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Submission + - Cool chips bring powerful computers, advanced apps ( 1

coondoggie writes: "Researchers are showing off technology that promises to increase the cooling rate of computer chips by as much as 250%. Purdue University researchers, in work funded by Intel are developing tiny "ionic wind engines" that when used in combination with a conventional computer fan, can enhance the fan's effectiveness by boosting airflow over the surface of a computer chip. The experimental ionic cooling device works by generating ions — or electrically charged atoms — using electrodes placed near one another, researchers said in a release. The device contained a positively charged wire, or anode, and negatively charged electrodes, called cathodes. The anode was positioned about 10 millimeters above the cathodes. When voltage was passed through the device, the negatively charged electrodes discharged electrons toward the positively charged anode. Along the way, the electrons collided with air molecules, producing positively charged ions, which were then attracted back toward the negatively charged electrodes, creating an "ionic wind," researchers stated. This breeze increased the airflow on the surface of the experimental chip."

Submission + - USAF Switch to Synthetic Fuel: Maybe Chick Fat. ( 1

DynaSoar writes: "According to Flight Global: "The US Air Force intends to certificate its entire aircraft fleet to run on synthetic jet-fuel blend by 2011, and began on 8 August when the Boeing B-52H became the first to be approved. The eight-engined bomber finished testing earlier this year with fuel produced from natural gas using the Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) process. "Each time the price of fuel goes up $10 a barrel, it costs the USAF $600 million", says air force secretary Michael Wynne. "It causes angst to know that we're faced with a commodity that some might use against us," he says, pointing to the potential of F-T to convert domestic coal and natural gas to jet fuel." The snag in a complete switch-over could be building a plant with the capacity needed for the USAF's needs. It would cost US$1 billion. However, Syntroleum and Tyson Foods have teamed up and claim they could build the plant for only US$100 million, using a simpler, cheaper and cleaner process than the F-T, starting with a major product of Tyson's: chicken fat. If this comes about, there may even be a chicken-burning car in your future."
Lord of the Rings

Submission + - Destiny-Locked Gaming

An anonymous reader writes: Julian Murdoch over at Gamers With Jobs posits that the recently released Lord of the Rings Online, for all it's flaws, is a new kind of game — the Destiny-Locked RPG:

"The reason that Story sets LOTRO apart is because you know how it ends. This is a luxury World of Warcraft simply can never have. There is no logical end to WoW, where the evil WoW faction of the Horde is victorious, and every member of the good-aligned Alliance dies. The viciously PvP nature of EVE Online means that the story can only sit on the sidelines and inform, not take center stage. But in LOTRO, the game is the story. In this, the game has far more in common with Oblivion than it does with WoW."
The argument here is that a game in which the outcome is known is fundamentally a different (and possibly better) form of gameplay than that the current rage of emergent-gameplay sandbox weak storied games. A challenging idea.

Submission + - d-wave announces usable 16 qubit quantum computer

euice writes: A company called D-Wave Sys claims to have developped the first commercially usable 16 qubit quantum computer.

FTA: Please join us in February as we demonstrate a technological first: an end-to-end quantum computing system powered by a 16-qubit quantum processor, running two commercial applications — live.

Is there any breakthrough I missed? What would you expect them to show up with?

Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must be first overcome. -- Dr. Johnson