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World's first coins with QR codes

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From The Rich Times:
The Royal Dutch Mint has produced what is the first QR-coded coin to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the mint in Utrecht.

The coins will be limited-edition and will be produced in silver as well as gold. The silver 5€ and gold 10€ will be issued on June 22, 2011. The code scans as http://www.q5g.nl

ThinkGeek Unveils New Minecraft Gear

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ThinkGeek has teamed up with Minecraft developer Mojang for some cool gear to decorate your home or office. The Minecraft Foam Pickaxe is a full-size replica of the stone pickaxe from within the game. While fans won’t be using the pickaxe to mine actual cobblestone, the durable EVA foam is a perfect companion to the Minecraft Sticky Note Cube. It is a pixilated cube of sticky notes for your desk. The axe will sell for $19.99 and the note cube sells for $9.99.

E3 2011: Nintendo unveils Wii U

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Nintendo has unveiled it's new console, dubbed the Wii U, a new video game system that will use a new touch-screen controller to play games both on and off the TV screen. The Wii U is tablet-like controller, features a 6.2-inch touch-screen display, motion control, two analog sticks, a stylus, a front-facing camera, a full complement of buttons, an accelerometer and gyroscope, rumble capabilities, a microphone, and stereo speakers and HD graphics. The controller will be able to be used as a secondary screen for the Wii U in a number of ways. You'll be able to use the controller's screen to augment the action on your TV, or you can also use it for supplementary materials such as maps or inventory screens...and for less graphically games, you will be able to play a full game right on the controller or on the TV, your choice. Scheduled to release in 2012 sometime between April and December. 
 
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Radical new birth control for men: 100% effective for 10 years, With a Small Catch

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The injection is called RISUG, which stands for "reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance." Let's just get the uncomfortable bit out of the way first: you can't just be injected anywhere, the doctor has to stick a needle into your scrotum. Twice. Yeah, bad times, but you'll deal, and here's why: after two tiny injections taking all of 15 minutes, study after study has shown that the injection is 100% effective at preventing pregnancy. You won't suffer any side effects at all, it lasts a minimum of 10 years, and it's completely reversible with another few injections. 
Here's how it works: a non-toxic, positively charged polymer gets injected into the little tube that your sperm pass through on their way from your testicles to, you know, out. The polymer doesn't actually block the tube, but it stays there, and when sperm (which have a negative charge) pass by, the charge differential from the polymer zaps them. All of them. Every time.
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Modified 18-wheeler designed to charge 2,000 phones at once

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From the U.K.'s Vodafone comes this colossal phone charger (or a rather standard-sized 18-wheeler). It weighs 44 tons, has a retractable staircase and also a secure bank of lockers that can charge 2,000 cellphones of different makes all at once. Check out the video after more.
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Berlin's caravan hotel

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The Hüttenpalast in Berlin is a new hotel concept, created by Silke Lorenzen and Sarah Vollmer. Situated in a former vacuum-cleaner factory are a cluster of renovated old campsite caravans, each available to stay in for the night. Bookings and enquiries, here.
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US admiral releases zombie apocalypse survival plan

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The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released a report on how to prepare for the zombie apocalypse.
In a blog post, Rear Admiral Ali S Khan, assistant surgeon general and director of the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, drops a lot of practical knowledge on the zombie-fearing masses, knowledge that — suspiciously — would also help during, say, a hurricane or disease outbreak...So what do you need to do before zombies, a kit filled with water, food, meds and the like... [ link ]

The white iPhone 4 comes out tomorrow

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Apple finally announced it will release the white iPhone 4 tomorrow around the world. Here in the US it'll come in both AT&T and Verizon flavors. The pricing remains the same: $199 on contract for the 16GB model, $299 for 32GB. Of course, you could have some patience and wait until September for the iPhone 5.

Saudi Arabia Planning To Build A Mile High Skyscraper

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Saudi Arabia, head of Kingdom Holding Company recently, is planning on building the “Kingdom Tower” in Jeddah which will be 5280 feet high when completed. Designed by Adrian Smith, The tower will stretch one mile up into heavens and include 12 million cubic feet of space, several stories of office space, several stories for a hotel and four tiers of residential space, with the upper most tier reserved for "alternative energy generation" solutions (perhaps including a pendulum to keep the entire tower from collapsing). 
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GEVEY turbo sim unlock iPhone 4?

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China's GEVEY have released the turbo sim for iPhone 4 unlock. GEVEY claims that their turbo sims can unlock 4.1(baseband 02.10.04) and 4.2.1 (baseband 03.10.01), and it also supports 3G network. Check out the video, we don't know whether it is true?
on sale, here1, here2, here3, (Chinese, we search from taobao.com)

earthquake

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Japan's 8.9 earthquake...

"Which Chinese province do you live in?"

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The February 24, 2011 issue of The Economist features the maps above and below, comparing Chinese provinces with countries in terms of GDP, population and exports.
From the captions: "China is now the world’s second-biggest economy, but some of its provinces by themselves would rank fairly high in the global league. Our map shows the nearest equivalent country. For example, Guangdong’s GDP (at market exchange rates) is almost as big as Indonesia's; the output of both Jiangsu and Shandong exceeds Switzerland's."
"What about other economic yardsticks? Guangdong exports abroad as much as South Korea, Jiangsu as much as Taiwan. Shanghai’s GDP per person is as high as Saudi Arabia's (at purchasing-power parity, or PPP), though still well below that in China's special regions of Hong Kong and Macau. At the other extreme, poor Guizhou has an income per head close to that of India. Note that these figures use the same PPP conversion rate for the whole of China, yet prices are likely to be lower in poorer provinces than they are in richer ones, thus slightly reducing regional inequality."
Most interesting.
Interactive version here.

Happy Chinese New Year!

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Today is the Traditional Chinese New Year, the Rabbit's Year. [ Pic via]
Happy Chinese New Year!

First STAR WARS Miniland Models Arrive to LEGOLAND California

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The Millennium Falcon was spotted flying over Washington D.C. today at LEGOLAND California as the first wave of LEGO models for the new STAR WARS Miniland area arrived. Master Model Builders unloaded crates containing several models including the Millennium Falcon, an Imperial AT-AT, an AT-ST and an X-wing fighter. The models are the first of 2,000 arriving to be installed in the new STAR WARS Miniland area opening in March at the family theme park in Carlsbad.
LEGOLAND California will be the first of three parks to launch the Star Wars Miniland, including six scenes from the movie series, and one from The Clone Wars, comprised of about 2,000 individual models, over 1.5 million bricks and and built in 1:20 scale.  

Starbucks new Logo: An Illustrated History

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Starbucks just unveiled a new logo to commemorate its 40th anniversary and, judging by the look of things, it seems to have nailed it. The image of the siren is so iconic that the text itself had become redundant. Simplifying the image and distancing the brand from the word “coffee” enables the company to expand its portfolio into new arenas such as ice cream and bottled beverages without cannibalizing the brand’s cache.