QuoteHere's how it works. Simply take any Starbucks gift card you've ever received - or get a new one at any Starbucks store - and then register that card online. That card then becomes your primary source of payment for all your Starbucks transactions. Online, you can use a credit card to refill your Starbucks card. You can even have it set to auto-refill after it dips below a certain amount. Then, download the Starbucks iPhone app. When you go to your neighborhood Starbucks, simply load the app, click "touch to pay," and then scan the phone at a custom scanner at the register. The purchase will be deducted from your Starbucks gift card.
QuoteIn PDT, photosensitizing chemicals that absorb light are injected into a tumor, which is then exposed to light. The chemicals generate oxygen radicals from the light energy, destroying the cancer cells. PDT is currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of esophageal and lung cancer.
Rolf Saager, who works in the lab of Anthony Durkin at the Beckman Laser Institute at UC Irvine in collaboration with Kristen Kelly, M.D., and Modulated Imaging Inc., believes that PDT could also be used to treat skin cancer. But one obstacle to this application is the lack of a detailed imaging technique to target and monitor the effectiveness of PDT.
QuoteSpeaking of speed, Iomega’s new SSD flash drive boasts speeds up to 10 times those used via USB 2.0, and Iomega asserts that these drives will act twice as fast as a 7200 RPM SATA hard drive operating with the same USB 3.0 interface.
QuoteBack in the Great Depression, and before we had third world nations to do all our icky manual labor, you had to work if you wanted to watch television. Not that there was much on (and you thought winter Saturday figure skating was bad?), but if you wanted a glimpse of the future, it required sweat, a high quality radio and some neon tubes. Also, holding your thumb against a disk to keep the picture straight, and the ability to adjust motor rheostats, whatever that means.
QuoteBefore there were soap operas and Ellen Degeneres to keep the little lady occupied while she kept house, there was a gigantic, horribly sexist robot that coldly reminded women how to properly toil in domestic servitude.
Quote"Entertainment has remained the most important function of the mass communication services. It is important to instruct people, but in a nervous and complex civilization like ours it is even more important to amuse and thrill them." Suck it Tom Brokaw, even the Greatest Generation needed their Jersey Shore fix. Or something like that.
QuoteWhat is that, you say? The proposition of color television? Ha! A mere passing trend, flashing opiates for the masses! Hardly a reason to replace the old, trusty tube and cabinet, what with its distinguished gray tones that produce classic, distinguished programming.
QuoteSo here came small dish satellite TV, bringing the base entertainment of regional superstations into the homes of even the boldest frontiersmen. While big satellites littered crazy people's homes since the 70s in America, the smaller dishes, new wavelengths and compression technology (boring!) was new to our shut ins and shut outs. With seven regional superstations and audio channels and access to Pay-Per-View movies, a $300 fee to buy a dish (or an installation and monthly rental fee) and a $35 monthly subscription was totally a great deal!
QuoteIf components are to continue shrinking, physicists must eventually code bits of information onto ever smaller particles. Smaller means faster in the microelectronic world, but physicists Lev Levitin and Tommaso Toffoli at Boston University in Massachusetts, have slapped a speed limit on computing, no matter how small the components get. "If we believe in Moore's laW ... then it would take about 75 to 80 years to achieve this quantum limit," Levitin said. "No system can overcome that limit. It doesn't depend on the physical nature of the system or how it's implemented, what algorithm you use for computation … any choice of hardware and software," Levitin said. "This bound poses an absolute law of nature, just like the speed of light."
QuoteGoogle's new web browser Chrome is fast, shiny, and requires users to sign their very lives over to Google before they can use it. Today's Internet outrage du jour has been Chrome's EULA, which appears to give Google a nonexclusive right to display and distribute every bit of content transmitted through the browser. Now, Google tells Ars that it's a mistake, the EULA will be corrected, and the correction will be retroactive.
As noted by an attorney at Tap the Hive and various and sundry other sites, the Chrome EULA reads like a lot of Google's other EULAs. It requires users to "give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and nonexclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services."
QuoteFor Miguel Nicolelis, a professor of neuroscience at Duke University Medical Center, the backbone of mind-machine interfaces is the ability to analyze neural activity. Sure, the system demonstrated at Pitt in May accessed information from 100 neurons at once. But Nicolelis’s lab has managed five times that amount, with data coming from up to 10 different brain structures. "We're able to look at brain dynamics on a scale that no one else has been able to," he says. "You're transferring information into motion. When more neurons are recorded, it allows you to extract many more parameters from the brain, to look for more elaborate output." The result is more fine-tuned movement for devices-and more data recorded from a given subject-to help researchers analyze the relationship between brain signals and physical activity.
QuoteBetter still, the mouse trackpad supports multi-touch gesture inputs -- even in Windows XP. A pinching motion lets you zoom in on images, stretching lets you zoom out, and a two-finger vertical stroking motion allows you to scroll up and down through documents. MacBook Air and iPod touch users have enjoyed this feature for some time, but it's the first we've ever seen it implemented on a Windows laptop.
QuoteIn 2007 Zhong Lin Wang, a materials scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, US, developed a generator composed of a forest of piezoelectric zinc oxide nanowires topped by a flat conductive plate. As the plate is pushed down, the wires bend, producing a voltage that induces current to flow into the plate. Now Wang has turned this idea into an electricity-generating thread, which he plans to weave into a fabric. His team figured out how to grow the nanowires on a strand of Kevlar fibre instead of a flat surface, so that the wires stick out from the fibre like the bristles on a pipe-cleaner.
QuoteHowever, he also warned that the prospect of moving from being Windows-centric to supporting over 200 flavours of Linux could sound unnecessarily daunting. Therefore, educating vendors, particularly smaller manufacturers, about what’s actually involved in going open source is essential to combating misunderstandings. "They don’t understand that once you’re in the upstream kernel you’re ok," he said. Hohndel pointed out that companies were also often misinformed about the legal risks of going open source, or were afraid of damaging their reputation. Another concern cited by hardware companies was a fear that their products would be damaged.
QuoteMotorists used to listening to the radio or their favourite tunes on CDs may have a new way to entertain themselves, after engineers in Japan developed a musical road surface. A team from the Hokkaido Industrial Research Institute has built a number of "melody roads", which use cars as tuning forks to play music as they travel. The concept works by using grooves, which are cut at very specific intervals in the road surface. Just as travelling over small speed bumps or road markings can emit a rumbling tone throughout a vehicle, the melody road uses the spaces between to create different notes.
QuoteToday presence, which is mostly associated with IM, is managed manually. Users have to tell the IM client if it is busy or available and the user's status is displayed in his buddy list. Using a combination of IP Multimedia Subsystem or IMS, an architectural framework for delivering IP multimedia to mobile users, and Web 2.0 technologies, Verizon can extend this notion of presence so that the network automatically knows if you are not to be disturbed because you're watching the final game in the World Series. Or it can tell if you've turned on your cell phone and are ready to accept calls on that device instead of on your home or office phone. Of course, the biggest issue with services that use this level of intelligence to detect presence is privacy. Verizon executives said any service that offered this kind of information about where and which devices subscribers used would also have the option to go "off network," so that a user's presence could not be detected.
QuoteThe key is that the resulting solar cell has efficiencies--or the amount of sunlight the solar cell can turn into electricity--that are closer to crystalline silicon solar cells than thin-film alternatives such as amorphous silicon or copper indium gallium selenide or CIGS. Crystalline solar cells have higher efficiencies than thin films. Commercial crystalline panels can convert up to 22 percent of sunlight into electricity, without concentrators. CIGS makers are initially shooting for the mid to low teens. The catch is that making crystalline solar cells is expensive. The patterning and other processes is similar to what is used in making LCD panels. Innovalight says it could conceivably cut the production price by around 50 percent or more. Many start-ups, however, had hit bumps in bringing new (albeit different) manufacturing techniques for solar cells to market.
QuoteArmed with the backing of the White House and congressional leaders-and subsidies, such as $500 million in risk insurance from the U.S. Department of Energy- the nuclear industry is experiencing a revival in the U.S. As many as 29 new reactors may be added to the current U.S. fleet of 104, according to Bill Borchardt, director of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) office of new reactors. "It is going to be significantly different than it was in the 1970s," he says.
QuoteThe new silicon carbide differential amplifier integrated circuit chip may provide benefits to anything requiring long-lasting electronic circuits in very hot environments such as jets, spacecraft and industrial machinery. In particular, NASA said SiC applications will include energy storage, renewable energy, nuclear power, electrical drives. The use of the high temperature packaging and operation of SiC power modules for its power electronics equipment will bring about the benefits of increase in power density, reduction in heat sink requirements (thus smaller size and mass), and higher frequency operation that also results in lower mass for the filters and transformers.
QuoteMaking ethanol from forestry or agricultural waste does not involve the same intensive farming as corn, which requires more water and labor, cellulosic ethanol proponents say. Also, in the ongoing food-versus-fuel debate, cellulosic ethanol advocates say that forests don't compete for land with food crops. The Soperton, Ga., plant will be using wood cast away by loggers. Trees are hauled to a central point where their tops and branches are cut off, providing the material for Range Fuels' multi-step thermochemical process. Tree branches will go into a large tank where enough heat and pressure are applied to the mix to turn it into a gas. That synthetic gas is treated and then passed through a chemical catalyst which converts the gas to alcohol. Finally, the alcohol gas is converted to fuels and then turned into liquid.
QuoteAccording to the device's maker, Menssana Research, the BCA has been able to detect breast cancer with the same accuracy as a mammogram. And initial findings have shown that the BCA detects pulmonary tuberculosis. As a cheap, rapid alternative to modern-day sputum testing, the device could have a huge impact in TB-ravaged developing countries. The BCA can also supposedly detect lung cancer, certain kind of heart disease and diabetes. And it's been approved by the FDA for clinical use in detecting heart transplant rejection. All of which sounds suspiciously miraculous, but with funding from both DARPA and the U.S. National Institute of Health, the BCA will continue to be tested at universities and hospitals in the U.S. and abroad.
QuoteScientists are working on a new type of nanogenerator that could draw the necessary energy from flowing blood in the human body, by using the beating heart and pulsating blood vessels. Once completed, this new cellular engine could find various applications, even beyond medicine. Zhong Lin Wang and colleagues at the Georgia Institute of Technology hope to be able to incorporate the new nanogenerator into biosensors, environmental monitoring devices and even personal electronics that will require no fuel source, internal or external. It will produce its own electricity while immersed in biological fluids or other liquids, using ultrasonic waves as the energy source. So far, they achieved the nanogenerator effect in an array of nanowires that could produce as much as 4 watts/cubic centimeter.