"A recent project here at the Laboratoire de Chimie de la Matière Condensée de Paris (LCMCP) wants to make high-performance scientific computing cheaper by finding new ways to squeeze performance from consumer-grade "gamer" hardware. The idea is nothing less than building the equivalent of a $400,000 custom high performance computing setup for only $40,000.
"Since the 1970s, chemists have worked on storing solar energy in molecules that change state in response to light. These photoactive molecules could be the ideal solar fuel, as the right material should be transportable, affordable, and rechargeable. Unfortunately, scientists haven’t had much success. One of the best examples in recent years, tetracarbonly-diruthenium fulvalene, requires the use of ruthenium, which is rare and expensive.
"Internet Explorer 9's dual-pronged approach to blocking access to malicious URLs—SmartScreen Filter to block bad URLs, and Application Reputation to detect untrustworthy executables—provides the best socially engineered malware blocking of any stable browser version, according to NSS Labs' latest report. Internet Explorer 9 blocked 92 percent of malware with its URL-based filtering, and 100 percent with Application-based filtering enabled. Internet Explorer 8, in second place, blocked 90 percent of malware.
"The Wireless Gigabit Alliance recently announced that it has published the certification-ready 1.1 specification of its wireless system, and it includes some new capabilities, like a framework for video connectors. But given that even 5GHz WiFi is notorious for spotty reception mere feet from the offending wireless router, how will WiGig, which uses an incredible 60GHz frequency, ever manage to transmit information to devices that aren't literally pressed up against the router?.."
"If the development of a quantum computer were like motor racing, then we would currently be in the twisty-turny bit that comes before we barrel over the mountain and hit the long, fast straightaway. We know the requirements for quantum computing; we even know systems that kinda-sorta meet these requirements. But no existing quantum computing architecture—that is, how we make quantum bits (qubits) and perform operations on them—is really all that satisfying. If you don't even know which materials are best for building a quantum computer, it makes progress awfully slow..."
"Can Microsoft remotely disable third-party accessories from working with the Xbox 360 and get away with it?
The Redmond, Washington software- and console-maker did just that, and claims copyright law gave it the right. At issue is Microsoft’s 2009 remote disabling of Datel memory cards, which prompted an antitrust lawsuit that lives on today—litigation that has morphed into the latest test of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
"Graphene, a one-atom-thick layer of graphite where carbon atoms are held in a hexagonal lattice reminiscent of chicken wire, has some unusual properties, one of which may allow it to replace silicon in high-speed electronics. At room temperature, graphene exhibits extremely high electron mobility—the speed at which electrons move through the material is over 100 times greater than silicon. However, because its material properties are different from traditional semiconductors, researchers have struggled to develop integrated circuits with graphene components.
"Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) does exactly what its name implies: when excited by light from the blue end of the spectrum, it emits a satisfying green glow. But its deceptively simple name doesn't begin to convey how it has changed biology. It can be fused with other proteins and made by just about any cell, letting researchers track all sorts of biological processes. Variants have been made that glow other colors. Three people got Nobel Prizes for its development. Glowing animals have even become works of art and pets."
"American ISPs have convinced us that Internet access is expensive—getting speeds of 100Mbps will set most people back by more than $100 a month, assuming the service is even available. Where I live in Chicago, Comcast's 105Mbps service goes for a whopping $199.95 ("premium installation" and cable modem not included). Which is why it was so refreshing to see the scrappy California ISP Sonic.net this week roll out its new 1Gbps, fiber-to-the-home service… for $69.99 a month.
"A post from the game's official blog touted the ability of the Frostbite 2 engine to provide both large-scale battles and close combat. "Gamers will experience a physical battlefield and be able to temporarily disable vehicles, go prone, mount weapons, lay down suppressive fire and more. Under the hood, the brand-new engine ensures cutting-edge visuals and immersion," Karl Magnus Troedsson, the general manager of DICE, wrote.
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