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July, 2011

Foxconn to Phase Out Human Workers, Replace Them With Robots

Foxconn is everyone's favorite iPhone and iPad maker... unless you work there. Faced with a million-strong workforce clamoring for more pay and better working conditions, Foxconn has hit on an ideal solution: phase out whiny, fallible humans and “employ” silent, tireless, obedient robots instead.

Solar Power Blossoming In Japan's Northeast Thanks to PayPal Founder's Donation

A new solar power plant financed by a donation arranged by PayPal founder Elon Musk will bring safe, renewable electricity and hope for the future to a tsunami-ravaged town in northeastern Japan.

Asus Prepares $199 Eee PC Netbook

Yet another netbook appears on the scene, adding to Taiwanese company Asus' already massive netbook portfolio, but things are a bit different this time around – this one only costs US $199.


Debt Ceiling Debate May Have Been Won Or Lost In Twitterville

In a town of 200 million folks, Twitterville is more than twice the size of Canada and two-thirds the size of the U.S. The difference being, members of the the microblogging site speak their minds daily to a global audience, while American citizens can only grumble amongst a handful of friends and family, at best.

The Fontessa, Gaetano Pesce's Innovative Customizable Shoe

If you're not too skittish to plop down $120 on a pair of shoes these days, then you have to have to plop it down on the Fontessa.  These fashion firsts, designed by Brazilian architect/artist/designer Gaetano Pesce, are right in step with today's customizable products....

 


Candy Candles from Japan Make a Nice 'Light' Snack

It's a candle, it's a candy, it's... Candy Candles, candles that look like candies! These wacky waxy wick'd wonders are sealed in clear cellophane wrappers just like hard candies and are small enough to fit in your pocket, purse or backpack.

New Desensitization Procedure Doubles Survival Rate Of Certain Kidney Recipients

At Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, researchers have been working on a desensitization procedure that neutralizes the antibodies of patients receiving kidney transplants to increase acceptance of incompatible kidneys....

Chocolate's Answer To Silly Putty: Magic Choc

If you love experimenting with food and you love chocolate, Magic Choc is the most delicious way to satisfy both urges.  It's a molding chocolate that is so forgiving, you can make dozens of models, like you used to do with Silly Putty, until you can't resist gobbling it up!

Radioactive Water Decontamination Improved by NIMS Scientists

Researchers at Japan's NIMS (National Institute for Materials Science)  have discovered a new nanoscale silica material which is highly effective in removing radioactive strontium and radioiodine from contaminated water.

Had A Nose Job Or Two? You May Have Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Though the findings may be the same for persons who desire tummy tucks or buttocks lifts, researchers from the University Hospitals Leuven in Belgium focused their research on people seeking nose jobs, or rhinoplasty. Their findings more than suggest a correlation with an obsessive disorder - body dysmorphic disorder (BDD).

 

China's Xinhua News Agency to Shine Out from Times Square Sign

Call it a sign of the times: China's Xinhua news agency has leased a 60 by 40 ft space at 2 Times Square, the most prominent advertising spot in New York City. Landing the prestigious LED-lit block, called a “spectacular”, signifies China's arrival at the crossroads of the world.

Tibet Airlines Always Flies at 'Peak' Travel Times

Tibet Airlines, which celebrated its inaugural flight on July 26th, 2011, can hardly be accused of flying under the radar. On the contrary, by operating out of Lhasa's Gonggar Airport with service to Tibet and China, the airline's fleet of three Airbus A319 jets is definitely a cut above... pretty much everything.

Dinosaur Chopsticks Make Mealtimes More Messy-zoic

Gee Mom, Jurassic Pork again? No matter what's on the menu, this set of 3 different Dinosaur Chopsticks will make dining delicious even if your teeth aren't the size of steak knives.

ICU In A Can - Emergency Disaster Relief Delivered Anywhere, Anytime

Natural disasters often occur in the world's most remote regions, where emergency care is impossible to deliver at the level necessary to save the lives of the survivors. Or as in the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, the devastation is so complete as to incapacitate many hospitals. Kukli Han has designed a fully-functioning, mobile hospital that can be delivered via helicopter, within hours of disaster, to even the remotest regions.

Seagate Ships Pulsar XT.2 Enterprise Solid State Drives

Flash memory continues to improve in data capacity, reliability, performance and price. The most indicative product that shows the progress of this technology is the solid state drive, or SSD, a storage device meant to eventually replace hard drives in personal computers. Enter the new Pulsar XT.2 line of SSDs from Seagate.

Pepsi Caribbean Gold: A Cooler Summer Kola, Mon!

Pepsi Japan has just released Pepsi Caribbean Gold, the perfect drink (next to rum) to enjoy while watching 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides'. Look past the rather ganja-esque name and you'll find a cool & fruity concoction that channels the flavor of exotic White Sapote.

Which Costs More - The Wine or The Corkscrew?

I'm no connoisseur, but I imagine most wine experts consume wine that costs more per bottle than the cost of the common corkscrew used to open that bottle. At my house the typical wine on the bill of fare retails for between $4 and $10. My fancy Rabbit corkscrew runs about five times more expensive than the wine. Now meet Sveid, who manufactures a $72,000 corkscrew that deftly handles wines from $3 to $160,000.

Too Hot to Trot, or Work? Beat the Heat - Take Your Pants Off!

A Salt Lake City-based ad agency has figured out a way to make work more exciting, and cool: Make it illegal for employees to wear pants to work. The conversation in the photo, "What d'ya say we head to that meeting, Boss?"

China Balks at Requiring Graphic Health Warning Labels on Cigarette Packs

Cigarette packs bearing graphic health warning labels are an increasingly common sight around the world... though not in mainland China. Now health advocacy groups and even the UN are asking why China continues to huff, puff and hold its breath about applying these visually shocking smoking deterrent labels.

A Computer That Grows On You - Literally

It's hot, and food is getting more expensive. The solution? Buy a new computer, of course! Designer Omer Deutsch merges the fields of technology with biology, creating Seconday Growth, a computer that uses water to cool itself down while also providing an innovative way to increase your yield of fresh garden vegetables or decorative ivy. Perhaps a flowering wisteria would be nice?

Solar Cookers Save Power in Lhasa, Tibet's 'Solar City'

Cheap and effective solar power is hot, especially in Lhasa, Tibet, where clear air and up to 3,000 hours of sunlight annually conspire to create the perfect environment for homegrown solar cookers and water purifiers.

Evolution Eraser: Intelligent Design that Makes Errors Extinct

Evolution may be an ongoing process but Japanese designer Hiroyuki Shiratori has made it stationery, thanks to his revolutionary Evolution Eraser.

Robotic Therapy Seal Comforts Japanese Earthquake Survivors

Paro, the therapeutic robot seal designed to soothe anxiety and relieve stress in the fashion of a living therapy dog, has been drafted for a new mission: comforting victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.

Shared Island between China and Russia to Become Eco-Tourist Zone

The recent agreement between China and Russia officially demarcating their 2,670-mile (4,300 km) long shared border was highlighted by an environmentally-friendly bonus: the disputed island of Heixiazi will now be shared by the two neighboring nations and jointly developed as an eco-tourism travel destination.

Measuring The Google Effect on People's Memory - Can You Google Where You Left Your Car Keys?

How has rampant computer use, particularly emloyed in the search for esoterica and trivia, changed the way our brain retrieves, collects and stores information? Should we be concerned that a computer named Watson wallopped human Jeopardy champions? How did I get here, where are my car keys and do you have a good recipe for lemon marangue pie? New research by a Columbia University scientist studies The Google Effect and how it impacts whether we store information or simply remember where to find it.

Burger King Japan Serves Up Mini Burgers with Spam

And now for something completely different: Spam burgers! Burger King Japan's latest fast food selection slips a sizzling slab of Spam into one of their new BK Bites burger pairs. The horror... actually, the Hormel.

Need a Cold One Cracked? There's An App For That

Have you ever tried to drive a nail or open a beer with your iPhone? Be honest now. Up until now, it couldn't be done. While the hammer app may be a ways off yet, the bottle opener app has arrived. The Opena, an iPhone case that flawlessly performs this most important of functions, may well convince this Blackberry user to switch to an iPhone. Can you beer me now?

Hello Kitty & Shokotan Cell Phone Charms: A 'Dream Collaboration'?

Japanese otaku idol, singer and comedienne Shoko Nakagawa (Shokotan) is teaming up with icon of cuteness Hello Kitty in a new line of netsuke cell phone charms. Has a “dream collaboration finally become reality,” or is the nightmare of celebrity = commodity about to begin?

3-D Printing - Bringing Digital Fabrication Into Every Home

The coming democratization of the 3-D printer promises to turn every home into a self-manufactured, manufacturing facility, fabricating your food and furniture, your footwear and your fake limbs. There are even plans for a printer that can print itself.

Internet of Things Exceeds The Internet of People [Infographic]

While we were asleep at the switch learning to "plus one" on Google, the Internet of Things (IOT) just exceeded the number of people that reside on the planet. Beyond just smartphones and tablets, that number of "things" that connect to the Internet will only continue to scale as the growing number of connected gizmos, appliances - and even cows - are coded and catalogued to send messages to the Web.

Honey I'm Home! Beekeeper Battle is the Calm Before the Swarm

The thrill of victory, the sting of defeat? In one of the more unusual endurance contests out there, a pair of Chinese beekeepers competed to see who could carry the heaviest load of live bees.

Is Tulalip Microsoft's Seward Folly?

When a god-forsaken parcel of frozen tundra was put up for sale by the Russians back in the mid-1800s, many saw the $7.2 million dollar acquisition as a frivolous venture that would reap no rewards for the U.S. History indicated otherwise. The same might be said about Microsoft and the recently leaked news of its covert social network under development.

Libya Protesters Speak Out & Sign Off... in Chinese

Call it a sign of the times: Anti-Gaddafi Libyan protesters are now flashing banners written in Chinese to get their message directly to China's TV-watchers without the 'benefit' of slanted commentary.

Geothermal Power Gets Hot as Japan's Nuclear Plants are No Longer Cool

Old & busted: Japan's nuclear plants. New hotness: geothermal power plants! Proponents of sustainable, non-polluting geothermal energy see an opportunity to grab their place in the sun as Japan deals with fallout (so to speak) from the nuclear crisis centered on the Fukushima Daiiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

Customer Returns 3-Legged Duck, Didn't Check the Bill

Buying the family dinner ain't all it's quacked up to be! A customer who bought a duck at a Chinese farm market was mighty angry when he noticed his purchase had a little extra 'kick' to it.

Melon Cream Soda Sandwich Drives Kids to Drink

Summer sandwiches don't get much cooler than the Melon Cream Soda Sandwich, one of 4 limited edition 'lunch pack' sandwiches seemingly designed by pre-teen chefs.

China's 'Bigfoot' Leaves Big Footprints in Chinese Cornfield

Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti... and now, the Shennongjia Wildman? Said to inhabit a mountainous, heavily forested area in central China, this legendary red-haired creature has once again made the news by leaving what appear to be footprints in a Chinese farmer's field.

Propeller Pen from Japan Keeps Writers Cool

The Fan Pen Type R combines the best features of a ballpoint pen and a hand-held fan, allowing users to write hot, hard-boiled prose while keeping cool as a cucumber.

Did Google+ Beat Facebook To The First Social Media Water Closet?

You can't get any more social then taking care of bodily functions in public places. Whether it's men lined up at urinals or ladies collectively freshening up their make-up - water closets or restrooms are about as social as you get. Ironically, hanging out together privately in designated places might be the bull-eye that gives Google+ the competitive edge - heretofore dominated by Facebook.

Ball-Jointed Stockings Give Girls the Living Doll Look

You may not be a living dolls but at least now you can look like one. A new type of patterned stocking makes the wearer's knee joints look like ball joints – the type found in some popular Japanese anime figurines.

Design Your Last Appearance: Your Final Act Of Self Expression:

... a London mortuary, Leverton & Sons, has now teamed up with make-up company to the stars, Illamasqua, to give funeral goers a sight they will never forget: the deceased's 'Final Act of Self Expression," directed by the deceased herself.

New Twist For Sex Roles: Men Like To Cuddle, Women Want SEX!

The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, most renowned for Dr. Alfred Kinsey's own reports in the 1940's and 50's of sexual behaviors of the human male and female, has come out with its newest report on sexuality that finds men like to cuddle and women like the real thing - sex!   No, it's not April Fool's Day, but there is definitely something askew here....

Will The Social Media Wars Be Won By The 'Best Steward' Of Your Personal Data?

News of Google+ is cyberventilating on the blogosphere. While still in a beta test mode, more has been written about its impending launch than anything else they have done in the social media space - and to date that includes a number of starts-sputters-and-stops along the way (less we forget Orkut, Buzz, Google Me, Google+1, etc.) Facebook on the other hand continues to expand exponentially approaching the 3/4 billion mark milestone - leaving little room for others to play catch-up.

'Flying Piggy' Picks Up Where Angry Birds Leaves Off

Don't look now, Angry Birds lovers, but the pigs are on the wing in the downloadable new game “Flying Piggy”. Developed on the cheap by Taiwan's Softstar Entertainment for the Apple iPad (and soon, the iPhone), Flying Piggy is bringing home the bacon as the hottest online game for iPad users in 9 nations - and counting.

Pacific Ocean Mud Holds a Wealth of Suddenly Not-So-Rare Earth Minerals

If the recent discovery of vast deposits of rare earth minerals on the floor of the Pacific Ocean pans out, the use of the word “rare” to describe these essential high-tech elements may prove to be the mother of all misnomers.

Punch Your Own Guitar Picks Out Of Your Old Credit Cards And Hotel Key Cards

I went to college with this complete guitar freak who collected, among other guitar and music paraphernalia, guitar picks. He had tons of unique and personalized guitar picks and I'd have a lot of fun just looking over them when we would hang out at his place in between classes.