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Christmas Gift Guide

A 41-megapixel camera

Calving of Pine Island Glacier

3D printer made almost entirely out of Lego

3D-printed robot tarantula

Motorola's Moto X

Human-powered helicopter

DARPAS's Atlas

Nokia this week grabbed the attention of smartphone users and photographers when it unveiled the Lumia 1020, a phone that packs a wallop with a 41-megapixel camera.

And make no mistake about it: it's all about the camera. The Lumia 1020's stunningly enormous image resolution is this smartphone's single killer feature and sole reason for being. Yep, the 1020 puts the mega back in megapixels.
Caption by / Photo by CNET
In October 2011 NASA's Operation IceBridge discovered a gigantic rift in the Pine Island Glacier during research flights over Antarctica carrying radar and lidar equipment for measuring ice thickness.

The rift quickly became the focus of international scientific concern, and the crack grew rapidly, with a 280-square-mile chunk of the glacier breaking off to form an island of ice.

This week the German Aerospace Center's Earth monitoring satellite TerraSAR-X confirmed that the rift had run its course, and a large iceberg had indeed broken off of the glacier, one of Antarctica's largest, fastest moving, and most important ice streams.

This image of the calving glacier was captured on July 8, 2013, by TerraSAR-X, which has been keeping a close watch on the rift using a radar instrument capable of making observations through even the dark months or heavy cloud cover.
Caption by / Photo by DLR
Matthew Krueger, aka, Matstermind, had been eyeing the Makerbot ever since it was first on the market. But as a poor engineering student, he simply didn't have the funds to purchase one, so he decided to make his own -- out of Lego.
Caption by / Photo by Mastermind
The T8 octopod robot from Robugtix is modelled after a real tarantula, and the way it moves is startlingly realistic -- an effect that's amplified by its high-resolution 3D-printed shell, which conceals the robotics inside.
Caption by / Photo by Robugtix
Moto X, the next smartphone from Motorola Mobility, got a glimpse of daylight thanks to Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, who was spotted using Motorola's upcoming phone at Allen & Co.'s Sun Valley media conference this week.
Caption by / Photo by Getty Images
Cameron Robertson and Todd Reichert of the University of Toronto's Vehicle Design Team and AeroVelo hit up Kickstarter last year to fund a vehicle called the Atlas. Consisting of four rotors connected by a massive frame, the helicopter is powered by a modified bicycle slung from the middle.

For the first time since its introduction in 1980, the Sikorsky Prize for a human-powered helicopter flight has actually been awarded.
Caption by / Photo by AeroVelo/Martin Turner/Visiblize.com
DARPA this week unveiled its new Terminator-like Atlas robot. Atlas looks like the prototype for a future robot infantryman, and it can tackle rough terrain and carry human tools. Can you say "Skynet"?
Caption by / Photo by DARPA/Boston Dynamics
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