Authors Posts by Silvia Pikal

Silvia Pikal


Samsung unveils LTE versions of GALAXY S II and GALAXY Tab...

Samsung has unveiled LTE (Long-Term Evolution) versions of its GALAXY S II smartphone and GALAXY Tab 8.9. Displayed at this week’s IFA 2011, the devices will have access to 4G download speeds of up to 100Mbps. If you can get yourself onto a 4G network, the (theoretical) upload speed is 50Mbps and double that when downloading. Samsung equates this to downloading a four-minute MP3 track in 0.3 seconds.

Sonic Wind open chamber guitar veers from traditional solid-body guitars

Hector Trevino was lamenting on the “3 or 4 basic templates” that electric guitars have been constructed from in the last half century. Trevino decided to try and reinvent the electric guitar, and create something that would stand out from all the solid-body electric guitars on the market. After two years of planning and building, Trevino came up with the “Sonic Wind” guitar, which has an open chamber body and a through neck.

Cool iPhone 5 concept video makes us wish it was the...

AatmaStudio has released a cool concept video for the iPhone 5. It looks awesome, but how likely is it that the iPhone 5 could actually have the features shown in the video? Ultra thin design, for example, might be possible. Smartphones are getting thinner and thinner, with the title of the world’s slimmest smartphone currently held by the Medias N-04C from Japanese company NEC Casio Mobile. At 7.7mm, the Android handset beats both the Galaxy S II and iPhone 4 when it comes to slimness.

Wacom Inkling stores digital sketches with full layers

The new Wacom Inkling should make things a lot easier for artists, illustrators, graphic designers and pretty much everyone who doodles on real paper with a ballpoint pen and then needs to get it onto a computer. With the Inkling, you use the included ballpoint pen to doodle whatever your heart desires, and a wireless receiver stores the sketch digitally.

Mysterious bird-like drone crashes in Pakistan

A bird-like surveillance drone crashed in southwestern Pakistan late last week, close to the Afghan border. Some spare parts and a camera were found with it, but they are not pictured. The Pakistani Frontier Corps in Baluchistan province recovered the drone, and they declared it to be an “American surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle."

Taga bike turns into stroller in 20 seconds

The Taga Bike isn't cheap at $1495, but the thing does combine a bike and stroller, and some strollers cost $400 or more, depending on just how fancy the features are. And how cool would it be to transform a bike into a stroller in 20 seconds?

Microorganism converts newspapers into biofuel

Scientists at New Orleans' Tulane University have discovered a microorganism that converts cellulose into butanol, which can be substituted for gasoline. The scientists first found the organism, named TU-103, in animal droppings. Once they cultivated it, they found success using newspapers as the cellulose source. The advantage of using this organism is that it is able to produce butanol in the presence of oxygen, while other butanol-producing bacteria require an oxygen-free environment, which increases production costs.

Comex gets internship at Apple

Nicholas Allegra, known as Comex to the iPhone world, will be starting an internship with Apple in early September. Comex announced on Twitterthat he will start the internship "the week after next." He gained notoriety last year when he released a web-based JailbreakMe exploit for the iPhone 4 while a member of the iPhone Dev Team.

HP TouchPad with Android 2.2 for $1275 on eBay, ROM released

Someone went home with a TouchPad running Android 2.2, and they are selling it on eBay for $1,275. Shahzeb Jiwani has also come into possession of an HP TouchPad running Android 2.2... and to the delight of developers and the Android community, he’s decided to make a ROM available on RootzWiki, so everyone who owns one of the $99 tablets can run Android on their tablet.

Waterproof backpack bed for homeless weighs only 9 lbs

Tony Clark’s charity, Swag for Homeless, distributes lightweight, easy to carry Backpack Beds to Australia’s homeless. The Backpack Bed is “the most awarded sleeping module in the world” and is made from a fire-retardant, windproof, waterproof, mildew-repelling UltTrex Lite fabric. The fabric covers a 6-foot 2-inch insulated foam mattress that sports a space blanket backing for added warmth.

‘Diamond planet’ found orbiting fast-spinning star

An international team of researchers have discovered a planet they think is made of diamond crystals. The planet is located in our very own Milky Way galaxy, only 4000 light years away from us in the constellation of Sepens (the snake), which is one eighth of the distance to the centre of our galaxy.

High-end titanium Budnitz bikes $5500 each

Paul Budnitz, the Kidrobot founder, has created a high-end bike that should last a lifetime. There are two models available; the No1 and No2 bikes are both handmade in the United States. At the heart of both models is a Titanium Cantilever frame that's said to be as light as carbon fiber, stronger than steel, and rust and corrosion-proof. The frame's curved tube bends under pressure to absorb road shock.

Samsung announces 4 new Galaxy phones and naming system

Samsung has announced four new Galaxy Android-based devices, and has also come up with a new naming system for all Galaxy smartphones to simplify things for consumers. Or to make them more complicated. It really depends on how you look at it. The four new phones, the Galaxy W, Galaxy M Pro, Galaxy Y and Galaxy Y Pro, all run on Android 2.3 Gingerbread and fall under the new naming system, or the “SRWMY” scale.

CineSkates portable dolly system is nearly pro

A pro dolly system can be quite pricey. If you want the look of high-end cinematography but not the price, check out CineSkates, a set of wheels that connect to a Joby GorillaPod Focus portable tripod and Ballhead X mount and allow you to get those professional-looking panning shots. The wheels attach to the GorillaPod using a patent pending Cinetics Connect attachment.

Logitech K750 solar keyboard now available for Mac

Logitech has released a Mac edition of the K750, complete with command keys and the eject key, and features four different hues. The 1/3 -inch thick keyboard works using 2.4 GHz wireless connectivity via a small Unifying receiver, so Bluetooth fans will be disappointed. Yes, you’re going to have to give up a USB port to a dongle, which may be a dealbreaker to some.

Tooth regeneration gel sounds like a fake commercial

A group of scientists at the University of Leeds' School of Chemistry have discovered a tooth treatment that would eliminate the need for that unpleasant drilling session in the dentist's chair. Basically, a gel works to stimulate decayed teeth to regenerate themselves. Sounds great, right?

Man builds elevator used and operated by his cat

a man has built a “Cat-Lift,” to help his cat get from the second floor to the garden. According to “CrazyMrJohn,” the YouTube channel name of the guy who built the thing, the Cat-Lift is completely operated by the cat. In the comments section CrazyMrJohn explains that the lift is sensor-activated and starts automatically, with a delay of a few seconds.

Cheaper 8GB iPhone 4 to debut ‘within weeks’

According to the rumor mill, there could be a cheaper version of the iPhone 4 coming out "within weeks." According to “two people with knowledge of the matter” we’re going to be seeing a more affordable iPhone 4 with a smaller 8GB flash drive.

Yotel hotels have world’s first robotic luggage handler

The Yotel chain of hotels are bringing in a new worker to their New York location. The hotel in New York will feature a robotic baggage drop-off machine. Touted as the world’s first hotel robotic luggage handler, “Yobot” loads and stores your luggage.

Wrist-mounted Sonar Helps the Blind See

Tacit is a wearable device that uses sonar to measure the distance to objects and provides users with a “view” of their surroundings through haptic feedback. Tacit is worn on the wrist and doesn’t interfere with other assistant devices, so a user doesn’t have to ditch the cane or send Fido packing to the pound. The prototype works by sending out ultrasonic pulses that are connected to a microcontroller, which calculates the distance to objects by reading the time that it takes for the pulses to return.

13-year-old improves solar efficiency using Fibonacci Sequence

Aiden Dwyer, a 13-year-old boy from Long Island, noticed a pattern in the way leaves and limbs grew from trees, and lo and behold! He discovered that when plants produce new growth, it follows a Fibonacci Sequence. Dwyer decided to see if the Fibonacci Sequence could be applied to solar panels.

IBM computer chip mimics the human brain

IBM is working on a new class of computer chips that are designed to imitate the human brain's abilities for perception, action and cognition. The chips’ processing power is similar to that of Watson. IBM hopes to use these chips in “cognitive computers.” These computers would learn through experience instead of being programmed. Just like the human brain.

Interactive robotic painting machine to make artists obsolete too

Visual artist Benjamin Grosser seeks to answer the question; can machines be original or creative? Grosser has created an Interactive Robotic Painting Machine that uses sounds from the environment to inspire its paint.

Google to Motorola Mobility: Don’t solicit other offers besides ours

Motorola Mobility has signed on an agreement stating they'll stop any solicitation of other proposals as of Aug. 15. The contract goes on to say that Google will pay Motorola Mobility $2.5 billion if the deal falls through, and Motorola Mobility will pay $375 million if it decides not to sell to Google.

South Korea Prepping for Major Class Action Lawsuit Against Apple

Apple is embroiled in many lawsuits, but this time a class-action lawsuit in South Korea could hit the company hard. With over 27,000 signatures of people on a petition seeking co-complainants for a class-action suit designed to "protect privacy rights" it could involve more than pocket change for Apple.

Neodymium magnet defies gravity

What happens when you drop a stack of neodymium magnets through a copper pipe? Gravity would dictate that the magnets fall to the floor in a clunky fashion, but in reality they float down the tube. While the neodymium magnets are not actually attracted to the copper, they produce eddy currents that buffer the fall.

Electric toothbrush charges in a glass of water

Philips' Sonicare DiamondClean Toothbrush can be charged using a special rinsing glass, or it can also be charged via USB. The set comes with a USB charging travel case, so you can charge your toothbrush using your laptop or a wall socket by using the included adapter. That way you have no excuses for missing out on hardcore teeth brushing while on vacation.

Toyota touchscreen augmented reality prototype lets you doodle on windows

A group of engineers and designers from Toyota Motor Europe's Kansei1 Design Division have decided to take car-window-doodling up a notch. They've designed a prototype system that would turn the side windows of Toyotas into touchscreen augmented reality devices. Using the "Window to the World" technology, kids could draw on the windows with their fingers and the image would stay there until the vehicle moved.

Research in Motion to Cut 2,000 jobs

Research In Motion will let 2,000 people go in order to cut costs, that number equals roughly 11 per cent of its global workforce. The move is part of RIM’s ‘cost optimization program’ and besides the job cuts, they will be moving several executives into higher positions.

Best waste of money – 90 Metre Floating Island Yacht

Yacht Island Design, a UK company, have come up with several over-the-top yacht concepts like this 90 metre island with a top speed of 15 knots. You get a main deck filled with cabanas, a swimming pool, and a nearby waterfall. It’s basically the resort experience, except you don’t have to share it with whiny tourists and their screaming kids.

PlayBook Officially Cleared for US Government Use

The Playbook has been given security certification to be used by the U.S. government. RIM is touting its security and strong encryption as key to serving bodies like the U.S. government. The Blackberry maker bragged that its PlayBook is the first tablet to be approved for use by the United States federal government, and that no other tablet has received such approval.

MIT Team Tracks E-Waste Around the World

The biggest contributing factor to e-waste is upgrading cellphones, computers and televisions well before they start malfunctioning. It's really hard to resist that faster cpu, bigger screen and extra memory, but outdated technology is really outdating too fast and killing the planet

Artist gives Woodgrain finish to bikes

If you like the faux wood finish found in classic cars and vintage hot rods, but don’t exactly have the desire or cash to collect cars, you can give your bike a sleek make-over with a woodgrain finish.

San Francisco Battles to Uphold Nation’s First Cellphone Radiation Law

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 11-0 to approve legislation that would require retailers to educate consumers on cellphone radiation risks. The law mandates that retailers display educational posters and hand out fact sheets with each cellphone purchase. Retailers would have to give tips on how to reduce radiation, but they do not have to mention cancer.

Fold-a-Boat Fits into A Portable Parcel

The Fold-a-boat, is a seamless, hard shell, folding boat made from one single sheet of plastic. The boat is made for flat water. Since it’s made of a single sheet of plastic, and can be folded and packed into a small 150cm x 60cm parcel, this makes it not only an ideal candidate for camping, but also for the shelves of your local IKEA store.

The iPad 2 purse case from Versetta

Ladies looking for a practical and stylish way to store their iPad, or gentlemen looking for a gift for their Apple fangirl, should check out Versetta handbags from Scott Creations. They are built to incorporate the iPad or iPad 2 into the frame. This allows you to easily access all ports and controls.

Amazon Now Offering Cheaper Textbook Rentals Through Kindle has announced students will be able to rent textbooks from the Kindle Store and save up to 80 per cent off textbook list prices. A handy feature is that students can choose how long they want to rent the book, anywhere from 30 to 360 days. That means if you suspect your teacher will ask you to read the textbook in the first two weeks and then never again, you’ll be able to return it at the end of the month.

Worried About Skin Cancer? There’s an App for That

MelApp is an iPhone app that tries to detect melanoma at an early and curable stage, using mathematical algorithms and image based pattern recognition technology. To use the app, you take a picture of a suspect mole or freckle with your iPhone's camera, zoom in to ensure it fills the green box on the screen, and the photo then gets uploaded and evaluated against a database licensed from Johns Hopkins University Medical Center.

Microsoft ‘Leaks’ Social Networking Website

Looks like Microsoft "accidentally" leaked a potential social networking website. Oops. A splash page was published to, a domain registered by Microsoft all the way back in 1998, that looks sneakingly like a new social network. Kind of.

Netflix Streaming Coming To Nintendo 3DS, Possible 3D Movies

f you’ve got an unlimited streaming plan with Netflix, and own a Nintendo 3DS, you’re in luck. Starting today in Canada and the United States, you’ll be able to download a free app that lets you watch TV shows and movies streaming from Netflix on your console.

Verbatim Store ‘n’ Stay USB is Smaller than a Dime

Verbatim is releasing a puny USB stick that’s smaller than a dime. It's called the Store ‘n’ Stay, and if smaller means better to you, you can get up to 16 GB of extra storage on the thing. The selling feature of the USB is that since it’s so tiny, you can just leave it it your laptop’s USB port without worrying about it.

Watch the Handcrafted and Meticulous Making of a Leica Lens

Leica released a video that details the meticulous manufacturing process behind their lenses. The standard Leica lens is made in Germany, and consists of 100 different parts. The beautiful thing about the video is how much of the process is done by hand.

SLR Mount Lets You Attach Big Bad Lenses to your iPhone

Photojojo is marketing adapters that allow you to attach your Canon or Nikon lenses to your iPhone, provided you're using Nikon F-mount or Canon EF-mount lenses. If you want to experiment with depth of field, boost your zoom range and get some really good close-ups all on your smartphone, this is for you. Plus it'll be easy to email your photos right after you shoot them.

Maxim 2-in-1 Measuring Cup Gives Both Volume and Weight

A measuring cup and a kitchen scale are essentials for any kitchen where you like to dabble in more culinary challenges than just pressing the “start” button on the microwave. If you want to try using the stove in your kitchen and don’t have either of those basic tools, then the Maxim 2 in 1 Jug and Scales might appeal to you. It allows you to measure both volume and weight in one handy instrument.

Want to use a shared bike? There’s an app for that

Social Bicycles (SoBi) claims to be the world's first bicycle with an on-board computer, mobile communications and an integrated GPS-enabled lock. New York City urban planner Ryan Rzepecki started SoBi in an attempt to improve on other bike sharing programs.

Electromagnetic energy from cellphones could power small devices, rather than fry...

Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology have found a way to put all that electromagnetic energy floating around to use. They’ve managed to create a device that captures and harnesses ambient energy so it can be used to power small electronic devices.

Shrinking antennas could mean smaller cellphones

While no one wants a smaller screen, shrinking the phone's antenna could pave the way for even smaller phones and consumer electronics, according to engineering researchers at the University of Michigan.

Canadian EV to be Pimped Out with Hemp Bio Composite Interior

While hemp can be used for food, textiles, paper, fabric, and fuel oil, the misunderstood crop breeds fear amongst politicians in the United Status and has led to the crop being illegal to grow without a DEA permit, which is pretty hard to get. But growing hemp is legal in Canada. Canadian company Motive Industries has taken advantage of this, and have been working on an electric car made of hemp plastic

Do you get 3D Headaches? De-3D Glasses are what you need

3D seems to be the latest selling "feature" for not only movies but also consumer electronics. Companies are quick to jump onto the 3D trend, but are consumers? The technology could end up having some limitations, like the Asus 7-inch 3D tablet that only allows you to view 3D in landscape mode.

Google+ to squash Facebook?

Google+ is the company’s attempt at a social networking website, and with the sneak peak given on their website, I think they have the potential to dominate the social networking scene and crush Facebook. Here are some of the highlights.