Tech Universe: Monday 16 April

By Miraz Jordan

Nissan's 'Taxi of tomorrow'. Photo / Supplied
Nissan's 'Taxi of tomorrow'. Photo / Supplied

NEW YORK YELLOW: Nissan's NV200 vehicle is specially designed to suit duty as a New York taxi cab. It includes features such as USB, power chargers and GPS for the passengers, a huge glass sunroof and easy to clean seats and floor. One version of the cab includes a ramp for wheelchairs. The vehicle can carry four passengers and luggage, has sliding doors, a Hearing Loop System for the hearing impaired and an
intercom for talking with the driver. The cabs will start service from 2013. Wi-Fi would be a nice touch too. Details at Nissan.

NOISY NUMBERS: Random numbers are used for all sorts of purposes, such
as air traffic control, electronic gaming and encryption. But numbers generated electronically aren't usually truly random. Researchers at The Australian National University believe they've found a source of truly random numbers by using the noise in the vacuum of space. Vacuum is not completely empty, dark, and silent. Instead virtual sub-atomic particles spontaneously appear and disappear in it, creating random
noise.

The researchers are using that noise to generate their random numbers. Quantum theory apparently guarantees that such numbers will be unpredictable. That's the theory, but has it been tested yet? The Australian National University has more here.

THE BAG OR THE PILOT?: The single-seater Elektra One Solar plane derives its power from solar cells on the wing surfaces. The carbon composite plane can fly for more than eight hours with a payload of around 100kg, including pilot. Hmm, this one's for skinny pilots only. Inhabitat has more.

SERIOUSLY ALARMED: The Ramos alarm clock won't let you sleep in. To
turn it off you have to get out of bed, go in another room and punch in a unique code. The remote keypad then sends a wireless signal to turn off the alarm The US inventor says the only other way to stop the alarm would be to smash the clock. That's drastic. Details at the BBC.

OVERSIGHT: The US Air Force is busy capturing imagery with their
drones — masses of it. The only problem is, there's too much data for the Air Force to interpret, digest and use well. So essentially their eyes are bigger than their stomachs. Details at Wired.

- Miraz Jordan knowit.co.nz

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