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eHighway test setup (via Siemens AG)   As Bill Nye the Science Guy told us in his 90’s show, point source pollution is much more manageable and treatable than the pollution that is produced by the randomly changing location of automotive vehicle. Car's are not off the hook for their contributions, but there is a plan.  Los Angeles is teaming up with the German company Siemens to embark on an exciting experiment that hopes to reduce 30% of the total fuel used and carbon emissions ...
Concept glasses project images onto the retina with pulsed infrared light (880-915 nm), subretinal photodiode sends the image to the nearvous system (via Stanford & Nature Photonics)   Advances in the field of optogenetics are bringing us one step closer to returning sight to the blind. Retinal degenerative disease leads to blindness due to a loss of photoreceptors in the eye. Current  technology includes intraocular cables and difficult surgery. However, a team of researchers fro ...
Regulator tube in operation (via archive photography)   Silicon is breathing new life into the old vacuum tube technology we thought was all but gone. Sure some high-end stereo and guitar amplifiers still use them but this new/old technology is aimed at being used in computers…..again (remember ENIAC?). Vacuum tubes were used to amplify an electrical signal which was pivotal in the development of RADAR, radio, television and even digital computers till the early fifties when the firs ...
Olympicene, graphene based molecule in the Olympic Ring pattern (via IBM research-Zurich, University of Warwick, Royal Society of Chemistry)   We’ve all seen (or even are) the sports fanatics wearing their teams favorite jersey’s or painting their faces on game day to show their support in one way or another. This ‘fever’ isn’t limited when it comes to the Olympics either, as Scientists from the University of Warwick, the Royal Society of Chemistry and IBM Rese ...
  MobiSante has revolutionized ultrasound imaging by bringing us a portable, smart phone based device imaging tool. Sailesh Chutani and David M. Zar, co-founders of MobiSante wanted to fulfill the need for an affordable, accessible, and convenient way to to use ultrasound imaging. Currently, the systems are big and expensive making them inaccessible to many people. However, using a smart phone, software, and an ultrasound probe, a safe and easy to use system has been created that may becom ...
LEMV (via U.S. Army & Northrop Grumman)   After a lengthy setback, Northrop Grumman is set to test-fly the US Army’s new ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) platform around the second week of June, 2012. The LEMV (Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle) spy blimp was developed by Northrop using ‘non-exotic’ (non-stealth) materials for the vehicles hull which is about the size of a football field. The pilotless dirigible can be outfitted with multiple ...
It is ready for everyone (via Intel)   Anyone who has developed apps on a PC using the Android SDK emulator can tell you that it's a ‘face-palm’ experience. It’s not always practical to develop and test apps on the mobile devices themselves which is what the Android emulator was designed for, but it has its drawbacks. It’s buggy and running speeds vary due to mobile devices and PCs running different hardware and Operating Systems.   To help developer’s al ...
  Medical science advanced incredibly in the 20th century. Now Nokia and the X-Prize Foundation are pushing to make sure these great strides continue in the 21st century. Earlier this month, at the Wireless Health Convergence Summit in San Diego, Nokia and X-Prize Foundation executives announced that they will be holding a 2.25 million dollar competition to develop innovative medical sensing technology and devices.     The competition is fostering the technology that will delive ...
  The firm behind the much-vaunted Raspberry Pi, a credit card-sized computer programming learning aid, has announced that later this year they will launch a plug-in camera module for the pocked-sized PC.   The first edition of the device was launched earlier in 2012 and has already proven to be popular in schools, in large part due to its reasonable cost. It is hoped that the device will help to stimulate interest in computer engineering and, in the long-term, encourage young people ...
Solar Impulse in takeoff (via Solar Impulse)     A Swiss-made solar powered aircraft has recently completed the initial part of the world’s first intercontinental flight powered by nothing but the sun. The Solar Impulse HB-SIA plane came about as a feasibility study of flight without conventional fuel by pilots Bertrand Piccard (no relation to Star Trek’s Jean-Luc) and Andre Borschberg back in 2003 after Piccard successfully completed a balloon flight around the world. That ...
  A fifteen year-old freshman from Crownsville, Maryland has won the Gordon E. Moore award ($75,000 US) at Intel’s International Science and Engineering Fair which was held this year (2012) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Jack Andraka won the prize for his design of a simple pancreatic cancer detector that is over 90% more accurate, 28 times faster, 28 times cheaper and 100 times more sensitive over current testing methods. His device is similar to diabetes testing kits in that it uses a ...
Cell DNA showing off direction programmed into their biological structure. Cells glow red or green under ultraviolet light depending on the code. the RAD system can flip the orientation. (via Stanford & Norbert von der Groeben)   Stanford bioengineers have found a way to record and rewrite digital data in DNA molecules; Don't worry, the development is not going to make you into a walking hard-drive…yet. The bioengineers devised a way to adapt natural enzymes (created from bacteri ...
In the past few years communications technology has taken leaps forward that I thought wouldn’t happen in my lifetime.  The large number of computers on the same network is certainly part of it.  Wireless data transmission amazes me even more.  Twenty years ago I could have imagined an affordable FSK transmitter as fast as my 9600 bit/s phone modem.  I would never have imagined MIMO, which uses special diversity to transmit and receive multiple data streams on the same ...
  Fear the doctor's needle no more. Injections can be applied without the use of metal penetrating the skin, instead high power jets of the drug can force its way through your skin. The medical industry has had this tech for some time, but due to the limited control over how deep the injected drug is applied, we have yet to see widespread use. MIT has taken the concept to the next logical stage, control how the drug is applied.   George N. Hatsopoulos Professor of Mechanical Engineer ...
In yellow, scattering light from the silicon nano-wire. The dimmer areas are coated with gold, reducing the scattering of light - hence cloaking.   There has been so many developments involving ‘cloaking devices’ over the past few years that I’m starting to wonder if the invisibility devices found on sci-fi shows like Star Trek are close to becoming a reality. With this in mind, an engineering teams from Stanford University and the University of Pennsylvania have recently ...
Chip-making giant ARM has claimed that despite stiff competition from Intel, it expects to establish a significant footing in the lucrative PC and server markets. Intel, of course, has a strong hold on the smartphone market and has significant financial muscle to call on.   However, Warren East, the Chief Executive Officer of ARM Holdings, explained that the firm has good reason to feel optimistic about its medium to long-term outlook. "Companies making processors based on ARM cores will t ...
Samsung graphene "miracle material" (via Samsung)   Graphene is back on the scene again, and this time it was sighted in the R&D labs at the Samsung Institute of Technology. SAIT recently announced that they have developed a new transistor architecture using the ‘miracle material.' Conventional silicon transistors have just about reached their speed limit even with a size reduction or shortening the connections the electrons have to travel, so in order to increase the electrons sp ...
One of the LED bars. (via OSRAM & Elektronnyi Svet)   Football (soccer) fans can feel safer while attending the European Football Chanpionships being held at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev (Ukraine) thanks to Osram Opto Semiconductors. The company recently won a bid (chosen by Elektronnyi Svet Ltd.) to outfit the stadium with their line of Golden Dragon Plus LED’s which will replace the out-dated conventional lighting being currently used.   The Golden Dragon line features effi ...
Those old familiar screens (via Cadence)   The complexity and phenomenally small scale of today's transistors and integrated circuits (ICs) demands a need for simulation, run them before the manufacturing process. SPICE ( Simulation program with integrated circuit emphasis) is a program designed to meet our needs. However, engineers have stated on multiple occasions that a faster running SPICE program is needed to test and verify modern circuits.     Cadence Design Systems Inc ...
(Left) Eugene Polley (Right) The Flash-Matic remote control   The technology world mourns another loss of innovative inventers with the recent passing of Eugene J. Polley (11/29/1915 – 5/20/2012). Many know him as the inventor of the world’s first wireless remote control known as the ‘Flash-Matic,’ but he contributed much more to the electronics field with 18 US patents to his credit. Born in Chicago, Eugene attended City Colleges of Chicago as well as the Armour Ins ...
Electric Imp card (via electric imp)   The quest to create “smart devices” has stepped into a radically different direction. The Electric Imp grants Internet access to devices in a more general and accessible platform. The Electric Imp has the shape of an SD card, but its functionality is very different. Instead of holding memory, internally, it holds an ARM Cortex SoC M3 processor and embedded Wi-Fi capabilities. The Electric Imp compatible boards can be put into any device or ...
The ULV chips in progress (via Intel)   Intel  announced the release of a series of mobile ULV (ultra-low voltage) processors for ultra-book manufacturers such as MSI, Acer, ASUS and a host of others. The chips include the entry-level Celeron family including the ULV 807 (1.05GHZ), 877 (1.04GHz) and the U3400 (1.03GHz) made using Intel’s new 32 nanometer wafer manufacturing process and cost $70 US, $86 US and $134 US respectively. The company states that these new chips are not o ...
T-ray antenna (via Tokyo Institute of Technology)   It may seem sometimes that we have exploited the vast reaches of the electromagnetic spectrum, but technologies like WiGig, are showing this notion is not correct at all. T-rays, or electromagnetic waves found in the terahertz band, have traditionally been used for imaging research like X-rays, but now researchers from the Tokyo Institute of Technology are developing a system to apply this technology to ultra fast data transmission.   ...
  Yet another example of how to enter the bigtime with your electrical ideas. Learn form example:   MIT Media Lab researchers Jay Silver and Eric Rosenbaum have designed an Arduino input device that lets you use any electricity-conducting material as a touchpad. Called ‘Makey Makey’, the device works by completing an electrical circuit with any conductive material such as vegitables, pencil lead or one's self to interact with the internet or programs on your computer. For e ...
  Google's high-profile acquisition of Motorola Mobility is set to go ahead after regulators in China gave their official backing for the move. The deal, which is worth as much as $12.5 billion, means that Google will soon seize control of Motorola's patents.   Consequently, Google's ongoing battle with Apple has moved up another notch. Of course, Larry Page, the Google co-founder, is determined to ensure that the search engine giant soon competes on an even footing with Apple's iPho ...
Attendees at the TEDx conference (via TEDxMogadishu)   Somalia’s capital city Mogadishu hosted their first ever TEDx (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference earlier in March of this year. Between 50 and 100 people from diverse backgrounds attended the conference, held at the First Somali Bank, and discussed how to best to rebuild the war-torn capital and bring in new businesses after two decades of conflicts.   The forum was also a way of changing the world’s opi ...
  There’s good news for those of you who need to destroy your data stored on your SSD’s quickly and efficiently in an emergency situation. RunCore (manufacturer of SSD’s) has unveiled their new line of InVincible Solid State Disc drives which feature two ways to ensure data destruction.   The first capability the drives feature is ‘Intelligent’ destruction which over-writes the data and returns the drive back to its factory default setting. According to t ...
  Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has just unveiled its new Trinity processor family, which it claims offers "twice the performance per watt" of Llano chips. AMD explained that the update features four CPU (central processing unit) cores and a single GPU (graphics processing unit).   The update is seen as particularly significant for people connected to the gaming community, with AMD saying that it will provide players with a significantly improved experience.   It has already bee ...
I had the opportunity last week to talk to Dr. Xudong Wang from the University of Wisconsin about his research into energy harvesting using nanfibers.  By coincidence this came just a week after I talked to Dr. Krupenkin about his energy harvesting technology.  They are similar in that they generate energy using the electrostatic force to move current rather than by moving a wire through a magnetic field as in a traditional generator.   Nanofiber energy harvesting uses materials ...
Dragon capsule (via SpaceX)   SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corp.) has recently announced that they will launch their Dragon free-flying reusable space craft on Tuesday May 22nd. This will mark the first time in history that a commercial company has launched a manned space vehicle into space to rendezvous with the International Space Station.   The Dragon re-usable space craft was designed using three main components which feature a nosecone that’s used as a shield duri ...
  Digital language translators are used every day. However, there is one dialect that still eludes the automation.     Engineering students, Ranjay Krishna, Seonwoo Lee and Si Ping Wang, from Cornell University are attempting to develop a very different type of translator, one that helps those who cannot make use of auditory signals. The students have created a sign language translator that converts hand gestures to their corresponding letter symbol and sound.     Th ...
ARM Cortex A-9 (via TSMC)   Today's processor industry is largely controlled by two companies, Intel and ARM Holdings. Intel produces processors running in most of today’s laptops, desktops, and servers. On the other hand, ARM largely dominates the quickly growing mobile industry. Both are looking to invade each others markets soon by developing processors with high performance and low power consumption, or a strong performance per watt ratio.     Taiwan Semiconductor Man ...
  Microsoft has unveiled a revolutionary piece of kit that could transform the consumer electronic market over coming years. Using the new augmented reality system, consumers working in different locations would be able to collaborate on tabletop projects. The device, in essence, allows them to share objects that they can both handle.   The device, which is known as MirageTable, has been demonstrated at a conference in Austin, Texas. The firm also outlined details of the project on t ...
  A tear-jerking introduction of the technology   A cerebrally controlled robotic system is being developed by a team of researchers from Brown University, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital and a host of others could give paralyzed people the ability to use robotic limbs to manipulate objects for themselves. Called ‘BrainGate’, the brain-controlled system allows the user to control a robotic limb through thought. To do this, the team implants a wireless ...
PlanetSolar leaving Vieux Port (Via marcovdz)   Sometimes a simple idea or dream can lead to massive accomplishments. For Rapheal Domjan, his thought of  building a solar ship did just that.  MS Tûranor PlanetSolar, a unconventional yacht, traveled around the globe in 585 days using only solar energy to power its journey. In a quadruple record breaking feat, the ship stopped at 28 countries along the way promoting solar energy and exploiting its power. The ships demonstratio ...
(Left) Erin Treacy Solovey wearing the Brainput device (Right) Artistic concept (via MIT & Erin Solovey)   When it comes to multitasking we as humans try the best we can. While we all have a modicum of ability, some are better than others. It suffices to say, we could all use a boost to become more efficient in our multitude of multitasking efforts, which is why a team of researchers has developed an unconventional solution to the problem. Led by Erin Solovey from MIT’s Humans and ...
LED Wishing Star art show (via Tokyo Hotaru)   LEDs have been used to create some of the world’s most interesting art. One of the more impressive pieces was showcased at the Licht Festival in Belgium last year, showcasing the cathedral of light. This year brought another large display of LEDs from Panasonic for Tokyo’s Hotaru Festival (Firefly Festival) which celebrates an age old tradition of…well…watching fireflies along river-banks. Panasonic took part in the &# ...
  Engineers become millionaires in less than 30 days; learn from their example.   Pebble Technology has recently entered into the Kickstarter hall of fame with their E-Paper watch gaining over $10,000,000 US in funding after only 26 hours of being put on the site. So, what makes the E-Paper watch so popular? It functions as a connection interface between your smartphone and as a wrist-mounted watch with app capabilities, a relatively simple embedded system.   Pebble Smartwatch ...
  Augmented reality give a new way to interact with technology, and ambitious companies are clamoring to be firsts in the field. One of those concepts being developed by the software giant is called MirageTable. The system lets the user interact with objects in both the real and virtual worlds on a table top.   For instance; a person could set up a series of virtual bowling pins that could then be knocked over with a virtual ball with only using one pin as a real model to clone the ot ...
Concept models (via FXI)   Only a short time after intensely successful Raspberry Pi hit the market, copy-cats came sweeping in to grab some of the frenzy.   FXI, a Norwegian hardware and software developer, has recently announced that the company plans to release their USB-stick sized computer later this month (May, 2012). The stick, dubbed Cotton Candy, is designed to connect to any screen and turn it into a personal computer. Does this sound familiar?   FXI states that the de ...
  Have you ever been skiing and had to put up with the hassle of trying to answer your cell phone or listen to music? I have not, but Anthony Griesel has. This skier and software developer is recruiting people to contribute to his Kickstarter for a project Called Neva that will facilitate staying connected while outside in the cold elements.     The idea is simple, to avoid having to fumble with small devices while you are bundled up on the slopes, he has developed a smart ski p ...
  A new emergency alert system is set to go into effect in April geared towards mobile devices. Called the ‘Wireless Emergency Alerts’, the system was developed by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) and most major wireless carriers to bring free emergency text alerts to mobile devices. The system is initiated by local, state or national officials who in-turn alerts a Federal aggregator (central hub) which translates the alert ...
  We’ve all been there before; you go out to the store to pick up a new motherboard and returned home for a glass of milk only to realize that you were out. Ok so it doesn’t quite happen that way, but the people over at Teehan+Lax have developed a milk jug and a corresponding app that lets you know if you’re low or are in-need of milk. The system called ‘Do We Have Milk?’ uses a pressure sensor located at the bottom of the jug to monitor milk levels. A download ...
  You may be surprised by what two researchers from the Carnegie Mellon Foundation are attempting to do to the traditional touch display. Chris Harrison and his college Scott Hudson are looking to add more dimensions of touch detection to your the standard interface.     Traditionally, tablets are limited in a 2 dimensional world. A lot of the useful screen space is taken up by buttons , and one has to perform a limited set of special gestures, like touch and hold, double taps a ...
  The Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium (HMCC) has recently announced that Microsoft has joined the conglomerate in an effort to integrate HMC technology into next generation systems. The HMCC are a group of electronic equipment manufacturers that include industry giants such as Samsung, IBM and Micron that are looking to develop and implement  advancement in DRAM memory technology called Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC).   The HMC features 15x the performance of DDR3 memory by utilizing a m ...
  The state of Nevada has issued the first self-driven vehicle licence in the US, meaning driverless cars could soon become a reality in the state. Shining the light in the driverless car revolution is a Toyota Prius, which has been modified by Google. It has been confirmed that he vehicle will first take to the road on the world famous strip in Las Vegas.   Meanwhile, a number of other car manufacturers, including BMW, are striving for a licence that would allow them to create drive ...
  Google has announced a significant change to its email system, Gmail. The firm explained that from now onwards, users of Google's email system will benefit from automatic message translation, a feature that has been in the works since 2009.   Using Google Translate, consumers are now able to have their mail written in one language, send it and then have the same message in another language when it reaches the inbox of a friend or colleague.   "The next time you receive a mes ...
I had the opportunity last week to sit down with Dr. Tom Krupenkin of the University of Wisconsin and learn about the energy harvesting technology he invented called Reverse Electrowetting (REWOD).  REWOD is based on a matrix of capacitors whose capacitance varies with movement.  The capacitor is formed by a conductive plate, a dielectric material, and a conducting liquid for the other plate. A voltage source provides a constant voltage.  The capacitance changes when mechanical ...
60 GHz Transceiver (via Imec & Panasonic)   The Innovation of 60GHz Wigig internet could replace our familiar Wi-Fi signal in the near future. Belgian research lab Imec hopes to implant 60GHz radio transceiver chips inside of mobile devices for incredibly fast data transactions. This could be an important technology as the UK will soon auction off the 4G spectrum. Delays have taken the auction from December 2011 to May 2012. Hopefully they will get this sorted soon, as the UK public wi ...
Prototype flexible e-paper (via LG)   E-Books are becoming extremely popular on platforms like the iPad and the Kindle for their 'portability.' As consumer demand goes up, new technology has a way of bubbling up too. One of the newest developments in E-Book platforms is the Electronic Paper Display or EPD, a flexible plastic e-paper. LG, experts at many kinds of displays, are hoping to revolutionize the E-Book world by making EPDs a household item.     This year, LG is already ...
(via Microsoft)   With the recent uncovering of toxic e-waste destroying the environment in Guiyu China, it was only a matter of time before huge companies started to rethink of what it actually means to be ‘green’. One such company is taking it rather seriously and is stepping up, becoming more environmentally conscious in every aspect of their business; Microsoft. The company will become completely carbon neutral by the beginning of the fiscal year, which starts on July 1st of ...
Sodium in the raw (stock photography)   Batteries are a key part to developing green and more energy sustainable products. Lithium-ion batteries power almost everything we use today. A short list of applications; smart phones, laptops, GPS units, and electric vehicles. However, lithium is expensive and rare. So, having an alternative option to support those applications is a logical decision, especially due to China's dominance in the production of rare earth minerals. A recent project is ...
Cognisens concept diagram (via Cognisens)   SOF (Special Operations Forces) soldiers go through some pretty tough unending training to get their bodies into super-athlete condition to be able to handle the missions they’re tasked. However, it’s more of a matter of ‘mind’ than it is physical, as they need to be able to react to the environment around them.   Reconnaissance and FID (Foreign Internal Defense) plays a big part in the community , and that takes quit ...
Large and small fuel-cell charger (via Lilliputain)   Lilliputian Systems has recently announced their partnership with Brookstone (retailers of everything) to sell their portable Silicon Power Cell system that is capable of re-charging just about every mobile device with one butane cartridge, for several weeks at a time. The smaller charger can supposedly handle recharging a smartphone 10 times, and the larger charger can handle 20 times (3W output on both). The portable charger, a little ...
Hi,   Some remarquable job done by Emanuel Paz   He managed to implement a software USB stack on the old PIC16F628/628A : http://www.lendlocus.com/?q=16fusb   The project is hosted on SourceForge : http://code.google.com/p/16fusb/   While the PIC16F628/628A has been overclocked to achieve this, it would be easy to stay within standard specifications by using a new enhnaced core PIC16F1xxx as they run at 32MHz.   Regards ...
Image of the bacteria in question (via University of Leeds)   Everybody knows that getting a computer virus is an absolute nightmare, analogous to their real-life counterparts. How about the other way around, using real life in the computer world? That’s precisely what a team of researchers from the University of Leeds has in mind. What if you could harness real-life bacteria to make the data-storage devices bigger and faster? The team, led by Dr. Sarah Staniland, has found that when ...
  Three-dimensional video conferencing seems like something only found in sci-fi movies, but a research team from Queen’s University’s Human Media Lab has designed a life-sized working model made from a few readily available electronic components. The team, led by Professor Roel Vertegaal, designed the 3D video conferencing pod called ‘Telehuman’ around Microsoft’s Kinect sensor device.   The design uses an opaque acrylic cylinder that’s approximatel ...
  With today’s technology, it’s never been a better time to be a kid playing in a sandbox, and it's all thanks to researchers from UC Davis. The research team, headed by Oliver Kreylos, has designed an ‘Augmented Reality Sandbox’ as an interactive teaching tool for children to learn about earth sciences in places such as museums. The box can be configured for a myriad of topographical real-time representations at a scale of 1:100 and includes the ability to make it r ...
  A senior figure in the British government has conceded that the London Olympics "will not be immune" to cyberattack and said that he expects millions of attacks to be launched during the Games.   Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude observed that the previous Games, staged in Beijing in 2008, saw 12 million cybersecurity incidents. And Mr Maude said he sees no reason to believe that things will be any different four years down the line. Consequently, the government has been workin ...
  Capacitive touch-sensing technology won’t be limited to smart devices (phones/tablets) and monitors as a group of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and Disney Research plan to bring it to everyday objects and surfaces. To do this, the team designed what they call ‘Touché,’ which brings interactive capacitive-touch sensing to everything from tables and doorknobs. Where typical touch-capacitive screens use a single frequency to sense a predefined touch eve ...
  During his first year at Berkeley, student Derek L. My set out to create the ultimate automated dorm room the likes of which were never before seen at the prestigious institution. Called ‘BRAD’ (Berkeley Ridiculously Automated Dorm), the room features automated curtains, lights and a music system that can be controlled through voice activation, remote control or apps to initiate a series of ‘modes’ for all occasions. To get the room automated Derek used a series of ...
QLEDs producing 168,000 candelas/square meter. (via Jeonghun Kwak & American Chemical Society)   Within time every product meets its predecessor. While quantum dot LEDs (QLEDs) are nothing new, they have taken the back burner to their organic counter parts (OLEDs) for quite some time. Quantum dots are small crystal shaped particles only a few nanometers wide, that behave similarly to semiconductors. They are readily excited by light and their small size and composition give them extrao ...
  Not sure about you, but change and singles are non-existent in my plastic laden wallet. This proves to be a problem when I want to purchase a drink or snack from a vending machine. The company ShelfX is proposing applying new RFID technology to allow for quick and easy purchasing at the vending machine electronically.     A customer purchasing from a "Vending Fridge" can do so by scanning a QR code using the ShelfX Mobile App which links to their bank account. Another option ...
How to separate analog and digital grounds is a contentious issue in electrical engineering.  They don't teach it in school.  Here is my take on the issue.   Keep analog and digital circuitry separate.   In board designs with high-speed data converters, it is important to keep digital noise out of analog nets. This means keeping lines with high digital edge rates as far as possible from analog lines. Return currents of digital signals travel back to the source IC on the nea ...
Concept and image of the junction (via The Imperial College London)   The common touch panel interfaces have a delay in response time, and it doesn't get better over time as the system gets burdened with software. The Imperial College London (ILC) and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) are teaming up to solve this issue. They have come up with a new organic composite material made of a blend of two organic semiconductors to make up organic thin film transistors ...
(Left) Captain Paul Stewart with an Asending Technologies Pelican quadrotor and "lucas" a mobile social robot (Right) the LASR facility building (via U.S. Naval Research Laboratory)   After two years of construction, the US Navy has opened its doors to their new Laboratory for Autonomous Systems Research (LASR) center. The facility will serve as the Navy’s primary laboratory for intelligent autonomous systems (robots), sensor systems, UAV’s and a host of other studies in multipl ...
  With college tuition rising and more and more students taking online courses, it only made sense that  the more renowned schools would give the people what they want. MIT has partnered with Harvard to bring us edX, a "campus-based education" that is completely online. Last year MIT offered up free online classes (MITx) for those who wanted to expand their knowledge, and the faculty over at Harvard took notice.   Both prestigious institutions thought it beneficial to combine for ...
The eagerly-awaited iPhone handset is expected to launch later this year and industry experts are already speculating about the features that could distinguish the new handset.   A Korean news agency has claimed that the new handset will be cased in 'liquid metal', citing sources close to the project. The case is rumoured to be up to 20 times stronger than that fitted to the iPhone 4S, which was unveiled late last year. And the news agency observed that the metallic glass is "a metal allo ...
Concept of the sensor (via MIT & Wiley Online Library)   The list of applications for carbon nanotubes seems to keep growing and growing. Scientists at MIT have found a way to give these nanotubes the capability of detecting gasses that are present during the process of ripening and rotting of fruits and vegetables.     These sensors consist of tens of thousands of carbon nanotubes that have been treated with copper atoms and polystyrene. Ethylene, a gas present during the ...
I'll just say it: I believe rewarding oneself for 'a good effort' instead of actual success won't do much good. I'm not saying that because I hold effort in low regard.  Quite to the contrary, I am a firm believer in the requirement of effort and persistence for the realization of success.  However, the 'feel-better' rewards we sometimes lavish on ourselves for trying hard but not succeeding are really just a cheap consolation prize.  By definition, it is a prize meant to console ...
  Light communication is nothing new (see the Fraunhofer Institute’s VLC system), but new advancements are making technologies such as free-space retroreflectors more power, efficient, as well as giving them an over-all boost in speed. One of the major draw-backs of using free-space optical communication systems, on space-craft for example, is that they require a sizable power supply to transmit data over significant distances and space for those is often limited.   This is wher ...
(Left) Breakdownn of the printed substrate (Right) Tunneling microscope view of silicene (via PAtrick Vogt)   Graphene has been widely touted as the future replacement of silicon in electrical applications. In a turn of tables, element 14 (silicon) returns as a two dimensional allotrope known as "silicene." A collaborative effort between Berlin's Technical University and Aix-Marseille University led by Patrick Vogt were successful in creating a hexagonal sheet of silicon which is only 1 ato ...
Glass treated with nanocrystal solar element (via University of Southern California and Dietmar Quistorf)   As the dominance of solar power in today's energy market grows, so does competition within innovation and production of this technology. A recent addition to the solar mix is the advancements being made in liquid nanocrystals solar cells. These nanocrystal cells have their main advantages over their single crystal wafer counterparts in their cost and size. However, the low efficiency ...
  Sometimes companies need to let their employees have a little bit of fun. That is exactly what the infamous vacuum cleaner company Dyson tried, holding a contest for employees to build their own race cars from spare vacuum parts and compete in a race. Anywhere else, finding parts from a vacuum to build a race car may be a little difficult. However, Dyson is the one of the leading manufacturer of vacuums and uses a unique cyclone technology to pick up dirt and debris more efficiently than ...
  After months of speculation, Google has finally launched its eagerly-anticipated online storage service, which will allow users to upload photos, documents and videos onto the company's servers. From there, users are able to access these files from web-connected devices, such as the iPhone and the new iPad.     Known as Drive, the new service is seen as a key tactical move on the part of Google, which is keen to counter the rise of Dropinbox, one of the most impressive start-u ...
    With all the smart-devices in our homes it only makes sense that Microsoft would come up with a way to control them all within a centralized hub. Devices like smart-fridges, automated coffee makers, motion sensors and mobile phones can all be manipulated through the use of Microsoft’s HomeOS software which turns your home into a sort of smart-house. Researchers designed the software using what they call ‘PC-like abstraction’ which is a fancy term for their special ...
Sharp Corporation headquarters (via Corbis & Sharp)   The Sharp Corporation has reported significant losses totaling 1.4 billion US (1.7 billion Yen) for the financial year 2012. The company states restructuring costs as well as projected earnings for their LCD television as the reason for their shortcomings. Sharp is currently converting their Kameyama No.2 Plant to produce mobile LCD’s over the larger ones made for TV screens and monitors which were also cited as another reason ...
App operation screen shots (via UBER)   Catch a cab directly from your smart phone. Uber, the company that brought the public a convenient method for luxury transportation, will be testing a new service in Chicago. Customers will be able to request a taxi ride through an app created for their smart phone. Cab drivers will be notified through an alert sent to their phone and will use a GPS system to  determine the customer's location. Conversely, customers using the app will be able to ...

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