Get ready to drop around $750 on this promising beast.
By Jason Imms on May 24, 2013 at 10:51 am
Welcome to the Friday Tech Roundup! Contained herein is a weekly dose of some of the best tech news from across the Internet, rounded up for your edification and entertainment. Read on for all the details of the wholesale price of the GTX 780, 3D printed food, and bomb-loving bees.
GeForce GTX 780 early US pricing revealed
TechPowerUp is reporting that US distributor SYNNEX is offering Nvidia’s upcoming GeForce GTX 780 to retailers for US$644.44. After margins are applied by retailers, TPU estimate that the card could be priced anywhere between US$650-700. Once we apply the Australia Tax, it would be safe to guess that the price could end up being more like $750-800 for Australian consumers. The screenshot of the distributor’s site included in the report confirms specifications: CUDA core count of 2,304, 3GB of memory, GPU Boost 2.0 technology, and a very similar design to the GTX TITAN.
Could 3D printed food end world hunger at the cost of world taste?
Last week we saw burgers grown in labs, this week we have 3D printed food. Mechanical engineer Anjan Contractor’s vision is to see every kitchen equipped with a 3D printer, with which the people of the Earth construct for themselves fully customised and nutritionally-appropriate meals, layer by layer. Contractor’s system is based on the RepRap 3D printer, and uses a series of cartridges filled with powders and oils to build meals that are perfectly appropriate to the consumer’s dietary requirements, whether they be elderly, pregnant, sick, or incredibly fit. The powders act as the basic building blocks of food, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, Omega 3, and Calcium, building blocks that we traditionally consume by finding palatable meats and vegetables that contain them.
As the system delivers these building blocks in powder form, palatability is less of a concern, meaning that they could be harvested from algae, grass, seeds, and even insects. The powders have a shelf life of 30 years, which means that Contractor’s system would eliminate food waste if universally used, thanks to the fact that each cartridge would be returned to the store only once it was completely spent. NASA has provided Contractor’s company with a $125,000 grant to build a prototype.
Green screens required to bring Arrested Development cast together for season 4
Netflix announced in January that it would be bringing season 4 of Arrested Development to the service in May 2013. Given the years since season 3, the extremely busy cast has moved on to other projects, and is subsequently very difficult to assemble. To remedy this for the production of Season 4, creator Mitch Hurwitz said in an interview with Rolling Stone that episodes were shot out of order, and that “half of the stuff is on green screen.” For example, a particular conversation between Michael (Jason Bateman) and Lindsay (Portia de Rossi) was filmed separately over the course of four months, with each actor filming their portion of the conversation in front of a green screen. The entire ensemble was able to come together for a single two-day shoot, however. Here’s hoping that the production difficulties necessary to bring together one of television’s most hilariously dysfunctional families only adds to their performance.
The ‘paperless scanner’ makes scanning feel like the future
The combination of two cameras, a small projector, and some clever software is all it has taken for Japan’s technology giant, Fujitsu, to create a digital scanner which allows the user to take snapshots of physical media with little more than the touch of a finger. The user is able to draw a bounding box with their finger around the desired image or block of text on the page, and the device captures it and makes it available for digital manipulation. While this doesn’t differ wildly from the capabilities of a more traditional scanner, the interface is undeniably future-y, with its fanciful projected scanning line, and digital reproduced content flying off the page.
How honeybees learned to stop worrying and love the bomb
Professor Nikola Kezic of Zagreb University in Croatia is working on a method for training the common honeybee to seek out unexploded land mines. Despite the fact that the Balkan wars are long since finished, it is estimated that as many as 90,000 land mines are still randomly dotted around 1200sqkm of Croatian territory. Since the beginning of the Balkan war in 1991, more than 2500 people have died from land mine explosions. Professor Kezic’s theory for the training of the bees is founded in their incredibly fine sense of smell. Honeybees are capable of sniffing out and identifying a wide range of odorants.
In order to harness this, Professor Kezic’s team began introducing TNT particles to captive bees’ food, in the hope that the bees would begin to associate the smell of explosives with their next meal. This was tested by setting up multiple feeding points, some of which were laced with TNT, and letting the bees choose where to feed. More often than not, the bees chose the sugar water seasoned with explosives. The next hurdle for the team to face, according to Kezic, is that while the training of a single bee is relatively simple, “training their colony of thousands becomes a problem.”