It sucks that batteries are nearly bigger than the gadgets they're powering, but thanks to University of Missouri researchers and some tiny nuclear batteries, that'll one day be an issue of the past. Yeah, you read right. Tiny. Nuclear. Batteries.
The real secret behind the size of the batteries is the use of new liquid semiconductors instead of tired old solid semiconductors. That's great, because nuclear batteries aren't a new idea, nor are they terrifying and harmful according to Jae Kwon, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Missouri:
Comcast is launching a trial on Thursday of a new automated service that will warn broadband customers of possible virus infections, if the computers are behaving as if they have been compromised by malware.
For instance, a significant overnight spike in traffic being sent from a particular Internet Protocol address could signal that a computer is infected with a virus taking control of the system and using it to send spam as part of a botnet.
Scientists at IBM are using a combination of nanotechnology and microchips to map out personal genetic code -- a development that could significantly improve the process of diagnosing and treating diseases.
Merging biology with computer technology, researchers at IBM are working on a project that aims to make it easier to decode human DNA, and thus help scientists discover and test new medicines and medical techniques. And, IBM says, a faster and less expensive way to obtain genetic information would help doctors better understand their patients' predisposition to diseases.
Despite the numerous technologies that exist for sending data through the air there's one cable that most gadgets can't do without at some time. The power cable remains a necessary but sometimes unsightly part of many modern electronic appliances -- but now even that might be on the way out.
Wireless technology is exploding as the hardware becomes cheaper and uses less power. Chances are good that the upward trajectory will continue over the next few years, as companies are betting that smart devices and remote controls that use the short-range IEEE 802.15.4 protocol will find a place on the market. Now, researchers have used one of the features that provides that protocol with robustness against noise in order to track the movements of people around a room they couldn't otherwise see into.
AMD and Pixelux Entertainment announced a joint development agreement that is part of the AMD effort to greatly expand the use of real-time physics with graphics through the open source Bullet Physics engine. By encouraging development of physics middleware built around OpenCL™ and Bullet Physics, AMD and Pixelux offer a route toward physics simulation that spans game consoles, PCs and other hardware platforms.
The total cost of developing a universal broadband plan for the United States could run as high as $350 billion, but the plan would produce major economic and social benefits ranging from improving healthcare and education to helping people with disabilities and improving public safety programs, according to a report prepared by an FCC task force.
Just because your iPod is broken in some way doesn't mean you have to buy a new one—there are ways to fix some basic problems on your own at home with little more than replacement parts and a steely resolve. Apple may be all about being green lately, but throwaway culture has made it so that anytime a gadget becomes less-than-perfect, we're frothing at the mouth for excuses to buy a new one. Dead pixels? Guess I need a new laptop! Battery is dying? That thing was old anyway. Need to take more music with you? That 160GB iPod is calling your name.
South Korean manufacturer Samsung Electronics announced this week that it has begun mass production of a new kind of memory chip that stores information by melting and freezing tiny crystals. Known as phase-change memory (PCM), the idea was first proposed by physicists in the 1960s. Here, Nature explains how PCM works, why it has taken so long to develop and how it could change your mobile phone forever.
After 8 years of success the USB 2.0 standard has begun its long journey into obsolescence. Dutch storage company Freecom has announced the first mainstream storage product based on ‘SuperSpeed' USB 3.0.
Buyers will be interested to hear that the new external Hard Drive XS 3.0 doesn't cost the earth at £99 (approx $160) for a 1TB drive, even though that excludes the £22.99 for a desktop PCI-bus controller necessary to make it work at its intended throughput. Laptop users can pair it with a £25.99 plug-in PC Card to achieve the same effect.
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