Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Take advantage of Black Friday with 15% off sitewide with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" on Slashdot Deals (some exclusions apply)". ×

Feed Engadget: Researchers say acoustic levitation could save equipment on Mars ( 1

Rovers may have been able to endure life on Mars longer than anyone expected, but things could be more tricky for any sort of long-term exploration, where dust could cause equipment to grind to a halt or even pose a risk to human explorers. Some researchers from the University of Vermont now say they might have an answer to that problem, however, and it's not too far removed from levitating fish. While no fish were actually involved in their experiment, the group is suggesting that the same principle of acoustic levitation could be used to lift dust off the surface of solar panels, space suits and other equipment. There is one big catch however, in that the levitation trick would only work inside a habitation or other enclosure where the sound waves can travel as they do on Earth -- because, as Total Recall taught us, bad things happen outside on Mars.

Researchers say acoustic levitation could save equipment on Mars originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 26 Jan 2010 04:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Physorg |Email this|Comments

Submission + - Has 2.4 GHz Reached Maximum Capacity?

An anonymous reader writes: There's been a lot of talk lately about the concept of Personal Area Networks. At CES Intel and Connectify both released software that turns Windows laptops into Access Points for file transfers, wirelessly syncing pictures from cameras, and Internet sharing. This is good, maybe great if you’re a road warrior, but what about the rest of us holed up in apartment buildings and small neighborhoods? We already have to deal with the wireless chatter of the 50 or so other linksys routers in the vicinity. What will happen when every laptop also acts as a software router? To add fuel to the fire, Intel and Netgear also announced the Push2TV device that allows you to stream your display, including Netflix videos straight to your television. Isn(TM)t this going to kill lower powered 2.4 GHz devices, like Bluetooth mice and headsets? When does the 2.4 GHz band collapse completely? Why can’t we push all this short range, high bandwidth stuff onto 5 GHz?

Submission + - Heat Engines Shrunk By Seven Orders of Magnitude (

KentuckyFC writes: The vast majority of motors that power our planes, trains and automobiles are heat engines. They rely on the rapid expansion of gas as it heats up to generate movement. But attempts to shrink them by any significant amount have mostly ended in failure. Today, the smallest heat engines have a volume of some 10^7 cubic micrometers. Now group of Dutch engineers have built a heat engine that is seven orders of magnitude smaller than this. The engine consists of a piezoelectric bar that expands and contracts in the normal piezoelectric way. However it also heats up and cools at the same time causing a thermal expansion and contraction, which lags the piezoelectric displacement. By carefully choosing the frequency of the driving AC current, the Dutch team found a resonant effect in which the thermal expansion and contraction amplifies the mechanical motion, making it a true heat engine. Operating the thermodynamic cycle in reverse turns the device into a heat pump or refrigerator. The total volume of the device is just 0.5 cubic micrometres. .

Submission + - Linux Foundation hits back at Windows Mobile (

superapecommando writes: Microsoft mobile chief Robbie Bach may believe that the Linux OS will lose out to Windows Mobile in the smartphone space, but Linux Foundation director Jim Zemlin is having none of that.
In a blog post this week, Zemlin fired back at comments Bach made to financial analysts at CES that there is too much complexity in Linux and too many versions for phone carriers to manage.
"By Bach's count there are 17 variants of Linux available on mobile phones," writes Zemlin. "He sees this as a bad thing for customers. We, unsurprisingly, see this as a bad thing for Microsoft."
At CES, Bach, president of Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices division, predicted a mobile OS shakeout where carriers will reject some Linux mobile operating systems because they complicate support issues. He stated that that various versions of Linux on mobile are "a little quirky and a little different, require separate network certifications, network product support, and the like that goes along with that."

Submission + - About EU software patents (

An anonymous reader writes: What if the above petition would lead to a situation where software patents are valid in the US, but not in the EU? Would software become more expensive or unavailable in the US? Would developers start working for EU companies to be free from thinking about patents?

Submission + - E-voting paper trails questionable

cecille writes: A joint report from researchers at NYU and UC Berkeley looks at electronic voting machine paper trails. The report suggests states are fully equipped to find sophisticated and targeted software-based attacks, non-systemic programming errors and software bugs that could change the outcome of an election. The full report is also available (PDF).

The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop until you get to work.