Tech universe: Friday 23 July

By Miraz Jordan

A round-up of the latest technology news from around the globe.

HARD EBOOKS: The next hardback you cuddle up with may be a Kindle. For the first time recently Amazon sold more Kindle ebooks than hardbacks, and the trend is accelerating. Who actually buys hardbacks anyway? When will ebooks replace paperbacks? Details at CNN

TEAM TALK: In a disaster cell phone towers may be out of action - just when you need them most. Australian researchers have a system to let nearby cellphones form a temporary peer-to-peer network, without needing a tower. Better hope it's not hilly though. Check out Tech News Daily.

NO QUEUE CARD: A smart proximity chip in the new Qantas Frequent Flyer Q Card identifies passengers and their flight bookings. RFID Q Bag Tags also replace printed luggage tags, making it easy to drop off and track bags. No queues with a Q card.

4D MINI-MOVIES: Atoms move a million billion times per second - impossible to see. Or they were, until the California Institute of Technology figured out how to take and build thousands of individual images into frames of a movie.

They call the technique 4-D electron microscopy. Seen any good atoms lately? More at Scientific American.

FASTER WEATHER: NIWA's new $12.7 million supercomputer, called FitzRoy, has 100 times more power than their current computer and performs 34 trillion calculations a second. The new computer will help NIWA forecast the impacts of severe weather events and may even help to model the human body. There's rain coming, I can feel it in my bones. Details at NIWA.

- Miraz Jordan knowit.co.nz

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