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Pictorial: The 2014 World Flyboard Championships

Pictorial: The 2014 World Flyboard Championships
New thought propagates at the speed of light in the digital age, as evidenced by the third World Flyboard Cup. Frankie Zapata conceived the Flyboard in Spring 2011, developed the sub-$10,000 PWC attachment inside a few weeks and a spectacular new extreme sport was born. read more
BPG image format offers JPEG quality at half the file size
French programmer Fabrice Bellard has come up with a graphics format he believes can "replace the JPEG image format." Bellard's BPG (Better Portable Graphics) format boasts a compelling quality advantage over JPG, particularly when images are heavily compressed. read more
Volvo chasing low emissions with new 3-cylinder engine
Volvo continues to chase better fuel economy with the development of a new three-cylinder engine, which will sit alongside the Swedish brand's Drive-E four-cylinder motors in its lineup. read more
ESA and Omega create new astronaut watch
Omega watches have flown on manned space missions since the Omega Speedmaster Professional Chronograph was carried on Project Mercury in the early 1960s. Now the latest version, the Speedmaster Skywalker X-33, is seeing service on the International Space Station. read more
Mobile Technology
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs. Google Nexus 6: Quick look
If you're shopping for a huge phone this holiday season, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Google Nexus 6 are two of your best options. Let's take a quick hands-on look at the two phablets. read more
Around The Home
Nest thermostat gets Google app integration, can now be controlled by voice
Google paying US$3.2 billion for smart thermostat company Nest gave an indication of the company's vision for the connected home. Now it has integrated control of the thermostat with its Google app, letting owners control their Nest via voice commands and enabling location-based services. read more
Zinc blood test could lead to early diagnosis of breast cancer
Thanks to techniques normally used to analyze trace metal isotopes for studying climate change and planetary formation, early diagnosis of breast cancer could one day be possible via a simple blood test that detects changes in zinc in the body. read more
Mobile Technology
Review: Gladius 5 ruggedized phablet is a mobile office
Gizmag tested the Gladius 5, a ruggedized work phablet meant to play nice with the internet of things. Here's our report back from the field. read more
Adding liquids to solids could make them stronger – and more useful
Scientists at Yale University have discovered that if liquid droplets are just the right size, they can actually make a solid material stiffer when added to it. Their findings could pave the way for composite materials that use liquids for added functionality, yet that don't compromise strength. read more
NuDown inflatable jackets insulate with air
Back in 2009, Utah-based company Klymit came up with a wild idea for cold-weather clothing: replace traditional insulation with gas. Under the guidance of start-up NuDown, the inflatable insulation has been repackaged into a simpler form, using a simple hand pump to adjust your core warmth. read more
TorrX automatically pumps balls up to the right pressure
Balls made for organized sports are designed to be used at a specific hardness, which is why the TorrX was invented. It's a portable electric pump, that automatically inflates or deflates a ball in order to reach a given pressure. read more
Ford updates Sync in-car comms system
Ford has announced an updated version of its Sync in-car communications and entertainment system. The automaker says the new version has an improved smartphone-like interface, along with better performance and speech recognition capabilities. read more
New aerial firefighting system gulps water faster
When you're using helicopters to dump water on forest fires, it goes without saying that the faster you can obtain and deliver water, the better. A new system developed by Spanish firm Inventec is claimed to be capable of sucking up 1,000 L (119 gal) in just five seconds. read more
Affordable capsule hotel envisioned for Paris
Paris is a world class city, but it's also a tourist trap, and there's a definite lack of decent inexpensive hotels in the city center. In a bid to change this, Parisian firm MenoMenoPiu Architects recently designed a concept capsule hotel that would offer tourists an affordable place to stay. read more
Jaguar Land Rover researching "transparent" roof supports and ghost car navigation
Having shown off its transparent bonnet concept earlier this year, Jaguar Land Rover is now looking into how to make other parts of its cars disappear. The firm is researching how to let drivers see through a vehicle's roof support pillars, while also developing a ghost car navigation system. read more
Cougar bolsters its gaming keyboard lineup with the membrane-based, anti-ghosting 500K
The Cougar 500K gaming keyboard may look a lot like the company's high-end, mechanical 700K offering, but it actually makes use of lower-cost membrane tech. However, this won't impact functionality as you might expect, with the 500K offering full N-Key Rollover. read more
Put Christmas Lego to good use: Measure Planck's Constant with it
Engineers have designed an experiment that uses Lego blocks and a few other electronic bits and pieces that would allow any keen tinkerer to build a device that not only determines Planck's Constant but may also help quantify the international standard unit of mass. read more
CyberStep primes KDJ-ONE portable audio workstation for release
Japan's CyberStep Communications has announced a redesigned KDJ-ONE portable music studio is finally ready for release and has launched not one, but two simultaneous crowdfunding efforts to bring the device to market. read more
Amsterdam Central train station sports a high-tech rainbow
The liquid crystal technology being developed for research on exoplanets has been adapted to project a 150-feet-high rainbow on the roof arch of Amsterdam Central Station. It will be turned on every night for a short period after sunset. read more
Microsoft to accept payments in bitcoin
Microsoft has quietly announced that its customers can now use bitcoin to purchase certain products through third party payment processor BitPay, which also supports tech sales site TigerDirect and Virgin's space flight offshoot Virgin Galactic. read more

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