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What Is iPhone 4's FaceTime Video Chat?

What Is iPhone 4's FaceTime Video Chat?

Steve Jobs usually saves the meatiest bit of his keynotes for the end. But WWDC's "One More Thing" was a little tame: FaceTime, a video chat system for iPhone 4. So, what's special about FaceTime, and how does it work? First, let's get this out of the way: Yes, FaceTime is video chat, similar

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Ultra-Thin, Ultra-Elastic Iron Alloy Can Make Surgeries and Buildings Safer

Ultra-Thin, Ultra-Elastic Iron Alloy Can Make Surgeries and Buildings Safer

This recently designed super-elastic iron alloy has two very different potential applications. It can be used to prevent blood vessels from collapsing and to return earthquake-deformed buildings to their original state. The alloy is described as having a super-elasticity which allows it to "re

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Yahoo! Messenger 9.0.0.2162

Yahoo! Messenger 9.0.0.2162

Yahoo! Messenger is a popular advertisement-supported instant messaging client and associated protocol provided by Yahoo!, that allows you to see when friends come online and to send them instant messages. It also can alert you to new e-mail in your Yahoo Mail or Yahoo Personals accounts, or when y

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Nokia's Beautiful to Use 3600 and 6600 Fold/Slide Phone [Cellphones]

Nokia's Beautiful to Use 3600 and 6600 Fold/Slide Phone [Cellphones]

Nokia has fired out three new cellphones aimed at the European market, under a "beautiful to use" banner. Most interesting, the 6600 comes in either a fold or slide version, both with "tap" touch control technology. The 3G folding version has a 2 megapixel camera and 2.13-inch OLED screen, while the

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The BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet: 10 Things You Need to Know

The BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet: 10 Things You Need to Know

The BlackBerry tablet is here, and it looks astoundingly nice. Nicer than anybody expected it to be. Here's what you need to know about the PlayBook, in 10 easy steps. It's a 7-inch tablet with a 1024x600 screen that weighs 0.9 pounds Meaning it's smaller and lighter than the iPad, with a more p

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Sony Gets Serious With Another Next-Gen Display Tech: FED, Like CRT But Really Thin

Sony is probably OLED's most vocal prophet as the TV of the future. But according to Nikkei, they're hedging their bets and getting more serious with another next-gen display tech: field emission display, which is a lot like a good ol' cathode ray tube, except that it's super thin—it has all the b

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The Skyscraper That Grows Underground

The Skyscraper That Grows Underground

Say hello to architect Matthew Fromboluti. If he lived in a comic book, he would be designing lairs for super-villains. In the real world, he just wants to build this formidable subterranean skyscraper in the desert outside Bisbee, Arizona. His project, called Above below, is a building that dr

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Lenovo U350 Is Pretty Thin, Pretty Light, and Pretty Cheap

Lenovo U350 Is Pretty Thin, Pretty Light, and Pretty Cheap

Just last week Intel was all "Hey! Thin, light and cheap laptops are the next big thing, TRUST US!" The Lenovo IdeaPad U350, a $650, 13.3-inch ultrathin notebook, is exactly what they were talking about. Intel and Lenovo's concept makes enough sense: take those ultrathing, ultra-expensive notebooks

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Atmos Clock Uses Changes In Temperature As Power Source

Atmos Clock Uses Changes In Temperature As Power Source

The Atmos 561 Clock, made by Jaeger LeCoultre and designed by Mark Newson, is powered entirely by changes in temperature and sits inside a block of crystal for good measure. According to The Watchismo Times, a change in temperature of one degree celsius can power the clock for two days. A mixtu

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Breakthrough ‘Zero Power’ Display Can Do Color and Video, Too

Breakthrough 'Zero Power' Display Can Do Color and Video, Too

It sounds too good to be true, but researchers at the University of Cincinnati are convinced that they’ve developed a revolutionary electrofluidics that combines the color and video capabilities of an with the low power consumption of e-ink.

The technology, which was seven years in the making, sandwiches reflective electrodes between two layers of liquid and lets ambient light do the work.
Breakthrough 'Zero Power' Display Can Do Color and Video, Too

Behind the display screen are two layers of liquid (oil and a pigment dispersion fluid like an inkjet fluid). Between the two layers are reflective electrodes. Think of these electrodes as a highly reflective mirror.

Ambient light enters through the display screen and through the first layer of liquid and hits the reflective electrodes. When the light hits that reflective electrode, it bounces back out to the viewer’s eye, creating the perception of a bright, color-saturated image…or text or video… .

A small electric charge powers the movement of these oil and pigment-dispersion liquids. The movement occurs between a bottom layer behind the reflective electrodes and a top layer in front of the reflective electrodes. When the pigmented substance is positioned in the “top” layer (sandwiched between the ambient light and reflective electrodes), it creates a reflected ray of colored light which combines with literally millions of ambient light rays to produce a full-color display.

Changing what’s displayed requires power, of course—and displaying video will require considerably more than changing the page of an ebook—but after that, like e-ink, the image can be displayed indefinitely with zero power. UC researchers say that their screens are two thirds brighter than Qualcomm’s Mirasol displays, which have also promised to bring low-power color ereaders to market sometime next year.

The displays can be manufactured with existing facilities, and researchers expect them to be used for applications like displaying product info in supermarkets within three years. Glad they’re getting to the important stuff first. [UC]

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