of habitat loss and deforestation in Madagascar.

Zoologger: Itsy bitsy teeny weeny chameleons - life - 15 February 2012 - New Scientist

Species: Brookesia micra, Brookesia tristis, Brookesia desperata, Brookesia confidens
Habitat: Northern Madagascar, within the leaf litter on the floor of rainforest and dry deciduous forest

They've got independently rotating eyes, a curiously curly tail, and strangely depressing names. Meet the world's tiniest – and cutest – chameleons.

leaf chameleons are renowned for being small. Some of them – Brookesia minima, for example – are downright miniscule. From head to tail they are all between 22 and 48 millimetres. Four new species of these miniature reptiles have now been uncovered in northern Madagascar.

Like any good miniature, Brookesia chameleons function much like the full-size versions. Their eyes move independently of each other to zero in on a tasty meal, they can also rapidly change their colours when stressed, have long projectile tongues and prehensile tails that can grasp objects.

(A) adult male on black background, showing orange tail colouration; (B) juvenile on finger tip; (C) juvenile on head of a match; (D) habitat along a small creek on western flank of Nosy Hara, where part of the type series was collected.


First Neanderthal Cave Paintings Discovered

World's Oldest Work Of Art Found In Spain (VIDEO)

A recently discovered painting in Spanish caves in Costa Del Sol was found by scientists to be approximately 42,000 years old, making it the oldest artwork ever. What is more, this artwork is also the first known painting by Neanderthals, not homo sapiens. Professor Jose Luis Sanchidrian called it an "academic bombshell" and its effects will reverberate through the field of Art History for years to come.

First Neanderthal cave paintings discovered in Spain - life - 10 February 2012 - New Scientist

Looking oddly akin to the DNA double helix, the images in fact depict the seals that the locals would have eaten, says José Luis Sanchidrián at the University of Cordoba, Spain. They have "no parallel in Palaeolithic art", he adds. His team say that charcoal remains found beside six of the paintings – preserved in Spain's Nerja caves – have been radiocarbon dated to between 43,500 and 42,300 years old.
That suggests the paintings may be substantially older than the 30,000-year-old Chauvet cave paintings in south-east France, thought to be the earliest example of Palaeolithic cave art.

World's Oldest Cave Painting by Neanderthal Artists

Anatomically modern humans — that is, Homo sapiens sapiens, people who, anatomically speaking, were pretty much indistinguishable from the people who populate the world today — evolved as early as 200,000 years ago, but it took time for our ancestors to migrate across the globe, and for tens of thousands of years, while modern humans were spreading throughout Africa, Neanderthals still dominated Europe. Scientists working at Nerja have previously found Neanderthal tools dating to around 40,000 years ago in the caves, but there is no evidence that modern humans inhabited the caves at that time. The area is thought to be one of the last Neanderthal refuges before the Neanderthal extinction at around 30,000 B.C.E.

We Are All Part Neanderthal - Find Out How Much! 

Who Were Neanderthals?
Neanderthals, like modern humans, belong to the group of primates that scientists classify as the genus Homo. They lived in Europe, the Middle East and parts of western Asia from about 500,000 years ago to as recently as 30,000 years ago. Anatomically, Neanderthals were shorter than modern humans, with thicker bones, more steeply-sloped foreheads and heavier brow ridges.
They had bigger brains and muscles, but for some reason Neanderthals died out about 30,000 years ago, while we modern humans survived. Exactly why we, Homo sapiens, flourished and our Homo neandertalensis cousins died out, is an evolutionary mystery that biologists are trying to unravel. What experts do know is that although Neanderthals disappeared long ago, their DNA lives on in all non-African people.

Not The Dimwitted Caveman Of Popular Culture
And that image from popular culture, of the Neanderthal as a primitive and dimwitted caveman, is probably inaccurate. Scientists believe they may actually have been the most advanced group of primates besides modern humans, and despite their stocky bodies and thick skulls, may have possessed intelligence almost on par with ours.


How the Zebra got its Stripes

Zebra Stripes Evolved to Repel Bloodsuckers?

Conventional wisdom says a zebra's black-and-white stripes camouflage the animal in tall grass—the better to evade the colorblind lion. But a new study says the pattern scrambles the vision of a tinier biter: the bloodsucking horsefly.

Effect of zebra stripes on horseflies

In a relative sense, zebra stripes repel horseflies. That’s the latest discovery reported by Gábor Horváth [pictured here], who discovered that white horses attract fewer flies, and that Vikings knew a thing or two about how to use light for ship navigation. For details, see the study: 

Polarotactic tabanids find striped patterns with brightness and/or polarization modulation least attractive: an advantage of zebra stripes,” Ádám Egri, Miklós Blahó, György Kriska, Róbert Farkas, Mónika Gyurkovszky, Susanne Åkesson and Gábor Horváth, Journal of Experimental Biology, vol. 215, March 2012, pp. 736-745.
“The characteristic striped appearance of zebras has provoked much speculation about its function and why the pattern has evolved, but experimental evidence is scarce. Here, we demonstrate that a zebra-striped horse model attracts far fewer horseflies (tabanids) than either homogeneous black, brown, grey or white equivalents.”

BBC Nature - Zebra stripes evolved to keep biting flies at bay

Coloured images revealed how light was polarised as it bounced off a zebra's coat
"We created an experimental set-up where we painted the different patterns onto boards," Dr Akesson told BBC Nature. She and her colleagues placed a blackboard, a whiteboard, and several boards with stripes of varying widths into one of the fields of a horse farm in rural Hungary."We put insect glue on the boards and counted the number of flies that each one attracted," she explained.The striped board that was the closest match to the actual pattern of a zebra's coat attracted by far the fewest flies, "even less than the white boards that were reflecting unpolarised light," Dr Akesson said."That was a surprise because, in a striped pattern, you still have these dark areas that are reflecting horizontally polarised light."But the narrower (and more zebra-like) the stripes, the less attractive they were to the flies." To test horseflies' reaction to a more realistic 3-D target, the team put four life-size "sticky horse models " into the field - one brown, one black, one white and one black-and-white striped, like a zebra. The researchers collected the trapped flies every two days, and found that the zebra-striped horse model attracted the fewest.


Google's Heads Up Display (HUD) Glasses

Google's HUD glasses have been sighted | Digital Media - CNET News

In December, rumors spread that Google was finishing up a prototype on high-tech glasses known as wearable head-up displays (HUD) that could tap into Google's cloud-based location services and detail users' surroundings. The information would then appear as an augmented reality computer display.

Over the last year, Apple and Google have secretly begun working on projects that will become wearable computers. Their main goal: to sell more smartphones. (In Google’s case, more smartphones sold means more advertising viewed.)

In Google’s secret Google X labs, researchers are working on peripherals that — when attached to your clothing or body — would communicate information back to an Android smartphone.

People familiar with the work in the lab say Google has hired electronic engineers from Nokia Labs, Apple and engineering universities who specialize in tiny wearable computers.

They are in late prototype stages of wearable glasses that look similar to thick-rimmed glasses that “normal people” wear.  However, these provide a display with a heads up computer interface.  There are a few buttons on the arms of the glasses, but otherwise, they could be mistaken for normal glasses.  Additionally, we are not sure of the technology being employed here, but it is likely a transparent LCD or AMOLED display such as the one demonstrated below:

In addition, we have heard that this device is not an “Android peripheral” as the NYT stated.  According to our source, it communicates directly with the Cloud over IP. Although, the “Google Goggles”  could use a phone’s Internet connection, through Wi-Fi or a low power Bluetooth 4.0.
The use-case is augmented reality that would tie into Google’s location services.  A user can walk around with information popping up and into display -Terminator-style- based on preferences, location and Google’s information.

HUD Google Glasses are real and they are coming soon | 9to5Google | Beyond Good and Evil

Our tipster has now seen a prototype and said it looks something like Oakley Thumps (below). These glasses, we heard, have a front-facing camera used to gather information and could aid in augmented reality apps. It will also take pictures. The spied prototype has a flash —perhaps for help at night, or maybe it is just a way to take better photos. The camera is extremely small and likely only a few megapixels.

I/O on the glasses will also include voice input and output, and we are told the CPU/RAM/storage hardware is near the equivalent of a generation-old Android smartphone. As a guess, we would speculate something like 1GHz ARM A8, 256MB RAM and 8GB of storage?  In any case, it will also function as a smartphone.