The FCC is coming for the schools and churches just like that crazy guy on the corner told you! On June 12, it'll require anybody using a wireless microphone that operators in the 700 MHZ spectrum to stop using that mic. That's right. The purge is coming! For microphones!. Actually, it'll affect Broadway shows, too. Will the FCC be able to round up the ne'er-do-wells? Will Google ruin U.S.-China relations? Well, that's another story. Literally.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 1150 … Read more
Carbon nanotech has been applied to everything from boat construction to windshields and now, with a licensing agreement from Livermore Lab, a Hayward, Calif., company will apply it to water desalination and removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
The National Nuclear Security Administration's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has licensed a new carbon nanotube technology to its spinoff company Porifera. The company will develop permeable membranes for CO2 sequestration, water desalination, and other liquid-based separations based on discoveries made at Livermore.
The technology integrates carbon nanotubes into polymer membranes, increasing the flux of carbon dioxide capture by two orders of … Read more
As I continue to wind down Speeds and Feeds, I picked ruggedness as the topic for part 3.
In part 2 of this wrap-up series, I on Tuesday discussed reliability, suggesting that an increasing portion of the transistor budget in personal computers should be used to avoid, detect, and recover from hardware, software, and data errors.
Ruggedness, the ability of a PC to survive adverse physical conditions, complements reliability by further increasing the practical availability of a PC to do useful work.
That tiny, plastic-looking black cube up there can absorb up to 180 times its own weight in toxic waste without absorbing any water. How? As with just about every amazing and/or inexplicable scientific breakthrough nowadays, the answer is spelled N-A-N-O.
Researchers at Peking and Tsinghua universities, both in Beijing, have adapted carbon nanotubes into a sponge-like material that can be squeezed dry, which sounds like extremely exciting news for the infomercial cleaning product industry. One minor detail:
Since carbon nanotubes are hydrophobic, there's no modification required to make them not absorb water.
For the record, that includes mysteriously … Read more
As chip geometries get infinitesimally small, IBM is looking to DNA to make the manufacture of future chips feasible.
On Monday, IBM researchers and collaborator Paul W.K. Rothemund, of the California Institute of Technology, announced an advancement of a method to arrange DNA origami structures on surfaces compatible with today's semiconductor manufacturing equipment.
"The cost involved in shrinking (chip) features to improve performance is a limiting factor in keeping pace with Moore's Law and a concern across the semiconductor industry," said Spike Narayan, a manager in the Science & Technology division of IBM Research, in … Read more
While computers continue to get smaller, they're constantly being pushed to do more. Whether they're doubling as a phone, a camera, or an MP3 player, there seems to be no end to the tasks we expect them to carry out. And as always, we say we want them to "do all that stuff and be smaller."
A limitation of the miniaturization process is that the more computers are asked to do, the more memory they require. One of the computer's basic elements, the transistor, could soon reach its miniaturization limit. The smaller we make transistors, the more susceptible they are to quantum phenomena like electrons tunneling through the barriers between wires. Which, while ticklish for the barrier, can just be really annoying.
This has apparently annoyed researchers at the U.K.'s University of Nottingham, as well, albeit for different reasons. This transistor dilemma has led them to look into the viability of carbon nanotubes to help create fast, cheap, and compact memory that uses little power. … Read more
Japanese researchers say they have developed a rubber-like material that's able to conduct electricity, paving the way for robots with stretchable "e-skin" that can feel heat and pressure like humans.
The material, described by Tsuyoshi Sekitani of the University of Tokyo in the journal Science, could be used on curved surfaces or even in moving parts, such as the joints of a robot's arm, the researchers said.
Sekitani's team developed their material using carbon nanotubes, a long stretch of carbon molecules that can conduct electricity. They mixed these into a rubbery polymer to form the … Read more
An artificial muscle that can heal itself and recharge an iPod at the same time? Sounds ludicrous, but researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles have developed an electricity-generating muscle that might one day be to used to create walking robots or advanced prosthetics, according to Discovery News.
Qibing Pei, a scientist at UCLA and author of the research that appeared in the January edition of Advanced Materials, said his team developed a lifelike artificial muscle by using carbon nanotubes as electrodes. Unlike other artificial muscles made with metal-based films, this muscle can expand more than 200 percent … Read more
A loosely packed "carpet" of carbon nanotubes is the darkest material ever made, according to researchers from Rice University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
The carpet consists of nanotubes--hollow, honeycombed tubes made from carbon atoms-- standing vertically. Instead of being tightly packed together, the researchers went for a low density arrangement, complete with spaces and gaps, sort of like a box of dried spaghetti. Light striking the nanotubes as well as the gaps gets absorbed. When light gets absorbed, black (the absence of light) results. The nanotubes were also specially manufactured to have a more random arrangement of atoms, … Read more
The recently concluded K 2007 conference in Düsseldorf, Germany, featured a variety of recent advances in materials science that will change your life. No hyperbole there--just a safe prediction.
I didn't make it to the show, but I've been following the announcements on the Web site of Design News, a trade publication for mechanical engineers. The K Fair is all about plastics...but in truth, the line between plastic and metal is getting pretty blurry these days.