Pilots' "automation addiction" has eroded their flying skills to the point that they sometimes don't know how to recover from stalls and other mid-flight problems, say pilots and safety officials. The weakened skills have contributed to hundreds of deaths in airline crashes in the last five years.
Over the past decade, federal research laboratories such as Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have shifted from Cold War-era defense R&D to meeting the challenges of new terror threats, developing a nationwide system to sniff the air for germs such as anthrax and smallpox.
Until recently, medical files belonging to nearly 300,000 Californians sat unsecured on the Internet for the entire world to see. The leak was not brought about by a hacker, however, just a company’s neglect. Experts worry that such mistakes could hinder the transition of medical records to digital form.
Hewlett-Packard Co. is surrendering in smartphones and tablet computers and has put its personal computer division up for sale, as new CEO Leo Apotheker tries to transform the Silicon Valley stalwart into a twin of East Coast archrival IBM Corp.
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.
The National Science Foundation is awarding $74 million to create four new Engineering Research Centers (ERCs) that will advance interdisciplinary research and education in solar energy, sustainable water systems, sensorimotor neural engineering and energy transmission.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which is pursuing fusion research at its National Ignition Facility, has expanded the scope of its research by singing a memorandum of understanding to engage in joint research and exchange personnel with Spain's Instituto de Fusion Nuclear.
Computer security firm McAfee Inc. issued a report Wednesday reporting the the targets of a concerted wave of cyberattacks totaling more than 70 entities, mostly in the U.S. The attacks, the company reports, are likely originating from a nation state.
A federal court said Friday that human genes can be patented, reversing a lower court's ruling that involved a test for breast cancer but which could have had big implications for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.
Ssynthesis centers are designed to bring together and meld research from many disciplines of science. The latest iteration will appear at the University of Maryland as the result of a $27.5 million award. The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center will be home to research on such issues as water availability, sustainable food production, and the interaction between human activities and ecosystem health.
After losing out to a consortium of technology companies during bidding for thousands of patents from the bankrupt Nortel, Google has bolstered its war chest with a collection of patents from IBM, one of the industry’s leading generators of intellectual property. The move has less to do with innovation than it does an effort to defend against lawsuits from other tech companies.
With the introduction of a new chlorine manufacturing process achieved by combining oxygen depolarized cathode technology and new electrolysis technology, Bayer MaterialScience is poised to save enough electricity to power a small city.
On Friday, AT&T became the latest wireless provider to limit speeds for users who go over certain limits for data consumption. AT&T stopped signing up new customer for unlimited plans last year, as did Verizon and T-Mobile and now will start throttling speed for a small percentage of “data hogs”.
Iraq's large oil-production potential could put it in a position to vie for leadership with Saudi Arabia in the world oil scene in the coming decades. But an energy study recently published by Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy shows why mounting demand for oil may not be enough to put Iraq on the path of prosperity.
Seventeen institutions officially joined forces last week to link computers, data and people from around the world to establish a single, virtual system, called XSEDE, that scientists can interactively use to conduct research. The National Science Foundation-funded effort will build on the high-performance computing ground broken by TeraGrid.
Even with the shuttle now history, NASA has a major deadline looming. By presidential order, the space agency has to be ready to launch a manned mission to another asteroid by 2025. The logistical hurdles to be overcome in the 14 years has many NASA brains both thrilled and anxious.
The next 14 months will bring generic versions of seven of the world's 20 best-selling drugs, including the top two: cholesterol fighter Lipitor and blood thinner Plavix. Generic competition will decimate sales of the brand-name drugs and cut costs to patients and companies that provide health benefits.
NASA often gets criticized for not living up to the hype when it comes to generating everyday technologies. Tang, to take the oft-cited example, was used by NASA, but not invented by the Apollo program. But defenders point to evidence that Space Shuttle program has prompted innovation that could have occurred in no other way.
In a broad new cybersecurity strategy released Thursday, the Defense Department formally declared cyberspace a new warfare domain. As part of the plan, the Pentagon is developing more resilient computer networks so the military can continue to operate if critical systems are breached or taken down.
A consortium that includes a veritable who’s-who of telecommunications and software giants have successfully placed their $4.5 billion cash bid for thousands of patents held by bankrupt telecom-equipment maker Nortel Networks Corp. The patents cover technologies that include data networking, semiconductors and 4G wireless systems. Nortel won three R&D 100 Awards for its products in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
While the United States is still working out its next move as the space shuttle program winds down, China is forging ahead. This year, a rocket will carry a boxcar-sized module into orbit, the first building block for a Chinese space station. Around 2013, China plans to launch a lunar probe and place a rover on the moon, followed by a manned mission sometimes after 2020.
Even as the space shuttle Atlantis has lifted off without a back-up shuttle available for a rescue mission, NASA itself lacks an independent option for reaching space. Designs from private developers may take years to perfect, leaving Soyuz as the only way to reach the International Space Station. Some experts and even former astronauts say that’s a violation of NASA’s own design criteria.
Although more than 100 elements are known to exist to date, only 60–70 of them are available for practical materials. Of those, an increasingly narrow window of useful materials remain abundant. Researchers in Japan are proposing a development scheme called the “ubiquitous element strategy that could focus materials research on those elements that are best able to meet global demand.
In the early days of the shuttle program, it was promoted as a cheap, safe and reliable alternative to conventional rockets. But the United States spent more on the space shuttle than the combined cost of soaring to the moon, creating the atom bomb, and digging the Panama Canal. The benefits of the program, however, and what it did to further science and diplomacy, may be incalculable.
Since 1930, electric clocks have kept time based on the rate of the electrical current that powers them. Power companies make this happen by keeping current frequency as precise as possible, but a new experiment that would allow more frequency variation in the interest of reliability and money savings could throw off clocks in appliances by up to 20 minutes over time.