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Space

Introducing Magnet-Responsive Memory Foam 69

Posted by timothy
from the had-this-stuff-in-my-head-for-years dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) has recently reported that two research teams have developed a new porous foam of an alloy that changes shape when exposed to a magnetic field. The NSF states that this new material is able to remember its original shape after it's been deformed by a physical or magnetic force. This polycrystalline nickel-manganese-gallium alloy is potentially cheaper and lighter than other materials currently used in devices ranging from sonar to precision valves. It also could be used to design biomedical pumps without moving parts and even for space applications and automobiles."
Patents

+ - MP3's Loss, Open Source's Gain

Submitted by
nadamsieee
nadamsieee writes "Eliot Van Buskirk has an interesting piece over at Wired about the fall-out from Microsoft's recent courtroom loss to Alcatel-Lucent over MP3 patents. From the article: "Alcatel-Lucent isn't the only winner in a federal jury's $1.52 billion patent infringement award against Microsoft this week. Other beneficiaries are the many rivals to the MP3 audio-compression format... Now, with a cloud over the de facto industry standard, companies that rely on MP3 may finally have sufficient motivation to move on. And that raises some tantalizing possibilities, including a real long shot: Open-source, royalty-free formats win.""
Portables

+ - Lenovo disables virtualization on consumer laptops

Submitted by
Anders1
Anders1 writes "Last month, I bought a new Lenovo 3000 N100 notebook with a Core 2 Duo processor, which is supposed to support Intel Virtualization Technology. It turns out, however, that my notebook's BIOS unconditionally disables VT extensions, and even goes so far as to set the lock bit of the feature-control MSR such that it is impossible to re-enable them. Lenovo support has been unresponsive. Are they too clueless to flip a single bit in the BIOS, or are they selling intentionally crippled products?"
Microsoft

VMware-Microsoft Battle Looming 258

Posted by kdawson
from the he-who-controls-the-iron dept.
An anonymous reader writes "VMWare released a white paper detailing its concerns with license changes on Microsoft software that may limit the ability to move virtual-machine software around data centers to automate the management of computing work. Two choice quotes: '"Microsoft is looking for any way it can to gain the upper hand," said Diane Greene, the president of VMware.' And, '"This seems to be a far more subtle, informed and polished form of competitive aggression than we've seen from Microsoft in the past," said Andrew I. Gavil, a law professor at Howard University. "And Microsoft has no obligation to facilitate a competitor."'"
Operating Systems

+ - Why Microsoft Should Acquire Linux

Submitted by
slasshy
slasshy writes "CoolTechZone.com author Gundeep Hora ponders the thought of Microsoft acquiring Linux to further its development. Is it a good scenario? From the article: "A lot of Linux enthusiasts claim that Microsoft sabotages Linux and the open source software movement for pure revenue, but let's think about it. If Microsoft acquires the aforementioned distributions and in essence, controls much of the Linux market, Microsoft wouldn't need to sabotage such a rapidly growing market. After all, if Microsoft controls the direction, it wouldn't be threatened anymore."
Privacy

+ - World's tiniest RFID tag unveiled - 50um

Submitted by
Agent Provocateur
Agent Provocateur writes "BBC has photo's of the smallest RFID's to date at 50um and that is about the width of a hair. The world's smallest radio frequency identification tags have been unveiled by Japanese electronics firm Hitachi. The minute devices measure just 50umm by 50um and to the naked eye look like spots of powder. They are thin enough to be embedded in a sheet of paper, Hitachi spokesman Masayuki Takeuchi says. RFID tags store data about the objects they are attached to, and companies are vying to create increasingly tiny versions. Recently, Hitachi unveiled another RFID tag, the Mu-chip, which measures 0.4mm by 0.4mm. But the latest chips, which are yet to be named, can hold the same amount of data as the Mu even though they are much smaller. They have one major issue, however — they need an external antenna to work, and the smallest antenna developed so far is about 80 times bigger than the tags. Hitachi says it wants to study the tags' possible uses, but it does not yet have any plans to put its latest creation into commercial production. The full link is here"
Security

+ - Surveillance Cameras Get Smarter

Submitted by
atanas
atanas writes "A security camera is under development which will decide PREEMPTIVELY if you have criminal or otherwise untoward intentions. "Researchers and security companies are developing cameras that not only watch the world but also interpret what they see. Soon, some cameras may be able to find unattended bags at airports, guess your height or analyze the way you walk to see if you are hiding something." http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/S/SMART_SURVE ILLANCE?SITE=WIRE&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT"
Space

+ - Amazing New Pictures of Spacecraft Above Mars

Submitted by
sighted
sighted writes "The European Space Agency's Rosetta probe, en route to a distant encounter with a comet, buzzed by Barsoom yesterday and took some striking and unusual pictures, including one that shows its own solar panel with Mars in the background. As it passed by the planet, Rosetta briefly took back up to six the number of active robotic missions exploring Mars, four in space and two on the ground."
Robotics

+ - Singapore holds "Terminator" robotics comp

Submitted by
duc0n
duc0n writes "Singapore's Defence Science and Technology Agency has just recently started a robotics competition named "TechX". The goal? Design a robot capable of entering an urban proving ground, navigating obstacles such as stairs, elevators and doors, and able to recognize and engage a specific target (using "a means that [they] will provide for the robot to mark the target"). All this is, of course, hauntingly similar to the Samsung sentry robot story from awhile back. Applications have been open since January, but the final event is not set to take place until August 2008."

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