Search This Blog

Monday, September 29, 2008

National Remote Sensing Agency becomes an ISRO Centre

Considering the importance of the activities carried out in the area of aerial and satellite remote sensing, the National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA), an autonomous society under Department of Space (DOS) has been converted into a full-fledged Government organisation called National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) from today (September 1, 2008).

NRSA was established as a registered society under the Department of Science & Technology in 1974 with the objective of undertaking and facilitating remote sensing activities in the country. The administrative control of NRSA was transferred to the Department of Space during early eighties and with the growth of indigenous efforts in space borne remote sensing, NRSA played a major role in the ground segment under the Indian Remote Sensing Programme. NRSA, through its training establishment Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS), Dehra Dun, has become an institution of international repute for capacity building.

It is expected that, with the conversion, NRSC will, as part of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), fully integrate with other ISRO Centres in the development and operations of the ground segment of the large constellation of India Remote Sensing Satellites and will also take a bigger role during the R&D phase of IRS programme.

NRSC as a Government entity, is expected to fulfill its goals playing a major role in important national programmes, through linkages with all concerned Government departments/agencies such as Ministries of agriculture, water resources, urban development, Home Affairs, etc., including the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

Dr V Jayaraman has been appointed as Director, National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), Hyderabad and he took charge from Dr K Radhakrishnan, the out-going Director.

Dr Jayaraman holds a Bachelor’s degree in electronics engineering from University of Madras, Master of Science in electrical engineering from IIT, Madras and a Doctorate in Physics from Bangalore University. He is recognised for his contributions in the areas ranging from spacecraft systems engineering to applications development and positioning of policies & regulatory framework for integrating the high technology inputs into national development. Dr Jayaraman has brought coherence amongst technology, research and applications of direct relevance to Earth science.

Dr. Jayaraman is a fellow of institution of Electronics and Telecommunications Engineers, Fellow of Indian Geophysical Union, Member of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing, Indian Society of Geomatics and Astronautical Society of India.

The prime objective of ISRO is to develop space technology and its application to various national tasks. ISRO has established two major space systems, INSAT for communication, television broadcasting and meteorological services, and Indian Remote Sensing Satellites (IRS) system for resources monitoring and management. ISRO has developed two satellite launch vehicles, PSLV and GSLV, to place INSAT and IRS satellites in the required orbits

About ISRO.

Indian space programme driven by vision of Dr Vikram Sarabhai considered as the father of Indian Space Programme.

"There are some who question the relevance of space activities in a developing nation. To us, there is no ambiguity of purpose. We do not have the fantasy of competing with the economically advanced nations in the exploration of the moon or the planets or manned space-flight. But we are convinced that if we are to play a meaningful role nationally, and in the community of nations, we must be second to none in the application of advanced technologies to the real problems of man and society. "

Government of India set up Space Commission and Department of Space (DOS) in June 1972. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) under DOS executes Space programme through its establishments located in different places in India.
Main objective of space programme includes development of satellites, launch vehicles, Sounding Rockets and associated ground systems.
Crossed several major milestones.
Experimental phase included Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE), Satellite Telcommunication Experiment (STEP), remote sensing application projects, satellites like Aryabhata, Bhaskara, Rohini and APPLE and launch vehicles, SLV-3 and ASLV.
Present operational space systems include Indian National Satellite (INSAT) for tele-communication, television broadcasting, meteorology and disaster warning and Indian Remote Sensing Satellite (IRS) for resources monitoring and management.
Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) used for launching IRS Satellites and Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), intended for launching INSAT class of satellites.
Space Science activities include SROSS and IRS-P3 satellites, participation in international science campaigns and ground systems like MST Radar.
ISRO's co-operative arrangements cover several countries and space agencies.
ISRO provides training in space field to personnel from other countries.
ISRO's hardware and services available commercially through Antrix Corporation.
Other Related Sites
Indian Space Science Programme
Research Sponsored by ISRO (RESPOND)
ISRO Satellite Centre - KANNADA Website
Development and Educational Communication Unit (DECU)
Regional Remote Sensing Service Centres (RRSSC)
National Natural Resources Management System (NNRMS)
Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC)
Space Applications Centre (SAC)
National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC)
Physical Research Laboratory (PRL)
National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL)
Antrix Corporation Limited
Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS)
Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in the Asia Pacific region (CSSTE-AP)
National Informatics Centre (GISTNIC)
Semi-Conductor Laboratory (SCL)
Meteorological and Oceanographic Satellite Data Analysis Center (MOSDAC)
Indian Government Portal

Friday, September 26, 2008

Good-bye, Large Hadron Collider. Hello, Black Mesa.

Good-bye, Large Hadron Collider. Hello, Black Mesa.
That's the reader's choice in Wired Science's Large Hadron Collider Renaming Contest, announced last week to fill the vast gulf between the LHC's scientific magnificence and utterly wonky name.
Since then, an electrical problem has shuttered the mammoth atom smasher until 2009 -- making Black Mesa, a reference to the bestselling computer game Half Life, a timely choice. It won't take long for delays and malfunctions to sour the public on their $8-billion Large Hadron Collider, but Black Mesa sounds scary and intimidating, like a leaked government project. Criticize it, and you'll end up on a watch list.
Black Mesa was submitted separately by Brian Reed and DSA. Finishing second was the Chuck Norris Roundhouse Kick Simulator, submitted by Anonymous. Among my favorite also-rans were Master Blaster Atom Smasher; Atom Smasher +5, Holy Avenger; What Willis Was Talking About; The Big Banger; and The Thing We Play With When We Aren't Playing Warcraft.
All these entries are better than the winner of the Royal Society of Chemistry's winner: Halo.
The least-favorite choice in our contest was The Blesser, submitted by Vincenzo Maggio. Its sheer unpopularity was likely due to its religious overtones, but at this point, the LHC can use a bit of help, divine or not.

It's time to find something else to blame for all the recent strange occurrences in your life: The Large Hadron Collider, which had become a favorite culprit for everything from lost keys to lost jobs, will remain shut down until spring.
On Sept. 18, the news from CERN, the organization that runs the LHC, was that an electrical problem involved with a cooling system caused a helium leak that would keep the mammoth particle accelerator out of commission for a day or so. A couple of days later, the estimate had stretched into two months: The machine would need to be warmed back up, which will take three to four weeks, before a full investigation could be done.
Now the outlook is even more bleak for eager physicists, who have already waited decades for the giant collider to come to fruition, after only a week of tantilizingly successful beam operations.
The warm-up period and ensuing investigations will bump up against the LHC's "obligatory winter maintenance period," according to a statement today from CERN. This brings us into early spring before commissioning can restart.
“Coming immediately after the very successful start of LHC operation on 10 September, this is undoubtedly a psychological blow,” CERN Director General Robert Aymar said. “Nevertheless, the success of the LHC’s first operation with beam is testimony to years of painstaking preparation and the skill of the teams involved in building and running CERN’s accelerator complex. I have no doubt that we will overcome this setback with the same degree of rigor and application.”

Stem cell latest : New Way To Make Stem Cells -It Is Safer

Researcher from Havard University used mouse skin cells and also liver cells from fetal mice and got both types to look and act like iPS cells. They declare their success to make a safer stem cell.
Scientists may have found a safer way of giving a flake of skin the biologically alchemical powers of embryonic stem cells.
They turned adult cells into versatile, embryonic-like cells without causing permanent damage -- potentially solving the central problem of a promising but uncertain field of stem cell science.
"This is certainly a major stem cell milestone," said Advanced Cell Technologies chief scientific officer Bob Lanza, who was not involved in the research. "It’s the first ray of light that iPS cells could soon be used to treat patients."

They have developed a safer way to make powerful stem cells from ordinary skin cells, taking one more step toward so-called regenerative medicine.
They used a common cold virus to carry transformative genes into ordinary mouse cells, making them look and act like embryonic stem cells.
If the same can be done with human cells, it may offer a safe way to test cell therapy to treat diseases such as sickle cell anemia or Parkinson's, Konrad Hochedlinger of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston reported in the journal Science on Thursday.
Stem cells are the body's master cells, giving rise to all the tissues, organs and blood. Embryonic stem cells are considered the most powerful kinds of stem cells, as they have the potential to give rise to any type of tissue.
But they are difficult to make, requiring the use of an embryo or cloning technology. Many people also object to their use, and several countries, including the United States, limit funding for such experiments.
In the past year, several teams of scientists have reported finding a handful of genes that can transform ordinary skin cells into induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, which in turn look and act like embryonic stem cells.
To get these genes into the cells, they have had to use retroviruses, which integrate their own genetic material into the cells they infect. This can be dangerous and can cause tumors and perhaps other effects.
Hochedlinger's team used a much more harmless virus, called an adenovirus, to carry into the cells the four transformative genes, called Oct4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc.
They used mouse skin cells and also liver cells from fetal mice and got both types to look and act like iPS cells.
"The nice thing about adenoviruses in contrast with retroviruses is they deliver proteins inside the cells but they will never, ever integrate their DNA into the cells," Hochedlinger said in a telephone interview.
As the cells divide, they dilute the virus until it disappears, he said. But the genetic changes remain.
To test the cells they made chimeras --- a blend of two separate animals. They injected their newly made cells into mouse embryos and when the pups were born, they carried visible evidence that the cells had indeed transformed them.
"It results in this stripy pattern of brown fur that comes from the iPS cells and black fur which comes from the host embryo tissue," Hochedlinger said.
And so far, these chimeric mice have not developed any tumors.
"We are in the process already of trying to make integration-free iPS cells in human cells," Hochedlinger said.
"It is a little more tricky because human reprogramming takes a little while longer than mouse reprogramming."
If it works, some day doctors may be able to make tailor-made transplants to treat diseases in people by removing a few cells, transforming them in the lab and transplanting the new tissue or organs back in.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Knowing X- Chaina launches space walk Mission

Knowing the x thing, logics of universe the space research is forwarding to the findings and utilities of the universe,

China Launches Risky Space Mission;

Sept. 25, 2008 -- China on Thursday launched its riskiest space flight yet, sending three men into orbit around the Earth on a mission that will include the nation's first ever space walk, state media said.
The Shenzhou VII spacecraft lifted off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China at 9:10 p.m. (1310 GMT) in the presence of President Hu Jintao and other senior leaders, state television reported live.
As the rocket quickly became a white speck against the black night sky, technical staff kept in constant communication with the three astronauts, who were shown waving to a camera installed in the shuttle cabin.
President Hu earlier saw off the three, led by 41-year-old Zhai Zhigang, as they prepared for their 68-hour journey to space and back.
"I have come to send you off, to wish you success," Hu said in the televised meeting, carried out with the formality of an ancient Confucian ritual.
Related Content:

Zhai, an airforce colonel who grew up in abject poverty in China's bleak northeast, is expected to carry out the 30-minute space walk either Friday or more likely Saturday, according to state media.
"We're determined to complete the manned space mission of Shenzhou VII," Zhai told Hu. "The motherland and the people can rest at ease."
Getting comfortable with the art of spacewalking is a crucial next step in China's most immediate extra-terrestrial ambition: to build a permanent space lab.
By 2010 two more unmanned craft will have been sent up, as well as another manned spaceship with a crew of three to start work on the lab, according to the China Daily.

In Beijing, foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said the mission was part of China's effort to "explore and make peaceful use of outer space."
"We believe this will further promote our space flight technology and make a contribution to the peaceful use of outer space for all human beings. We wish the Shenzhou VII mission a complete success," he said.
The astronauts have trained together for over a decade, but the mission is not without its risks, notably the space walk.
"The process of (space walks) cannot be simulated completely on the ground," said Wang Zhaoyao, spokesman of the manned space mission.
"Some of the newly developed products have to be tested in flight for the first time."
One of the astronauts -- government websites have said it will be Zhai -- will test a new Chinese-made spacesuit on the space walk.
Coming just a month after the end of the Beijing Olympics, the mission may trigger a new burst of nationalist pride in some segments of the population.
Space enthusiasts hoping to witness for themselves China's next bid for greatness have been converging on Jiuquan, a city of about 340,000 people, mostly farmers and miners, in a remote part of Gansu province.
A middle school teacher surnamed Chen from the provincial capital, Lanzhou, was part of a group of 200 who would be bused the 174 miles to the launch center to watch Shenzhou -- its name means "Divine Vessel" -- blast off.
"The education department of Gansu has arranged for us to go. We're coming from all around the province. It'll help push forward science and technology education," he said.
China first sent a man into space in 2003, becoming the third nation after the United States and the former Soviet Union to accomplish this feat.
The pioneer astronaut, Yang Liwei, became a national hero and is still featured at major events, acting as one of the torch bearers in the Olympic torch relay ahead of the August Beijing Games.
The country's second manned space mission in 2005 sent two men into orbit for 115 hours, with the task of studying living and working conditions in space.
China's manned space program is characterized by its frugality compared with the U.S. and Soviet programs in the 1960s, and it does not repeat a test or an experiment that has already proved successful, observers say.
The Shenzhou VII is scheduled to land in the northern Inner Mongolia region after the mission is completed.

Water Fuel Cell Kit

Water fuel cell kit !! its really new era of the next fuel factor.
Findings of Alternative fuel shows the success.
Hydraficient announced the availability of the Hydraficient Water Fuel Cell Kit, a safe and all-inclusive HHO generator that enables equipped vehicles to improve gas efficiency by more than twenty-five percent and decrease emissions by as much as fifty percent, all without the use of additives or significant electricity requirements. The Hydraficient Water Fuel Cell Kit will be available thru distributors October 1 or now at .How Does It Work?The kit is powered by a patent pending electrode technology that uses electricity from the vehicle’s alternator to separate water into its molecular form. The simple gases enter the vehicle’s combustion chamber via the air intake supply and mix with the fuel source, whether it is gasoline or diesel. The hydrogen and oxygen gasses react with the fuel tank’s petroleum allowing it to burn faster and more efficiently, so more of the fuel is used to power the vehicle instead of released as a byproduct, which means less emissions and improved fuel economy. The Hydraficient Water Fuel Cell Kit is compatible with almost every make and year of car, van or SUV and with gasoline or diesel powered engines.“Consumers are looking for simple and cost-efficient ways to reduce their carbon footprint and spend less on gas,” said Mike VanPelt, spokesperson for Hydraficient, LLC. “We realized that making these improvements didn’t have to be expensive or complicated and the Hydraficient Water Fuel Cell kit is an easy to implement solution that just about any consumer can install quickly and without having to choose between affordability and positive results.”The Hydraficient Water Fuel Cell Kit only requires the addition of tap water, making it easy to maintain and safe for the engine. Only six to seven amps of electricity are required to run the Water Fuel Cell Kit, minimizing the reliance on the engine for power and decreasing heat emissions. Onboard sensors also maintain optimal water temperature, preventing overheating or freezing.“I was considering buying a new car, one that would reduce my trips to the gas station and that would produce fewer emissions, but the waiting list for a hybrid was too long,” said Lee Gibson. “I didn’t want to wait to experience the results of a more fuel efficient car, and after installing the Hydraficient Water Fuel Cell, I was getting all the benefits – less money spent on gas, less pollution – without having to invest in a new car.”About HydraficientHydraficient LLC is changing the world, one car at a time. Using our patent pending technology, we are altering the world's dependence on oil and reducing the harmful impact of vehicle emissions on the environment. To learn more about the benefits of Hydraficient's new kind of hybrid technology, please visit

Alternative Fuel-New energy sources

FUEL ! Its really not much if say without fuel nothing is possible -FUEL is energy for life or electricity,In political comment we manytimes get the big matter of world politics is rounded by fuel factors.

For the time demand it was started to findings the way of fuel rather than general fuel.

There are more than a dozen alternative and advanced fuels in production or use today. Although government-regulated and voluntary private fleets are the primary users of these fuels, consumers are showing a growing interest in them. Use of these fuels is critical to reducing dependence on foreign oil and improving air quality.
This page serves as a table of contents for the Alternative and Advanced Fuels section. For more information, choose the links below.
Alternative Fuels
These fuels are defined as alternative fuels by the Energy Policy Act of 1992 and are currently, or have been, commercially available for vehicles.
Natural Gas
Other Fuels
Several emerging fuels are currently under development. Many of these fuels are also considered alternative fuels and may have other benefits such as reduced emissions or increased energy security.
Biomass to Liquids (BTL)
Coal to Liquids (CTL)
Fischer-Tropsch Diesel
Gas to Liquids (GTL)
Hydrogenation-Derived Renewable Diesel (HDRD)
Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel

News :


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Water as fuel- Water Car

There are forces today that would LOVE to see you WASTING FUEL. They say water cars are impossible, crazy, dangerous blah blah blah. On the other hand, great scientists and inventors such as Nikola Tesla have failed to fully realize their dream of HELPING OTHERS, and great inventions got lost. Why? The problem was always SECRECY and GREED. Hare's a solution that's good for YOU.
Everybody's talking about the power of Hydrogen. What they don't tell you is that Hydrogen cars with their pressurized hydrogen, and hydrogen gas stations - are a BIG safety hazard.
It gets worse: hydrogen factories pollute the environment and spoil the ecological advantage of hydrogen cars.
The solution Water4Gas provides you with is called "Hydrogen-On-Demand" - you produce Hydrogen when you need it. No storage tanks!!! Far better for the environment; perfectly safe for you and your passengers.
We offer a cost effective, immediate solution to the "energy crisis" and pollution - right now. Something YOU can do NOW, using water. Water4Gas technology provides you with a great ENTRY-LEVEL solution you can install in a few minutes without engine modifications, you start driving, and the next thing you know - you start thinking: "Hey, something CAN be done about it!"
I don't expect you to believe in 100% watercars. You see, your belief level has to rise step by step. Free energy is hard to believe until it's actually happening under your own hood. Until you see it in your energy bills. In April 2006 I was skeptic too. So start with this first easy step.
We open the door for you - Welcome to FREE ENERGY!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Nanotechnology Today- Hypercubes Could Be Building Blocks of Nanocomputers

Multi-dimensional structures called hypercubes may act as the building blocks for tomorrow’s nanocomputers – machines made of such tiny elements that they are dominated not by forces that we’re familiar with every day, but by quantum properties
As Samuel Lee and Loyd Hook from the University of Oklahoma explain, microelectronic devices are continually getting smaller and faster, in accordance with Moore’s Law. Already, integrated circuits and transistors are reaching the nanometer scale, although they still operate based on the physical properties on the macro-scale. True nanoelectronics, the researchers explain, are not just scaled down microelectronics, but devices that will be dominated by quantum properties, and will therefore require new architectures and novel structures.

“Compared to today's microcomputers, the main advantages of future nanocomputers are higher circuit density, lower power consumption, faster computation speed and more parallel and distributed computing capabilities,” Lee told For example, today’s integrated circuits process information in the form of a continual flow of electrons. Nano integrated circuits, however, may process individual electrons, reducing the scale and power consumption. Such circuits would require that nano logic devices be able to count single electrons, as well as the ability for parallel computing, reversibility, locality, and a three-dimensional architecture. To address these challenges, Lee and Hook have investigated hypercubes, which researchers have previously considered as elements of nanocomputers. In their study, which will be published in a future issue of IEEE Transactions on Computers, Lee and Hook propose a variant of the classic hypercube called the “M-hypercube” that could provide a higher-dimensional layout to support the three-dimensional integrated circuits in nanocomputers. The M-hypercube has a structure similar to a classic hypercube, which basically extends from a square to a cube to increasingly complex M-dimensional shapes. M-hypercubes (of any dimension) are composed of nodes and links. The nodes act as gates, receiving and passing electrons through, while the links act as the paths that electrons travel along. “The unique structure of hypercubes, including M-hypercubes, has been shown to be effective in parallel computing and communication networks and provides a unique ideal intrinsic structure which fulfills many of the needs of future nanocomputing systems,” Lee said. “These needs include massively parallel and distributed processing architecture with simple and robust communication linkages.”

Unlike in classic hypercubes, M-hypercubes contain two types of nodes: state nodes, which are embedded on the “joints” of the M-hypercubes; and transmission nodes, which are embedded in the middle of the links between state nodes. In one arrangement, the researchers embedded two state nodes on each joint, both representing a single state. Each node can be turned on or off, with the transmission nodes having the ability to isolate parts of the cube from other parts when in the off state. Depending on the number of states required by an operation, the M-hypercube can be expanded by adding extra dimensions (which contain more nodes) or constricted by reducing its dimensions. For example, if only four states are required, the logic architecture would be a 2-D hypercube (a square), which has four state nodes. In general, the number of state nodes in a hypercube is 2m, with m being the M-hypercube’s dimensionality. “We might construct M-hypercubes of dimensions greater than three in three-dimensional space if we allow the communication linkages at the nodes of M-hypercubes to not be mutually perpendicular,” Lee explained. For logic operations that require many states, the researchers propose a method that could reduce the dimensions of the M-hypercube by essentially decomposing the hypercube into two lower-dimensional M-hypercubes, connected in parallel. If needed, these two M-hypercubes could themselves be decomposed into still less complex M-hypercubes, reducing the number of state nodes required per state. In another arrangement, Lee and Hook combined an M-hypercube with an N-hypercube, resulting in what they call an “MN-cell.” Due to its versatility, the device could serve as a building block for designing sequential nano logic gates of any size and complexity.

Think small. Think really, really small—smaller than anything you ever saw through a microscope at school. Think atoms and molecules, and now you’re there. You’re down at the nanoscale, where scientists are learning about these fundamental components of matter and are putting them to use in beneficial ways.
It’s a relatively new area of science that has generated excitement worldwide. Working at the nanoscale, scientists today are creating new tools, products and technologies to address some of the world’s biggest challenges, including
clean, secure affordable energy
stronger, lighter, more durable materials
low-cost filters to provide clean drinking water
medical devices and drugs to detect and treat diseases more effectively with fewer side effects
lighting that uses a fraction of the energy
sensors to detect and identify harmful chemical or biological agents
techniques to clean up hazardous chemicals in the environment
More Nano Technology Research News


The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) is the program established in fiscal year 2001 to coordinate Federal nanotechnology research and development.
The NNI provides a vision of the long-term opportunities and benefits of nanotechnology. By serving as a central locus for communication, cooperation, and collaboration for all Federal agencies that wish to participate, the NNI brings together the expertise needed to guide and support the advancement of this broad and complex field.
The NNI creates a framework for a comprehensive nanotechnology R&D program by establishing shared goals, priorities, and strategies, and it provides avenues for each individual agency to leverage the resources of all participating agencies.
Today the NNI consists of the individual and cooperative nanotechnology-related activities of 25 Federal agencies with a range of research and regulatory roles and responsibilities. Thirteen of the participating agencies have R&D budgets that relate to nanotechnology, with the reported NNI budget representing the collective sum of these. The NNI as a program does not fund research; however, it informs and influences the Federal budget and planning processes through its member agencies.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The ultimate goal of Technology

Hay !!! Its time to Technology.

I Md Moshiur Rahman is a Technology fan and reading the world best technology news for last 5 years, In the mean time the revolution of technolgy shows me the thought very clearly in our daily life technology will cover almost 100% .
The bless of information technology is the most attractive part of this time-inthis part Mobile and internet rolled the most important part,

The exclamation is Largehadron collider -theory research of Big Bang.

NASA Also reaching the MARS,

So whats next? what we want ? what we want to get.

We want all-even we dont know what means all.

I Pay my cordial thanks to the researcher and scientist who are creating our new new demand giving the opprtunity to fill it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

NASA: $485 Million Mars Mission

NASA announced yesterday its decision to offer the University of Colorado an astonishing $485 million grant, which will be used in the research concerning the Martian air. The contract, named the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission or MAVEN, is the biggest in the university’s history and it will be carried out by the school’s Laboratory for Space and Atmospheric Physics. “This is the largest contract to date, but we really can’t say it’s the largest of all time,” said Stein Sture, CU’s vice chancellor for research.
The project will include about 200 people and will also be supported by several CU-Boulder graduate and undergraduate students.
“We are standing here at the University of Colorado,” said CU President Bruce Benson, “but this (project) is helping us become the university of the universe.”
The mission’s principal investigator, CU’s Bruce Jakosky, explained that the research will involve the upper atmosphere and how the planet interacts with the sun and with the solar wind. According to scientists, the solar wind represents the sun’s outer atmosphere which manages to reach all the planets with charged particles. In our case, these particles are repelled by Earth’s magnetic field and the atmosphere is protected. The difference on Mars is that its magnetic field no longer functions, allowing the solar wind to break down its atmosphere.
“This mission is about understanding the history of liquid water,” Jakosky said. “Why did the atmosphere change? Why did a warmer, wetter planet turn into the thin, cold atmosphere we see today?” He also added that this is an outstanding mission which will provide fundamental science results for Mars, as the previous missions only investigated Mars’ lower atmosphere. In order to complete its tasks, the spacecraft will be equipped with at least eight scientific instruments and will take several samples from the various layers of Martian air in order to study the planet’s atmospheric gases, upper atmosphere and ionosphere. The planet’s drastic climate change represents the mission’s focus, as scientists are looking to identify its past state, the different stages it experienced and also a careful analysis of its current appearance.
"This [Maven] mission will provide the first direct measurements ever taken to address key scientific questions about Mars' evolution," explained Doug McCuistion, director of the Mars exploration program at NASA Headquarters in Washington DC.
At this point, NASA has two spacecrafts near Mars - the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Mars Odyssey craft. Their mission objectives deal with the planet’s geochemistry and send from time to time detailed pictures of its formations.
The mission was initially scheduled for a 2011 launch but due to the fact that Mars comes close enough to Earth every 26 months, NASA decided to postpone it for November 18, 2013. This delay will shorten the mission from two years to one as the solar cycle will provide significantly fewer events to study. Still, the scientists are certain that the time is sufficient to gather all the needed data and some of the preparation for the project have already begun.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Tatter and Company-Taken over by google

Google Inc. has snapped up South Korean blogging software company Tatter and Company, or TNC, in a bid to expand the Internet search leader's reach in Asia.
The acquisition, announced by TNC's co-CEO Chang-Won Kim in a blog posting Friday and confirmed by Mountain View, Calif.-based Google, reflects Google's efforts to open up new distribution channels for its ads beyond its ubiquitous search engine.
Similar to Google's 2003 acquisition of the Blogger platform, the deal for TNC could also help Google continue improving its techniques for scouring and synthesizing blog content and tailor ads more precisely to specific markets.
Kim said Google has struggled to gain market share in Korea because many Internet users there are locked into Web portal-style services. Those services funnel users through one central point for all their Internet needs and limit some of the freewheeling exploration of different sites that helps Google sell more ads.
"Google isn't entitled with God-given right to become #1 in every region it operates in, just because it's Google," he wrote. "It's actually more about the Korean Web industry than about Google. I think the Korean web industry needs a player that can, as a balancing force, provide more options to the users and help create a more open Web."
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

For its third acquisition in 2008, Google has for the second time gone shopping abroad.
On Friday,
Google confirmed that it has acquired South Korean blog platform company Tatter and Company (TNC).

In a blog post announcing the acquisition, Chang-Won Kim, co-CEO of TNC, explains that TNC can be thought of as South Korea's equivalent of Automattic, a company that makes software to complement and extend the open source WordPress blog publishing platform.
Kim says the acquisition is the first Google has done in Asia outside of China. The deal, he expects, will help improve Google's "minor" market share in South Korea, a state of affairs he attributes to the South Korean preference for staying within Web portals rather than venturing to all manner of online sites for information and services.
"We will commit ourselves to increasing Google's market share in Korea," Kim said in a blog post. "Of course, Google isn't entitled with God-given right to become #1 in every region it operates in, just because it's Google. It's actually more about the Korean web industry than about Google. I think the Korean Web industry needs a player that can, as a balancing force, provide more options to the users and help create a more open Web."
While Google and TNC are working to create a more open Web, the South Korean government may be working against them. Stung by protests driven in part by people-powered media and bloggers, South Korean president Lee Myung-bak has been pushing for new Internet regulations to curb what online reporters can say.
In an interview last month with The Guardian in the United Kingdom, Lee Han-ki, editor-in-chief of OhmyNews, a leading Korean portal for citizen journalists, said, "The proposed legislation will not only hinder free speech by Korean netizens but seems to be aimed at controlling the public opinion of Internet news media."

EA Games-spore

Spore created by EA games,is your own personal universe in a box. In this universe you can create and evolve life, establish tribes, build civilizations and even sculpt entire worlds. In Spore you have a variety of creation tools at your disposal that allow you to customize nearly every aspect of your universe: creatures, vehicles, buildings, and even spaceships. While Spore is a single player game, your creations and other players' creations are automatically shared between your galaxy and theirs, providing a limitless number of worlds to explore and play.
The Spore universe is made up of five stages with different challenges and goals. You may choose to start with the cell phase and nurture one species from its humble aquatic origins to its evolution as a sentient species. Or you may decide to start building tribes or civilizations on multiple planets. What you do with your universe is up to you.
Key Features
Sandbox Gameplay: Create our own personal universe where you can evolve life, establish tribes, build civilizations and even sculpt entire worlds.
Evolutionary Gameplay: Lead your species through stages of evolution from pond-scum to galactic god in Spore's campaign mode.
World Creators: Easy-to-use editors allow you to make everything from creatures and buildings to vehicles and spaceships.
Shared Content: Spore automatically shares your creations with other players through the Internet. And in your game, you'll explore and interact with a galaxy of content created by other players.

About EA Mobile

EA Mobile(TM), a division of EA's Casual Entertainment Label, is the world's leading wireless entertainment publisher with award-winning games such as Tetris(R), Bejeweled(R), The Sims, and Need For Speed. The EA Mobile portfolio also includes casual games based on the company's partnership with Hasbro, Inc. including MONOPOLY, YAHTZEE and SCRABBLE(in the U.S. and Canada) as well as sports blockbusters from the EA SPORTS(TM) brand, including Madden NFL Football, FIFA Soccer and NASCAR(R). EA Mobile develops games for multiple mobile platforms including mobile phones, smartphones, the iPhone and iPod. For more information about EA Mobile, please visit

About Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, the company develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for video game systems, personal computers, cellular handsets and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTS(TM), EA(TM), EA SPORTS Freestyle(TM) and POGO(TM). In fiscal 2008, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $3.67 billion and had 27 titles that sold more than one million copies. EA's homepage and online game site is More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at

EA, EA SPORTS, EA SPORTS Freestyle, EA Mobile POGO, Need for Speed, Spore, Lemonade Tycoon, SimCity and The Sims are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Tetris is a registered trademark of Tetris Holding, LLC. Bejeweled is a registered trademark of PopCap Games, Inc. John Madden, NFL, FIFA, Tiger Woods, PGA TOUR and NASCAR are the property of their respective owners and used with permission. MONOPOLY, YAHTZEE, and SCRABBLE (in the U.S. and Canada) are trademarks of Hasbro and are used with permission. iPhone, iPod, iTunes and Mac are trademarks or registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. Nintendo DS is a trademark of Nintendo, All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Sparkpr for EA Mobile
Matt Marquess, 415-321-1874
EA Casual Entertainment
Trudy Muller, 650-628-2926

Great DRM Backlash-spore

EA Mobile(TM), a division of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS), today announced that Spore(TM) Origins, an original game for the iPhone(TM) and iPod(R) touch will be available this month. The game takes full advantage of the devices' built-in accelerometer as players tilt, turn and twist their way through a world made of primordial ooze. In conjunction with the launch of Spore Origins, EA Mobile also announces a list of nine games in development for both the iPhone and iPod touch platforms.
Eat-or-be-eaten in Spore Origins! Designed specifically for the iPhone and iPod touch, Spore Origins uses the platforms' motion-sensing technology to let gamers navigate a primordial tidepool on a quest to evolve. Feast on the weak and flee from the strong through two exciting modes and 35 challenging levels. Pinch, pull, and poke your creation in the Creature Editor, customizing the texture, shape and body parts to improve your offense, defense, perception and movement as you evolve over millions of years.

"We're really excited to bring Spore Origins to the iPhone and iPod touch," said Travis Boatman, Vice President Worldwide Studios at EA Mobile. "By leveraging the unique capabilities of these devices, players can customize their own creatures and shape their destiny in an exciting evolutionary journey."

EA Mobile today also announced nine titles in development for the iPhone and iPod touch, pending regional availability. This list includes YAHTZEE Adventures, EA Mini Golf, Lemonade Tycoon(TM), Mahjong, MONOPOLY: Here & Now The World Edition, SimCity, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 09, Need for Speed(TM) Undercover, and The Sims(TM) 3.

Spore Origins will be available globally from the Apple App Store on iPhone and iPod touch, or by simply visiting from an iPhone. Additional versions of Spore Origins are also available for the iPod, as well as other mobile devices. All iPod games are available for the third-generation iPod nano, iPod classic and fifth-generation iPod and can be sent as a gift using the iTunes gifting feature (

For more information on Spore Origins, carrier availability and pricing, please go online to Spore is also available for the PC, Mac(R) and Nintendo(TM) DS in participating retail stores worldwide, or by visiting


If we can learn anything from the troubled launch of Spore, a videogame many people have been looking forward to for years, it is that binding products with digital rights management (DRM) restrictions hurts more than it helps. Spore, designed by Sims creator Will Wright, went on sale a week ago. It is expected to sell 2 million copies in September alone, and is currently the No. 3 best-selling game on Amazon.

But it also has one of the worst ratings on Amazon (2,016 out of the 2,216 ratings are one star) because of a concerted campaign by fans protesting its DRM. It has also been downloaded an estimated 500,000 times on BitTorrent, and is well on its way to becoming the most illegally downloaded game ever.

The DRM that comes with the official game only allows customers to use it on three machines (after that you have to call EA for permission to activate the game on additional machines). This is nothing more than an inconvenience. Gamers, in general, are more likely to have more than one computer, and to cycle through computers faster than other PC owners because they always want the latest, greatest, and fastest machines. Many will hit that three-machine limit quickly.

Maybe EA should join the rest of the entertainment industry in coming up with a consistent DRM policy. Unlike iTunes, which imposes a five-machine limit on most purchased songs and movies, there is no way to associate new machines or disassociate old ones from your account online. You have to call. That does not scale.

So now EA has a consumer backlash on its hands, and not because consumers don't like the game, but because they don't like EA telling them what they can do with the game after they've paid for it. What is worse, the DRM is obviously not stopping pirated versions from getting out there. And since the pirated version is DRM-free, many gamers consider it a better product than the DRMed one that Electronic Arts is trying to sell.

The silliest part of this whole affair is that EA has a much more effective weapon against piracy than the DRM: the game itself. Many of Spore's most interesting features, such as the ability to upload characters you create and explore worlds created by other players, have an online component. These are integral to the gameplay. All EA needs to do is to turn these features off to anyone who cannot prove that they've actually purchased the game. Then no self-respecting gamer will want that pirated copy.

There is a lesson here for all media companies. Whether they are producing videogames, movies, or music, adding DRM won't stop piracy. The best way to stop piracy is to hobble the pirated version, not the official one.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Digital media now in easy "ecosystem"

a new type of DRM that would allow customers more flexibility in playing content on multiple devices. The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) would establish a list of devices in your personal "domain" (unrelated to web domains), and minimizes or removes restrictions within that domain. TechCrunch summarizes DECE and notes that many of the big corporations have decided to support it.
"The ecosystem envisioned by Singer et al revolves around a common set of formats, interfaces and other standards. Devices built to the DECE specifications would be able to play any DECE-branded content and work with any DECE-certified service. The goal is to create for downloads the same kind of interoperability that's been true for physical products, such as CDs and DVDs. Where it gets really interesting, though, is the group's stated intention to make digital files as flexible and permissive as CDs, at least within the confines of someone's personal domain. Once you've acquired a file, you could play it on any of your devices -- if it couldn't be passed directly from one DECE-ready device to another, you'd be allowed to download additional copies. And when you're away from home, you could stream the file to any device with a DECE-compatible Web browser."

10 years? Try 100.
Radio will kill the live music industry. Vinyl will kill radio and live music. Home taping will kill vinyl, radio and live music. Copying CDs will kill music. MP3s will kill music.
It wasn't true back then and it isn't true now. People want to listen to music, plain and simple. The RIAA know that damn well, they're not that stupid. Quite why they're so keen to describe every new piece of technology as the thing that will eventually kill them, I don't know. Some sort of control thi

DRM is inherently defective and bad for consumers. (Score:3, Interesting)
by Dirtside (91468) on Saturday September 13, @12:35PM (#24991211) Homepage Journal
Repeat after me: All DRM is inherently defective and bad for consumers. Consider the baseline: completely unfettered media. You can do with it whatever you want.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A group of media industry companies said it is planning to build a digital world where video devices and content websites play together in perfect harmony, and consumers can safely store their digital content and access it anywhere in the world.

The consortium of Hollywood studios, retailers, service providers, and consumer electronics and information technology companies, called the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem, or DECE, is working on a "uniform digital media experience" but won't announce details until the Consumer Electronics Show in January.

The consortium said it will call for interoperability of devices and websites, and usage rules that allow consumers to copy content onto household playback devices and to burn their content to physical media, DECE President Mitch Singer said.

The plan also would provide customers a "rights locker" or virtual library where consumers' digital video purchases would be stored for retrieval in a manner similar to accessing an email account, Singer said.

The consortium plans to design a logo that will be placed on products and websites to let consumers know that those products and services are compatible with DECE standards.

"We will be developing a ... specification that services and device makers can license. They can use the logo to associate their device, knowing that when the consumer goes to buy the content, they know it will play," Singer said.

The new digital framework would turn Apple Inc's "closed" iTunes model on its head, Singer said.

"This is very different from the Apple ecosystem," he said. "We encourage Apple to join the consortium. We don't ever anticipate Apple going away or this consortium replacing it

"They knew that when they brought (a DVD) home, they could play it on the device of their choice," Coblitz said. "We see this vision of 'buy once, play anywhere.'"

The consortium includes Alcatel-Lucent, Best Buy Co Inc, Cisco Systems Inc, Comcast, News Corp's Fox Entertainment Group, Hewlett-Packard Co, Intel, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp, Microsoft Corp, General Electric Co's NBC Universal, Viacom Inc's Paramount Pictures, Philips, Sony Corp, Toshiba, VeriSign, and Time Warner Inc's Warner Bros Entertainment.

All forms of DRM add fetters to that situation without giving any additional abilities or functionality. There is absolutely nothing that can be done with DRMed media that cannot be done (in a technical sense) with unfettered media.


What Exactly?Gates and Seinfeld Selling?

Microsoft Launches 2nd Seinfeld Salvo
The iconic comedian and Bill Gates stumble through suburbia

I'm still amused by Apple's Mac vs. PC guy ads, especially the one where PC pokes his head up out of a pizza box and explains he wants to attract college students.
Microsoft apparently decided it was time to try it's own version of funny ads. Microsoft has teamed up Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld in a series of ads, that so far, only hint at anything Windows or Vista related. Gizmodo calls Gates and Seinfeld
the new Laural and Hardy of ambiguous advertising

The public hasn't seen many of the minute and a half ads yet, but there's a four and a half minute version that Karen at Unterekless Thoughts declares
New Gates/Seinfeld/Microsoft ad made me laugh so it must be good
You can see the long version at YouTube. In the long version, Bill and Jerry attempt to live with a normal (as in not filthy rich like them) family. They attempt a few normal things, like eating scalloped potatoes and playing ping pong before they get kicked out.
There are some funny lines, which is all there is to evaluate the ads on at this point—nothing technical is getting mentioned. Abbey Klaassen at Advertising Age agreed in Gates, Seinfeld Funnier Second Time Around. Klaassen pointed out,
What the latest spot brings – which seemed unlikely with the first spot, dubbed "The Conquistador," that broke last week – is the potential for the ad to go viral. An extended version of the new commercial, which is called "New Family" and broke last night on CBS during "Big Brother," is already being passed around on the web.
Even though I'm an avowed Mac person, I'm contributing to that "going viral" effect by talking about the ads here. This either proves A) it's going viral, or B) a $300 million contract between Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the ad agency, and Microsoft is paying off for Microsoft.
Alice Hill at RealTechNews commented
It’s a much, much better ad that the first one. And it makes Bill G almost lovable, if such a thing could be possible. But with Bill and Jerry retired, what does it really say about what they left behind?
Mary Jo Foley, in Keep the faith: More Windows-specific consumer ads coming soon quoted a Microsoft spokesperson who said that the ads will quickly move to being more about Windows, including desktop, laptop and mobile.
I've always been amused by the PC guy vs. Mac guy ads. It has done nothing to change my buying behavior. I thought the full four and a half minute ad on YouTube was amusing, too. I have a feeling that it won't change my buying behavior either. What is your reaction? Does it affect what you buy?


BOSTON The second salvo in Microsoft's Jerry Seinfeld-Bill Gates campaign has appeared in the form of a four-minute-plus video available on YouTube and elsewhere.

The iconic comedian and Microsoft chairman this time venture to suburbia, where they try to act like regular guys despite being surrounded by a highly irregular family. The off-kilter atmosphere is reminiscent of Seinfeld's classic '90s sitcom, and Jerry's wisecracks and his odd chemistry (or lack thereof) with the stiff yet likeable Gates coming to the fore in this installment.

Microsoft's first ad with the pair, set in a discount shoe store, broke last week during National Football League coverage. That commercial was 90 seconds long and was, for the most part, judged overly quirky and confusing by commentators. Adweek's ad critic Barbara Lippert gave the work a mixed review.

Much like that earlier effort, the new spot takes a soft-sell approach to its subject matter, with no overt product pitches and only a fleeting reference to Microsoft, mainly in the form of the logo at the end, though Gates, of course, is virtually synonymous with the company he cofounded.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

DEMEC mechanical strain gauge from Bestech Australia

Bestech Australia offer DEMEC Mechanical Strain Gauge, a single instrument which can take reliable and accurate strain measurements at different points on a structure.

The DEMEC Mechanical Strain Gauge is developed by Mayes Instruments and has gauge lengths of 50 to 2000mm and a discrimination of two microstrains on the 200mm gauge.

This makes the DEMEC Mechanical Strain Gauge suitable for strain measurement and crack monitoring on many different types of structures.

The DEMEC Mechanical Strain Gauge consists of an invar main beam with two conical locating points, one fixed and the other pivoting on a special knife edge. The points sit in pre-drilled stainless steel discs, which are attached to the structure with adhesive.

The pivoting point’s movements are measured by the strain gauge, which is attached to a base plate on the invar beam. Thermal movement within the instrument is negligible.

With practice, 200 strains per hour can be measured with accuracy of about ±5 x 10-6 under most laboratory test conditions.

Even better accuracy has been obtained using the gauge in its horizontal position. In development tests of this kind, 90% of measured strains were within ±3 x 10-6 of the mean.

The digital version of the DEMEC Mechanical Strain Gauge incorporates a digital indicator with a resolution of 0.001mm, zero set, preset and output for SPC.

The indicator can be connected to a data processor for recording and analysis of results. The indicator displays spindle movement digitally by means of a linear encoder and has a response speed of 1000mm per second. The digital DEMEC is battery operable.

The DEMEC Mechanical Strain Gauge come complete with an invar reference bar, for control measurements and a setting out bar for accurate positioning of locating discs.

Bestech Australia
Bestech provides the latest in measurement and control technology to the Australian and NZ market. We are focused to meet the instrumentation needs of customers in: Research & Education, Automotive, Metal Industry, Automation, Defence, Mining, General Manufacturing, Food Beverage, Water/wastewater, Chemical, Oil & Gas, Pulp & paper.

Bestech Australia Products & Services
Temperature And Pressure Test And Measurement
Linear Products
Linear Measurement
Daq Cards
Electronic Design Software
Level Measurement
Petroleum Equipment
Food Equipment
Non Destructive Testing
Measurement Solutions
Automation Systems
System Integrators
Bulk Material Weighing
Level Transmitters
Mining Equipment
Signal Conditioning
Process Analysers

Genetech, Biogen Drug Related To Brain Disorder Death

The Food and Drug Administration reported, on Thursday, of the death of a woman who developed a rare brain disorder about 18 months after taking the final prescribed dosage of Genentech and Biogen Idec's Rituxan.

The FDA has advised the doctors to look for any neurological problems in patients taking Rituxan.

A company spokeswoman for Genentech remarked that the drug's label already states risks of the infection.

"The patient had a number of confounding factors that make it difficult to assess the potential role, if any, that Rituxan exposure may have played," said Tara Cooper. She further said that Genentech first disclosed the death during its July earnings call.

Rituxan, a blockbuster drug for arthritis and cancer, is marketed by Genentech and Biogen Idec in the U.S.

Both Rituxan and Tysabri multiple sclerosis drug, which reportedly also triggered the brain disorder in rare cases, are built on antibodies that maneuver the immune system.

FDA reported that the patient who died while on Rituxan had also received chemotherapy agents about nine months earlier.

Shares of Genentech Inc. rose $1.08 Thursday to $96.77 in afternoon trading. Shares of Biogen Idec Inc. fell 18 cents to $47.12.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Nanotechnology at the interface of cell biology, materials science and medicine

The atomic force microscope (AFM) and related scanning probe microscopes have become resourceful tools to study cells, supramolecular assemblies and single biomolecules, because they allow investigations of such structures in native environments. Quantitative information has been gathered about the surface structure of membrane proteins to lateral and vertical resolutions of 0.5 nm and 0.1 nm, respectively, about the forces that keep protein–protein and protein–nucleic acid assemblies together as well as single proteins in their native conformation, and about the nanomechanical properties of cells in health and disease. Such progress has been achieved mainly because of constant development of AFM instrumentation and sample preparation methods.

This special issue of Nanotechnology presents papers from leading laboratories in the field of nanobiology, covering a wide range of topics in the form of original and novel scientific contributions. It addresses achievements in instrumentation, sample preparation, automation and in biological applications. These papers document the creativity and persistence of researchers pursuing the goal to unravel the structure and dynamics of cells, supramolecuar structures and single biomolecules at work. Improved cantilever sensors, novel optical probes, and quantitative data on supports for electrochemical experiments open new avenues for characterizing biological nanomachines down to the single molecule. Comparative measurements of healthy and metastatic cells promise new methods for early detection of tumors, and possible assessments of drug efficacy. High-speed AFMs document possibilities to monitor crystal growth and to observe large structures at video rate. A wealth of information on amyloid-type fibers as well as on membrane proteins has been gathered by single molecule force spectroscopy—a technology now being automated for large-scale data collection.

With the progress of basic research and a strong industry supporting instrumentation development by improving robustness and reliability and making new instruments available to the community, nanobiology has the potential to develop into a field with great impact on our understanding of the complexity of life, and to provide a major contribution to human health.

This special issue of Nanotechnology on nanobiology would not have been possible without the highly professional support from Nina Couzin, Amy Harvey and the Nanotechnology team at IOP Publishing. We are thankful for their most constructive and effective help in pushing the project forward. We are also thankful to all the authors who have contributed with excellent original articles, as well as to the referees who have helped to make this special issue such an insightful document of a rapidly moving field.

Andreas Engel1 and Mervyn Miles2
1 University of Basel, Switzerland
2 University of Bristol, UK

MIT work could help develop better computer vision systems

Watch and learn: Time teaches us how to recognize visual objects
In work that could aid efforts to develop more brain-like computer vision systems, MIT neuroscientists have tricked the visual brain into confusing one object with another, thereby demonstrating that time teaches us how to recognize objects.

As you scan this visual scene (indicated with green circle), you spot a beaver out of the corner of your eye. As you glance towards it, the image is swapped for a monkey. Using analogous stimuli to produce swaps at specific locations in the visual field, MIT graduate student Nuo Li and professor James DiCarlo show that the brain starts to confuse different objects after a few hours exposure to this altered visual world. The confusion is exactly that which is expected if the brain uses temporal contiguity to teach it how to recognize objects. Movie courtesy of Nuo Li, McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT

It may sound strange, but human eyes never see the same image twice. An object such as a cat can produce innumerable impressions on the retina, depending on the direction of gaze, angle of view, distance and so forth. Every time our eyes move, the pattern of neural activity changes, yet our perception of the cat remains stable.

"This stability, which is called 'invariance,' is fundamental to our ability to recognize objects -- it feels effortless, but it is a central challenge for computational neuroscience," explained James DiCarlo of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, the senior author of the new study appearing in the Sept. 12 issue of Science. "We want to understand how our brains acquire invariance and how we might incorporate it into computer vision systems."

A possible explanation is suggested by the fact that our eyes tend to move rapidly (about three times per second), whereas physical objects usually change more slowly. Therefore, differing patterns of activity in rapid succession often reflect different images of the same object. Could the brain take advantage of this simple rule of thumb to learn object invariance?

In previous work, DiCarlo and colleagues tested this "temporal contiguity" idea in humans by creating an altered visual world in which the normal rule did not apply. An object would appear in peripheral vision, but as the eyes moved to examine it, the object would be swapped for a different object. Although the subjects did not perceive the change, they soon began to confuse the two objects, consistent with the temporal contiguity hypothesis.

In the new study, DiCarlo, who is also an associate professor in the MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and graduate student Nuo Li sought to understand the brain mechanisms behind this effect. They had monkeys watch a similarly altered world while recording from neurons in the inferior temporal (IT) cortex -- a high-level visual brain area where object invariance is thought to arise. IT neurons "prefer" certain objects and respond to them regardless of where they appear within the visual field.

"We first identified an object that an IT neuron preferred, such as a sailboat, and another, less preferred object, maybe a teacup," Li said. "When we presented objects at different locations in the monkey's peripheral vision, they would naturally move their eyes there. One location was a swap location. If a sailboat appeared there, it suddenly became a teacup by the time the eyes moved there. But a sailboat appearing in other locations remained unchanged."

After the monkeys spent time in this altered world, their IT neurons became confused, just like the previous human subjects. The sailboat neuron, for example, still preferred sailboats at all locations -- except at the swap location, where it learned to prefer teacups. The longer the manipulation, the greater the confusion, exactly as predicted by the temporal contiguity hypothesis.

Importantly, just as human infants can learn to see without adult supervision, the monkeys received no feedback from the researchers. Instead, the changes in their brain occurred spontaneously as the monkeys looked freely around the computer screen.

"We were surprised by the strength of this neuronal learning, especially after only one or two hours of exposure," DiCarlo said. "Even in adulthood, it seems that the object-recognition system is constantly being retrained by natural experience. Considering that a person makes about 100 million eye movements per year, this mechanism could be fundamental to how we recognize objects so easily."

The team is now testing this idea further using computer vision systems viewing real-world videos.

This work was funded by the NIH, the McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience and a gift from Marjorie and Gerald Burnett.

MIT quantum insights could lead to better detectors

Improved efficiency could enable research, military and medical uses
David Chandler, MIT News Office
September 11, 2008

A bizarre but well-established aspect of quantum physics could open up a new era of electronic detectors and imaging systems that would be far more efficient than any now in existence, according to new insights by an MIT leader in the field.

MIT Professor of Mechanical Engineering Seth Lloyd has found that a peculiar quantum-physics property called entanglement can be harnessed to make detectors--similar in principle to radar systems used to track airplanes in flight or ships at sea--that are as much as a million times more efficient than existing systems. In addition, beams of entangled light could be swept across a scene to reconstruct a detailed image, with a similar improvement in efficiency.

The new findings, being reported this week in the journal Science, are purely theoretical, but Lloyd says that laboratory experiments have already proven the feasibility of both the light sources and the detectors needed for such a quantum-based photodetection system, so he anticipates that within a year it should be possible to build a laboratory-scale system to demonstrate the new concept.

"It should be possible to have at least a proof-of-principle demonstration within six months to a year," Lloyd said.

For example, military applications could include improved night-vision systems, which send out beams of infrared light--invisible to the naked eye--to sweep across a scene, and then use an infrared detector to reconstruct an image from the light that is reflected back. A more efficient system, using the quantum-entanglement effect, would make it much more difficult for an adversary to detect the fact that such a system was being used, because there would be so much less infrared light needed to provide the illumination.

Theoretically, such a system could be used to allow medical diagnostic systems such as CT scans to work with a vastly reduced X-ray output, thereby making them much safer for the patient, but such applications would be much further in the future. It could also someday be used for safer microscope imaging of living organisms.

Entanglement is a strange property that was deduced theoretically on the basis of the laws of quantum physics, and has been demonstrated over the last several years in a variety of laboratory experiments. Under certain circumstances, when an atom gives off two photons of light at the same time, the two are "entangled" even as they go off in different directions, so that anything that changes one of the photons simultaneously changes the other as well.

This odd property makes it possible to perform seemingly impossible feats such as "quantum teleportation," in which all of the properties of one subatomic particle are recreated in a different particle some distance away. It has also been demonstrated as a way of producing seemingly foolproof encryption systems for data transmission. But explanations of exactly what underlies the entanglement phenomenon remain controversial.

Lloyd says that he cannot provide a simple, intuitive explanation for why the quantum illumination system described in this report actually works, but is certain that the theoretical calculations demonstrating it are correct. "It is as if the two entangled photons retain a memory of each other long after any such memory should have faded away," he said.

'energy revolution' urges by Hockfield- MIT

Hockfield urges Congress to unleash 'energy revolution'
Says increased federal R&D funding key to progress

Reimagining energy - Op-ed by Susan Hockfield, Washington Post, Sept. 11, 2008
Testimony by Susan Hockfield before the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming - Transcript

MIT President Susan Hockfield urged Congress Wednesday to sharply increase federal funding for energy research, saying such a move could help unleash an "energy revolution" capable of resolving several of America's problems at once.

"We stand on the verge of a global energy technology revolution," Hockfield said in testimony before the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming in Washington. "The question before us is: Will America lead it and reap the rewards? Or will we surrender that advantage to other countries with clearer vision?"

At the hearing, titled "Investing in the future: R&D needs to meet America's energy and climate challenges," Hockfield said boosting federal energy research could simultaneously help address the problems of a shaky economy, geopolitical instabilities linked to energy consumption and security, and the growing evidence of climate change.

"If one advance could transform America's prospects," she said, "it would be having a range of clean, renewable, low-carbon energy technologies, ready to power our cars, our buildings and our industries, at scale, while creating jobs and protecting the planet." Toward that end, the MIT Energy Initiative, in addition to a range of important scientific and engineering advances, has already generated landmark reports on nuclear, geothermal and coal technologies, and has additional reports in the works on solar power, cap-and-trade policy and other energy approaches.

Chaired by Massachusetts Congressman Edward Markey, the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming was created last year to address issues related to the urgent challenges of oil dependence and climate change. In addition to Hockfield, the committee heard testimony from Stephen Forrest, vice president of research at the University of Michigan; Jack Fellows, vice president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research; and Daniel Kammen, professor at UC-Berkeley.

While federal funding for energy research has helped power the economy in the past, Hockfield noted, it has dwindled alarmingly in recent years, from 10 percent of the federal research budget in 1980 to just 2 percent today. At the same time, corporate R&D by energy companies has also plummeted, she said, to less than one-quarter of 1 percent of revenues, compared to the 18 percent invested by pharmaceutical companies.

"Congress funded the basic research that spawned the information technology revolution and the biotech revolution," she said. "Today, to spark an energy revolution, Congress must lead again."

Hockfield pointed out that at the beginning of World War II, former MIT Dean of Engineering and Vice President Vannevar Bush persuaded President Franklin D. Roosevelt to make major investments in R&D, which resulted in innovations that not only helped to win the war but also spurred an ongoing partnership between the government and universities that "launched many of our most important industries, produced countless medical advances and spawned virtually all of the technologies that define our modern quality of life."

There is great potential for a similar impact today, she said.

Hockfield was asked for her impression of how much interest there was among students in working on such energy technologies. "The students' interest level is absolutely deafening," she said. "Students are wildly enthusiastic." As an example, she pointed to work done by the student-led MIT Energy Club, with its more than 700 members.

To take the lead in developing the new energy technologies the world needs, Hockfield said, the United States should triple its investment in energy research promptly, then move to a higher level as the Department of Energy builds its capacity to translate basic research to the marketplace. She called for industry, government and universities to work together on a collaborative "roadmap" to plan those next steps for coming years. And she emphasized the importance of spreading that research money broadly across a portfolio of energy research areas, not just those that seem poised for the most immediate return.

"We can't choose winners now, we don't know what they will be," she said.

The first step, she suggested, is to set up the collaborative panel to create a detailed strategic plan for the coming years.

"We need work going on across a range of technologies," Hockfield said. "We need to develop everything we can get our hands on." By doing so, she said, "we can turn this global energy challenge into a global opportunity."

Hockfield will speak on energy again next week in Washington, at a press conference Wednesday at the National Press Club, which will also feature two energy industry leaders and the director of a national laboratory. The event will highlight the importance of federally funded R&D to the nation's commercial competitiveness. And MIT will also be represented at a hearing on energy policy this Friday before the Senate Energy Committee, which will hear testimony from Institute Professor John Deutch.

See detail ;

Testimony before the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming

MIT awaits data from world's biggest physics experiment

The compact muon solenoid (CMS) experiment at CERN's Large Hadron Collider will look for the Higgs boson, shown here in simulation.
Dozens of MIT physicists are waiting anxiously to sift through data from the world's biggest physics experiment, which officially started today when scientists sent the first beam of protons zooming at nearly the speed of light around the 17-mile Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Switzerland.

Some 40 MIT researchers are among the thousands of physicists from around the world collaborating on the LHC, the world's most powerful particle accelerator. MIT has the largest American university group working on one of the collider's four detectors, known as the CMS (compact muon solenoid) detector, and a smaller group working on another LHC detector known as ATLAS (a toroidal LHC apparatus).

The first circulating beam is a major accomplishment on the way to the ultimate goal: high-energy beams colliding in the centers of the LHC's particle detectors. Scientists participating in these experiments will analyze the collisions in search of extraordinary discoveries about the nature of the physical universe. Beyond revealing a new world of unknown particles, the LHC experiments could explain why those particles exist and behave as they do. They could reveal the origins of mass, shed light on dark matter, uncover hidden symmetries of the universe and possibly find extra dimensions of space.

"The start of the LHC culminates about 20 years of design and construction work. The accelerator and the experiments are ready to go. We expect LHC data to arrive on MIT campus very shortly," says MIT Professor Bolek Wyslouch of the CMS group. "We hope to see new particles and new processes that may explain probably the most fundamental properties of matter."

For physicists, the excitement about the first beam event is unparalleled. "For much of my career, starting in the early 70's, the standard model of high-energy physics has worked marvelously well but some of its foundations still remained untested," says MIT physicist Frank Taylor, the U.S. ATLAS muon project leader. "Theoretical physicists have been very creative over the last three and a half decades with many beautiful ideas which are mathematically consistent but may not represent nature. Now we have an instrument to check these theories and perhaps to find something not even dreamed of. We're very excited!"

Added Professor Steven Nahn, another member of the CMS team, "The LHC represents the first opportunity in a long time to both close the chapter on the prevailing model of how our world works on the most fundamental levels, and, at the same time, perhaps start a whole new chapter. I feel like I'm Vasco de Balboa seeing the Pacific for the first time -- a whole new ocean out there -- not sure how big it is or what it contains, but it is certainly worth exploring."

Other MIT members of the CMS team are Associate Professors Christoph Paus and Gunther Roland, Professor Wit Busza and senior research scientist George Stephans.

The LHC is operated by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). The accelerator is located on the outskirts of Geneva near the French border, lying below farmland at depths ranging from 60 to 120 meters.

East and west -Europe is the best

LHC proves that Europe is the center of physics

America vs Europe ? now a days the comments from the global commentry is that Europe is the best in Physics
The successful start-up of the Large Hadron Collider represents not just a huge victory for particle physics but also a victory for Europe. Once upon a time there was a brain drain from Europe to the U.S. – not only Albert Einstein in the 30s but also Wehrner von Braun in the 40s (”Once the rockets are up who cares where they come down? That’s not my department, says Wehrner von Braun”) and all the way through the 1970s, 80s and 90s.
But today? There’s no doubt that Europe – especially CERN — is the center of the science world. The Europeans took the lead in building the LHC, kicking in $6 billion. The US contribution? Just over $500 million, Alan Boyle reports at MSNBC.
Besides the LHC, there’s the ITER fusion research center in southern France and potentially another fusion project, the HiPER laser-fusion facility.
Meanwhile, in Washington, politicians yanked support for ITER and ripped $94 million out of physics research. Some of the funding has been restored but many positions were lost.
Michio Kaku points to the cancellation of the planned Superconducting Super Collider in 1994.

“Let’s be blunt about this: There could be a brain drain of some of our finest minds to Europe, beause that’s where the action is,” Kaku said. “We had our chance, but Congress canceled our supercollider back in 1994. We’re out of the picture. We can basically tag along after the Europeans, begging them for time on their machine — but really, the action is in Europe now.”

What will the US role be for the next major project, the International Linear Collider? The US is supposedly interested but it will have to compete with newly rich nations like China and India that boast serious scientific minds of their own. Beijing just hosted an exploratory meeting on hosting the ILC.

Find here

Home II Large Hadron Cillider News