Audio/Video

Can a cell phone change the world?

The instructor of NextLab at MIT, Jhonatan Rotberg, is asking students "Can you make a cell phone change the world?" The answer is "Yes." Students are directing their efforts towards helping people in developing nations in several unconventional ways. "Since mobile phones are dispersed throughout the developing world, they now constitute a platform atop which other services – mobile banking, mobile health, etc. – are now possible," said Michael F. Maltese, of MIT?s Legatum Center. The director of the Center, Iqbal Quadir, has experience operating in this environment. He founded GrameenPhone, a company that introduced low cost cell phone service to Bangladesh in 1997. Health,

Read More...

Audio/Video

Christian Bible in Greek, the Codex Sinaiticus, is digitized

Written by hand more than 1600 years ago, and divided into four institutions in as many countries, the Codex Sinaiticus is all together again ? on line. Called one of the most important books in the world, not only for the text it contains, but for the 4th century technology used to make it, the Codes Sinaiticus has collided with the 21st century. The manuscript is a Christian Bible written in Greek, and is the oldest complete copy of the New Testament. As of July 6, 2009, the Codex Sinaiticus website offers all extant pages of the document. Now, scholars can study the entire manuscript which may

Read More...

Business

Best Buy goes green, sells electric bikes and scooters

Best Buy, a large electronics retailer, has put electric bikes and scooters on its web site and into some of its stores. The environmentally friendly modes of transportation will be added to the computers, cell phones, TV?s, music, movies, toys, and home appliances the retailer already sells.   The bikes and scooters are built by Currie Technologies which has US and International Patents on their unique Electro-Drive propulsion systems. They build electric bikes and scooters for emission free alternatives to commuting, sports, and recreation. Best Buy is selling their mountain bikes, town bikes, and scooters. How well they will be accepted by biking enthusiasts is

Read More...

Audio/Video

Give me your John Hancock – preserving the Declaration of Independence

Protecting and preserving the 233 year old document that established the United States of America has been complex. Shuffled around the infant country, copied, hidden, displayed, analyzed, and digitized the Declaration of Independence has endured. It finally rests in the National Archives in a ballistically tested glass and plastic laminate case with ultraviolet-light filters. At night it is stored in an underground vault. A $3 million camera and computerized system monitors the condition of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, and the Bill of Rights. The Jet Propulsion Lab designed the Charters Monitoring System to detect any changes in readability due

Read More...

Audio/Video

Computer attributes stone tablet writing to specific author

A computer system has been developed that can differentiate between various authors on stone tablets from ancient Greece. Two computer engineers at the National Technical University of Athens, Michail Panagopoulos and Constantin Papaodysseus, worked on the project to create a system for writer identification which they have applied to ancient Greek inscriptions. Their group has focused on several projects which include computer system design and analysis, pattern recognition, and image processing. Their research involves virtual reconstruction of fragmented objects, writer identification and graphological examination of ancient artifacts, automatic recognition of musical recordings and video streams, and computer algorithms. Their recent work is assisting archaeologists place fragments,

Read More...

Audio/Video

Mission: Crash into the Moon approaches its goal

As Ulysses ends its mission to the sun, another spacecraft begins orbiting the moon. After flying through space for four and a half days, NASA?s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbitor [LRO] reached the moon and was positioned into a 200 km polar Earth orbit. The US space agency launched the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite [LCROSS] on a mission to confirm the presence or absence of water in a permanently shadowed crater at the Moon?s South Pole. To that end, the goal is for LCROSS, its attached Centaur upper stage rocket, and all its sophisticated instruments to literally crash into the moon. Craig Tooley, LRO Project

Read More...

Business

Space 2009: Top names build commercial spaceport

New Mexico and Texas are becoming home to "spaceports" that will offer trips into outer space to the general public. New Mexico has a long history in the space industry. Their involvement includes the pioneering rocketry work of Robert J. Goddard in 1930, and NASA programs at the White Sands Missile Range. With the backing of Virgin Galactic, a Sir Richard Branson venture to make low cost commercial space access a reality, the latest project is blasting off.Voters in two counties in New Mexico approved a local tax increase, to be added to state monies, for funding the construction of Spaceport America in their area.

Read More...

Business, Cloud Computing

MIT uses human ear as model for an RF chip

The cochlea, or inner ear, inspired the design of a fast, ultra-broadband, low-power radio chip. Rahul Sarpeshkar, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his graduate student, Soumyajit Mandal, dissected the workings of the human ear. Sarpeshkar said, "The more I started to look at the ear, the more I realized it’s like a super radio with 3,500 parallel channels." Their “RF cochlea” chip mimics the structure and function of the biological cochlea which uses fluid mechanics, piezoelectrics and neural signal processing to convert sound waves into electrical signals that are routed to the brain. The RF cochlea

Read More...

Hardware

21st Century technology reveals secrets of 2nd Century BC computer

Shipwrecks are the fodder for legend, and the origin of the Antikythera Mechanism, is no exception. Deemed the world’s first computer, this instrument discovered by sponge divers in the ruins of a sunken Roman merchant ship off the Greek island of Antikythera, continues to be the subject of romantic speculation. Scientists in 1901 originally thought that the antique bronze mechanism was used for calculating and illustrating astronomical data, particularly planetary movements and phases of the Moon. In 2008, members of the Antikythera Research Project were able to reconstruct the gears and their function. Combining specialized equipment from Hewlett Packard and X-Tek, they examined the mechanism’s

Read More...