Posts Tagged ‘Tech’

Scientist Plans to Clone Woolly Mammoth

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

Scientist Plans to Clone Woolly Mammoth (Just Not For Theme Park)

Get your Jurassic Park and Lord of the Rings: Return of the King jokes ready. A professor at Japan’s Kyoto University is claiming that he’ll be able to resurrect a woolly mammoth within roughly four years’ time, bringing new life to a species that died out more than 5,000 years prior.

Even though Dr. Akira Iritani isn’t going to attempt to duplicate DNA strains from animals trapped in amber, the technique he’s propositioning—which was already used by Dr. Teruhiko Wakayama of the Riken Centre for Developmental Biology to clone a mouse previously frozen for sixteen years—does sound fairly close to that on paper.

Iritani intends to travel up to a Russian mammoth research laboratory this summer in order to acquire the correct tissue from a frozen mammoth. If he can uncover a working sample of at least three square centimeters, he’ll claims that he’ll be able to insert the nuclei of the frozen mammoth cells into the egg cells of an African elephant. Following a 600-day gestation period, out pops a new woolly mammoth—in theory.

“Now that the technical problems have been overcome, all we need is a good sample of soft tissue from a frozen mammoth,” said Iritani in an interview with the Daily Telegraph. (more…)

CES 2011: Five Essential Trends

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

What a difference a year makes. Last year’s CES was remarkable mostly for its complete lack of remarkableness. I have trouble remembering a single product I saw and everyone seemed depressed. The mood at CES 2011 was akin to the vibe in a locker room on game day or backstage at a big performance: Excited, energized and maybe a bit edgy.

I wondered if it was just me who noticed this, so I asked the best judge of the mood in Vegas: a local cab driver.

“The mood is totally different this year. People are upbeat,” my driver told me. He said that he could tell there were a lot more attendees at this year’s CES, and they just seemed happier.

The feeling on the convention floor was the same: electric. Mobile analyst Sascha Segan noted that virtually none of the major products unveiled at this year’s CES had pricing info. I told him that’s actually a good thing. It means vendors are showing us stuff early, taking the risk of unveiling unfinished products, marketing plans and ideas. I love that.

Overall the show was, well, overwhelming, but in a good way. Alongside the finished and polished products were prototype and experiments. Sony devoted an entire area to the future of 3D – most of it did not need glasses and looked very cool. There were wacky designs like the Lady Gaga Polaroid product line and a general sense of fun on the show floor. There we’re also trends.


With 75 tablets introduced at CES 2011, I was right to label this year’s show tabletpalooza. There were lots of Android tablets and the most popular size was 10.1 inches. I have to admit I do not like these somewhat long and thin devices compared to the Apple iPad’s 4:3 aspect ratio, but I’m sure I could grow used to it. The tablets look alike and feel alike. They all have multiple cameras, HD or near HD screens, some have slightly rubberized backs, and others more polish. Virtually all are black.

We named the Motorola Xoom the best tablet of the show. It’s the first to show off Android 3.0 (also known as Honeycomb). Unfortunately, the on-the-floor demo was simply a video of the interface. On the other hand, you could walk over to the RIM booth and try the Blackberry Playbook’s zippy QNX interface for yourself. As I’ve said before, I like what I’ve seen of the Playbook, even the 7-inch screen size feels right—and I’m not typically a fan of that form factor.

That said, I get why everyone is so excited about the Xoom. Most manufacturers I talk to that are building Android tablets (which is like everyone) won’t ship until Google releases Honeycomb. That should happen in the spring. Even from the video I can see that the interface has been completely redone for the larger tablet screen. Xoom deserves the nod as the best tablet of the show because of the stunning hardware and incredible promise of Android 3.0, and it’s the tablet I’m most anxious to see later this year.

2.Super Phones

I did not expect to see so many new phones at CES (seriously, what will anyone have left for Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month?). The emergence of the Super Phone was not entirely surprising, but I do like the branding. It’s better than calling these really powerful cell phones “Tiny Computers.”

Super Phones, which all look virtually identical, are characterized by their Tegra 2 CPUs, high-resolutino screens, 4G connectivity, and plethora of output ports, including HDMI out so you can play Angry Birds on your HDTV—at full 1080p resolution, no less.

Amidst these handhelds was the fascinating Motorola Atrix. Remember the Redfly, a small, red, super-thin dummy laptop that hooked up to your phone to give it a large screen and keyboard (and nothing else)? Well this is that, but done in a way that makes a lot more sense. You get a very sexy and slim, roughly 13-inch phone charger and super phone dock that also sports its own LED screen, full-sized keyboard, and Webtop App, which acts as sort of a super-light, wrap-around OS. The phone is still powering everything, but you can run a handful of apps, including the Firefox web browser, on the specialized desktop interface, while having large-screen access to every single feature of your tiny comp…er…Atrix Super Phone. You can even run virtualized desktop client apps through it. In other words, you may never need a real desktop or laptop for your office again. People fell in love with this product at the show; I spent some time with it and agree it shows tremendous promise. (more…)