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Authors Guild irked by text-to-speech on Kindle 2 - USATODAY.com

The Authors Guild in the US is urging authors and publishers to request that Amazon disable the text-to-speech function of Kindle 2, stating that it could undermine the market for audio books.

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This speaker is just wafer thin and transparent, but can generate virtual surround sound. No word on the sound quality or when it might become commercially available.
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Source: Engadget
The Iron Drive is a USB-compatible flash drive that is able to withstand "...high temperature, shock, vibration, caustic agents, submersion, EMI, and nuclear stresses". In other words, when they remove this drive from what is left of your body, you can rest assured that your data is safe, even if you're not.

Source: Engadget
Dandella is a GPS receiver units that can be synched to a "home" location. The flower end glows when pointed toward the home location and changes colour and brightness in response to it proximity and direction, making it easy to find your way home. The units can also apparently be synched to point toward each other, allowing two people to find each other when they become separated in someplace like a busy park.

Source: Engadget
More marketing gone bad. This USB drive contains a speaker that plays when it is plugged into your USB drive. The idea is that the drive can be given away by companies, but in order to use it you have to listen to a 10 to 20 second audio clip.

Source: Engadget
More USB madness. The Scent Drive accepts fragrance oils, allow your lap top to emit noxious odours to counteract the noxious odours of your cube-mates.

Source: Gizmodo
This is not a light sabre, but a combination safety wand (light stick) and megaphone. It can apparently project your voice up to 500 yards (or whatever the equivalent is in metres), so use the Force, Luke.
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Source: EurekAlert!
A recent study by the American Journal of Medical Genetics revealed that people with genetic-based illnesses are twice as likely to report being denied health insurance as those with other types of chronic illnesses.

Source: PhysOrg
Scientists have successfully cloned healthy mice that have lived to adulthood from adult skin stem cells. The stem cells, called keratinocytes, are obtained from part of the hair follicles and are involved in skin repair and hair growth. Stem cells from male mice were found to be significantly more successful in producing viable embryos (5.4% versus 1.6%), and all mice were eventually found to be healthy and fertile.

Source: New Scientist
Scientists are experimenting with modifying a type of protein found in the hair cells of the human ear, called prestin, which can be used to convert motion into electricity. They envision using this to create a "power skin" that generates electricity when the wearer moves. The first application they describe is to augment the power supplies of astronauts by having their suits generate energy every time the astronauts move.

Source: New Scientist
Researchers at the University of Geneva have developed a haptic glove that allows you to experience the feel of different fabrics. The glove contains an array of pins, 24 pins per square centimetre, under each finger which move to emulate the feel of a particular fabric. The challenge is that the "refresh rate" of your touch sensors is more than 500 times each second, compared to the 20 to 30 times per second of the average person's visual system. So far, they have been able to achieve 40 refreshes per second. Now, what else could this be used for....

Source: Sci Fi Tech
This is a mod of a standard in-car cassette player in which the internal workings have been replaced with an iPod mount. Unfortunately, it's not for sale, but expect to see something similar offered in cars soon as the iPod wave continues.
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Source: Gizmodo
This devices uses black light to make stains stand out in your carpet or furniture. Of course, now you have to figure out how to get them out. Sometime ignorance truly is bliss.

Source: Gizmodo
Hold one end of these plastic strips between your teeth and drag your fingernail along the ridges results in you hearing a message. A package of 5 costs $20(US) and has messages like "happy birthday" and "congratulations". Birthday and other reasons to celebrate not included.

Source: Gizmodo
The US military is proposing to build a magnetic launch ring to put things into orbit (or at least, to lob them far up into the atmosphere). The payloads can be 220-pounds and will be released at 21,600-mph. This rules out the possibility of human launches, given that the payload will at some point be subjected to 10,000-gravities of force. Humans typically black out before 10-gravities.

Source: Gizmodo
This device detects your finger position on your hand so that it can use each of the 12 finger joints to represent the keys on a regular cell phone.

Source: Coolest Gadgets
Scientists have succeeded in creating a device envisioned by physicist James Maxwell more than 150 years ago called a Maxwell's Demon. The "demon" is a nanoscale device that captures molecules as they pass through in a particular direction when illuminated by light. This could lead to nanodevices that move by being irradiated with a laser because the molecule being captured imparts a force to the machine, causing it to move away from the now-captured molecule under the force of momentum.
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Source: Coolest Gadgets
When your battery-powered devices run out, the USB port can come to the rescue again. Exactly like a conventional recharger, except you can't plug it into those things called "wall sockets". You know, over there, where the computer is plugged in.

Source: Gizmodo
The little pixie apparently is able to tell you what your plant is thinking. The mind boggles.

Source: Gizmodo
Winnie the Pooh speakers, although the grin combined with the location of the speaker wires makes me wonder about the Bear of Little Brain.

Source: Gizmodo
This pen doesn't use any ink; rather, the nib is a metal alloy that sheds bits of itself when rubbed across a surface. Kind of like a high-tech crayon.

Source: Gizmodo
Apparently, a Gameboy was tough enough to survive a firefight in the first Gulf War. It stilled worked when retrieved from the wreckage.
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Source: Coolest Gadgets
Imagine sitting in a chair, completely immersed in your favourite music. This is the promise of the sonic chair that, apparently, does a very good job of blocking out background noise while generating a complete, personal, surround-sound experience. The sound is also well-contained so it won't bother those around you.

Source: Coolest Gadgets
Yet another USB gadget. Yours to add to your growing collection of USB stuff for $22(US). Why shave in front of your computer? And what do you use to see the spots you missed, your webcam?

Source: MAKE Magazine
Okay, this is cool. Follow the link and watch a video that shows how to make a trebuchet at home.

Source: MedGadget
The British Medical Journal has just published a finding that sleep apnea can be treated by regularly playing the didgeridoo. How did they even think of testing this, let alone complete a controlled test to prove that it worked?

Source: Coolest Gadgets
This awkward-looking contraption uses compressed air to give your legs a massage. I wonder if it would work for my restless leg (this is actually a medical condition, one that runs in my family)?
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Source: Scientific American
You may recall (unless you've been living under a rock) that there is strong evidence that reducing caloric intake increases your lifespan. Jokes about quality of life aside, recent research indicates that this lifespan extension can be partially undone by the aroma of food. At least in fruit flies, the presence of food odours informed their bodies that caloric restriction was no longer needed and returned their metabolic rates to close to normal. As a result, they died sooner than those on reduced diets but protected from food odour.

Source: Daily Tech
A company by the name of Melodis has made available a unique type of search engine. Apparently, by humming or singing a bit of a song, the software will seek out the closest match in its database at return its title. It claims to be able to find songs within about 10 seconds of the user's "input". The website can be found at http://www.midomi.com/ so the more musically gifted of you (I can sing, but I lack a microphone) check it out and let me know how well it works. Users are invited to add performances of their own to add to the music database. If you wanted to have your voice immortalized, this is the way to do it.

Source: MedGadgets
Medical researchers have developed a safer and more effective way to ensure oral drugs are administered on time: pack them in your tooth. The Intellidrug system uses a dental prosthetic onto a back tooth. This prosthetic is then regularly filled with the drug to be administered, which is then released at pre-programmed times. it can also monitor blood levels and adjust dosage to ensure the minimum levels are maintained, or stop administering when the levels exceed some preset value. They foresee using this system with drug addicts who are undergoing withdrawal therapy.

Source: Wired News
A Montreal artist wants to build a 1,000-foot long blimp shaped like a banana and float it 100,000 feet above Texas. In a word, why?

Source: Technology Review
Scientists have developed a new type of organic LED that emits in the near infrared. While a flexible display that is invisible to the naked eye might not seem to be terribly useful, if you are using night vision goggles and performing surveillance then it might be useful to have a display hidden in plain sight, such as on the outfit of someone infiltrating those you are observing.
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Source: Coolest Gadgets
This gadget apparently sets up a racket if you get within three feet of it. I have no idea how it distinguishes friend from foe, if it does at all.

Source: Gizmodo
Talk about merging technologies. Instead of splashing hot coffee all over yourself while using a mouse, how about doing BY using a mouse. This USB mug has an optical mouse built into it's base.

Source: Gizmodo
This USB-powered device has a set of three fans, two of them retractable, that cool the undercarriage of your laptop.

Source: Gizmodo
Glowing USB fish speakers (I'm sure [livejournal.com profile] ironphoenix has some appropriate music for this) that pulse in time to the music. For those people who want to demonstrate a lack of taste in BOTH appearance and sound.

Source: SolidAlliance dock puts your USB ducks in a row
USB ducks? Apparently they are common. I've never seen one until now. This device is specifically designed for them so they must be popular among some circles.

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