Top 10 Tech This Week [PICS]

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1. Canon T4i

Canon takes its user-friendly line of midrange digital SLRs and pumps them up a notch with this Canon T4i. A notable improvement is its adjustable touchscreen viewfinder, making it easy to change settings without having to use confusing buttons to navigate its numerous menus. Hey, this is the first digital SLR with a touchscreen. It’s about time.

 

Another huge advantage is its continuously focusing video capability, letting you shoot home videos and pan from one object to another while it quickly adjusts focus for you automatically. That makes it the closest a digital SLR gets to shooting with a conventional camcorder. The day when sophisticated still cameras replace camcorders completely just got a little closer.

 

Look for the T4i to be available at the end of June for $850 (body-only), $950 (with 18-55mm lens) and $1,200 (with an 18-135mm lens).

 

[From Canon]

2. Self-Making Bed

Jeez, I have been wishing for something like this ever since I was a small child. “Make your bed!,” an order heard from moms everywhere, could be a command passed down to the robots if you get the world’s first automated bed that makes itself.

 

Made by Spanish furniture maker OAGA, it can straighten up those sheets and pillows in a mere 50 seconds, using a mechanical arm with two rollers. You can even set it to automatic, where it starts making the bed if no one is in it for 3 seconds. That might be a bit dicey, in my estimation. Check out thevideo here –- the thing is just downright spooky.

3. Honda Fit Electric

The little Honda Fit is just starting to roll out as an electric model, and it’s an auspicious debut, winning the EPA derby for “gas” mileage at an equivalent of 118 miles per gallon. The icing on that cake is its 82-mile range, far beyond the average commute for U.S. drivers. I’m also liking the idea that it only takes three hours to charge it to its full capacity, but to do that you’ll need to be using a 240 V circuit.

 

What’s the catch? Well, its retail price will be $36,625, but for U.S buyers that can be offset by a $7,000 tax credit you can still get for buying an electric vehicle. However, if you regularly drive much farther than 82 miles, you might want to opt for the Chevy Volt, whose gasoline engine kicks in and generates power for the electric motor when the batteries are depleted.

 

[via Autoblog]

4. Corning Willow Glass

If you’ve dropped your smartphone and its screen didn’t break, you can probably thank Corning’s Gorilla Glass or Gorilla Glass 2. Now, the innovative company has gone a step further with Willow Glass, which is ultrathin, ultralight and flexible enough to bend over backwards.

 

Imagine the spectacular smartphone designs around which this substance will be someday wrapped. The future looks bright.

 

[via Geeky Gadgets]

5. Mars Colony for 4, One-Way Trip

Taking a voyage to Mars sounds spectacular, until you realize it’s a one-way trip. That’s the idea of a Netherlands group called Mars One, planning to launch a series of space voyages to the red planet starting in 2016, culminating in a human landing and colonization in 2022.

 

After the first quartet of Martians takes root, the plan is to send two more people every couple of years, creating a permanent settlement of humans on another planet a lot sooner than many of us thought. The weirdest part of this thinly funded venture is its idea to use a “media spectacle” as a fundraising tool. What? Reality TV on Mars?

6. Gas Pump Nozzle Screen

Here’s a startling stat: about 132 million gallons of gasoline are wasted each year because of dripping gas pump nozzles. Canadian company Dram Innovations has a solution with its Fuel Nozzle Drip Retainer, able to prevent 89% of those drips from hitting the pavement.

 

Of course, 132,000,000 gallons is a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of gasoline burned each day, amounting to 208,000,000 gallons per day in the United States alone, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. But it’s a start.

 

[via Gizmodo]

7. Facebook Phone Concept

Word of the Facebook phone was met with widespread skepticism, but what if Facebook created a truly beautiful design for its rumored handset, besting that of many of those available on the market today?

8. NASA Flaunts Photos of Venus Transit

There was a little black spot on the sun Tuesday, but why should you care? This is the last time you’ll see such a sight until 2117, and it’s, well, cool. The transit of Venus was captured by lots of astronomy enthusiasts, photographers, and a couple of intrepid NASA spacecraft.

Venus Transit

Hinode is one of the NASA’s camera-laden craft to grab some of these lovely shots, hanging around the sun to study its magnetism and sunspots.

Venus Transit from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO)

Other stunning photos were snapped by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. Let’s enjoy this while we can, because most of us will probably never see the likes of this again.

Venus Transit

[via NASA and TechEBlog]

9. Apple WWDC Leaks

As the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) draws near (it starts Monday, June 11), the Apple rumor mill is cranking into overdrive. As you can see in the picture here, Apple’s been decorating San Francisco’s Moscone Center with banners trumpeting the impending arrival of iOS 6, so that’s pretty much a sure bet.

 

We’re also hearing that the software developers kit (SDK) for an Apple TV operating system might be in the offing, as well as my favorite, the one about “14 new Mac models,” some of which will have a higher-resolution Retina displays. Who knows, we might even see an upgrade to the ancient Mac Pro.

Apple Leaks

I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the MacBook Pro, rumored to take on a slim new form factor that might rival its brandmate, the MacBook Air. And of course, underneath all of this scuttlebutt is the persistent rumor about the next iPhone’s 16×9 display, which I’ll believe when I see.

 

[via BGR]

10. iXoost iPhone Dock

This has got to be one of the most outlandish iPhone/iPod docks I’ve ever seen. The iXoost Manifold Dock has a series of tubes with tweeters or woofers at the business end, and the whole thing is decked out in leather trim, carved out of a solid block of aluminum.

iXoost iPhone Dock 2

Take your pick of a V8, V10 or V12 model, packed with an assortment of 28mm tweeters, 25mm midrange speakers and 100mm and 200mm subwoofers. The craziest one of all is attached to an actual car. There’s no word about wattage, 0-to-60 speed or horsepower of this unusual dock, nor is there any mention of price.

iXoost iPhone Dock 3

But these things can’t be cheap. Wow.

 

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