Alaska Airlines's recent adoption of iPads into plane cockpits has sparked a debate among pilots as to whether replacing paper manuals with the tablet is really a good idea. In one of the most demanding spaces in any job, the digital vs. paper argument takes on a whole new level of importance.
If you can’t afford a Playstation, or maybe just like wasting paper, then Receipt Racer is the video game for you. Created by Joshua Noble and undef, Receipt Racer is a game played on paper as it's rapidly churned out by a thermal receipt printer. It prints a racetrack with random obstacles that the player must avoid by using a Dualshock 3 controller to steer a tiny car projected onto the moving paper by a light beam.
This Japanese cooking pot converts the heat from a boiling pot of water to electricity that can charge your smartphone at the same time it cooks a delicious meal. The invention, inspired by footage of Japan’s earthquake victims building fires to keep warm, could prove a boon after a natural disaster, when all you’d have to do to keep communication open would be to light a campfire.
The United States is developing what the New York Times is calling “shadow internet” – a prototype network that can fit into a suitcase and be carried across state borders to provide political dissidents with access to the web in the event that their repressive governments shut down communications. This project is part of the Obama administration’s effort to undermine government censorship.
The periodic table of the elements now officially has two new members, its heaviest ever. The new elements, 114 and 116 weigh 289 and 292 atomic mass units, respectively. By comparison, lead’s atomic weight is 207.2.
London boaters craving a cold treat on a sunny day might not to have to head ashore to find what they seek. The HMS Flake 99 is the world’s first amphibious ice cream truck.
The truck was commissioned by Cadbury in honor of Britain’s National Ice Cream Week and has been driving (sailing?) around the Thames touting its wares. The Flake 99 is named for an ice cream treat and may soon be traveling to vacation beaches or to Venice to bring ice cream cones to gondola-riding lovers.
Japanese researchers at NHK Science & Technology Research laboratories are developing an animated sign language translation system that automatically converts strings of Japanese words into gestures. The goal is to improve sign language broadcasts for deaf viewers, especially in the case of disaster or breaking news.