Engineers are always looking for ways to pare down the size of technologies, and apparently that penchant for miniaturization extends to bomb-sniffing canines as well. Israeli researchers are trading in their dogs for mice trained in explosive detection, using teams of tiny rodents to keep dangerous materials out of airports.
Well, we’ve seen this movie before (literally speaking). A group of robotics engineers at the University of Technology in Eindhoven are developing an Internet for robots; a kind of online database from which robots can download instructions and to which they can upload “experience.” According to its creators, their RoboEarth system will allow robots to share information and learn from each other, allowing the benefits of machine cognition and learning to proliferate through a network of bots. Cue the SkyNet comparisons.
After nearly a weeklong Internet blackout in Egypt amid anti-government protests, the Egyptian Web is back online this morning. Web monitoring firm Renesys reported via blog post that at about 11:29 a.m. Cairo time (4:29 a.m. EST) Egyptian ISPs returned to service, a report that has since been echoed by several othersources.
In a process much like the materials science equivalent of bioengineering, researchers at the Department of Energy’s Ames Lab have figured out how to replace individual atoms in a solid magnetic compund much as biologists tweak and replace individual genes to alter organisms. The result are magnets with markedly different properties, all from swapping in a few atoms here and there.
Google’s Street View technology lets you stroll faraway boulevards and take in the architecture of distant cities. Now it will let you wander some of the world’s great art galleries, sampling a smattering of the world’s most popular artworks in super high-res.
How big is the universe anyhow? We know the universe is roughly 4 billion years old and we know how far light travels in a year, so ostensibly it would seem the visible universe is contained to a radius of 14 billion light years. But we know that photons in the cosmic microwave background have traveled some 45 billion light years to reach earth (because the universe is also expanding the most distant visible objects are actually further than 14 billion light years), giving the universe an apparent diameter of at least 90 billion light years.
So how big is it really? A new mathematical analysis says its at least 250 times larger than the visible universe. Which is really, really big.
Graphene is widely regarded as the electronics material of the future, but in an article published over the weekend in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, a group from EPFL’s Laboratory of Nanoscale Electronics and Structures (LANES) describes how the abundant mineral molybdenite (MoS2) is a very effective semiconductor with advantages over both graphene and silicon. The discovery could allow for transistors that are smaller and orders of magnitude more efficient.
It doesn't take a genius to figure out that driving while under the influence of alcohol is a bad idea. Of course, when under the influence of alcohol the tendency is to think you are a genius (also: good looking, charming, interesting, a qualified referee, good at billiards). So a new technology incubating with the backing of the U.S.