Wednesday, 24 February 2010

The First Question - 9 February 2010

This week's panel

Kenny Hubble, Charlene Trudeau, Arkowitz Jonson & Blotter Republic


Truth will always be truth, regardless of lack of understanding, disbelief or ignorance. -W. Clement Stone

Computing is not about computers any more. It is about living. -Nicholas Negroponte

A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing. -Emo Philips

Word-UP of the week -“Impromptubleep.” A swear word or string of swear words created on the fly to fit a given situation -Charlene Trudeau


For the answers go to The 1st Question blog at

1) By 2030, a third of all Japanese citizens will be over 65. they're developing an astounding array of robotics to keep the country producing and are light years ahead of the West where all trends point to similar demographic trends. When you also need something to love, create a robot pet. and they have one that behaves as much as possible like a real animal, enjoying cuddles and pats, complaining for attention or 'food' (a battery charge), and reacting with fear and anger to being hit. Gradually learning to respond to whatever name you keep calling him, as well as various other audio cues. But without all the muss. Which animal not a cat or dog, was chosen to make your heart melt and keep you company?

2)It is a compound of almost pure silicon dioxide; the spray forms a layer that can be cleaned with water alone. It creates a film and over a sterile surface can provide complete protection. The patent for the technology is owned by a German company, Nanopool. It provides an easy-clean coating hundreds of times thinner than a human hair, protecting the surface against water, dirt, bacteria, heat and UV radiation. What is this substance the National health Service, a designer clothing company and a German branch of a hamburger chain are all investigating for use

3)Jim Morrison sang 'Come on come on and touch me baby” he might have been singing about the new multi touch technology which is both prevalent and popular. This Portuguese company has just announced the development of a “skin” based on capacitive technology, a thinner-than-paper polymer film that turns about any surface, into an interactive touch screen display. The technology works by a grid of nanowires placed throughout the film. These input signals are then passed to a microprocessor that analyzes the data and determines the exact location where the contact took place. What is the name of the company that has created hypersensitive lightweight “skin” with a transparency rate of 98% able to locate 16 fingers at a single time.?

4)In 1995 Sandia National Laboratories, bought one of the world's first commercial 3D haptic devices, and began developing software for it. Tom Anderson led the project until 2000 at which point he founded Novint which acquired an exclusive license and began commercialization. Novint developed the Falcon -which can be used to feel objects and events in video games, giving the player a more immersive experience. Now it has developed something ithat will track your spatial hand movements in 3D and activate your fave apps and media with a wave of your hand. The result is an intelligent product concept with unlimited possibilities. What is it called?

5)200 megabits per second for wireless data transfer was faster than what your grandfather might have seen however we have a whole new level of expectation today. This Electronic engineering company just broke their own record by achieving 500 Mbps using white LED light. Although invisible to the human eye, they can be read by a photodetector receiver, which converts them into electrical pulses. This type of data transfer is known as Visible Light Communication, or VLC. And when it comes to highly-sensitive data, VLC would be a good choice because its signal can’t be tapped. What company has broken its own record?

6) People in some developing countries have been known to walk for three hours just to find an outlet from which to charge a mobile phone, electricity is that scare . This four-girl team began as one of many groups in an engineering sciences class at Harvard. They created a prototype soccer ball that captures kinetic energy through an inductive coil mechanism when it is kicked or thrown, then stores it in an internal battery and makes that energy available for a myriad of small but useful purposes. In other words, it’s a fun, portable energy-harvesting power source What is the name of the team or the ball which will created energy?

7) Elysia chlorotica is unusual. Not content to eat algae that have mastered the art of photosynthesis, it actually appears to have stolen the genes that make it possible. It converts sunlight to energy all by itself. They can make their energy-containing molecules without having to eat anything, Under study for 20 years it has been determined that these multicellar animals have been able to produce chlorophyll. As long as a light is shined on them for 12 hours a day, they can survive without food. What kind of creature are they?

8)NASA and General Motors have partnered up before -in the '60s developing navigation systems for the Apollo missions, and also in the development of the first vehicle to be used on the moon – the Lunar Rover. Now they team up to build a new robot dexterous enough to use the same tools as humans, allowing them to work safely alongside humans on Earth or in space. Love the word safely. It can use its hands to do work beyond the scope of prior humanoid machines. Working side by side with humans, or going where the risks are too great for people, machines will expand our capability for construction and discovery. This is version 2. What is this robot called?

9) Hybrid cars and EVs rely on batteries for power, but batteries are bulky and heavy, causing the car to use up more energy. But what if a car's bodywork was made of a strong, lightweight material that could store and discharge electrical energy like a battery does? In pursuing this goal we could think wafer thin mobile phones and laptops that don't need a separate battery because they draw power from their casing. The prototype material is a composite of carbon fibers and a polymer resin which can store and discharge large amounts of energy much faster than conventional batteries. What college has its researchers all aglow on this new skin?

10) Colony Collapse disorder is potentially life threatening and not just to the bees- So the introduction of this bee might be a life saver. These bees are unaffected by CCD and they're better at pollinating than honeybees so you need less of them. Because they're fast fliers, and remain active in poor weather, instead of living in colonies with assigned roles, each bee lives an independent existence, and all the females lay eggs. And a great number of bees will gladly cohabitate in a relatively small bee house. Because they don't form societies, or produce wax, they don't live in hives. Instead, each bee finds an already-existent tubular hole and moves in with their Nirvana CD collection and begins to rock out. Sorry no, its not a dorm room – its a bee house, who lives there?

11)The worlds largest thought controlled experiment will be at the Olympics this year. And no its not a rematch of Tonya Harding trying to stare down Nancy Kerrigan. A Toronto-based company has used mind control technology to turn on the lights and is having a special display of this technology for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Their display allows visitors to control lights at Niagara Falls as well as Ottawa’s Parliament building and the CN Tower. Visitors will have to wear a headset to measure the brain’s alpha and beta waves, associated with relaxation, and concentration respectively. And these mental signals are then transmitted over the Internet to change the light patterns..This company is very interested as are we, in using thought control for all kinds of applications. Who are they?

12)For the second year in a row, Dunkin Donuts is inviting us to create our own personal donut, win $12,000 doing so and have this unleashed nationwide. Visitors to the company's website can create a virtual donut masterpiece from a variety of donut flavors, shapes, toppings and fillings now through March 8. Somehow I am not too interested in eating a virtual doughnut, but wait there is more! A dozen finalists will be chosen by a panel of Dunkin' Donuts judges to travel to Dunkin' Donuts University (where they teach sprinkleology) and even more! The Public will also be invited to vote for its favorite finalist &. The grand prize winner will be unveiled on National Donut Day. I know you all have it marked in your calenders- what day is it?

13) It is supposedly the most important number in the world – what scientists say is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. (not the number of donuts you can safely eat at one sitting) Two years ago, after leading climatologists observed rapid ice melt in the Arctic and other frightening signs, they issued a series of studies showing that the planet faced both human and natural disaster if atmospheric concentrations of CO2 remained above this many part parts per million. Everyone from Al Gore to the U.N.’s top climate scientist has now embraced this goal as necessary for stabilizing the planet and preventing complete disaster. what number is it?

14) It is a network of smell sensors that are attuned to particular chemical molecules. If a person walks past them with some sort of hazardous material - let's say, an explosive device - this tracks that person's movement and will alert security personnel . There are oscillating crystals on the sensor chips, and whenever the electronic noses capture chemical molecules, their frequency changes. . What is this smell system called that is capable of tracking hidden explosives?

15)Sonitus Medical is creating a revolutionary new hearing aid - This hearing system transmits sound to the inner ear via the teeth and consists of a small unit worn behind the ear and an in-the-mouth hearing device that is custom made to fit. The ear unit captures the sound and wirelessly transmits the signals to the mouth device, which sends imperceptible vibrations via the teeth. After the sound has been processed it uses a wireless chip to transmit the signals to the in the mouth device – what is this product being marketed as?

16) Commander Shepard, leads a crew of operatives from around the entire galaxy on a potentially suicidal mission. Its not a movie its Electronic Art's new game. BioWare had been promoting the event through its 5 million registered users, as well as through Twitter and Facebook. These kinds of titles have broadened the appeal and relevance of gaming overall within pop-culture while demonstrating that some game releases can even surpass the revenues generated by the movie industry. As competition heats up for consumer share-of-mind, bigger splash is needed to announce new gaming titles – which sequel debuted recently from BioWare?

17) A one-of-a-kind "personal Internet viewer," this device is designed to let you pull all sorts of information from its 7-inch touch screen. Not portable: it's designed to be placed in your bedroom, kitchen or office, where you can choose among 1,000 (and counting) completely free applications using your Wi-Fi Internet connection It also supports multiple user profiles and channels, so different household members can create and maintain their own customized views of the Internet and check for them in an easy way. Unveiled at CES 2010 by SONY what is it called?

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