Category Archives: Tech & Savings Gate

How vanadium could be a beacon for Martian life

An artist's rendering of the Mars 2020 rover on the surface of the Red Planet

If all goes according to plan, in 2020 NASA (in addition to several other space agencies) will launch a rover towards Mars. When it lands there, it will begin looking for signs of past or present life on the Red Planet. To help astrobiologists tease out biological material from other deceiving compounds in the planet’s regolith, researchers at the University of Kansas (KU) suggest focussing efforts on finding the element vanadium.

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Category: Space

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Smartfoam helmets could help NFL coaches diagnose concussions

The smartfoam sensor replaces the standard foam interior of an American football helmet

A team of scientists from Brigham Young University (BYU), Utah, has developed a smartfoam-based sensor system capable of detecting the severity of a collision in real time. When applied to American football pads and helmets, the sensors could give coaches the tools they need to catch concussions as they happen, and take appropriate action.

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Category: Health & Wellbeing

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Apple Extends iTunes Movie Rental Window to 48 Hours in United States

Alongside the launch of the new Apple TV 4K, which is in the hands of customers today, Apple has quietly updated its iTunes rental policy to extend the amount of time rentals can be watched.



In a support document that was updated today, Apple says customers have 30 days to start watching a movie after it’s been rented. Once a movie is started, there’s an additional 48 hours to finish the movie and/or rewatch it.






Apple’s new 48 hour rental policy will be a welcome change for customers who often rent content from iTunes. Prior to today, customers only had 24 hours after starting a movie to finish it in the U.S., but the 48 hour limit has long been available in other countries.


Rented movies can be watched across multiple devices and downloaded on a single device, so customers can rent a movie, download it, and then watch it over the course of the next 48 hours. Apple says that even with downloaded movies watched offline, the 48 hour timer remains.



With the introduction of the 4K Apple TV, Apple has made many 4K movies available to rent or purchase at the same price as High Definition content. 4K content can’t be downloaded, however, and is only available for streaming.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Tag: iTunes
Buyer’s Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)


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Foam insert puts a damper on bouncy bike tires

A cut-away view of the CushCore insert, on display at Interbike

Most mountain bikers wouldn’t want shock absorbers that were simply springy air chambers with no damping. According to the guys at CushCore, however, that’s exactly what tires are. Their solution? An energy-absorbing foam insert that sits inside a tubeless tire, acting as a damper while also adding flat protection and improving cornering.

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Category: Bicycles

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Four-seat electric sedan on its way to compete in 3,000 km solar race

The Sunswift Violet four-seat electric sedan has been designed and built by undergraduate student members of ...

The Sunswift Violet set off on a meet and greet tour earlier this week, ahead of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge next month. The four-seat electric sedan rocks 284 microcrystalline solar cells on the upper surfaces of the vehicle, giving a peak output of 1.1 kW, and has been designed for “practicality, speed and endurance.” Such aspects will be tested to their limits during the 3,021 km (1,877 mi) race from Darwin to Adelaide.

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Category: Automotive

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How fathering a son with disabilities helped Microsoft’s CEO transform the company

I’m convinced that a leader’s character and how he leads are intricately intertwined. Who a person is in his professional capacity is simply who he is. And that person’s character shapes a company’s culture for better or worse.

We all know or have seen someone with a disability. But how many of us have stopped to look at life through that person’s eyes? How many of us have contemplated the profound challenge even a small staircase poses to someone who is wheelchair bound? Or who among us has considered that the window to the internet, the displays on our devices, is a barrier to the visually impaired?

Polini targets future motocross champions with XP minicross additions

The new Polini XP1R and XP3R minicross models cater for riders aged 4 to 10

Minibikes offer a great gateway to motorcycling for children, and Polini Motori stands out among the specialists in this field. Its new XP line targets riders aged 4 to 10 years old, producing two fully-equipped minicross models that leave very little to be desired compared to dad’s motocrosser.

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Category: Motorcycles

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IKEA Launches New Apple-Inspired Ad Campaign for Qi Charging Furniture

IKEA today has launched a new “tribute campaign” to Apple and the inductive wireless charging features of the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X, playing off of popular Apple catchphrases like “This changes everything” and “Think different” (via DesignTAXI and The Verge).



Images via The Verge



The campaign is called “This Charges Everything,” and includes multiple other references to Apple’s advertising campaigns of years past, as well as a few jokes aimed at the internet’s wish for AirPower to be called “Apple Juice.”






The new IKEA ads are aimed at the RIGGAD LED lamp with Qi wireless charging, which runs for $69.99, and the VARV Table lamp with wireless charger, which runs for $79.99. Other Apple references include: “One more thing… it’s also a lamp,” “Link different,” and a question asking Siri “what lamp should I buy?”


IKEA has quite a few pieces of furniture and home accessories with Qi pads, including bedside tables, floor lamps, and individual charging pads (single and triple) that you can place anywhere.






IKEA teamed up with advertising agency ACNE to build the campaign for “This Charges Everything.” According to Morten Kjær, Creative Director at IKEA Creative Hub, “IKEA has been very progressive with wireless charging, and we are thrilled that new iPhone owners finally can make use of one of the most powerful lamps we’ve ever made.”






The new campaign has been shared to time with today’s launch of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, which are the first of Apple’s iPhones to ever support wireless charging through the Qi standard. When it launches in November, the iPhone X will also support the feature and will be able to charge through IKEA’s furniture. For a look at current and upcoming Qi-supported charging pads, check out our roundup here.

Related Roundups: iPhone 8, iPhone X
Tags: wireless charging, Qi, Ikea
Buyer’s Guide: iPhone (Buy Now)


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BrandNewNoise cranks out handcrafted music box recording device

User-punched paper rolls are fed through the Krankie's music box mechanism, and recorded for looped playback ...

Richard Upchurch began his Brooklyn-based sound recorder business by making a handcrafted audio device for his nephew. A few more were requested by his teachers and then he started selling them online. Now he offers a small collection for sale that includes thumb piano, xylophone and voice recorders. The latest addition to the BrandNewNoise catalog is the Krankie, an old school music box that allows the user to create custom tunes and record the results.

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Category: Music

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