Few are more excited about Lego's new Mindstorms sets rolling out next month than Silicon Valley engineers. Ostensibly geared toward children age 10 and over, the new Mindstorms will also appeal to professional hackers. The sets will use open source software, Linux, for the first time, and controller apps are integrated for tablets and mobile phones.
Kirobo—derived from the Japanese words for "hope" and "robot"—was among five tons of supplies and machinery on a rocket launched Sunday from Tanegashima in southwestern Japan. The childlike robot was designed to be a companion for astronaut Koichi Wakata and will communicate with another robot on Earth, according to developers.
In an effort to thwart forgeries, researchers in Switzerland have proposed a new miniaturized authentication system. By combining moiré patterns and microlithography techniques, authorities can be easily recognize counterfeits with the naked eye and counterfeiters will find it impossible to reproduce items through currently existing printer or scanner technology.
The Powerwall Theater (PWT) at Los Alamos National Laboratory is an innovative facility that enables researchers to view the complex models and simulations they have created using some of the world’s fastest supercomputers. Recently, PWT was upgraded with 40 double-stacked Christie Mirage 3-D LED projectors that will provide seamless, integrated 3-D visualization.
TCP, the transmission control protocol, is one of the core protocols governing the Internet: If counted as a computer program, it's the most widely used program in the world. One of its main roles is to prevent computer congestion. A new computer system, dubbed Remy, automatically generates TCP congestion-control algorithms that control network congestion at transmission rates two to three times as high as human-derived algorithms.
China's population of Internet users has grown to 591 million, driven by a 20% rise over the past year in the number of people who surf the Web from smartphones and other wireless devices, an industry group reported Wednesday. The rise of Web use has driven the growth of new Chinese industries from online shopping and microblogs to online video.
A Personal Identity Verification (PIV) card is a government-issued smart card used by federal employees and contractors to access government facilities and computer networks. To assist agencies seeking stronger security and greater operational flexibility, NIST has made several modifications to the previous version of Biometric Data Specification for PIV cards.
CEO Steve Ballmer is restructuring Microsoft Corp. to cope with a quickening pace of technological change that has left the world's largest software maker a step behind its two biggest rivals, Apple and Google. This has involved dismantling a disjointed management structure and setting up a new strategy that embraces cloud computing products and services.
Since 1993, Jack Dongarra, professor of computer science at the Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, has led the ranking of the world's top 500 supercomputers. But Dongarra says Linpack and the TOP500 ranking hasn't kept pace with supercomputing needs and must be updated. He and a colleague are developing a new benchmark that is expected to be released in time for the next TOP500 list release in November.
Researchers of the Univ. of Stuttgart have achieved a new world record in coupling efficiency between optical fibers and integrated silicon waveguides. The breakthrough, which resulted in a coupling efficiency of 87%, was based on newly developed aperiodic grating coupler structures optimized at the nanoscale.
A team of scientists at the University of Southern California (USC) has verified that quantum effects are indeed at play in the first commercial quantum optimization processor. The team demonstrated that the D-Wave processor housed at the USC-Lockheed Martin Quantum Computing Center behaves in a manner that indicates that quantum mechanics plays a functional role in the way it works.
eBay Inc.'s payments business, PayPal, says it is launching an initiative called PayPal Galactic with the help of the nonprofit SETI Institute and the Space Tourism Society, an industry group focused on space travel. Its goal, PayPal says, is to work out how commerce will work in space. In addition to regulatory and technical issues, even the currency that is to be used is up for debate.
Dassault Systèmes, a maker of solutions for 3-D design and product lifecycle management, has launched a new industry solution experience for pharmaceutical and biotech companies, called “Licensed to Cure for BioPharma.” Based on Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform, the new solution helps biotech and pharmaceutical companies manage product and process complexity by smoothing drug variation, enabling easier and faster expansion into new markets, and managing increasing regulatory requirements.
US Ignite's Next-Generation Application Summit is convening in Chicago this week, a year after the administration announced US Ignite, an initiative comprising public and private partners seeking to jumpstart gigabit application development that can take advantage of advanced networks. Twenty-two winning “apps”, highlighted by Mozilla and the National Science Foundation, are being featured at the summit.
JMAG is a powerful finite element analysis (FEA) tool that allows engineers to develop, analyze, and fine-tune electric motors and generators, taking into account such diverse factors as thermal, structural, and vibration issues. This week, Maplesoft has launched a new product that allows users to combine JMAG with the advanced physical modeling approach of MapleSim. This allows engineers to produce high-fidelity system models.
This week, Sandia National Laboratories is hosting the seventh annual Western National Robot Rodeo and Capability Exercise, a challenging five-day event that draws civilian and military bomb squad teams from across the country to see who can most effectively defuse dangerous situations with the help of robots. The competition provides an opportunity to practice using robots and new technology in a low-risk, but competitive environment.
More than 2,500 attendees turned out for the 2013 RAPID Conference and Exposition, almost doubling last year’s attendance and reflecting widespread excitement about 3D printing and additive manufacturing, according to event organizer SME. It included attendees from nearly 30 countries and the U.S.
Eighteen months in the works, the top-secret project was announced Saturday in New Zealand, where up to 50 volunteer households are already beginning to receive the Internet briefly on their home computers via translucent helium balloons that sail by on the wind 12 miles above Earth. Google is launching these Internet-beaming antennas into the stratosphere aboard giant, jellyfish-shaped balloons.
To handle large amounts of data from detailed brain models, IBM, EPFL, and ETH Zürich are collaborating on a new hybrid memory strategy for supercomputers. They are exploring how to combine different types of memory—DRAM, which is standard for computer memory, and flash memory that is akin to USB sticks—for less expensive supercomputing performance to help advance the Human Brain Project.
Hours spent at the video gaming console not only train a player's hands to work the buttons on the controller, they probably also train the brain to make better and faster use of visual input, according to Duke Univ. researchers.
After years of quiet and largely unsuccessful diplomacy, the U.S. has brought its persistent computer-hacking problems with China into the open, delivering a steady drumbeat of reports accusing Beijing's government and military of computer-based attacks against America. Officials say the new strategy may be having some impact.
Forget to turn off the lights before leaving the apartment? No problem. Just raise your hand, finger-swipe the air, and your lights will power down. Using the common Wi-Fi signals generated by a commercial router, University of Washington computer scientists have developed gesture-recognition technology that brings this a step closer to reality.
A decade ago, the mere idea of cloud computing was a difficult concept to explain, let alone sell. Today, the technology is spurring a high-stakes scramble to buy some of the early leaders in the cloud-computing movement. The latest examples of the trend emerged Tuesday as two major technology companies announced acquisitions aimed at seeding their own clouds.
Once a science-fiction fantasy, three-dimensional printers are popping up everywhere from the desks of home hobbyists to Air Force drone research centers. The machines, generally the size of a microwave oven and costing $400 to more than $500,000, extrude layer upon layer of materials to create 3-D objects with moving parts. But experts warn this cool innovation could soon turn controversial.
Once uncommunicative industrial robots and machine tools are now beginning to talk turkey, thanks to a prototype application developed by a team of partner companies led by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM). This application was successfully demonstrated and tested by manufacturing researchers at NIST.