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Data Storage

A Terabyte of Data on a Regular DVD? 200

Roland Piquepaille writes "This is the promise of the 3-D Optical Data Storage system developed at the University of Central Florida (UCF). This technology allows to record and store at least 1,000 GB of data on multiple layers of a single disc. The system uses lasers to compact large amounts of information onto a DVD and the process involves shooting two different wavelengths of light onto the recording surface. By using several layers, this technique will increase the storage capacity of a standard DVD to more than a terabyte. Read more for additional references and a diagram showing how this two-photon 3D optical system reads data."

Laser Turns All Metals Black 333

Roland Piquepaille writes "Researchers at the University of Rochester have found a way to change the properties of almost any metal by using a femtosecond laser pulse. This ultra-intense laser blast creates true 'black metal' from copper, gold or zinc by forming nanostructures at the surface of the metal. As these nanostructures capture radiation, the metals turn black. And as the process needs surprisingly low power, it could soon be used for a variety of applications, such as stealth planes, black jewels or car paintings. But read more for additional references and a picture of this femtosecond laser system."

Networking For Overconvenience 116

Roland Piquepaille writes "For several decades now, we've read that our homes will become smart and that we'll have many robotic slaves at our service. But it's never really worked. A recent European initiative called TEAHA (short for 'The European Application Home Alliance') wants to give another try, and it has enrolled some big industrial partners to make all our appliances interoperate seamlessly. Imagine a message on your TV telling you it's time to start the laundry! Read more for additional details and illustrations describing the concepts."

The Physics of a Good Store Location 72

Roland Piquepaille writes, "In 'Atomic Physics Predicts Successful Store Location,' LiveScience reports that a French physicist has applied methods used to study atomic interactions for another task: to 'help business owners find the best places to locate their stores.' Pablo Jensen has used his method for the city of Lyon and is now developing software with the local Chamber of Commerce to help future business owners. Read more for additional references and maps of the city of Lyon showing for example the best locations to open a bakery, according to atomic physics." Jensen says that more research is needed to know if this method would work in other cities.

A Buckyegg Breaks Pentagon Rules 137

Roland Piquepaille writes "Chemists from Virginia and California have cooked a soup of fullerenes which produced an improbable buckyegg. The egg-shaped structure of their 'buckyballs' was a complete surprise for the researchers. In fact, they wanted to trap some atoms of terbium in a buckyball "to make compounds that could be both medically useful and well-tolerated in the body." And they obtained a buckyegg which both violates some chemistry laws and the FIFA soccer laws which were used until the last World Cup. Read more for additional references and a picture of this buckyegg carrying metal molecules."

A Triple-Standard Disk 210

On the heels of the news of Toshiba's proposed double-standard disk comes word that Warner Brothers engineers have applied for a patent on a triple-standard disk. The new disk would offer HD-DVD and Blu-Ray on one side and standard DVD on the other. From the article: "Warner's plan is to create a disk with a Blu-ray top layer that works like a two-way mirror. This should reflect just enough blue light for a Blu-ray player to read it okay. But it should also let enough light through for HD-DVD players to ignore the Blu-ray recording and find a second HD-DVD layer beneath." See the patent application, filed last month.

HP Announces Tiny Wireless Memory Chip 137

Hewlett-Packard researchers have developed a memory chip with wireless networking capabilities that is roughly the same size as a grain of rice, the company said Monday. Prototypes of the Memory Spot chip developed by HP Labs contain 256 kilobits to 4 megabits of memory and can transfer data wirelessly at speeds up to 10Mbps. There are eight bits in a byte. This amount of storage allows the chips to hold a short video clip, digital pictures or "dozens of pages" of text, HP said, adding that the chips do not require a battery. Memory Spot chips get their power using a technique called inductive coupling, which allows power to be transferred from one component to another through a shared electromagnetic field. In the case of Memory Spot, this power is supplied by the device that is used to read and write data on the chip. Data stored on Memory Spot chips could be accessed using a variety of devices, such as specially equipped cell phones or PDAs, making them suitable for a range of applications, such as adhesive attachments applied to a paper document or printed photograph, HP said.

GNOME Reaches Out to Women 672

Dominic Hargreaves writes "This year GNOME received 181 applications to Google's Summer of Code program, yet none were from women. As a result, they've decided to address this imbalance by launching an outreach program to sponsor three female students to work on GNOME-related projects this summer." Most any science department will tell you that the amount of interest and involvement of women pales next to men of similar age and background. Is this sponsorship a creative way to get women interested in GNOME, or is it merely sexist?

Mechanics That Changed Gameplay Forever 143

grammar fascist writes "A feature at 1up.com explores the various gameplay devices that revolutionized videogaming, and you might not believe how simple they are: life bars, power-ups, bosses, and combos make the list. From the article: 'As good as these ideas may sound on paper, they don't always work in execution. Sometimes they don't even make sense. But every once in a while, a game designer comes up with a fantastic concept that engages the player -- and influences the work of other designers.'"

More 'Hero' Games Without Guitars Likely 105

In light of the popularity of the Guitar Hero game, Next Generation reports that it is very likely RedOctane will be publishing several more 'Hero' series games. From the article: "The next logical step within this category is to make other music instrument-based games. What most people have been asking for and would want next are products that we're likely already working on."

The Oblivion Bookbinding Mod 63

Via GameSetWatch, an article on the Guilded Lilies site interviewing a unique Oblivion modder. Phoenix Amon has taken on the task of rebinding every book in Oblivion, as well as spell-checking the documents within. From the article: "Q: How much time do you spend modding, and do you enjoy it more than playing games? A: I spend more time modding than playing recently, but I enjoy both a lot. I wouldn't have bought Oblivion if it hadn't been moddable, but that's because I knew from experience that I don't like a lot of Bethesda's game design choices. It's not a deciding factor for all games."

Illumio to Launch Social Network Advice Software 132

hdtv writes "The New York Times is reporting that Palo Alto-based Illumio will soon try to figure out the experts among your social network with a new online service." From the article: "Illumio is not a search engine, like Google or Yahoo. The system works by transparently distributing a request for information on questions like "Who knows John Smith?" and "Are Nikon digital cameras better than Olympus?" to the computers in a network of users. The questions can then be answered locally based on a novel reverse auction system that Illumio uses to determine who the experts are."

Stem Cells in the Heart? 158

NewScientist reports that researchers have discovered stem cells in the heart, leading them to believe that the heart can regenerate itself. From the article: "The finding raises the possibility that these cardiac stem cells could one day be manipulated to rebuild tissues damaged by heart disease - still the leading cause of death in the US and UK. Because fully developed heart cells do not divide, experts have believed the organ was unable to regenerate after injury. But, in 2003, researchers at Piero Anversa's laboratory at New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York, US, discovered stem cells in the hearts of mice, and subsequently humans. However, they still did not know whether these stem cells actually resided in the heart or had merely migrated there from another tissue, such as bone marrow."
Medicine

Parasitic Infection Flummoxes Victims and Doctors 581

Toxictoy writes "Imagine having a disease that is so controversial that doctors refuse to treat you. Individuals with this disease report disturbing crawling, stinging, and biting sensations, as well as non-healing skin lesions, which are associated with highly unusual structures. These structures can be described as fiber-like or filamentous, and are the most striking feature of this disease. In addition, patients report the presence of seed-like granules and black speck-like material associated with their skin. Sound like a bad plot for a Sci-Fi channel movie? Think again - it could be Morgellon's Syndrome."

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