Japan's new Series E7 bullet train: Understated, luxurious

Japan just can't get enough shiny, new trains.

While California is up to its eyeballs in legal battles over its proposed high-speed railway, Japan is adding another branch to its extensive bullet train network, which celebrates its 50th anniversary next year.

Operator JR East has begun tests of its swishy new Series E7 bullet train, which starts runs from Tokyo to Nagano in the spring, then the Sea of Japan coastal area in 2015, and possibly Osaka after 2025. … Read more

Bullet-time rig made from 130 HTC One smartphones

You may not know the technique by name, but you've most likely seen the results of bullet-time photography. Popularized by movies like "The Matrix," it involves a rig of cameras in a circular configuration that are fired simultaneously, capturing the same shot of a subject from multiple angles.

There have been plenty of impressive examples of bullet-time photography before: from light painting to a DIY Polaroid rig and even a Land Rover ad for good measure. … Read more

200-mph red bullet trains thrill rail-mad Japan

TOKYO--The crowd lining the end of Tokyo Station's platform 22 is four people deep.

They're jostling for position with their cameras -- trainspotters, parents, and children alike -- to get a shot of Japan's latest bullet train: the Series E6 Shinkansen, known as the Super Komachi.

They all bought tickets for the privilege of entering this part of the sprawling terminal that serves 380,000 passengers daily, and operator JR East has to deploy extra security guards to keep them a safe distance from the glistening new locomotive.

With services to northern Japan on the Akita Shinkansen Line, the Super Komachi debuted earlier this month as one of Japan's fastest commercial trains.

It has been traveling at 300 kph (186 mph) and will eventually run at 320 kph (198.8 mph), also the new operational speed of the Series E5 Hayabusa, among the world's fastest along with France's TGV. … Read more

Send information directly to your smartphone with PushBullet

Android phones feature a drop-down notification window, typically used for system notifications. PushBullet is an application that makes it possible to send information to the notification bar from any Web browser. This is a welcome addition to the Android operating system.

Downloading and installing PushBullet is a simple two-part task. First the application must be downloaded on the smartphone and registered using a Google account. Then the user must go to PushBullet's Web site and register using a PC. Once the app has been set up, it provides an easy way to send notes, Internet links, addresses (opening in … Read more

Max Payne 3: Worth the hangover?

Arriving just in time to distract you from BioShock Infinite and Tomb Raider being punted into 2013, Max Payne 3 marks the latest Rockstar Games release since last year's ambitious L.A. Noire.

Max Payne is a franchise deeply rooted in PC gaming territory, so we took it for a spin on an Xbox 360 to see if the old guy's still got it.… Read more

This week's must have: The bullet-proof iPhone

The world is a dangerous place. The iPhone is a delicate, beautiful thing.

How can these two phenomena possibly co-exist? How can we protect that which is most dear to us in a way that will give us at least one reason for calm?

Enter the fine Japanese company Marudai. Enter their great creation: The bullet-proof iPhone 4.

I am grateful to the Daily Mail for discovering this fine essential.

Apparently, the casing consists of a chunk of steel around an inch thick. I am not, as yet, a ballistic expert, so I will have to take Marudai's word … Read more

Man shoots himself to test bulletproof vest

It is often futile to ask why people do things.

Life is short, sometimes brutal, and often so absurd that all we can do is meander through it and allow the depths of our subconscious to propel us.

However, when I saw the video of this scientific test, I did wonder about the contents of this man's inner workings.

For it seems to show him wearing a bulletproof vest and testing it by shooting himself in the stomach.

Some will declare that this is merely a man who is confident of his product. I will declare that confidence is … Read more

Crave 74: Chaotic neutral (podcast)

This week, our Crave team talks about treats for tweets, geeky furniture, intelligent bullets, and a way to strap your phone to your face. In Geek News, we have a new "Avengers" trailer, a discussion on good and evil, and the gamification of our lives.

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Incoming! Self-guiding bullet could strike from a mile away

A new design for a self-guiding bullet could allow sharpshooters to accurately fire at targets a full mile away.

The bullet, which is still in a prototype phase, is the brainchild of Sandia National Laboratories researchers Red Jones and Brian Kast. It is designed with built-in actuators and tiny fins that should allow it to rapidly adjust its path in flight.

Designed with the military, law enforcement, and recreational shooters as potential customers, the bullet is four inches long and has an optical sensor embedded in its nose for the detection of a laser on its target, Sandia said in … Read more

Contract Killer: Zombies

A spin-off of the original Contract Killer hit, Contract Killer: Zombies ups the ante by dropping you smack dab in the middle of an undead apocalypse. Fans of the original hit should recognize both the format of the game and the interface.

For those unfamiliar with the original, its controls are simple. Contract Killer is a first-person shooter. You swipe around the screen to look for zombies and set your sights, and tap the fire button to trigger your firearm. There's also a quick-switch button that allows you to swap between your primary and secondary weapons.

The structure of … Read more