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Cooler Silicon Lasers Via Energy Harvesting 31

Light Licker writes "UCLA researchers have developed a way to cut power use and heat output from a silicon laser used for optoelectronics. Both have been problems because silicon absorbs too much light — producing high-energy free electrons that make heat. One of Intel's best silicon lasers produced 125 times more heat than usable light. The UCLA team added a diode to their laser which can harvest free electrons and use them to help power the circuit — simultaneously cutting heat output and power use."

The Modern Ease of 3D Printing 264

An anonymous reader writes "What will it mean when 3D fabricators become cheap and common? A NY Times article explores the ease of copying objects by scanning them with NextEngine scanner and sending them to 3d 'print shops'. The experiments were done with Legos because most of the things around his office were protected by copyright. What will happen to the economy for engineering when we can just download a pirated description of a machine and 'print' it out? 'The world is just beginning to grapple with the implications of this relatively low-cost duplicating method, often called rapid prototyping. Hearing aid companies, for instance, are producing some custom-fitted ear pieces from scanned molds of patients. Custom car companies produce new parts for classic cars or modified parts for hot rods. Consumer product makers create fully functional designs before committing themselves to big production runs.'"

Big Freakin' Laser Beams In Space 142

schnippy writes "Esquire is running an interesting article on the work on adaptive optics and directed energy being done at the U.S. Air Force's Starfire Optical Observatory. This facility was the subject of a New York Times article earlier this year which suspected the facility was conducting anti-satellite weapons research under the cover of astronomy."

Those who claim the dead never return to life haven't ever been around here at quitting time.