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Posts Tagged ‘gadget’

Optic Fiber to go ‘Bubbly’

Optical fibres make it possible for us to use the technologies we take for granted, such as the internet our mobile phones, and other ‘unwired’ tech, but now new research from Macquarie University may hold the key to more cost-effective, energy-efficient, durable and easy-to-use fibre optics in the future.

Professor Town’s team of fibre optics specialists from the University’s Department of Electronic Engineering has been developing a new prototype for fibre optics which is made from a “bubbly” polymer fibre. “Our technique involves heating the polymer to form bubbles-it’s easier and cheaper than assembling tubes or drilling,” he says. “This could be a cheap, clean and relatively fast way of developing an optical network and the production process uses significantly less energy than if we were working with glass.”

Traditionally, glass has been used to produce optical fibres, but the equipment needed in order to process the glass at high temperatures makes this an expensive option. While several groups around the world are investigating polymer as a potential future replacement, the Macquarie team is the only group to develop and test a system which uses bubbles within the polymer to guide and scatter light.

Deliberately leaky fibres are ideal for transmitting data over short distances. “This technology would be applicable to, for example, inter-office connections where workers could use ‘wireless’ laptops within a certain area of the workplace,” Professor Town says. “The bubbly design allows you to scatter out of the fibre and also to scatter back in: if you can do that, it reduces the cost of coupling and the overall system costs are reduced.

“It’s like when you drive into the Sydney Harbour Tunnel and you can still listen to your car radio-they use a co-axial cable that leaks in a similar way so that you can receive the signal anywhere on the roadway.” He doesn’t go on to explain how a leaky feeder can be implemented with light, where light lost will cause errors in reception of the signals target.

Because the bubbly polymer allows light out and in, it also makes it potentially very useful for sensing applications. “This type of polymer optical fibre may also prove useful for distributed sensing of materials such as toxic or explosive gases,” says Professor Town.

Posted: January 10th, 2010
Categories: gadget, news, science, technology
Tags: , , , ,
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iPhone Alarm Clock Fail

Several times now I’ve had my iPhone fail to wake me up, I’ve gone to have a short nap or something and slept all bloody day. Googling the problem yields very little result other than that 15% of people have had similar problems, but no one has gone into discussion of why. It always seems to be when I have missed calls and SMS’ from more than one or two people, I wake up of my own accord, flip the fuck out, look at my phone and when I unlock it, bam, the alarm goes off the second all the pop up messages clear to my home screen.

Has anyone else had this problem? It’s intermittent, probably because the circumstances are also intermittent, but it’s doing my head in. Surely I’m not deactivating it in my sleep or it wouldn’t go off when I wake up? Gah. FML.

Posted: December 16th, 2009
Categories: gadget, general, technology
Tags: , ,
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Dicked by Xbox Live / MS

Today wasn’t a very good day. I noticed for a while that I couldn’t purchase or sign up my VISA or MasterCard with my xbox live account, and that whenever I entered my personal details it wouldn’t save it; on the xbox live site itself it would let me sign up my CC, register my xbox, and add my personal details, but then would forward me to a purely blank .html with zero content not even meta tags after asking me to confirm my billing address by offering me two IDENTICAL examples and radio buttons to choose which.

Long story short, I rang them and got some guy who seemed super helpful, but the only help he could give me is ‘Sign up a new xbox live account.’ Now the reason I wanted to put my CC on was because for $10 I could get three months live gold service; signing up another account would mean I lose 3 weeks of live gold and am not eligible for the offer and instead have to pay $11 for ONE month live gold service. This was nonsense.

What it boiled down to is, as an Australian, when I made my live account which I linked to my xbox I made it at live.com rather than live.com.au, because I, like every sentient being, know that an email domain does not represent perfectly which nation they’re from. Microsoft see it differently, and bound my xbox live account to the United States, so it was shitting itself when I was entering a make believe address and the CC info of an Australian.

To make matters worse, to get BaSH PR0MPT back I have to pay 800 ‘MS points’ to change it to something then another 800 to change my current account to it, I lose all my achievements, all my bought items, all my saved games, all my data, movies, music, and all my avatar rewards and my entire gazillion plus friends list that I’ve made over the last few.

Wtf Microsoft? Why’re you so retarded? I mean, I know you guys are caught up on your American help desk red tape beaurocracy of arseface where you can’t do the whole square peg round hole thing and y’know, click the country field on my account on your end and change US to AU (I mean fuck, it’s ONE letter difference, big effort) but instead I have to kiss everything goodbye, including wasting about $40 to rectify the situation, not to mention having wasted a good three hours on the phone and dicking around online, and god knows how many hours fucking around with xbox settings trying to add my fictional address and fictional CC info.


PS: The Forza car give-away will still be on, see http://bashpr0mpt.com/forza-3-car-giveaway/ for those details, I still have the other account for two to three weeks so I’ll just grind my new account up to cover the S, R3 and R2 vehicles, and maybe an X. Currently evaluating the holiday pack of vehicles to see if any are adequate performers whilst suitably styled for custom paintjobs.

Posted: December 10th, 2009
Categories: general, journalism, lifestyle, news, xbox
Tags: , , , , , ,
Comments: 1 Comment.

Reactive Space Table

Reactive Space Table

Originally uploaded by BaSH PR0MPT

I used to work for a certain government department that shared a site with a few random types of businesses, one of which was a small rental by a company called Marblo. This company produces ‘marblonite’, or snazzy looking glowing translucent surfaces you see in chic and overpriced nightclubs. I clearly remember my first encounter with it in the raw, a glowing space age looking plank jutting vertically from a plastic blow moulded footing advertising the company, and the sting when I touched it inappropriately and grabbed the metal tabs that were hooked up to the mains.

This appears to be of a similar nature, however it functions as a reactive surface. It was developed as part of an investigation into ‘reactive space,’ and is a pressure sensitive surface which starts to glow with the slightest touch. Be it objects being placed on it, or hand prints, et cetera

It’s definitely snazzy, I’d say it’s replay value would be low though, but it’s definitely a fun step into open creativity as far as the thought of it being used in bars or clubs, depending on how long it remains glowing it’d be interesting to see what creativity is unleashed by drunks. 😛

Deceloped by KLOSS, it’s only 2 cm’s thick and powered by 12V and is apparently completely waterproof. They promise that they’ll be available commercially for use as an architectural component within the retail and leisure industry in the very near future.

Click here for more on KLOSS and this little hypercolour gone mad invention.

Posted: December 1st, 2009
Categories: design, gadget
Tags: , , , ,
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Xbox 360p (laptop!)

Xbox 360p (laptop!)

Originally uploaded by BaSH PR0MPT

I was reviewing the generic trendy design sites I tend to regularly read when I came across this novel idea. Years ago I used to custom make my desktops, and would go out of my way to make them as tiny as possible, even forking out big bucks for solid state hard drives, something that has only just recently become industry standard for micro pc’s. You can imaging my amusement when I found this.

An Xbox 360p, (see: laptop!) modified by Benheck. It has all the functionality of an Xbox 360 just bunged into a nice little aluminium chassis and coupled with a neat little display. The design, albeit a little on the chunky side, is reasonably chic, I love the keyboard accents and the integration of the green wheel Xbox front end being where a trackball would be on a laptop.

Hidden behind it’s chic design is a rather impressive heat sinking system, so no RROD (Red Ring of Death) recovery there as you’d be hard pressed to overheat this laptop.

Somehow I doubt it’s functional purpose, given that an xbox is reasonably portable, and you generally use a laptops portability for university or work related stuff. Also given the commonality of games consoles and access to them, it packages this into the box of “random yet cool” gadget at best.

I dunno though, I kind of like it.

Click here for build info.

Posted: December 1st, 2009
Categories: hack, technology, xbox
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
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