Ingenious braille smartwatch puts time at your fingertips

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The Dot smartwatch has a changing braille face to help visually impaired users receive digital information.
The Dot smartwatch has a changing braille face to help visually impaired users receive digital information.
Photo: Dot

We hear all the time how technology makes our lives better. But many such advances leave the world’s 285 million visually impaired people in the dark.

Not so with this invention: A South Korean startup has developed a smartwatch with a face that has four sets of six dots that represent braille characters.

At the International Space Station, it’s Suntory time

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Suntory whiskey mellows with age, but the company wants to know how it tastes after time in space.
Suntory whiskey mellows with age, but the company wants to know how it tastes after time in space.
Photo: Suntory

We should pity the astronauts on the International Space Station, especially the two who are currently there for a year.

Just feet away from where they probably drink their Tang, the Japanese Experiment Module will soon hold samples of that country’s legendary Suntory whiskey to see how it ages in microgravity.

Suntory announced last week that it was sending whiskey samples on a Japanese transfer vehicle that will take off on Aug. 16 to rendezvous with the ISS. Some of the whiskey will be stored for up to two years to see how it mellows in space.

Hit a high with this slow-motion video of swooping birds

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From "Birds in Slow Motion" by the BBC's Earth Unplugged.
From "Birds in Slow Motion" by the BBC's Earth Unplugged.
Photo: BBC/YouTube

You understand bird’s-eye view. How about the view of its prey?

It’s likely that mouse or fish don’t even see the canopy of feathers coming. Our eyes and brains barely work fast enough to process the sight ourselves, so the guys who work in the studio for the BBC’s Earth Unplugged slowed it down for us.

The Earth Unplugged slow-motion studio, which loves to deconstruct the spit of cobras and the flight of fleas frame by frame, has compiled a 70-second clip of a variety of birds as they take off, float and hover and, of course, stick their landings.

Mark Hamill’s sense of humor has a Dark Side

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Photo: imgur.com/raggedrabbit

Luke Skywalker is earnest, fiercely serious and seems to lack the sense of humor of, say, Han Solo.

But the force behind Skywalker, actor Mark Hamill, is as funny as Jabba the Hutt is fat.

Hamill’s mark on comedy is in his writings to fans on old Star Wars trading cards. He likes to quickly craft a funny sentence to go with the scene on the card, followed by an artfully penned signature.

In a card titled The Search for Vader, Hamill writes: “This Vader guy is a loser . . . Hope he doesn’t have kids!”

This car charger is so tiny you won’t even know it’s there

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The reVOLT and reVOLT Dual are designed to quickly charge your Apple devices in your car.
The reVOLT and reVOLT Dual are designed to quickly charge your Apple devices in your car.
Photo: SCOSCHE

While preparing to move to another city, I recently came across my very first car charger. It was the size of a brick, about as heavy, and in the middle of it was a fuse. With it, me and my ’98 Malibu were unstoppable – unless, of course, the fuse blew.

So it is with amazement and amusement I write about a product that claims to be the world’s smallest and most powerful car charger. The reVOLT and reVOLT Dual by SCOSCHE offers 12 watts of power sitting flush in your car’s power socket.