Rice Scientists Make First Nanoscale pH Meter

Rice Scientists Make First Nanoscale pH Meter: "Using unique nanoparticles that convert laser light into useful information, Rice University scientists have created the world's first nano-sized pH meter. The discovery, which appears online this week in the journal Nano Letters, presents biologists with the first potential means of measuring accurate pH changes over a wide pH range in real-time inside living tissue and cells.


gizmag Article: The flight of the Manta Ray

gizmag Article: The flight of the Manta Ray: "June 27, 2006 Last week we ran a story on the Kite Tube, a human-bearing inflatable towable water kite and within a week we’ve been sent another one – the Manta Ray has an 11 foot wingspan and is specially designed body to allow an average-sized body to rise out of the water and hover in the air. It takes approximately 23 mph moving to get an average sized adult airborn and hovering but as can be seen from this video, once the Manta Ray is airborn, it can hang there for very long period.


Solar System Scale Model

Solar System Scale Model: "This page shows a scale model of the solar system, shrunken down to the point where the Sun, normally more than eight hundred thousand miles across, is the size you see it here. The planets are shown in corresponding scale. Unlike most models, which are compressed for viewing convenience, the planets here are also shown at their true-to-scale average distances from the Sun. That makes this page rather large - on an ordinary 72 dpi monitor it's just over half a mile wide, making it possibly one of the largest pages on the web. This means you'll have to do a bit of scrolling if you want to find the planets, but don't despair. They are reasonably bright and labeled, so you can probably catch them flashing by in the blackness even if you are scrolling fairly fast.


ScienceDaily: Magnetic Fields Could Make Computers 500 Times Faster

ScienceDaily: Magnetic Fields Could Make Computers 500 Times Faster: "Magnetic fields created using nanotechnology could make computers up to 500 times more powerful, if new research is successful.

Dr. Alain Nogaret. (Photo by Nic Delves-Broughton / courtesy of University of Bath)

The University of Bath is to lead an international £555,000 three-year project to develop a system which could cut out the need for wiring to carry electric currents in silicon chips.

Computers double in power every 18 months or so as scientists and engineers develop ways to make silicon chips smaller. But in the next few years they will hit a limit imposed by the need to use electric wiring, which weakens signals sent between computer components at high speed.

The new research project could produce a way of carrying electric signal without the need for wiring. Wi fi internet systems and mobile phones use wireless technology now, but the electronics that create and use wireless signals are too large to be used within individual microchips successfully.

NOVA Online | Cancer Warrior | Accidental Discoveries

NOVA Online | Cancer Warrior | Accidental Discoveries: Accidental Discoveries

New Scientist Tech - Neurons self-organise to make brain chips - Breaking News

New Scientist Tech - Neurons self-organise to make brain chips - Breaking News: "Brain cells can be enticed into forming uniform functioning patterns using a nano-engineering trick.

The technique could allow the development of sophisticated biological sensors that use functioning brain cells, the researchers say. This type of device would identify a compound - a deadly nerve agent or poison, for example - by measuring its effect on a functioning network of neurons.

A team led by Yael Hanein of Tel Aviv University in Israel used 100-micrometre-wide bundles of nanotubes to coax rat neurons into forming regular patterns on a sheet of quartz.

The neurons cannot stick to the quartz surface but do bind to the nanotube dots, in clusters of about between 20 and 100. Once attached, these neuron bundles are just the right distance from one another to stretch out projections called axons and dendrites to make links with other clusters nearby.

Gourmet Photography

Gourmet Photography: "

If you are intrigued by the paper sushi served in Chicago's Moto restaurant, you can buy this machine to print out your entire Flickr collection right on turkey for the next Thanksgiving reunion. The Jet Decorator prints directly on food items, but you can also get a printer that spits out edible icing sheets. Frame or fridge, your choice. Their client list includes photo-cookie-makers Dessert Gallery and Party Photo Flavors.


NASA - A Meteoroid Hits the Moon

NASA - A Meteoroid Hits the Moon: "June 13, 2006: There's a new crater on the Moon. It's about 14 meters wide, 3 meters deep and precisely one month, eleven days old.

NASA astronomers watched it form: 'On May 2, 2006, a meteoroid hit the Moon's Sea of Clouds (Mare Nubium) with 17 billion joules of kinetic energy—that's about the same as 4 tons of TNT,' says Bill Cooke, the head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office in Huntsville, AL. 'The impact created a bright fireball which we video-recorded using a 10-inch telescope.'

Lunar impacts have been seen before--'stuff hits the Moon all the time,' notes Cooke--but this is the best-ever recording of an explosion in progress:

The History of Life

The History of Life
June 14, 2006 10:58 AM EST

On the first day God created the dog God said, 'Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. I will give you a life span of twenty years.'

The dog said, 'That's too long to be barking. Give me ten years and I'll give you back the other ten.' So God agreed.

On the second day God created the monkey. God said, 'Entertain people, do monkey tricks, make them laugh. I'll give you a twenty-year life span.'

The monkey said, 'How boring, monkey tricks for twenty years? I don't think so. Dog gave you back ten, so that's what I'll do too, okay?' And God agreed.

On the third day God created the cow. God said, 'You must go to the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer. I will give you a life span of sixty years.'

The cow said, 'That's kind of a tough life you want me to live fifty or sixty years. Let me have twenty and I'll give back the other forty.' And God agreed again.
On the forth day God created man. God said, 'Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. I'll give you twenty years.'

Man said, 'What? Only twenty years! Tell you what, I'll take my twenty, and the forty the cow gave back and the ten the monkey gave back and the ten the dog gave back, that makes eighty, okay?"

"Okay," said God, "You've got a deal."

So that is why the first twenty years we eat, sleep, play, and enjoy ourselves.

For the next forty years we slave in the sun to support our family.

For the next ten years we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren.

And for the last ten years we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.


Not Here But Now: Amnesty's Anti-Torture Campaign

Not Here But Now: Amnesty's Anti-Torture Campaign: "Most of us never see torture victims, child soldiers or refugees. They exist, but they are hidden by distance (and the gap between rich and poor).

Amnesty International's Swiss section has hit upon a powerful tactic for changing that. By employing transparent ads featuring photos of human rights abuses (captioned 'Not Here but Now' in Switzerland's three main languages) they're pulling away the veil of distance. The campaign aims to remind people that human rights violations are not some figment of the distant past, but are a part of our world, today -- that right at this very moment, someone is suffering treatment we abhor, even if it isn't happening in front of our eyes.

It's sort of a humanitarian version of making visible the invisible.


Wired News: GNU Radio Opens an Unseen World

Wired News: GNU Radio Opens an Unseen World: "Matt Ettus has the sly smile of someone who sees the invisible. His hands fly over the boards of his Universal Software Radio Peripheral, or USRP, snapping them together with an antenna like Lego bricks. Then he plugs in the naked boards to a USB 2 cable snaking to his Linux laptop.

After few minutes of normal Linux messing around ('Takes forever to boot.... Haven't got the sound driver working yet....') he turns the laptop around to reveal a set of vibrating lines in humps and dips across the screen, like a wildly shaking wireframe mountain range. 'Here,' he explains, 'I'm grabbing FM.'

'All of it?' I ask.

'All of it,' he says. I'm suddenly glad the soundcard isn't working.

Review of 3D Web Browsers: 3B, Browse3D, and SphereXPlorer

Review of 3D Web Browsers: 3B, Browse3D, and SphereXPlorer: "What ever happened to the virtual reality, 3D world of the web? Back in the late 90s, all the hype was about VRML—Virtual Reality Markup Language—which would turn the web into an immersive environment that you'd maneuver around to get to the information you wanted. We're here to tell you that the reports of the 3D web's death are greatly exaggerated. As evidence, we present three 3D browsers that will use that graphics card for something other than gaming: 3B, Browse3D, and SphereXPlorer.

As further proof that the 3D web isn't dead, an XML format called X3D—a free run-time architecture that can 'represent and communicate 3D scenes and objects using XML'— is starting to take hold. You can find more info about it from The Web3D Consortium which is very active in its efforts to add one more dimension to the web as we know it. There's even a mobile browser for X3D, so that you could, for example, navigate around a city you're visiting on your handheld PC.


Main Page - OLPCWiki

Main Page - OLPCWiki: "The first working prototype of the $100 Laptop is unveiled at the Country Task Force Meeting, 23 May 2006. (See Flickr for more images.) This is first time we have combined the industrual design with the hardware (A-TEST board). Both the ID and the hardware had been shown seperately in the past; pictured was a working laptop, completely self-contained; a real milestone for us. The machine is running Fedora Core 5.0.


Urban Legends Reference Pages: Photo Gallery (Beer Can House)


All this, yet, you still don't see any dust or scattered clothes or any dirty dishes anywhere. Other than having a minor drinking problem, he was basically a very clean, organized person. Add to this he was concerned about his health, proved by the fact that he drank a 'Light' beer.


Nokia turns cellphones into webservers

Nokia turns cellphones into webservers: "Nokia has ported the Apache webserver to Symbian, in order to enable mobile phones to serve content on the World Wide Web. Many mobile phones today have more processing power than early Internet servers, suggesting that 'there really is no reason anymore why webservers could not reside on mobile phones,' according to the company. The technique could also be used on Linux mobile phones.


NOAA Ocean Explorer

NOAA Ocean Explorer Lots of oceanic goodies

High Court Trims Whistleblower Rights

High Court Trims Whistleblower Rights: "The Supreme Court scaled back protections for government workers who blow the whistle on official misconduct Tuesday, a 5-4 decision in which new Justice Samuel Alito cast the deciding vote.

In a victory for the Bush administration, justices said the 20 million public employees do not have free-speech protections for what they say as part of their jobs.

Critics predicted the impact would be sweeping, from silencing police officers who fear retribution for reporting department corruption, to subduing federal employees who want to reveal problems with government hurricane preparedness or terrorist-related security.

Supporters said that it will protect governments from lawsuits filed by disgruntled workers pretending to be legitimate whistleblowers.

The ruling was perhaps the clearest sign yet of the Supreme Court's shift with the departure of moderate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and the arrival of Alito.

A year ago, O'Connor authored a 5-4 decision that encouraged whistleblowers to report sex discrimination in schools. The current case was argued in October but not resolved before her retirement in late January.

New Scientist Premium- Have we got gravity all wrong? - Features

New Scientist Premium- Have we got gravity all wrong? - Features: "SLAVA TURYSHEV is a man on a mission. Two missions in fact. The researcher from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, is about to re-fly the two most controversial spacecraft in history. The Pioneer 10 and 11 probes were launched in 1972 and 1973 and are now drifting in deep space beyond the outermost planets of the solar system. NASA lost contact with Pioneer 10 in 2003, but though the probes are now long gone, they are anything but forgotten. That's because Pioneer 10, when last heard from, seemed to be off course by around 400,000 kilometres and nobody has ever been able to figure out why. Did some malfunction nudge the craft off its expected trajectory, or are there deeper forces at work?

New Scientist Tech - Breaking News - Carbon nanotubes pinned down at last

New Scientist Tech - Breaking News - Carbon nanotubes pinned down at last: "A new technique that places carbon nanotubes exactly where they are needed could help overcome one of the biggest obstacles blocking the development of nanotube-based electronic devices.

The method uses a specially constructed molecule that attaches one end to a carbon nanotube and the other end to a strip of metal oxide that has been placed on piece of silicon. The nanotubes are just a few nanometres in diameter, and knowing exactly where a tube is means researchers can use it to make a transistor.

'We can use this approach to make lots of devices,' says team member James B Hannon, at IBM's T J Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York, US.

Researchers have previously created nanotube-based transistors, which could eventually be used to make smaller, faster computers. But there was no efficient way of exactly positioning nanotubes. Some researchers have manipulated tubes one at a time with atomic force microscopes. Others have laid down thousands at random, and then created contacts and repeatedly tested them until they found a working circuit.

New Scientist Premium- Why water freezes faster after heating - News

New Scientist Premium- Why water freezes faster after heating - News: "A common chemical process may explain a bizarre property of water that has been a mystery since the time of Aristotle

A common chemical process may explain a bizarre property of water that has been a mystery since the time of Aristotle - how hot water can freeze more quickly than cold.

This strange and counter-intuitive effect was first observed by the ancient Greek philosopher and was made famous in recent times by a Tanzanian school student called Erasto Mpemba. He noticed that the sugared milk he was using to make ice cream froze more quickly if it started out hot. But what is behind the so-called 'Mpemba effect'?

According to Jonathan Katz of the Washington University in St Louis, it's all to do with solutes. 'You have to ask yourself: what does heating do to water that makes it easier to freeze?' he says. 'The answer is that it precipitates out solutes.'

New Scientist Tech - Technology - Chocolate generates electrical power

New Scientist Tech - Technology - Chocolate generates electrical power: "Willy Wonka could have powered his Great Glass Elevator on hydrogen produced from his chocolate factory.

Microbiologist Lynne Mackaskie and her colleagues at the University of Birmingham in the UK have powered a fuel cell by feeding sugar-loving bacteria chocolate-factory waste. 'We wanted to see if we tipped chocolate into one end, could we get electricity out at the other?' she says.

The team fed Escherichia coli bacteria diluted caramel and nougat waste. The bacteria consumed the sugar and produced hydrogen, which they make with the enzyme hydrogenase, and organic acids. The researchers then used this hydrogen to power a fuel cell, which generated enough electricity to drive a small fan (Biochemical Society Transactions, vol 33, p 76).

TechSearch | Blog Page

TechSearch | Blog Page: "Unless you have not heard, Verizon, AT&T, Bell South and other telecommunications giants are lobbying Congress to establish a legal basis for charging website owners for traffic with the help of two-tier Internet.

If telecommunication lobby succeeds it would mean the end of online freedom and higher prices for online goods and services for all of us.

So what do telecommunication companies want? Quite naturally, greedy corporations want more profit and they are keen to find a way to stuff their pockets even tighter.

Jobs' glass elevator locks in group customers - Engadget

Jobs' glass elevator locks in group customers - Engadget: Well, that was fast. Not eight days after Apple's new flagship store was unveiled, Stevie J.'s fantastical glass elevator began acting a bit wonky, first opening and shutting its doors, then finally sealing in its passengers on the upper level. Apple store employees worked their hardest to release the bunch, but eventually the NYPD had to be called; the elevator's hydraulic system had to be drained, and the confined group was let out in the store's bowels (i.e. lower level). Everybody otherwise seemed okay, but as far as we know no one was gifted with a free iPod in exchange for the 45 minutes they spent trapped, encased in glass like so many specimens for study. Ah well, you can't always help it when your elevator gets the spinning beach ball, now can you?