Next-generation search engine tech aims to understand natural written language
By Gregory MonePosted 02.22.2008 at 12:04 pm 4 Comments
A handful of start-ups are getting ready to challenge Googles predominance in the Web sleuthing world by offering whats known as semantic search.
The companies—Powerset, Hakia, Cognition Search, Lexxe—are trying to develop a search technology that would allow you to look for material on the Web while writing like a normal, educated human, instead of just entering keywords, and dropping all the in-between stuff that gives us those wonderful things called sentences.
In her new book, Diandra Leslie-Pelecky covers the science—and the humans—behind America's most popular racing series
By Gregory MonePosted 02.22.2008 at 10:59 am 4 Comments
Given that 75 million people are fans of the racing circuit, physicist Diandra Leslie-Pelecky probably doesnt have to worry too much about finding an audience for her book on the intricacies of stock-car racing, The Physics of Nascar. But this is hardly just a story for race fans. Its a crash course in chemistry, physics and more. In the first few chapters, she gets down to the molecular levelat some points literallyin describing the stock car chassis, diagrams how welding works, and even takes a few paragraphs to explain why the white paint on a car appears white to our eyes.
But its when she moves out of the shop and onto the track that the book really takes off, as she breaks down engines, brakes, tires, drag and lift; the dynamics of racing itself.
Cuba's future was meant to lie in its scientists; did it work out that way?
By Gregory MonePosted 02.21.2008 at 11:10 am 0 Comments
Not long after Fidel Castro took control of Cuba, he declared that the future of the country would rest with scientists"un futuro de hombres de ciencia." After Castro formally stepped down on Tuesday, Discovery News published a photo-based review of some of the best known Cuban scientific leaders of the Castro era; and the impact that high-level government decisions, and foreign relations, has had on research in the country. Among the featured few are the cosmonaut Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez, pictured above, who flew on the Russian Soyuz 38 mission in 1980, and Vicente Verez-Bencomo, who has helped develop low-cost vaccines for meningitis and pneumonia.
Create your own games or create a six-pack with Wii's newest offerings
By Gregory MonePosted 02.21.2008 at 11:01 am 4 Comments
Yesterday Nintendo announced that the WiiWare channel—which will offer a range of additional games, including an installment of the popular Final Fantasy, along with tools for developers to create new ones—will launch May 12. According to GameSpot, Nintendo of America says that there are already more than 100 projects in the works, and a healthy slate of those games will be ready to go on launch day. Giving a bigger pool of developers a chance to find new ways to use the Wii should prove interesting theres more room for creative applications.
Also, a week after the channel launch, Nintendos Wii Fit will go on sale.
A laser developed for radiation treatment, is also strong enough to break a record
By Gregory MonePosted 02.19.2008 at 11:01 am 1 Comment
I dont know of another place in the universe that would have this intensity of light. Thats a quote from physicist Karl Krushelnick of the University of Michigan. It might sound a bit bold, but he and his team believe theyve developed a laser beam with record-smashing intensity. According to the scientists, the HERCULES laser is so powerful that its roughly equivalent to concentrating all the sunlight heading towards Earth on a single grain of sand.
Before opening that Valentines Day e-card, better make sure you know who sent it
By Gregory MonePosted 02.14.2008 at 12:01 pm 2 Comments
The Storm Worm, malicious software spread via spam, has been so active in recent weeks that the FBI has even gotten involved. The agency posted an alert on the home page of its Web site Tuesday: If you unexpectedly receive a Valentines Day e-card, be careful. It may not be from a secret admirer, but instead might contain the Storm Worm virus.
A stroll around the block in the right outfit could be enough to power your cellphone
By Gregory MonePosted 02.14.2008 at 11:51 am 3 Comments
Forgot your charger? No problem. Scientists have developed a microfiber fabric that can generate enough electricity to juice up a cell phone or a mini-music player. If turned into clothing, the fabric would get its power from the action of your daily movement. The material uses zinc-oxide nanowires that are arranged in pairs—one wire in each grouping is coated with gold, and serves as the electrode. When the fabric moves, the wires move and bend, and the fabric translates this mechanical energy into electricity.
A storm's radar signature could help scientists better predict twisters
By Gregory MonePosted 02.14.2008 at 11:38 am 1 Comment
In the aftermath of the Feb. 6 tornado, scientists at The University of Alabama, Huntsville have been analyzing radar images of the event, searching for signs that might help them issue faster warnings in the future. The radar signature from debris sucked up into the air is so distinctive that the group thinks it may be able to develop an automated detection system. Essentially, theyd program computers to automatically pick out these signs in the data, and raise a flag immediately.
A half-century after its first hit, Disney takes another stab at domesticity
By Gregory MonePosted 02.13.2008 at 4:56 pm 3 Comments
This week, Disney announced that it will reveal a $15 million, 5000-square-foot house of the future thats full of gadgets, and boasts smart countertops capable of recognizing the groceries you set down, and then suggesting recipes. (Boy, that sounds, umm, annoying.) The house will be unveiled in May as part of Tomorrowland, and will also include four actors playing a family of four, and demonstrating the homes coolest features.
A decade and a half after its initial target date, the ISS's science lab opens its hatches
By Gregory MonePosted 02.13.2008 at 4:41 pm 5 Comments
Finally. NASA astronauts installed the $2-billion science laboratory known as Columbus as a new wing of International Space Station on Monday. Yesterday morning, European astronauts officially opened the hatches, and began the process of bringing the computer, cooling and ventilation systems online.