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Algorithm developed for determining focus error in eyes and cameras

September 26, 2011 9:06 am | News | Comments

University of Texas at Austin researchers have discovered how to extract and use information in an individual image to determine how far objects are from the focus distance, a feat only accomplished by human and animal visual systems until now.

Samsung to step up Apple patent war

September 23, 2011 12:30 pm | by Kelly Olsen, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

A top Samsung executive says the company will take a bolder stance in its patent battle with smartphone and tablet rival Apple, which Samsung claims has been "free riding" on its patented wireless technologies.

Like fish on waves: electrons go surfing

September 22, 2011 1:31 pm | News | Comments

Physicists in Germany, working in collaboration with researchers from Grenoble and Tokyo, were able to define two quantum dots, occupied with electrons, in a semiconductor, select a single electron from one of them using a sound wave, and then to transport it to the neighbouring quantum dot. The breakthrough may help achieve complex qubits.

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Physicists play ping-pong with electrons

September 22, 2011 7:00 am | News | Comments

Researchers from Cambridge University's Cavendish Laboratory have moved an individual electron along a wire, batting it back and forth over 60 times, rather like the ball in a game of ping-pong. The technique helps retain coherence, and could be beneficial in the development of quantum computing.

Simulating turbulent combustion speeds design

September 22, 2011 5:04 am | News | Comments

Multiscale complexity is common across all combustion applications—internal combustion engines, rockets, and industrial boilers—and can range from tens of meters to billionths of meters. New techniques being employed at supercomputers covers this huge scale range using fewer computer hours, and could benefit efficiency levels in the combustion industry.

NREL earns federal award for sustainable IT practices

September 21, 2011 8:42 am | News | Comments

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has earned a 2011 Platinum-level Award from the Federal Electronics Challenge (FEC) recognizing NREL's efforts to help the federal government improve its sustainable practices.

Escaping legacy IT systems

September 20, 2011 4:18 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a sophisticated computer model of a corporate information infrastructure, which could help IT managers predict the effects of changes to their networks. In a study funded by Ford Motor Co., the researchers compared their model’s predictions to data supplied by Ford and found that, on average, its estimates of response times for queries sent to company servers were within 5 to 13% of the real times.

Publications provide a cloud computing standards roadmap

September 14, 2011 9:36 am | News | Comments

NIST has published two new documents on cloud computing: the first edition of a cloud computing standards roadmap and a cloud computing reference architecture and taxonomy. Together, the documents provide guidance to help understand cloud computing standards and categories of cloud services that can be used government-wide.

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ORNL invention unravels mystery of protein folding

September 14, 2011 9:22 am | News | Comments

An Oak Ridge National Laboratory invention able to quickly predict 3D structure of protein could have huge implications for drug discovery and human health. While scientists have long studied protein structure and the mechanism of folding, this marks the first time they are able to computationally predict 3D structure independent of size of the protein.

IBM putting Watson to work in health insurance

September 13, 2011 11:16 am | by Jim Fitzgerald, Associated Press | News | Comments

Enough with the fun and games. Watson is going to work. IBM's supercomputer system, best known for trouncing the world's best "Jeopardy!" players on TV, is being tapped by one of the nation's largest health insurers to help diagnose medical problems and authorize treatments.

Ferroelectrics could pave way for ultra-low power computing

September 12, 2011 11:03 am | News | Comments

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, have shown that it is possible to reduce the minimum voltage necessary to store charge in a capacitor, an achievement that could reduce the power draw and heat generation of today's electronics.

Quantum computing with light

September 9, 2011 4:26 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University describe an experiment that allows a single photon to control the quantum state of another photon. The result could have wide-ranging consequences for quantum computing and quantum communication, the quantum analog to conventional telecommunications.

Researchers create new Urban Network Analysis toolbox

September 7, 2011 6:32 am | News | Comments

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have created a new Urban Network Analysis (UNA) toolbox that enables urban designers and planners to describe the spatial patterns of cities using mathematical network analysis methods. Such tools can support better informed and more resilient urban design and planning in a context of rapid urbanization.

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Physicists demonstrate the quantum von Neumann architecture

September 2, 2011 4:00 am | News | Comments

University of California, Santa Barbara physicists have demonstrated a quantum integrated circuit that implements the quantum von Neumann architecture. In this architecture, a long-lived quantum random access memory can be programmed using a quantum central processing unit, all constructed on a single chip, providing the key components for a quantum version of a classical computer.

Building chips from collapsing nanopillars

September 1, 2011 6:00 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Singapore's Engineering Agency for Science, Technology and Research have demonstrated a new technique that could produce chip features only 10 nm across. The researchers use existing methods to deposit narrow pillars of plastic on a chip's surface; then they cause the pillars to collapse in predetermined directions, covering the chip with intricate patterns.

NIST achieves record-low error rate for quantum information processing

August 31, 2011 5:00 am | News | Comments

Thanks to advances in experimental design, physicists at NIST have achieved a record-low probability of error in quantum information processing with a single quantum bit (qubit)—the first published error rate small enough to meet theoretical requirements for building viable quantum computers.

Depiction of light could boost telecom channels

August 26, 2011 7:11 am | News | Comments

Physicists at The City College of New York have found a new way to map spiraling light that could help harness untapped data channels in optical fibers. The new model, called a Higher Order Poincaré Sphere, could also advance quantum computing.

Report shows more U.S. farmers relying on Internet

August 26, 2011 5:34 am | by Gosia Wozniacka, Associated Press | News | Comments

The number of farmers with Internet access on a variety of digital gadgets has dramatically increased, changing the way farms do business. Farmers say they're increasingly using the Net to speed up their work flow, improve their farming techniques, market their crops, connect with customers and retailers, and fulfill a variety of regulatory requirements.

It's alive! Space station's humanoid robot awake

August 22, 2011 12:33 pm | by Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace Writer | News | Comments

Ground controllers turned Robonaut on Monday for the first time since it was delivered to the International Space Station in February. The test involved sending power to all of Robonaut's systems. The robot was not commanded to move; that will happen next week. It is, however, tweeting now.

Reports: Hewlett-Packard to spin off PC business

August 18, 2011 11:07 am | News | Comments

Hewlett-Packard plans to spin off its personal computer division into a separate business, according to unnamed sources in major news outlets. It marks a reversal from HP's previous stance, in March, when it denied this rumor.

Football analysis leads to advance in artificial intelligence

August 18, 2011 10:48 am | News | Comments

Computer scientists in the field of artificial intelligence have made an important advance that blends computer vision, machine learning, and automated planning, and created a new system that may improve everything from factory efficiency to airport operation or nursing care. It is based on watching football.

Google's patent play: $12.5B for Motorola Mobility

August 16, 2011 6:31 am | by Michael Liedtke and Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writers | News | Comments

The big prize for Google’s latest purchase isn’t Motorola’s lineup of electronics devices, it’s the 17,000 patents the company holds. This intellectual property could protect the company against legal action. If approved by federal regulators, the deal could spark other billion-dollar acquisitions.

How the Internet got its hourglass shape

August 15, 2011 12:14 pm | News | Comments

A new computer model that describes the evolution of the Internet’s architecture suggests that it bears many similarities to ecosystems in the natural world, including the distinctive hourglass shape. Experts warn that a new, revised Internet could easily repeat this pattern.

Strain and spin may enable ultra-low-energy computing

August 15, 2011 11:14 am | News | Comments

By combining two frontier technologies, spintronics and straintronics, a team of researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University has devised perhaps the world's most miserly integrated circuit.

Simulations forecast pipe fractures

August 15, 2011 4:31 am | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | News | Comments

A computer model that tests automobile components for crashworthiness could also be of use to the oil and gas industry, according to researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT's) Impact and Crashworthiness Laboratory, who are now using their simulations of material deformation in car crashes to predict how pipes may fracture in offshore drilling accidents.

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