tech e blog

Vintage Smart Lock

Believe it or not, this is a 300-year-old smart lock, called the "Detector Lock," and not just a decorative piece. Created by British locksmith John Wilkes during the 1680s, a small button by the man's leg reveals a keyhole when pushed, while a door bolt is released when cocking his hat, and when combined with the turn of the knob, it's quickly unlocked. A pointer indicates the number of times the lock as been opened so you'll know if there have been any break-ins. For those who can't view the video, continue reading for detailed images showing just how the lock works.

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NSU Kettenkrad

Before the Ripsaw EV2, there was the Kettenkrad NUS, a tracked motorcycle / tank hybrid used in both the Eastern Front during World War II and the North African desert. It's powered by a 1478cc inline-4 water-cooled engine sourced from the Opel Olympia car featured throughout the German military, which made repairs a breeze since German mechanics at the time were more familiar with this powerplant. This engine has a modest power output of 36 bhp, mated a three-speed transmission, giving it the ability to climb inclines of 25° or more, while topping out at 50 mph. Continue reading for another video, more pictures and information.

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Voyager Spacecraft Message

The Voyager 1 probe is currently the farthest human made object from Earth. Voyager 1 has reached interstellar space, the region between stars where the galactic plasma is present. Like their predecessors Pioneer 10 and 11, which featured a simple plaque, both Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were launched by NASA with a message aboard - a kind of time capsule, intended to communicate to extraterrestrials a story of the world of humans on Earth. "This is a present from a small, distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours," signed President Jimmy Carter. Continue reading for more interesting historical images.

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Ferrari 330 P4

Auto enthusiasts know that 1967 was a banner year for the Enzo Ferrari motor company, as it saw the production of the mid-engined 330 P4, a renowned V12 endurance car meant to replace the previous year's P3. Only four Ferrari P4-engined cars were ever made: three new 330 P4s and one ex P3 chassis (0846). Their three-valve cylinder head was modeled after those of Italian Grand Prix-winning Formula One cars. To this was added the same fuel injection system from the P3 for an output of up to 450-horsepower. Continue reading for more interesting historical photos from around the web.

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Bose Suspension

By using powerful electromagnetic struts, the Bose car suspension system could instantly extend or retract any one wheel, with all four corners working in concert to keep the vehicle's body level. The system was installed on a Lexus LS400 outside its headquarters in Framingham, Massachusetts, and a driver sped the car over several obstacles while the body remained completely level. Where can you find this technology today? Unfortunately, only in big-rig truck seats, where the Bose Ride mounting system actively nulls shock and vibration before it hits the driver. Click here to view the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading for the five most popular viral videos today, including one of exploding batteries in slow motion.

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1912 Henderson Motorcycle

Henderson was a manufacturer of 4-cylinder motorcycles from 1912 until 1931. They were the largest and fastest motorcycles of their time, and appealed to sport riders and police departments. The company promptly announced a new 57 cubic inch (934 cc) IOE four-cylinder 7 hp motorcycle, with the engine mounted inline with the frame and chain drive. Production began in 1911, using the in-line four-cylinder engine and long wheelbase that would become Henderson trademarks, and it was available to the public in January 1912. Advertisements boasted 7 HP and a price of $325. It was the third four-cylinder production motorcycle built in the United States, and featured a folding hand-crank starter handle. Continue reading for 18 more fascinating pictures from around the web.

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Oldsmobile Aerotech

The Oldsmobile Aerotechs are essentially experimental high-speed vehicles created between 1987-1992 that incorporated the latest in performance technology with the intention of breaking multiple automobile speed records. The first such car was driven by four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt to a world closed-course speed record of 257.123 mph on August 27, 1987 at the 7.712-mile test track near Fort Stockton Texas. Prior to this, on August 26, 1987, the car had posted a top speed over a mile of 267.88 mph. The vehicle basically consisted of a March Indycar single seat chassis enclosed in an extremely efficient aerodynamic body shell, powered by a highly turbo-charged version of the 2-litre Oldsmobile Quad 4 engine. Click here to view the first image in this week's geek life gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of a trucker who flying kicked a thief off his motorbike.

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Lucas Death Star

Although details, such as the superlaser's location, shifted between different concept models during production of Star Wars, the notion of the Death Star being a large, spherical space station over 100 kilometers in diameter was consistent in all of them. The Death Star model was created by John Stears. In the image above, George Lucas himself inspected the incomplete Death Star model, which was a mirror image of how it appeared in the finished movie. It's one of the few models that never leaves the Archives because it is too fragile. Continue reading for more rare behind-the-scenes images from famous movies. Click here for a few bonus images.

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Photo Citizen Kane (1941)Photo The Great Escape (1963)Photo Blade Runner (1982)Photo Gladiator (2000)Photo Raging Bull (1980)Photo It's a Wonderful Life (1946)Photo The Misfits (1961)Photo Aliens (1986)Photo Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)Photo The Graduate (1967)Photo Edward Scissorhands (1990)Photo The Exorcist (1973)Photo The Godfather Part II (1974)Photo A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)Photo The Seven Year Itch (1955)Photo Apocalypse Now (1979)


Big Wind Firefighting Tank

Here's a blast from the past in the form of a firefighting tank. You read that right, a Hungarian company strapped two MiG engines onto a Soviet tank to blow out the worst sort of raging oil-well fires. When the water is turned on, the six nozzles above the powerful turbine engines unleash an immense blast of water that mingles with the jet exhaust to become a ferocious spray of steam. The water moves at a maximum rate of 220-gallons of water a second. The fire is extinguished by severing the supply of oil to the flame. Click here to view the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading for the five most popular viral videos today, including one showing how to make your own mini RPG launcher at home.

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One Wheel Monowheel

A monowheel is basically a one-wheeled single-track vehicle similar to a unicycle. However, instead of sitting above the wheel, the rider sits either within it or next to it. The wheel is a ring, usually driven by smaller wheels pressing against its inner rim. Hand-cranked and pedal-powered monowheels were patented and built in the late 19th century; most built in the 20th century have been motorized. Some modern builders refer to these vehicles as monocycles, though that term is also sometimes used to describe motorized unicycles. Continue reading for more amazing colorized historical photos. Click here for a few bonus images.

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Photo Painting Propaganda c.1942Photo Heat Wave in New York c.1912Photo Lunch Time c.1908Photo Manhattan at Sunset c.1936Photo Beach Day c.1900Photo Metal Workers c.1940