EmagGeek writes: ""The Obama Administration will lend Tesla Motors $465 million to build an electric sedan and the battery packs needed to propel it. It's one of three loans totaling almost $8 billion that the Department of Energy awarded Tuesday to spur the development of fuel-efficient vehicles.
Tesla has long been counting on the loan to help it build the sedan it unveiled in March and had been in discussions with the agency for about nine months. It had sought $350 million to retool a factory to build the car and $100 million to manufacture battery packs and drivetrain components.""
EmagGeek writes: "Attempts by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to create cybernetic insects (hybrids of biological and electronic bugs) have yielded ultralow-power radios to control the bugs' flight and a method of powering those circuits by harvesting energy, according to research that will be reported this week at the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC)
Electrodes and a control chip are inserted into a moth during its pupal stage. When the moth emerges the electrodes stimulate its muscles to control its flight.
This is creepy beyond all belief. I expect a run on bug lights any day."
EmagGeek writes: "BigDog is the alpha male of the Boston Dynamics family of robots. It is a quadruped robot that walks, runs, and climbs on rough terrain and carries heavy loads. BigDog is powered by a gasoline engine that drives a hydraulic actuation system. BigDog's legs are articulated like an animal's, and have compliant elements that absorb shock and recycle energy from one step to the next. BigDog is the size of a large dog or small mule, measuring 1 meter long, 0.7 meters tall and 75 kg weight.
This thing looks truly amazing. I can think of a number of uses for a robot such as this, including search and rescue, hostile package delivery, and more. Let the SkyNet tags fly!"
EmagGeek writes: "Matthey Meeds, a real-estate agent, was so irritated about having to pay the monthly rental fee that on Tuesday he filed an antitrust suit against Time Warner Cable and its 84 percent owner, Time Warner Inc. The suit alleges that, by linking the provision of premium cable services to rental of the cable box, the companies have established illegal tying arrangements.
"Time Warner's improper tying and bundling harms competition," Meeds' lawsuit states. "Since the class can only rent the cable box directly from Time Warner, manufacturers of cable boxes are foreclosed from renting and/or selling cable boxes directly to members of the class at a lower cost."
I pay Comcast over $25/mo for my two DVRs. I'd love to just be able to buy them or build my own. I can't wait to see how this unfolds."
EmagGeek writes: "There is an article in IEEE about a new superconducting power grid that was energized in April in New York State. The lines operate at 138kV and are cooled to 65-75K to maintain superconductivity. These lines are run underground and can carry 150 times more electricity than copper lines of the same cross section (the article didn't say if they meant current or energy). The project is funded with taxpayer dollars through the Department of Energy."
EmagGeek writes: "According to a CNN Article, "Experts argue that if the United States is to remain competitive with other countries in the engineering field, it will have to find better ways to encourage women to join the profession." Apparently, the quality and competence of an engineering class has more to do with its gender composition than the quality and competence of the students.
From the Article:
Women received 18 percent of the 78,200 engineering degrees given out in 2003-04, the latest data available from the U.S. Department of Education. That's the same percentage as in 1998 and only slightly more than the 16 percent in 1996."