OLD NEWS: Dying to catch up on the events of 150 years ago? You may no longer need to visit the Library or Archive in person. The British Library digitised up to 8,000 pages per day of newspapers from the 18th and 19th centuries. It's free to search the 12 billion words of the archive but accessing the actual content requires paying a fee.
Scanning hasn't stopped either: the Library plan to digitise up to another 40 million newspaper pages over the next 10 years. Researchers will be very happy about this. BBC. The British Newspaper Archive:
CODED FISH: That fish you're eating &mdash; is it really what it's claimed to be? Well, maybe you could check its barcode. DNA barcoding is gradually being accepted around the world as a way to verify the species of fish. For instance, a sample of the fish caught by a trawler may be tested and barcoded as a way to certify its authenticity.
This may help avoid cheaper fish being misrepresented as being a more valuable species, or endangered species being sold as a more common variety. Look for a thriving industry next of swapping and forging barcodes. AP.
SHAPESHIFTER: It oozes; it slithers; it undulates. It probably even
does the Limbo. A soft robot from Harvard is made of elastomers. The robot is made to move by filling chambers within its body with compressed air. The starfish-shaped robot can slither into confined spaces, perhaps under a door. Although resistant to toppling over or falling it's very vulnerable because of its soft body. If you need some slithering done though, it's your go-to robot. DVICE. Video here.
PAPER TIES: For those who just can't end their love affair with print
the Little Printer may prolong the euphoria just a bit longer. A tiny cube holds a holds a compact, inkless, thermal printer that connects to the web via wireless. It checks sources and creates a supermarket receipt style magazine for you as often as you like &mdash; perhaps twice a day. Your magazine could include puzzles, headlines,
FourSquare checkins, ToDo lists and other items. All the fun and inconvenience of being tied to the 20th century! Berg Cloud.
STICK TO YOUR KNITTING: 2011 has been the International Year of
Chemistry, so to celebrate chemists across New Zealand have knitted a 3.7 metre by 1.9 metre periodic table of the elements. The item took more than 3 months for 162 knitters to create and contains 8 Km of pure wool. Clearly chemists can do anything. University of Waikato News.
Miraz Jordan, knowit.co.nz