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Power

Power Beaming For UAVs and Space Elevators 137

Posted by kdawson
from the beam-me-up-jim dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The idea of power beaming — using lasers or microwaves to transmit usable energy over great distances — has been around for decades. But recent advances in cheaper, more energy-efficient diode lasers have made power beaming commercially viable. LaserMotive, based in Kent, WA, is best known for winning the Level 1 prize of the NASA Power Beaming Challenge at the Space Elevator Games last November. In a new interview with Xconomy, LaserMotive co-founder Tom Nugent, who previously worked on the 'photonic fence' mosquito-zapping project at Intellectual Ventures, talks about gearing up for Level 2 of the NASA competition, slated for later this year. What's more, LaserMotive is trying to build a real business around beaming power to unmanned aerial vehicles, remote sensors and military bases, and other locations where it's impractical to run a wire, change batteries, or truck in fuel. The ultimate goal is to beam large amounts of solar power to Earth."
PlayStation (Games)

US Air Force Buying Another 2,200 PS3s 144

Posted by Soulskill
from the quick-who-knows-a-good-ps3-flight-sim dept.
bleedingpegasus sends word that the US Air Force will be grabbing up 2,200 new PlayStation 3 consoles for research into supercomputing. They already have a cluster made from 336 of the old-style (non-Slim) consoles, which they've used for a variety of purposes, including "processing multiple radar images into higher resolution composite images (known as synthetic aperture radar image formation), high-def video processing, and 'neuromorphic computing.'" According to the Justification Review Document (DOC), "Once the hardware configuration is implemented, software code will be developed in-house for cluster implementation utilizing a Linux-based operating software."
Education

Computer Games and Traditional CS Courses 173

Posted by Soulskill
from the terrible-terrible-games dept.
drroman22 writes "Schools are working to put real-world relevance into computer science education by integrating video game development into traditional CS courses. Quoting: 'Many CS educators recognized and took advantage of younger generations' familiarity and interests for computer video games and integrate related contents into their introductory programming courses. Because these are the first courses students encounter, they build excitement and enthusiasm for our discipline. ... Much of this work reported resounding successes with drastically increased enrollments and student successes. Based on these results, it is well recognized that integrating computer gaming into CS1 and CS2 (CS1/2) courses, the first programming courses students encounter, is a promising strategy for recruiting and retaining potential students." While a focus on games may help stir interest, it seems as though game development studios are as yet unimpressed by most game-related college courses. To those who have taken such courses or considered hiring those who have: what has your experience been?
Government

DHS Ponders "Improving" Terrorism Alert System 320

Posted by kdawson
from the stock-up-on-duct-tape dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The DHS's color-coded terrorism risk warning system has often been criticized on a number of grounds. However, it seems that at last DHS has taken note of these criticisms and is finally planning to fix one of its problems. Which one? Well, since the two lowest levels have never been used in the history of the program, the solution is obvious: just get rid of them! In the new system, the lowest level would be yellow, 'guarded,' representing 'A constant state of vigilance to protect against a terrorist attack.' While it's nice that they're at least no longer maintaining a pretense of it being for anything other than fear-mongering, I don't think this was the kind of change most people were hoping for."
The Media

Google Wants To Ease News Browsing With Fast Flip 125

Posted by timothy
from the see-page-17-for-details dept.
CWmike writes "Google is developing a product called Fast Flip that aims to make it simpler and faster to browse through news articles on the Web, a process the company says is cumbersome and discourages people from reading more online. Fast Flip, which lets readers glance at pages and browse through them quickly without having to wait for multiple page elements to load, was expected to go live late Monday at the Google Labs Web site. The idea is to try to replicate online the ease with which people flip through the pages of print magazines and newspapers in the offline world. This could motivate people to read more online, which Google argues will help publishers attract more readers and increase their revenue. However, when users click on a Fast Flip link, they will be taken to the corresponding publisher's Web site, where the Google technology will not be on hand to display the page more quickly."
Businesses

Are Information Technology's Glory Days Over? 333

Posted by timothy
from the incentives-attract-takers dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times reports that computer science students with the entrepreneurial spirit may want to look for a different major, because if Thomas M. Siebel, founder of Siebel Systems, is right, IT is a mature industry that will grow no faster than the larger economy, its glory days having ended in 2000. Addressing Stanford students in February as a guest of the engineering school, Siebel called attention to 20 sweet years from 1980 to 2000, when worldwide IT spending grew at a compounded annual growth rate of 17 percent. 'All you had to do was show up and not goof it up,' Siebel says. 'All ships were rising.' Since 2000, however, that rate has averaged only 3 percent. His explanation for the sharp decline is that 'the promise of the post-industrial society has been realized.' In Siebel's view, far larger opportunities are to be found in businesses that address needs in food, water, health care and energy. Though Silicon Valley was 'where the action was' when he finished graduate school, he says, 'if I were graduating today, I would get on a boat and I would get off in Shanghai.'"
Medicine

Dye Used In Blue M&Ms Can Lessen Spinal Injury 324

Posted by kdawson
from the lands-where-the-jumblies-live dept.
SydShamino writes "Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center have found that the dye used in blue M&Ms and other foods can, when given intravenously to a lab rat shortly after a spinal injury, minimize secondary damage caused by the body when it kills off nearby healthy cells. The dye is called BBG or Brilliant Blue G. Given that 85% of spinal injury patients are currently untreated (and some doctors don't trust the treatment given to the other 15%), a relatively safe treatment like this could help preserve some function for thousands of patients. The best part is that in lab rats the subjects given the treatment turn blue." The researchers are "pulling together an application to be lodged with the FDA to stage the first clinical trials of BBG on human patients."

Comment: Re:Parking tickets (Score 1) 291

by f0rtytw0 (#27016505) Attached to: Use Your iPhone To Get Out of a Ticket

In Boston property owners can be ticketed for not clearing their part of the sidewalk of snow. The ticket writing system is electronic that includes a digital picture that is time stamped, and a smaller version is printed out on the ticket. I think something similar should be done for parking infractions but then again that makes it more difficult to write bogus tickets.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying. -- Woody Allen

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