The Only Gun That Can Make Aquaman Flinch

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Have you ever had to pursue an armed and dangerous international criminal while underwater?

Really? Earlier today you say? Well that’s unexpected…and a little impressive.

Well it turns out that situation is a fairly common occurrence for Russian spec ops as well, and in encountering it they’ve determined that most guns absolutely suck at shooting underwater, and that it’s a real pain in the ass to have to carry a separate weapon designed specifically for aquatic battles (I should really watch “Thunderball” again…)

Instead of lamenting the situation though, a Russian arms designer went ahead and solved it with the creation of the ADS, which is billed as the world’s first amphibious assault rifle. By allowing for the gun to fire a smaller, more aquatic friendly round, along with the more traditional magazines, the ADS is able to effectively work both on land, and underwater where it has a range of about 85 feet, and is capable of shooting an impressive 800 rounds per minute. It also has a grenade launcher attachment, and while nothing specific was mentioned regarding its aquatic functionality, as with most grenade launchers it’s safe to assume the specifics are largely irrelevant.

As mentioned, this weapon is mostly intended for use by Russian forces, and is in fact being tested by them now, so it might be a while (if ever) before you’re convincing a very worried fish and game warden that the aquatic assault rifle you’re carrying is just for streamlined hunting and fishing purposes. As per usual though, you can enjoy a YouTube demonstration of the ADS from a Russian news segment on it, which gets bonus points from using one of the songs off of the “Casino” soundtrack for the highlight video.

New Self Assembling Cubes Might Serve A Far Better Purpose Than Making Great YouTube Videos

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Sometimes your favorite piece of technology can make you feel like a kid playing with their favorite toy when you’re using it. It’s just an added benefit that your new favorite toy often provides some sort of additional life benefit outside of being fun to play with, making it the technological equivalent of Kix cereal. Kid tested, mother approved.

This new piece of technology in the works at MIT seems to fit that design philosophy. It’s a series of self-assembling cubes that are able to function independently and can quickly form a variety of shapes with almost no human interaction required.

Functioning off of a complex mixture of computer chips, flywheels, and magnets, the basic tech behind these cubes may bring back those childhood toy memories and make you start dreaming of their use in the ultimate “Transformers” toy, but the team behind them are already dreaming up some pretty amazing potential real life uses for them, including uses in quickly repairing structures, or forming must have items in emergencies quickly, such as hospital beds.

The final uses for this invention may be up in the air, but it’s clear that the technology is as good as the developer’s intentions, which usually serves as the basis to great products.

Though hopefully, after these are done saving the world, we can actually get that sweet new “Transformer’s” toy.

You May Not Believe That iOS 7 Makes Your Device Waterproof, but it Turns Out Some People Do

enhanced-buzz-22303-1380020250-0While I usually like to use this site to show the amazing new pieces of technology that are improving not just our everyday lives, but the world itself, every now and then I think we could use a reminder that even the smartest of devices can be ruined by the inherent stupidity of people.

Take for instance the brand new iOS 7 update. While the full merits of the update and the new features it provides are debatable, the one thing we can all agree on is that it doesn’t make your device waterproof. That may sound like an incredibly out of place and obvious statement, but apparently it really, really needs to be reiterated, as a fake advert for the new operating software has been getting passed around the internet through various sites which all claim, through admittedly professional looking formatting, that the most recent update will make whatever phone it is uploaded to waterproof.

Now, if you’re intelligent enough to not believe such a thing, you’ve also probably deduced by now that some people have fallen for this. In fact it turns out quite a few people believed this, as evidenced by a Twitter search that reveals not only people ecstatic regarding this recent “upgrade,” but some who are now very irate after trying to test it. Of particular note is the person lamenting that their iPhone is now at the bottom of a river after this,suggesting they not only lack common sense and a basic understanding of technology, but quite possibly don’t understand what waterproof means as well.

Thanks to the miracle of Vine, we can also see a person actually attempt to drop their phone in water after reading this news, in case you were ever wondering what such an act of wanton stupidity looks like.

Perhaps I should be more sympathetic for these people who have now probably ruined their devices, especially those if they tried it with their brand new 5S. Instead I’m choosing to laugh at their amazing ability to possess more money than common sense, and appreciate the fact there are pranksters out there who are using the power of technology to continually prove the truth behind the old George Carlin quote, “Imagine how stupid the average person is, then realize that half of them are dumber than that.”

In case it needs reiterating though, iOS 7 does not make your device waterproof and no software update ever possibly could.

Popular Motion Technology “Leap” Reaches Deal With HP

Back in May of last year (essentially prehistoric times in technology talk) I wrote about the Leap Motion, a movement based control system for PCs that was rapidly gaining popularity in tech circles thanks to some impressive demos that had people wondering if it may just be the first viable motion based system. Fast forward to the present day, and the Leap continues to gain popularity for its non-invasive and highly functional design that not only amazes with its abilities, but its practicality as well.

HP seems to feel the same, as they’ve recently unveiled a new model of their Envy laptop line that will come with the Leap Motion installed, a first in the computer industry.

While most of the Leap’s functions are still focused on simple navigation tricks that are especially handy for the Windows 8 OS the Envy will sport, you’ll also get several specifically designed programs for the device pre-installed, such as a 3D modeler and five Leap based games when you purchase the $1,050 laptop.

Of course, as with many motion devices, the idea of buying a Leap or this Envy is the idea that you are buying into a future where several thousand programs and applications exist either specifically for the Leap, or with available support for it. While the impressive amount of currently available apps suggests that is not a future without hope, its still technology that is far from standard.

As such this Envy may be an early adopter’s buy, but it looks to be a pretty damn nice one. So while the Envy’s overall specs will probably be a better indicator as to the validity of the machine as an overall purchase for the average consumer, as Kinect owners will tell you, even when motion controls don’t always exhibit their full potential, they tend to still remain impressively entertaining.

Apple Makes the iPhone 5 Irrelevant Too Soon With the New iPhone Unveilings

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Remember that old “Animaniacs” segment ‘Good Idea/Bad Idea’ where the narrator would show a similarly themed idea and the good idea and bad idea versions of it? Let’s play that with Apple’s newest iPhone announcement.

Good idea; the iPhone 5S.

The 5S looks to be the most powerful smartphone ever, and everything about it (including the gimmicky, but soon to be standard, fingerprint scanner) fits perfectly in line with the Apple model of releasing a new model that isn’t quite ready to be distinguished as the next build (i.e. the iPhone 6), but represents a nice leap forward when compared to what came before.

Bad idea; the insulting, low down, no good, dirty rotten, laughably greedy idea now known as the iPhone 5C.

You know how Apple usually lowers the price of a previous model of iPhone when the new one comes out? Yeah, well this time they’ve decided to release a “new” and cheaper version of the iPhone 5 called the iPhoneC instead. Though there are some minor differences between the iPhone 5 and the 5C, the biggest ones would have to be the extremely low price point ($99, no contract required), the all plastic body, and the shiny, shiny, colors it is available in.

By itself it wouldn’t be such a bad idea (essentially a really cheap iPhone 5), but what makes its unveiling such a slap in the face is that Apple has also made the decision that they will discontinue the iPhone 5 starting immediately. That means that everyone holding an iPhone 5 right now is essentially dead to Apple, as they are clearly expecting all of their customers who want to retain basic service and be able to purchase accessories to either drop a fresh ton of cash on the 5S, or to purchase the near identical 5C model for an unnecessary $99 fee.

This is simply inexcusable, especially considering that a 64 GB model of the iPhone 5C is not even available like it is for the iPhone 5. While Apple could have released the 5C as a cheaper alternative, they’ve instead chosen to enhance their nefarious image as the absolute greediest company in the tech world, by turning their most loyal (and recent) customers into nothing but suckers who will accept a financial reaming from a major corporation so long as the offending apparatus is in shiny new colors.

In a way I feel bad for iPhone 5 owners, as they are between a rock and a hard place when it comes to the new releases given the discontinuation announcement. On the other hand, anyone that submits to this billion dollar cash ploy and continues to give their financial and spiritual support to Apple, deserves to receive the sub-human consumer treatment that Apple has started to package along with every iPhone sold.

The All-In-One Pandora Looks Destined to Be the Future

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With phablets finding its way into the dictionary (along with twerking, which….well let’s leave that be), it’s pretty safe to say the hybrid style of devices is here to stay and will continue to be a major part of technology moving forward.

Just when you think you’ve seen it all though, comes the ultimate potential hybrid device, the Pandora.

Billed as a desktop/laptop/tablet hybrid, what separates the Pandora from just about every other similar device is a unique build that doesn’t make it natively comfortable as any of those three devices it can transform into, and instead allows it to truly become work with equal functionality in any form.

Measuring only 9mm thick, this impressive gadget can fold out into a 16:9 widescreen desktop monitor, while and L shape bend turns it into a 13 inch laptop complete with pop up keyboard for the lower half, which can then be folded back to form a Windows 8 powered 13 inch tablet. In any setup, the Pandora sports four speakers, a microphone, front and back cameras, and a flexible battery.

Further details such as the processing power and price are still incoming, so it’s still difficult to measure the full validity of this specific device, but whether or not you consider it to be the future of gadgets, it’s hard to argue that a design of this nature one day will be.

French Fry Vending Machine….That is All

While there is some debate if we have the Belgians or the French to thank for the french fry, it’s an argument that’s now entirely irrelevant as the Belgians have recently perfected the food by creating a french fry vending machine.

Now unlike those crappy hot fries Andy Capp has been trying to pawn off on you for years, these vending machine fries are the real deal, as for about $3.40 you get a cup of crispy fries just like momma used to buy them from your favorite fast food joint, and even a complimentary squirt of mayonnaise or ketchup.

You may have some, very valid, questions concerning the quality of vending machine french fries, and some equally worrisome queries regarding how well vending machine condiments hold up, but frankly not wanting a cup of french fries and dipping sauce for under 4 bucks in about a minute and a half is simply un-American.

Of course for the moment this machine of wonder and fried joy is only available in Belgium, but if you think there is a chance a machine that dispenses cheap bad decisions for your supposed nourishment won’t be coming stateside, you simply haven’t been paying attention the last half century or so.

Charge Your Batteries Through Your USB Port With This New Design

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Fewer and fewer devices in our life rely on batteries, but they are still prominent enough to insure that every now and then, you’ll fumble through your things looking for that final set of AA’s you are sure you had, and juggling between the ones in the Xbox controller and the TV controller as needed.

Rechargable batteries have been around for years to prevent scenarios just like those, and while they’re impressive technology in their own right, the classic rechargeable set up doesn’t quite feel up to speed with the modern tech world, and looks out of place in any home, not to mention the inconvenience it puts on travelers.

There is a design out there for a AA battery that looks to alleviate the modern issues with rechargeable batteries, by outfitting a standard AA battery with a USB plug-in. The set up would allow you to plug the battery into any USB port, and recharge it without any additional equipment required. Even better, the battery itself doubles as a 4GB USB flash drive for additional file storage.

Perfectly built for traveling, or really any use, this is not an idea without precedent, but it’s never looked more effective than it does with this design. Unfortunately it is just a design at the moment, and any plans past that concept are just that.

The inventor, Wonchul Hwang, sounds committed to making this concept work though, which is perfect, as so long as this device’s price doesn’t break the bank, everyone is going to want a couple of these around.

Defeat the Wine Cork, Once and for All

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Let’s take a moment to appreciate all the inventors out there who think of ways to improve aspects of our lives we never even knew was an issue until the solution is presented. In fact, to celebrate them, let’s pour a glass of wine.

Lucky for us, thanks to a recent device by one of those inventors, the process of celebrating with that wine just became easier.

The Coravin 1000 addresses the age old wine problem of removing the cork without looking like a complete amateur, or even risking the dreaded “break off” that even occupies a part of the professional wine connoisseurs mind.

That’s because the Coravin 1000 doesn’t require you to take the cork off at all, and instead uses a thin needle to pierce through the cork, while a pressure based system in conjunction with a spout lets you make normal sized pours, so you don’t lose an ounce of functionality, or a drop of wine.

More importantly though, it also doesn’t compromise the flavor of the wine by letting oxygen in. This is easily done while the needle is inserted, but the innovative part of this tech comes when you remove the needle, as the puncture it makes is so thin, it allows for the cork to reseal itself when you take the device off.

The $299 price point for the Coravin is steep, but wine is meant for occasions of relaxation and suaveness, both of which are harder when you are fumbling with a cork, and both of which come easier with this undeniably innovative and handy device.

Volvo’s Demonstration of Their New Automatic Braking System is a Must-See

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As a rule I like to be in control of a car completely while I’m driving, to the point where I often don’t even use cruise control. While some of that is wanting to experience the thrill of driving completely, there is a small part in the back of my mind that doesn’t trust leaving something so potentially urgent in control of a machine.

When it comes to features like self-parking cars, or even self-driving cars, then, I tend to steer clear.

However, looking at it practically, automated cars are the wave of the future, and will in some measure become commonplace in all models. Technicians at Volvo are working to make sure that inevitability isn’t one driven entirely by consumer curiosity and vanity, but rather filling basic needs to enhance driving for everyone.

Specifically, they are trying to perfect an automated braking system in commercial trucks that would allow them to avoid major collisions should the driver be dozing off at the wheel, or otherwise unable to properly react in time. Unlike some other “innovations” in the field like self-parking cars, this design appears to be frighteningly effective.

The truck in that video is moving at a steady pace of 40 MPH, and is about to hit two vehicles (one completely stopped, and the other moving much slower). In both cases though the automated braking system kicks in completely outside of the influence of the driver,once its realized the driver is not reacting, and brings the truck to a stop right before it collides with the vehicle.

What’s really impressive, yet somewhat scary, is the reaction time of this system. Obviously not wanting to “jump the gun” so to speak on stopping a vehicle automatically, the system waits until the last possible moment to initiate braking, and as such stops the truck mere inches away from danger, making the results look like something that wouldn’t be out of place in a Hollywood driving sequence.

While no specific plans regarding the implementation of this system in future vehicles are present as of yet, with Europe requiring similar systems to be mandatory by 2015, you can expect to hear more about this soon from Volvo and more manufacturers.

It might be scary to essentially trust your life in the hands of a system, but if they can really get it to perform as well in real road environments as they do in these situations, this could be the start of a safer, though still almost too close for comfort, future