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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Robots in INDIAN : The international finals of Robocon 2008.


In Upcoming times the robotic role of our all possibility making curious- furious, whatever ,
Beginning today, the city will play host to the international finals of Robocon 2008. To be held at the Maharashtra Institute of Technology (MIT) campus, the competition will see robotic Govindas recreating the traditional dahi-handi scene, and will be attended by 17 teams from 16 countries. Initiated by the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU), Robocon is a prestigious international event for engineering students, which involves participants designing robots that can perform tasks based on a given theme. The theme of this year's finals is the dahi-handi , which would require participants to build robots that can 'steal' the butter hanging from 3 different pots. Performing a 'robot pyramid ' symbolises team work. Each participating team will field robots that will perform the task of lifting each other to reach the handi. The first team to remove three cubes of butter will be declared winner. The competition has been organised in different countries for the last eight years. The organisers emphasise that the theme reflect the culture and tradition of the host country, at the same time not very complicated to understand for the other participating countries. It's the first time that India will host the finals. ABU deputy secretary, Nomuru Minami, who visited Pune to oversee the arrangements, said, "The theme of making human pyramids is interesting and not too difficult for the foreign teams to understand ." The competition will see participation by different countries from Japan to Egypt. The team representing each country is the national-level winner of Robocon in that country. India will be represented by Nirma Institute of Technology , Ahmedabad and MIT, Pune. The purpose of conducting this mega inter-collegiate competition is to motivate students to design and develop robots themselves . Robot-design needs multidisciplinary skills in the fields of mechanical, electrical and computer engineering. While promoting teamwork, it also seeks to promote innovation among the young engineers. Over 500 foreign academicians and delegates, along with a number of national academicians and other students, will visit the city during the competition. Those who cannot be present at the venue can catch all the action live on Doordarshan sports. Prasar Bharati CEO, B.S. Lalli , said, "As a mandate of a public broadcaster, it is our endeavour to provide a platform for the youth to showcase their abilities and compete internationally."

Electro Meets Mechanical


Software bridges the divide between electrical and mechanical, allowing you to automatically create accurate, fully populated models from ECAD data.

Printed circuit board (PCB) design has really evolved in the last 25 years. In the early days, PCB designers used sheets of Mylar, colored pencils, and crepe tape to lay out components and circuitry. With the advent of PCB design software, those days are long gone. One similarity to days gone by is the gap between the electronics designer and the mechanical or packaging designer. Integrating PCBs into a mechanical design often means re-modeling circuit boards from scratch, leading to possible errors and costly rework. CircuitWorks bridges the divide between electrical and mechanical, allowing you to automatically create accurate, fully populated models from electrical computer-aided design (ECAD) data. CircuitWorks was developed by Priware, a company recently acquired by SolidWorks. CircuitWorks is now available as part of the SolidWorks Office Premium package.
CircuitWorks Stand-AloneAs a stand-alone product, CircuitWorks is an intuitive tool for viewing, editing, and translating files created by ECAD systems. CircuitWorks reads and writes industry standard IDF (v2, 3, and 4) and PADS (.ASC). CircuitWorks can display the board outline, components, holes (plated and non-plated), keep-out and keep-in areas, as well as notes from the ECAD data. With IDF v4, even pads, filled areas, and traces are shown.
Once the ECAD data is open in CircuitWorks, changes to the data can be made. Components may be moved, filtered out, and features such as reference designators can be edited if necessary. Changes made to the imported file can be saved out in the IDF format for use in the original PCB design software.

WHERE am I? know by Xohm

Xohm
Location-based services are finally hitting the big time this year. With Apple's inclusion and promotion of location enabled features on the iPhone, the stage has been set for a mass market adoption. Sprint has announced that its upcoming WiMAX service dubbed Xohm (we reviewed a demonstration of the service last fall) will feature a wide range of location-based features and services that will be available to users of the service regardless of whether they're on a mobile device or a laptop.

Sprint has teamed up with uLocate to use the company's WHERE platform, which will integrate with Xohm's geospatial system composed of GPS and cell tower multilateration, and will provide access to several data brokers like Yelp (an online urban city guide with reviews of restaurants and other businesses), Topix (geotagged news aggregator), Eventful (a directory of local events), NAVTEQ (real-time local traffic), and AccuWeather (they do weather, oddly enough).
Perhaps surprisingly, Sprint is committed to opening up the location platform by creating an API for developers to integrate into their own software. Sprint claims that these APIs and location services will be available to all devices on the Xohm networks, whether they be cell phones, laptops, or music players.
The only limitation right now seems to be that Sprint has limited the information to being displayed and interacted with on a special web portal that the company controls. This could limit the types of applications that developers can create—standalone and native applications utilizing the location data as is done on the iPhone doesn't appear to be possible in the initial iteration of the service. As of yet, there is no word on the details and specifications for this API, or when it will be made available.
Xohm with uLocate's WHERE platform will launch in Baltimore next month, and Chicago and Washington, DC shortly thereafter.

Effect Of Veoh Decision On YouTube/Viacom Case Unclear


YouTube is cheering a new decision dismissing a copyright infringement lawsuit against Veoh Networks that is similar to a battle it's fighting against Viacom. But not everyone thinks the ruling will hurt Viacom in its $1 billion lawsuit against the video-sharing site.
In the Veoh case, a federal magistrate in San Jose, Calif. threw out a lawsuit brought by adult entertainment company Io Group. The court found that the video-sharing site was protected from liability by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
The extent of that law's protections are key to several pending cases by traditional media companies against sites that rely on user-generated content including, most famously, Viacom's lawsuit against Google's YouTube.
At issue in the Veoh case were Io clips that users had uploaded to the video-sharing site without authorization. Io argued that Veoh should have done more to police its site, but Veoh countered that it was protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's safe harbor provisions. Those protections generally give companies immunity from liability for copyright infringement as long as they remove pirated material posted by users upon request.
Federal magistrate Howard Lloyd agreed with Veoh's interpretation and ruled that the federal statute does not require companies to screen user-submitted content in advance. "Plaintiff's suggestion that Veoh must be required to reduce or limit its business operations is contrary to one of the stated goals of the DMCA," he wrote. "The DMCA was intended to facilitate the growth of electronic commerce, not squelch it."
Viacom's lawsuit is pending in federal court in New York, and the judge in the case is not legally required to follow the ruling of the San Jose court. But the judge in the YouTube case might still be persuaded by another judge's reasoning in a similar lawsuit.
Not surprisingly, YouTube immediately cheered the decision. "It is great to see the Court confirm that the DMCA protects services," the company said in a statement.
For its part, Viacom said in a statement that it still thought YouTube was liable for copyright infringement. "Even if the Veoh decision were to be considered by other courts, that case does nothing to change the fact that YouTube is a business built on infringement that has failed to take reasonable measures to respect the rights of creators and content owners. Google and YouTube have engaged in massive copyright infringement -- conduct that is not protected by any law, including the DMCA."
Some bloggers and industry observers, including the digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation, said the decision seemed to bolster YouTube.
Eric Goldman, director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University, was among those who thought the court's reasoning could bode poorly for Viacom. "It's terrific news for YouTube," he said.
Goldman added that the court's rejection of the proposition that Veoh should have instituted measures to prevented pirated clips from ever appearing on the site is especially significant. "Can plaintiffs tell defendants how to run their business? This court's saying, 'Definitely not.'"
Another portion of the ruling that could help YouTube deals with the site's transcoding of videos into Flash. Lloyd held that automatically converting the clips into Flash doesn't deprive Veoh of immunity. "Veoh is not precluded from safe harbor ... by virtue of its automated processing of user-submitted content," he wrote.
Still, not everyone agrees that this case offers powerful support for Google's video-sharing site. "It's a factually different situation," said Bruce Boyden, an assistant law professor at Marquette.
One of the most significant dissimilarities is that Io never notified Veoh about the infringing clips. On the contrary, the first time Veoh learned of the alleged piracy was when it was served with the lawsuit.
But Viacom complained numerous times to YouTube about alleged copyright infringement on the site. YouTube has responded by taking down particular clips, but the problem is that users continued to upload new copies.
"Viacom, unlike Io, has been sending tons of Section 512 takedown notices to YouTube. The question there is going to be, what does YouTube have to do after it gets those notices other than just pulling down the one file that's complained about?" Boyden said.
Additionally, Lloyd noted in his ruling that Veoh did everything possible to prevent piracy. "Perhaps most importantly, there is no indication that Veoh has failed to police its system to the fullest extent permitted by its architecture," Lloyd wrote.
But one of Viacom's allegations against YouTube is that, prior to late 2007, the site had copyright infringement detection tools but made them available only to partners. If that's true, the decision in Veoh is not especially helpful to YouTube, Boyden said.

Amazon rainforest was giant garden city

Amazon rainforest was covered by a vast sprawl of interconnected villages between 1,500 and 500 years ago, according to a study that shows how nature has felt the impact of man for much longer than realised.
Explorers have long sought lost cities of the Amazon, now almost entirely obscured by forest. Today it turns out that the "garden cities", which date back 1500 years, were too spread out to make sense of on foot.

Aerial shot of an Amazon village showing central plaza and the roads radiating from the centre
Assisted by satellite imagery, researchers have spent more than a decade uncovering and mapping the lost and obscured communities to show they held more than 1000 people each and were once large and complex enough to be considered "urban" as the term is commonly applied to medieval European and ancient Greek communities.
In the Xingu region of the Brazilian Amazon, these garden cities radiated out over a diameter of 150 miles, covering an area of 18,000 square miles that exceeds the sprawl of Los Angeles by 35 fold.
However, they only held around 50,000 people, compared with the 13 million in LA.
The extraordinary conclusion is reached by anthropologists from the University of Florida and Brazil, and a member of the Kuikuro, an indigenous people who are the descendants of the settlements' original inhabitants.
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"If we look at your average medieval town or your average Greek polis, most are about the scale of those we find in this part of the Amazon," said Prof Mike Heckenberger of the University of Florida, lead author of the paper published today in the journal Science.
"Only the ones we find are much more complicated in terms of their planning."
The paper also argues that the size and scale of the settlements in the southern Amazon in North Central Brazil means that what many scientists consider virgin tropical forests were shaped by human activity hundreds of years ago.
Not only that, but the settlements - consisting of networks of walled towns and smaller villages, each organised around a central plaza - suggest future solutions for supporting the indigenous population in Brazil's state of Mato Grosso and other regions of the Amazon, the paper says.
Around the communities the scientists found dams and artificial ponds that indicate the then inhabitants farmed fish, which today could be a valuable new food resource.
Prof Heckenberger and his colleagues first announced the discovery of the first settlements in 2003, revealing the largest date from around 1250 to 1650, when European colonists and the diseases they brought likely killed most of their inhabitants.
The communities are now almost entirely overgrown. But Prof Heckenberger said that members of the Kuikuro, a Xinguano tribe that calls the region home, are adept at identifying tell-tale signs of old settlements, from "dark earth" that indicate past human waste dumps or farming, concentrations of pottery shards and earthworks.
The new paper reports that the settlements consisted of clusters of 150-acre towns and smaller villages organised in spread out "galactic" patterns.
None of the large towns was as large as the largest medieval or Greek towns. But as with those towns, the Amazonian ones were surrounded by large walls - in their case, composed of earthworks still extant today.
Each settlement had an identical formal road, always oriented northeast to southwest in keeping with the mid-year summer solstice, connected to a central plaza.
The findings are important because they contradict long-held stereotypes about early Western versus early New World settlements that rest on the idea that "if you find it in Europe, it's a city.
If you find it somewhere else, it has to be something else," Prof Heckenberger said. "They have quite remarkable planning."
Because it means at least one area of "pristine" Amazon has a long history of human activity, the find could change not only how scientists assess the flora and fauna, but also how conservationists preserve the remains of forest so heavily cleared it is the world's largest soybean producing area. Explorers have long sought lost cities of the Amazon, now almost entirely obscured by forest. Today it turns out that the "garden cities", which date back 1500 years, were too spread out to make sense of on foot.

Aerial shot of an Amazon village showing central plaza and the roads radiating from the centre
Assisted by satellite imagery, researchers have spent more than a decade uncovering and mapping the lost and obscured communities to show they held more than 1000 people each and were once large and complex enough to be considered "urban" as the term is commonly applied to medieval European and ancient Greek communities.
In the Xingu region of the Brazilian Amazon, these garden cities radiated out over a diameter of 150 miles, covering an area of 18,000 square miles that exceeds the sprawl of Los Angeles by 35 fold.
However, they only held around 50,000 people, compared with the 13 million in LA.
The extraordinary conclusion is reached by anthropologists from the University of Florida and Brazil, and a member of the Kuikuro, an indigenous people who are the descendants of the settlements' original inhabitants.
advertisement
"If we look at your average medieval town or your average Greek polis, most are about the scale of those we find in this part of the Amazon," said Prof Mike Heckenberger of the University of Florida, lead author of the paper published today in the journal Science.
"Only the ones we find are much more complicated in terms of their planning."
The paper also argues that the size and scale of the settlements in the southern Amazon in North Central Brazil means that what many scientists consider virgin tropical forests were shaped by human activity hundreds of years ago.
Not only that, but the settlements - consisting of networks of walled towns and smaller villages, each organised around a central plaza - suggest future solutions for supporting the indigenous population in Brazil's state of Mato Grosso and other regions of the Amazon, the paper says.
Around the communities the scientists found dams and artificial ponds that indicate the then inhabitants farmed fish, which today could be a valuable new food resource.
Prof Heckenberger and his colleagues first announced the discovery of the first settlements in 2003, revealing the largest date from around 1250 to 1650, when European colonists and the diseases they brought likely killed most of their inhabitants.
The communities are now almost entirely overgrown. But Prof Heckenberger said that members of the Kuikuro, a Xinguano tribe that calls the region home, are adept at identifying tell-tale signs of old settlements, from "dark earth" that indicate past human waste dumps or farming, concentrations of pottery shards and earthworks.
The new paper reports that the settlements consisted of clusters of 150-acre towns and smaller villages organised in spread out "galactic" patterns.
None of the large towns was as large as the largest medieval or Greek towns. But as with those towns, the Amazonian ones were surrounded by large walls - in their case, composed of earthworks still extant today.
Each settlement had an identical formal road, always oriented northeast to southwest in keeping with the mid-year summer solstice, connected to a central plaza.
The findings are important because they contradict long-held stereotypes about early Western versus early New World settlements that rest on the idea that "if you find it in Europe, it's a city.
If you find it somewhere else, it has to be something else," Prof Heckenberger said. "They have quite remarkable planning."
Because it means at least one area of "pristine" Amazon has a long history of human activity, the find could change not only how scientists assess the flora and fauna, but also how conservationists preserve the remains of forest so heavily cleared it is the world's largest soybean producing area.

New satellite imagery by google

Google has agreed to license imagery for their mapping products from a satellite due to launch on September 4th. This new satellite can take detailed imagery for an area the size of Delaware in one day. What does that mean? Well, you could get high resolution pan-sharpened imagery for the entire country in around 30 days. Impressive.
The level of detail will be approximately 50cm per pixel — that’s just under 20 inches. If you want to see what that looks like, take a look at this. Imagine having a Google Maps/Earth content that is this detailed, 100% complete and updated once a month — that’s powerful stuff.
“The GeoEye-1 satellite has the highest ground resolution color imagery available in the commercial marketplace and will produce high-quality imagery with a very accurate geolocation. It is our goal to display high-resolution imagery for as much of the world as possible, and GeoEye-1 will help further that goal.” — Kate Hurowitz (Google)
And for bragging rights, Google’s even got their logo on the side of the rocket as pictured above.
Garett Rogers is employed as a programmer for iQmetrix, which specializes in retail management software for the cellular and electronics industry. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

A computer worm has been found on some astronaut's laptop on the International Space Station

A worm on the space station
A virus designed to swipe passwords from online gamers has inexplicably popped up in some laptop computers aboard the International Space Station.

The low-risk virus was detected on July 25, but did not infect the space station's command and control computers and poses no threat to the orbiting laboratory, NASA officials said.

"This is basically a nuisance," NASA spokesperson Kelly Humphries told SPACE.com from the agency's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

According to a NASA planning document obtained by SPACE.com, the worm was identified as W32.Gammima.AG. The California-based retail anti-virus software manufacturer Symantec describes it as a Windows-based worm which spreads by copying itself onto removable media. It is capable of stealing passwords for online games and is classified as a very low risk, according to Symantec's Web site.

Humphries said that while NASA security protocols prohibit discussing details of the virus and efforts to combat it, a search is under way to find out how it got on board the space station more than 200 miles above Earth.

"We'll do our best to track down how it got there and close that gateway," Humphries said. "This is not a frequent occurrence but we have had viruses that have made their way on board before."

New flash memory cards due to launch to the station aboard a Russian cargo ship next month have been screened for the virus, the NASA document stated. Not all of the 71 laptop computers currently aboard the station run Windows, and those that do and are vulnerable to viruses could be updated, it went on.

The space station is currently home to three astronauts: Russian cosmonaut commander Sergei Volkov, cosmonaut flight engineer Oleg Kononenko and NASA flight engineer Greg Chamitoff. Volkov and Kononenko are due to return to Earth in October, while Chamitoff is slated to stay until his replacement arrives during NASA's planned November space shuttle mission.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Internet explorer 8(beta released.


This is virtual age , following the era of the time tech bissiness is showing the best servicess for them customers. yes now about the micosoft IE8,The forthcoming Microsoft web browser Internet Explorer 8 (IE8), which is still be in beta mode, has just got a bunch of stealth security tweaks that make web privacy that bit easier. InPrivate is a new browsing mode that lets you choose what is saved and what third parties are saving this.
Microsoft introduced this new feature after feedback from the current IE7 development when it asked if users were interested in ‘clearing their tracks’ but keeping certain web preferences, so that clearing browsing history would not completely wipe out all data.
The Redmond-based company lists some reasonable explanations as to why you would like to surf ‘off-the-record’ or decide what parts of your browsing history that can be completely and easily cleared — ie you don’t want the next person in an internet cafĂ© to know what sites you have been visiting or maybe you have just bought a gift online for your nearest and dearest and do not want them to find out.
However, some are already dubbing InPrivate the act of going into ‘porn mode’ on your browser because of its convenient ability to let the user pick and choose which sites they want to be secretive about with all traces of having visited being completely erased.
InPrivate Browsing lets you pick whether IE8 saves your browsing history and form data or cookies, whereas InPrivate Blocking alerts you to what third-party sites may be looking to retain your data as you pass through their sites.
Finally, InPrivate Subscriptions lets you rewrite these rules for your favourite websites or alternatively list sites that you want to block completely.
InPrivate Browsing can be launched from one click of a button in a new window; do your browsing, close it down and all your surfing records will disappear.
Mozilla is said to be working on similar features for the next release of its Firefox browser. Meanwhile these new features will be added to the IE8 Beta1 release, which is due out later this month.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Human Blood from Stem Cells


Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. ("ACT") (OTC: ACTC.PK) reported that it is feasible to differentiate and mature human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) into functional oxygen-carrying red blood cells (RBCs) under conditions suitable for scale-up. The research, which appears online (pre-published ahead of print) in the journal Blood -the leading publication in the field --by ACTC and its collaborators at the Mayo Clinic and the University of Illinois, shows for the first time that the oxygen-carrying capacity of hESC-derived blood cells is comparable to normal transfusable RBCs, and that the cells respond to biochemical changes in a physiologically effective manner.
"Limitations in the supply of blood can have potentially life-threatening consequences for patients with massive blood loss," said Robert Lanza, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer at ACT, and senior author of the study. "Embryonic stem cells represent a new source of cells that can be propagated and expanded indefinitely, providing a potentially inexhaustible source of red blood cells for human therapy. We can currently generate 10 to 100 billion red blood cells from a single six-well plate of stem cells. The identification of a stem cell line with "O -" blood-type would permit the production of compatible "universal donor" blood. We also have work underway to generate reprogrammed (iPS) stem cells from individuals with universal-donor blood."
The efficient and controlled differentiation of hESCs into homogeneous RBC populations has not been previously achieved. This paper describes for the first time the generation of RBCs from hESCs with oxygen-transporting capacity, and that the functional properties of these cells are similar to those of normal erythrocytes. Multiple stem cell lines were stimulated to undergo differentiation in vitro to form functional RBCs (blood types A, B, O, and both RhD+ and RhD-) on a large scale under conditions suitable for scale-up and clinical translation. Although alternative sources of progenitors for the generation of large-scale transfusable RBCs have been investigated, including cord blood, bone marrow and peripheral blood, it is clear that even after expansion and differentiation, these sources represent donor-limited sources of RBCs. Moreover, the low prevalence of O(-) type blood in the general population further intensifies the consequences of blood shortages for emergency situations and battlefield trauma care, where the need for blood typing can imposes serious delays in initiating transfusions
Another critical issue for clinical utilization of hESC-derived RBCs is whether they can be enucleated in vitro. "We show that up to 65% of the blood cells underwent multiple maturation events that resulted in the extrusion of the nucleus," stated Shi-Jiang Lu, Ph.D., Director of Differentiation at ACT and first author of the paper. "They formed enucleated erythrocytes with a diameter of 6-8 (mu)m, which is similar to normal red blood cells. We also showed that the cells could express adult (beta)-globin and respond normally to biochemical changes."
"We believe this breakthrough could potentially benefit many Americans," stated William M. Caldwell, CEO and Chairman of ACTC. "Although more work is required before this can move into the clinic, we are pleased with the rapid progress that is being made by our scientists and others. We are optimistic about the potential future role for stem cells as a donorless source of blood for transfusion"
The researchers of the paper from Advanced Cell Technology collaborated with scientists from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. The paper's other authors are Qiang Feng and Jennifer Park of ACT, Loyda Vida, Bao-Shiang Lee, and George Honig at the University of Florida, and Michael Strausbauch and Peter Wettstein at the Mayo Clinic.
Link to article (Open Access): http://bloodjournal.hematologylibrary.org/papbyrecent.dtl
About Advanced Cell Technology, Inc.
Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. is a biotechnology company applying cellular technology in the emerging field of regenerative medicine. For more information, visit http://www.advancedcell.com.
Forward-Looking Statements
Statements in this news release regarding future financial and operating results, future growth in research and development programs, potential applications of our technology, opportunities for the company and any other statements about the future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans, or prospects expressed by management constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any statements that are not statements of historical fact (including statements containing the words "will," "believes," "plans," "anticipates," "expects," "estimates," and similar expressions) should also be considered to be forward-looking statements. There are a number of important factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements, including: limited operating history, need for future capital, risks inherent in the development and commercialization of potential products, protection of our intellectual property, and economic conditions generally. Additional information on potential factors that could affect our results and other risks and uncertainties are detailed from time to time in the company's periodic reports, including the report on Form 10-QSB for the quarter ended September 30, 2007. Forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs, opinions, and expectations of the company's management at the time they are made, and the company does not assume any obligation to update its forward-looking statements if those beliefs, opinions, expectations, or other circumstances should change.
Forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs, opinions, and expectations of the company's management at the time they are made, and the company does not assume any obligation to update its forward-looking statements if those beliefs, opinions, expectations, or other circumstances should change. .

“This is a scalable process, and there’s virtually no limit to the amount of blood you could produce, given the time and resources,” Robert Lanza, vice president of medical and scientific development for Advanced Cell, said.

The created blood cells were able to carry oxygen the same way as the normal ones. Moreover, they appear to be able to deliver it to the tissue correctly. The researchers further unveiled that 65 percent of these cells are able to reach full maturity and shed their nucleus.

Other researchers had previously created red blood cells using stem cells but the ACT experiment succeeded to produce between 10 billion and 100 billion red blood cells from a six-well plate of embryonic stem cells.

The next goal of the company is to see how the cells function in living beings. They hope that one day that can use this blood in human transfusions.

This new method of creating cells could put an end to the nation’s chronic problems with blood shortages and ease worries about contamination. There is one impediment however, as the cost of producing one unit of blood using this method raises to a few thousands dollars.

Roger Dodd of the American Red Cross said that manufacturing blood is “an ambitious goal” that would likely cost far more per pint than donated blood.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Will Robot Rule wire free Future ?


Intel says so . Lets see the ground :
Wires have no place in Intel's vision of the future. The company on Thursday showed off developments in wire-free power transmission using a Wireless Resonant Energy Link -- technology that transmits power without cords. It also shared its vision of coming decades full of robots, rapidly accelerating technology, and morphing gadgets that are whatever you want them to be.

Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) outlined an ambitious vision of future technologies Thursday at this year's Intel Developer Forum held in San Francisco. In his keynote address Justin Rattner, Intel's chief technology officer, spoke about and demonstrated several technologies he said would be part of an evolution that closes the gap between humans and machines by 2050.

Key concepts demoed during Rattner's talk included a wireless power source for recharging devices, shape-shifting devices made with so-called programmable matter, and personal robot prototypes that could one day lead to more human-like versions of the machines.

"The industry has taken much greater strides than anyone ever imagined 40 years ago. There is speculation that we may be approaching an inflection point where the rate of technology advancements is accelerating at an exponential rate, and machines could even overtake humans in their ability to reason, in the not-so-distant future," Rattner said.


Cutting the Cord
Perhaps the most practical of the concept products Intel debuted yesterday, the Tesla-esque Wireless Resonant Energy Link (WREL) could enable users to recharge their laptops or mobile handsets simply by being in proximity of a transmitter.

WREL is based on technology developed by a team of researchers including Marin Soljacic, assistant professor of physics, and Andre Kurs, a graduate student, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology .

The technology consists of a source antenna and a device antenna, according to Kurs. "A special-purpose circuit takes power from a regular wall outlet and uses that to excite electric currents in the source antenna. Those currents generate electromagnetic fields and the device antenna captures some of the power contained in them and feeds it to the gadget that one is interested in powering," he explained.

"In order for this scheme to be efficient when the source and device are separated by some distance, it's necessary that both antennas be resonant at the same frequency and that they be carefully designed so that, roughly speaking, they transfer power among themselves faster than they dissipate it," Kurs told TechNewsWorld.

Building on that foundation, researchers at Intel's Seattle lab have refined the technology to use a form of magnetic resonance fields -- a safe form of power transfer -- to power devices, said Alanson Sample, an Intel researcher.

Intel's version of the technology consists of two parts. On one side is a transmitter, comprised of a dry loop and resonator with a coil and transmits energy. On the other side is a receive resonator and pickup loop, through which the device acquires the energy, said Sample.

While researchers are still looking at form factors, usage models and extending the technology's range, no plans have been made to bring the technology to market, Sample told TechNewsWorld.

Sample envisions a product built into a smart workspace, where users could automatically recharge devices such as a laptop and a smartphone.

However, WERL could be suitable to power household appliances such as refrigerators, lamps and televisions, Kurs said. However, "I think portable devices would get a larger boost in convenience from wireless power," he added.

The Futurescape
Intel researchers are also looking at the uses of programmable matter, or "catoms" -- micro-robots that can be used to build shape-shifting devices. Developed by research at Carnegie Mellon University, catoms, short for "claytronics atoms," were are designed to form large-scale machines and mechanisms. They can be programmed from many different devices.

For instance, millions of the ultra-tiny machines could be used to build a mobile computer small enough to fit in a pocket that morphs into a laptop with a keyboard and display or into an earpiece for use as a mobile phone.

The company is also researching a silicon technology that will extend Moore's Law for another 10 years or more. Researchers are investigating how to move beyond planar transistors to 3-D transistors, and they're exploring compound semiconductors as a way to replace silicon in the transistor channel.

The chipmaker also showed off two robot prototypes. Using a robotic hand, Rattner demonstrated the company's electric field pre-touch technology. Modeled after the sensing modality of fish that enables them to "feel" objects before they touch them, the technology gives robots the sense of touch.

The second robot demonstrated technology that enabled it to recognize faces as well as interpret and execute generic commands with state-of-the-art motion planning, manipulations, perception and artificial intelligence

Saturday, August 23, 2008

NASA destroys rocket after failed launch

NASA destroyed an unmanned experimental rocket carrying a pair of research satellites Friday when it veered off course shortly after an early morning liftoff.

There were no injuries or confirmed reports of property damage, according to NASA, but the agency warned that debris from the explosion could be hazardous. NASA believes most of the wreckage fell into the Atlantic Ocean off the Virginia coast.
Officials said the rocket — a prototype made by Alliant Techsystems Inc., or ATK — was destroyed by remote control 27 seconds into the predawn flight. It was between 11,000 and 12,000 feet high when it exploded. Officials said they do not know why it veered off course. It was destroyed to avoid endangering the public.
"I would be surprised if we don't know what happened fairly quickly," said Kent Rominger, an ex-astronaut who is now vice president of advanced programs for the company's launch systems.
NASA had paid $17 million for the two hypersonic flight research satellites and flight preparations. Rominger declined to put a value on the one-of-a-kind rocket, which he said was developed over the past few years to learn firsthand about launch vehicles and to test new technologies. The Minneapolis-based ATK makes the solid-rocket boosters for NASA's space shuttles and is working with the space agency on its new moon rockets.
Rominger called Friday's accident "a very big disappointment but not a setback."
"We knew the risks of launching payloads on a first-of-a-kind rocket," said Juan Alonso, director of NASA's fundamental aeronautics program.

BIG CAT FOSSIL


Venezuela has found the first fossils of an extinct scimitar cat -- of the saber-toothed cat genus -- in South America, during oil prospecting activities southeast of Caracas, paleontologists announced.
"It's South America's most important discovery in 60 years," Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Investigation paleontologist Ascanio Rincon told AFP on Monday.
He said fossils of six scimitar cats, or Homotherium, were found along with those of panthers, wolves, camels, condors, ducks and horses, all from about 1.8 million years ago, by a Petroleos de Venezuela team looking for oil in Monagas state in 2006.
The most important find, he said, was the complete skull of a scimitar cat, an animal never before found in South America.
"For us it's a milestone and opens a window to the past."
The scimitar cat, a smaller version of the saber-toothed tiger with a hyena-like appearance and smaller, crenelated teeth, was believed to have only inhabited Africa, Eurasia and North America between five million and 10,000 years ago.
Rincon estimated the scimitar cat became extinct in South America about 500,000 years ago.
He said the finding proved the scimitar cat shared the same habitat with the saber-toothed tiger in South America. Saber-toothed tiger fossils have been found in both North and South America.
Rincon said the fossil find would expand his research into the lifestyle of the extinct big cats

Friday, August 22, 2008

Places of Mystery and Power

Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat, in present-day Cambodia, formed part of the capital of the Khmer Empire from 802 until 1295, and is probably the largest religious monument ever constructed. Built over a 30-year period with sandstone and laterite (a dense, porous, iron-bearing soil that can be quarried like stone), the rectangular structure (2,800 by 3,800 feet) faces west, in Hindu belief the direction taken by the dead when going to their next life.
Mt. Ararat
According to Genesis 8:4, after seven months and 17 days afloat in the ark upon the waters of the great deluge that destroyed all life on Earth, Noah, his family, and his massive living cargo of live-stock came to rest upon the mountains of Ararat, near the headwaters of the Euphrates River in what is today eastern Turkey. So prevalent is the belief that Noah's Ark can be located on the slope of the tallest mountain in Turkey, Agri Dagi (Mt.
The Sacred City of Allahabad
Each year since the eighth century, Hindu pilgrims have traveled to one of the four sacred cities—Hardvar, Prayag, Ujjain, and Nasik— each located on a different sacred river—to seek forgiveness of sins as they bathe in the holy waters. According to Hindu mythology, the four cities became consecrated by the four drops of the nectar of immortality that fell upon them from the vessel that the gods used to carry the elixir of life away to heaven.
Atlantis
More than 2,500 years ago, a legend first began to spread about a society of the past that enjoyed an abundance of natural resources, great military power, splendid building and engineering feats, and intellectual achievements far advanced over those of other lands. Called Atlantis, it was described as a continent-sized area with rich soil, plentiful pure water, abundant vegetation and animals, natural hot springs for health and vigor, and such mineral wealth that gold was inlaid in buildings and was among the precious metals and stones worn as jewelry.
Avalon
Avalon is the place where the legendary King Arthur was taken after receiving mortal wounds in battle. Although it is a mythical place, there are sites on which Avalon may well have been based.
The Bermuda Triangle
The Bermuda Triangle, also called the Devil's Triangle, is an imaginary area that can be roughly outlined on a map by connecting Miami, Florida; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and the Bahamas, an island chain off the coast of the United States. Within that triangular area of the Atlantic Ocean have occurred a number of unexplained disappearances of boats and planes.
Japan's Dragon's Triangle
The "Devil's Sea" and the Dragon's Triangle located in the Philippine Sea off China's eastern coast is known for vanishing ships and seamen similar to the legendary Bermuda Triangle. While sensational theories for the mysterious disappearances speak of extraterrestrials and lost kingdoms under the sea wreaking havoc, others believe that the region displays the same magnetic anomalies as the Bermuda Triangle.
Chartres
The gothic cathedral that stands in the French town of Chartres is the sixth church or cathedral constructed on that site over 1,500 years. Although the present cathedral is recognized as a place for Christian pilgrimages, it is considered mysterious.
Cahokia and its Woodhenge
Cahokia Mounds State Historical Site in Illinois is the site of the largest prehistoric Native American city north of Mexico. The city covered six square miles of settlement and may have been inhabited by as many as 20,000 people sometime between 800 and 1400.
Cursuses and Leys
There exists substantial evidence that some ancient societies wanted their landscapes to reflect the interconnectedness of life—imitating patterns they noticed in constellations, in changing seasons, or in rituals they performed. Ritual paths are found near some of Great Britain's ancient megalithic sites and are called cursuses.
El Dorado
Europeans of the sixteenth century presumed that somewhere deep in South America was a vast city called El Dorado that contained unimaginable mineral riches. Several Spanish conquistadors made perilous, often deadly journeys to find it.
Easter Island
In one of the most remote spots on Earth, separated by more than two thousand miles of ocean from the nearest centers of civilization, is a lone, triangular-shaped island that occupies about 64 square miles of the Pacific Ocean, which spans 70 million square miles. On the island's southeast coast stand nearly a hundred huge, megalithic monuments carved in a stylized manner to resemble male human heads with elongated facial features.
Glastonbury
Glastonbury, in the Somerset region of England, seems always to have been a spiritual center, from Celtic May Day festivities, to Christian worship, to present-day New Age festivals. Human habitation dates back many centuries before the contemporary era, based on findings of flints, the remains of two lake villages that rose above the marshes on artificial islands, and hundreds of planks that formed walkways held by pegs driven into the soil.
Hollow Earth
Edmund Halley (1656–1742) is best known for having calculated the orbit of a comet that passes by Earth every 76 years. The comet known as Halley's made its first appearance under that name in 1682.
Jerusalem
Jerusalem stands in the middle of the nation of Israel, a holy city to three of the world's great religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Before Muslims underwent pilgrimages to Mecca, the most venerated holy place in all of Islam was the Dome of the Rock, a magnificent mosque built over the sacred rock where Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac to the Lord and where the Prophet Muhammad (c.
The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
Listings of the greatest architectural achievements of the world date at least as far back as the time of Herodotus (484–425 B.C.E.), who mentions such an inventory. Later Greek historians wrote about the great monuments of their time, and the list of seven ancient wonders of the world was finalized from among those opinions during the Middle Ages.
Karnak
On the banks of the Nile, between the ancient cities of Luxor and Thebes, lie the remains of Karnak, one of the most magnificent temple complexes ever constructed. In ancient Egyptian, Karnak means "the most select of places," and it became a religious center during the period known as the New Kingdom (founded c.
Lemuria and Mu
Lemuria and Mu are sometimes distinct and sometimes interchangeable names for a legendary lost continent, which, according to its proponents, existed in the Caribbean Ocean and had many of the attributes associated with Atlantis. The mysterious lost lands of Lemuria and Mu were conceived of during the nineteenth century, when the theory of evolution was introduced and was among the advances in the sciences that challenged conventional ways of understanding life.
Lourdes
The healing Grotto of Bernadette at Lourdes, France, was constructed on the site where 14-year-old Bernadette Soubrious (1844–1879) claimed to have conversed with Mother Mary in 1858. Since the time that the miracle occurred to the young miller's daughter, pilgrims have journeyed to Lourdes to seek healing from the waters of the natural spring that appeared in the grotto next to the Gave de Pau River.
Machu Picchu
At its height during the 1400s, the Incan empire was the largest in the world, stretching 2,500 miles north to south and supporting a population of more than ten million people. The temples, extensive roads, elaborate masonry, and treasures of gold and silver associated with the Incas date from around 1200 through the 1400s.
Mayan Temples
When the Spanish conquistadors claimed areas of Central America and Mexico in the sixteenth century, they discovered the ruins of a great civilization, that of the Mayans, who had vanished and left evidence of their lost grandeur in massive structures that had been over-whelmed by the surrounding rain forest. The native people could not explain the significance of the sprawling, vacant cities to the conquistadors.
Mecca
Mecca, known to the Muslim faithful as Umm al-Qura, the Mother of Cities, is the holiest place in the Islamic world. It was here that Muhammad the Prophet (c.
The Energies of Holy Lines
Medicine Wheel of the Big Horn Mountains
Above the timberline in the Big Horn Mountains of northern Wyoming exists a massive Medicine Wheel whose pattern of stones etches an imperfect circle with a diameter of about 25 meters. A group of stones about four meters in diameter establishes the hub of the wheel.
The Nazca Lines
On the western side of the Andes mountain range are a modern town and a river named Nazca, as well as the mysterious remains of an ancient civilization also identified as the Nazca (sometimes spelled Nasca). Remnants of the Nazca civilization include a strip of impressive buildings, but they are more famous for leaving their mark on the earth in a different way—with geoglyphs, which literally means markings on the earth ("geo" for earth; "glyph" for a symbolic figure or character).
Ley Lines and Energy Alignments
In 1921, Alfred Watkins (1855–1935) coined the term "ley lines" when explaining his theory that such ancient sites around Britain as various stone circles, stone groupings, burial mounds, and places of worship had been deliberately constructed to form certain alignments between and across the landscape. Except for a few isolated cases, most ley claims did not match the criteria of straight alignment, and often incorporated structures from different eras.
The Great Pyramid (of Khufu), at Giza
When the Greek historian Herodotus (c. 484–between 430 and 420 B.C.E.) reported on the Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops, in Greek) during the fifth century B.C.E., his inquiry was impeded because the door leading into the pyramid was concealed.
The Sphinx
The Sphinx at Giza faces due east and is referred to in some Egyptian hieroglyphics as Hamachis, the god of the rising Sun. Later, Hamachis evolved into the name Hor-em-Akhet.
The Desertion of Roanoke
In 1587, a colony of 113 men, women, and children vanished from Roanoke Island. The English colonists who disappeared had remained on the island, situated off the coast of what is today North Carolina, while their governor, John White, sailed back to England to procure more supplies.
Sedona's Second City
Sedona, Arizona, located about 120 miles north of Phoenix, is hailed as being one of the most mystical places; in recent years it has become a New Age center. Many metaphysicians have maintained that there is a spiritual city that exists in another dimension directly above Sedona.
Stonehenge
"The more we dig, the more the mystery seems to deepen," said William Hawley (1851–1941), the official archaeologist of Stonehenge following World War I (1914–18). He was reporting to the press about his underfunded historical project that seemed to be languishing.
Sacsahuaman and the Skilled Stonecutters
Cuzco, the ancient capital of the Incan empire in what is now Peru, was fortified by the massive structure of Sacsahuaman on a hill above the city. This walled citadel resides on top of a cone-shaped hill 12,000 feet above sea level.
Taos Pueblo
In 1992, Taos Pueblo in New Mexico was admitted to the World Heritage Society as one of the most significant historical cultural landmarks in the world, thereby joining such sites as the Taj Mahal, the Great Pyramids, and the Grand Canyon. For many Native Americans and proponents of New Age mysticism, Taos Pueblo is also one of the primary spiritual structures on the North American continent, and it is a sacred place that does not yield its secrets to anyone other than members of the Pueblo.
Tiahuanaco
The Inca civilization of South America, unlike the Mayan, was still at its height when conquistadors arrived. One of the conquistadors, Cieza de Leon (1518–1560), followed trails from the coast of Peru into the foothills of the Andes and learned from natives about the ruins of a once great city high in the mountains.

THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE : The Unexplained matter



The Bermuda Triangle, also called the Devil's Triangle, is an imaginary area that can be roughly outlined on a map by connecting Miami, Florida; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and the Bahamas, an island chain off the coast of the United States. Within that triangular area of the Atlantic Ocean have occurred a number of unexplained disappearances of boats and planes. Additionally, readings on directional devices do not operate normally inside the triangle.
Unusual events in that area date back in recorded history to 1493 and the first voyage of Christopher Columbus (1451–1506) to the New World. In his log, Columbus noted that his compass readings were askew within the area now called the Bermuda Triangle, and he and his crew were confused by shallow areas of sea with no land nearby.
The term "Bermuda Triangle" was first used in an article written by Vincent H. Gaddis for Argosy magazine in 1964. Gaddis claimed that several ships and planes had disappeared without explanation in that area. The article was expanded and included in his book, Invisible Horizons: True Mysteries of the Sea (1965), where he described nine mysterious incidents and provided extensive detail. Many newspapers carried a story in December of 1967 about strange incidents in the Bermuda Triangle after a National Geographic Society news release brought attention to Gaddis's book. The triangle was featured in a cover story in Argosy in 1968, in a book called Limbo of the Lost (1969) by John Wallace Spencer, and in a documentary film, The Devil's Triangle, in 1971. Charles Berlitz's 1974 bestseller The Bermuda Triangle marked the height of the disaster area legend, but some of its sensationalized claims were quickly proved inaccurate.
As early as 1952, George X. Sands had noted in a report in Fate magazine that an unusually large number of strange accidents had occurred in the region associated with the Bermuda Triangle. That many of the accidents in the area are intriguing, and that the area does have some natural conditions that sailors and pilots need to be aware of, has not been challenged. However, neither statistics nor documented evidence indicates that the number of accidents is unusually high or without explanation.
In March 1918, during World War I, the USS Cyclops vanished in the Bermuda Triangle. That ship may have been a casualty of war, but the December 1945 disappearance of Flight 19, a training squadron of five U.S. Navy torpedo bombers, became the most notorious of disappearances associated with the Bermuda Triangle. The squadron left Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with 14 crewmen and disappeared after radioing in several distress messages. A seaplane sent in search of the squadron also vanished. Those two airplane disappearances were frequently cited as the Bermuda Triangle legend grew during the 1960s and 1970s.
Few of those stories included telling details. All of the crewmen of Flight 19 were in training, for example, except for their patrol leader, who had tried to withdraw from his flight duty that day because he was feeling ill. After his compass malfunctioned soon into the flight, the flight leader decided to navigate by land-marks below on the islands of the Florida Keys, with which he was familiar. Visibility became a problem because of a sudden storm, and the leader became disoriented. Flight 19 was still in radio contact with the Fort Lauderdale air base, but after some mechanical difficulties they failed to switch to an emergency frequency. Radio recordings indicate that some of the crew believed they were heading out over the Atlantic Ocean, instead of the Gulf of Mexico as their leader reported.
A search plane took off and was claimed to have disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle with Flight 19. The plane actually blew up 23 seconds after takeoff. Wreckage from Flight 19 has never been recovered.
Other aircraft that have disappeared in the area include a DC-3 carrying 27 passengers in 1948 and a C-124 Globemaster with 53 passengers in 1951. Among the ships often listed among the mysteriously disappeared are the Mary Celeste (1872), the Marine tankership Sulphur Queen with 39 men aboard (1963), and the nuclear-powered submarine Scorpion with a crew of 99 (1968). The Mary Celeste entered the list of supposed Bermuda Triangle mysteries many decades after its odd tragedy. The ship set sail from New York to Genoa, Italy, but was found sailing unmanned some 400 miles off course, off the coast of Africa. Personal articles of the crew were found and food storage areas showed no sign of upheaval. A tattered sail and a missing lifeboat suggested the boat had encountered a storm, but the ship's log, in which information was recorded as late as nine days before the ship was found, made no mention of any kind of catastrophe.
There is no evidence, however, that the Mary Celeste ever entered the area of the Bermuda Triangle. Still, the eerie, unanswered questions concerning its fate are often cited by those who attribute a malevolent force as being responsible for odd and tragic events of the triangle.
Nevertheless, there are many documented disappearances that occurred within the triangle. They include a four-engine Tudor IV air-plane lost in 1948, with 31 aboard; an American freighter, the SS Sandra (1952), which sunk without a trace; a British York transport plane, disappeared in 1952, with 33 aboard; a U.S. Navy Lockheed Constellation airplane, vanished in 1954 with 42 aboard; a U.S. Navy seaplane, 1956, with a crew of 10; a French freighter in 1970; and a German freighter, Anita, lost in 1972 with a crew of 32.
Theories about why so many air and water ships disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle involve strange magnetic fields, time warps, the lost continent of Atlantis, and alien abduction. Other proposed explanations include physical forces unknown to science, a "hole in the sky," and an unusual chemical component in the region's seawater. Several books have suggested that an intelligent, technologically advanced race living in space or under the sea has been responsible for jamming equipment and leading ships and planes to disaster.

DEZSO STERNOCZKY/SUFOI)
Many books and articles play up mystery angles concerning vanished ships by depicting the disappearances as having occurred in calm weather and daylight. Such particulars of Flight 19 as an inexperienced crew, a faulty compass, a squadron leader who failed to follow instructions, and conditions of deteriorating weather and visibility are often not mentioned. Larry Kusche, a librarian at Arizona State University, examined claims of mysterious disappearances and recorded evidence from each example. The results, published in The Bermuda Triangle—Mystery Solved, showed that many of the accidents happened during raging storms, or were later explained.
The area known as the Bermuda Triangle is one of the two places on Earth where a magnetic compass does point towards true north, a phenomenon called compass variation. Navigators must compensate the amount of variation or the craft they are on will go off course. A region commonly called the "Devil's Sea" in the Pacific Ocean is the other area of compass variation.
The Gulf Stream that runs through the Bermuda Triangle area is swift and turbulent, and can quickly erase evidence of a disaster. The unpredictable Caribbean-Atlantic weather can suddenly change into thunderstorms or create waterspouts. Many short and intense storms build up quickly and dissipate quickly, undetected by satellite surveillance. The ocean floor has shoals around islands as well as some of the deepest marine trenches in the world. The interaction of the strong currents over reefs promotes a constant flux and the development of new, uncharted navigational hazards.
These factors can confuse even experienced sailors. A large number of pleasure boats travel the waters between Florida's coast and the Bahamas. The U.S. Coast Guard receives more than 8,000 distress calls per year, averaging more than 20 per day from that area, often from sailors who have run out of gas.
The Bermuda Triangle claimed more than 1,000 lives during the twentieth century. That averages to about 10 per year, a figure similar to other areas of high water traffic or volatile

Hypothetically, methane gas might also be involved in airplane crashes, as it is not as dense as normal air and thus would not generate the amount of lift required to keep the airplane flying. Methane can cut out an aircraft engine with very little levels of it in the atmosphere.Tidal wavesMain article: Freak wave Research has shown that tidal, freak, or rogue waves can reach up to 30 m (100 feet) in height and are capable of sinking large ships within moments. Although these are very rare, in some areas ocean currents mean they happen more often than the normal. Such waves have now been hypothesized as a cause for many unexplained shipping losses over the years.Some research suggests that some of these waves are caused by giant bubbles of methane rising to the surface. These giant bubbles are created when methane vents at the ocean bottom become clogged; then pressure builds up and eventually the gas bursts out and rises rapidly to the surface thus generating the wave. Research has shown that such bubbles are able to sink scale sized ships with great ease and speed.Famous incidentsFlight 19Main article: Flight 19 One of the known Bermuda Triangle incidents concerns the loss of Flight 19, a squadron of five U.S. Navy TBM Avenger torpedo bombers on a training flight out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on December 5, 1945. According to Berlitz, the flight consisted of expert Marine Corps aviators who, after reporting a number of odd visual effects, simply disappeared, an account which isn't entirely true. Furthermore, Berlitz claims that because the TBM Avenger bombers were built to float for long periods, they should have been found the next day considering what were reported as calm seas and a clear sky. However, not only were they never found, a Navy search and rescue seaplane that went after them was also lost. Adding to the intrigue is that the Navy's report of the accident was ascribed to "causes or reasons unknown".While the basic facts of Berlitz's version of the story are essentially accurate, some important details are missing. The image of a squadron of seasoned combat aviators disappearing on a sunny afternoon is inaccurate. Rather, it was a squadron of lost, inexperienced flight trainees forced to ditch their out-of-fuel airplanes into unknown stormy waters in the dark of night. As for the Navy's report, it is claimed that the original report blamed the accident on the commander's confusion (Lt. Taylor abandoned his airplanes twice in the Pacific after getting lost returning to his carrier), but the wording was changed in deference to the wishes of his family.Another factor to consider is that the TBM Avenger Aircraft were never designed for crash-landing into water. Wartime experience in the Pacific showed that an Avenger aircraft would sink very quickly if landed on the water. Especially with novice pilots at the helm - an Avenger would be very difficult to land on calm water - let alone the perilous rough seas in the Bermuda Triangle.Star TigerIf the disappearance of Flight 19 had been an isolated incident, it would have remained one of the great mysteries of modern aviation. However, aircraft disappearances continued to be reported near the same location, some accompanied by equally extended and confusing radio traffic, including that of a four-engine Tudor IV airliner named Star Tiger, in the predawn hours of January 31, 1948.Piloted by Captain B. W. McMillan, the airliner, which carried twenty-nine passengers and crew on board, had left hours earlier from Santa Maria, Azores, one of numerous scheduled fuel stopover points on its route from London, England to Havana, Cuba. While approaching Bermuda, McMillan made the expected contact with Kindley Field, the next stopover, requesting a radio bearing to calibrate his navigation systems and ensure he remained on course. With the response indicating that the plane was slightly off course, its position was corrected after Bermuda relayed a first-class bearing of 72 degrees from the island. At this point, with Star Tiger less than two hours flight away, McMillan gave confirmation of an ETA of 05:00 hours, an hour late due to strong headwinds; no further transmission from the aircraft was ever received.Armed with precise reports of the plane's last known position, rescue operations were launched after the craft was determined overdue for arrival; but no trace of the aircraft was ever found.In the report issued soon thereafter by the Civil Air Ministry, numerous hypotheses as to what might have occurred during the flight's final two hours are given, before each being subsequently rejected: "There would accordingly be no grounds for supposing that Star Tiger fell into the sea in consequence of having been deprived of her radio, having failed to find her destination, and having exhausted her fuel." "There is good reason to suppose that no distress message was transmitted from the aircraft, for there were many radio receiving stations listening on the aircraft's frequencies, and none reported such a message." "...The weather was stable, there were no atmospheric disturbances of a serious kind which might cause structural damage to the aircraft, and there were no electrical storms." It was ruled that the aircraft could not have gone off course, as the broadcast bearing from Bermuda, with winds prevailing, would have brought it within thirty miles of the island: "The aircraft could hardly have failed to find the island in a short time, in the conditions of visibility which prevailed." Engine difficulty was ruled out as a likely cause, since at such late stage in the flight, without the added weight of extra fuel aboard, the aircraft might have been flown safely on three, or even two, engines instead of the four it had. The probability of the aircraft entirely losing three engines in the course of under two hours was considered absurd.Faced with the accumulation of evidence, or perhaps lack thereof, the board of investigation addressed the loss of the Star Tiger with remarked eloquence: "In closing this report it may truly be said that no more baffling problem has ever been presented for investigation. In the complete absence of any reliable evidence as to either the nature or the cause of the accident of Star Tiger the Court has not been able to do more than suggest possibilities, none of which reaches the level even of probability. Into all activities which involve the co-operation of man and machine two elements enter of a very diverse chaarcter [sic?]. There is an incalculable element of the human equation dependent upon imperfectly known factors; and there is the mechanical element subject to quite different laws. A breakdown may occur in either separately or in both in conjunction. Or some external cause may overwhelm both man and machine. What happened in this case will never be known and the fate of Star Tiger must remain an unsolved mystery."
Natural conditions. Scientific evaluations of the Bermuda Triangle have concluded that the number of disappearances in the region is not abnormal and that most of the disappearances have logical explanations. Paranormal associations with the Bermuda Triangle persist, however, in the popular imagination.

Computers will become smarter than humans.

Intel on Thursday showed off its technology for transmitting power wirelessly, a capability that could one day help eliminate the wire clutter behind desks and other areas of the home or office.
Wireless power was one of several technologies Justin Rattner, CTO for Intel, highlighted at the last keynote of the chipmaker's Developer Forum in San Francisco. Rattner also rolled out Intel's work in robotics and "programmable matter," which is the ability to manipulate the shape, size, and even color of an object.
I hope Intel warned the Luddites and pessimists away at the door, because the chipmaker had a lot of bullish statements Thursday about its belief that computers will become smarter than humans.
Alanson Sample, a University of Washington intern at Intel's research facility in Seattle, demonstrated the ability to transmit 60 watts of power a distance of two or three feet, using two round metal coils, one as a transmitter, the other a receiver. The latter had a light bulb on the top that remained lit as Sample, a graduate student in electrical engineering, moved the coil around.
The technology builds on the work of Marin Soljacic, a physicist at MIT. Intel and MIT researchers are leveraging a phenomenon know as "resonant induction" in transmitting power.
Intel's system, called a "wireless resonant energy link," relies on strongly coupled resonators, which operate on a principle similar to how a singer can shatter glass with her voice. The receiving resonator absorbs power at its natural frequency much like a glass absorbs sound energy at its natural frequency.
If the technology finds its way into our daily lives, it could one day make it possible to recharge or operate a laptop or any other device simply by placing it on a desk or table with a wireless power device built in. If these devices proliferate, then we may no longer need a notebook battery, for example, a capacitor could be used instead to store power temporarily, Rattner said.
No timetable was given for when the technology could find its way to the market. Intel is working on miniaturizing the power-receiving antenna to a size where it could fit in the base of a notebook.
Rattner's keynote took a look at the next 40 years of technology in honor of Intel (NSDQ: INTC)'s 40th anniversary. Intel's work on robotics was one area covered.
Joshua Smith, principal engineer at Intel's research facility in Seattle and the leader of the wireless power project, showed a robotic arm that could sense an apple placed in front of its claw, grasp the object, and then drop it into someone's outstretched hand. Among the key innovations is the sensor used in the robot. Rather than a camera, the sensor uses an electric field to identify objects, similar to how some fish identify their surroundings.
Smith, who also heads Intel's wireless power project, said the advanced sensor could one day make it possible to introduce the robots used on the factory floor into "a human environment."
As computers become smarter and robots more sophisticated, security becomes an issue. Rattner claimed that at the current pace in which computers are becoming more powerful, they could one day become smarter than people. If that was to happen, then how do you ensure control?
During a meeting with the media following the keynote, Rattner did not address the issue directly. However, he said Intel is working on developing computer systems that can dynamically lock code or information selectively, so the rest of the system can remain open to communication with other devices or computers. "The platform can close locally to contain certain information securely," Rattner said. The idea is to enable an otherwise open system "to close when needed." Such technology could be introduced over the next four to five years.
Rattner also highlighted during his keynote Intel's work in programmable matter. Company researchers are investigating how million of tiny micro-robots, called catoms, can be used to build shape-shifting materials.
Although the work is listed as exploratory research, Jason Campbell, a senior staff research scientist brought on stage to discuss the project, said steady progress is being made.
To build functional catoms, Intel is using novel techniques that borrow from processes now used to make silicon chips. Intel eventually wants to bring all the necessary computational and mechanical components of a catom into one package less than a millimeter across.
If such research is successful, then people could one day have a computer that fits comfortably into a pocket, but can also be stretched and shaped into a full-size traditional notebook. The same manipulation, theoretically, could be done with a mobile phone or other gadget.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Intel, Yahoo in deal to bring Internet to television:Yahoo, Intel To Me'd TV With Web

Wednesday announced plans for the Widget Channel, a television application framework optimized for TV and related consumer electronics devices.
Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) and Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) said the channel "will allow consumers to enjoy rich Internet applications designed for the TV while watching their favorite TV programs" and will be powered by the Yahoo Widget Engine, a fifth-generation applications platform.
Widget Channel also will allow developers to use Javascript, XML, HTML and Adobe Flash technology to write TV applications and will use Intel's CE3100 chips.
Yahoo-branded TV widgets "will enable consumers to engage in a variety of experiences such as watching videos, tracking their favorite stocks or sports teams, interacting with friends, or staying current on news and information," the companies said.
"TV will fundamentally change how we talk about, imagine and experience the Internet," said Eric Kim, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the company's Digital Home Group. "No longer just a passive experience unless the viewer wants it that way, Intel and Yahoo are proposing a way where the TV and Internet are as interactive and seamless as possible.
The companies said they are also working to promote the development of "open and consistent standards necessary to grow the TV widget ecosystem."

more.

Sunnyvale, CA (AHN) - Internet company Yahoo and chipmaking giant Intel Wednesday unveiled a joint effort to bring PC widget to the television screen. The service, called the Widget Channel, will offer TV viewers a series of widgets for weather, eBay activity, or YouTube videos along the bottom of the television screen.
The project,using Yahoo software and Intel microchips, has already gained the backing of media and hardware companies. Comcast, Disney, Toshiba and Motorola are among the system's early backers.
Unlike previous attempts to meld PC interactivity with television content, the Yahoo-Intel plan confines the information to a strip along the left side of TV screens.
Comcast reportedly will start testing the system within the first six months of 2009 with the cable giant expecting other cable providers to follow. Intel said retailers will start selling set-top boxes next year enabling TV viewers to use current hardware and Internet connections to use the system - even if not supported by their TV service provider.
Already, Sony and Microsoft are selling products allowing consumers to play online games using TV sets. Analysts say such offerings will make for a difficult competitive landscape when Yahoo and Intel launch the Widget Channel in 2009.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Google wants ubiquitous internet out of unused airwaves

24hoursnews
Google has launched another round in the PR battle over American white space, with a new website asking visitors to sign a petition to convince the FCC to allow unlicensed use of the spaces between TV channels.
This isn't the first website Google has set up to fight its corner. The Wireless Innovation Alliance was set up to present evidence that making use of the empty spectrum would not interfere with TV broadcasting, but this one looks much more like a grassroots protest than a slick media machine.
The ‘white spaces’ between unused broadcast airwaves could be valuable in providing affordable, high-speed wireless internet connectivity, Google has suggested.
Google said it is anticipating the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will make a ruling in the coming months about using these white spaces after conducting a number of field tests.
“If you care about the future of the internet, now is the time to take action,” warned Minnie Ingersoll of Google’s alternative access team on the official Google blog yesterday.
Google has launched a new Free the Airwaves campaign to drive home this message in a move that could see cheaper bandwidth made available in the US, but which could also have implications for countries around the world with an abundance of unused broadcast spectrum.
In particular, Google believes using this kind of spectrum will have an important impact in rural communities not served with the latest broadband or telecoms services.
Describing the effort as a “call to action for everyday users”, Google is calling on users to sign a petition to the FCC and, if they want, film a video response explaining what increased internet access could mean to them.
“When it comes to opening these airwaves, we believe the public interest is clear,” Ingersoll said. “But we also want to be transparent about our involvement: Google has a clear business interest in expanding access to the web.
“There’s no doubt that if these airwaves are opened up to unlicensed use, more people will be using the internet. That’s certainly good for Google (not to mention many of our industry peers) but we also think that it’s good for consumers,” Ingersoll said.

Google Wireless Plan Angers Audio-Equipment Makers

Cross one off the list of Google's friends.
Google is appealing to its users for help lobbying the FCC for approval to use the spaces between television channels as a way to provide wide-reaching wireless Internet service. While the plan could lead to Net access for people who didn't have it before, it also could mean interference with signals.Google is appealing to its users for help lobbying the FCC for approval to use the spaces between television channels as a way to provide wide-reaching wireless Internet service. While the plan could lead to Net access for people who didn't have it before, it also could mean interference with signals.
Google is appealing to its users for help lobbying the FCC for approval to use the spaces between television channels as a way to provide wide-reaching wireless Internet service. While the plan could lead to Net access for people who didn't have it before, it also could mean interference with signals.
Google is appealing to its users for help lobbying the FCC for approval to use the spaces between television channels as a way to provide wide-reaching wireless Internet service. While the plan could lead to Net access for people who didn't have it before, it also could mean interference with signals.
Google is appealing to its users for help lobbying the FCC for approval to use the spaces between television channels as a way to provide wide-reaching wireless Internet service. While the plan could lead to Net access for people who didn't have it before, it also could mean interference with signals.Google is appealing to its users for help lobbying the FCC for approval to use the spaces between television channels as a way to provide wide-reaching wireless Internet service. While the plan could lead to Net access for people who didn't have it before, it also could mean interference with signals.
Google is appealing to its users for help lobbying the FCC for approval to use the spaces between television channels as a way to provide wide-reaching wireless Internet service. While the plan could lead to Net access for people who didn't have it before, it also could mean interference with signals.
Google is appealing to its users for help lobbying the FCC for approval to use the spaces between television channels as a way to provide wide-reaching wireless Internet service. While the plan could lead to Net access for people who didn't have it before, it also could mean interference with signals.
Google is appealing to its users for help lobbying the FCC for approval to use the spaces between television channels as a way to provide wide-reaching wireless Internet service. While the plan could lead to Net access for people who didn't have it before, it also could mean interference with signals.Google is appealing to its users for help lobbying the FCC for approval to use the spaces between television channels as a way to provide wide-reaching wireless Internet service. While the plan could lead to Net access for people who didn't have it before, it also could mean interference with signals.
Google is appealing to its users for help lobbying the FCC for approval to use the spaces between television channels as a way to provide wide-reaching wireless Internet service. While the plan could lead to Net access for people who didn't have it before, it also could mean interference with signals.
Google is appealing to its users for help lobbying the FCC for approval to use the spaces between television channels as a way to provide wide-reaching wireless Internet service. While the plan could lead to Net access for people who didn't have it before, it also could mean interference with signals.
Google is appealing to its users for help lobbying the FCC for approval to use the spaces between television channels as a way to provide wide-reaching wireless Internet service. While the plan could lead to Net access for people who didn't have it before, it also could mean interference with signals.Google is appealing to its users for help lobbying the FCC for approval to use the spaces between television channels as a way to provide wide-reaching wireless Internet service. While the plan could lead to Net access for people who didn't have it before, it also could mean interference with signals.
Google is appealing to its users for help lobbying the FCC for approval to use the spaces between television channels as a way to provide wide-reaching wireless Internet service. While the plan could lead to Net access for people who didn't have it before, it also could mean interference with signals.
Google is appealing to its users for help lobbying the FCC for approval to use the spaces between television channels as a way to provide wide-reaching wireless Internet service. While the plan could lead to Net access for people who didn't have it before, it also could mean interference with signals.
Google is appealing to its users for help lobbying the FCC for approval to use the spaces between television channels as a way to provide wide-reaching wireless Internet service. While the plan could lead to Net access for people who didn't have it before, it also could mean interference with signals.
Wireless audio-equipment manufacturers and producers of live events are up in arms against Google's efforts to open up a little-used patch of radio spectrum.
What's being contested is the so-called "white space" spectrum, the vacant bands between ultra-high frequency television channels. As U.S. broadcasters transition from analog to digital transmission in time to meet the February 2009 deadline imposed by the Federal Communications Commission, the unused spectrum has become a battleground, pitting not just audio professionals but organizations such as the National Football League, movie studios and Broadway producers against Google.
Google turned up the heat Monday by launching a "Free the Airwaves" campaign with a website and a petition lobbying the FCC to open up the spectrum.
"Remember that fuzzy static between channels on the old TVs?" says the site. "Today more than three-quarters of those radio airwaves, or 'white space' spectrum, are completely unused. This vast public resource could offer a revolution in wireless services of all kinds, including universal wireless Internet."
But for audio-equipment manufacturers and live sound producers, the fuzzy static is their meal ticket.
"We are worried the FCC will buckle and allow white space to be used by personal portable devices seeking wireless services," says Karl Winkler, director of business development for Lectrosonics, a manufacturer of wireless professional audio systems.
The result, say audio industry professionals, could be disastrous. Wireless audio equipment could face significant interference from personal devices searching for wireless connectivity on the spectrum already being used by high-end audio equipment.
"The radio frequency environment is going to become more crowded and more difficult to use," says Mike Torlone, director of marketing services at AKG Acoustics, a division of audio-equipment manufacturer Harman International.
That could potentially lead to loss of signal and interruptions in transmissions, and could force audio producers and production managers to change the way they do business, say experts.
"In that case the number of wireless microphones used will be reduced significantly and it cost big productions millions of dollars to redesign what they do," says Winkler.
The kinds of performances affected aren't limited to the next Justin Timberlake concert or a video shoot for American Idol. While Broadway productions and live shows at Las Vegas are expected to bear the brunt of the decision to open up white space, even local bands, fast-food restaurants, political rallies and church pastors delivering their Sunday sermons could find themselves facing more than a few glitches.
The efforts to unlock the white space has been one of the biggest issues facing the audio-equipment industry and the professionals involved in it, says Bill Evans, editor of trade publication Front of House.
"Everybody is not only angry and upset, they are very, very worried," he says. "We are talking about the livelihood of people here."
The move from analog to digital TV transmission allowed the Federal Communications Commission to reclaim a part of the spectrum, between 698 MHz to 806 MHz. Recently the FCC successfully auctioned the 700 MHz spectrum, a large chunk of which was won by Verizon Wireless.
While a portion of the remaining spectrum has been reserved for future public-safety networks, white space between TV channels remains, and that has caught the attention of companies such as Google, Motorola, Microsoft and Philips.
The tech giants are lobbying to use the white space to deploy new wireless technologies to deliver broadband internet services to portable devices.
That's where the hitch lies, says Chris Lyons, manager of technical and educational communications at Shure, a professional audio-equipment manufacturer.
Lyons says it's not the broadband access per se that will cause problems, but the way devices would have to search through the spectrum for free bands.
Audio professionals claim that prototypes of devices capable of spectrum-sensing have failed some key tests. The FCC is expected to release a final report about the results next month.
For its part, Google says it doesn't want devices that could interfere with wireless audio equipment in the market either.
"From the beginning we have said that no white space device should come to market unless the FCC signs off on it," says Dan Martin, a Google spokesman.
Industry professionals hope there will be a technological fix for the problem soon, one that could allow wireless audio equipment to co-exist with devices using wireless broadband on the same spectrum.
But till then, the FCC needs to stay strong, says FOH magazine's Evans. "We are not ready yet," he says. "We need more time."
Google says it has suggested the use of a geolocation database that would ensure no white space device could transmit without first getting the all-clear from the database. That would allow manufacturers to prevent the use of white space bands in the vicinity of a Vegas show, for instance.
Meanwhile, companies are preparing for the worst. For instance, Lectrosonics is now offering a wider range of frequencies for its wireless microphones.
Until last year, the company's wireless microphones spanned a range of 537 MHz to 768 MHz. Now that a part of that band has been auctioned off, the company has reworked its devices to operate in the 470 MHz to 691 MHz spectrum. It has also added another band, the 944 MHz to 952 MHz spectrum, to the mix.
Those changes haven’t been easy. Over the course of a year, Lectrosonics reallocated engineering resources and spent "several thousand dollars" getting each new product certified by the FCC.
"We have a limited amount of engineering resources and there are hard costs such as FCC licenses that we have had to get," says Winkler.
Smaller wireless audio-equipment manufacturers may not have a choice, says Winkler. "We think a number of manufacturers will be shaken out. Lower quality, lower power systems will have a difficult time."
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