Internet users quickly learned about the standoff between technology companies and Hollywood on Wednesday. Google blacked out its name, Reddit shut down for 12 hours, and Wikipedia blacked out its main site for the full day. At issue are two congressional proposals intended to limit online piracy of movies and TV programs.
After a long decade of deliberation, United Nations member countries will cast their vote this week on an issue that lasts literally just a second. Leap seconds are necessary to prevent atomic clocks from speeding ahead of solar time, but the United States and other countries want to abolish it for all time.
Sometimes total electrical isolation is a good thing—and that's the idea behind a power-over-fiber communications cable being developed by engineers at Sandia National Laboratories. The Sandia team is developing a hybrid cable design that uses fiber to send and regulate optical power to the communications electronics integral to the cable. A patent is pending on the design.
At the International Consumer Electronics Show, the gigantic gadget conclave in Las Vegas this week, several companies demonstrated how they can make mobile devices shake and rattle with great realism, employing a technology that uses plastics that function like muscles.
A team in Germany has built a transmitter less than a millimeter square that has generated the highest frequency ever attained by a microelectronic device: 1.111 THz. Compared to previous transmitters that have been bulky and expensive, the new device could soon find use in engineering applications.
For nearly half a century, Stephen Hawking has lived with Lou Gehrig's disease, an incurable degenerative disorder that has left him almost completely paralyzed. An infrared sensor translates pulses in his right cheek into words spoken by a voice synthesizer, but those nerves have deteriorated. A research project by Intel has been formed to help him communicate more effectively.
Queensland University of Technology (QUT) aviation researchers are developing an information system to help unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) make safer emergency landings and better enable their wider commercial use.
Researchers have shown how arrays of tiny "plasmonic nanoantennas" are able to precisely manipulate light in new ways that could make possible a range of optical innovations such as more powerful microscopes, telecommunications, and computers.
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have for the first time demonstrated a novel subharmonic graphene FET mixer at microwave frequencies. The mixer provides new opportunities in future electronics, as it enables compact circuit technology potential to reach high frequencies and integration with silicon technology.
Researchers have created a new type of optical device, the passive optical diode, small enough to fit millions on a computer chip that could lead to faster, more powerful information processing and supercomputers.
Over the past 20 years, information and communication technologies (ICT) have been a key innovation enabler in many domains and have dramatically changed social behavior around the globe. In the past decade, the fortunes of many ICT companies have evolved significantly.
Researchers at Rochester Institute of Technology and PPC Corp., Syracuse, N.Y., have developed a new sensor that, once installed in the connecting units of coaxial cables, can find the exact location of cable damage through a technology called back scatter telemetry.
By making nanoscale changes to the diameter of normal optical fiber, engineers can create narrow sections that are able to confine light, sending it on a back-and-forth on a corkscrew path. These microresonators are not new, but researchers from OFS Laboratories in Somerset, N.J., have developed a precise and efficient way to build long chains of them, suggesting a way to make an optical computer.
Single-celled bacteria coordinate attacks by sending each other coded messages. Until now, the diversity of these codes was thought to be extremely limited. But recent research has revealed communication by a previously undescribed signal type. Stranger still is an apparent cypher-breaking system that some plants have evolved in response.
Britain's electronic listening agency, GCHQ, quietly launched a cryptic Website last month featuring a box of code made up of numbers and letters. There is no branding on the site, only the phrase "Can you crack it?" and a box to type in an answer.
Researchers have demonstrated, for the first time, a graphene-based transistor array that is compatible with living biological cells and capable of recording the electrical signals they generate. This proof-of-concept platform opens the way for further investigation of a promising new material.
New research from North Carolina State University shows that some smartphones specifically designed to support the Android mobile platform have incorporated additional features that can be used by hackers to bypass Android's security features, making them more vulnerable to attack. Android has the largest share of the smartphone market in the U.S.
At Washington University in St. Louis's Photosynthetic Antenna Research Center, scientists have succeeded in making a light-harvesting antenna from scratch. The new antenna, modeled on the chlorosome found in green bacteria, is a giant assembly of pigment molecules.
Using a little side antenna rigged with a cone, technicians in Australia have received the first signal from an unmanned Russian spacecraft bound for a moon of Mars since it got stuck in Earth’s orbit two weeks ago. The signal raises hopes the mission might be saved.
There has been enormous progress in recent years toward the development of photonic chips—devices that use light beams instead of electrons to carry out their computational tasks. Now, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have filled in a crucial piece of the puzzle that could enable the creation of photonic chips on the standard silicon material that forms the basis for most of today's electronics.
Kilobots scuttle around autonomously on three toothpick-like legs, but their real power is the ability to coordinate behavior and swarm with other Kilobots. Created by engineers at Harvard University, the quarter-sized bots have been licensed by a Swiss manufacturer, allowing researchers and robotics enthusiasts to build their own swarms.
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have made a significant advance in understanding correlated quantum matter. Their study of orbital degrees of freedom and nano-Kelvin cold atoms in optical lattices have yielded a new type of quantum state: a topological semimetal.
Prior to now, it was thought that only lasers could provided low-power, high-data-rate transmission. Engineers at Stanford University have invented a single-mode nanoscale light-emitting diode that can perform the same tasks as laser-based systems, but at thousands of times greater efficiency.
Computerized medical records have been sold as a powerful tool to improve patient safety, for example by automatically alerting a doctor to potential allergic reactions to a medication prescribed to a patient. But a report by a panel from the Institute of Medicine said such benefits shouldn't be taken for granted.
Imagine controlling an airplane in flight just by holding your iPhone out in front of you: tilting it in the direction you want the plane to travel, or raising it to make the plane fly higher. Or tapping a point on a map on the screen, and having the plane automatically fly to the designated spot. Now, imagine if the plane itself were a continent away from where you're doing this iPhone-based controlling. What might seem like a figment of the imagination is actually fact.