The Evolution of Nintendo’s Superheroes

via Gizmodo by Haroon Malik on 2/23/08

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Here’s a really great image looking back at the royal roots of the three Nintendo big boys; Mario, Link and Donkey Kong. There isn’t any monochrome character love from the old days proper, but it is quite an extensive time line nonetheless, which culminates in the modern day incarnations of our beloved superheroes. Things we have learnt from the image include the fact that Donkey Kong once had breasts bigger than Pamela, Link has been know to walk about without his hat and Mario hasn’t always had enough pixels for a well defined mustache. It is all rather shocking stuff; brace yourself and jump in for the money shot.

[Fubiz via Notcot]

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Weird Plasma Thingamachine Creates the Sleekest iPhone Ever

via Gizmodo by Haroon Malik on 2/23/08

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Paul Knight uses this weird machine to change the appearance of iPhones and iPods into spy plane black titanium nitride-coated machines, which are quite more beautiful than the originals. It uses “plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition” to modify the nature of the surfaces, a complex chemical process used to coat objects like luxury watches, drill bits or aircraft blades. The finished gadgets are simply stunning.

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Paul’s iPhone Custom has a gold TiN Apple logo and a black TiAIN black front covering a variant of the TiN process described below. The back covers are replaced with black anodized aluminum to eliminate the contrast between the antenna cover and the usual silver colored backing. Another project involved a more minimalist black logo. Either way, they look stunning.

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TiN is applied using a plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition tool. There is a block of titanium placed into a mahoosive machine similar to the one you saw above, nitrogen gas is flowed in, plasma is formed, things get ridiculously fast, atoms get embroiled in a turf war and fallen atoms end up providing the basis for the amazing coating. What does that mean? We have no idea; we were paraphrasing, my limited education only got me so far in high school. Fortunately, we know a spanking gorgeous iPhone when we see pictures of it, and the iPhone Custom is the best example we have seen to date. No figures were thrown about, but the mods were said to cost “a lot of $,” which pretty much means we cannot afford it. We still want. We really, really, really want. Oh, our want hurts so bad.

[Gigapascal via gen[m]ay]

New Mexico Radio Telescope Hears Jupiter-Area Calls

via Gizmodo by Eric Sheline on 2/24/08

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Scientists seem to be focused on extraterrestrial mobile phone service recently, first planning for them on the moon and now claiming the ability to detect a cellular call on Jupiter. This half billion mile range is made possible by upgrading their Very Large Array radio telescope to handle digital data streams.

The improved array, brilliantly named the Expanded Very Large Array, is now halfway done and well on its way to completion in 2012. Each of the 28 dish antennas will eventually be able to collect eight simultaneous two gigahertz streams, giving the facility ten times greater power than before. The EVLA will be used to study star formation, supernovae, and black holes. Though the price is a cool $94 million, that’s less than the cost of 190 neat wristwatches.

[SciAm via /.]

Japan’s Kizuna Satellite to Beam Souped Up Internet Connection Back Home

via Gizmodo by Haroon Malik on 2/24/08

Kizuna%20Launch%20GI.jpgJapan is launching the Kizuna satellite, which will bring high-speed internet access to Japan’s remote territories and neighboring countries, as well as providing continuous networking in case of emergency. The $342 million project, spearheaded by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), is expected to culminate in internet connections reaching speeds of 1.2Gbps, dwarfing current ADSL connections that typically allow data transfer to occur at below 8 Mbps. Users will need to install an antenna to be able to receive a signal, but for those speeds, I’d be willing to trade in a pound of my very own flesh.

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Kizuna is expected to go live in July following a setup process once it is in position, but a speed boost is not the only aim of the game. Having a satellite in space means natural disasters on Earth are not going to have any ramifications on the country’s connectivity, which can be imperative in disaster zones. If all should go well, expect such an infrastructure to hit the mainstream. Does that mean everyone will have a 1.2Gbps connection? Will outages become a thing of the past? Does Simba eventually become a good leader? The answers come in July, when the service rolls out.

[JAXA via Yahoo News; AP]

Solar Dragonfly Flaps Wings Feebly, Makes Us Sad

via Gizmodo by Haroon Malik on 2/24/08

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James Watts spends his time putting together fantastic insect-bot sculptures, and the Solar Dragonfly is one of the best. The solar panels running down the body actually power the wings, which are then kicked into motion using a pager motor. Sure, it looks swell, but we can’t help but think the Solar Dragonfly would lose its balance whilst flapping its wings feebly, all the while wishing it was a real dragonfly. How would Disney have tackled that one? A solar powered dragonfly that wants to be a real insect—now there’s a cartoon we want to see. Pixar, hop to it. Hit the link for some more great shots.

[Clockwork Robot via Make]

Nokia Morph Cellphone Rolls Up, Stretches, Cleans Itself

via Gizmodo by Kit Eaton on 2/25/08

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Nokia’s new Morph concept phone would use nanotechnology to give it a flexible body with a transparent display that could be re-shaped depending on the user’s needs, a far cry from today’s solid and chunky devices. Even the electronics inside it would be transparent and flexible, so the whole phone may be twisted and stretched into bracelet shapes or tablet form, and nanotech cleverness means it would even clean itself. Developed in cooperation with Cambridge University, this glimpse of a distant future is now on display at the MoMA in New York. [Unwiredview]

Humanscale Paramount monitor wall — you know you want eight screens

via DVICE by Kevin Hall on 2/21/08

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The Paramount Parabolic Multi-Monitor Display by Humanscale gives you an easy way to attach anywhere from two to eight screens onto its unfolding monitor arm, no tools required. Everything snaps into place, including the displays. The screens are curved toward you for your comfort, and the rack is adjustable to accommodate a wide range of monitor sizes.

Why in the world would you want eight monitors? I don’t know — buy an army of house-watching robots and see all that they see at the same time, or play so many puzzle games at once that your brain explodes. The power is yours!

The Humanscale Paramount is due out early this year. No idea what pricing looks like, though, like most of Humanscale’s products, it’s meant for offices to buy and not the individual.

Via Humanscale