Tech Universe: Thursday 20 October

By Miraz Jordan

SUBBING: If you fancy the idea of owning a submarine for yourself or your family then the C-Quester or C-Explorer models from U-Boat Worx may interest you. The C-Questers can dive to 100 metres with a couple of people aboard, while the C-Explorers can carry between 1 and 5 people to 1,000 metres. An acrylic sphere gives a 360 degree view and Li-ion batteries handle power needs. Go on, you know you want one!
U-boat Worx.

SPACEPORT 1: Spaceport America in New Mexico is the world's first commercial spaceport. The spaceport will be home to Virgin Galactic and has a 3.2 Km long and 61 metre wide runway that can handle the VSS Enterprise and VMS Eve craft. The Terminal Hangar Facility was dedicated in a ceremony a couple of days ago. Start your preparations now - commercial space flights begin soon.
Scientific American.

PREDICT THE OBVIOUS: The police in Santa Cruz, California are testing out software that predicts where a crime might happen. Locations of past incidents flag likely future crime scenes, and police can put in extra patrols in those areas. Mathematicians at Santa Clara University noticed that crimes may occur in geographical clusters so their software predicts where crimes such as burglary and theft may next occur.

Hmmm, let's see: that notorious bad part of town? Yes, I predict a crime may occur there today.
New Scientist.

CELL ENERGY: Scientists at the Joseph Fourier University of Grenoble in France have created a biofuel cell. It uses glucose and oxygen at concentrations found in the body to generate electricity. They've demonstrated a small version of their device working while implanted in a living rat. This means that all kinds of prosthetics and implants could be powered by the body, rather than needing batteries that must be changed out quite often. Their current biocell is about the size of a grain of rice, but the power draw of some prosthetics may require a larger version. Keep up the sugar intake folks.

NANNY CAR: Ford want their cars to help you keep track of your health — perhaps monitoring blood sugar levels, for example. One of their research projects adds health monitoring apps to the in-car internet-connected computer. The car can track a wireless glucose monitor, or get online allergy alerts. Diabetics who use a wireless monitor could find their car alerting them to low blood sugar levels, and people with allergies may find the windows automatically roll up if pollen levels are high. Aucklanders caught up in traffic snarl-ups could find a car like that very useful.
Technology Review.

-Miraz Jordan

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