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Researchers from IBM and ETH Zurich have developed a liquid battery that uses prior “flow” technology and applies it to small computer chips. Computer chips can be stacked with alternating layers of chips and flow batteries that would both power and cool them at the same time. (via IBM Research Zurich)

 

Heat is a byproduct of the work done by batteries, computers, and computer chips, and overheating is a problem that is often tackled with fans and various systems of ventilation. Now, scientists from IBM and ETH Zurich are approaching the issue of heat regulation by using liquid electrolyte systems to both power and cool these systems simultaneously. Flow batteries use two liquid electrolytes to provide energy through an electrochemical reaction that occurs when they are pumped to the battery cell from the outside through a closed electrolyte loop. Usually, flow batteries are used for larger scale stationary power systems like wind and solar energy because they are capable of storing energy in the two electrolyte liquids for a long time with minimal degradation, but now it is being applied to computer technology. The team in Zurich have developed “miniaturized redox flow cells” that use flow battery technology to cool the computer chips using the liquid electrolytes already involved in the flow cell which power the computer.

 

They team in Zurich managed to find two liquids that are effective as both flow-battery electrolytes and cooling agents that dissipate heat from the computer chips in the same circuit, and according to ETH Zurich doctoral student, they are, “...the first scientists to build such a small flow battery so as to combine energy supply and cooling.” The team’s battery has a measured output 1.4 Watts per square centimeter, which according to Fabio Bergamin of ETH Zurich News, is a record-high for its given size. Even after accounting for the power required to pump the liquid electrolytes to the battery, the resulting net power density is still 1 Watt per square centimeter. The battery itself is only about 1.5 millimeters thick so their plan would be to assemble stacks of computer chips with alternating layers of computer chip and their thin battery cell, which provides the electricity, and at the same time cools the stack to prevent overheating.

 

At the moment, the electricity generated by the redox flow cell batteries is too low to power a single computer chip, therefore, as Bergamin notes, their work must be optimized by partners in the industry in order to be used in a computer chip stack. The scientists identify that the flow battery approach has other potential applicability in things like lasers and solar cells, but above all, this team has demonstrated that small flow batteries are a concept worth exploring.

 

The video provided below shows how flow batteries use liquid electrolytes on a large scale

 

 

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Russian artist Vtol used his own blood as a power source for his latest electric sound exhibit. Vtol draws his blood onstage to help power his creation (photograph via Vtol)

 

Blood is a life source and important for our daily functions, but did you ever think it could power other things aside from our bodies? Russian artist Vtol (Dmitry Morozoy) showed just how powerful blood is with one of his latest projects. Titled “Until I Die,” Vtol built an electronic sound installation he powers himself with eleven “blood batteries.” The piece uses his blood as an electrolyte resulting in direct current batteries when mixed with metals like aluminum and copper. The blood powers an electronic synth module, which creates sound compositions and plays via a speaker.

 

To make this creation come to life, Vtol extracted and store under 1.2 gallons of blood over 18 months. Generally, it’s not good practice to store blood that long, so various manipulations had to be done to keep the blood’s color, chemical composition, homogeneity, and sterility intact. In the end, he gathered about 4.5 liters of blood, which was then diluted to produce 7 liters, which is how much the installation needs to run properly. For an even more dramatic effect, the last bit of blood needed for the installation was drawn from Vtol’s arm during the performance. And you thought getting blood drawn at the doctor’s office was bad.

 

So why go through the trouble? Just for the sake of art? Not exactly. Vtol explains that the performance is a “symbolic act.” Since he can power this device with his blood, he sees it as an extension of himself. There is literally a part of him in this creation, and that’s what he wanted. And what better way to show just how powerful and vital blood is? Here is an installation showing you how exactly blood works as an energy source. It’s something to think about the next time you hear about a local blood drive.

 

If you’re hoping to see this wild performance for yourself, you’re out of luck. The initial performance took place at the Kapelica Gallery, Ljubljana in December 2016. Luckily, documentation of the event recently surfaced online. You can watch the mind blowing performance here. Chances are you won’t be seeing phones and tablets powered by blood in the future. But the fact that someone powered this device with such a vital fluid makes you change the way you think about blood.

 

 

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A pair of researchers from Columbia University and the New York Genome Center (NYGC) have found a way to code information using nature’s storage system: DNA. Yaniv Erlich and Dina Zielinski: the duo that worked on the DNA data storage technology. (image via New York Genome Center)

 

Deoxyribonucleic Acid, or DNA, is the material that composes all humans and almost every other living organism. It contains the instructions for how we are to be assembled and maintained, and is coded using four chemical bases: Adenine (A), Thymine (T), Cytosine (C), and Guanine (G); A pairs with T and C pairs with G. These chemical base pairings are also connected to a phosphate molecule and a sugar molecule, which form what is called a nucleotide. DNA is in the form of a double helix, which looks somewhat like a ladder, where the chemical base pairings form the rungs, and the phosphate and sugar molecules form the strands that hold the rungs in place. This natural information storage technology has been adapted for other information storage purposes and has so far been used to encode a $50 Amazon gift card, a Pioneer plaque, an 1895 French film, a computer virus, a 1948 study by information theorist Claude Shannon, and a full operating system.

 

The data from these various files were split into strings of binary code (zeros and ones), and using what is called an “erasure-correcting algorithm,” which are also called “fountain codes,” the strings were randomly packaged into “droplets,” which are then encoded using the four nucleotide bases in DNA. Although the binary storage of DNA is theoretically limited to two binary digits per nucleotide, and practically limited to 1.8 digits per nucleotide, Erlich and Zielinski package an average of 1.6 digits per nucleotide, which is still 60% more than any previously published method. The algorithm excluded letter combinations that were known to cause errors and supplied a barcode for every droplet in order to help reassemble the files later using DNA sequencing technology.

 

What’s more is that this form of coding, storage, and retrieval is extremely reliable. In total, 72,000 DNA strands, each 200 bases long, were generated and sent as a text file to Twist Bioscience, a San Francisco DNA-synthesis startup. Twist specializes in transforming digital data into biological data, and after two weeks, Erlich and Zielinski received a vial with the freshly-coded DNA molecules, and ultimately the files were recovered without a single error. This technology is incredibly important not only because of its compact nature but also because of its ease of replicability and resistance to degradation. Unfortunately, it is an expensive process, and therefore might not replace current data storage methods just yet, but it is definitely a promising leap in information storage technology.

 

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Hasbro introduces new Disney doll that allows you to program her dance routines with companion app. Parents will be glad to know that this doll can sing, dance, and say over 100 phrases (Photo via Hasbro)

 

With a live-action remake of the Disney classic Beauty and the Beast on the way, you can expect a new line of toys to come with it. Hasbro revealed a new Belle doll to tie in with the film ahead of Toy Fair 2017. It talks, moves, and dances all on her own, making it stand out from all the others Belle dolls. But it also does something else, teaches your kids how to code. In another attempt to take advantage of the code learning craze Hasbro’s newest doll lets kids create their own dance routines for Belle using a basic programming app. While they’re creating the dances, they’re also getting the hang of the basics of coding.

 

The doll is meant to appeal to all ages. There’s a connect the dots mode for younger kids where they create dance patterns by dragging their finger across the screen. If they press various shapes that appear on the screen, they can add some extra pizzazz to the routine. Older kids can take advantage of the more advanced block coding mode. Here, dance routines are manually created by dragging and dropping moves and commands into a long sequence.  Once the routine is done, it can be synched to the doll, which runs on batteries, over a Bluetooth connection.

 

As an added bonus, Belle can also say over 100 different phrases and even sings four songs from the original movie, like “Be Our Guest.” The doll will be officially available in fall right in time for the holiday season and will run you $120. This is one doll you want the kids to ruin or tire of after only two days.

 

All things considered, the doll sounds pretty cool, but will it actually get kids interested in coding? That remains to be seen. Many people believe the future of the job market relies on programming, so it’s understandable why you’d want to foster these skills at a young age. But it could also discourage them, especially if they have no interest in programming in the long run. This trend of apps, toys, websites, etc that want to teach kids coding may burn them out in the end. How many of you were forced to learn a skill as a kid? Did you enjoy it and continue practicing it? Probably not. What’s wrong with having regular toys that allow kids to be imaginative? On the other hand, it could play a role in encouraging girls to get interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields, which is always a good thing.

 

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Researchers from the University of Maryland and IBM have pitted their quantum computers against each other to determine which is the superior technology. (image) An IBM Quantum Computer Chip. (via MIT Technology Review)

 

Quantum physics refers to the laws that govern and explain the behaviors of quantum particles (smallest possible discrete objects), and this branch of scientific theory allows for particles to exist in two physical states simultaneously (i.e. particle and wave). Essentially, quantum computers are to traditional computers what quantum physics is to classical physics. Whereas traditional computers use binary systems; coding bits as either zeros or ones, quantum computers use quantum bits, or qubits, which can assume “superpositions” of both 0 and 1 simultaneously. According to Gabriel Popkin of Science, it is also possible to, “join the superposition states of many qubits,” which gives, “[Quantum computers] potential calculating power that grows exponentially with every added bit.” The quantum computing technologies of both IBM and the University of Maryland researchers are still in their infancy, but they both present promising, and unique approaches to a burgeoning technological field with potentially very wide practical benefits. Though, the states of the qubits are fragile such that small external disturbances can cause superpositions to collapse into either a 0 or a 1.

 

The quantum computer built by researchers at the University of Maryland is built around five ytterbium ions that are held in an electromagnetic trap and manipulated by lasers, and IBM’s quantum computer, on the other hand, essentially works through five small loops of superconducting metal that can be manipulated by microwave signals. IBM’s device is also the only quantum computer that can be programmed online by users through a cloud system, rather than exclusively by scientists in a lab.

 

This technological faceoff marks the first time that two different quantum computing technologies can be compared in an “algorithm-crunching” exercise, but the victor remains somewhat unclear. When it came to the competition, a set of standard algorithms was run on each device, and the outputs were compared to test the computers’ performance. IBM's quantum computer was faster but less accurate than that of the researchers from the University of Maryland. One test revealed that Maryland’s computer was 77.1 percent accurate, while IBM’s was only 35.1 percent accurate. However,  IBM’s was up to 1,000 faster than its competitor, so therein lies the ambiguity. Though, there is no need for a champion because, according to Popkin, “both labs are already working on more reliable next-generation devices with more qubits.” When it comes to advancing quantum computer technology, like many other things in life, there is no time like the present.

 

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The Freestyle uses a black LCD screen, stylus, and knobs that create stamps for the updated version. The new Etch-a-Sketch dubbed Freestyle (via Spin Master)

 

My immediate reaction to this toy was, "how could I do this with a Raspberry Pi?"

 

No matter how old you are, you’ve played with an Etch-a-Sketch at one point in your life. The toy has been a staple of childhood since it was first introduced in the late 50s. However, for years the design has stayed the same: red plastic frame, white knobs, and sand. Now, the toy is getting an upgrade to compete with today’s smart toys. The updated Etch-a-Sketch by Spin Master will replace the aluminum powder with a black LCD screen. Instead of turning small knobs to draw, you’ll use a stylus for your creations. However, don’t worry; you still erase all your mistakes the same way.

 

Dubbed the Freestyle, the board has a similar look to the LCD writer Boogie Board, which is no coincidence. Spin Master teamed up with Boogie Board to create the new design. It even uses the same technology as other Boogie Board products like Magic Sketch and Play N’ Trace. Though you no longer use the knobs to draw, the iconic white buttons are there. They are now rubber stamps that can add marks like stars and circles to the screen. No more drawing in a drab black and white. Your creations will pop with the vibrant rainbow colors.

 

Though the Freestyle isn’t out yet, some purists aren’t very happy with the new design. The Verge called it “half the fun of the classic…with none of the effort.” Admittedly, it’s strange to see the updated toy, especially when the original design has been around for so long. People who grew up with the original will most likely scoff at the Freestyle. But, Etch-a-Sketch has to keep up. Kids’ time is often spent in front of a screen whether it’s via phone or tablet. Today’s kids may find the new design more engaging than the old school style.

 

Freestyle drops this fall and will only cost you $20. Don’t worry purists, Spin Master isn’t getting rid of the classic design. The company will still sell the toy we all know and love. Anyone else feel like picking up an Etch-a-Sketch now?

 

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Researchers at Eindhoven University used a DNA computer to create a pill that looks at how sick you are and doles out the proper amount of medicine. An illustration of what the “smart” pill would look like. (via Eindhoven University)

 

When you’re not feeling well, you often turn to medicine whether it’d be over the counter drugs or prescribed by a doctor. However, you don’t always need meds to feel better and when you do take them, how do you know when enough’s enough? Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) have made a breakthrough in medicine. They’ve developed a “smart” pill that can access your health state and dole out the proper amount of chemicals.

 

Medicine is what we turn to first for our different ailments, but it’s not always recommended. It’s not easy to determine when you should or shouldn’t rely on medication for relief. Though meds come with directions about when and how to take it, it’s easy to ignore instructions, especially when the only thing on your mind is feeling better. This could lead to unwanted side effects and ultimately, waste the medication you spent a lot of money on. The idea behind this new “smart” pill is having it release specific amounts based on your needs.

 

The team, led by Maarten Merkx, developed this new method by using a DNA computer to help them gather data. This computer looks for molecules that it can react with to gather the proper data. This allows researchers to program the correct reaction circuits. The systems also find specific antibodies to help determine how ill someone is. Measuring the concentration of certain antibodies helps determine whether or not someone has a specific disease.

 

Once the antibodies are identified, they are translated into a unique piece of DNA which the DNA computer can then decide whether medicine is necessary, depending on the presence of one or more antibodies. It can also help determine how much medicine is needed if you need to be treated. Not only is this a breakthrough for medicine, it sets a new record. The team are the first to successfully link the presence of antibodies to a DNA computer.

 

Ideally, the DNA computer would gather this information from a pill you take just like any other. From there, it will determine how much chemicals, if any, needs to be released. Though the “smart” pill is still in its early phase, it shows great potential for intelligent medicine. Imagine being able to have the right amount of chemicals in your system. It reduces the risk of overdosing and makes sure you’re not taking drugs when you don’t need them. With further researching and testing, the team hopes this new method will be able to lessen side-effects that usually comes with medication and reduce the cost in the future. In our society where we have the tendency to be overmedicated, this “smart” pill can help us be healthier and safer.

 

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Psychometric profiling mines big data from social media platforms to create advertising tailored to the personality traits of select people. A screenshot of Cambridge Analytica’s Data Dashboard tool, which provides demographic data based on the OCEAN personality model to political campaign workers (via cambridgeanalytica.com)

 

This sort of data analysis always freaks me out.

 

You’ve probably noticed that the ads which pop up on your browser and Facebook feed are highly relevant to you and often feature products you’ve purchased in the past. You may already know that this is because of your digital footprint-the trace you leave when you visit a web page or use your credit card to buy something. How does the internet know this about you? The answer lies in big data and the world of statistical programming. Statistical programming is a way to mine extremely large amounts of data for predictive modelling. Computer programs use complicated mathematics to analyze volumes of data too big for the human mind.

 

Predicting climate and weather patterns is one form of statistical modelling. An enormous amount of data on temperature, humidity, and wind, among other variables, are analyzed by computer programs which then generate predictions of future climate patterns. Another, based on marketing, has recently been developed using data from Facebook.

 

Begun in 2008 by then-doctoral student Michal Kosinski while at Cambridge University, the project aimed to measure anyone’s personality according to five traits psychologists term OCEAN-openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, and neuroticism. How much you enjoy new things, how much you care about taking care of someone else’s needs, how much you like to spend time with others, and what kind of anxious tendencies you have. These traits are remarkably accurate in how they can predict behavior. What Kosinski did was figure out a way to assess someone’s OCEAN profile based entirely on their Facebook activity. He started by sending out questionnaires to friends.

 

The results were then compared with their Facebook activity-what they liked, posted and shared. As Facebook grew, so did the pool of questionnaires and profiles. Very strong correlations between respondents’ questionnaires and their Facebook activity emerged. Gay men are more likely to ‘like’ the cosmetic line MAC. Straight men are more likely to ‘like’ Wu-Tang Clan. By 2012, Kosinski’s team was able to predict age, skin color, religious and political affiliation, and many other traits, from 68 likes on Facebook.

 

Well, so what? It turns out that you can do a lot with this information, as Kosinski’s team discovered when they were approached by private firm Cambridge Analytica with an offer to purchase usage rights of the research. Cambridge Analytica designed models for engaging with different OCEAN types and developed marketing to appeal to someone based on those traits.

 

Guess who hired Cambridge Analytica for targeted marketing? Both the Brexit and Trump campaigns. While Kosinski claims that it’s impossible to know how much his research affected election outcomes, one thing is certain: there’s going to be a lot more targeted marketing in the coming years.

 

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Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics committee wants the public to donate old gadgets to extract metals for them and create medals for the 2020 games. The medals for the upcoming Olympic Games will be made out of old gadgets. (Photo via Tokyo 2020 Olympics)

 

Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics they have something special up their sleeve: making medals out of old gadgets. To involve the community and promote recycling, the committee is asking the public to turn in unused or forgotten gadgets, like old smartphones. These items and other household appliances have small traces of the materials generally needed to make the medals. Rather than relying on mining companies, Tokyo wants to give people’s unwanted gadgets a new purpose. Saying that your old toaster went to making a gold medal is a pretty high honor.

 

The planning committee teamed up with partner companies NTT DOCOMO and Japan Environmental Sanitation Center (JESC) for the program. Starting in April public offices and over 2,400 NTT DOCOMO stores will have collection boxes where people can drop off their unwanted items. The goal is to collect eight tons of metal, which will equal to two tons after the production process, the total amount needed to make 5,000 medals for the Olympic and Paralympic games. Once they have the eight tons, the collection will come to an end.

 

This effort not only lets the community get involved but also directly responds to Recommendation 4 of the Olympic Agenda 2020, which aims to make sustainability integrated into planning and execution of the games. Many Olympic athletes spoke positively about the collection, saying it makes the medals that much more special. Gymnast Kohei Uchimura believes it wasteful to “discard devices every time there is a technological advance” and thinks this is a great way to reduce that waste. Decathlete Aston Eaton believes the medals from the collected items will represent the “weight of a nation.”

 

Making medals out of discarded objects is a novel way to recycle them. Many often don’t know what to do with their old phones and computers and settle for stuffing them in a junk drawer or leaving them in the dump. Perhaps this new effort will inspire further projects that tackle recycle in a similar way.

 

The Olympic 2020 planning committee isn’t the first to extract metals from these devices. Last year, tech giant Apple revealed they managed to collect 2,204 pounds of gold from broken iPhones in 2015. Apple promotes various recycling program, including the popular Apple Renew, which lets you recycle any Apple device at their stores. The company collected over 90 million pounds of e-waste, 61 million of which were reusable materials. The company then uses many of these extracted materials for their own products.

 

Wish they would release a potential prototype picture.

 

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Standford and DOE researchers have created super-thin wires just three atoms wide using diamonds and assembling them Lego-style. (via Standford)

 

Researchers from Stanford University and the Department of Energy (DOE) have developed a way to use diamonds- tiny bits of diamonds, to create a wire that is only three atoms wide. The wires have the potential to be used in all sorts of applications, including electricity-generating fabrics, optoelectronic devices and crazy superconducting materials that won’t bleed electricity.

 

What’s more, the building process of the wires requires a new Lego-like assembling technique and begins with attaching a single sulfur atom to a small diamondoid (nano-diamond or carbon cage molecule), which is then dropped into a solution where the sulfur atom bonds with a copper ion. The bonding doesn’t stop there, as diamondoids (in this case adamantane) are extremely attracted to each other through what is known as van der Waals forces- the same force that allows geckos to stick to walls.

 

In the diamondoid’s case, the force makes them clump together similar to sugar crystals and as you might have guessed, self-assemble to create a wire structure, complete with a copper-ion core. Stanford grad student Fei Hua Li (the mind behind figuring out the diamondoid’s attractive properties) explains it this way- “Much like LEGO blocks, they only fit together in certain ways that are determined by their size and shape.” He went on to say, “The copper and sulfur atoms of each building block wound up in the middle, forming the conductive core of the wire, and the bulkier diamondoids wound up on the outside, forming the insulating shell.”

 

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The basic building block of the nano-wire shows the copper/sulfur center being self-assembled by the attracting diamondoid outer shell.

 

Beyond using copper-ion based wires, the researchers also created them using other metals such as cadmium, zinc, iron and silver- all created using different solutions and with different cage molecules. What’s interesting is that each different build had similar material properties to some of those used in today’s technological applications.

 

For instance, the cadmium-based nano-wires had similar material properties to those used in optoelectronics such as LEDs, while the zinc-based wires are similar to those found in some solar panels and piezoelectric generators. The possibilities of using these wires for creating a host of new materials with electrical properties are almost endless, their development is still in its infancy but considering that they have virtually no electrical bleed, it will be exciting to see what they can be adapted for beyond just efficient electronics.

 

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The lighting industry has been changed forever by LEDs, and now they could become even cheaper and more efficient with the incorporation of perovskites. New LED is made with crystalline substances known as perovskites. (Photo via Sameer A. Khan/Fotobuddy)

 

The advent of light emitting diodes (LEDs) have revolutionized lighting because of their efficiency, durability, and longevity, and now Princeton engineering researchers have further improved the revolutionary light source through the use of perovskites. These are crystalline substances that belong to a class of compounds that have the same structure as perovskite (CaTiO3 ), a calcium titanium oxide mineral.

 

According to perovskite-info.com (an aptly named website): “... perovskites can have an impressive array of interesting properties including “colossal magnetoresistance” - their electrical resistance changes when they are put in a magnetic field (which can be useful for microelectronics)”, and they have several practical applications in, “...sensors and catalyst electrodes, certain types of fuel cells, solar cells, lasers, memory devices and spintronics applications.” Now perovskites are entering LED technology and they present, “... a potential lower-cost alternative to gallium nitride (GaN) and other materials used in LED manufacturing,” according to Barry Rand, an assistant professor of electrical engineering and the Andlinger Center for Energy at Princeton. This potential reduction in price makes LEDs more and more attractive given that they are more durable, efficient and long-lasting, but also more expensive than incandescent and fluorescent bulbs.

 

In the abstract of Rand’s initial report, it was noted that perovskites have promising potential for LEDs because of their, “high colour purity, low non-radiative recombination rates and tunable bandgap.” Rand and the other researchers found that the perovskite LEDs were found to be highly efficient, and enabled by the formation of “self-assembled, nanometre-sized crystallites.” It was found that when a long-chain organic ammonium halide was added to the perovskite solution, it resulted in smaller crystallites on the halide perovskite film, and according to Phys.org, this improves the “external quantum efficiency, meaning the LEDs emitted more photons per number of electrons entering the device”, and the films were also more stable than those produced through other means.

 

Professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Minnesota, Russell Holmes, believes that the Princeton research brings perovskite-based LEDs closer to commercialization. These developments would make LEDs an even tougher competitor in the lighting industry, and the wide application perovskites have demonstrated in increasingly important technologies like solar cells is also a nice caveat.

 

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Hello friends, we have designed many Proteus Libraries on our blog The Engineering Projects which are not yet developed and we are really very proud that we are the first designers for these Proteus Libraries. I am gonna share all those Proteus Libraries in this instructable so that Engineering Students can download them and use them in their Projects.

I have also designed their videos in which I have explained in detail How to use these Proteus Libraries. So, you can join our You Tube Channel to have a look at these Proteus Libraries. Here are the links:

So, let's get started with these New Proteus Libraries for Engineering Students:

 

Step 1: Links to Download New Proteus Libraries

Here are the links to our New Proteus Libraries:

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Microsoft’s Todd Holmdahl is heading up the effort to engineer scalable quantum hardware and software.

 

Microsoft has been on a quest to build the holy grail of computers for over a decade, dumping tons of money into researching quantum computing and the company says they are ready to transition over to the engineering phase of their endeavor. At least that’s what MS executive Todd Holmdahl aims to accomplish by developing the hardware and software to do so.

 

Like most cutting-edge tech development, nothing is set in stone and more often than not failure is a big part of the effort, something Todd is well aware of considering he was the person who spearheaded the Xbox, Kinect and HoloLens. As head of the team to bring about a scalable form of quantum computer, Todd is partnering with some of more renowned researchers in the quantum field including Leo Kouwenhoven (Delft University of Technology professor) and Charles Marcus (Niels Bohr Institute professor), both of which received funding from Microsoft to research theoretical topological qubit computing.

 

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It’s all in the anyon braids, which form the logic gates that theoretically make quantum computing possible. (via MS)

 

To bring their quantum computer into reality, Todd and his team are turning to quasiparticles known as anyons, which will form the logic gates needed to perform computations. The problem with quasiparticles is that they are extremely unstable and tend to disintegrate in a matter of milliseconds shortly after being formed. Anyons by themselves exist in two dimensions and exhibit both an on and off state at the same time, however to make them stable and suitable for use in computing a third dimension is needed.

 

Hence the braiding, which is done by rotating the worldliness of a pair of anyons, which can’t be merged and therefore form a stable state and act as a logic gate. The team has already started to braid these anyons in the hopes of creating those logic gates that form the basis for quantum computing. Since the particles can exist in two states they can theoretically double the amount of computing power exponentially- so if one is capable of doing two calculations and two can perform four (and so on), imagine what a billion (or the equivalent amount of transistors found in today’s CPUs) can do!

 

On the software side, the team is working on trying to frame the software necessary to accompany topological quantum computing. So far, they have developed a series of tools to help them simulate a quantum computer in order to get a better understanding. The language they used to build the tools is called LIQUi|> (Language-Integrated Quantum Operations) with the characters at the end denoting how operations are written in math terms. The team hopes that using LIQUi|> will help pave the road to build the algorithms that can take advantage of quantum computers.

 

While they are making strides in their lofty endeavor, it will still be a ways off before quantum computing will come to fruition. My guess is that it will be another 10 to 20 years before they can produce a physical working model and probably several more before they can be manufactured on a larger scale. Still, it is exciting to see that we’re on the cusp of harnessing a computational power that used to be thought of a science fiction.

 

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Cabe Atwell

Even More Moto Mods!

Posted by Cabe Atwell Dec 26, 2016

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Motorola is increasing its edge with modular phones by adding new snap-on Mods to its Z model, enhancing capabilities to include a range of features. An array of modular magnetic snap-ons to Motorola’s Z phone, which enhances the device’s capabilities to include a projector, camera lens, and high-powered charger (via Motorola.com)

 

In an age where cell phones are falling in both price and reusability, the modular approach to capabilities taken by Motorola is refreshing. The idea is simple-modular phones allow for enhanced capabilities by adding more modules-in this case, Mods- that snap on to the back of a smartphone magnetically.

 

The modular component adds an additional feature while attached to the original device. So far, Motorola’s Z phone is leading the way with these features. Motorola claims that the Mods were designed with future generations of Moto Z’s in mind, so that if you buy a boombox feature or a lens feature for today’s current Moto Z, it will still work on the next model.

 

Additionally, to create each modular add-on, Motorola partnered with different industry leaders in design and engineering. The speaker Mod was created through a partnership with American electronics company JBL, and the camera Mod with optics company Hasselblad.

 

These are not merely gimmicks, but highly functional, high quality devices in their own right. As such, there are a few cons. Each Mod comes with its own battery, which charges independently of the smartphone. That means if you attach a Mod to a not-yet-fully charged Moto Z, and start charging, the juice first goes to the phone, then the Mod. It is possible to charge them separately, of course, but be aware that the Moto Mod system relies on battery power-and lots of it. That could be a reason why the latest Mod, a Mophie battery pack, came out recently. Providing 3,000mAh of power time, it clamps onto the phone as any other Mod, lengthening the time between charging. This feature is only another $80, and a carport feature, produced in partnership with Incipio, is only $65.

 

Motorola plans to produce even more Mods in 2017 than 2016, according to Moto Mods director John Touvannas. That has to make you wonder, what next? Are they going to invent needs we didn’t know we had, or come up with features that are actually useful? Possibly both. A call for solicitations from users resulted in some 380 pitches for new Mods, ranging from baby monitors to breathalyzers. If the Moto Mod team is able to take a new look at preexisting features, they could create enhanced features that offer something for everyone

 

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Qualcomm processors will now be able to run Windows 10 giving the ability to run high powered Win32 apps. Qualcomm making the big announcement at WinHEC (Via Qualcomm)

 

Qualcomm made headlines a few months ago for making the biggest semiconductor deal ever. Now, they have another big announcement in store. Qualcomm and Microsoft are teaming up to bring Windows 10 to Qualcomm’s mobile processors. Thanks to this, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors will be the first ARM-based processors to fully support Windows 10. The announcement was made at WinHEC where attendees got to see a demo of the full desktop version of Photoshop running on a Snapdragon CPU via emulation. So why is this such a big deal?

 

Qualcomm’s chips, such as the Snapdragon, are high powered and are supposed to offer the best experience when it comes to streaming, watching movies, and even making phone calls. Most of the company’s processors are found on mobile devices and though they are powerful, most chips found in smartphones still aren’t strong enough to run energy consuming apps, like Photoshop and other Win32 apps. Bringing Windows 10 to these processors changes that. Qualcomm’s next generation of processors have the ability to run Win32 apps via x86 emulation on Windows 10.  As they showed in the demo, these chips will now be able to handle such high powered apps, bringing a desktop experience to your mobile device and stronger processors to standard PCs.

 

Both Qualcomm and Microsoft believe Windows 10 PCs powered by Snapdragon will be available as early as next year. Not only will the new devices fully support Windows 10, but they’ll also include Gigabit LTE, and superior Wi-Fi housed in a fanless design that’s meant to provide a long battery life. This is also big news for Microsoft because it may allow them to build a smartphone with the ability to run Win32 apps along with other UWP apps. Microsoft tried breaking into the smartphone game with its Windows phone, but it couldn’t compete with Samsung and Motorola. With Qualcomm on their side it could allow them to create something better and more powerful that the Surface Phone.

 

This isn’t the first time Windows attempted to run ARM devices. They previously gave it a shot with the OS Windows RT, but the results were not so successful. The biggest issue was ARM-based Windows programs were not synonymous with the standard 32 bit programs. Because of this, developers were forced to rewrite their programs to be compatible with Windows RT. Though some are still suspicious that the processor will run the apps via emulation, it’ll still be interesting to see if this will give Microsoft the break they need to finally create a successful smartphone. It could also give Qualcomm the support it needs to give Intel a run for their money.

 

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