science + technology news

Rollable, foldable e-devices coming

November 2, 2012


What if a tablet screen were a paper-thin plastic that rolled like a window shade?

University of Cincinnati researchers have now announced experiment verification that such “electrofluidic imaging film” works. The breakthrough is a white, porous film coated with a thin layer of reflective electrodes and spacers that are then subjected to unique and sophisticated fluid mechanics in order to electrically transport the colored ink and clear-oil… read more

Rooftop solar, other renewables make 9GW of baseload fossil fuels no longer needed in Australia

August 1, 2013


AGL Energy, one of the big three power utilities in Australia, says that 9,000MW of fossil-fuel baseload capacity needs to be taken out of the national electricity market (NEM) to bring it back into balance, RenewEconomy reports.

That assessment of 9,000MW equates to nearly one-third of the country’s baseload generation — a sure sign that renewables, and in particularly rooftop solar, are changing the dynamics of the… read more

‘Roombots’ transform into movable furniture and objects

May 24, 2014

Movable table with Roombot feet (credit: EPFL)

EPFL scientists have developed LEGO-like adaptive robotic modules called “Roombots” that can change their shape to create reconfigurable, movable furniture and objects.

Like LEGO bricks, Roombots can be stacked upon each other to create various structures and combined with furniture and other objects, changing shape and functionality during the day as needed.

“It could be very useful for disabled individuals to be able to ask objects… read more

‘Rosetta stone’ offers digital lifeline

July 31, 2009

The “Digital Rosetta Stone” would store data laser-etched onto silicon discs, and protected from oxygen and humidity, for 1000 years, a team led by Professor Tadahiro Kuroda of Tokyo’s Keio University has proposed.

Rotating Space Elevator Propels its Own Load

May 22, 2009

West Virginia University physicists have introduced the idea of a Rotating Space Elevator (RSE), a rotating system based on a floppy string that forms an ellipse-like shape.

It would theoretically use energy from both geosynchronous rotation around Earth and the internal rotation of the string system around the axis perpendicular to the Earth to raise objects.

Roving brain electrodes reverse paralysis in monkeys

October 16, 2008

Research with monkeys using a brain implant with 12 electrodes that were moved with piezoelectric motors has been shown potential for people paralyzed by spinal injuries to get back control of their own limbs, Washington National Primate Research Center researchers have found.

Implants like these could control prosthetic limbs more precisely because they relay signals from carefully chosen neurons, rather than having software calculate a signal from recordings of… read more

RSA — Top botnets control 1M hijacked computers

April 11, 2008

Botnets control just over a million hacked computers on the Internet and are capable of flooding the Internet with more than 100 billion spam messages every day, Joe Stewart, director of malware research at SecureWorks, said at the RSA Conference Thursday.

A botnet is a collection of software robots, or bots, that run autonomously and automatically on groups of hacked
“zombie” computers, controlled remotely.

RSA: Chertoff Likens U.S. Cyber Security To ‘Manhattan Project’

April 9, 2008

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff warned that the damage caused by a large-scale cyberattack might result in consequences comparable to the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center.

Chertoff likened the government’s attempt to improve its cybersecurity to the intensive effort of the Manhattan Project.

RSI announces the world’s most powerful cadmium telluride solar modules

July 11, 2013

Cadmium Telluride Solar Module

RSI has announced a new world record for cadmium telluride photovoltaic module size, achieving a 1.5 square meter module.

The availability of low-cost, large-area CdTe panels coupled with localized manufacturing partners hastens the widespread achievement of grid parity for utility scale solar, the company says.

Conventional cadmium telluride (CdTe) modules measure just 0.72 square meters, a limitation that stems from the use of… read more

Rules for a Complex Quantum World

October 21, 2002

Quantum information science, a new fundamental research discipline combining information science and quantum mechanics, explores “teleportation” of quantum states from one location to another, quantum states to create secure cryptographic keys, and algorithms for hypothetical super-high-speed quantum-mechanical computers.

Rules for Self-Configuring Robots

September 20, 2004

Robots that change shape and even split into smaller parts to explore unfamiliar terrain could soon be feasible, thanks to new algorithms designed to enable such metamorphic tricks.

Researchers have published definitive control methods for self-reconfigurable robots. Robots using these rules will not fall apart as they change shape or get irreversibly stuck while moving. The rules instruct robots how to roam over terrain, build tall structures to overcome… read more

Rumor: Apple to add tactile feedback to iPhone

April 28, 2008

Apple may be planning to license haptic technology from Immersion for use in the iPhone.

Haptic technology gives people sensory feedback–in the form of a vibration or pressure–when they use a touchscreen. Immersion’s VibeTonz feedback technology is already in use in more than 10 million mobile phones.

Rumours that first dark matter particle found

December 9, 2009

The physics blogs are abuzz with rumors that a particle of dark matter* has finally been found in the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search experiment.

* Dark matter is hypothetical matter that is thought to make up 23 per cent of the mass density of the universe.

Running ‘can slow aging process’

August 12, 2008

Stanford University Medical Center researchers have found that running on a regular basis can slow the effects of aging for elderly joggers.

The runners were half as likely to die prematurely from conditions like cancer than non-runners, and enjoyed a healthier life with fewer disabilities and delayed onset of disability.

The researchers tracked 500 older runners for more than 20 years, comparing them to a similar group of… read more

Russia asteroid impact: ESA update and assessment

February 22, 2013

The estimated orbit around the Sun of the Chelyabinsk object. It illustrates the orbits of Venus, Mars and Earth, together with the Sun and Earth at impact. The illustration is based on data provided by Dr Peter Brown. (Credit: NASA)

The first firm details of the 15 February asteroid impact in Russia, the largest in more than a century, are becoming clear. ESA is carefully assessing the information as crucial input for developing the Agency’s asteroid-hunting effort.

At 03:20 GMT on 15 February, a natural object entered the atmosphere and disintegrated in the skies over Chelyabinsk, Russia.

Extensive video records indicate a northeast to… read more

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