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E X T R A TECH FOCUS 32 PAGES OF BREAKTHROUGH TECHNOLOGY

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FORD FOCUS WORTH OVER R230 000

JUNE 2012, RSA: R29,95 Other countries: R26,27 excl VAT

WHAT WENT WRONG


ANALYSING THE COSTA CONCORDIA TRAGEDY
LAB-GROWN ORGANS
Scientists now produce vital body parts from scratch

HOW BIONIC TECH WILL GIVE US LONGER, HEALTHIER LIVES

SYMBIONIC LEG

Combines a bionic knee, ankle and foot for the rst time

RE-ENGINEERING THE
CONNECT SA
BUSINESS IN BEWARE THE

HUMAN
THE CLOUD CYBER CROOKS
FLYING UPSIDE DOWN
(WE DID IT ON PURPOSE)

PRINTED BONES
3D scaffolds provide structure for new cells

PLUS:

BRAIN CONTROL!
The users thoughts move this robotic hand

FA CEBOOK RULES OF ENGAGEMENT

LOTS OF GREAT GADGETS

Some cars get you from A to B. Some do a whole lot more. The new KUGA has a 2.5l Duratec turbo engine (147kW, 320Nm), intelligent all-wheel drive, a clever split tailgate and a full suite of lifeenhancing technology features. It wont just complement your life, the new KUGA will improve it.

New KUGA. Upgrade your life.


*Model shown with optional 18 wheels.

www.ford.co.za

JWT60367/E

EDITOR'S NOTES

UNVEILING OUR TECH FUTURE.


ontrary to widespread belief, South Africa does not lurk at the bottom end of the technological food chain. In fact, when it comes to connecting with the future through new technologies and exploiting every avenue of communication, our hunger knows no bounds as does our pride in home-grown innovation. Now say hello to FutureTech 2012, a unique POPULAR MECHANICS initiative that will bring together tech-savvy people from all over South Africa for an exciting and inspiring conference. It happens in Johannesburg on 25 October, and its destined to be a must on the calendar of anyone who wants to get up to speed in a world ruled by technology. The theme of our inaugural conference is connect, a word that will resonate with anyone who understands the mechanics of the 21st century. Representing the top echelon of science and technology, our presenters will unpack technologies that are already changing our lives for the better, enabling us to share world-changing ideas and solve challenges together. Programme details and booking information will be available soon; please watch for announcements via our Web site, our weekly e-mail newsletters (The Cutting Edge) our TV commercials and other channels. Theres also some good news for South Africas vibrant inventing community: our Inventor of the Year Competition remains as an integral part of the FutureTech initiative. Details of the annual challenge, which offers even bigger cash prizes for 2012, will be released within the next few weeks (see elsewhere in this issue). Now to this months magazine. Our cover story, Re-engineering the human, explores some remarkable breakthroughs in the design of prosthetic limbs, articial organs, bones and even blood cells. Bionic limbs with machine intelligence can now sense their environment and predict a users intentions. The prosthetic arm on our cover is actually composed of a swarm
POPULARMECHANICS.CO.ZA JUNE 2012

futur tech
TOMORROWS TECHNOLOGY TODAY

Be the rst to know

of robots, each detachable segment housing a processor that works in concert with the others. Wonderful stuff, and its bringing new hope to many people. We hope you enjoy our bumper 32-page Tech Focus supplement, which comes free with this months issue. It introduces fascinating and increasingly relevant technologies in the elds of home entertainment, automotive safety, leisure pursuits, communications, and much more. We provide advice on buying a new TV, introduce a couple of outrageous bicycles, unpack appliances with brains, and ask what it will take for tablets to replace PCs. As always, we showcase a heady assortment of new gadgets throughout the magazine which brings me to an opportunity for full disclosure. Having been consumed with guilt for the past few weeks, I should now confess to my wife (who is morally obliged to read PM every month) that the 600 mW laser pointer, Music Angel docking station, multi-bladed camping knife and Samurai steel LED watch were not, in fact, for the ofce. Finally, regular PM readers who may have been alarmed by our haunted house headline need not be concerned: its not about exorcism or exploring beyond the veil. Instead, we explain what makes doors bang and oors creak in your ageing house, then tell how you to x them. Its what we do.

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INSIDE

aland@ramsaymedia.co.za
l Visit page 28 for details of the online SA magazine survey and tell us what you think of your favourite magazines. Prizes worth R150 000 are up for grabs.

COMP E TITION W INNE R S . . . Details online at www.popularmechanics.co.za


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CONTENTS
JUNE 2012 VOLUME 10, NO. 11

20 45 58 69 74

T ECH

Bionic limbs get smarter; blood cells are next Five rules for Internet safety

Re-engineering the human (cover story) DIY tech

48

W H EELS

Digital clinic Q&A


Lambo off-road rocket Merc concepts Keep Old Faithful running Sports car skirmish

New on the block

Name that sound Neg-a-pixels

114 Esoteric car repairs 128 Car clinic Q&A


Welcome to an obsessive underworld Oil crisis Mystery leaks

Of cyber crooks and cloud storage First, get your head around smart sand...

SA: gadget nation

My sandbox, my algorithm?

12

SC IE NC E

36 60 72

FEATU R ES

Fire and forget The utter ghter Dummy sh, smarter dams Fukushimas long goodbye

Tech watch

PM investigates the deadly Costa Concordia accident Preparing rst responders for the worst Minding your manners in social media

What went wrong Training day

Facebook faux pas

121 Homeowners clinic Q&A


Make your move Start digging Yankee dandy Fan clubbed

HOME

76

UPGRADE

Meet a two-seater hybrid car and gyroplane Honda redenes personal mobility Thirsty? Fancy a R1,25 million bottle of whisky?

When ideas run free

124 Fix your haunted house

Creaking oors? Flickering lights? Strange smells? Heres what to do about it...

123

PM DI GI TAL

Spot the Ford Focus and win Watch the chilling Prometheus trailer Win an outdoor kitchen-in-one

56

OUTS ID E

1 4 7 10 30 113 144

M O N TH LY
Editors notes Contact us Letters Time machine Great stuff This is my job Do it your way

Our journo steps aboard an acrobatic helicopter

Flying upside down

66 Hearth and home


IN FOC U S

On the cover: The Modular Prosthetic Limb, developed at Johns Hopkins University for DARPA, belongs to a new wave of bionic devices with superior dexterity and machine intelligence. A braincontrolled model is in clinical trials now. Photograph by Eric Ogden. This page: Designed and built by Ekso Bionics, this exoskeleton was the rst to step out of the lab and into the real world.

A radically different fan heater Blings the thing (just add crystals)

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JUNE 2012

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A desirable Ford Focus worth over R230 000 (see page 42)

WIN

This months bumper issue of PM incorporates the inaugural 32-page Tech Focus supplement, your guide to the most exciting products and developments in the elds of home entertainment, automotive tech, communications, leisure activities, and more. It starts on page 81.

Embrace the 21st century!

T ECH F O C U S

48

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JUNE 2012

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EDITOR: Alan Duggan PUBLISHER: Neil Piper


EDITORIAL TEAM DEPUTY EDITOR Anthony Doman ASSOCIATE EDITOR Sean Woods DIGITAL CONTENT MANAGER Kate Downs PRODUCTION AND CREATIVE TEAM PRODUCTION MANAGER Helen van Beuge PRODUCTION (Supplements) Judy Romon ART DIRECTOR Thea Woodman DESIGNER Sharon Gunst BUYERS GUIDE DESIGNER Relic Wessels DIGITAL DESIGNER Lars Liedberg WEBMASTER Nikky Oosthuizen BUSINESS AND SALES TEAM MARKETING MANAGER Dean Dicks DIGITAL BUSINESS MANAGER Wendy Lucas NATIONAL SALES MANAGER Andre Stadler SALES MANAGER Lea van Coller Tech Jenny Kaplan Auto MARKETING SERVICES MANAGER Andrew Stodel MARKETING SERVICES ANALYST Benita Bollers PROMOTIONS MANAGER Nomfundo Calana ADVERTISING SALES EXECUTIVES Brett Soutter, Joanne Thompson, Patrick Kennedy, Lindi van den Heever, Peter Botha, Nicky Lloyd Sandton Christian von Drckheim Cape Town ADVERTISING SALES ASSISTANT Linda Delport DIGITAL TRAFFICKER Nawhaal Fakir

CIRCULATION MARKETING CIRCULATION MANAGER Ian Dinan SUBSCRIPTIONS MANAGER Catriona Bennie SUBSCRIPTIONS ADMINISTRATION Lynn Heiberg SUBSCRIPTIONS MARKETING Sandy Immelman CONTACT CENTRE MANAGER Werner Debba GROUP SUPPORT SALES DIRECTOR Simon Turck CREATIVE DIRECTOR Brandon de Kock CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER Werner Schmidt DIGITAL PUBLISHING Andrew Solomon PR & COMMUNICATIONS Shelly van Zyl ICT MANAGER Alex Chetty PUBLISHED BY RamsayMedia (PTY) LTD
Company registration number: 1934/005460/07 ISSN number: 1682-5136

CHAIRMAN Alan T Ramsay MD Stuart Lowe DIRECTORS Terry Moolman, Gordon Utian, Brian Burnett, James Eedes, Simon Turck, Tim Holden, Peter Venn Cape Town head ofce: Uitvlugt, 3 Howard Drive, Pinelands, 7405 P O Box 180, Howard Place, Western Cape, 7450 Tel: 021 530-3100, Fax: 021 530-9495 Sandton ofce: 17th Floor, Ofce Tower, Sandton City, Sandton, 2196 P O Box 78132, Sandton, Gauteng, 2146 Tel: 011 783-7030, Fax: 011 783-0451 E-mail address: popularmechanics@ramsaymedia.co.za www.ramsaymedia.co.za

HOW TO SUBSCRIBE OR CONTACT US


Call: 0860 100 205, Fax: 0866 704 101 or 021 530 3143, E-mail: subs@ramsaymedia.co.za Online: www.magsathome.co.za or www.popularmechanics.co.za Web site: www.popularmechanics.co.za FOR OUR CURRENT SUBSCRIPTION RATES, SEE PAGE 42 Published and distributed by RamsayMedia (Pty) Ltd by permission of Hearst Communications Inc, New York, New York, United States of America.
We cannot be responsible for loss of unsolicited queries, manuscripts or photos. For return, they must be accompanied by adequate postage. As a service to readers, POPULAR MECHANICS publishes newsworthy products, techniques and scientic and technological developments. Due to possible variance in the quality and condition of materials and workmanship, POPULAR MECHANICS cannot assume responsibility for proper application of techniques or proper and safe functioning of manufactured products or reader-built projects resulting from information published in this magazine.

Total monthly sales: 45 577 (October to December 2011)

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LETTERS

ning Wintter le

LETS BRING THEM B ACK


I was interested to see the poll results in your issue of March 2012 indicating that 25 per cent of your readers believe scientists should not resurrect the woolly mammoth because they went extinct 10 000 years ago for a reason, and because it is not up to us to play creator. What these readers have not taken into account is research, published in the same month, indicating that woolly mammoths would probably not have been extinct in the rst place were it not for people. Our forebears played as much a role in the end of that species as Nature. Graham Prescott and David Williams, zoologists from the University of Cambridge, developed a model to calculate how climate change and the arrival of humans respectively correlated to the disappearance of species of megafauna. They found it very likely that Stone Age hunters had a hand in at least some of these extinctions. Not only the woolly mammoth seems to have been our victim, but possibly also giant kangaroos and some big ightless birds. The ndings, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, are a poignant reminder of how destructive our species has been since its early days. If we can undo some of that harm, why not? JOHANNES BERTUS DE VILLIERS JOHANNESBURG

Think big, people


Its time for a big South African company to reach into its deep pockets (call it a marketing strategy, if you like) and pull out a plan to galvanise our countrys legions of inventors and innovators. POPULAR MECHANICS has laid some wonderful groundwork with its Inventors Conferences and competitions, but now its the turn of the Big Players. My advice: take your cue from the X Prize Foundation (www.xprize.org). These guys have big ideas, and set serious challenges and it works. A few months ago, they launched the Tricorder X Prize, sponsored by Qualcomm an R80 million bonanza to be awarded for creating a mobile device that can diagnose patients better than or equal to a panel of board certied physicians. They have also partnered with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a prize for a better tuberculosis diagnostic tool. Getting the idea? We need a R10 million prize for someone who develops a basic but durable house costing no more than R1 000, or a device that halves infant mortality in impoverished areas, or a foolproof detector of political venality. Whos doing the brainstorming? CRAIG ABBOTT OBSERVATORY Editors note: Excellent idea. In the meantime, were about to release details of our second annual Inventors Competition, which carries even bigger cash prizes this year, and were working on an exciting conference that promises to light a re among connected South Africans.

Timeless hints dept


As you point out in Editors notes, its amazing how many of the tips from old issues of PM still hold good today (100 years of top tips, April issue). For example, my wife still uses half a potato to moisten the adhesive on envelopes that we mail to our clients (if you havent licked an envelope for a while, believe me when I say the taste is awful). Another hint that sounded familiar was the one about adding sand to oor paint to create a non-slip surface. Since an elderly relative slipped and fell on our wet front porch last winter, weve coated all potentially hazardous oors with non-slip paint. It works beautifully. TONY HARRIS DURBAN
7

Write to us, engage us in debate, and you could win a cool prize; this months best letter wins a desirable CAT watch worth R1 995. CAT Timekeeping Equipment reinvents and contextualises the heritage and authenticity of the brands core know-how clean and urban, encased in nely engineered stainless steel, and equipped with a technically advanced movement. For more information, contact S Bacher & Co on 011-372 6000 or visit www.sbacher.co.za Send your letter to: Popular Mechanics, PO Box 180, Howard Place 7450 or e-mail popularmechanics@ramsaymedia.co.za Please keep it short and to the point. Regrettably, prizes can be awarded only to South African residents.
POPULARMECHANICS.CO.ZA JUNE 2012

LETTERS
ration for me at school and at home, and many school projects were inspired by timely articles over the years. I cant wait for the next issue. BENJAMIN WYBENGA BLOEMFONTEIN

Youre welcome, dude Questions, questions


Your article on Waldo Stakes and his Sonic Wind car (The 3 000 km/h obsession, January issue) refers. Here are some aspects that bother me: l Wing Commander Andy Green was in South Africa late last year on a lecture tour; Thrust SSC smashed the sound barrier in 1997; Bloodhound (another potential recordbreaker) is to go beyond that. l A wind tunnel cannot be used for testing the model of a supersonic car as there is no ground effect. l Where does the money come from? Waldo moonlights as a rocket scientist but he has no qualications. Who employs him? l Where is the planned test ground? Bloodhound will come to Hakskeen Pan in the Northern Cape.The track will be 20 km long for 1 600 km/h. How long for 3 000 km/h? l Is it so wrong to chase a dream beyond ones grasp?Maybe not, but, in this case, it may prove to be fatally foolish. Are there no restraints in the US regarding people wanting to exit this world in a spectacular fashion? But I marvel at all this.As a young lad, back in the Fifties, I was fascinated by speed and the sound barrier. I sketched my hero, Sir Malcolm Campbell, and imagined him breaking the sound barrier in Bluebird.I have also lived to see some of the science ction of Dan Dare (Eagle comics) become reality. Good luck, Waldo! ALAN CAMPBELL GARDENS I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed the April issue of POPULAR MECHANICS, having been an avid fan ever since seeing it for the rst time on a railway station bookshelf when I was 11 years old, way back in 1943. Memories came ooding back of the many innovative ideas found in PM in years gone by. Thank you for reawakening those memories. I especially enjoy the projects that are once again appearing for the do-it-yourself readers. Thanks for the wonderful work you and your staff do in bringing us our own South African POPULAR MECHANICS. P.S. I am the dude who designed and built the workbench that you featured in the third issue of your magazine (October 2002). CARL MOUTON VIA E-MAIL PM

MONTHLY POLL
Should we be pouring more money into acquiring broadband in South Africa? Yes, of course. Its a connected world. 95% No. Its a waste of money. There are far more important national priorities e.g. education and land. 5%
5%

Worlds biggest parachute?


A Tech Watch article in your March issue (Mars, here we come again) refers. You discuss a parachute 100 metres in diameter. This makes no sense; a 100 m -diameter parachute would almost cover Loftus stadium! GRBE DE VILLIERS RANDBURG Editors note: We have no idea where our gure came from; its really weird. Anyway, the parachutes real diameter is 165 feet, or about 50 metres. Thanks for taking the trouble to write.

black-painted galvanised pipes inside a box, the surface of which was a large pane of window glass. The box was placed where it wouldnt be smashed by falling mangoes or coconuts. Of course, the pipes dont last as long as copper, but at least they are cheap to replace. Im sure this approach is not exclusive to Kenya, but I am unable to nd anyone over here who has even thought of it. STEPHEN CRIDLAND RONDEBOSCH Editors note: youd be surprised.

Solar heating: back to basics


South Africa tends to go for big technology, but there are other countries, such as Kenya, that have to settle for different options. At Tiwi, the solar heating strategy was to pass the water though matt
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Keep it coming, PM
I have been a proud and avid reader for the past 10 years. My rst introduction to your magazine camefrom my dad at age six. Now, 10 years down the line, I would like to say thank you for a great publication! POPULAR MECHANICS has been an inspi-

95%

Conducted online at www.popularmechanics. co.za visit PMs Web site to vote in our current poll.

POPULARMECHANICS.CO.ZA JUNE 2012