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high speed holographic discs

“A computer disc about the size of a DVD that can hold 60 times more data is set to go on sale in 2006. The disc stores information through the interference of light - a technique known as holographic memory.”

“ InPhase says the technique could theoretically be used to store up to 1.6 terabytes of data on the same size of disc and to read data at 120 megabits per second. This is 340 times the capacity of an ordinary DVD and 20 times the data rate.”

marker at abelard.org

“Called Holographic Versatile Disc (HVD), this emerging technology has been in the works (at least conceptually) for about 20 years. It wasn't until the beginning of the 21st century that real advances were made, however. Holographic disk storage allows for much higher density than DVDs by storing data as light patterns throughout the volume of the polymer disc, or three dimensions. HVD can apparently store up to 60 times the data of a regular DVD and it can read and write data 10 times faster as well.

“The two major players in this emerging holographic storage field are InPhase Technologies (an American company) and Japanese firm Optware Corp. Optware recently opened a U.S. branch and intends to launch 200GB HVD drives by the end of 2006; by 2008, the company is aiming to hit the 1TB mark. InPhase also plans on shipping its own 200GB drives by the end of next year. The company has partnered with Hitachi Maxell Ltd. to market the new technology.” [Quoted from GameDailyBiz]

holographic recording and playback.  Image credit: lucient technologies.
holographic recording and playback. Image credit: Lucent Technologies.

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#holographic_storage_281105
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get out of london, ... and paris, berlin, rome, madrid, new york ..... [health]

“Willich and his team found that environmental noise from traffic and airplanes raised the chances of having a heart attack by nearly 50 percent for men and even more for women.

“Although women were not affected by noise in the workplace, it increased the risk of a heart attack by a third in men.

“Based on the findings which are reported in the European Heart Journal, the scientists believe workplace ear protection levels should be reduced from the current 85 decibels widely used in western European countries to between 65-75 decibels.”

“ "This means we seem to be looking at a threshold at which risk occurs and remains constant above this, and this appears to be around 60 decibels," according to Willich.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#cities_bad_251105

lite medley

  • not all gm modifications pay off
    Quick scan suggested - dry holes in GM can tempt malpractice.

    “[...] at Australia's national research organisation, CSIRO - took the gene for a protein capable of killing pea weevil pests from the common bean and transferred it into the pea. When extracted from the bean, this protein does not cause an allergic reaction in mice or people.

    “ But the team found that when the protein is expressed in the pea, its structure is subtly different to the original in the bean. They think this structural change could be to blame for the unexpected immune effects seen in mice.”

    “ If it had been a private company doing this, it might never have seen the light of day, [...]”

  • 2000 year old seed claimed to be growing
    “ Several ancient date seeds were taken from an excavation at Masada, a historic mountainside fortress, in 1973. In A.D. 73 Jewish Zealots took their own lives at the fortress rather than surrender to the Romans at the end of a two-year siege.

    “Carbon dating indicates the seeds are about 2,000 years old.

    “ In ancient times the Judean date palm was a staple source of food, shelter, and shade. References to it are made in the Bible, the Koran, and other ancient literature. Judean date palms were wiped out by about A.D. 500.”

  • more forensic ‘evidence’ - did you fire that gun, or did you journey in a police car?
    “ A separate study reported in 2000 by Debra Kowal and Steven Dowell at the Los Angeles county coroner's department reported that it was also possible to be contaminated by police vehicles. Of 50 samples from the back seats of patrol cars, they found 45 contained particles "consistent" with GSR and four had "highly specific" GSR particles. What's more, they showed that "highly specific" particles could be transferred from the hands of someone who had fired a gun to someone who had not. This doesn't surprise Arvizu. "If I was going to go out and look for gunshot residue, police stations are the places I'd look," she says.”

    related material
    alleged forensic evidence
the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#medley_241105

wind tunnel test for blended wing goes well

NASA blended wing -artist's impression. Image credit: NASA
NASA blended wing -artist's impression. Image credit: NASA

From NASA news release:

“Technicians have installed a five-percent scale model of a blended wing body in the Langley Full-Scale Tunnel at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. During tests in the tunnel's huge 30X60 foot test section, pilots "flew" the 12-foot wingspan, 80-pound model. It stayed aloft in the tunnel's wind stream constrained only by a tether cable. The flying wing is the biggest model ever free flight tested in the Full Scale Tunnel.

“ "We want to understand the edge of the envelope flight characteristics of the blended wing body," said Dan Vicroy, blended wing body flight dynamics principal investigator. "We're comfortable with the flight characteristics of conventional tube with wings airplanes, but we don't have much experience with flying wings." ”

“Much testing needs to be done before the flying wing could be safely introduced as a transport aircraft. The blended wing body doesn't have a conventional airplane tail, used to control pitch (up and down) and yaw (side to side) motions. Instead it uses a combination of control surfaces on the trailing edge of the wing to maneuver the airplane. The free flight tests will help assess the best combination of control surfaces and limits.

“Other questions also need to be answered about the blended wing body configuration. "One question is how do you build a lightweight structure that can be pressurized," Vicroy said. "It's easy to pressurize a tube, but not as easy to pressurize a non-cylindrical shape." ”

More details of the technology [PDF file]

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#blended_wing_151105

“water vapour much magnifying temperature increases over europe”

“Swiss researchers examined surface radiation measurements from 1995 to 2002 over the Alps in Central Europe and show strongly increasing total surface absorbed radiation, concurrent with rapidly increasing temperature. The authors, led by Rolf Philipona of the World Radiation Center in Davos, show experimentally that 70 percent of the rapid temperature increase is very likely caused by water vapor feedback. They indicate that remaining 30 percent is likely due to increasing manmade greenhouse gases.

“The researchers analyzed temperature and humidity changes over Europe, which jumped nearly three times above the levels predicted by general circulation models in the past two decades [...].”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#water_vapour_141105

keep it simple - deflecting asteroids

“[...] Placing a heavy enough object near the asteroid for long enough could produce sufficient gravitational tug to change its orbit. For a 200-metre-wide asteroid, the spacecraft would need to weigh about 20 tonnes and lurk 50 metres from its target for about a year to change its velocity enough to knock it off course.”

— for smaller objects —

“[...] better to invest in predicting when and where smaller asteroids could strike, than on massive hazard-averting spacecraft. Governments could then prepare to evacuate affected regions. "In many cases it makes more economic sense to just let the thing hit," he says.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#deflecting_asteroids_111105

hearing through walls

"So the new "through-the-wall audio surveillance system" uses a powerful beam of very high frequency radio waves instead of light. Radio can penetrate walls - if they didn't, portable radios wouldn't work inside a house.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#audio_surveillance_301005

tracing over-fishing through historic research

Preview of a conference item in Denmark.

“Picking through 200,000 U.S. restaurant menus since the 1850s, schooner logs and archaeological sites, marine historians are finding that capricious human tastes have let some species thrive while other stocks have been over-fished for centuries.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#fishing_281005

what is bucky paper?

News release from Florida State Uni.:

“Buckypaper is made from carbon nanotubes-amazingly strong fibers about 1/50,000th the diameter of a human hair that were first developed in the early 1990s. Buckypaper owes its name to Buckminsterfullerene, or Carbon 60 - a type of carbon molecule whose powerful atomic bonds make it twice as hard as a diamond.”

“Among the possible uses for buckypaper that are being researched at FAC2T:

  • “If exposed to an electric charge, buckypaper could be used to illuminate computer and television screens. It would be more energy-efficient, lighter, and would allow for a more uniform level of brightness than current cathode ray tube (CRT) and liquid crystal display (LCD) technology.

  • “As one of the most thermally conductive materials known, buckypaper lends itself to the development of heat sinks that would allow computers and other electronic equipment to disperse heat more efficiently than is currently possible. This, in turn, could lead to even greater advances in electronic miniaturization.

  • “Because it has an unusually high current-carrying capacity, a film made from buckypaper could be applied to the exteriors of airplanes. Lightning strikes then would flow around the plane and dissipate without causing damage.

  • “Films also could protect electronic circuits and devices within airplanes from electromagnetic interference, which can damage equipment and alter settings. Similarly, such films could allow military aircraft to shield their electromagnetic "signatures," which can be detected via radar.”

marker at abelard.org

SEM image of a bucky paper, prepared from filtering Buckytubes.
SEM image of a bucky paper, prepared from filtering Buckytubes.
Image courtesey of CNI.

Note, the illustrated spaghetti fibres are each made from great numbers of carbon nanotubes. The images here are interesting and pretty.

related material
“fullerine carbon nano-particles toxic”
harder than diamond - nanotech
Buckminster Fuller project

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#bucky_paper_271005

enigmatic behaviour among chimps

“Chimpanzees live in fission-fusion societies. This means that like humans living in a town, chimps form cliques and aren't all together in one place at the same time. But on patrol days, researchers found that a larger number of males gathered together than on non-patrol days. The addition of one male to the group increased the odds of a patrol by 17 percent.

“Mitani and Watts observed a community of about 150 chimps in Ngogo, Kibale National Park, Uganda and collected 24 month of data compiled over five years. The Ngogo community is significantly larger than two other well-studied chimpanzee communities in Gombe andTaï , but the males in all three communities patrolled with equal frequency on a per capita basis. However, the chimps in Ngogo patrolled about twice as often as the other communities, due solely to the large number of males.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#male_chimps_231005

babies, rhythm, music and language[behaviour & intelligence]

Reasonably accurate item.

“While the study found that year-old babies tune into the rhythms of their own musical heritage, the infants still have a better ear than adults for the complex rhythms unique to foreign music.

“Year-old babies who passively listened to complex Balkan tunes a few times a day for several weeks were able to pick out errors in those rhythms on test day. Adults with a similar passive exposure to the tunes could not.

“Trehub said language findings are similar. A child that begins to learn a foreign language in preschool will have a perfect accent in that language as they mature.”

“ [...] the findings demonstrate how babies are adapting to their cultures in order to be more efficient animals.

“ "Adults become less sensitive to foreign rhythms because they become more efficient at processing familiar rhythmic structure of their own culture—this is natural and adaptive," [...] ”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#baby_music_061005

a step towards understanding sleep [behaviour]

“ "He has plainly and elegantly demonstrated a breakdown in the ability of cortical areas to interact normally as we fall asleep," Stickgold says. "But he hasn't provided any reason to think that this is related to the changes in consciousness as we fall asleep." ”

“ "I don't think this adds anything substantive about consciousness," Stickgold says. "It does add some information about the changes in brain function that accompany the shift to sleep, in a very elegant and beautiful way to show it." ”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#sleep_051005

world competitiveness report

Competitiveness rankings for 80 countries, produced by the World Economic Forum. Previous years data also available.

The top 16 [full listing]

  1. Finland
  2. USA
  3. Sweden
  4. Taiwan
  5. Denmark
  6. Norway
  7. Singapore
  8. Switzerland
  9. Japan
  10. Iceland
  11. United Kingdom
  12. Netherlands
  13. Germany
  14. Australia
  15. Canada
  16. UAE

with various links.

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#world_competitiveness_021005

interesting bit of economics blather

“Ben Bernanke - a former Princeton professor who at the time was a governor of America's central bank - addressed a gathering of economists in Richmond, Virginia, on America's gaping current-account deficit. Its causes, he argued, were to be found abroad rather than in American profligacy. In particular, Mr Bernanke mused, the world might be suffering from a "global saving glut". The phrase immediately caught on. Like the famous remark about "irrational exuberance" by Alan Greenspan, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, it has since helped to shape the global economic debate.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#economics_260905

"the future is already here - it's just unevenly distributed."

A lightweight but interesting item.

“William Gibson [...] once wrote that "the future is already here—it's just unevenly distributed." But there are more serious consequences to that aphorism than the fact that some of us have broadband while others are stuck with dial-up. Implicit in Gibson's statement is that the present is also unevenly distributed.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#the_future_230905

farmer ant

“The ants (Myrmelachista schumanni) live inside the trees' hollow stems, safe from predators and the environment. They kill all plants other than their host plant by injecting formic acid into the leaves. In this way, they help their host plant, and their own colony, to spread. Such gardens can hold more than 300 trees and millions of ants, and can be hundreds of years old.”

“ [...] Other ants physically cut away at neighbouring vegetation to help their host plants spread.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#farmer_ant_230905

more and bigger hurricanes, or mere statistics?

A study, the results of which have recently been published in Science, shows that seas are warmer and that there are more and larger hurricanes in some areas of the world, but fails to show a conclusive link between any global warming and very bad weather.

“ The link is statistical: as temperatures have risen, hurricanes have become more violent, the researchers said. Whether the first causes the second remains unproven.”
“To prove whether human-induced warming is cause the trend will require “a longer data record of hurricane statistics,” Webster said. Also, “we need to understand more about the role hurricanes play in regulating the heat balance and circulation in the atmosphere and oceans.” ”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#hurricane_statistics_230905

more accessible dna in ancient bones

“Clumps of mineral crystals in fossil bones preserve DNA better than other parts of the bones, a new study shows. The results promise new hope for research on both ancient humans and extinct animals.”

“ Bones form as cells mineralise, depositing tiny crystals of hydroxyapatite in a matrix of collagen fibres. Some DNA remains in the structure, and earlier studies extracted it by grinding up bone, decalcifying it, and converting the collagen matrix to gelatin. However, much of the DNA had been damaged, and samples were vulnerable to contamination.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#dna_bones_170905

poll on power: people’s perception of politicians
[click numbers at bottom to reach further pages]

“The Gallup International Voice of the People 2005 poll questioned more than 50,000 people in 68 states for the BBC World Service survey about power.”

This page gives the BBC’s preferred summary of the conclusions.

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#bbc_poll_150905

brain genes

“Whatever advantage these genes give, some groups have it and some don't. This has to be the worst nightmare for people who believe strongly there are no differences in brain function between groups," says anthropologist John Hawks of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, US.

“Lahn and his colleagues are now testing whether the new gene variants provide any cognitive advantage. Natural selection could have favoured bigger brains, faster thinking, different personalities, or lower susceptibility to neurological diseases, Lahn says. Or the effects might be counter-intuitive. "It could be advantageous to be dumber," Lahn says. "I highly doubt it, but it's possible.”

Note: there is no reason why these genes should, or should not, have any link with intellectual differences. A smaller skull size, for example, could improve survival rates during the birth process. For, as yet, it is not clear what effect these gene changes have on skull size, all that is surmised is that there is an effect.

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#brain_genes_140905

step in the development of high speed cell ’phones

“Cellphones capable of transmitting data at blistering speeds have been demonstrated by NTT DoCoMo in Japan.

“In experiments, prototype phones were used to view 32 high definition video streams, while travelling in an automobile at 20 kilometres per hour. Officials from NTT DoCoMo say the phones could receive data at 100 megabits per second on the move and at up to a gigabit per second while static. At this rate, an entire DVD could be downloaded within a minute. DoCoMo's current 3G (third generation) phone network offers download speeds of 384 kilobits per second and upload speeds of 129 kilobits per second.

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#cell_phones_060905

new plutonium fabrication proposed for batteries

“Under the $300 million plan, the Idaho National Laboratory would produce 11 pounds (5 kg) of plutonium-238 a year for 30 years starting in 2011. The non-weapons-grade plutonium is used to power everything from satellites to deep space probes, leading industry insiders to call the finished product "space batteries." ”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#plutonium_batteries_050905

recycled urine

but serious and amusing if you have the ‘right attitude’!

“NASA desperately needs this technology. Water makes for a heavy - and expensive - payload. Over the past five years, the agency has spent $60 million delivering potable water to the International Space Station on the space shuttle (6 tons at a cost of about $40,000 per gallon). Deploying the Water Recovery System on the ISS will cut the volume of water hauled into space by two-thirds and free up enough room on the shuttle for four more astronauts.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#urine_010905

al-q in the 1990s [politics]

A background scan.

“In a nutshell, in the 1990s al-Qa'eda became the armed wing of Western liberal opinion. The mujahedin may have been set up, supported and armed to the hilt by the right in the 1980s, but they fought alongside the Left in the early to mid-1990s. This was the period of the mujahedin's second outing, when hundreds of them moved from Afghanistan following the final withdrawal of Soviet forces in 1992 to Bosnia, to fight alongside the Bosnian Muslims in a holy war against the Serbs. They moved there under the approving eye of the Clinton administration and were armed and trained by Clinton's allies in the region, the Army of Bosnia Herzegovina (ABiH). Some of the mujahedin, especially those from Europe, including from Britain, were inspired to fight in Bosnia after watching or reading news reports in the Western media - especially the liberal media - which presented the civil war in Bosnia as a simplistic battle between good (the Muslims) and evil (the Serbs).

“Though underdiscussed, the mujahedin's movement to Bosnia had a transformative effect on the holy warriors and was key to the development of al-Qa'eda. In moving to Bosnia, Islamic fighters were transported from the ghettos of Afghanistan into Europe, from being yesterday's men in a has-been Cold War clash to fighting alongside the West's favoured side in the Balkans. As Evan Kohlmann argues in his Al-Qa'eda's Jihad in Europe: The Afghan-Bosnian Network, by 1995 Bosnia had become a 'strategic foothold for Osama bin Laden and his fanatical allies to infiltrate Europe and the Western world'. Indeed, virtually every major al-Qa'eda attack of recent years has links back to Bosnia. If right-wing intervention in Afghanistan created the mujahedin, then left-liberal intervention in Bosnia globalised it.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#al_qaeda_300805

supersonic transport testing

“On 14 June 2005, Japan and France signed an agreement to develop jointly a new supersonic commercial jet. The three-year research plan includes developing lightweight composite materials.

“The proposed aircraft could hold 300 passengers - three times that of Concorde - and would aim to make the New York to Tokyo journey in just 6 hours. It could be in business as early as 2015.”
....
“Japan plans to test a supersonic aircraft prototype in the Australian desert as early as September.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#supersonic_290805

harnessing algae to transport loads!

“The researchers attached a cargo of polystyrene beads to the backs of green algae cells and used light to guide them up and down the chambers.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#algae_210805

crocodile immune system

"The crocodile's immune system is much more powerful than that of humans,
preventing life-threatening infections after savage territorial fights
which often leave the animals with gaping wounds and missing limbs.

"They tear limbs off each other.and despite the fact that they live in
this environment with all these microbes, they heal up very rapidly and
normally almost always without infection,"

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#crocodile_210805

childhood leukemia and pollution

“Exposure soon after birth, or even before, to combustion gases and particularly engine exhaust, is strongly linked to the development of childhood cancers like leukemia, according to a report from the UK.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#leukemia_140805

space radiation could prohibit travelling to mars and beyond

“[...] the FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute in Oklahoma City investigated the radiation doses likely to be received by people on a 2.7-year return trip to Mars, including a stay of more than a year on the planet. The study estimated that individual doses would end up being very high, at 2.26 sieverts.

“This is enough to give 10% of men and 17% of women aged between 25 and 34 lethal cancers later in their lives, it concludes. The risks are much higher than the 3% maximum recommended for astronauts throughout their careers by the US National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#space_radiation_050805

another step to robot-controlled cars

“The black box compares the vehicle's speed to the actual allowed speed limit of the roadway. The device sends a signal to the gas pedal to reach the posted speed or sends a signal to the brake pedal to slow the vehicle to the required speed limit.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#robot_controlled_cars_030805

act now or regret later: pope and lomborg discussion [ecology]

This deserves no more than a quick scan.

A theme of Lomborg’s is prioritisation but I’m not sure whether he has his priorities well ordered, and his ‘economics’ are simplistic, but Pope is not up to the task of disputing with him.

Lomborg:
“ We need to keep environmental problems in context and prioritize the ones to solve first. Despite a dramatic drop in U.S. air pollution, it still constitutes the United States' most serious environmental hazard-and kills roughly 135,000 people each year. But you talk about mercury, which is far less detrimental and far less beneficial if cleaned up. That is what I mean by prioritization. The same is true for the developing world. Yes, water is important. But you focus on scarcity, which is a management issue. Why not talk about access to clean drinking water? Despite dramatic improvements, 1 billion people today live without it, resulting in more than 2 million (otherwise preventable) deaths each year. You mention that 37 million more people will be malnourished in sub-Saharan Africa by 2015, but you neglect to point out that the number of well-fed people will increase 10-fold, by more than 374 million.”

Pope:
“ You ask for my priorities. We should stop cooking the books, make those who take from the global commons pay, and invest that revenue as wisely as we can. The result of these steps will not be Dr. Pangloss's "best of all possible worlds."....”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#pope_lomborg_020805

for logicians who want to have a long read of a point of view [sort of lite!]

A long discussion of Gödel. The first section is blather, after that there are some interesting ways of talking about the inscrutable.

I don’t know quite what she is on about and I’m not sure that she does, but she has some interesting turns of phrase which may spark ways of approach!

related material
Gödel and sound sets: Metalogic A, part 1 of 4

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#godel_310705

dynamics of chemical reactions - a step forward

“ [...] to watch an electron moving away from a sulphur atom stuck to a ruthenium metal surface. They saw that it took just 320 quintillionths of a second to make the jump, that's 320 attoseconds or 320*10-18 seconds. The speed fits with theories of electron movement.”

“ But this is the first time they have spied on an electron moving between two different atoms that are tightly bound to each other. Watching this sort of process has much more relevance to real-world chemistry [...] ”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#microdynamics_230705

does cocaine interfere with adaptive behaviour?

“Cocaine may keep users from adapting to new situations by disrupting connections between key brain regions, suggests a new study in rats. The finding may shed light on the impulsive behaviour seen in cocaine addicts, researchers say.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#cocaine_210705

trying to teach captive-bred cod to survive in the wild

"Hatchery-reared cod are being taught 'life skills' in a bid to help them
survive in the wild. The organizers of the project hope that by raising
cod in more stimulating enclosures, the fish will fare better in the open
ocean and contribute to ailing natural stocks."

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#cod_040605

endocrine disruptors visit the sins of the fathers unto the fourth generation

“When these male offspring were mated with females that had not been exposed to the toxins, 90 percent of the new male offspring had similar problems. The effect held for a fourth generation.

“That has never been seen before, although radiation and cancer chemotherapy are known to affect fertility and the children of people affected.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#endocrine_030605

science nano- work - keeping in touch

  • nano organic/inorganic interfacing

    “Researchers at Lucent Technologies' Bell Laboratories in the US have tested the adhesion of amino acids to semiconductors, metals and insulators used in electronic devices. The team used their results to design an inorganic nanostructure that selectively bound to a particular primary peptide sequence.”

  • almost terabyte dvds

    “Current DVDs can hold a maximum of 8.5 gigabytes - 8.5 billion bytes - of data, so an AO-DVD could theoretically hold more than 800 gigabytes. This is close to a terabyte and well beyond the capacity of most modern computer hard drives. Iomega claims the technique could also improve data transfer rates by a factor of 30.

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#nanowork_010605

new report suggests much higher wind energy available to be tapped

There is a news release all over the place on this item.

This is being reported inaccurately in many places, nor I have yet been satisfied with the claims in the original. However, at least the data maps are a step forward.

Press release

“The study also estimated the amount of global wind power that could be harvested at locations with suitably strong winds. The authors found that the locations with sustainable Class 3 winds could produce approximately 72 terawatts and that capturing even a fraction of that energy could provide the 1.6-1.8 terawatts that made up the world's electricity usage in the year 2000. A terawatt is 1 trillion watts, a quantity of energy that would otherwise require more than 500 nuclear reactors or thousands of coal-burning plants. Converting as little as 20 percent of potential wind energy to electricity could satisfy the entirety of the world's energy demands, but the researchers caution that there are considerable practical barriers to reaping the wind's potential energy.”

I am still trying to work out whether the authors are confusing terawatts produced with terawatts of productive capacity, two highly different measures with a difference of nearly 10,000 times! Neither are the numbers quoted in the above entirely clear.

The full comments are well hedged about, as is usual in such documents, and the potential is far above anything suggested by Pimentel (at Princeton).

More dense matter can be found here and onwards!

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#high_wind_260505

panning for gold with super-conducting magnets

“Eaves and his colleagues are using a superconducting magnet that is 5 centimetres wide, so they can float objects about the size of a gold coin above it. He says they could probably scale the system up by a factor of five, and hope to develop a method using both levitation and vibration to filter gems and precious metals from the soil.

“Crushed ore would be tossed into the air above the magnet, and different minerals would land at different times because of their varying magnetic properties and densities. They would land on a vibrating surface, which would then sort them into bands.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#magnet_panning_180505

list of 40 tech companies on the move

1. Apple Computer
2. Google
3. Samsung Electronics
4. Amazon.com
5. Yahoo!
6. Electronic Arts
7. Genentech
8. Toyota
9. Infosys Technologies
10. eBay
11. SAP
12. Pixar
13. Cisco
14. IBM
15. Netflix
16. Dell
17. General Electric
18. Medtronic
19. Intel
20. Salesforce.com
21. Vodafone
22. Flextronics
23. EMC
24. Nvidia
25. Jetblue
26. FedEx
27. Monsanto
28. Microsoft
29. Nokia
30. Costco
31. Comcast
32. Pfizer
33. Li &Fung
34. Taiwan Semiconductor
35. Gen-probe
36. Citigroup
37. L-3 Communications
38. Ameritrade
39. Exelon
40. BP

With reasoning for this year’s rankings.

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite0505.php#tech40_160505
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