aurispector writes: BBC News is reporting that the detailed chemical structure of a single molecule has been imaged for the first time. The physical shape of single carbon nanotubes has been outlined before, using similar techniques — but the new method even shows up chemical bonds. A team from IBM Research Zurich used what is known as an atomic force microscope or AFM. Their version of the device acts like a tiny tuning fork, with one of the prongs of the fork passing incredibly close to the sample and the other farther away. When the fork is set vibrating, the prong nearest the sample will experience a minuscule shift in the frequency of its vibration, simply because it is getting close to the molecule. Comparing the frequencies of the two prongs gives a measure of just how close the nearer prong is, effectively mapping out the molecule's structure. Lead author of the research Leo Gross told BBC News that the group is aiming to combine their ability to measure individual charges with the new technique, characterising molecules at a truly unprecedented level of detail. That will help in particular in the field of "molecular electronics", a potential future for electronics in which individual molecules serve as switches and transistors.
Grey goo is one step closer!
Aurispector writes: An article on LiveScience says a newly discovered repulsive aspect to light could one day control telecommunications devices with greater speed and less power. The discovery could lead to nanodevices controlled by light rather than electricity.
"The discovery was made by splitting infrared light into two beams that each travel on a different length of silicon nanowire, called a waveguide. The two light beams became out of phase with one another, creating a push, or repulsive force, with an intensity that can be controlled; the more out of phase the two light beams, the stronger the force."
As an added bonus, nerds may no longer need LED's to trick out their custom gaming rigs!
Aurispector writes: A LiveScience article http://www.livescience.com/culture/090413-facebook-grades.html states that "Facebook users have lower overall grades than non-users, according to a survey of college students who also ironically said the social networking site does not interfere with studying.
That disconnect between perception and reality does not necessarily mean that Facebook leads to less studying and worse grades — the grades association could be caused by something else. However, it does raise more questions about how students spend their time outside class on activities such as Facebook, part-time jobs and extracurricular activities."
We all know that correlation is not causation, so what's the connection? My theory is that Facebook users are more concerned with social status than academic achievement.
aurispector writes: An article on LiveScience.com http://www.livescience.com/animals/080723-what-to-eat.html says biologists have discovered that worms do calculus to find food. Worms calculate how much the strength of different tastes is changing — equivalent to the process of taking a derivative in calculus — to figure out if they are on their way toward food or should change direction and look elsewhere, says University of Oregon biologist Shawn Lockery, who thinks humans and other animals do the same thing.
The research was published in the July 3, 2008 issue of NATURE. This makes worms smarter than me.
aurispector writes: Well, they're at it again: Cnet is reporting that Rambus is suing Nvidia, accusing the company of violating 17 Rambus-held patents on memory controllers. The suit was filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
The Los Altos, Calif.-based company says that chipsets, graphics processers, and media communication processors across six different Nvidia product lines are illegally infringing. The patents held concern memory controllers for SDR, DDR, DDR2, DDR3, GDDR, and GDDR3 SDRAM.
Does this action officially confirm that Rambus is a patent-troll rather than a technology company?
aurispector writes: Here's a link to an article about the Julie Amero porn case in Norwich, CT providing information, links and suggestions on how to help.
If you had any doubts about how wrong this is, the article includes copies of emails from a juror and a detective involved in the case.
Included are the email addresses of people in government with actual power to do something about the conviction.
aurispector writes: Sony BMG Music Entertainment will pay $1.5 million and kick in thousands more in customer refunds to settle lawsuits brought by California and Texas over music CDs that installed a hidden anti-piracy program on consumers' computers. The settlements, announced Tuesday, cover lawsuits over CDs loaded with one of two types of copy-protection software — known as MediaMax or XCP.
Although it's great to see this as a victory for consumers, I can't help but wonder about the next wave of DRM schemes.
Here's the link to the yahoo news story from the AP — http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061219/ap_on_hi_te/so ny_bmg_copy_protection_7
aurispector writes: "Shortly, people will begin boot up their new Christmas Windows boxes. Shortly thereafter many of us will be asked to "make it work again" when the virus and spyware laden boxes fizzle. I would like to assemble a disk full of anti spyware, antivirus, and other software and utilities that can be given to these folks to reduce future difficulties.
Here's the catch-Linux is not an option for these people; we are talking about non-tech savvy users. I need to be able to hand them a disk and say "install and use these programs" and also make suggestions on how to EASILY configure XP to prevent or recover from difficulties.
My first thoughts are AD Aware, Spybot, AVG, Firefox and recommending a system restore point be made at least weekly. Further suggestions? (Short of overwriting C:\ with zeros)"