The fine folks at MakerBot have impressed us enough with their Mario-themed RC racers and self-replicating 3D printers, but now the collective is looking to save mother nature with Project Shellter. Turns out, there’s a housing shortage in the oceans. Harvesting of shells has left many hermit crabs with no option but to take up residence in bottle caps and other debris they can squeeze their soft bodies into. MakerBot’s Miles Lightwood, has decided to crowdsource designs for artificial shells that hermit crabs can live in. Right now Lightwood is testing different shapes, materials and colors, looking for the combination that the critters will find most attractive. The shells are not intended to be placed in the wild — putting plastic into the sea wouldn’t be very environmentally friendly. Instead, the artificial domiciles are meant for domestic use, reducing the number that must be harvested for pets. You can get updates on the project from its Facebook page (at the more coverage link) and submit your own designs to Thingiverse, just make sure to tag them “shellter.”
Project Shellter: crowdsourcing 3D-printed homes for hermit crabs originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 24 Oct 2011 10:46:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Tags: 3d printer
, 3d printing
, project shellter
That slick, speedy new interface DirecTV recently pushed out to beta testers is officially getting hyped with a new landing page and (unfortunately not embeddable) video trailer. It advertises all the features we’d heard about, including the facelifted HD graphics, “lightning fast” scrolling, visual browsing experience and personalized recommendations. The HD UI is still without a release date however, and while we’d probably put it it ahead of the DirecTiVo on the company’s current priority list, let’s not forget who we’re dealing with here. Hit the source link for the orientation materials, there will be a quiz later.
[Thanks, Stuart & cypherstream]
DirecTV shows off its new HD UI with a website and trailer, still no release date originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 22 Oct 2011 16:06:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, hd ui
, satellite tv
Stephen Elop famously fumbled when shots of Nokia’s “super confidential” Mango handset made their way to the interwebs. Since then, we’ve seen footage from the factory floor, and even teases of upcoming marketing materials outing the 800, or the phone formerly known as Sea Ray. Now, leaked press shots over on PocketNow, once again, treat us to a preview of the Espoo / Redmond mobile marriage and its candybar-shaped offspring — available in blue, pink and black. From what we can see in these renders, the volume rocker, power button and apparent dedicated camera shortcut key are all placed on the right side of the handset, with a speaker grille located at the device’s base. Of course, there’s that familiar Windows Phone 7.5 live-tiled interface and three capacitive buttons on the handset’s screen. For now, that’s all she wrote, but is it enough to tide you over ’til its eventual reveal at Nokia World? Our trusty magic 8-balls says, “You may rely on it.” We’re inclined to agree.
Nokia 800 press shots leak, Espoo’s Windows Phone Mango lovechild now close at hand originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 19 Oct 2011 13:22:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, microsoft windows phone
, nokia 800
, sea ray
Instapaper, the internet equivalent of a bookmark, has been given a top-to-toe makeover for its latest outing on the iPad. Fear not, your reading materials remain easy to read (and ad-free), but version 4 has now been smoothed over with a thick layer of tablet gloss. Navigation is all done through a bar on the left, and remains available for prodding as you read through your article selection. The upgrade also adds a subscription option for searching all your previous reads, as well as better social skills, with the ability to pick up and store articles and posts shared by your Twitter buddies — ensuring that you’ll probably never run out of reading material again.
Instapaper gets iPad refresh: more friends, more reading originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 19 Oct 2011 03:51:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Salt: sure, you might use it to cure meats for your latest solar-powered circumnavigation. But hold onto your kippers, Magellan, because Singaporean scientists have found that sodium chloride — ordinary table salt! — can also dramatically increase storage capacity. You see, typical hard drives have randomly-arranged magnetic grains, which allow data density of about 0.5 terabit per square inch. But a high-resolution e-beam lithography process, aided by our good friend NaCl, arranges the grains in a tighter, more orderly fashion, upping the density to 3.3 terabits per square inch. Called nanopatterning, this technique enables a 1TB drive to hold 6TB without additional platters; it also works with current manufacturing technology, meaning no expensive upgrades. If that’s got you dreaming of a higher-capacity future, hit the source link for more glorious technical details. We’ll warn you, though: the pictures of luscious, bee-stung lips stop here.
Salt enables six times the storage capacity for snail-unfriendly hard drives originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 17 Oct 2011 05:22:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, data density
Nokia keeps promising that its first Windows Phone 7 device will be shipping by the end of the year and, though the company is cutting it close, we may actually see that vow fulfilled. It’s already been caught in spy shots a few times over, but now marketing materials for the Nokia 800 have started to leak out. With Nokia World only a few weeks away, it makes sense that the Finnish manufacturer would want a campaign ready to roll. The ads for what was formerly known only as Sea Ray talk up WP7′s social features, with one declaring “Take, tag, sort and share. All in a flash.” It’s hardly a confirmation, but this is as good as sign as we’ve seen that Nokia will actually deliver us a little slice of Mango before it’s time to buy a new calendar.
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]
First Nokia 800 ads spotted, announcing the arrival WP7 for Finnish faithful originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 11 Oct 2011 11:43:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, sea ray
, windows phone 7.5 mango
, windows phone mango
This week was packed with news on the mobile front, so it was easy to miss a few stories here and there. Here’s some of the other stuff that happened in the wide world of wireless for the week of September 26, 2011:
Last week we heard the rumor that Sprint would be launching the BlackBerry Curve 9350 on October 2nd, and we’ve finally received the official confirmation. The device will be hitting stores tomorrow for $80 with a two-year contract. [PhoneArena]
The Motorola Photon WiMAX, referred to as the Photon 4G in the US, is now making its way to Japan as KDDI announced the launch of the device this past Monday. [Motorola]
Verizon Wireless launched the Pantech Jest 2 this week, which is a feature phone with a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard. [Verizon Wireless]
The Samsung Galaxy Y is now listed as “coming soon” on O2′s website, which makes it the second carrier to announce upcoming availability in the UK. The actual date of release, however, is still unofficial. [O2]
Softbank (Japan) looks ready to land the ZTE Lord V882, which appears to be an Android device running on Gingerbread, and comes packed with a 1GHz CPU, 512MB of RAM, 3.8-inch LCD at WVGA resolution and a 5MP camera. [LandofDroid]
NTT DoCoMo and Orange have teamed up to offer the Sharp AQUOS SH80F, which features dual 8MP stereoscopic cameras and claims to be the world’s first Android device capable of converting 2D content into 3D in real time. It’ll first be launched in France on October 6th and will follow to other European and Asian countries shortly after. [Softpedia]
Maybe Microsoft Canada just assumed nobody actually reads terms and conditions, because the company outed the names of a few upcoming Windows Phones in the T&C for a developer contest: the Nokia Sabre and a duo of Samsungs named the Yukon and Wembley. The Nokia Searay was also named in the list, indicating the Sabre is a second device running on Mango. [Nokia HDBlog (translated)]
In preparation for its Windows Phone debut, Nokia is also rumored to be featuring a new voice navigation system with 3D maps, according to some leaked marketing materials. [WinRumors]
Here’s a rendering of the HTC EVO Design 4G, also known as the Kingdom or Hero S. [Pocketnow]
Samsung may have a midrange device coming soon to AT&T’s lineup as a complement to the Galaxy S II. We’ve already seen the I857 pass through the FCC and show up in a leaked roadmap, and now it appears to have been dubbed the Doubletime, according to uncovered Cellebrite records. [Pocketnow]
Also appearing in Cellebrite records are the HTC Vigor (PH98100), Motorola Droid HD (XT912), and the Samsung Nexus Prime (SCH-i515). [Droid-Life]
Mobile Miscellany: week of September 26, 2011 originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 01 Oct 2011 11:01:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, motorola photon wimax
, photon 4g
, samsung i515
, samsung yukon
What’s this mystery e-reader? It’s the Kobo Vox, and it just made its debut on the FCC’s site. Is it a reworked version of the relatively recently released Touch Edition
? Is it a brand new reader from the company? The device is listed as being an “eReader Tablet,” so perhaps it’s something more akin to Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color
or the Kindle tablet
reportedly in the works from Amazon. And will Kobo’s recent appearance at f8
play into the equation? It’s hard to say, but there are a few things worth noting here. First, if the above rough image is to be believed, the device is touchscreen, as with the company’s current product. The design, however, looks a lot more like the latest version of the Nook
than the new Kobo. A side shot reveals what appears to be a microUSB slot (no shocker there) and a headphone jack, something missing on both the latest Kobo and Nook (though both the latest Kindle
and the Nook Color rock one), while a “multimedia headset” was used in the testing. Also listed among the testing materials is a microSD card, so there seems a pretty good chance that this thing has expandable memory — again, not a surprise, nor is the fact that the reader is listed as being WiFi-enabled.
Continue reading Kobo Vox eReader Tablet hits the FCC, shrouded in bookish mystery
Kobo Vox eReader Tablet hits the FCC, shrouded in bookish mystery originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 23 Sep 2011 10:51:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, e readers
If we ever manage to capture a live giant squid, researchers at the University of Washington are going to have a field day. Enterprising minds at the institution’s materials science and engineering department have discovered a use for chitosan — an extract made from squid pen or crab shells that could lead us down a cybernetic road to human / machine interfaces. The team incorporated the organic compound into their field-effect transistor prototype, and effectively created the first protonic circuitry “that’s completely analogous to [the way] an electronic current” can be manipulated. Naturally, the silicon-based tech isn’t ready (or safe) for implantation into humans just yet, but could one day be used to control biological functions, sending on / off commands to our bodies. Maybe we won’t have to fear that robot apocalypse, after all. You never know, give scientists ample time to fully flesh this advancement out and Spielberg’s next great cinematic, sci-fi opus could wind up becoming a cyborg rom-com. Stranger things have happened folks.
Squid extract bridges human / machine divide, cyborgs to become very real originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 21 Sep 2011 17:04:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, biological interfaces
Researchers in Japan and Germany have converted energy from soundwaves into electromagnetic energy, trapping a magnetic “spin current” between metal layers. In the experiment, when sound waves are directed at an interface between the thin metal layer and magnetic material, electrical signals are generated at a pair of electrodes attached above. When the soundwaves reach the magnetic material, this creates a spin current that gets picked up by three layers of metal. This is where the exercise class-sounding reverse spin Hall effect kicks in, transforming it into an electrical voltage.
Not to be confused with Orange’s Sound Charge T-Shirt, scientists believe that it should be possible to generate that mystical electromagnetic energy from any material in the future. At the moment, the project is looking into materials that are able to eke out more voltage from the process — perhaps a few years later screaming at our phones will give their batteries a boost? Watch the video after the break for more technical details and close-ups of the equipment.
Continue reading Researchers convert soundwaves into electromagnetic energy, silence no longer golden
Researchers convert soundwaves into electromagnetic energy, silence no longer golden originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 20 Sep 2011 08:24:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, sound charge
, tohoku university