Category Archives for "Miscellaneous"

A CNC machine for everybody

X-CarveThe X-Carve CNC machine is one of a number of CNC devices to hit the maker space in recent months. It is created by Chicago-based company, Inventables, which has had the brilliant idea of making it configurable, unlike its competitors. Inventables previously created a small CNC machine developed for the desktop which was called Carvey and which was a crowdfunding success. The X-Carve is Inventables’ latest desktop CNC machine and can produce accurate parts from a plethora of materials including plastic, cork, foam, wax, metal, timber, paper, cardboard, and many others. Developed for the home or work studio, the X-Carve is both expandable and customisable, meaning that if a maker currently owns an Inventables machine, they can simply update their current device by incorporating fresh parts to make the bigger machine. The X-Carve is supplied in two sizes, standard and large, both of which are reliable at precision-milling parts down to a resolution of 0.075mm. The Standard X-Carve has a work area of approximately 30cm x 30cm x 7cm, and for its larger brother, parts as big as 80cm x 80cm x 7cm can be precision crafted. But what makes X-Carve really special is that it can be configured into any size or shape the buyer wishes and with each one of the machine’s components available individually, creators can just buy only what they need. Go Inventables!

The new AquAdvantage Salmon species

AquAdvantage_SalmonThe United States FDA today authorised the very first genetically-modified animal species to be farmed for US dinner plates. Developed by AquaBounty Technologies, the AquAdvantage Salmon, as it is known, reduces the time it takes to grow farmed salmon to full size by half by incorporating a growth gene from the faster-growing Chinook Salmon as well as a genetic promoter from the Ocean Pout. The controversial authorisation has only come about after twenty years of evaluation by the FDA so was by no means a decision taken lightly. Following its own extensive examination as well as the publishing of the all the data for the public to review, the FDA finally decided that the AquAdvantage Salmon was as harmless to people and the environment as farmed Atlantic Salmon. In particular, the agency outlined that its nutritional profile and importantly the endocrine hormones it produces like oestrogen, testosterone, and insulin-like growth factor, were no different to that of Atlantic Salmon. One of the terms of the authorisation is that the salmon be raised in land-based holdings instead of farmed in the open as with current salmon farming so as to protect against any chance of them getting into the natural environment. The FDA also decided that there was no need for the modified fish to be labelled any differently from natural salmon allowing producers to make the decision themselves. Making the decision even more controversial, the FDA decided this after determining that the fish were not physiologically distinct from wild Atlantic Salmon other than in their genetics.

Self-Sealing Resin Could Provide an Answer to Threats from Space Debris

A threat that all spacefarers fear is that from speeding orbital particles breaching the hulls of their spaceships. However, scientists might be on their way to solving this problem through the use of a new self-healing material. Developed by a group from the University of Michigan in collaboration with NASA, the novel material is comprised of thiol-ene-trialkylborane resin interposed between 2 polymer panels. Provided that the resin is held in the airtight area between the panels and out of contact with the air, it remains in its fluid form. However, the moment either of the panels are punctured by a speeding projectile such as space debris, the resin oozes from the opening and polymerizes in under a second upon contact with the air. Consequently, a strong airtight plug is formed by the resin at the point of the breach. It is expected that this new innovation will be eventually applied to ‘at-risk’ areas on the hulls of space vehicles and astronaut living spaces. In addition, since both the resin and the panels happen to be both clear, it is hoped that they can also be adapted to replace the windows in spacecraft portholes to create much safer spacecraft overall. The scientific study was recently published in the journal ACS Macro Letters.

The New Cool kid on the Block

NipiA new Kickstarter project has recently been launched for the Nipi Cooler, a cold store cooler with a twist. The Nipi Cooler has 47 litres of cooling space, which can fit up to 70 tins of your favorite beverage, but additionally it also has 1,000 lumens worth of interior and exterior LED lighting. Not only that but the Nipi Cooler also comes with its very own photovoltaic panels, although oddly these aren’t employed for chilling process. Instead the contents of the Nipi Cooler are maintained at low temperatures using a double-insulated cover and extra-thickness walls. The photovoltaic panels supply enough peak energy to power the LED lights as well as several digital gadgets, such as smartphones or stereo speakers. The solar panels can be positioned on the cooler’s external lid or installed adjacent to the Nipi Cooler. It is also possible to attach more panels to boost power output. Excess energy generated is stored in a 14,000 mAh lithium battery, with a 2nd battery available as an optional extra. There are 2 USB interfaces on the cooler’s exterior for charging gadgets and a further 2 ports within its dry lockable storage space designed for storage of valuables. A full battery can charge a cell phone seven times before becoming depleted itself, and it take no more than an hour to fill a cell phone when also using the solar panel. To top it all off, the Nipi Cooler also sports cup holders, cutting board and its extra-large wheels for off-road use. Looks like just what one needs for the next BBQ party!

Is Someone Else Driving Your Car?

JeepIf you drive a late version vehicle, driver-assist technology currently operates a great deal of it on your behalf. Yet if that car is hooked up to the internet also, as many are, you could be giving a scary level of control to hackers.

A pair of computer jocks have put on a remarkable demonstration by logging right into a Jeep Cherokee’s computer system from another location, while it was being operated and methodically taking control of the automobile’s functions. First, they hit him with freezing air from the air-conditioning system, then they blasted him through the stereo at full volume. They also beamed an image of themselves to the automobile’s computer screen as well as turning on the windshield wipers at maximum speed, at the same time as squirting cleansing fluid onto the windscreen making it hard to see.

However these were merely warmups to the main event– subsequently, they took control of the motor and turned it off totally, leaving the driver powerless and drifting on the freeway as traffic flashed past all around him. Then, as soon as he was off the freeway, they demonstrated how they might entirely take control of the brakes as well as the steering of the vehicle– only at slow-moving speeds and backwards this time, but they’re working on uncovering new exploits each day.

The two computer jocks, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, had formerly demonstrated comparable abilities when plugged into an auto’s on-board diagnostics port, however this time around they broke in from their own room, making use of an exploit they’ve identified in the Jeep’s internet-enabled entertainment system. They think it’s an exploit that ought to work on most internet-connected late design Chryslers – all they need is the automobile’s IP address and they’re in. Scary stuff!

Welcome New Members

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DoseOfTech Podcast – Episode 1

Here is our very first podcast.

This episode stars Gage and new member Koen talking about gaming, technology and Gage’s 24 hour Livestream.

Listen in MP3 HERE!

Listen in WAV HERE!

Let us know in the comment if you have any problems.

– Joe, Gage & Koen