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Review: LaserCube, the world’s smallest – and first – battery-powered RGB laser projector

Wicked Lasers’ latest gadget is one of the most mesmerizing and compelling toys we’ve played with in a long, long time. It’s also extremely dangerous, powerful enough to pop balloons, etch patterns on wood, and surely fry the odd retina if used incorrectly.

The LaserCube starts at US$499, and is essentially a highly portable, battery-powered RGB laser projector. Weighing 3 lb (1.4 kg) and measuring about 4 in (10 cm) per side, it sits happily on top of a tripod head, and uses high-speed mirrors to blast laser beams about the place in 33,000 colors.

Direct those laser beams into a single point at full power, and you’ve got an 800- or 1,000-mW beam (depending on which version you’ve got) capable of burning through wood. Or, you can use it to project stunning, hypnotic full-color patterns and animations onto walls, buildings, screens or any other surface.

The LaserCube’s companion software LaserOS (for Mac, PC and Android at this stage) comes pre-loaded with literally hundreds of animations, images and sonic visualizers that can paint the world with go-go-dancers, endless looping tunnels, or brilliant laser artwork in an array of styles that seem to go on forever. Point it at the side of a building from a decent distance, and your working area can be enormous – the beams are so powerful that they operate at impressive distances.

What’s more, many of the preset animations (and effects you can apply to those animations) are designed to work in time with music, and music is pretty much mandatory when it comes to enjoying the LaserCube’s extraordinary displays. The animated dancers find the beat and move to it, the sonic visualizers scan the frequency and amplitude of what’s playing and create motion artwork from it all. Honestly, one of the hardest things about writing this review is that every time I turn the thing on, I get utterly mesmerized and forget what I was doing.

Effectively, it’s a nightclub-grade laser in a box that’s small enough to carry about, with a battery that lasts three hours and that you can run off your phone. You can even play games on the damn thing. They’re crappy games, with terrible controls, but they’re on the side of a freakin’ building. And everyone I’ve switched it on for has fallen in love immediately. It’s absolute magic, there is no comparison between the way this thing makes light dance and a regular 1080p projector. None. Add smoke so you can see the beams darting around, and it’s even wilder.

It’s also – and I find it hard to get over this – super dangerous, despite the fact that multiple layers of safety gear are provided. To get the LaserCube going, you need to attach a special safety dongle, turn it on, then turn a separate safety key, then unscrew the shield from the front and let it drop out of the way, then hook it up to a laptop or a phone and turn it on.

But as soon as you’ve done that, you’ve got a 1,000-mW laser at your command. To put that in perspective, if a hand-held laser pointer makes 1 mW in many jurisdictions, it’s illegal, because people have used them to blind airplane pilots and cause all sorts of chaos. The LaserCube is a Class 4 laser – the highest the safety classes go – meaning it can instantly burn skin and eyeballs, among other things. The Nominal Ocular Hazard Distance – the distance from which a 1,000-mW laser can damage your eye in less than a quarter of a second – is 733 ft (224 m) away. You can even hurt yourself looking at the point where the laser hits the wood as you’re etching it, it’s so bright.

Having said that, after a fair degree of online searching, I can’t say for sure whether it’s illegal to own and use a LaserCube in my jurisdiction. I can definitively say it’s a felony to let a corner of the “screen” drift off a building into the sky, and may the good lord help you if you accidentally light up a plane and get caught. Essentially, do your own research when it comes to your own home state, be super careful with this thing, and make sure either that everyone in the vicinity knows the deal before you turn it on, or that you mount it in such a way that it can’t fry any retinas – like 10 ft off the ground and angled upward.

If you want to take these things in a pro direction, you can hook multiple LaserCubes up to a single control computer if you like. You can create your own animations with software like MaxWell Synth, Modulaser or LaserShowXpress – it’s compatible with all of these – or even try uploading images and converting them to laser art … which has frankly sucked every time we’ve tried it, for whatever reason. You can grab a smoke machine and be a smartass by making laser harp strings float in the air, which you can use as a MIDI controller to make music.

Or, if you’re like us, you can simply put on some sweet electronic music and scroll through the preset animations, gawking like drooling chimps marveling at a fire dancer. It hits us on a level I’d describe as primal.

The LaserCube costs US$499 for the 800-mW version and $599 for the 1,000-mW version. Honestly I have no idea which one we’ve been testing, it’s not written anywhere on the device. You can pay extra for a carry case, a small ball-headed tripod, a gamepad (don’t bother!) and a few other trinkets.

This thing is an absolutely legendary toy to bring out at a party or any other time people are around. If you can stomach the risks, grab one – we’re absolutely hooked on it, as you can see from the video below.

Source: Wicked Lasers

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This is the world’s first commercial flying car

The world’s first commercial flying car is already on sale. It is equipped with two retractable propellers and rear wings.

The vehicle was presented during the Miami Art Week 2019 by the Dutch company PAL-V International. It is called Liberty, and its price is around 600,000 dollars.

It has Dutch engineering and Italian design, it is already in active production and has at least 70 anticipated.

“As soon as Nicolas Cugnot invented the car and the Wright brothers made their first successful flight, people began to dream of combining the two in a flying car.”

‘It turned out to be more complicated than initially estimated: a complex puzzle. However, once resolved, it would create maximum freedom in mobility’, said the executive director of the company, Robert Dingemanse.

PAL-V Flying car "width =" 780 "height =" 390 "
Credit: pal-v.com

When will it be available?

The first units are expected to reach their owners in 2021. However, it must be borne in mind that to handle it, it is necessary to have not only the driver’s license, but also the pilot’s license.

The new car has two versions, the Pioneer and the sports version. Robert Dingemanse explained that the Pioneer version differs from Liberty by its a complete carbon package. He also revealed that only 90 flying cars will be manufactured in this version.

Features of the flying car

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PAL-V Pioneer. Credit: pal-v.com
Inside of the flying car "width =" 1104 "height =" 736 "srcset ="
Interior of the flying car. Credit: pal-v.com

The PAL-V, a three-wheeled vehicle that can carry up to two passengers and 20 kilos of cargo, is basically a hybrid between a car and a helicopter.

According to the company website, the PAL-V has a four-cylinder engine and is capable of flying at an altitude of up to 3,500 meters. The vehicle, which is made with carbon fiber, titanium and aluminum and weighs only 664 kilograms, uses gasoline for cars and can reach maximum speeds of 180 km / h in the air and 160 km / h on land.

It also has both a ground and air system similar to that of a motorcycle in which the pilot-driver tilts the machine with a control lever.

It also stands out that the PAL-V converts from car to gyrocopter in just 10 minutes and can accelerate from 0 to 100 km / h in less than 9 seconds.

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Health authorities have confirmed a case of a rare type of smallpox in a UK patient

Skin rashes caused by ape pox. Credit: CDC's Public Health Image Library (Public domain)

A patient in England has been diagnosed with a rare case of monkeypox, as reported by Public Health England (PHE).

The rare viral infection is similar to smallpox, and though it is milder, it can be fatal.

It has been reported that the individual was in Nigeria and that he would have contracted the disease there. Later, upon returning to the United Kingdom, he stayed in the southwest of England where the disease occurred.

Upon symptoms, he was transferred to the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust , a center specializing in infectious diseases in London.

The health authorities have taken the necessary measures to prevent the virus from spreading to other people.

Vaccination against smallpox to people in Africa. (Public domain)

The PHE said in a statement:

As a precaution, PHE experts are working closely with NHS colleagues to implement rapid infection control procedures, including contact with people who may have been in close contact with the individual to provide health information and advice. ”

But experts are not very worried about contagion, because monkeypox does not spread easily among people and the risk of affecting the population is quite low, said Dr. Meera Chand , PHE consulting microbiologist.

This transmission electron micrograph (TEM) represents a series of smallpox virus virions. Credit: CDC / Dr. Fred Murphy; Sylvia Whitfield / Wikimedia Commons

Although the infection usually occurs mildly and people get better without treatment; Some individuals may develop very serious symptoms, with a percentage of 1 to 10 percent of patients dying from the disease during outbreaks, according to the World Health Organization .

The symptoms presented are similar to those of smallpox but milder. First, fever, headaches, muscle aches, back pain, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion. Subsequently rashes may appear on the skin , starting on the face and spreading throughout the rest of the body.

This is not the first time a patient has been infected with smallpox in the United Kingdom. In 2018, there were three cases after a person was diagnosed with the disease. The individual had also returned from Nigeria.

Source: Gov.ukIFL Science

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A cold virus can infect a pregnant woman’s fetus

The study showed that the expectant mother is able to transmit a respiratory tract infection to her unborn child.

Scientists from Tulane University (Louisiana, USA) received the first evidence that the cold virus, which affects a pregnant woman, can penetrate the placenta and infect the fetus. An article about this has been published in PLOS One .

The placenta, an organ that develops in the uterine cavity of a woman during pregnancy, provides the necessary nutrition from the mother to the embryo and simultaneously performs another important task: it filters out potential pathogenic microorganisms. However, a group of pediatricians led by Professor Giovanni Piedimonte found that this natural “barrier” is not so impenetrable.

Scientists took the placenta from donors, isolated three main types of cells – cytotrophoblasts, fibroblasts and Kashchenko – Hofbauer cells – and in vitro exposed them to the human respiratory syncytial virus, which causes respiratory tract infections. Although cytotrophoblast cells supported a weak process of the spread of the virus, two other types were more susceptible to infection. So, Kashchenko-Hofbauer cells survived and allowed the virus to replicate inside the cell walls. According to scientists, then these cells, moving inside the placenta, are able to transmit the virus to the fetus.

“Such cells do not die after they become infected,” Piedimonte explains. – When they enter the fetus, they are comparable to bombs stuffed with a virus. They do not spread the virus in the area of ​​the “explosion”, but carry it through the intercellular channels. <…> Thus, our theory is confirmed that when a woman gets a cold during pregnancy, the virus that causes the infection can pass to the fetus and cause a pulmonary infection before the birth of a child. ”

Pediatricians also suggested that the respiratory syncytial virus is able to infect the lung tissue of the unborn baby and provoke the development of an infection that will subsequently affect the predisposition to asthma. To confirm or refute their theory, the authors of the study intend to conduct clinical tests.

Last year, scientists from the University of Cambridge created an artificial and functional mini-placenta using trophoblasts, and recently it turned out that particles of air pollution can penetrate the placenta of pregnant women

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