LG introduces 3G HSDPA wrist phone

Korea-based LG has introduced its latest mobile device, the LG-GD910 wrist-phone featuring support for both 3G and HSDPA technology. The user interface is presented through a 1.43-inch color LCD touchscreen, while a video camera has been integrated into the watch face for video recording or conferencing. The device also offers text-to-speech (TTS) capabilities, Bluetooth, MP3 playback and voice dialing with speech recognition. The company claims download speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps when using HSDPA.

The LG-GD910 is scheduled for an official debut at CES in January. European and Korean customers will have the first opportunity to purchase the new wrist phones, although pricing has not yet been announced.

[Akihabara News]


Sony’s Netbook “fits in a pocket”, Might Not Fit Netbook Category


Actually, Sony has this “P-series” VAIO on their notebook section in the SonyStyle store, so maybe netbook isn’t the right term. Just ask Psion, if you don’t believe me. Eagle-eye reader Jose was browsing Sony’s online storefront and caught the new P hiding unsuccessfully at the front of the VAIO line. Not much to go on, but more than we had before although the picture is a TT-device placeholder. Looks like a 1.33GHz Intel CPU which could mean an Atom (dual core perhaps?), but might also be a variant of Intel’s Core Solo like the Samsung Q1 Ultra Premium UMPC. She’ll come with Windows Vista Home Premium or Home Basic which is unlike most netbooks out on the market today.

Typical of Sony portable computers, the P will have a high-resolution screen. This one is eight-inches with a whopping 1600×768 res. That means you won’t have nearly as much scrolling as the typical 1024×600 netbook display. Of course, that’s assuming your eyes can handle the strain. I suspect many would-be owners will boosting up the DPI and font sizes. Storage comes in the form of a traditional hard drive up to a measly 60GB but you can opt for a 128GB SSD drive, which will likely bump up pricing a few hundred dollars.

First impressions of the limited specifications tell me that this isn’t a netbook in the traditional, expected sense… if you can call a first year product “traditional”. It doesn’t appear that Sony’s offering will compete on price in the netbook market as I’d expect a base starting price near the top-end of fully loaded netbooks. With options, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this small notebook command over a thousand dollars. That fits in with the “fits in a pocket” claim, because you won’t just need big pockets to afford this “netbook”, you’ll need a deep one to tote that 8-inch screen as well. I’m still convinced the form-factor is akin to a clamshell like the old HP Journada. Thanks Jose!


Microsoft Puts The Royal Navy Under Water

Корабль ВМС Великобритании. Фото с сайта

The British Royal Navy has developed a modified version of the Microsoft Windows XP operating system for its warships. The first version, "Windows for Submarines," is being installed on the fleets nuclear submarines. Versions of this operating system is being adapted for surface ships as well.

The British selected a commercial operating system for this because it was cheaper to maintain, and easier to train sailors in its use. It took a lot less time to develop the new ship-wide network (everything is connected by commercial Ethernet cables and software) using Windows, and XP is one of the more stable versions of Windows (which runs on 85 percent of the worlds PCs). The security risks inherent in Windows (which attracts most of the attention from hackers) were tended to during the modification of Windows for navy use. How well the Royal Navy version of Windows stands up to the hackers, remains to be seen.

In contrast, the U.S. Navy uses Linux to run critical systems on its warships. The U.S. Army is using Linux for its networked FCS (Future Combat System) vehicles (which are still in development). The army is also converting many of its Microsoft Windows applications to run under Linux.

It's not just the better security Linux provides, but the fact that there are many versions of Linux to choose from, and the operating system is easier to modify (being an "open source" system, unlike the proprietary Windows.) Currently, the U.S. Department of Defense has over 200 Linux based software projects in development. The military uses custom made software for its most critical applications, and it's easier to create this stuff using Linux.

Government buildings emit more CO2 than all of Kenya

The Houses of Parliament seen during a rain shower

Public buildings in England and Wales are pumping out 11m tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, more than Kenya's entire carbon footprint, the Guardian can reveal.

Unpublished findings of an energy efficiency audit of 18,000 buildings including ministerial offices, police stations, museums and art galleries reveal that the 9,000 buildings audited so far produce 5.6m tonnes of CO2, with one in six receiving the lowest possible energy efficiency rating.

The carbon dioxide they produce is the equivalent of all the greenhouse gas emissions saved by the UK's wind power industry.

Ignorance among officials, inefficient equipment and poor energy management have been cited as reasons for the result, which was described as "lamentable" by environmental campaigners. It comes despite ministerial pledges to slash the carbon footprint of government offices by 30% over the next 12 years compared with 1999-2000 levels.

Officials expect the carbon footprint to double when the audit is completed. Almost half of those tested so far have received an energy efficiency rating of E, F or G, the lowest possible and the equivalent of a gas guzzling car.

Embarrassingly for Ed Miliband, the energy and climate change secretary, his department's head office in Whitehall Place is one of the worst offenders. It pumps out 1,336 tonnes of CO2 a year and received a G rating. The Houses of Parliament and the Bank of England together consumed enough electricity and gas to emit 21,356 tonnes of CO2 a year, the equivalent of more than 14,000 people flying from London to New York.

Almost 70% of public offices had a larger carbon footprint than a typical office, as defined by the government, and while only 55 of the 8,849 buildings examined so far received an A ranking, 1,514 scored a G. The data was released following a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

In response, environmental campaigners and opposition parties called on the government to invest in an urgent programme of refurbishment to reduce the carbon footprint of the public estate, and cut energy bills for the public sector which currently add up to around £4bn a year.

"This confirms that the leadership society needs from government on reducing carbon emissions from buildings isn't there," said Tony Juniper, an independent sustainability campaigner and former director of Friends of the Earth. "For the UK to have any chance of meeting the 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050, which is now enshrined in law, there has to be radical change in this area."

Earlier this year, the government's own architecture adviser, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, said the majority of government departments were "failing to make their new buildings and refurbishments sustainable" and that those operating them had little idea how to improve their efficiency.

"These figures show there is a desperate need to sort out the public building stock," said Steve Webb, spokesman on energy and climate change for the Lib Dems. "If business and householders see the public sector is not taking energy efficiency seriously, they will wonder why they should do so themselves. Instead of making a £12bn VAT cut, the government should have spent some of that money making public buildings energy efficient, saving money and carbon in the long term."

Buildings consume close to half of the electricity and heat produced by the power sector, according to Sir Nicholas Stern's review of the economics of climate change. On current trends, Stern predicted CO2 emissions from buildings will rise 140% by 2050.

John Alker, public affairs manager of the UK Green Building Council, said: "Many of our public sector offices, schools and hospitals are the building equivalent of gas-guzzling cars.

The government has set a target to cut CO2 by 30% from its own buildings by 2020. Frankly, they should do more because their track record leaves a lot to be desired. We need a comprehensive programme of green refurbishment in the public sector, which is responsible for about a third of all non-domestic buildings."

But plans to "green" the Palace of Westminster as an example to the rest of the public sector, have been scaled back, the Guardian has learned. Designs for wind and tidal turbines and solar panels to produce electricity are now unlikely to come to fruition after calculations that the investment needed would not result in quick-enough savings on energy bills.

A spokesman for the Office of Government Commerce, which has responsibility for the energy performance of public buildings, said it had set up a centre of expertise to help the public sector improve energy efficiency and meet government targets. "A comprehensive delivery plan has been produced detailing departmental activities to achieve the targets for sustainable operations across Whitehall, and real progress continues to be made," he said.

P.s Visit this site


AT&T, Verizon Finalize Asset Swap

Following regulatory approval from the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice, AT&T and Verizon Wireless have completed a wireless asset swap.

In July 2007, Verizon Wireless gained about 700,000 subscribers when it acquired Rural Cellular for $2.67 billion. Verizon's network is based on CDMA technology, but Rural Cellular uses both CDMA and GSM.

AT&T's network uses GSM technology, and the asset swap gives it some of Rural Cellular's licenses, network assets, and subscribers. The company said the deal should improve voice and data services in Kentucky, New York, Vermont, and Washington.

On the other side of the deal, Verizon receives licenses, networks, assets, and subscribers from AT&T in Kentucky. The wireless assets come from AT&T's 2007 acquisition of Dobson Communications. Verizon will also receive 10 MHz of personal communications service spectrum for wireless services in an unspecified number of markets.

The swap was agreed to more than a year ago, and it's finalized as the mobile carriers are battling for subscribers. AT&T is the largest U.S. carrier in terms of subscribers with 71.4 million, and it has a large portfolio of attractive smartphones like the BlackBerry Bold, the iPhone 3G, and the HTC Fuze.

But with its $28.1 billion acquisition of Alltel, Verizon is set to become the largest U.S. carrier. The mobile operator will have nearly 80 million subscribers when the merger is completed. Verizon also is boosting its selection of smartphones and is the exclusive U.S. carrier of the touch-screen BlackBerry Storm and the Samsung Omnia.

The U.S. market may not have much room for brand-new subscribers, and industry experts see carrier growth mainly coming from poaching customers from other operators or through acquisition. With its 6.2 million subscribers, U.S. Cellular could be a target in 2009, and it operates on the same CDMA infrastructure Verizon uses. But the economic downturn and the expected contraction in the mobile market may make next year tough for acquisitions.

iPhone Gets High-Profile Apps

Apple's App Store continues to be popular with consumers, and it has attracted applications from high-profile organizations such as Hewlett-Packard, National Public Radio, and USA Today.

HP launched an application earlier this week that enables customers to wirelessly print photos from their iPhone or iPod Touch. The first application of its kind, the HP iPrint Photo app currently lets consumers print 4-by-6-inch photos over Wi-Fi networks on HP printers.

The app is fully compatible with Apple's Bonjour technology, as well as the multitouch interface of Apple's devices. It works only with JPEG images, but that could change in the future, HP said.

"Today's news demonstrates how HP is enabling customers to turn special moments captured on the go into high-quality photos," HP executive VP Vyomesh Joshi said in a statement.

Apps with a news focus have received a warm reception, and the App Store is already filled with news apps from the BBC, The New York Times, The Associated Press, and others. NPR and USA Today are the latest news organizations to get on the iPhone.

The free NPR Mobile enables users to browse and stream audio content from NPR's large library. Users can find full-length programs, segments, and programming that isn't available on local stations.

"Oftentimes, when I wake up in the morning, I half-hear a story on Morning Edition, and want to come back to it later in the day," the app developer wrote on NPR's blog. "With NPR Mobile, I've been able to do this, and hear the full story on my time."

USA Today's application is similar to other news publications, and users can read headlines from various topics. These headlines can be shared with others via text message, e-mail, or Twitter. The app also takes advantage of the iPhone's GPS to find the user's location for weather information, and it allows users to participate in interactive poll questions.

Enterprise IT is under increasing pressure to support mobile applications, partner with carriers, and develop new support models. An InformationWeek Report examines the technology trends and drivers and helps you determine the best strategies to ensure that your organization will be ready.

Stylus makes MacBook trackpad work like pen tablet

Ten One Design has introduced Pogo Sketch, a new stylus made specifically for Apple's newest MacBook models and their trackpads. It costs $14.95 and is now available for pre-order.

The Pogo Sketch, cast in aluminum and made with an anodized silver finish, lets you use your MacBook's trackpad as you would a pen tablet—enabling you to sketch and illustrate in drawing programs and artistic applications more naturally and accurately than you could with your finger alone.

The Pogo Sketch features a tip that "acts as a bridge by transferring the signal from the display to the user’s hand," according to the manufacturer.

The Pogo Sketch also works with the iPhone and iPod touch.

The geek gifts you didn't get for Christmas 2008

San Francisco - It's hard to be a geek at Christmastime. Sure, there are lots of cool tech toys and gadgets on display on store shelves, and a few may have landed under your tree this year. Perhaps Absolutely Mad: 50 Years of Mad Magazine on DVD, a Microsoft Xbox 360, an Apple MacBook Pro 2008 edition, a Garmin Nuvi 880, and one or more of the hot smartphones: the Apple iPhone 3G, the Palm Treo Pro, the RIM BlackBerry Storm, or the T-Mobile G1.

But it takes a geek to know what a true geek really wants, and chances are your friends and family aren't all that geeky.

So which true-geek items might they have given you? InfoWorld's band of mad scientists -- a motley crew of software, networking, datacenter, and hardware experts that habituates the InfoWorld Test Center -- offers recommendations on what they lust after ??? and know their fellow geeks do, too. Christmas may be over, but you can still give the gift of geek tech to yourself

[ Watch our geek gift guide slideshow. | Looking for a high-tech collectible? Peruse David Margulius' collectible tech gift guide. | Curious about last year's geek gift guide recommendations? Check them out! ]

In alphabetical order, here are our top 10 picks:
* Apple Time Capsule
* Botanicalls DIY Plant Twitter Kit
* Cathode Corner Nixie Watch
* EVGA GTX 200 Waterblock
* Eye-Fi Explore
* 4th Motion Gyroxus Full-Motion Game Chair
* MvixUSA MvixBox
* Sky Factory SkyV
* SRS Labs iWow for iPod Adapter
* Yoggie Gatekeeper Pico

And delve into our guide to collectible tech.

OK, we know you also really want a new mobile. If you didn't get one for the holidays, get the scoop on InfoWorld Test Center's top mobile picks.

Notebooks outship desktops for first time

Worldwide notebook computer shipments topped those of desktops for the first time ever in the third quarter, research group iSuppli said on Tuesday, calling it a "watershed event" for the industry.

Shipments of notebook PCs surged nearly 40 percent to 38.6 million units, while desktop shipments fell 1.3 percent to 38.5 million.

Overall, PC shipments rose 15.4 percent in the quarter to 79 million units.

Acer Inc shipped almost 3 million more notebooks in the third quarter than in the previous quarter, with the majority being netbooks, iSuppli said. The Taiwanese company is now the third largest PC company by market share at 12.2 percent, less than two percentage points behind second-place Dell Inc.

Hewlett-Packard Co maintained its lead at No. 1, shipping 14.9 million units for an 18.8 percent market share.

Apple Inc lost nearly half a point of market share from the second quarter. The company's 3.2 percent share places it seventh overall in total shipments.

ISuppli raised slightly its 2008 unit growth forecast. It now expects 13 percent growth this year, up from its previous 12.5 percent forecast.

For 2009, the group expects unit growth of 4.3 percent.

RIM sues Motorola for blocking job offers

BOSTON (Reuters) - Research In Motion Ltd is suing Motorola Inc, alleging that the mobile phone company improperly blocked the BlackBerry maker from hiring current and laid-off Motorola employees.

The suit, filed in state court in Chicago on Tuesday, comes three months after Motorola alleged that RIM violated an agreement reached in February that the two companies would not solicit each other's employees.

RIM asked for a court order to invalidate the agreement, saying in its complaint that the pact had expired in August and was no longer enforceable.

The Canadian company is also seeking unspecified damages for what it called "unfair competition" practices by Motorola.

Motorola spokeswoman Jennifer Weyrauch-Erickson declined to comment on the lawsuit.

"RIM entities continue to grow and hire new employees within the United States and globally against a backdrop of recent public announcements by Motorola that it has and will continue to make massive layoffs," said RIM's lawsuit.

In the lawsuit filed by Motorola on September 4, the Schaumburg, Illinois-based company asked a judge to bar RIM from using Motorola's confidential information, or soliciting or hiring any Motorola employees.

RIM officials could not be reached for comment.

The lawsuit, Research in Motion Corp vs Motorola Inc, was filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, Chancery Division, Case Number 717-200S.

Paolini, Pullman with books coming to iPhones

NEW YORK – Christopher Paolini's "Brisingr," Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy and Peter Matthiessen's award-winning "Shadow Country" are among the dozen-plus books coming to the iPhone and to iPod Touch, publisher Random House Inc. announced Monday "We are pleased to be making this initial list of outstanding books by some of our top-selling authors available to a ground-breaking group of readers," Matt Shatz, Random House's vice president for digital books, said in a statement.

Random House recently announced it was adding thousands of books to its digital catalog and has said that e-sales more than tripled in 2008, although the electronic market remains a tiny part of the overall book market.

Several other publishers, including Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins, have been making e-books available on iPhones.

Nintendo says to offer videos on Wii (AFP)TOKYO (AFP) - Nintendo Co. said Thursday it will start offering videos through its blockbuster Wii game cons

TOKYO (AFP) - Nintendo Co. said Thursday it will start offering videos through its blockbuster Wii game console, the latest new feature for the Japanese entertainment giant.

Nintendo said it would develop original programming which Wii users could access via the Internet and watch on their television. It is considering videos for both free and fees.

The game giant teamed up with Japan's leading advertising firm Dentsu Inc. to develop the service, which will begin in Japan next year, with an eye on future expansion into foreign markets.

Japanese rival Sony Corp. has already started using its popular PlayStation series for online movie sales and advertising by placing corporate messages inside games, which often have highly niche audiences.

One prominent advertiser was US president-elect Barack Obama, who placed campaign commercials inside a video game produced by Electronic Arts for Microsoft's XBox 360 console.

Nintendo and Dentsu said they were soliciting businesses to take part in the project to develop original Wii videos.

"Nintendo and Dentsu shall use the environment surrounding the Wii so that living rooms with Wii-ready TVs would become more of a fun area for communication among families and friends," the firms said in a joint statement.

Nintendo has shipped 34.55 million Wii consoles around the world, 80 percent of which are sitting near televisions in living rooms, the company said, adding that 40 percent of Wii consoles are linked to the Internet.

The Wii, launched ahead of the holiday season in 2006, is known for its innovative motion-sensitive controller which has appealed to people buying a video-game machine for the first time.

Nintendo already enables Wii players to use the game consoles to surf the Internet, shop online, organise digital photos and to communicate with Wii-using friends.

Nintendo in November launched in Japan the DSi, which comes with a built-in camera that lets allows the user to alter people's facial expressions.


Google, Apple, Microsoft Sued Over File Preview

A small Indiana company has sued tech heavyweights Microsoft, Apple, and Google, claiming that it holds the patent on a common file preview feature used by browsers and operating systems to show users small snapshots of the files before they are opened.

Cygnus Systems sued the three companies on Wednesday saying that they infringed on its patent with products such as Windows Vista, Internet Explorer 8 and Google Chrome, which allow users to view preview images of documents on the computer. Mac OS X, the iPhone and Safari also infringe, the company said in court filings. Apple uses this technology in its Finder and Cover Flow Mac OS X features, the filings state.

While Cygnus has sued three very high profile companies, there may not be the only vendors in Cygnus's sites. "They were a logical starting place for us," said Matt McAndrews, a partner with the Niro, Scavone, Haller & Niro, law firm, which is representing Cygnus. "We've identified many other potentially infringing products that we're investigating," he added.

Cygnus's owner and president Gregory Swartz developed the technology laid out in the patent while working on IT consulting projects, McAndrews said. The company is looking for "a reasonable royalty" as well as a court injunction preventing further infringement, he said.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Arizona, where Swartz resides, McAndrews said.

Google, Microsoft and Apple did not return messages seeking comment on the lawsuit.

Cygnus applied for its patent (# 7346850) in 2001. It covers a "System and method for iconic software environment management" and was granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in March of this year.

Psion pushing takedowns over "netbook" name

Sites using the term "netbook" to refer to the recent wave of mini notebooks are starting to receive cease and desist letters over its alleged infringement of a trademark for a Psion device with a similar name, say site owners reporting their problems to jkOnTheRun. The largely defunct PDA maker has claimed that various enthusiast pages are inadvertently using the name of its discontinued netBook and netBook Pro devices and is asking the sites to phase out use of the term by the end of March. Psion doesn't say what the consequences will be but warns that continued use will "damage" its trademarks. The accusations are controversial both through their attempt to link a generic term to a no longer produced device but also through their implications for Intel, which is largely credited with inventing the modern use of "netbook" and promoting its use. No action is yet known to have been taken against Intel, nor have any immediate links been made between Psion's Linux-based organizer and the newer, more abstract concept.

The current definition of the word refers to a very small notebook built primarily for accessing the Internet and which doesn't need large amounts of processing power or storage as a result. Psion's device shares similarities in its blend between PDA and notebook functions but is focused more on offline content and runs a relatively feature-limited operating system versus the full Linux or Windows XP operating systems on today's systems.

A superhydrophobic coating on aluminium foil with an anti-corrosive property

Qian Feng Xu and Jian Nong Wang

A superhydrophobic coating with an anti-corrosive property has been fabricated on aluminium foil by a simple sol–gel method with polystyrene spheres (PS) included as a removable template. The effects of the size of PS on the surface structure and the superhydrophobicity have been researched. When the size of PS is 200 nm, the prepared coating shows a high static water contact angle (CA) larger than 150° but also a large adhesive force with the substrate, and the water droplet can be pinned on the substrate tilted at any angle. When the size of PS is 500 nm, the prepared coating has a CA as high as 160°, and the water droplet can roll off the substrate easily. Under this circumstance, the coated aluminium foil is also found to possess good chemical stability and, in particular, an anti-corrosive property. Thus the CA remains nearly unchanged after exposure to air for one year or immersion in an acid solution for 5 h.

Graphical abstract image for this article  (ID: b817130k)

Biologists learn structure, mechanism of powerful 'molecular motor' in virus

Structure of a
"molecular motor"

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Researchers have discovered the atomic structure of a powerful "molecular motor" that packages DNA into the head segment of some viruses during their assembly, an essential step in their ability to multiply and infect new host organisms.

The researchers, from Purdue University and The Catholic University of America, also have proposed a mechanism for how the motor works. Parts of the motor move in sequence like the pistons in a car's engine, progressively drawing the genetic material into the virus's head, or capsid, said Michael Rossmann, Purdue's Hanley Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences.

The motor is needed to insert DNA into the capsid of the T4 virus, which is called a bacteriophage because it infects bacteria. The same kind of motor, however, also is likely present in other viruses, including the human herpes virus.

"Molecular motors in double-stranded DNA viruses have never been shown in such detail before," said Siyang Sun, a postdoctoral research associate working in Rossmann's lab.

Findings are detailed in a paper appearing online on Dec. 24 in the journal Cell. The lead authors are Sun and Kiran Kondabagil, a research assistant professor at Catholic University of America working with biology professor Venigalla B. Rao.

"This research is allowing us to examine the inner workings of a virus packaging motor at the atomic level," Rao said. "This particular motor is very fast and powerful."

Other researchers have determined that the T4 molecular motor is the strongest yet discovered in viruses and proportionately twice as powerful as an automotive engine. The motors generate 20 times the force produced by the protein myosin, one of the two proteins responsible for the contraction and strength of muscles.

The virus consists of a head and tail portion. The DNA-packaging motor is located in the same place where the tail eventually connects to the head. Most of the motor falls off after the packaging step is completed, allowing the tail to attach to the capsid. The DNA is a complete record of a virus's properties, and the capsid protects this record from damage and ensures that the virus can reproduce by infecting a host organism.

Sun determined that the packaging motor is made of two ringlike structures, and both of these discs contain five segments made of a protein called gp17, for gene product 17. The researchers determined the atomic structure of these protein segments using a procedure called X-ray crystallography. They also used another technique called cryo-electron microscopy, which enabled them to see a more distant, overall design of the motor's ringlike structure.

One disc sits on top of the other, and each of the five segments of the top disc shares a gp17 protein with a corresponding segment in the bottom disc. The gp17 proteins have two segments, or domains, one segment in the lower disc and the other segment in the upper disc.

The lower disc first attaches to the DNA and is then drawn upward by the upper disc, pushing the DNA into the virus's capsid in the process. The top disc of the motor pulls the lower disc upward using electrostatic forces generated between oppositely charged objects, Rossmann said.

"These findings determined the relationship between the motor and DNA," Rossmann said.

The research data also showed that the motor is dynamic and apparently exists in two states: relaxed and tensed, the latter likely occurring when the top disk has attracted the lower disc.

Researchers at Catholic University of America supplied the gp17 and other materials, and the Purdue researchers studied the structure of the materials.

"By combining the structural data and the biochemical data of our colleagues at the Catholic University of America, we were jointly able to come up with a hypothesis of how this motor works," Rossmann said.

Because herpes and other viruses contain similar DNA packaging motors, such findings could someday help scientists design drugs that would interfere with the function of these motors and mitigate the result of some viral infections. The findings also could have other future applications, such as developing alternatives to current antibiotics, creating methods to deliver genetic material to patients for gene therapy or creating tiny "nanomotors" in future machines.

"But this is very basic research, and it's far too soon to talk more about possible practical applications of this knowledge," Rossmann said.

The research paper was written by Sun; Kondabagil; Bonnie Draper and Tanfis I. Alam, both postdoctoral fellows at CUA; Purdue electron microscopist Valorie D. Bowman; Zhihong Zhang, a CUA graduate research assistant; CUA graduate student Shylaja Hegde; and postdoctoral research associate Andrei Fokine, Rossmann and Rao, all of Purdue.

The research has been funded primarily by the National Science Foundation and the Human Frontier Science Program.

Active Denial System Deters Subject Without Harm

Active Denial System Deters Subject Without Harm

Установка Active Denial System. Фото с сайта

NIJ is leveraging a less-lethal technology developed by the U.S. Department of Defense for use in law enforcement and corrections. The technology, called the Active Denial System, causes people to experience intolerable discomfort. It makes them stop, turn away and leave the area.

How the Active Denial System Works

The Active Denial System emits electromagnetic radiation (radiofrequency waves) at 95 GHz. The system stimulates nerve endings and causes discomfort but does not cause permanent injury — the radiation penetrates less than 1/64th of an inch into a person's skin. Symptoms dissipate quickly when the device is turned off or the person moves away from the radiation beam.

No Long Term Effects

The Department of Defense tested the device on more than 10,000 people. People show no lasting or extreme medical symptoms, even when the waves hit their eyes. The human body's natural reactions to this stimulation make people turn away to escape the area.

Creating a Prototype for Law Enforcement

NIJ has created a small working prototype of the military Active Denial System that law enforcement and correction officers can carry.

Robot in frigid underwater dress rehearsal for future space mission

UIC scientists help monitor device as it explores Antarctic lake covered by 15 feet of ice

Робот ENDURANCE. Изображение с сайта

A NASA robot tested last winter in an icy Wisconsin lake will complete a monthlong underwater mission in Antarctica on Thursday, having successfully explored dark, deep waters frozen off from the outside world tens of thousands of years ago.

Managed by a team from Chicago and Texas, the robot has hit its marks while patrolling Lake Bonney, a body of water locked under 15 feet of ice. The Antarctic lake is the nearest thing on Earth to outer space, and scientists hope lessons learned there will inform a future hunt for life in the ice-covered oceans of Jupiter's frozen moon Europa.

The robot overcame some technical surprises to gather information on the lake's internal structure—data many Antarctica experts once despaired of knowing—and spot a colony of microbes unlike any seen before.

Scientists named the robot ENDURANCE (for Environmentally Non-Disturbing Under-ice Robotic ANtarctiC Explorer) in a nod to the ship Sir Ernest Shackleton was forced to abandon on his failed Antarctic expedition a century ago.

The device patrols under the ice like a $5 million Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner while a pair of scientists with tracking antennas follow it across the ice above like overprotective parents.

Its only way out of the lake is a single, cubicle-sized hole in the ice that is guarded by researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago. A fiber-optic cable is the sole lifeline that connects the robot to scientists waiting by the hole in wood-floored tents.

ENDURANCE was built by Stone Aerospace in Austin, Texas, from a design used for Mexican waters. When it first explored cold water in February at Lake Mendota in Madison, Wis., the sonar was iffy, thrusters balked, and it barely found its way back to the starting point.

Even after the robot arrived in Antarctica, some of its crew wondered if it would even work, said co-investigator John Priscu of Montana State University.

But in Antarctica, it motored flawlessly to all its destinations—determining its own routes underwater, evading obstructions and returning by dead reckoning to the team of relieved scientists.

The mission was not without challenges. Engineers at the site modified equipment not designed for cold water, programmed "danger zones" into the robot's memory when it found dangling old ropes and lost science instruments, and found ways to work around the surprising buoyancy added by gas bubbles in the lake.

As it hovers under the ice, the robot spools out a series of instruments every few minutes that measure water temperature and dissolved materials as well as taking pictures of the ice above and the dark lake floor below. Days after it began, the robot found what looked like an outcrop of lichen-covered rocks—microbial colonies that researchers said were unlike any others known to exist in the lake.

"There's some things in these images that I've never seen before," said investigator Peter Doran of UIC.

It also revealed details of what is essentially an ancient salt lake trapped under lighter, cold freshwater and a thick slab of ice, Priscu said in an e-mail from Antarctica.

"At this stage of the game, I would have to call ENDURANCE a success," he said.


Unique Christmas tree

It collected unique Christmas trees.

Christmas tree in pink at The Cathay, Singapore.
Pink christmas tree

Art warped christmas tree
art warped christmas tree

Book Christmas tree
Book Christmas tree
Neon Christmas tree
Add a little Christmas cheer to your office desk with this innovative Christmas tree that lights up neon blue. It is made of tough plastic in the shape of a traditional tree with a star on the top, stands at 21cm tall including the base and is battery operated (needs 2 x AA batteries - not supplied) so easy to use. There are two modes to light the tree - either to stay bright blue or you can set it so the light sweeps up and down - cool!

With its wave-like architecture and all, vivocity is a shopping mall that has a one-of-a-kind look. it being singapore’s largest mall, naturally its flagship christmas tree has to be just as unique and majestic, deviating from the usual green or white trees.

Christmas tree at VivoCity in shiny pink and silver

decked out in silver and various hues of pink, this shiny tree is made completely out of christmas baubles and lights in alternating layers. say, doesn’t it resemble a giant multi-tiered cake?

Christmas tree at VivoCity at night

i love the way its thick layers of christmas lights come alive at night, looking all magnificent and bright.

Eco Plywood Christmas Tree by Buro Northeco-plywood-christmas-tree-by-buro-north.jpg

Besides the glamorous diamond tree, there’s also another shiny christmas tree that stands tall at bugis junction. this is the flagship tree of the mall, as the diamond tree is actually done up by soo kee jewelry.

Shiny Christmas tree with angels at Bugis Junction

this tree doesn’t have a single leaf. instead, it is made out of long narrow strips of shiny foil. it looks very unique! there are life-size pretty angels suspended around it, with gold wings to match.

interestingly, these angels have neither eyes nor mouths!

Shiny Christmas tree with angels at Bugis Junction
Photo credit: DuNnO - The Kit Lens Baby

love the bright star on top too, especially when it lights up at night. the multiple strings of christmas lights that rain down around the tree blend in perfectly well.

Shiny Christmas tree with angels at Bugis Junction at night

at night, the silver tree magically turns to gold. nice!

Upside Down Christmas Trees
Prelit Upside Down Christmas Tree

Christmas time is great for those who love to decorate. It's a time to get out all of your holiday decor from years past to create a warm feeling in your home. However, it can be redundant to keep pulling out the same tree, lights and statues every single year.

This year, do something different. You can keep the holiday traditions alive, but spruce up your home with unique Christmas decor, like an upside down Christmas tree. Upside down Christmas trees are festive and make great Christmas gift as well.

Snow Crystal Photo

Snow Crystal Photo

Snow close-up
The appearance of the Snowflakes under the microscope

The winter of 2008 has not yet been pleased with our snow, so invite readers to look at a selection of photographs Snowflakes, performed physicist Kenneth Librehtom (Kenneth Libbrecht) from the California Institute of Technology. The author has created a site, which paved the most successful shots. In addition to the unconditional aesthetic appeal of studying the appearance Snowflakes has scientific value and - it helps clarify the processes of condensation water and education of ice crystals.

Beautiful Snow
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