Posts Tagged ‘E&T’

#Wearable airbags are a thing now – an annotated infographic

August 19, 2014

Yeps, as loopy as it sounds, wearable airbags could be the next big thing for unstable elderly people prone to falling over a lot.

An estimated one in three elderly people fall over each year and many do not recover. Hip bones and other pointy body extremities are particularly susceptible to fractures and such like.

A new belt-like device deploys an airbag around the hips to cushion the wearer in the event of a fall. 3D sensors in the belt detect any sudden gravitational movements and inflate instantly, ideally before the wearer hits the pavement.

ActiveProtective will unveil the airbag belt at the TEDMED medical conference in Washington D.C., USA, which takes place September 10-12 2014.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

Wearable airbag protection

Wearable airbag protection

#Ebola vaccine hunt – scientists race to test and find a cure – an annotated infographic

August 18, 2014

The world’s worst outbreak of the Ebola virus – which has killed more than 1,000 people in West Africa so far this year – is fuelling efforts to speed vaccine and drug development.

Numerous high-profile laboratories around the world are focusing intently on experimental vaccines and other drugs. At present, the initial tests and results are showing mixed benefits for those infected with the virus and creating fresh research challenges for the pharmaceutical companies.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

Ebola vaccine: the hunt is on

Ebola vaccine: the hunt is on

#Google announces Project Ara, the really smart smartphone – an annotated infographic

August 15, 2014

Project Ara is a modular cell phone that can be customised by swapping out individual pieces, such as the battery or camera.

The intention is that instead of buying a new smartphone, users can simply upgrade out-of-date elements or replace malfunctioning components. In this way, the Ara could have a useful working life of five or six years. Of course, any half-decent piece of equipment should have a shelf life of at least that amount of time, but other factors prevail, such as obsolescence-inducing OS upgrades.

With a $50 base price, Ara could bring smartphones to the six billion people around the world who currently cannot afford to buy one.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

Project Ara smartphone

Project Ara smartphone

China plans railway to India through Tibet – an annotated infographic

August 8, 2014

China plans to extend its railway line to Tibet to the borders of India, Nepal and Bhutan once an extension to Shigatse, Tibet’s second city and a key site in Tibetan Buddhism, opens in August.

Critics say the railway spurs an influx of migrants, who threaten Tibetans’ cultural integrity. Beijing believes Tibet’s mineral reserves are worth around $96bn.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

China to India, via Tibet

China to India, via Tibet

E&T news weekly #12 – we choose our favourite news stories from the week

August 8, 2014

Friday August 8 2014

Aasha Bodhani Tobacco for biofuel instead of cigarettes

Known for being a cigarette ingredient, tobacco is now being considered as an aviation biofuel, manufactured from a nicotine-free tobacco plant, Solaris. Boeing, South African Airways and SkyNRG have carried out small scale tests, and are urging local farmers to grow Solaris instead, not only to grow a marketable biofuel crop which increases economic opportunity but could potentially reduce smoking.

Robotic seal reduces stress of dementia patients

Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust has introduced a robotic seal to help dementia patients communicate better. The seal, PARO, is embedded with tactile sensors and responds to touch and sounds and expresses emotions of happiness and surprise, not only enabling the patient to interact better, but it distracts and calms the patient when being examined.

Aasha Bodhani, assistant technology features editor

 

  Jonathan Wilson Discarded cigarette butts provide energy storage solution

Finally, some good news for smokers: scientists have discovered something useful arising from their filthy fags habit. Used cigarette butts have been converted into a material that could be used in supercapacitors for energy storage. Using a simple, one-step burning technique, a group of South Korean scientists transformed the cellulose acetate fibres of cigarette filters in to a carbon-based material with superior performance to the commercially available carbon, graphene and carbon nanotubes commonly used in supercapacitors. With as many as 5.6 trillion used cigarettes deposited into the environment worldwide every year, this is welcome news indeed.

Tobacco for biofuel instead of cigarettes

Got a match? In related news this week, Boeing announced that it has launched a partnership with South African Airways and sustainable jet fuel pioneer SkyNRG to develop aviation biofuel from a new type of tobacco plant before it even becomes cigarettes. The fuel will in fact be manufactured from a nicotine-free tobacco plant called Solaris, developed for energy purposes by Italian company Sunchem. Local farmers, currently growing tobacco for the cigarette industry for their livelihood, will be offered the opportunity to switch to eco-friendly Solaris instead.

Jonathan Wilson, online managing editor

 

James Hayes Hacking aircraft satellite systems possible, says researcher

Although some voices in the aerospace industry have publically expressed concerns about this issue – Jeff Kohler, VP at Boeing’s defence arm, admits to being “very concerned” about cyber-terrorism threats to flying software – others seem less flustered. The fact that the Harris spokesman quoted in this story says that the company is prepared to accept a “risk of compromise” that “is very small” when it comes to something that could cost hundreds of crew and passenger lives seems telling.

James Hayes, technology features editor

 

  Tereza Pultarova Tobacco for biofuel instead of cigarettes

Boeing will give South African tobacco farmers a chance to devote their work to more virtuous purposes. Instead of feeding the lethal cigarette business, they could supply the emerging jet biofuel industry. Their experience with growing the controversial plant won’t be wasted while tending to a nicotine-free energy-rich variety. What a great plan!

Rosetta the comet-chaser arrives at destination

After ten years and 6 billion kilometres hurtling through the cold and lonely space, European comet chasing spacecraft Rosetta has finally reached its destination. The engineering feats of the daring mission are not yet completed as, after the first ever face to face encounter with a comet, the spacecraft will attempt a first ever landing on a comet’s surface in November this year.

Tereza Pultarova, online news reporter

 

  dominic-lenton Poor connectivity at football matches solved

Never mind queuing for a meat pie and mug of Bovril, the biggest half-time frustration for today’s football fans is trying to get a connection on their mobile as thousands of other people all fire up their phones at the same time. Technology from UK start-up TribeHive which addresses the problem by building a network directly between phones is going into action at six English league clubs when the new season kicks off. Is yours one of them?

Tidal power demonstrator unveiled in Wales

The UK’s lack of initiative in exploiting wave and tidal power generation technology around its coastline has been one of the busiest topics in E&T’s letters pages recently. Correspondents will be interested to learn that the first full-scale tidal energy generator in Wales has been unveiled to begin a trial ahead of a 10 MW array installation. Backers say it will be among the world’s first demonstration devices connected to the grid to generate green, renewable and predictable tidal power.

Dominic Lenton, managing editor

Did you get my message? How to send texts from anywhere in the world – an annotated infographic

August 7, 2014

A new gadget called the goTenna allows network-free texting from virtually any corner of the globe.

If your mobile phone network goes down or is out of range, sending text messages is impossible. The new goTenna uses low-frequency radio waves to create its own network, enabling users to exchange text messages without relying on mobile phone masts or cell towers.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

Text anywhere with goTenna

Text anywhere with goTenna

Ebola virus outbreak and how to fight it – an annotated infographic

August 5, 2014

In light of the UK’s Department for Health carrying out tests for the Ebola virus on the elderly female passenger who died after landing at Gatwick Airport from the Gambia on Sunday, today we share this infographic explaining how the Ebola virus propagates itself in the human body. Anyone reading this while eating may wish to check back later before proceeding any further.

The Ebola virus hijacks human cells to inject its genome and turn the cells into virus factories. Recent advances in molecular biology suggest that gene-silencing drugs could block this process.

Over 700 people have already died of Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone this year in the worst-ever outbreak of the disease.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

Ebola infographic

Ebola infographic

Malaysia Airlines #MH17 – airlines ban flights over trouble hot spots – an annotated infographic

July 23, 2014

Airlines around the world are addressing global trouble spots by cancelling or rerouting flights to avoid them. A new sense of urgency is being displayed in dealing with global trouble spots, following the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine. U.S. and European airlines have already cancelled flights to Israel’s Tel Aviv airport due to the ongoing conflict there.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

Air traffic: global hot spots to avoid

Air traffic: global hot spots to avoid

Malaysia Airlines #MH17 – clues to the plane’s final moments – an annotated infographic

July 22, 2014

Aviation and defence experts say that chemical residue on wreckage could confirm the type of weapon that brought down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

The location of debris could yield information on how the attack unfolded and evidence of shrapnel in aircraft panels could confirm that the plane was hit by a SA-11 Buk missile.

The black boxes could offer vital clues as well, with the explosion captured by the cockpit voice recorder, and the data recorders, which register altitude and position, would be able to tie that information to the timing of any known missile launch in the area detected by U.S. National Reconnaissance Office satellites.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

Flight MH17: final moments

Flight MH17: final moments

@UN World Urbanization Prospects report – half the world lives in urban areas – an annotated infographic

July 22, 2014

According to figures featured in the UN’s World Urbanization Prospects report, more than half of the global population currently lives in urban areas. That proportion is projected to reach two-thirds by 2050. So much for the vaunted dream of giving up the rat race and escaping to the country. Seems like the rat race is most definitely still on and is picking up speed.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

Global urban population figures

Global urban population figures

 


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,426 other followers