February 2012 ~ Novel Technology information of ten directions to the world.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Active – a new waterproof Android phone for fitness fanatics

Sony Ericsson Xperia Active
Sony Ericsson has just announced the Sony Ericsson Xperia Active, a new waterproof Android phone that fits a very specific niche – sporty people! As its name implies, the Xperia Active is a rugged phone designed for active use and sports people. Think running, clubbing, Glastonbury or days on the beach and you won’t be far wrong. Thing chubbers and couch potatoes and you will be!

To help it cope with an active lifestyle, the Xperia Active is Sony Ericsson’s first waterproof Android phone, even coming with technology that lets you use its touchscreen with wet fingers, something that would ordinarily kill any other touchscreen. The Xperia Active doesn’t even flinch, though, and can easily survive being immersed in water (although it’s not recommended for swimming).

That’s not the only novel technology sported by the Xperia Active, though.
Connect the Xperia Active to you with ANT+

Continuing with the sporty theme, the Xperia Active features support for ANT+ technology, which lets devices such as the Xperia Active connect to sensors such as blood pressure monitors, heart rate monitors, temperature sensors and even sensors built into fitness equipment at your gym.

Combined with a built-in sports app called iMyMapFitness, which lets you connect seamlessly to these devices and track your performance over time, the Xperia Active has the potential to become an integral part of your daily fitness routine.

As well as the sporty functionality, Sony Ericsson has also given a lot of thought to the way in which the Xperia Active will be used when on the go. In the box, the Active comes complete with a sturdy wrist strap, arm holder for strapping it to your arm and an ear clamp for clamping your Bluetooth headphones to your ear so they don’t fall off.
Is the Xperia Active really a waterproof phone?

The Xperia Active also comes with two backplates (one white, one white black), so you can change the look of your phone whenever you feel like it. This surprised me, though, as did the microSD slot, as you’d think a waterproof Android phone would need to be sealed, but apparently Sony Ericsson has managed to seal the important electronics while still letting you snap the back cover on and off as often as you like.

Indeed, Sony Ericsson is very keen to show off the waterproof nature of the Xperia Active, as you can see from its somewhat cringeworthy video below.

How good is the Xperia Active as a phone?

The phone itself also looks rather good. It features the same cut-down user interface as the Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini, with the corner buttons giving you quick access to key features without needing acres of screen real estate.

Which is a good job, as the Xperia Active doesn’t have acres of screen real estate! Instead, it has a 3? screen, which although makes it a small smartphone, it actually means it’s ideal for doing anything sporty with, as the last thing you want when jogging is to be weighed down by a leviathan of a phone strapped to your arm!

Don’t think the Xperia Active skimps on features, though. Although its screen is small, it still uses the same Mobile BRAVIA display technology as the Xperia Arc, while the 5 megapixel camera can also shoot video in 720p HD.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Active from the back
Powering the Xperia Active is the ubiquitous 1GHz Snapdragon chip, which, given the size of this phone, should mean the interface absolutely flies.

There’s Android Gingerbread 2.3 running things behind the scenes, and a tonne of other features too numerous to list (but you can see them all from Sony Ericsson’s site).
The Xperia Active shows promise

The Xperia Active focuses on a very specific niche and would seem to do it very well, and is a breath of fresh air from some of the other mid-range Android phones that don’t offer anything different from the competition.

It’s a rugged, waterproof Android phone, and there aren’t too many of those around at the moment, much less ones that look this good, and the use of ANT+ is a significant added extra if you’ve got the extra equipment to use with it. We’ll know more about how well it lives up to its promise soon, as the Xperia Active release date is set for Q3 2011.

If you’re a fitness fanatic, this could be one new phone that could well be on your Christmas list.

Source: mobilementalism
Sony Ericsson has just announced the Sony Ericsson Xperia Active, a new waterproof Android phone...
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novel technology Updated at: 3:39 PM

Study: Evolution of earliest horses driven by climate change

This is an artist's reconstruction
 of Sifrhippus sandrae (right)
 touching noses with a modern
 Morgan horse (left) that
 stands about 5 feet high at the
 shoulders and weighs about 1,000 pounds.
 Sifrhippus was the size of
 a small house cat 
(about 8.5 pounds) at the 
beginning of the Eocene
 (approximately 55.8 million years ago
and is the earliest known horse.
Danielle Byerley, Florida 
Museum of Natural History.

When Sifrhippus, the earliest known horse, first appeared in the forests of North America more than 50 million years ago, it would not have been mistaken for a Clydesdale. It weighed in at around 12 pounds -- and it was destined to get much smaller over the ensuing millennia. Sifrhippus lived during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, a 175,000-year interval of time some 56 million years ago in which average global temperatures rose by about 10 degrees Fahrenheit, caused by the release of vast amounts of carbon into the atmosphere and oceans.

About a third of mammal species responded with significant reduction in size during the PETM, some by as much as one-half. Sifrhippus shrank by about 30 percent to the size of a smallhouse cat (about 8.5 pounds) in the PETM's first 130,000 years and then rebounded to about 15 pounds in the final 45,000 years of the PETM.

Scientists have assumed that rising temperatures or high concentrations of carbon dioxide primarily caused the phenomenon in mammals during this period, and new research led by Ross Secord of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Jonathan Bloch of the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida in Gainesville offers new evidence of the cause-and-effect relationship between temperature and body size. Their findings also offer clues to what might happen to animals in the near future from global warming.

In a paper to be published in the Feb. 24 issue of the international journal Science, Secord, Bloch and colleagues used measurementsand geochemical composition of fossil mammal teeth to document a progressive decrease in Sifrhippus' body size that correlates very closely to temperature change over a 130,000-year span.

Bloch, associate curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Florida Museum of Natural History, said multiple trails led to the discovery.

One was the fossils themselves, recovered from the Cabin Fork area of the southern Bighorn Basin near Worland, Wyo. Stephen Chester, then an undergraduate student at Florida, now an anthropology Ph.D. candidate at Yale and a co-author on the paper, had the task of measuring the horses' teeth. What he found when he plotted them through time caught Bloch and Secord by surprise.

"He pointed out that the first horses in the section were much larger than those later on," Bloch recalled. "I thought something had to be wrong, but he was right -- and the pattern became more robust as we collected more fossils."

A postdoctoral researcher in Bloch's lab for the first year of the project, Secord performed the geochemical analysis of the oxygen isotopes in the teeth. What he found provided an even bigger surprise.

"It was absolutely startling when Ross pulled up the first oxygen isotope data," Bloch said. "We looked at the curve and we realized that it was exactly the same pattern that we were seeing with the horse body size.

"For the first time, going back into deep time -- going back 10s of millions of years -- we were able to show that indeed temperature was causing essentially a one-to-one shift in body size within this lineage of horse. Because it's over a long enough time, you can argue very strongly that what you're looking at is natural selection and evolution -- that it's actually corresponding to the shift in temperature and driving the evolution of these horses."

Secord, who came to UNL in 2008 as an assistant professor of Earth and atmospheric sciences and curator of vertebrate paleontology at the University of Nebraska State Museum, said the finding raises important questions about how plants and animals will respond to rapid change in the not-too-distant future.

"This has implications, potentially, for what we might expect to see over the next century or two, at least with some of the climate models that are predicting that we will see warming of as much as 4 degrees Centigrade (7 degrees Fahrenheit) over the next 100 years," he said.

Those predictions are based largely on the 40 percent increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels (from 280 to 392 parts per million) since the start of the Industrial Revolution in the mid-19th century.

Ornithologists, Secord said, have already started to notice that there may be a decrease in body size among birds.

"One of the issues here is that warming (during the PETM) happened much slower, over 10,000 to 20,000 years to get 10 degrees hotter, whereas now we're expecting it to happen over a century or two," Secord said. "So there's a big difference in scale and one of the questions is, 'Are we going to see the same kind of response?' Are animals going to be able to keep up and readjust their body sizes over the next couple of centuries?"

Increased temperatures are not the only change animals will have to adapt to, Secord said. Greenhouse experiments show that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide lowers the nutritional content of plants, which he said could have been a secondary driver of dwarfism during the PETM.

Other co-authors on thepaper are Doug M. Boyer of Brooklyn College, Aaron R. Wood of the Florida Museum of Natural History, Scott L. Wing of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Mary J. Kraus of the University of Colorado-Boulder, Francesca A. McInerny of Northwestern University, and John Krigbaum of the University of Florida.

The research was funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, with additional support from UNL.

Source: University of Nebraska-Lincoln  and e science news
This is an artist's reconstruction  of Sifrhippus sandrae (right)  touching noses with...
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novel technology Updated at: 1:44 PM