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Power

Nanotech Anode Promises 10X Battery Life 193

Posted by kdawson
from the all-day-laptop dept.
UNIMurph sends word out of Stanford University that researchers have discovered a way to increase battery life tenfold by using silicon nanowires. Quoting News.com: 'It's not a small improvement,' [lead researcher Yi] Cui said. 'It's a revolutionary development.' Citing a research paper they wrote, published in Nature Nanotechnology, Cui said the increased battery capacity was made possible though a new type of anode that utilizes silicon nanowires. Traditional lithium ion batteries use graphite as the anode. This limits the amount of lithium — which holds the charge — that can be held in the anode, and it therefore limits battery life... 'We are working on scaling up and evaluating the cost of our technology,' Cui said. 'There are no roadblocks for either of these.'"
Biotech

+ - The New Lobotomy

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Popular Science reports on a possible cure for extreme depression: "The most promising new treatment for severe depression isn't a pill. It's a permanent implant that shocks the brain." Currently, fewer than 50 patients have undergone the treatment, but the early results have been astonishingly promising — people experiencing results within hours of the the surgery.

http://www.popsci.com/popsci/science/7fe10fb25fef4110vgnvcm1000004eecbccdrcrd.html"
Communications

+ - Squirrels use infrared signalling to scare snakes

Submitted by arneMan
arneMan (197645) writes "A recent article in PNAS reveals a novel mode of communication between ground squirrels and rattlesnakes. Apparantly, squirrels can scare off snakes by employing a technique called "tail flagging" — frenetic back and forth waving of the tail, "harassing" the snake. Using infrared cameras, scientist have discovered that when encountering infrared sensitive rattle snakes, the tail also heats up, putting even more fear into the snake. Experiments using a robotic squirrel (!) confirms this. Interestingly, the squirrel can discriminate between infrared sensitive and non-sensitive snakes, only heating up the tail if it encounters the former kind. Only the abstract is availabe for non-subscribers, but here is a summary of the article along with some nice pics and movies."
Quickies

+ - Diamond synchrotron reads unrolled scrolls

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The hidden content in ancient works could be illuminated by a light source 10 billion times brighter than the Sun. The technique employs Britain's new facility, the Diamond synchrotron, where intense light beams will enable scientists to uncover the text in scrolls and books without having to open — and potentially damage — them. Iron gall ink, which is made from oak apples, has been in use from the 12th Century, but causes parchment to deteriorate rendering precious documents unreadable. Scientists from the University of Cardiff have developed a technique that uses a powerful x-ray source to create a three-dimensional image of an iron-inked document. The team then applies a computer algorithm to separate the image into the different layers of parchment, in effect using the program to unroll the scroll. Professor Tim Wess, who led the research, said: "We've folded up a real piece of parchment and then done a process of x-ray tomography on it. We've been able to recover the structure where we can see the words that are written inside the document." The team now plans to use the Diamond synchrotron's powerful x-ray source to penetrate many layers of parchment."
Education

+ - T. rex was relatively slow, lumbering animal->

Submitted by
Lucas123
Lucas123 writes "A new study found that the typical T. rex was a relatively slow animal running at no more than 25mph, 20 miles an hour slower than the 45mph we often seen depicted in movies such as Jurassic Park, and its inertia would have kept it from turning quickly — even slower than a human being. "We now know that a T. rex would have been front heavy, turned slowly and could manage no more than a leisurely jog," said team leader John Hutchinson of the Royal Veterinary College."
Link to Original Source
Operating Systems

+ - Learn how Linux manages memory one slab at a time

Submitted by
Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward writes "Good operating system performance depends in part on the operating system's ability to efficiently manage resources. In the old days, heap memory managers were the norm, but performance suffered due to fragmentation and the need for memory reclamation. Today, the Linux kernel uses a method that originated in Solaris but has been used in embedded systems for quite some time, allocating memory as objects based on their size. This article explores the ideas behind the slab allocator and examines its interfaces and their use."
Intel

+ - Intel Discrete Graphics in 2008?->

Submitted by Chandon Seldon
Chandon Seldon (43083) writes "According to Hot Hardware, Intel has entered negotiations with graphics card manufacturers to make mid-range discrete graphics cards based on Intel graphics chipsets. It looks like AMD has a deadline on actually providing Open Source 3D drivers (or at least programming documentation) — once Intel starts competing they really don't want to be stuck playing catchup like they are on CPUs."
Link to Original Source
PC Games (Games)

+ - 25 Things You Didn't Know About World of Warcraft->

Submitted by
Stinkerbelle
Stinkerbelle writes "Think you know everything about World of Warcraft? Think again! The guys at WanderingGoblin.com recently attended Blizzard's South Korean gaming conference, and spent every waking moment talking to a rather large variety of developers, execs, employees, and PR people. The result is quite an amusing list of factoids, trivia, insights, and scoop into the world's biggest online game. The tidbits they've uncovered are, obviously, not the kind of thing you'd find in an official press release, and make for an amusing write-up of the game."
Link to Original Source
Music

+ - Interview with Jonathan Coulton->

Submitted by
techtalkforfamiliesd
techtalkforfamiliesd writes "Dale from Tech Talk for Families recently interviewed Jonathan Coulton, rock star of the Internet, contributing troubadour for Popular Science (PopSci) Magazine, and dad. Jonathan talks about his decision to go from code monkey to musician and how fatherhood and his unique career complement each other and how he juggles the two."
Link to Original Source

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