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In Brief: Nov. 8, 1999

2 minute read
Anita Hamilton

WINTRY BLUES Gloomy about those earlier sunsets? You can cheer up a dark room or give yourself a “light bath” with Philips’ new Original Bright Light ($300), which simulates natural daylight minus harmful ultraviolet rays. Used to treat seasonal affective disorder in Europe, the 2-ft.-high device can sit on your desk or hang from a wall. Philips says it “promotes a sense of well-being,” but we just like its clear, sunny glow.

MOUSING AROUND It’s tough to pretend you’re working when you’re gripping a game pad and barreling down virtual tunnels in your favorite PC game. Now Logitech’s WingMan Force Feedback Mouse ($100) lets you be more discreet. It looks like a regular cordless mouse but doesn’t have a telltale pad. A force-feedback engine lets you feel realistic rumbling in games like Activision’s Heavy Gear II. It also provides slight resistance as you scroll over onscreen buttons, making clicking easier. So long as your boss doesn’t catch on.

MEAT ZAPPER Dangerous bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella could be zapped in meat and poultry, but the public has balked at irradiation in foods–even though it’s government approved–because it involves powerful gamma rays emitted by radioactive isotopes. Now Titan Corp. in San Diego, Calif., has invented a meat pasteurization system that uses electron beams instead. Approved by the FDA and awaiting final regulations from the USDA, electronically pasteurized meat should be in selected test markets by year’s end.

–By Anita Hamilton

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