Items tagged with Science

Fraunhofer IIS may not be a super familiar name in the consumer realm, but in the world of research, there's hardly a company that comes up with crazier things than these guys and girls. The company has chosen Mobile World Congress as the place to present the world's first Full-HD Voice mobile phone calls over an LTE network. Verizon Wireless has toyed with VoLTE (voice over LTE) before, but we've seen nothing beyond semi-promising demonstrations. This particular method enables mobile phone calls to sound as clear as talking to another person in the same room, at a quality level that is equal to that experienced by consumers on any other audio/video device. At the floor, there will be a live... Read more...
Over the years, exploding batteries have becoming quite the issue in consumer electronics (as seen here in this melted iPhone). And not just exploding, but overheating, melting and combusting ones, too. But now, we're making progress on potentially stopping that ruckus. Scientists at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md., have developed an inexpensive sensor that can warn of impending catastrophic failure in lithium-ion batteries. The sensor is based on the researchers' discovery of an intrinsic relationship between the internal temperature of lithium-ion cells and an easily measured electrical parameter of the cell. Due to their high energy density, lithium-ion... Read more...
Ready to get nerdy? Thinfilm, together with PARC, has just announced that they have produced a working prototype of the world's first printed non-volatile memory device with complementary organic circuits, the organic equivalent of CMOS circuitry. The new Thinfilm Addressable Memory consists of Thinfilm's printed memory and PARC's transistors. This demonstration is a significant milestone toward the mass production of low-cost, low-power ubiquitous devices that are a key component of the "Internet of things." That's right, they said the "Internet of things." That's further described as a situation where "everything is connected to a smart tag." Thinfilm Addressable Memory consists of Thinfilm's... Read more...
Faster than the speed of light? Normally we think of The Flash, Superman, or perhaps a Federation starship using warp drive. In other words, we think science fiction or comic books. After all, surpassing that speed would overturn one of the fundamental laws of physics, Einstein's theory of relativity, often simply known by the equation E = mc2. However, scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, believe they have discovered subatomic particles called neutrinos traveling faster than the speed of light. That said, with physics potentially about to be turned upside down, the scientists are so astounded by the discovery that they are asking others to verify them. Antonio... Read more...
A lot of things are said to taste like chicken. Snake, for example, is often said to taste like chicken, although we can tell you from experience that its reptile cousin African crocodile does not taste like chicken, and is extremely tough and chewy. What, therefore, would human excrement taste like? A Japanese scientist claims to be able to turn poop into a meat substitute. More precisely, he said he says he can turn sewage mud into a meat substitute. Tokyo Sewage reportedly approached Ikeda to find a solution for a big problem: too much sewage mud. They wanted to know if anything useful could be manufactured from it. In and of itself, as a small island nation, Japan has a huge need to recycled.... Read more...
A new blood test that will come on the market later this year in over-the-counter form is raising questions about just how much we should know, and what will be done with that knowledge. The test will, the maker says, be able to predict your life expectancy to within a decade. The test, by the company Life Length, is to come on the market in the U.K. later this year, and will cost 500 euros ($714). The tests measures the length of a person's telomeres, the cap-like molecular structures on the tips of the chromosomes. The shorter they are, scientists believe, the nearer one is to death. Essentially, the test will give a person's "true" biological, vs. his chronological, age. There have been tests... Read more...
There's a new "Virgin" around, and it's called Virgin Oceanic. Sir Richard Branson plans to explore, not commercialize, the ocean depths with his "Deep? Flight ?Challenger." Designed by Graham Hawkes, the "Deep? Flight ?Challenger" was originally commissioned by Sir Richard Branson's friend, the late Steve Fossett. Branson "intends to finish what his friend started and then go on to help explore and unlock the wonders of the oceans still unknown to humankind or science." [Steve Fossett was reported missing on September 3, 2007, after the plane he was flying over the Nevada desert failed to return. His remains were not found and verified until late in 2008.] The submarine is made from 8,000 pounds... Read more...
As you wait in the checkout line just before Christmas, your observation is correct. That other line is moving faster than yours. That's what Bill Hammack (the Engineer Guy), from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Illinois - Urbana "proves" in this YouTube video. The video was released just in time for the final days of the holiday shopping season, as a lesson in queueing theory for the holiday season. Using the work of Agner Erlang, a Danish engineer who helped the Copenhagen Telephone Company determine the best level of service with the minimum number of operators, Hammack shows stores can determine the best number of cashiers in a store. Ironically,... Read more...
In the quest to keep bicycles safe, here's a new idea. Instead of trying to create the invulnerable bicycle lock, how about having it shinny up whatever pole you attach it to instead, and out of harm's way? A German company called Conrad had developed the ultimate bike lock. The making of video (below) shows how it works. There are a few problems with the idea. For one, it certainly isn't the most portable of security devices. For another, we only hope no one, either because they don't notice your bike, or because they are complete a-holes, decides to hoist their bike up the pole beneath yours.... Read more...
On Monday, the London School of Economics launched a project designed to "map happiness" in the U.K. Indeed, we are not kidding. The iPhone application called "mappiness" will be used to help researchers map "happiness across space in the U.K." After installing and setting up the free app, users will receive a notification on their iPhone automatically, between one and five times a day (as set by the user). The timing will be random, and during hours set by the user. Additionally, the user can manually enter happiness data, as well. The app will ask users to report their feelings at the time, and (broadly, they say), who they're with, location, and current activity. If the user is outdoors and... Read more...
We've heard (no pun intended) of hybrid and electric cars designed to make noise, so that blind pedestrians don't get run over by them, but how about a car designed for blind people to drive it? That's what Virginia Tech and the National Federation for the Blind (NFB) have come up with. The plan is to demonstrate the vehicle, a modified Ford Escape hybrid, at the famous Daytona International Speedway track next year, as part of the pre-race activities at the 2011 Rolex 24 on January 29, 2011. Last summer, the team demonstrated a first-generation prototype, a modified dune buggy. The NFB issued its Blind Driver Challenge in 2004. Virginia Tech accepted that challenge, and as Dr. Dennis Hong, Director... Read more...
Few institutions impact the world of consumer electronics as often as MIT, and it's a known fact that the entity has been working towards wireless power for years now. Wireless power remains one of the Holy Grails of electronics; even with wireless video and audio solutions in the market, there's still a power requirement that demands at least one cable. It's the reason that wireless surround speakers can't easily be mounted anywhere; you still have to run power to each one, or at least signal wires with power running through them. But MIT is getting closer and closer to making wireless energy a reality. The latest research shows that efficient actually improves when multiple devices are charged... Read more...
Battery research is one of those things that continues to frustrate us. How long have we been dealing with AA batteries that die out way too quickly? How long have standard sized notebooks been stuck with batteries that can't last over 3 to 4 hours in heavy use scenarios? Far too long in our estimation, and we're eager for a change. Of course, battery companies are in no hurry to make the items that they sell last longer; we suspect they'll want you to replace your battery as often as possible. But scientists, thankfully, have a different viewpoint, and they seem entirely more interested in improving the process rather than continuing on as things are.Researchers Ibrahim Abou Hamad from Mississippi... Read more...
PCs continue to get more powerful, and mobile smartphones continue to gain functionality that could have never been imagined just a few years ago. But little attention in the mainstream is paid to how we control all the gizmos that we encounter in our lives. The mouse and keyboard combo has been the go-to tandem for years now, and the touchpad has been another stereotypical choice for controlling a cursor when space came at a premium. Brain-control interfaces have been reserved for universities and labs, while anything more elaborate than a mere multi-touch display is seen as too wild for Joe Six Pack. Hopefully, the tide is turning. Over the past one or two years, we have seen engineers at TED... Read more...
Intel Science Competition Winners Invited to State of the Union Address Bright Young Scientists to Sit with First Lady At tonight’s State of the Union address, President and Mrs. Obama will host two of the nation's brightest young scientific minds – one a winner of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2009 and the other a top finalist in the Intel Science Talent Search 2009; both competitions are programs of Society for Science & the Public.  These young scientists are being singled out for their early achievements and their place among the nation's next generation of leaders who will solve the problems of tomorrow. SANTA CLARA, Calif., Jan. 27, 2010 – Two young scientists... Read more...
Parents More Comfortable Talking Drugs than Science Intel Survey Reveals Majority of Parents of Teens Find it Difficult to Help their Kids with Math and Science The News: A recent Intel Corporation survey found that parents feel more equipped to talk about drug abuse than math and science with their children.  The Context: Despite a perceived importance of math and science for success, and an overwhelming willingness to be involved, the survey results reveal that parents, particularly those of teenagers, often find themselves with little more understanding of these subjects than their children and without the necessary resources to bridge this gap.  Why It Matters: A strong background... Read more...
A new study by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Emory University and Andrews University concludes that the average age of video-gamers in the U.S. is in the range 35–54. It also says that those gamers are fat, and miserable, though differences exist across genders. With regards to the weighty "fat" conclusion, it's unclear if those surveyed had Nintendo Wiis with "exergaming" titles or not. The study, "Health-Risk Correlates of Video-Game Playing Among Adults," published in the October issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, analyzed data from 552 adults in the Seattle-Tacoma area. The subjects ranged in age from 19 to 90. About 45% of respondents said they... Read more...
Push aside your political feelings on stem-cell research; any halfway respectable PC enthusiast will definitely be giving IBM the thumbs-up here. The wacky minds over at IBM, which have already proven that they never, ever stop ticking, have apparently determined that the next great generation of microprocessors will have quite a lot in common with human DNA. And so long as those chips push Quake IV along with ease, we can't help but be okay with that.Artificial DNA nanostructures, which are called DNA origami within the lairs at IBM, could one day provide an inexpensive infrastructure which tiny microchips could be built upon. The design is based on research within the company, which is being... Read more...
Text messaged every single person on earth already? An Australian website is offering you the chance to send a text message into space. You have until 07:00 GMT Monday, Aug. 24th, 2009 to sign up. The site, HelloFromEarth.net, is accepted SMS style messages (meaning 160 characters or less) which will eventually be sent into space, directed at Gliese 581d, "a planet outside our Solar System which may support life." Expected delivery date is December 2029 give or take a few months, the website says. Let's be honest, as well: they're not really using text messaging technology to send the message. There's also no guarantee of a reply. They might just "block" our number, so to speak. The NASA/CSIRO... Read more...
Batteries seem to be a growing topic of discussion here at HotHardare. From netbooks with increasingly large cells to debates over the legitimacy of notebook battery life figures, it's safe to say that longevity away from the plug is an important matter for true PC enthusiasts. To that end, we couldn't help but take notice when we came across a new development that could lead to thinner, more portable batteries for all of our mobile electronics. Developed by a research team led by Dr. Reinhard Baumann of the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Electronic Nano Systems ENAS in Chemnitz, a newfangled printable battery is said be cost effective and able to be produced on a large scale. We needn't... Read more...
It's slightly disturbing to look at a robotic reincarnation of one of the world's greatest scientists, but it's the technology behind the rubberized face that's of interest here. At last week's Technology, Entertainment and Design conference, Albert Einstein reemerged as part of a awe-inspiring demonstration which proved that robots could finally perceive human facial movements and mimic them autonomously.The "empathetic robot," as it was called, was able to key in on emotional nuances displayed by the person gazing at it and then make the same face back. The head being showcased at TED was the fourth iteration by roboticist David Hanson, who told the hundreds in attendance that it can "understand... Read more...
It's astrophysics, not rocket science, actually. Frustrated with the complexity and expense of running computations on big arrays of supercomputers, Dr. Gaurav Khanna of the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth has assembled 8 Playstation 3s into a cluster, loaded it up with Linux, and used it to perform massive calculations seeking to prove the existence of so-called gravity waves. Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity postulates that such waves exist, but it's never been proven.He also says that the console's Cell processor, co-developed by Sony, IBM and Toshiba, can deliver massive amounts of power, comparable even to that of a supercomputer -- if you know how to optimize code and have... Read more...
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