Thursday, January 27, 2011

3 Reasons Flexible Electronics Enable Smarter Displays

SmarterTechnology reports: "Nevertheless, the technologies that caused all the speculation about flexible electronics are already revolutionizing the multi-billion-dollar display industry. Theoretically, flexible displays could be rolled up like a blueprint or pulled down like a window blind. The reality, however, is that flexible, printable, organic electronics are finding their best uses in cost-reducing three aspects of the manufacturing of electronic displays (albeit without making the entire display flexible)."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The evolution of hard drives

InfoWorld reports: "The history of the hard drive, from monsters that required teams of technicians to operate to coin-sized flash drives"

IBM`s Watson Supercomputer to Take on Humans in $1M Jeopardy Tournament

eWeek reports: "IBM researchers have been working for four years on its DeepQA supercomputer, which it showed off at a media event Jan. 13, just before it was scheduled to take on two former Jeopardy champions in a two-day $1 million tournament for the long-running TV game show. Dubbed Watson, after IBM founder Thomas J. Watson Sr., the supercomputer can understand natural human language–complete with puns, plays on words, and slang–and answer the complex questions that are typical in the Jeopardy trivia game. Watson analyzes “real language,” or spoken language, instead of just looking for keywords like a search engine. It understands context and correlates the question with the millions of pieces of information it has stored to find a specific answer, said David Ferrucci, the principal investigator on the Watson project. “The hard part for Watson is finding and justifying the correct answer, computing confidence that it’s right and doing it fast enough,” said Ferrucci. Researchers trained Watson with 200 million pages of text, or about 1 million books, ranging from sources like encyclopedias, movie scripts, newspapers and even children’s book abstracts. “Watson is not just storing all that information,” it is also correlating all of it to make sense out of it, according to Bernie Spang, director of strategy for the software group at IBM Research said."

Friday, January 14, 2011

7 Billion People, by 2011

The worldwide population expected to exceed seven billion in 2011. Lets hear it for procreation (do I need to say more?).

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Acer Iconia a Windows 7 Dual-Touch Screen Laptop

At CES 2011 Acer introduced the Iconia a Windows 7 dual-touch screen laptop, and it was also nominated as the winner of the Last Gadget Standing. One of the radical features of the laptop is that replaces the physical keyboard with a touch screen.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

The Besler Steam Plane

A Travel Air 2000 biplane made the world's first piloted flight under steam power over Oakland, California, on 12 April 1933. The strangest feature of the flight was its relative silence; spectators on the ground could hear the pilot when he called to them from mid-air.

The aircraft, piloted by William Besler, had been fitted with a two-cylinder, 150 hp reciprocating engine. An important contribution to its design was made by Nathan C. Price, a former Doble Steam Motors engineer. Price was working on high pressure compact engines for rail and road transport; the purpose of the flight was to obtain publicity for this work.

Following its unexpectedly favourable reception Price went to Boeing and worked on various aviation projects, but Boeing dropped the idea of a steam aeroengine in 1936. Price later worked for Lockheed where his experience with developing compact burners for steam boilers helped to design Lockheed's first jet engine.

The advantages of the "Besler System" that were claimed at the time included the elimination of audible noise and destructive vibration; greater efficiency at low engine speeds and also at high altitudes where lower air temperatures assisted condensation; reduced likelihood of engine failure; reduced maintenance costs; reduced fuel costs, since fuel oil was used in place of petrol; reduced fire hazard since the fuel was less volatile and operating temperatures were lower; and a lack of need for radio shielding. For capacities in excess of 1000 horse power a turbine captures the energy released by the expansion of steam more efficiently than a piston. Thus, the steam reciprocating engine turned out to be unsuitable for scaling up to the needs of large aircraft.

2010's Most Dangerous List

Trend Micro Malware Blog reports: "OS: The riskiest OS used was Apple’s Mac OS X. In November, Apple sent users a massive maintenance release that weighed in at at least 644.48MB. The weighty upgrade included fixes for multiple security vulnerabilities since the previous update released in mid-June. Apple’s penchant for secrecy and longer patch cycles also increased the risk for users."

For the past several months, I have been been reading and hearing more and more about security problems in Apple’s Mac OS X. Although, the Windows platform still has more viruses written for it.