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All the news that’s fit for searching

March 25, 2004

Microsoft researchers are creating technology to make searching for news more effective. “NewsJunkie” could help Microsoft develop a search function in Windows to compete with Google.

Using AI and information retrieval, NewsJunkie keeps track of what a reader has already seen. It reorganizes news stories to rank those with the most new information at the top and push those with repetitive information to the bottom, or filter them out… read more

Meet QB, Your New Robotic Coworker

May 19, 2010


Anybots’ QB, a $15,000 “remote presence robot,” allows a telecommuting worker to remotely attend meetings, drop into the offices of colleagues, and otherwise collaborate with people in an office.

Cameras in its eyes capture video; speakers and microphones let it relay sound back and forth; an LCD in its forehead can display a still image or video of the remote colleague; and a laser… read more

Microbes for Off-the-Grid Electricity

September 4, 2008

Lebone Solutions aims to use microbial fuel cells to provide power to Africans who are off the grid.

In some parts of Africa, only a small amount of energy is enough for a few hours of lamp light in the evening, or for powering the ubiquitous cell phones–something that some residents will walk five hours to a generator to do.

Data Center Energy Consumption Has Doubled Since 2000

February 15, 2007

The energy consumed by data center servers and related infrastructure equipment in the U.S. and worldwide doubled between 2000 and 2005, according to a new study.

A jump in the volume of servers in data centers is accountable for 90 percent of the growth in power consumption. The total 2005 electric bill to operate those servers and related infrastructure equipment was $2.7 billion in the U.S. and $7.2 billion… read more

Turning Search Into a Science

April 9, 2004

If you’re looking for scientific information on the Web, Google might not be the best choice. Many researchers instead turn to Scirus, a search engine for scientists that allows them to dig through scientific journals as well as unpublished research, university websites, corporate Internet sites, conference agendas and minutes, discussion groups and mailing-list archives.

Self-Assembling Gold Nanoparticles Use Light to Kill Tumor Cells

May 27, 2010

Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, have developed a method for creating supramolecular assemblies of gold nanoparticles that function as highly efficient photothermal agents for delivery to tumors, using a laser beam to heat the nanoparticles above 374 degrees C, the temperature at which explosive microbubbles form.

Brightest gamma-ray burst was aimed at Earth

September 11, 2008

Astronomers think they know what caused the brightest ever gamma-ray burst, which was observed in March: a tightly beamed jet of matter that happened to be aimed almost directly at Earth, coming from 7.5 billion light years away, more than halfway across the universe.

This animation shows how astronomers think light from a gamma-ray burst called 080319B was released. A narrow jet punched though the outer layers of… read more

Protein Drugs with More Power

February 22, 2007

Yale University researchers have taken a step toward controlling the structure of proteins called beta-peptides.

Eventually, these peptides could become the basis for drugs that are cheaper to manufacture than existing protein-based pharmaceuticals and last longer in the body.

Searching in the Third Dimension

April 16, 2004

Princeton University professor Thomas Funkhouser and colleagues have put a 3-D search engine on the Web that lets anyone sketch an object using a computer mouse, add a textual description, then search for similar models in design databases.

Here’s how it works: stored CAD designs and entries sketched by users are converted into voxels, which represent the volume of the object at any given point. Then voxel patterns are… read more

New “Brains” For LittleDog

June 2, 2010

The small four-legged robot LittleDog, from Boston Dynamics, has acquired an impressive array of improved locomotion skills thanks to researchers at the University of Southern California.

White roofs, streets could curb global warming

September 18, 2008

If the 100 largest cities in the world replaced their dark roofs with white shingles and their asphalt-based roads with concrete or other light-colored material, it could offset 44 metric gigatons (billion tons) of greenhouse gases, a study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UC Berkeley shows.

White surfaces would also lower the cost of air conditioning by up to 20% in hot months and cool a city by… read more

Achieving fault-tolerant quantum computing

September 20, 2013

This schematic of a bismuth selenide/BSCCO cuprate (Bi2212) heterostructure shows a proximity-induced high-temperature superconducting gap on the surface states of the bismuth selenide topological insulator (credit: Berkeley Lab)

Reliable quantum computing would make it possible to solve certain types of extremely complex technological problems millions of times faster than today’s most powerful supercomputers, or things not even feasible with today’s computers.

But first, we need “fault-tolerant” quantum computers. A small but important step toward this goal has been achieved by an international collaboration of researchers from China’s Tsinghua University and the U.S. Department of Energy… read more

What Will Life Be Like in the Year 2189?

March 5, 2007

A new fictional children’s book, “21st Century Kids” by Shannon Vyff (Warren Publishing, March 2007), explores the idea that two children, killed in a car accident, are cryonically preserved and reanimated in the year 2189.

Vyff’s own children were the inspiration for the main characters in the book and served as sounding boards. They are also featured along with Vyff in an upcoming Barbara Walter’s Special, “How… read more

Faster circuits go for gold

April 26, 2004

Computer chip manufacturers are fast running out of room on conventional, flat circuit boards. So for the next generation of chips, the only way is up.

Researchers have developed a way to draw the circuit directly into a block of glass. They added gold oxide to the glass, focused short laser pulses on specific points inside the block to dislodge individual atoms of gold, and heated the block to… read more

Simple way to create nanocircuitry on graphene developed

June 11, 2010

(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

A method of drawing nanoscale circuits onto atom-thick sheets of graphene has been developed by researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The simple, quick one-step process for creating nanowires, based on thermochemical nanolithography (TCNL), tunes the electronic properties of reduced graphene oxide, allowing it to switch from being an insulating material to a conducting material.… read more

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