Archive for the Technology – تكنولوجيا Category

Lifehacker: iPhone vs Android

Posted in Articles - مقالات, Technology - تكنولوجيا with tags , , on December 15, 2010 by wassimnet

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Buckypaper:Stronger than steel

Posted in Science - علوم, Technology - تكنولوجيا with tags , , , on October 20, 2008 by wassimnet

Stronger Than Steel, Harder Than Diamonds: Researcher Developing Numerous Uses For Extraordinary ‘Buckypaper’

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Working with a material 10 times lighter than steel — but 250 times stronger — would be a dream come true for any engineer. If this material also had amazing properties that made it highly conductive of heat and electricity, it would start to sound like something out of a science fiction novel. Yet one Florida State University research group, the Florida Advanced Center for Composite Technologies (FAC2T), is working to develop real-world applications for just such a material.

Ben Wang, a professor of industrial engineering at the Florida A&M University-FSU College of Engineering in Tallahassee, Fla., serves as director of FAC2T (www.fac2t.eng.fsu.edu), which works to develop new, high-performance composite materials, as well as technologies for producing them.

Wang is widely acknowledged as a pioneer in the growing field of nano-materials science. His main area of research, involving an extraordinary material known as “buckypaper,” has shown promise in a variety of applications, including the development of aerospace structures, the production of more-effective body armor and armored vehicles, and the construction of next-generation computer displays. The U.S. military has shown a keen interest in the military applications of Wang’s research; in fact, the Army Research Lab recently awarded FAC2T a $2.5-million grant, while the Air Force Office of Scientific Research awarded $1.2 million.

“At FAC2T, our objective is to push the envelope to find out just how strong of a composite material we can make using buckypaper,” Wang said. “In addition, we’re focused on developing processes that will allow it to be mass-produced cheaply.”

Buckypaper is made from carbon nanotubes — amazingly strong fibers about 1/50,000th the diameter of a human hair that were first developed in the early 1990s. Buckypaper owes its name to Buckminsterfullerene, or Carbon 60 — a type of carbon molecule whose powerful atomic bonds make it twice as hard as a diamond. Sir Harold Kroto, now a professor and scientist with FSU’s department of chemistry and biochemistry, and two other scientists shared the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their discovery of Buckminsterfullerene, nicknamed “buckyballs” for the molecules’ spherical shape. Their discovery has led to a revolution in the fields of chemistry and materials science — and directly contributed to the development of buckypaper.

Among the possible uses for buckypaper that are being researched at FAC2T:

  • If exposed to an electric charge, buckypaper could be used to illuminate computer and television screens. It would be more energy-efficient, lighter, and would allow for a more uniform level of brightness than current cathode ray tube (CRT) and liquid crystal display (LCD) technology.
  • As one of the most thermally conductive materials known, buckypaper lends itself to the development of heat sinks that would allow computers and other electronic equipment to disperse heat more efficiently than is currently possible. This, in turn, could lead to even greater advances in electronic miniaturization.
  • Because it has an unusually high current-carrying capacity, a film made from buckypaper could be applied to the exteriors of airplanes. Lightning strikes then would flow around the plane and dissipate without causing damage.
  • Films also could protect electronic circuits and devices within airplanes from electromagnetic interference, which can damage equipment and alter settings. Similarly, such films could allow military aircraft to shield their electromagnetic “signatures,” which can be detected via radar.

FAC2T “is at the very forefront of a technological revolution that will dramatically change the way items all around us are produced,” said Kirby Kemper, FSU’s vice president for Research. “The group of faculty, staff, students and post-docs in this center have been visionary in their ability to recognize the tremendous potential of nanotechnology. The potential applications are mind-boggling.”

FSU has four U.S. patents pending that are related to its buckypaper research.

In addition to his academic and scientific responsibilities, Wang recently was named FSU’s assistant vice president for Research. In this role, he will help to advance research activities at the College of Engineering and throughout the university.

“I look forward to bringing researchers together to pursue rewarding research opportunities,” Wang said. “We have very knowledgeable and talented faculty and students, and I will be working with them to help meet their full potential for advancement in their fields.”

The Weirdest USB Ever!

Posted in Computers - كمبيوتر, Gadget, Technology - تكنولوجيا with tags , , on September 26, 2008 by wassimnet
Grilled bacon USB

Now, before going any further, this is not at all a top, simply because I haven’t been looking all over the Internet for weirder stuff… besides, choosing the most uncanny thing from a heap of other bizarre ones is a rather difficult task. Nevertheless, I’ve encountered some very funny USB drives, some of them looking absolutely delicious and well worth buying and using, just to see the look on your friends’ faces.
Among so many manufacturers that launch new USB drives every day, some of them are not thinking about the sleek and precious corporate design but about how to make work more fun. This is why all sorts of wacky and sometimes dumb shapes find their way in this very serious world of technology.

One cool thing about these drives is that they come with diminutive dimensions and therefore are easy to work with; yet, due to the very “special” shapes, some can be a real pain (literally)

Some USB biscuits?

if you decide to have them in your back pocket and forget about them as you take a seat. Arriving in the ER with a piece of plastic watermelon deeply inserted in your rear would definitely give all the present physicians the laughter of their lives.
I’ve found a very interesting assortment of wacky USB drives for sale at usb.brando.com.hk and, believe me, you’ll have a hard time choosing between so many silly designs. Some of those who looked most interesting were the sushi, the grilled bacon and the cabbage. Now try and imagine the look on the face of your neighbor as you are on a train and take out your notebook, plug a very realistic piece of cabbage in it and then start working! That’s really a sight that’s worth seeing…

Cabbage, my fav wacky USB.

As for the other pieces, I must add the strawberry USB drive, the triangular pyramid watermelon, and by all means, the thumb drive, which looks exactly like a freshly-cut human thumb, with nail and all, save for the associated blood. I guess that its producers gave it a second thought and decided to leave the blood out… after all, there are more and more children using USB drives these days and seeing your kid playing with a blood-stained severed human thumb isn’t exactly everyone’s idea of education.
With either 4 GB or 8 GB storage capacity and prices ranging between $28 and $40, these funky USBs could make a very fine present and even become your storage solution of choice.

Source : www.softpedia.com

A burger you can always use

The 4 GB USB cookie

Careful with this one in your pockets

Meat galore. USB version.

Cool idea for a USB drive

Grow your own storage

That's evil!

Sushi, anyone?

Looking really good!

They've washed the blood off.

The future of gaming is all in the mind

Posted in Technology - تكنولوجيا with tags , , on September 9, 2008 by wassimnet

LONDON, England (CNN) — Be excited, but be scared. A world of mind-blowing possibilities is suddenly being thrust upon the world of video gaming.

the EPOC headset is a breakthrough in brain - computer interfaces.

Detecting your thoughts: the EPOC headset is a breakthrough in brain – computer interfaces.

The era of thought controlled games has arrived, and soon you could be required only to ‘think’ to operate a video game. Maybe you’ll even have the chance to be completely immersed in a video game ‘world’.

The Emotiv EPOC headset – the first Brain Computer Interface (BCI) device for the gaming market is the technology behind the revolution — and the company claims to have already mastered thought control.

The EPOC detects and processes real time brain activity patterns (small voltage changes in the brain caused by the firing of neurons) using a device that measures electric activity in the brain.

In total, it picks up over 30 different expressions, emotions and actions.

The leap in technology has been met with excitement amongst many gamers. Singapore enthusiast Samuel Lau has even made a video showing his hopes for the future of gaming.

But, for the creators, what possibilities does this open up for future video games? Photo View gallery of gaming through the years »

According to experts, the sci-fi scenarios depicted in The Matrix, and Star Trek’s ‘Holodeck’ are now comprehendible realities in the future.

President and co-founder of Emotiv Systems, Tan Le, said the brain-to-computer interface was undoubtedly the future for video games.

“Being able to control a computer with your mind is the ultimate quest of human-machine interaction. When integrated into games, virtual worlds and other simulated environments, this technology will have a profound impact on the user’s experience.” What do you think video games of the future will look like?

Le envisaged the lines between games and reality continuing to blur.

“In the long run, the user’s interactions with machines will more closely mimic our interactions with other humans. Our technology will ultimately bring communities of people closer together to richly share their experiences,” he said.

Rick Hall, production director at the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy, is also open-minded about possibilities in future gaming.

Hall, who has worked across machines such as the N64, Sony PSP, PS2, and Nintendo DS, told CNN that some of the concepts in The Matrix were now “eerily reaching towards theoretical possibility”.

“If we can interpret basic control thoughts now, it isn’t far off where we’ll be able to interpret more complex thoughts, even potentially things you’re not consciously thinking of. If we can now do it in a non-invasive fashion, it probably won’t be long before we can read these things from across the room.

And if we can “read” complex thoughts, then shouldn’t we also be able to “write” thoughts into a person’s brain?

“So add that up: a wireless, remote, brain reading/writing device that can scan, interpret, and communicate with someone across the room, without them even knowing it. Connect that to the Internet… and talk about brainwashing possibilities. What if some hacker could figure out how to write viruses to people’s brains? It’s actually a little scary.”

But, it’s not all optimism and imagination for the technology.

American gaming analyst Todd Greenwald believes it may be some time yet before brain to computer interfaces reach a marketable standard, saying it is “a bit too far out and speculative to say with any confidence”.

University of Ulster video gaming lecturer Darryl Charles told CNN he was also uncertain whether Emotiv’s technology would take off.

“It’s a little bit harder to see. It’s quite a complex thing to force your thought on a television screen.”

However, Emotiv’s Le strongly defended the headset, saying it “works on a vast majority of people and can adapt to a wide variety of thought patterns. Emotiv has carried out tests with hundreds of people and so far we have had success on every single person,” Le said.

While the speed of the revolution pushing the gaming world is hotly debated, one thing all experts agree on is the underlying themes of future games.

Gamers can be certain that social interaction and strong storylines will strengthen to form the core of games.

Tan Le told CNN, “The one thing that we believe will be core to the future of gaming is the social experience. Nothing a game developer can program can match the random nature of actually participating in a scenario with other live people.”

Le said the social aspect was the key to growth of the industry, as it was opening the door to fresh markets. He acknowledged the new level of immersion offered with the Wii’s interactive control had helped send the industry in the right direction.

Charles believed a move closer towards the movie and television entertainment realm was also imminent.

“The big blockbuster game is going to compete more with Hollywood movies. They will be a lot more competitive in storylines… there is a lot of production values already coming from cinema.”

Greenwald said downloading games straight from the producer could soon become a reality. A market where simple games could be downloaded for free and then add-ons to significantly improve the game were sold at a premium, could be a more financially rewarding for the makers, he said.

Multibillion-dollar experiment to probe nature’s mysteries

Posted in Technology - تكنولوجيا with tags , , on September 9, 2008 by wassimnet

(CNN) — Deep underground on the border between France and Switzerland, the world’s largest particle accelerator complex will explore the world on smaller scales than any human invention has explored before.

The collider's ALICE experiment will look at how the universe formed by analyzing particle collisions. 

The collider’s ALICE experiment will look at how the universe formed by analyzing particle collisions.

The Large Hadron Collider will look at how the universe formed by analyzing particle collisions. Some have expressed fears that the project could lead to the Earth’s demise — something scientists say will not happen. Still, skeptics have filed suit to try to stop the project. 

It even has a rap dedicated to it on YouTube.

Scientists say the collider is finally ready for an attempt to circulate a beam of protons the whole way around the 17-mile tunnel. The test, which takes place Wednesday, is a major step toward seeing if the the immense experiment will provide new information about the way the universe works.

“It’s really a generation that we’ve been looking forward to this moment, and the moments that will come after it in particular,” said Bob Cousins, deputy to the scientific leader of the Compact Muon Solenoid experiment, one of six experiments inside the collider complex. “September 10 is a demarcation between finishing the construction and starting to turn it on, but the excitement will only continue to grow.”

The collider consists of a particle accelerator buried more than 300 feet near Geneva, Switzerland. About $10 billion have gone into the accelerator’s construction, the particle detectors and the computers, said Katie Yurkewicz, spokewoman for CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, which is host to the collider.

In the coming months, the collider is expected to begin smashing particles into each other by sending two beams of protons around the tunnel in opposite directions. It will operate at higher energies and intensities in the next year, and the experiments could generate enough data to make a discovery by 2009, experts say. Check out the collider complex’s six detectors »

Testing the unknown

Experts say the collider has the potential to confirm theories about questions that physicists have been working on for decades including the possible existence of extra dimensions. They also hope to find a theoretical particle called the Higgs boson, which has never been detected, but would help explain why matter has mass.

The collider will recreate the conditions of less than a millionth of a second after the Big Bang, when there was a hot “soup” of tiny particles called quarks and gluons, to look at how the universe evolved, said John Harris, U.S. coordinator for ALICE, a detector specialized to analyze that question.

Since this is exploratory science, the collider may uncover surprises that contradict prevailing theories, but which are just as interesting, said Joseph Lykken, theoretical physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

“When Columbus sails west, he thought he was going to find something. He didn’t find what he thought he was going to find, but he did find something interesting,” said Lykken, who works on the Compact Muon Solenoid, one of six experiments inside the collider complex.

Why should the layperson care about this particular exploration? Years ago, when electrons were first identified, no one knew what they were good for, but they have since transformed our entire economy, said Howard Gordon, deputy research program manager for the collider’s ATLAS experiment.

“The transformative effect of this research will be to understand the world we live in much better,” said Gordon, at Brookhaven National Laboratory. “It’s important for just who we are, what we are.”

Black hole fears are “baloney”

Fears have emerged that the collider could produce black holes that could suck up anything around them — including the whole Earth. Such fears prompted legal actions in the U.S. and Europe to halt the operation of the Large Hadron Collider, alleging safety concerns regarding black holes and other phenomena that could theoretically emerge.

Although physicists acknowledge that the collider could, in theory, create small black holes, they say they do not pose any risk. A study released Friday by CERN scientists explains that any black hole created would be tiny, and would not have enough energy to stick around very long before dissolving. Five collider collaborators who did not pen the report independently told CNN there would be no danger from potential black holes.

John Huth, who works on the collider’s ATLAS experiment, called such fears “baloney” in a recent interview, and noted that in normal physics, even if the black hole were stable, it could just pass through the Earth without being detected or without interacting at all.

“The gravitational force is so weak that you’d have to wait many, many, many, many, many lifetimes of the universe before one of these things could [get] big enough to even get close to being a problem,” said Huth, professor of physics at Harvard University.

At the scene

When visiting the general-purpose detectors CMS and ATLAS at the Large Hadron Collider, Lykken said he was awed that 30,000 tons of electronics would have to work without anyone fiddling with them all the time.

“It just blows you away to look at these things and realize they’re not only incredibly complex and huge, but they have to actually work,” he said. “They have to work without people banging on them all day because they’re sitting underground all by themselves.”

With twice as much iron as the Eiffel Tower, CMS will run at full power for the first time in conjunction with the first beam test Wednesday, Lykken said. The magnet serves to bend particles, whizzing by at almost the speed of light, to figure out what kind of particles they are.

Although the detector’s parts weigh thousands of tons, in previous trials of CMS at lower power, the magnet actually yanked certain parts around because of its power, Lykken said.

“You’re talking about such incredible power inside both the accelerator and detectors that you never really know until you turn it all on what’s going to happen,” he said.

Scientists around the world are pumped for the first beam. Fermilab, the high energy physics lab in Batavia, Illinois, and major collaborator on the Large Hadron Collider, will be host of a “pajama party” at 1:30 a.m. CT that includes a live connection to CERN to follow the action.

Cousins believes that because the collider pushes the frontiers of science and technology, it would be “amazingly impressive if it works the first try,” he said in a phone interview from CERN. Any little disturbance of the magnetic field anywhere in the tunnel could stop the beam from making it all the way around.

Still, after a 25-year wait, he’s not complaining. “I personally will be fine if there’s some problem that has to be overcome in the next few days,” he said.