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Was Microsoft smart to play it safe with CEO pick?

February 5, 2014 12:09 am | by Michael Liedtke - AP Technology Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

After compiling a list of more than 100 CEO candidates, Microsoft settled on Satya Nadella a home-grown leader who joined the software maker in the early 1990s. That's back when Google's founders were teenagers and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was in elementary school.

Car-to-car talk offers warning on collisions

February 4, 2014 1:33 pm | by Joan Lowy, Associated Press | News | Comments

Your car might see a deadly crash coming even if you don't, the government says, indicating it will require automakers to equip new vehicles with technology that lets cars warn each other if they're plunging toward peril. The action, still some years off, has "game-changing potential" to cut collisions, deaths and injuries, federal transportation officials said at a news conference Monday.

Storage system for “big data” dramatically speeds access to information

January 30, 2014 11:51 am | by Helen Knight, MIT News correspondent | News | Comments

For "big data" to be useful it must first be analyzed, meaning it needs to be stored in such a way that it can be accessed quickly when required. Hard disk storage is slow, and dynamic random access memory cannot be used with today’s large datasets. Researchers have now developed a flash-based storage system for big-data analytics that can dramatically speed up the time it takes to access information.

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Self-aligning DNA wires have been constructed for nanoelectronics

January 30, 2014 11:46 am | News | Comments

Continuous miniaturization in microelectronics is nearing physical limits, so researchers are seeking new methods for device fabrication. One promising candidate is a DNA origami technique in which individual strands of the biomolecule self-assemble into arbitrarily-shaped nanostructures. A new simpler strategy combines DNA origami with self-organized pattern formation to do away with elaborate procedures for positioning DNA structures.

Integration brings quantum computer a step closer

January 30, 2014 11:29 am | News | Comments

Scientists and engineers from an international collaboration have, for the first time, generated and manipulated single particles of light (photons) on a silicon chip. This accomplishment, which required shrinking down key components and integrating them onto a silicon microchip, is a major step forward in the race to build a quantum computer.

Google to sell Motorola phone business to Lenovo

January 30, 2014 1:08 am | by Michael Liedtke - AP Technology Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Google is selling Motorola's smartphone business to Lenovo for $2.9 billion, a price that makes Google's biggest acquisition look like its most expensive mistake. The deal announced Wednesday will rid Google Inc. of a financial headache that has plagued the Internet company since buying Motorola Mobility for $12.4 billion in 2012.

Computing with silicon neurons

January 28, 2014 1:20 pm | News | Comments

Scientists in Germany, inspired by the odor-processing nervous system of insects, have recently refined a new technology that is based on parallel data processing. Called neuromorphic computing, their system is composed of silicon neurons linked together in a similar fashion to the nerve cells in our brains. If the assembly is fed with data, all silicon neurons work in parallel to solve the problem.

Flexible, transparent conductor brings foldable TVs closer to reality

January 28, 2014 11:35 am | News | Comments

Univ. of Houston researchers have developed a new stretchable and transparent electrical conductor, bringing the potential for a fully foldable cell phone or a flat-screen television that can be folded and carried under your arm closer to reality.  The researchers report that their gold nanomesh electrodes, produced by the novel grain boundary lithography, increase resistance only slightly, even at a strain of 160%.

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Google hopes designer frames will sharpen Glass

January 28, 2014 9:27 am | by Barbara Ortutay, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Google is adding prescription frames and new styles of detachable sunglasses to its computerized, Internet-connected goggles known as Glass. The move comes as Google Inc. prepares to make Glass available to the general population later this year. Glass hasn't actually had glasses in its frame until now.

Metamaterial could speed up underwater communications by orders of magnitude

January 24, 2014 11:46 am | News | Comments

Researchers in California have made progress in a project to develop fast-blinking light-emitting diode systems for underwater optical communications. They have shown that an artificial metamaterial can improve the “blink speed” of a fluorescent light-emitting dye molecule 76 times faster than normal while increasing brightness 80-fold.

Wireless RFID detection greatly improved

January 23, 2014 10:17 am | News | Comments

A new long-range wireless tag detection system, with potential applications in health care, environmental protection and goods tracking, can pinpoint items with near 100% accuracy over a much wider range than current systems. The system, invented in the U.K., improves the performance of passive, battery-less RFID tag detection through the use of a new antenna setup.

Transparent display system could provide heads-up data

January 22, 2014 7:32 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Transparent displays have a variety of potential applications. A number of technologies have been developed for such displays, but all have limitations. Now, researchers have come up with a new approach that can have significant advantages over existing systems, at least for certain kinds of applications: a wide viewing angle, simplicity of manufacture and potentially low cost and scalability.

New device prevents falls in the elderly

January 17, 2014 12:26 pm | News | Comments

Falls are a major problem for the elderly. Each year, one-third of adults over age 65 experience a fall, and one-third of those falls impact health and autonomy. The Swiss spin-off Gait Up just put an extremely thin motion sensor on the market which can detect the risk of a fall in an older person and is equally useful for sports and physical therapy.

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Silver nanowire sensors hold promise for prosthetics, robotics

January 16, 2014 9:22 am | News | Comments

North Carolina State Univ. researchers have used silver nanowires to develop wearable, multi-functional sensors that could be used in biomedical, military or athletic applications, including new prosthetics, robotic systems and flexible touch panels. The sensors can measure strain, pressure, human touch and bioelectronic signals such as electrocardiograms.

Los Angeles police officers test on-body cameras

January 15, 2014 5:49 pm | by TAMI ABDOLLAH - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

Police officers assigned to patrol downtown Los Angeles began wearing on-body cameras on Wednesday as the city evaluates different models to include in its policing. Police Commission President Steve Soboroff said 30 officers have volunteered for 90-day trials of devices provided by Ariz.-based Taser International Inc. and Coban Technologies Inc. of Houston.

Google builds a “Nest” for future of smart homes

January 15, 2014 8:30 am | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

When our Internet-connected gadgets and home appliances all learn to talk to each other, Google wants to be at the center of the conversation. This imagined future is still a few years away, but the search giant is already preparing with its $3.2 billion acquisition of high-tech thermostat and smoke-detector maker Nest Labs.

Technology uses micro-windmills to recharge cell phones

January 13, 2014 9:06 am | News | Comments

Researchers in Texas have designed a micro-windmill that generates wind energy and may become an innovative solution to cell phone batteries constantly in need of recharging. A single grain of rice could hold about 10 of these tiny windmills, and hundreds of them could be embedded in a sleeve for a cell phone.

Engineers make world’s fastest organic transistor

January 9, 2014 7:23 am | News | Comments

For years engineers the world over have been trying to use inexpensive, carbon-rich molecules and plastics to create organic semiconductors. Two university research teams have worked together to produce the world’s fastest thin-film organic transistors, proving that this experimental technology has the potential to achieve the performance needed for high-resolution television screens and similar electronic devices.

Few "wearables" balance fashion and function

January 8, 2014 4:25 pm | by PETER SVENSSON - AP Technology Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Gadget lovers are slipping on fitness bands that track movement and buckling on smartwatches that let them check phone messages. Some brave souls are even donning Google's geeky-looking Glass eyewear. For the technology industry, this is exciting time, but also a risky one. No one really knows whether the average consumer can be enticed to make gadgets part of their everyday attire.

Eye-catching electronics

January 8, 2014 2:03 pm | by Peter Rüegg, ETH Zürich | News | Comments

Researchers in Switzerland are developing electronic components that are thinner and more flexible than before. They can even be wrapped around a single hair without damaging the electronics. This opens up new possibilities for ultra-thin, transparent sensors that are literally easy on the eye.

Metal ink could ease the way toward flexible electronic books, displays

January 8, 2014 9:02 am | News | Comments

Scientists are reporting the development of a novel metal ink made of small sheets of copper that can be used to write a functioning, flexible electric circuit on regular printer paper. Their report on the conductive ink, which could pave the way for a wide range of new bendable gadgets, such as electronic books that look and feel more like traditional paperbacks, appears in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

Intel says its processors are now "conflict-free"

January 7, 2014 2:08 am | by PETER SVENSSON - AP Technology Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Intel Corp., the world's largest maker of computer processors, says its processors are now free of minerals from mines held by armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It's the first major U.S. technology company to make such a claim about its products.

Nvidia promotes new chip with crop circle

January 6, 2014 8:24 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

A 310-foot "crop circle" in a California barley field that mystified locals this week was explained Sunday: it was a publicity stunt by Nvidia Corp., a maker of chips for PCs and smartphones. The company has announced the Tegra K1, a new chip for tablets and smartphones that contains 192 computing "cores," or mini-computers, for graphics applications.

New approach to vertex connectivity could maximize networks’ bandwidth

December 30, 2013 1:21 pm | by Helen Knight, MIT News correspondent | News | Comments

A fundamental concept in graph theory is connectivity, which describes how many lines or nodes would have to be removed from a given graph to disconnect it. Progress has been made in “edge connectivity”, or the connections between nodes or vertices. But “vertex connectivity”, which looks at the nodes themselves, is less understood. It has been reexamined recently and the findings could help coax as much bandwidth as possible from networks.

Samsung sells 110-inch ultra-HD TV for $150,000

December 30, 2013 9:46 am | by Youkyung Lee, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Last year, Samsung and rival LG Electronics, the world's top two TV makers, touted organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) as the future of TV. OLED screens are ultrathin and can display images with enhanced clarity and deeper color saturation. Now, Samsung has launched a giant 110-in television that reflects global TV makers' move toward ultra HD TVs, as manufacturing bigger TVs using OLED proves too costly.

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