Friday, April 28, 2006

Extreme Cuisine!

:: A Chicago Chef is using technology to change the way people think about food!
++ Food Tech: Chicago, USA / Homaro Cantu / Moto | Cuisine

How many times have you been to a restaurant where the menu is edible? How many chefs do you know that use a Class IV laser, tanks of liquid nitrogen, and a vacuum chamber filled with carbon dioxide as important cooking tools? Or use helium, superconductors and a hand-held ion-particle gun to levitate food, making whole meals float before awestruck diners?

Homaro Cantu, executive chef at Moto in Chicago uses his own combination of childlike humor, high technology, shock value, flavor, and haute cuisine to turn the fine-dining experience on its head! [Image credit: Dan Winters | Fast Company]

In Cantu's skilled hands, liquid nitrogen becomes a tool for coalescing a pureed head of romaine lettuce into flavorful Pearls of Caesar Salad (chilled to -273 degrees fahrenheit). Carbonation adds fizz to real fruit (an orange bubbles like orange crush soda when squeezed): The result of hours of compression in a carbon dioxide tank at 60 pounds per square inch. Sea bass arrives raw in a heat retaining polymer box heated to 350 degrees, cooking to perfection on the table while two other courses pass by.

Dessert is the most impressive course of all. Cantu fills a sphere with the juice of yuzu (a japanese citrus) and spins it while it is chilled with another dose of liquid nitrogen. What emerges is a thin, spherical shell, almost like an edible balloon. (All that is missing is helium to make the balloon float, and Cantu hopes to add that touch someday soon.)

Cantu's menu offers the adventurous a bizarre-yet-tasty combination of food and science, of high and low culture, and of the comfortable and the absurd.

Case in point is his version of "Surf & Turf": Hawaiian sea bass and duck cooked sous vide (in a vacuum), with mushrooms, a foamy puree of foie gras (duck liver), and apple butter.

Accompanying the dish is synthetic champagne injected into your glass with a giant medical syringe, and a sketch inspired by M.C. Escher (the mind-bending surrealist), depicting a sea that morphs into a sky. The drawing is edible, and if you eat it, you will find the top flavored like a bird and the bottom flavored like a sea!

Another case in point is Cantu's take on the PB&J with milk (photo). The peanut butter is hidden inside a hemisphere of jelly, which rests on a dab of whipped milk. [Image credit: Dan Winters | Fast Company]

Cantu's "sous-chef" is an inkjet printer that he calls the "food replicator" (in homage to Star Trek). He prints images of fish on pieces of edible paper made of soybeans and cornstarch, using organic, food-based inks of his own concoction. He then flavors the back of this special paper (which is ordinarily used to put images onto birthday cakes) with powdered soy and seaweed seasonings, rolls the paper up and stuffs it with fish and rice, in order to create his own version of "sushi".

He also prepares edible photographs flavored to fit a theme: An image of a cow, for example, might taste like filet mignon. On the set of Iron Chefs of America, he took a digital photo of himself and his two sous chefs drinking a cocktail flavored with horchata (a Mexican rice-based beverage). He then poured his cocktail into his "food replicator" and it printed out a horchata-flavored picture, which he served to the judges along with a dessert of Mexican chocolate pudding with beets and caramelized popcorn.

On a Cantu-designed plate (photo), diners use pipettes to add flavors to their desserts. The choices are: Chile-mascarpone, milk-chocolate-sesame, and orange-olive-oil. [Image credit: Dan Winters | Fast Company]

Make no mistake that Cantu has not lost sight of what brings us all to the dinner table – great tasting food. While guests may be positively shell shocked with some of the mind boggling creative creations of Cantu, rest assured that this young chef can cook. Having grown-up in Portland, Oregon, Cantu graduated from Le Cordon Bleu. He then worked his way up the ranks in nearly 50 kitchens on the West Coast before moving to Chicago to work at Charlie Trotter’s. Cantu spent four years there attaining the coveted title of Sous Chef before leaving to open "Moto | Cuisine".

Since opening "Moto | Cuisine", Chef Homaro Cantu has attracted much attention with his interpretation of Postmodern Cuisine. While Postmodern Cuisine is in its infancy in America, it seems that many diners and critics weighing-in on this new style of cuisine still view it as the "Wild West of whimsy". And this is true at "Moto | Cuisine", because the sky is the limit as Cantu stretches known scientific and gastronomic boundaries.

Moto CreationPostmodern Cuisine, often times referred to as Avant-Garde cuisine, found its roots in Spain with Ferrán Adrià of El Bulli leading the evolution. With the exact definition of Postmodern Cuisine still open for interpretation, it is safe to describe this culinary movement as one that reacts against earlier modernist principles. It reintroduces traditional or classical elements, typically carrying modernist styles or practices to extremes. [Image Credit: Moto | Cuisine]
Chef Cantu simply describes it as, “The human race has been eating the same way for hundreds and hundreds of years. At Moto, we strip away the rules, stretch the imagination and entice guests with never-before seen dishes. It’s about being open-minded and having a lot of fun with food.”
For Cantu, edible paper is just one of his many creative ideas. Another idea will be to use nanotechnology to create time-release foods that expand to fill your stomach.

Already, Cantu is part of a group working with the Institute of Advanced Concepts, the futurist arm of NASA, to help rethink notions of food in space.

Cantu is obsessed with patenting his ideas in a world in which the battle for intellectual property can make or break a business. With the help of his patent attorney, Charles Valauskas, a partner at Baniak Pine & Gannon, he has 12 patents pending, including the polymer cooking box, a utensil that can deliver an entire dish (from within its handle) with the push of a button, a prototype for a combination fork-spoon-knife, and his edible paper (with many others ideas on there way).

At Our Table: Moto
"Moto’s cuisine is such a unique combination of culinary expertise, artistic ability, chemistry, and technological innovation. The food is delicious, visually appealing, and every course challenges your senses and gives you something new to think about and experience." ~Linda | At Our Table [Image Credit: Linda | At Our Table]
If you are not fortunate enough to live near Chicago (I live in California), you can still visit Moto, by taking a "virtual" tour via a blog titled "At Our Table", from a fellow food fan, Linda (who lives there). Linda visited Moto for a birthday celebration, and she has the photos to prove it! She chose to experience this unique restaurant through their Grand Tour Moto ("GTM" - $240 per person) menu choice, featuring 18 (with gusts up to 20) courses and an accompanying 13-step wine progression (with champagne - if it's your birthday). You can enjoy Moto vicariously by reading her article, titled "Have you had Doughnut Soup?: 18 Unique Courses at Moto".
Note From Technophile: Behind the scenes, Cantu continues to experiment: A medical centrifuge, designed to separate blood proteins, could clarify rich, thick meat stocks. A high powered laser could cook beef with a precision impossible on a grill. It could also be used to burn a hole through a piece of sashimi tuna, cooking the fish thoroughly inside but leaving its exterior raw. And it could be used to create "inside out" bread (where the crust is baked inside the loaf and the doughy part is the outer surface). Cantu meets with DeepLabs, conveniently located around the corner from the restaurant, on a weekly basis to strategize on what he calls his “Star War’s stuff” to make his dreams a reality. Cantu also sees a humanitarian end to his culinary trickery. He envisions dispensing vitamin-enriched edible books in regions where people suffer from malnutrition; each page would be both food and information about when and how best to eat it.
:: Source: [Fast Company Magazine, May, 2006]
:: Image Credits: [Dan Winters | Fast Company / Linda | At Our Table / Moto | Cuisine]
:: Innovation: Using humor, technology, shock value, and flavor to redefine the nature of food!
:: Available: Now (at Moto, in Chicago).
:: Cost: $240 per person for a 20 course tasting menu with wine.
"The only difference between a madman and me is that I am not mad." ~Salvador Dali (from the huge photo of Salvador Dali mounted above the stairs leading into the basement kitchen of Moto Restaurant, Chicago, Illinois, USA)
Note from Technophile: My name is Don Cook, I am the author of this blog, and one of my hobbies (for the last 25 years) has been gourmet cooking. I have won several cooking contests including a clam cook-off and a chili cook-off in Mexico, and have taken classes at 4 different cooking schools.

If you do not live near Chicago, or if you don't feel like going out to eat, you can still enjoy a fabulous meal in the privacy of your home. One of our sponsors, Legal Sea Foods is proud to report to us that they are still at the #1 spot in Boston’s Zagat Survey for 2005/06. This award illustrates their dedication to serving and delivering the absolute freshest fish in the seafood industry (which they have for over 50 years). Legal Sea Foods has set the standard for quality and freshness with seafood and gourmet products that you will love. Their popular food items include live lobsters, salmon, filet mignon, jumbo shrimp, clam chowder, gourmet chili, oysters, desserts (like Boston cream pie), sauces (like chipotle marinade), and spices, just to name a few. You owe it to yourself to check out their extreme site and their extreme cuisine!

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Monday, April 24, 2006

Extreme Wearable 3D Interface!

:: This is guaranteed to garner some odd looks!
++ Personal Tech: USA / Hartmut Esslinger / Frog Design

PC Magazine asked the industry's top design experts to reveal their most innovative ideas for future products. Some of these concepts will become commercial products in the near future. For others, we'll have to wait until the technology catches up with the imagination. The Tribons is one of these!

The Tribons is a wearable laser projection system that exists mostly in the imagination of frog design CEO Hartmut Esslinger, the legendary visionary behind early Apple computers.

Controlled by an intuitive 3D interface, the Tribons projects educational material and gives kids (and other humans) access to environments they would otherwise not be able to experience!
Note From Technophile: An extra module can monitor the wearer's health. Additional modules can monitor whatever fits within the imagination of the designer (or the needs of the humans who will be wearing them)!
:: Source: [PC Magazine]
:: Image Credits: [PC Magazine]
:: Innovation: Wearable, intuitive 3D interface.
:: Available: Unknown.
:: Cost: Unknown.
"I never think of the future. It comes soon enough." ~Albert Einstein

Dan Lelevier, Consumer Product AdvisorNote from Dan Lelevier, ET (Extreme Technology) Consumer Product Advisor: The future of PC interfaces is here, now! Let's say you’re out of town on business; your meeting starts in fifteen minutes, and you realize you’ve forgotten a critical file. No need to panic. You’ve got Internet access in your hotel and you installed "GoToMyPC" on your office computer before you left. "GoToMyPC" is a secure and easy way to access your computer from any browser-equipped computer anywhere in the world. Once your computer is enabled, you can access it at any time from anywhere by logging in to the "GoToMyPC" web site. You have full control of the computer and all files, programs and network resources available on the machine. You simply work on your PC as if you were sitting in front of it, even though you may be thousands of miles away!

Access Your PC from Anywhere

Friday, April 21, 2006

Extreme Networking Pen!

:: Near-future, near-perfect, ubiquitous minamalist networking pen visualized by NEC designers!
++ Personal Tech: Japan / NEC Design, Ltd.

It seems that information terminals are infinitely getting smaller. However, we will continue to manipulate them with our hands for now.

P-ISM is a pen-style personal networking gadget package! NEC has visualized the connection between the latest technology and the human, in the form of a pen!

P-ISM is a gadget package including five functions: a pen-style cellular phone with handwriting recognition, a virtual keyboard, a micro-miniature projector, camera scanner, and personal ID key with cashless pass function. (P-ISMs are also connected with one another through short-range wireless technology).
Note From Technophile: The whole set is also connected to the Internet through the cellular phone function. This personal gadget in a minimalistic pen style enables the ultimate ubiquitous computing!
:: Source: [PC Magazine]
:: Image Credits: [NEC Design, Ltd.]
:: Innovation: Minamalist personal networking pen.
:: Available: Soon.
:: Cost: Unknown.

Note from Dan Lelevier, ET (Extreme Technology) Consumer Product Advisor: Until the P-ISM becomes available, you can't get a better cellular phone deal than this! "LetsTalk" is an independent reseller of cellular phones and services plans. You can actually get a better deal through them than you can by going directly through the carrier (they activate phones for Alltel, Cingular, Nextel, Sprint, T-mobile, and Verizon). They also offer pre-paid solutions from MetroPCS and Cricket. Their website offers user-friendly features such as "find and compare", "quick search", and "top sellers". The bottom line: Same plan, better phone, less out of pocket expense! Get your free Motorola Razr V3 now!

Compare and save on phones, plans and pagers.

Extreme Floating City!

:: Imagine a community that combines the amenities of a modern city with those of the finest resorts, in an attractive, stimulating, and secure environment. Now imagine this community circumnavigating the world every three years, stopping at all the best places!
++ Sea Tech: USA / Norman Nixon / Freedom Ship International

The Freedom Ship would accept up to 40,000 full time residents, 30,000 daily visitors, 10,000 nightly hotel guests, and 20,000 full time crew. This population of 100,000 people would provide a wealth of talent and diversity for the private businesses aboard the ship and to those they visit daily on their adventures ashore.

With a design length of 4,500 feet, a width of 750 feet, and a height of 350 feet, Freedom Ship would be more than 4 times longer than the Queen Mary. The design concepts include a mobile modern city featuring luxurious living, an extensive duty-free international shopping mall, and a full 1.7 million square foot floor set aside for various companies to showcase their products.

Attractive artwork and creative architecture would grace the ship. Parks and promenades would boast waterfalls, ponds, and extensive landscaping. Most levels would feature large saltwater aquariums. The shopping mall, one of the world's largest, would also be one of its most beautiful. Portions would be dedicated to individual countries, featuring culturally characteristic architectures. The planned 100-foot-wide main deck would lead to a marina at the stern. Over 200 acres of open area are planned for recreation and relaxation.

As it circumnavigates the world, Freedom Ship would make a series of offshore stops, including exotic tropical islands accessible only by sea. These stops would provide the ship's residents and entrepreneurs with extensive and varied touring and business opportunities, and bring a continual stream of visitors to the ship to patronize its shops, restaurants, and entertainment facilities.

The ship would provide as many as 40,000 tourists to ports around the world. These cities and countries would eagerly anticipate this influx, as well as the major market the ship represents for local farmers, fishermen, and merchants. Stopover schedules would be based on business volume and touring popularity. Customers, merchants, businessmen, and residents would be able to utilize the ship's fleet of aircraft and hydrofoils, as well as commercial commuter airlines, to come and go from the ship even between stopovers.

Freedom Ship would not be a cruise ship, it is proposed to be a unique place to live, work, retire, vacation, or visit. The proposed voyage would continuously circle the globe, covering most of the world's coastal regions. Its large fleet of commuter aircraft and hydrofoils would ferry residents and visitors to and from shore. The airport on the ship's top deck would serve private and small commercial aircraft (up to about 40 passengers each).

The proposed vessel's superstructure, rising twenty-five stories above its broad main deck, would house residential space, a library, schools, and a first-class hospital in addition to retail and wholesale shops, banks, hotels, restaurants, entertainment facilities, casinos, offices, warehouses, and light manufacturing and assembly enterprises. Finally, this concept would include a wide array of recreational and athletic facilities, worthy of a world-class resort, making Freedom Ship a veritable "Community on the Sea."
Note From Technophile: The vessel's proposed flat bottom hull construction, along with its extraordinary size, would result in unmatched and unprecedented stability providing a smooth ride in the roughest seas. Proposed safety of the vessel is enhanced by the use of 600 individual air/water tight hull sections. Extensive use of 4 hour rated firebreaks between decks areas within the decks will enhance fire safety. The ship would be virtually fireproof. The proposed electro-static ventilation system would supply uncontaminated, filtered and purified air.
:: Source: [Freedom Ship]
:: Image Credits: [Freedom Ship]
:: Innovation: Engineering a floating city that will allow thousands to realize their dream of circumnavigating the world, while enjoying an incredible lifestyle!
:: Available: Unknown.
:: Cost: $8 billion.
"All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom." ~Albert Einstein

Note from Dan Lelevier, ET (Extreme Technology) Consumer Product Advisor: No doubt, future residents of the Freedom Ship will be conducting meetings and sales presentations with people all over the world, using the next generation in online meetings. With Citrix "GoToMeeting", they will have the ability to host meetings on-the-fly, perform live demos in real-time to multiple customers or collaborate on projects with their colleagues. They'll be able to host unlimited online meetings - with up to 10 attendees per meeting! For a free trial, click on the banner below.

All You Can Meet

Monday, April 17, 2006

Extreme Micro-Miniature Projector

:: British company Light Blue Optics has developed a micro-miniature laser-holographic projector that can fit into a cell phone (or other pocket-sized device).
++ Personal Tech: United Kingdom / Ian Collins / Light Blue Optics

Holographic projection of 2D images represents a compelling alternative to conventional image projection. Holograms are efficient: they work by routing light to the places where you want it, and away from the places you don't. Unfortunately, all present systems are just too complex, expensive and of very low quality. That was, until now!

UK-based startup, called Light Blue Optics, has developed a new holographic laser technology aimed at future pocket-sized video projectors, PDAs, or even cell phones. The company's new technology requires only a very few components, which means the projector can be made relatively cheap and very small, so that it could easily be integrated into any portable device. [Image credit: Light Blue Optics]

The company also created as special chip that is capable of generating and displaying high quality holograms at video frame rates.

How does it work? A hologram pattern, which to the naked eye looks like a collection of random dots, is displayed on a small Liquid-Crystal-On-Silicon (LCOS) microdisplay (a very tiny, very fast liquid crystal display built on top of a chip). The hologram patterns are calculated by Light Blue Optics' proprietary hologram chip so that when the microdisplay is illuminated by laser light, the light interferes with itself in a complex manner through the physical process of diffraction which, when carefully controlled, results in the formation of a large, high quality projected image on, for example, a screen or a wall. [Image credit: Light Blue Optics]

Unlike a conventional video projector, heavy, bulky lenses are not required: diffraction does all the work for you, and the projected image is sharp and in focus at any distance.
Note From Technophile:This micro-projector has no moving parts and is just 3.78 cubic inches square (roughly the size and shape of a matchbox). The PVPro uses lasers to project green monochrome images at up to a 1024 x 512 resolution, although the company points out that up to 2048 x 1280 will be available by request. The PVPro is really geared towards short-range projection from a pocket-sized mobile device, and there won't be a full color version until probably around Christmas time, so don't pull your projector from the ceiling just yet.
:: Source: [Light Blue Optics ]
:: Image Credits: [Light Blue Optics]
:: Innovation: A projection system that can easily fit into pocket-size devices!
:: Available: Late 2006.
:: Cost: Unknown.

Note from Dan Lelevier, ET (Extreme Technology) Consumer Product Advisor: If you need a larger projector, say for presentations or for your home theatre system, this is the place to go: "" offers approximately 2 million high-quality technology and entertainment products at extremely competitive prices! To check out their projectors, just click on the banner below, click on "Computers" in the left sidebar, and when the new window opens, click on "Digital Projectors" in the left sidebar. When the new window opens, you will find projectors as low as $630.99 ($1,368.01 below retail). Also, by going through "", you will receive 10% off on over 900,000 books at ""!

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Saturday, April 15, 2006

Extreme Adventures!

:: Some forward-looking companies are using technology to provide their customers with adventures of a lifetime!
++ Adventure Tech: USA / Incredible Adventures / Strato-X / Space Adventures, Ltd. / Rocketplane Limited, Inc.

How would you like to fly in zero gravity, take a ride on a balloon into the stratosphere, participate in cosmonaut training, fly a Russian MIG-25 to the edge of space, meet a Great White shark up close and personal, "camp out" on the International Space Station, engage in air combat, or take a ride on a suborbital spacecraft? Thanks to some adventure-oriented companies you now can (or soon will be able to)!

Extreme Rocketplane Adventure: [Rocketplane Limited, Inc.] You’ve waited your whole life for this flight, and now the time has come to take the ride of a lifetime. Your day begins with a special breakfast and a brief photo shoot. Then you board the Rocketplane XP to begin a ride that will forever transform your life and your perception of Earth.

Within minutes, you reach an altitude of over 20,000 feet. At this point the pilot flips the switch to ignite the powerful rocket engine, pulling up into a nearly vertically climb.

As the engines cut off you feel the sensation of weightlessness as the vehicle soars up into space. Out the window is a spectacular view of Earth, a view that only a select group of people has ever seen before! [Image credit: Rocketplane Limited, Inc.]

Extreme shark adventures: [Incredible Adventures] Specially designed high-tech shark viewing cages provide adequate protection for the sharks from sport divers, while allowing divers total freedom of movement and panoramic views. [Image credit: Incredible Adventures]

Extreme zero-gravity adventures: [Space Adventures, Ltd.] You can take a ride in a special aircraft designed to simulate the weightlessness of outer space. It performs a series of parabolic flight maneuvers that counter the forces of gravity. Each flight gives you a sample of what it would be like to take trip through a portion of our solar system.

First, you learn what the 1/3 gravity on Mars is like. Next, you'll experience 1/6 lunar gravity parabolas. (Just like the lunar astronauts, you can make small steps and giant leaps.) Finally, you get to sample what it is like to live and/or travel in space.

Nothing can prepare you for your first encounter with zero-gravity. You'll be bouncing uncontrollably about the cabin like human popcorn, accidentally touching fellow passengers in places you'd never dream of touching them on Earth. Soon, you'll master the fine art of moving in zero-gravity and performing out of this world maneuvers! Just like an astronaut, and just like Dr. Charles Simonyi (in the photo above), who is training for his mission to the International Space Station (ISS). [Image credit: Space Adventures, Ltd.]

Extreme orbital adventure: Space Adventures, Ltd., which offers space experiences to the very wealthy, is the only company to have successfully launched private tourists to the International Space Station (ISS), currently has a contract with the Federal Space Agency of Russia that provides them with the sole rights to transport the next four private space explorers to the ISS.
"I have always dreamed of the wonder of spaceflight and the exploration of space has always inspired me. I consider my future flight (to the International Space Station) to be a small part of an important trend to make space accessible to more people, not just to experts. I am very much in favor of commercial space travel which promises to advance technology just like commercial aviation did many years ago." ~Dr. Charles Simonyi

Extreme stratospheric adventure: The Global Western Company in Denver, Colorado is working on making near space flight a reality.

Their flights into the stratosphere will be on a 1.3 million cubic foot balloon called "Strato-X", and the missions are described as "two people, two days, at 100,000 feet"!

A normal flight will last about 40 hours, and the "stratonauts" will be suited up in partial pressure suits. The initial ascent rate is about 900 feet per minute.

At this rate it will take about 3.5 hours to reach a "float" altitude of 100,000 feet.

This is an altitude that no humans, except astronauts and a very few elite military test pilots have been to (such as those flying the Russian MIG-25.

Being above 99% of the earth's atmosphere, the sky is black above and blue below!

Extreme "edge of space" adventure: [Space Adventures, Ltd.] Of all the legendary MiGs, the MiG-25 "Foxbat" flies the fastest and goes the highest. Space Adventures has a seat reserved for you in the cockpit of this amazing supersonic high altitude interceptor. It is capable of Mach 3.2 and rockets to a height of over 80,000 feet - to the edge of space where the sky is black above and blue below.

Your pilot will be one of Russia's finest "top guns", and you'll have the best seat in the house for an unforgettable view of planet Earth! [Image credit: Space Adventures, Ltd.]

Extreme hydrolab adventure: [Incredible Adventures] If you are in good health and have a full day to spare, you can train inside the hydrolab, the same underwater training center used by cosmonauts to prepare for space walks. You'll suit up in an authentic Orlan Space Suit (equipped with health sensors) for a simulated mission inside the neutral buoyancy tank. [Image credit: Incredible Adventures]

Extreme spaceport adventure: [Space Adventures, Ltd.] American adventure company, Space Adventures, Ltd., has confirmed that Australia is now the most likely location for its planned suborbital spaceport.
"Numerous government authorities in Australia view the construction and operation of a suborbital spaceport as a truly unique opportunity to bring numerous jobs and, eventually, thousands of tourists to the area," said Chuck Sammons, vice president of Suborbital Spaceflight and Spaceport Development for Space Adventures. "We, at Space Adventures, continue to strive to bring private space travel to all private citizens worldwide. Selecting a viable location for our spaceport is another step in making commercial suborbital spaceflight a reality."

Extreme combat adventure: [Incredible Adventures] The British Aircraft Corporation Strikemaster 167 is a jet fighter/bomber with a top speed of 900 kph. Designed for reliability and safety, the Strikemaster can accelerate from 0 to 600 kph in less than 20 seconds. The jet is powered by a Rolls Royce "Viper" jet engine producing 3,410 lbs. of thrust. It can climb to 37,000 feet. The Strikemaster has flown in a variety of air forces, including the air forces of Great Britain, Singapore, New Zealand, Kenya and Saudi Arabia. The fighter features side by side seating, allowing for easy communication between you and your pilot during each mission. [Image credit: Incredible Adventures]
Note from Technophile: You can fly one of two types of missions: 1) An "Air Combat Mission": Participate in three air combat engagements, learning the dynamics of a flat engagement, then a vertical engagement and finally a three dimensional dog fight. And 2) a "Low Level Strike Attack Mission": Descend to 500 ft above the ground for a low-level run-in to the target, flying up and over ridges and into valleys to avoid radar and visual detection. Pop up and roll in on the target for a simulated weapons delivery. Dive down then pull straight into the vertical to rocket upward and perform high “G” aerobatics. Being a pilot, this is the adventure for me!
From Dan Lelevier, ET (Extreme Technology) Consumer Product Advisor: While you're on your Extreme Adventure, you will definitely want to take a "Turbo Charge" with you. Turbo Charge is an electronic, reusable, portable cell phone charger! This revolutionary product was recently chosen as one of the "Top 5 Products of 2006" at the famed Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Shortly thereafter, the product was picked up by QVC, highlighted on Good Morning America, ABC News, Fox News, and has captured news headlines across the United States. Get it here.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Extreme Mobile Office

:: Executives can now travel in business jet style without leaving the ground!
++ Auto Tech: Country / Howard Becker / Becker Automotive Design

For some business tycoons, flying in a Gulfstream or Learjet, or an Extreme Business Jet, may not make economic sense in the course of their everyday business. Their trips just may be too short, or there may not be any airports close to their destination. However, because time is money, they still need to be productive while traveling. And they need to arrive at their destination feeling rested, refreshed, energized and ready to work.

For these people, a $250,000 van conversion from Becker Automotive Design may be the perfect answer. The interior amenities alone make this mobile office worth every penny. The 32" LCD screen functions as a computer display, a display for the GPS navigation system, your "window on the world" from either of two closed-circuit video cameras, and a screen to watch satellite television, or movies from the DVD player (complete with an 11-speaker sound system).
Note From Technophile: A built-in Dell PC is accessed by a wireless keyboard and infrared pointer (to control the curser). High-speed internet access is provided by a Verizon EVDO card. The handcrafted leather seats are not unlike a business-class seat on an overseas flight. Curtains and several layers of sound-deadening material isolates passengers from traffic noise, effectively allowing them to concentrate, rest, reduce stress, and focus on their work. A single blog post cannot do justice to these incredible SUVs. However, Becker has an excellent site with lots of high quality pics and diagrams. You can view it here.
:: Source: [Business 2.0 Magazine]
:: Image Credits: [Becker Automotive Design, Inc.]
:: Innovation: Traveling in jet-set style without leaving the ground.
:: Available: Now.
:: Cost: $250,000 (add $75,000 or more for armored protection).

Note from Dan Lelevier, ET (Extreme Technology) Consumer Product Advisor: If you would like to have satellite television in your home as well as your Extreme Mobile Office, this satellite DISH deal cannot be beat: Up to 4 rooms of equipment for free (a $2,000 value). Free home protection plan. Free Digital Video Recorder. Free lifetime equipment warranty. Three months of Starz movie channel for free. $10 off for the first ten months. The lowest priced all-digital service in America ($19.95 a month for the basic channels). Free professional installation, and free home theatre system (with a DVD player)!

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Extreme Boating Stability!

:: An Anti-Rolling Gyro (ARG) system has been developed, over a twelve year period, utilizing advanced technology developed for the space program!
++ Marine Tech: USA / Marine Motion Dampening System / Marine Max

The ARG operates on the principle of a “Control Moment Gyro.” A heavy flywheel, spinning at high speeds, is supported by a gimbal mechanism which rotates to generate an effective suppression force on the rolling motion of a boat.

The Ferretti 880 has joined the FERRETTI YACHTS product range in top position. The new 27 meters superyacht introduces a new approach to experience a high-class motor boating through wide and luxury spaces, a preserving atmosphere and matchless performance.

The major design effort undertaken by Studio Zuccon International Project and the Engineering Division of FERRETTI YACHTS can be recognized in wide flying bridge, where the different "islands" constitute an invitation to spend sunny days and relaxing times. Cruising is made more comfortable thanks to a large corner sofa located near the pilot-house, accompanied by a coffee table. The horse-shoe-shaped sofa can seat 8 persons around the table for an open-air lunch. A large round tub with positioned hydro-massage, can be located in the center of the large sunbathing platform where guests can comfortably chat with those seated as well as those having a hydro-massage.

What really makes this yacht special is that it can be fitted with multiple Anti-Rolling Gyros! (Ferretti Group Yachts have the exclusive rights to fit the ARG stabilizers on all of their yachts for the entire european market.)

"ARG" or Anti-Rolling Gyro, produces a gyroscopic momentum within the vessel that reduces the rolling motion known as "Rolling Angular Velocity"

The ARG comes as a self-contained unit, requiring only secure mounting to the boat structure (the gyros spin at 4,400 to 2,000 rpms - depending on the size) and a source of electricity.

A simple control panel is included to turn the system on and off and monitor its function.

Ease of use and low maintenance are among the system’s numerous advantages.
Note From Technophile: The gyroscope units vary in weight from 639 to around 3,750 pounds and take up about the same space as a genset. There is no noise from the units, except for a faint hum that can be heard while standing right next to them. Estimated roll reductions are approximately 50 percent. Having recently returned from a sailing trip in the San Diego harbor, I can really appreciate this technology, as at times the sailboat (while at anchor) would rock and roll considerable from the wakes of power boats.
:: Source: [Beyond Tomorrow]
:: Image Credits: [Marine Max, FerrettiGroup, USA]
:: Innovation: Using space technology to reduce the rolling motion of yachts!
:: Available: Now.
:: Cost: Comparable in price to conventional fin stabilizers.

Note from Dan Lelevier, ET (Extreme Technology) Consumer Product Advisor: If you think the Ferretti 880 has lots of gadgets, visit the Oregon Scientific store! From MP3 players to digital cameras, iPod accessories to fitness electronics – let’s face it, gadgets are a gotta-have, and are only getting hotter. Oregon Scientific offers a wide variety of products, ranging from youth and learning to sports and fitness. Its devices couple innovative technology with fluid design, and feature advanced liquid-crystal displays (LCD). Built from its hallmark of timing and weather devices, Oregon Scientific is expanding to meet diverse needs of its customers to enhance the way we live, work and play. Consider Oregon Scientific as Technology Designed for Life! To go to their store, just click on the banner below:

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Extreme Cancer Fighters!

:: A new drug has been developed that can prolong the life of liver cancer patients by several months.
++ Bio Tech: Hong Kong / Adrew Young / Hong Kong Polytechnic University

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has won one Special Gold and Gold Award in the 33rd International Exhibition of Inventions, New Techniques and Products, which was held earlier on in Geneva. This award was for their novel method in the treatment of liver cancer. This is the first drug developed in Hong Kong that has been able to come to the stage of clinical trial. It is regarded as a cornerstone in the development of bio-technology.
The new drug, called "BCT-100, developed by scientists Thomas Leung, Thomas Lo, and Paul Cheng, is showing promise as an alternative to chemotherapy (without the nasty side effects). Instead of killing off the cancer cells, it starves them and buys precious time for patients, while at the same time giving them a better quality of life.
Note From Technophile: Human trials have recently began on the drug, which is made of an edible bacterium called Baccilus subtillis. The bacterium creates a natural chemical that destroys cancer-causing arginine proteins. This new drug is considered to be a first step in finding a more permanent cure for liver cancer, which kills some 1,400 people in Hong Kong each year.
:: Source: [The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU)]
:: Innovation: First step in finding a permanent cure for liver cancer!
:: Available: Soon.
:: Cost: $8 million.
"My cancer scare changed my life. I'm grateful for every new, healthy day I have. It has helped me prioritize my life." ~Olivia Newton-John
:: Crushed Pineapple stems can fight cancer by blocking the growth of breast, lung, colon, ovarian, and melanoma tumor cells!
++ Bio Tech: Australia / Tracey Mynot / Queensland Institute of Medical Research

Australian scientists have discovered pineapple molecules can act as powerful anticancer agents, and could lead to a new class of cancer-fighting drugs.

Scientists at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research said their work centered on two molecules from bromelaine, an extract derived from crushed pineapple stems that is used to tenderize meat, clarify beers, and tan hides. One of the molecules (CCZ) stimulates the body's immune system to target and kill cancer cells. The other (CCS) blocks a protein called Ras, which is defective in 30 percent of all cancers.
"In searching for these components, we discovered the CCS and CCZ proteins and found that they could block growth of a broad range of tumor cells, including breast, lung, colon, ovarian, and melanoma," Mynott said. While clinical trials are a long way off, Mynott said the research had huge potential. "The way CCS and CCZ work is different to any other drug in clinical use today," she said. "Therefore, CCS and CCZ will represent a totally new way of treating disease and potentially a whole new class of anticancer agent."
Note From Technophile: The institute has launched a two-year study to examine the safety of the treatment and means of securing a reliable source of CCS and CCZ. If it succeeds it will seek a commercial partner to develop a drug that could be used in human clinical trials.
:: Source: [Queensland Institute of Medical Research]
:: Image Credit: Diane Groves, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA (thanks, Diane, for your excellent photo of a "baby" pineapple).
:: Innovation: Developing a whole new class of anticancer agent.
:: Available: Unknown.
:: Cost: Millions.
"She's going to be fine. She's really lucky her cancer has been treatable. She's getting better by the day. I can't wait to see her back on her feet. She's inspirational, she's a fighter." ~Dannii Minoque (Australian Actress)
:: Single-malt whisky can protect against cancer!
++ Bio Tech: London / Dr. Jim Swan / Charlene Nuble

Dr. Jim Swan, an independent consultant to the global drinks industry, said that, according to research, single-malt whisky contains "more ellagic acid than red wine."

He said that ellagic acid is an effective "free-radical scavenger" that "absorbs" or "eats up" rogue cells that occur in the body during eating.

"The free radicals can break down the DNA structure of our existing cells, which then leads to the risk of the body making replacement rogue cancer cells," he said.

"So, whether you indulge in the odd tipple, or you are a serious connoisseur, whisky can protect you from cancer--and science proves it."
Note From Technophile: Lesley Walker of Cancer Research UK finds the claim dubious. "There is considerable data documenting the link between drinking excess alcohol and the increased risk of a number of cancers, particularly in smokers," she said. "Ellagic acid is a powerful antioxidant, but that does not mean it is necessary to hit the bottle," she said, noting that the ellagic acid can also be found in soft fruits.
:: Source: [Charlene Nuble]
:: Image Credit: Dominic Morel, Knysna, Western Cape, South Africa

:: A combination treatment that can double the survival rates for pancreatic cancer, a disease that has very high mortality rate.
++ Bio Tech: Milan, Italy / Michele Reni / San Raffaele H. Scientific Institute

Many patients with pancreatic cancer die within a few months of diagnosis because their condition is already far advanced by the time it is spotted. The standard treatment is a single chemotherapy drug, gemcitabine (Gemzar), which interferes with the growth of cancer cells. However, the survival rate is not good. Only 17 to 28 percent of diagnosed patients using gemcitabine survive beyond a year.

Italian researchers recruited 99 volunteers with pancreatic cancer and assigned gemcitabine-only treatment to 47 of them, while the other 52 were given gemcitabine in combination with other chemotherapy drugs: Cisplatin (Platinol), Epirubicin (Ellence), and Flourouracil (Adrucil). After a year, about 40 percent of the group on the combination treatment had survived, twice that of the gemcitabine-only group.
Note From Technophile: The study was led by Michele Reni, an oncologist at the San Raffaele H. Scientific Institute in Milan, who suggests that a wider trial be carried out before the combination treatment is enshrined as the new standard.
:: Source: [San Raffaele H. Scientific Institute]
:: Innovation: Using combination therapy to double the survival rate of cancer patients.

:: Treatment switch almost doubles the chances that breast cancer will not reoccur.
++ Bio Tech: Vienna, Austria / Raimund Jakesz / Vienna Medical University

Women diagnosed with early breast cancer who are on the mainstream drug tamoxifen can greatly improve their chance of avoiding a recurrence of the disease if they switch treatment after two years.

Austrian and German doctors looked at data from two big trials in which patients were randomly assigned just tamoxifen for their postsurgery drug, or were switched to anastrozole, an aromatase inhibitor, after two years on tamoxifen.

At a follow-up five years after surgery, women who made the switch to anastrozole were 40 percent less likely to have a recurrence of breast cancer.

Of the 1,606 women in the tamoxifen-only group, there had been 110 cases of recurrence by the five-year mark.

Among the 1,618 in tamoxifen-then-anastrozole group, there were 67 cases of recurrence.
Note From Technophile: The study was headed by Raimund Jakesz, a professor at Vienna Medical University.
:: Source: [Vienna Medical University]
:: Image Credit: Marek Bernat, Wroclaw, Dolnoslaskie, Poland.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Extreme Streaming!

:: The Internet is about to become a major medium for delivering high-definition TV, video content and movies on-demand!
++ IP Tech: California, USA / IPTV / MatrixStream

The future of the Internet may have been realized. The MatrixStream system lets users download high-definition video content (such as television shows, movies, concerts, sporting events, and music videos) over standard broadband lines at incredible speeds (as fast as 6 Mbps).

MatrixStream has optimized the video streaming delivery method so that DVD quality videos can be delivered over the internet in real time (provided you have a broadband connection that is at least 3 times the desired video bandswidth). They have overcome the inherent problems of the Internet such as traffic bursts and unstable bandwidth by combining the best of streaming, push VOD (Video On-Demand) and download VOD technology.

The general rule about downloading HD (High Definition) video using competing technologies, is that downloading the content takes longer than watching it.

The peer-to-peer file sharing model, popularized by technologies such as BitTorrent, breaks a movie up into various pieces to transmit it, inherently increasing wait times.

With the speed MatrixStream is achieving, you could download a 90-minute movie in less than 15 minutes (this means you can watch it while you are downloading it - also known as "streaming").

MatrixStream's patent-pending MatrixCast protocol is extremely efficient in the delivery of video to digital media clients such as an IP (Internet Protocol) set-top box (like the IMX 1020 High Definition set-top box, shown above) or the PC. MatrixStream has spent years in optimizing this video delivery method, because like many others (including cable and satellite companies), they have realized that that video streaming is the future of the Internet!
Note From Technophile: MatrixStream's end-to-end solution is designed to be plug-n-play. IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) providers can deploy a MatrixStream solution quickly and easily without all the hassles of integrating different pieces of IPTV solutions from different vendors. All they need is one (or more) MatrixStream servers. The end-user can view streaming video on multiple digital media platforms such as their PC, television, or their home theatre system (each set top box fully supports Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound via the optical PCM output). The set top box can also be used as a server to provide a multi-room video environment. The whole family can then access the entire VOD library stored on the digital media server and watch different videos at the same time. Incredible!
:: Source: [MatrixStream]
:: Image Credits: MatrixStream.
:: Innovation: Delivering HD (High-Definition) video over the Internet on-demand!
:: Available: Now (to view a podcast about this technology, click here).
:: Speed Test: To know how fast your Internet connection really is, click here.
A quote from the movie, "Matrix": "Morpheus: Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself."

Monday, April 03, 2006

Extreme Singing & Dancing Robot!

:: The QRIO Entertainment Robot is Sony's newest corporate goodwill ambassador, an embodiment of the company's dreams of melding artificial intelligence with autonomous movement, communications capabilities, face recognition, space perception, stable bipedal locomotion, and real-time motion control.
++ Robot Tech: Japan / Sony / QRIO

He doesnt just sing and dance; QRIO has a clear singing voice and has fluid moves to rival any of today's pop superstars.

He's also a smart and likeable fellow who can recognize voices and faces, memorize words, stabilize his body so he can walk on uneven surfaces, and get up on his own when he falls down.

He even has capabilities for accessing and sharing information from the Internet, and can even convey intimacy with words and actions.

Featuring the latest technology in voice and face recognition, motion control and communication, Sony QRIO has also contributed to the creation of a new generation of Sony products and technologies.

His posture sensors are taken from the steady-shot technology for the HandyCam; his movements come from the precise machinery assembly of Sony's CD players.
Note From Technophile: QRIO (pronounced "Curio") is still in the early stages of development, but he has already made the first pitch at a San Diego Padres game, conducted for the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra in concert, played soccer in Portugal, and performed a traditional Thai dance for a live audience in Bangkok. During a visit to Athens this summer, QRIO even gave a short speech and interacted with visitors. QRIO's development could lead to more exciting technology concepts and innovations from Sony in the future. You can also view him in action on his home page at Since 2003, countries all over the world have been sponsoring special soccer games as part of the RoboCup project. The ultimate goal is for robots to play against humans, and win!

The ultimate goal of the RoboCup project is to by 2050, develop a team of fully autonomous humanoid robots that can win against the human world champion team in soccer.

RoboCup is an international joint project to promote AI, robotics, and related fields. It is an attempt to foster AI and intelligent robotics research by providing a standard and complex problem where a wide range of technologies need to be integrated and examined.

RoboCup chose to use soccer games as a central topic of research, because of the challenges that the game represents. In order for a robot team to actually perform a soccer game, various technologies must be incorporated including: design principles of autonomous agents, multi-agent collaboration, strategy acquisition and goal seeking, real-time reasoning, robotics, and sensor-fusion.

Solutions to these challenges can be applied towards solving socially significant challenges as well as other challenges found throughout the industry.

:: Source: [QRIO]
:: Image Credits: Sony.
:: Innovation: Human vs. Humanoid: QRIO is one of the first steps towards developing a team of fully autonomous humanoid robots that can win against the human world soccer champion team.
:: Available: 2050
:: Cost: Unknown.
Quote from I, Robot (2004):

"Detective Spooner: Can a robot write a symphony? Can a robot turn a canvas into a beautiful painting?

Sonny: Can you?"