LONG BEACH, California — If Microsoft founder Bill Gates unleashes more mosquitoes at this year’s Technology, Entertainment and Design conference, Nathan Myhrvold will be ready for him.Myhrvold demonstrated a “Death Star” laser gun designed to track and kill mosquitoes in flight. The device was crafted from parts purchased on eBay by scientists at Myhrvold’s Intellectual Ventures Laboratory.As Myhrvold explained, a child dies every 43 seconds from malaria. Current methods for eradicating the disease aren’t working very well. There’s no viable vaccine yet, and although mosquito nets work, people don’t always use them. When given free nets by public health organizations, many people in the developing world use the nets for fishing instead.So until the time comes when malaria can be controlled, Intellectual Ventures thought it might be a good idea to try to control mosquitoes.
Archive for February, 2010
$230 million of Robot Land’s $600 million budget has been secured. And in case the project never breaks ground or the robots don’t let us in, we have a load of renders showing us what it would have looked like.Featuring attractions like Robot Water Park, Robot Battle Stadium, Robot Flower Island, Robot Museum and, of course, the Business Incubation Center as some of the grounds are reserved for industrial services, we think it’s a great idea.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Google said Wednesday that it will start testing a new broadband network that will deliver speeds of more than 100 times faster than traditional broadband.
The Internet search giant is aiming to link up with states and municipalities to build and test a fiber-optic network that will offer download speeds of about 1 gigabit per second, according to a blog post on the company’s Web site. Google said that speed would be fast enough to download a high-definition, full-length feature film in less than five minutes.
It’s easy enough to find a solar-powered charger for iPods, cell phones, and other gadgets, but this ultra-tiny solar-powered sensor system is smaller than anything else on the market — 1,000 times smaller than standard systems, in fact. Developed at the University of Michigan, the 2.5 x 3.5 x 1 millimeter system is the smallest in the world, and it can harvest energy from its surroundings almost perpetually.
Measuring in at 9 cubic millimeters, the micro sensor requires half a volt to operate, but the device can put out up to 4 volts of power with reasonable indoor lighting. It probably won’t be on store shelves any time soon, but the solar-powered system could be used to make environmental sensor networks that keep track of water and air quality both cheaper and more efficient. The device also has a number of possible medical applications — for example, it could monitor pressure changes in the eyes for patients with glaucoma. Eventually, the sensor could be powered by heat or movement and used inside the body.
Next up: commercializing the sensor. The University of Michigan has plenty of backing for the project from organizations including National Science Foundation, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Focus Center Research Program. We look forward to seeing what they come up with.
This is not a rainbow. It’s a moonbow, an extremely rare atmospheric phenomenon caused by the near-full moon that it’s extremely hard to catch. So hard, in fact, that you can only see its colors thanks to long-exposure photography.It was captured by Wally Pacholka last January 20, at the Haleakala Crater on the Island of Maui, Hawaii. The moonbow—or lunar rainbow—is caused when the near-full moon at less than 42 degrees in a dark sky. The colors are so faint that the human eye color receptors can’t be excited enough for the brain to identify them. Therefore, they appear as white arcs to the naked eye. Only by using long-exposure photography you can reveal the diffraction of the moonlight through the microscopic water droplets suspended in the air.
Sinosauropteryx, a turkey-size carnivorous dinosaur, is the first dinosaur—excluding birds, which many paleontologists consider to be dinosaurs—to have its color scientifically established.
In 1996, Sinosauropteryx was also the first dinosaur reported to have feathers. It was found in the Yixian formation, 130- to 123-million-year-old sediments in Liaoning Province in northeast China, which have since produced thousands of apparently feathery fossils.
In a report released online today by the journal Nature, an international team of paleontologists and experts in scanning electron micrography infer that this dinosaur had reddish orange feathers running along its back and a striped tail. (Read the full story: “True Dinosaur Colors Revealed for the First Time.”)
Why would a dinosaur need a striped tail? Many birds, the living descendants of non-avian dinosaurs, use brightly colored tails for courtship displays.