Light Start – Falcon 9, a cat-phone, artificial skin, a broken keyboard, and the Powerwall in SA

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SpaceX taking another crack at Falcon 9 before year-end

Falcon 9 and SES-8 liftoff from SpaceX's launch pad at Cape CanaveralYou might remember that SpaceX are trying to get that whole ‘launch a rocket into space and then get the booster to touch down vertically’ thing working correctly. You might also remember that last time it didn’t work out so well. They’re preparing to try again, by one again mixing business and pleasure. The company have already rebuilt Falcon 9, though they’ve made this one more powerful after destroying the last one on the touchdown pad, and they’ve also redesigned the landing struts. The plan is to launch a communications satellite as part of a serious mission but also to reattempt that ocean landing that went pear-shaped at the beginning of this year.

Source: via Digital Trends

Someone’s gone and made a cat-phone, so your feline can ignore you at any distance

Cat-PhoneLook, we know cat people are crazy but they’re not that nuts. The cat-phone, better known as the Weenect GPS collar for cats, is actually designed to give cat owners GPS data on their cat’s whereabouts by fitting Mittens’ collar with a SIM card. The GPS unit can then be tracked with an app on your smartphone. But, in keeping with the overboard nature of most cat owners, Weenect have already configured things so you can speak to your cat through the collar – and there’s a microphone, in case it decides to talk back. Awww… anyway, this is where Light Start ends for the day because we need to pre-order a few of these. For a friend. Honest.

Source: Tech Radar

Artificial skin that could one day mimic the real deal in development – inspired by Star Wars

Obi-Wan-versus-VaderWhen your movie franchise has inspired medical developments, you’re doing something right. And electrical and biomedical engineer Benjamin Tee and his companions are also doing something right by developing an artificial skin material with the potential to mimic the real thing’s sensitivity to touch – something that’s out of reach for existing artificial skin without a lengthy calibration process. Called the Digital Tactile System, or DiTact, the material is composed of multiple layers which allow variable currents to flow through at the points of contact, thanks to a mixture of carbon nanotubes in the top layer and a voltage-creating inner layer. This lets it mimic actual skin by directing activating neurons, simulating the feeling of touch. It’s still in development but it’s a step in the right direction.

Source: via Ars Technica

No, this keyboard isn’t actually broken – that’s a feature

Ultimate Hacking KeyboardThe Ultimate Hacking Keyboard is a bold name. How do you define any of those things? Well, keyboard is easy enough but hacking? Or ultimate? Either way, this Hungarian-made ergonomic keyboard can be split in half, not a shabby feat for a mechanical keyboard, so you can use it in whichever position you choose. And users can rework and reassign the keys however they’d prefer, which is where the hacking part comes in. It’s in crowdfunding at the moment, looking for $200,000. They’ve gotten around $60,000 so far, and there’s about 59 days left to go to get it funded. They’re going to get it funded, yeah?

Source: Ultimate Hacking Keyboard

More PowerWall estimates for SA, expect to pay about…

Powerwall specsIf you’re looking to get your hands on the Tesla Powerwall, you’re going to be paying a large chunk of money. There’s a slightly cheaper option on the way, if you’re going to be getting a 7kW Powerwall on it’s ace. Expect to pay around R50,000, unless the exchange rate goes further south than it already is. SolarEdge, a local supplier, expects to ship a Powerwall kit with a 5kW inverter that uses the company’s StorEdge tech for R150,000. A 6kW inverter? That’ll cost you R170,000 – exchange rate dependent, of course.

Source: MyBroadband

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