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oobject: 'daily user-ranked gadget lists'
Amazingly, the existence of the unsuccessful Soviet moon landing program was secret until the fall of the USSR. It consisted of three principal components: the N1 rocket; Soyuz 7K-L3 orbiter and LK lander.The first stage of the N1 is the most powerful rocket every built, it never launched successfully and when it blew up, it resulted in the largest non-nuclear, man-made explosion in history. All of the hardware looks similar enough to be familiar, but different enough to be slightly alien, such as the bug like lander, of which there are 5 left. All that remains of the N1 itself are a few scraps in a children's playground in Kazakhstan, but its engine type is still in existence, used by the company that formerly owned the satellite system used by Google Maps.

soviet moon shot hardware

Collectors are my favorite type of people, so when I started this list I missed the obvious by focusing on finding pictures of strange collections. It became clear that the most interesting images were where the collectors themselves were showing off what they collected. The items here range from what would be an unremarkable subject - stamps, were it not for the fact that the wold's top bond trader collects them to an army general's collection of tattooed, severed heads.

collectors with their collections

This may seem like an overly esoteric oobject, but there is something interesting about the shape of a hairdryer - an item designed largely as a female beauty product that is often shaped like a gun or looks like sticking your head in a jet engine. One of these is actually shaped like a gun. The most interesting ones I could find were the machine age chrome ones or some of the more bizarre soft bonnet versions.

vintage hairdryers

Inflatable structures have the advantage of being able to be deployed very quickly, and the disadvantage that they are vulnerable to failure, over time. This makes them ideal for temporary shelters, from mine accidents to military deployment, festivals and even on the moon.

8 inflatable shelters

Tensegrity structures are visually stunning and their combination with computer enhanced structures is creating renewed interest for architectural applications.Buckminster Fuller coined the term tensegrity when he saw sculptures by Kenneth Snelson and realized that rigid component geodesics were a special case of perfectly balanced compression and tension. Tensegrity refers to structures where compression members (rods) are only connected to each other by tension members (cables). The end result is that the structures appear to float in air.Despite the fact that tensegrity structures are fantastically efficient, few have been built since they tend to have a single point of failure and need adjustment. Recently however, schemes which combine the intelligence of computing and tensegrity structures have lead to proposals of very large scale structures including sky scrapers.Here are our favorite tensegrity links from around the web. Vote for yours

13 wonderful tensegrity structures

Hyperbaric chambers are used either as compression/decompression chambers for divers or for medical treatment, to speed up the healing of wounds, amongst other things. They come in a variety of interesting forms, from hyperbaric lifeboats to miniature portable fold-up or telescopic versions for helicopter rescue of divers.

12 hyperbaric chambers

A perfect environmental nightmare, these hellish looking open faced mining machines have been largely decommissioned. Luckily some are being preserved as they are staggeringly impressive. The Ferropolis in Germany has many of these machines on display and forms an industrial park which host the famous MELT music festival. There have been several images of these floating around blogs, including the infamous pictures of the bucket wheel excavator that swallowed a full sized bulldozer, however we have tried to find as large a variety as possible.

16 giant bucket excavators

The telescopes chosen for this list are largely based on how they look, from a design perspective, rather than their scientific importance. Their unusual requirements create interesting structural engineering approaches. However, the Holmdel Horn Antenna is possibly the most interesting from both points of view, its highly unusual shape is like a gigantic ear trumpet sticking out of a garden shed, but it also happens to be the device which discovered the cosmic microwave background radiation - the echo of the big bang. I've included a view beneath the mesh of the gigantic Arecibo dish, just because I always wondered what that space was like. For the rest I've chosen ones which best display the spiky, high tech look of giant scaffolds and space frames or which are attached in impossibly top heavy ways ancillary buildings, like the giant upturned umbrella of the Parkes telescope.

18 radio telescopes

Our top burglar alarms include an array of guns with trip wires or trigger mechanisms, designed to scare off thieves, including the hellish looking device from a London dock warehouse, a clockwork 19th century doorstop burglar alarm, and a device from the 1930's which dialed an emergency number and played back an alert message from a gramophone record. Vote for your faves.

top 10 unusual burglar alarms

These days most cutaways are computer rendered. Here are some physical cutaways that fascinate us as much as when travel stores had elaborate cutaway models of passenger jets.The most amazing is a model of Chernobyl reactor core 4, accurately depicting its ruined state after the disaster.

13 physical cutaway models

Algorithmic architecture uses computers to generate natural looking aperiodic forms that are are a revolutionary alternative to the extreme crystalline regularity of what has up to now been considered modern. The dreary exhibition of pre-fabricated architecture at New York's MOMA, has a couple of examples of algorithmic designs at its entrance, but that is where it stops. On entering it is an mixture of of the dated, High Tech style and dumbed down Mid-Century Modern boxes for Dwell magazine readers. If you really want to see what is happening at the cutting edge of architecture, look at some of these schemes. This list could go on forever. Drill down on some of the links and explore.

Algorithmic architecture

Bel Geddes is the industrial designer most associated with the streamline style, an aerodynamic form than was as much about aesthetics as wind resistance. These designs actually look better than more aerodynamic forms and as such were used by Geddes for things that didn't have to move at all, such as his streamlined school desk. Geddes started out as a theatrical designer then made a series of model cars and prototypes for trains and planes, including the incredible airliner number 4 - a 1929 proposal for a transatlantic boat plane carrying 450 passengers and an army of staff including a musicians and entertainers. But the other thing that Geddes created was his daughter, who was Miss Ellie in the TV series, Dallas.

12 Norman Bel Geddes creations

Everything from cars to cargo ships can be nuclear powered, not just aircraft carriers or submarines,. If you want a really wild motor for your vehicle here are some real examples of nuclear engines. To avoid more well known examples, we have not included carriers and submarines in this chart, and we have tried to link to images of the actual engines. Vote for your faves.

Nuclear Powered Transportation

From double amputee, Aimee Mullins, who modeled for Alexander McQueen on a pair of beautiful hand-carved wooden prosthetic legs made from solid ash to amputee soldiers who would not have survived without advances in combat medical care and who are returning to active combat at a rate which is 7 times higher than a generation ago (2% - 16%) to athletes such as Oscar Pistorius, whose carbon fiber prosthetics help him compete at a level which calls into question the separation of 'special' athletic competition, the way we view prosthetics and disability is changing. 3d printing, advanced composite materials are enabling this from an aesthetic and design standpoint as much as the more obvious technical advances through electronics and bio feedback systems.

Aesthetic Prosthetics

We could go on about how empty pools, once awash with liquidity and fun are a metaphor for the wreckage left after the credit bust. But then again, there is something cool about empty pools, period. Here are our faves.

abandoned pools

Some of the most beautiful pieces of architecture in the world have a spiral stair as the final flourish. The spiral stair is an architects favorite, from Gaudi to Corbusier to Foster, but some of the most interesting spiral stairs are accidental pieces of architecture, such as those inside lighthouses or on giant silos and storage tanks. Here is a deliberately diverse collection of some of our favorites. Vote for yours.

most beautiful spiral staircases

Get into a car anywhere in the world, and if you can drive you will know how to use it. The car dashboard is the perfect user interface, something that puts computer interfaces to shame.Here is a collection of our favorite car dashboards from the ergonomic simplicity of the 40s Willys Jeep, minimalist design excellence of the early Porsche, Maverick innovation of the Citroen DS and Baroque exuberance of the 50s Corvette. Vote for the top car interface of all time.

classic car user interfaces

Some of the most beautiful mechanisms ever produced, here is a gallery of old and new mechanical movements of planets and their moons, the entire solar system and tides and eclipses. Orreries, Planetaria and Tellurions, respectively.

18 mechanical planetary models

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Category: 'news'

Sciphone N12 Android Phone

June 22nd, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Sciphone N12, an Android powered smartphone is ready to hit the market this month.The Sciphone N12 support both quadband GSM and WCDMA (3G) networks. Sport a 3.2 inch topuchscreen, N12 boast CMMB TV support while for connectivity, beside its 3G support, a Wifi module is packed too.

Nevada Lightning Laboratory Experiments

June 21st, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
The Nevada Lightning Laboratory were recently trying many experiments, such as what would happen if you flew a small radio controlled helicopter between two Tesla coils, could a small vehicle big enough for one person be powered using a Tesla coil. Watch the videos below for the cool answers.

Vintage Tech archives in Bay Area seek moving volunteers today.

June 21st, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Phil Lapsley, vintage computing history buff, writes: VintageTech, the organizers of the Vintage Computer Festival, are moving their warehouse of historical computers, equipment, software, and documentation from Livermore, CA to Stockton, CA.

Novatel Wireless MiFi 2352 HSPA review

June 21st, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Novatel Wireless’ MiFi intelligent personal hotspot was one of our top 5 gadgets from ShowStoppers back in April, and had floored us a few months earlier in Barcelona.

Feel freedom with the Montague Paratrooper tactical folding mountain bike

June 21st, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
If you feel like adrenaline rush cycling, this model of super bicycle appears to have been designed exactly for you. Called the Montague Paratrooper Tactical Bike, this mountain bike is a unique bike with its unsurpassable feature to withstand 1000 foot parachute jump.

Far-reaching Cykle Dual System Bike concept

June 20th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
This whimsically looking bicycle christened Cykle is a project constructed on the Bike Share system to become a well recognizable in Europe. The Cykle offers an operation based on a combination of both electric power and your muscle power.

FH001 Transparent Eco Friendly Speakers

June 20th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
The FH001 is a new design from Ferguson Hill that produces 3 to 50 watts. It was made of clear acrylic and have a ultra high efficiency design. The spherical subwoofer retails a hefty $26,000.

Hands-On With the Smart, Retro Olympus E-P1

June 20th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
This first look at the Olympus E-P1, aka the ‘Digital Pen,’ is by Wired UK editor Holden Frith. The Olympus E-P1 is a handsome camera, and it takes handsome pictures.

CATS.i: The tracking device that’s the size of a cellphone battery

June 19th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
This is the CATS.i. It’s a tracking device that its creator says is so small it’s “almost undetectable when being worn.” I could see paranoid parents putting it in their kid’s pocket to make sure he doesn’t wander off.

SBG Labs shows off prototypes of full-color heads-up wearable displays

June 19th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
You know we love reporting on technologies that still seem futuristic, but are either here today or very close. Sunnyvale CA company, SBG Labs, has a working prototype of a wrap-around heads-up display that provides for a clear, full-color display via a lightweight pair of eyeglasses.

IPhone Camera Remote Gets Improved UI, Nikon Support

June 19th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Are you a Nikon shooter? And an iPhone owner? Are you jealous that those pesky Canon fanboys get to remote control their DSLRs directly from the phone itself? Are ya? Then calm down. We have good news.

Minifit XL: moveable Laptop Fan

June 19th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Most under-notebook cooling panels have a fixed-position fan. You may move this one around, to better hit the hot spots on your particular model.'

The iPhone 3G S splayed out on the operating table

June 19th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Happy iPhone 3G S Day! We’ve got the tear down of the latest iPhone here so you don’t have to spend all day sitting and staring at your new phone, wondering how it ticks. Oh, and there is a small, and geeky, surprise hidden within the iPhone 3G S that might reveal upcoming features.

AT&T tethering to cost $55?

June 19th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Gruber found some information that the AT&T tethering plan would cost $55 a month and suggests - but cannot confirm - that this will be in addition to the unlimited data plan already in place, potentially hitting the $85 per month for data.

Samsung AMOLED RFID e-passport video demo

June 19th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Samsung have been demonstrating their latest AMOLED concept, an e-passport that embeds a 2-inch QVGA resolution flexible display into an identity card.

Node power outlet: how come nobody thought of this before?

June 18th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Probably because there are a few design issues with it. Although the Node outlet is very stylish-looking and certainly an elegant solution to the too-many-plugs problem, a moment’s reflection brings up a few serious issues.

3D Conferencing System

June 18th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
If your Wii boxing buddy or Star Wars light saber duel partner moved to a different town, technology can help bring you together for just one more game.

Bluedot BSP-S20K 19mm thin flat speaker

June 18th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Bluedot presenting its BSP-S20K, a 19mm thin flat speaker. Come in a 125×155x19mm dimension, Bluedot BSP-S20K offer a 2Wx2ch output. This battery powered speakerhas 5 hours operating time before the battery runs out.

Verizon Launches USB1000 Global Modem

June 18th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Verizon Wireless today launched their first truly global USB modem, the USB1000. Designed by Novatel Wireless, the USB1000 combines - get this - CDMA EVDO Rev A on 850/1900 MHz, HSDPA/HSUPA on 850/1900/2100 MHz, and GSM/EDGE on 850/900/1800/1900 MHz.

You can buy gold from a vending machine in Germany

June 18th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
You’d usually find the best vending machines in Japan… until now! There are plans to introduce vending machines in Germany that sell gold. That’s right: 100 percent pure gold. There’s already a prototype machine at the Frankfurt airport.

i-Aroma: Japan wants to add fragrances to the web experience

June 17th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Releasing odors in movie theaters to enhance the viewing experience is an idea that’s been around for decades now.

iPhone OS 3.0 walkthrough

June 17th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Filed under: Software, iPhone, iPod touch It's official: The iPhone 3.0 firmware is now available. As you wait for your copy to download and install, you'll need something to read -- and we've got a complete walkthrough of the new software.

Panasonic’s iPod merge: In-flight entertainment for Very Important People

June 17th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Now, the smart thing to do when faced with the prospect of a long aeroplane flight is to load up on Benadryl (or Ambien, if you have money and a cooperative doctor) right before boarding. That way you sleep for the duration of the flight—no having to worry about crying babies for you!

Phosphor E-Ink Watch

June 17th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Phosphor E-Ink Watch Phosphor have created a nice looking watch that doesn’t use the traditional LED or LCD screen that we find in most digital watches. Instead they have used E-Ink to display the time on the face of the watch.

Cute Old-Style Radio Looks Like Crushed Cigarette Butt

June 17th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Radio Valerie is an almost impossibly cute little radio, a squat curved cylinder with a speaker squashed into the end which is tuned by an inventive combination of aerial and dial.

The Evolution of Cellphones, Russian-Doll Style

June 17th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
From Motorola Dynatac to Apple iPhone, Karl Bean’s amazing matrioshka models detail the history of cellphone design from 1983 to what looks like 2007 (that’s a first-generation iPhone if we’re not mistaken).

Garmin announces new Foretrex wrist GPS units

June 17th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Garmin announced a new wrist wearable GPS today, which I think looks remarkably like military tech seeping into the civilian sector. Considering that GPS technology itself was originally military, this doesn’t come as a great shock.

Ultrasn0w iPhone 3.0 OS Jailbreak

June 17th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
The iPhone Dev Team has released more details about the latest jailbreak for the new iPhone 3.0 OS, the new jailbreak will now be called ulstrasn0w.

Analog to Digital Converters – Round Up

June 17th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
Here we have a furious round up of some of the many analog to digital converters we’ve featured over the years to persuade you to digitize your precious analog collections of audio cassettes, vinyl records, photographs, slides/negatives and VHS tapes. Let’s go!

Stealth Computers WPC-500F Waterproof Mini Desktop

June 17th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
The WPC-500F waterproof desktop from Stealth Computers is waterproof and completely fanless, so I can be sure this computer is silent. The mini-desktop comes equipped with special cables for power, networking and peripherals which are also completely waterproof.

Samsung SyncMaster 50 Series Elegant LCD Monitor

June 8th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
After release SyncMaster 43 Series, now Samsung announce the new Elegant SyncMaster 50 Series. It’s P2050G (20-inch) and P2350G (23-inch) which has Samsung ToC Crystal Rose black bezel. The dynamic contrast ratio is 50,000:1 with 2ms response time with Full HD resolution.

High-altitude floating wind harvesters may replace your local windmills

June 8th, 2009 link to (permalink)

8 years ago
There have been some rumblings, so to speak, of the so-called low-frequency noises that windmills are said to produce. I’m don’t buy into them, but a bunch of spinning machines in your backyard isn’t desirable whether they cause nightmares or not.

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