WASHINGTON AFP – A journey from Earth to Mars could soon take just 39 days — cutting current travel time nearly six times — according to a rocket scientist who has the ear of the US space agency.Franklin Chang-Diaz, a former astronaut and a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT, says reaching the Red Planet could be dramatically quicker using his high-tech VASIMR rocket, now on track for lift-off after decades of development.The Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket — to give its full name — is quick becoming a centerpiece of NASA’s future strategy as it looks to private firms to help meet the astronomical costs of space exploration.
Archive for February, 2010
The Bloom Box is the latest energy miracle that sounds too good to be true: Debuting with a wide-eyed segment on 60 Minutes, it promises to be clean, cheap and backyard-friendly, the solution to our energy problems. What is it?
The heart of the box is a fuel cell. Though Bloom Energy’s CEO K.R. Sridhar—a former NASA scientist—says it’s a new kind of fuel cell. And though it’s cleaner than any combustion engine out there, it still relies on fossil fuels and biofuels—not just hydrogen, like some other kinds of fuel cells do. Nevertheless, the folks at Bloom are doing something that could help make reduced emissions a reality for big businesses first, and then later, for homes.
Samsung’s Best Ever Point-and-Shoot: TL500 Shoots RAW With Ultrafast F1.8 Lens and Twisty AMOLED Screen – Samsungtl500 – GizmodoPosted in Uncategorized on February 21, 2010 by nuKnuK
Samsung’s new TL500 is capable of shooting RAW with a crazy fast F1.8 lens and lets you view it all on a twisting AMOLED screen. It’s possibly Samsung’s best point-and-shoot ever, and it could be a Canon S90 killer.
In October, we swore that the Canon Powershot S90 would never leave our pockets. But we might be willing to empty them out for Samsung’s TL500.
The TL500 packs a 1/1.7″ CCD sensor—the same size as the S90’s—and has a 24mm Schneider f/1.8 lens which makes for faaaast shooting and wiiiiide angles, with 3x optical zoom. The TL500 smartly scales back on the megapixels for better low-light performance, packing 10 as opposed to the 14MP offered by their recently announced CL80.
The TL500 shoots RAW and offers the garden variety of shooting modes including full manual control, and it has Samsung’s Smart Auto 2.0 and Dual Image Stabiliziation tech for recognizing surroundings and keeping them sharp in your photos.
Sweetening the deal, the TL500 has a swiveling 3.0″ AMOLED screen, so you will be able to see your shot no matter what crazy position you find yourself in.
Surely you remember Infinitec, right? You know — that Dubai-based startup that first showcased its so-called Infinite USB memory device IUM at CES? Now that we’ve jogged your memory, we’d like to point out some new information on the product. We’re told that the company is gearing up to officially launch the stick soon, promising ad hoc streaming from any Windows-based PC to just about anything you can think of: Blu-ray players, media streamers, printers, and practically any other gizmo with a USB port. New details provided to us by Infinitec ensure that game consoles are supported, as is high-def video content. The company has also laid out a number of use scenarios for those curious about how this thing could improve your daily life, all of which are just beneath the break. Stay tuned for more in the coming days — pricing and release deets should be headed our and in turn, your way soon.
It happened February 11, 8:44 Pacific Standard Time, at the Point Mugu Naval Air Warfare Center-Weapons Division Sea Range off the central California coast. The missile—representing a SCUD—launched from a platform at sea. Second later, the Airborne Laser Test Bed’s sensors—flying on a Boeing 747-400F—detected the launch, tracking its trajectory with a low-energy tracking laser. A second laser was focused ont he missile to measure the atmospheric disturbance, gathering data to achieve the perfect firing solution.
Click link for video > Video of Airborne Laser Destroying a Ballistic Missile – Airborne Laser Test Bed – Gizmodo.
The Wheel Rider is an innovative personal transportation concept that has been specially designed for Yamaha to meet the future urban commute requirements. However, the vehicle seems like just a big round wheel, it actually features three layers, the shiny outer body, the wheel at the middle and seating area for the rider inside. The signal lights have been placed at the back, which actually is the only signifying factor of the vehicle’s backside. With its compact size and functional shape, the wheel rider can easily fit and perform in the busy and congested future streets.
By Sarah Yang, Media Relations | 12 February 2010
BERKELEY — In research that gives literal meaning to the term “power suit,” University of California, Berkeley, engineers have created energy-scavenging nanofibers that could one day be woven into clothing and textiles.
fiber nanogeneratorShown is a fiber nanogenerator on a plastic substrate created by UC Berkeley scientists. The nanofibers can convert energy from mechanical stresses and into electricity, and could one day be used to create clothing that can power small electronics. (Chieh Chang, UC Berkeley)
These nano-sized generators have “piezoelectric” properties that allow them to convert into electricity the energy created through mechanical stress, stretches and twists.
“This technology could eventually lead to wearable ‘smart clothes’ that can power hand-held electronics through ordinary body movements,” said Liwei Lin, UC Berkeley professor of mechanical engineering and head of the international research team that developed the fiber nanogenerators.
Because the nanofibers are made from organic polyvinylidene fluoride, or PVDF, they are flexible and relatively easy and cheap to manufacture.
Although they are still working out the exact calculations, the researchers noted that more vigorous movements, such as the kind one would create while dancing the electric boogaloo, should theoretically generate more power. “And because the nanofibers are so small, we could weave them right into clothes with no perceptible change in comfort for the user,” said Lin, who is also co-director of the Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Center at UC Berkeley.