Science

Mon
14
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Toyota Has Solar-Powered Prius In The Works

Wouldn't it be great if air conditioning didn't suck the life out of your car (and your wallet)? Well, hybrid energy is getting a major face lift, all in the name of finding a separate power source for the air conditioning in hybrid vehicles. Rumors ... in the Japanese media are swirling that the next generation Prius may be the first hybrid car to include solar panels. Although Toyota has not made an official announcement, the media has jumped on the story. (Source: efluxmedia.com ) Thus far, the Prius has sold over 1 million vehicles and is due for its third edition soon. The new solar-panel ... (view more)

Wed
09
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Power a Wheelchair with a Flick of the Tongue

Engineers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have introduced a new kind of technology that could dramatically increase the independence of people living with severe disabilities. The technology powers a system that allows individuals with ... limited or no use of their extremities to operate a computer, power a wheelchair, and interact with the world around them without any assistance. How does it work? Individuals with severe disabilities would be equipped with small magnets (each the size of a grain of rice) attached to their tongue. The system, called Tongue Drive, would allow users to ... (view more)

Fri
04
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

IBM Bids To Save World's Chocolate

IBM's latest work, the Chocolate Genome Project, isn't a wacky codename for a new game: it's a genuine attempt to uncover the DNA of the cocoa bean. The firm is teaming up with confectionary giant Mars and the US Department of Agriculture to track ... the genetic coding which makes up the bean used for chocolate production. The idea is to learn enough to isolate variants of the bean which can survive the growing problems of dry climates, fungi and insect attacks which have driven prices up by half in the past year, threatening many farmers' livelihoods. Around 6.5 million farmers depend on cocoa ... (view more)

Thu
19
Jun
Dennis Faas's picture

IBM Creates Mini Water Pipes to Cool Down Mini Processing Chips

The competition between microprocessing developers has reached new heights, as each attempt to cram the most power into the tiniest possible space. IBM is looking to cool down their vertically-stacked chips by using one of the most abundant and ... natural sources on earth: water. The company is certain that water would be a much more efficient source than air at absorbing heat, even if the amount of water being used is minute. One potential danger associated with downsizing chips is that the circuits in these processors, although miniature in size, still generate a considerable amount of heat. ... (view more)

Mon
02
Jun
Dennis Faas's picture

Technology Allows Brain Signals to Trigger Mechanical Arm

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have taught two monkeys how to feed themselves with a human-like robotic arm using only signals from their brains. The rate at which technology improves has continued to break down the ... walls of the impossible on a daily basis. Ideas that were once reserved only for futuristic television shows like The Jetsons and Futurama have slowly crept into the realm of possibility. Sitting in front of your computer screen in North America and sifting through the pages of Le Monde from Paris does not seem to impress us anymore. Typing out a ... (view more)

Fri
30
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Exploring 'Geron-Technology'

As the population gets older, new applications begin to reflect that shift. Many are assistive devices to help older persons cope with their aging; in fact, there is such a plethora of new technology applications that it deserves a category of its ... own: call it: "geron-technology". It's no surprise this type of technology is emerging. The market is growing. The CDC estimates that the number of persons older than 65 will increase from 35 million in the year 2000 to more than 70 million by 2030. In Europe by 2030, the largest single age group will be over age 65 and the average age is expected ... (view more)

Wed
28
May
Dennis Faas's picture

HP Bit by the 'Green' Bug

Last week, I wrote about environmental watchdog Climate Counts' criticism of Apple's sustainability policy. On the heels of that report comes a new initiative by Hewlett-Packard to create a 'green printer'. According to the Climate Counts study, HP ... scored 68% success, putting it in the "striding" category, as opposed to companies "stuck", like Apple, or just "starting", like Dell and Nokia. (Source: climatecounts.org ) Since, 1992, HP has been intent on improving its environmental record. The company's website claims that it has endeavoured to use recycled materials, minimize containers and ... (view more)

Wed
21
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Robotics Technician Invents Actual 'Iron Man' Suit

If you went out and saw the recently released "Iron Man" movie, chances are that at some point during the film you envisioned what life would be like to own a suit that gave you superhuman abilities. What would you do if your strength was amplified ... 5 times? 10 times? 20 times its current capability? A robotics technician in Salt Lake City has developed an actual "Iron Man" suit that, when worn, increases human strength by 20 times its current capability. The robotics firm, Sarcos, now holds a lucrative contract with the United States Army to develop the 150-pound "Iron Man" suit to be used by ... (view more)

Tue
20
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Help Prevent Food Shortages with your PC

With the number of jobs in North America spiraling and the price of gas skyrocketing, consumers were recently given more bad news when it was announced that droughts in Asia would eventually lead to a universal increase in the cost of rice. So what ... can we Westerners do to help? Log onto a computer and join the crusade! While not a crucial commodity here in North America, rice has become a staple food for more than half of the global population. In Asia alone, more than 2 billion people receive up to 70% of their dietary energy from rice. In response to the shortage, some national governments ... (view more)

Mon
19
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Navigating Microsoft's WorldWide Telescope

Microsoft's new WorldWide Telescope (WWT) uses Microsoft's Virtual Experience Engine to combine images from various telescopes and observatories into a seamless panorama of the night sky. Launched Monday, the brainchild of Microsoft's research ... department is a downloadable desktop application that brings the universe to your home computer. (Source microsoft.com ) Forget Google Earth, the WWT combines images from the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and the Two Micron All Sky Survey. Users can investigate the night sky in several different ... (view more)

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