Russia's oil reserves have given the nation considerable political muscle, but Russian leaders also want to resurrect some scientific grandeur. Now they hope to build its first scientific city since the Berlin Wall came down, and they're looking to California's Silicon Valley for inspiration, the New York Times reports.
Smart systems that help figure out when to charge electric cars at home and avoid overloading utility power generators have gotten a boost from a new deal signed by Ford and Microsoft. A smart system will first be loaded onto the all-electric Ford Focus, slated to roll out in 2011, ABC News reports.
MOTO labs already won us over by running comparison tests of smartphone touchscreens, but commentators complained about the possible inaccuracies of a human-finger methodology. That prompted MOTO to program its lab robot to redraw the line patterns with a steadier yet lighter finger that truly challenged the sensitivity of each touchscreen.
The MOTO lab folk ran both "medium touch" and "very light touch" tests with the robot finger on each of the four smartphones previously tested with human fingers, and threw in a Blackberry Storm 2 and Palm Pre for good measure.
A new super-fast book-scanning technology could make publishers cringe even more than when they heard about Google Book Search. A University of Tokyo researcher has developed a "book flipping scanning" method that does exactly what it sounds like, digitizing 200 pages per minute, according to IEEE Spectrum. The Japanese researchers hope to enable a digital library for Japanese manga comics.
No longer simply content to rule the world of computers, the Google juggernaut has teamed up with Dish Network to bring its targeted ads and search power to the world of television. The project, currently in the testing phase at some very lucky Google employees' houses, brings customized TV schedules, advertising packages, and web video via YouTube out of the computer and into the living room via an Android-powered set-top box.
Today Apple made it abundantly clear that they have noticed all those iPhone-esque smartphones, and filed a patent-infringement suit against HTC claiming the company has cribbed 20 of their iPhone-related technologies in their own Android and Windows Mobile phones.
Most Chinese citizens may still rely on homegrown Baidu for their Internet search needs, but Google's threatened pullout apparently worries the vast majority of Chinese scientists surveyed by the journal Nature. "If I lose Google, it will [be] just like a man without his eyes," one respondent said.
Smart phones have become all the rage among U.S. warfighters who want to stay in contact with each other and drone buddies, but their phones still rely upon having available 3G or Wi-Fi networks. That may change with a new mobile system that create a direct network between two Google Android phones without an additional server, according to Technology Review.
The Google Goggles Android app can already copy business cards directly into the address book and provide augmented reality overlays for restaurants. But now, Google has unveiled a prototype of a real-time optical character recognition system, providing the menu translation we Chinese-food-obsessed gwailo have been craving.
Someone at Google apparently took pity on the poor users who can only explore Google Earth on their laptops. Jason Holt used his 20 percent project time to create a wraparound view of a modified Google Earth engine, and splashed it across 8 LCD screens in an immersive viewing booth. The result provides a view not unlike that from a starship's bridge, and allows users to seamlessly explore a virtual environment of the Earth, moon, and Mars -- an experience that Google has dubbed "Liquid Galaxy."