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How to Double the Power of Solar Panels

October 17, 2012 6:17 am | Comments

In an attempt to further drop the cost of solar power, Bandgap Engineering , a startup in Woburn, Mass., is developing a nanowire-based solar cell that could eventually generate twice as much power as conventional solar cells. That’s a long-term project, but meanwhile the company is about to start selling a simpler version of the technology, using silicon nanowires that can improve the performance and lower the cost of conventional silicon solar cells.

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Peek Inside Google’s Vast Data Centers

October 17, 2012 5:54 am | Comments

As the world’s biggest search engine and provider of countless other online services, Google pushes a lot of data. To do that, it has some of the most advanced and largest data centers in the world, and now you can take a virtual online tour of them. The tour, located here , features many stunning photographs, showing vast arrays of server racks, thousands of feet of colorful pipes in the cooling systems, and miles and miles of ethernet cables.

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Qualcomm Nabs Microsoft's CES Keynote Slot

October 16, 2012 11:51 am | Comments

The company lucky enough to nab Microsoft's keynote spot at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show is ... Qualcomm. Paul Jacobs, chief executive of the wireless chip giant, will give the coveted pre-show keynote at CES , filling the slot Microsoft vacated late last year. Jacobs, who also gave keynotes at the 2012 and 2010 shows, will speak at 6:30 p.

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Clean, Limitless Fusion Power Could Arrive Sooner Than Expected

October 16, 2012 11:47 am | Comments

Good news, denizens of Earth: If the findings from two premier research labs are to be believed, commercial nuclear fusion is feasible — and could arrive sooner than expected. The first breakthrough comes from Sandia National Laboratories (the same engineers who brought us the fanless heatsink ).

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The Tech Behind Felix Baumgartner’s Stratospheric Skydive

October 16, 2012 11:40 am | Comments

Sixty five years ago on October 14th, Captain Charles Yeager became the first man to travel faster than the speed of sound in his X-1 aircraft. Daredevil Felix Baumgartner just became the first man to accomplish the same feat without a plane — or indeed any assistance at all. In an almost unimaginable stunt, the 43-year old Austrian has jumped from a specially constructed balloon at over 128,000 feet (39km) above the earth, breaking the world record for high-altitude skydives and speeds in free fall.

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Optical ‘LiFi’ Could Alleviate Spectrum Woes, Hit 1Gbps Wireless Speed

October 16, 2012 11:33 am | Comments

The advent of high-speed, low-power wireless radio technology over the past decade has been one of the great technology stories of the early 21st century. As wireless devices have proliferated, however, total demand for frequencies in the relevant portions of the electromagnetic spectrum have skyrocketed.

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How DRM Will Infest the 3D Printing Revolution

October 16, 2012 11:24 am | Comments

While you were busy getting yourself all worked up and declaring 3D printing the beginning of a new age, one of the most maligned figures in modern patent law is preparing to rain on your parade. Nathan Myhrvold, former Microsoft CTO and founder of patent holder Intellectual Ventures, has managed to get an expansive patent on 3D printing DRM.

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The 3D-Printed Gun: When Is High-tech Too Hot To Handle?

October 16, 2012 11:19 am | Comments

Few issues generate as many opinions as gun ownership. Almost every country in the world recognizes the special importance of firearms and regulates them. In the United States, the right to own a gun is written into our constitution as part of the famous Second Amendment in our Bill of Rights. Tempering those rights are a slew of state and federal regulations including laws requiring those who manufacture weapons for sale to be licensed, the weapons they create to be numbered and registered, and the guns to be readily detectable.

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How Wireless Charging Works

October 16, 2012 11:15 am | Comments

The fact that over 200,000 people have downloaded one of the various “shake to charge” apps, now available from Google Play, indicates our willingness to suspend any form of practical reasoning in pursuit of the dream of wireless charging. A quick investigation of the source code would likely reveal these apps do little more than to link the interrupt signal from the accelerometer to a progress bar indicating an alleged battery charge.

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At $499, is Microsoft's Surface Tablet Priced to Move?

October 16, 2012 10:45 am | Comments

Surface tablet pricing will start at $499, Microsoft confirmed today. But is that low enough to entice reams of buyers? Right off the bat, that price does have at least two things going for it. One, it comes with 32GB of storage not 16GB like the identically priced Apple iPad . Two, it comes with Microsoft Office -- for now that means Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview.

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Apple Sends Press Invites for iPad Mini Event

October 16, 2012 9:48 am | Comments

Following months of speculation and rumors , Apple released on Tuesday press invitations for its next big launch: the iPad Mini . The event will be held in on Tuesday, Oct. 23 in San Jose, Calif. The invite says: “We’ve got a little more to show you.” The invitation-only event will be held at the California Theatre in San Jose on October 23 at 10:00 a.

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The Evolution of the World’s Most Advanced Electric Vehicle Charging Network Goes Live

October 16, 2012 7:29 am | Comments

ChargePoint announced the availability of the ChargePoint 4.0 platform for electric vehicle drivers and charging station owners. ChargePoint 4.0 is a free upgrade for all ChargePoint account holders and is now live for all station owners and drivers. For station owners, ChargePoint 4.0 is a groundbreaking release with new features including: ChargePoint Connections, support for multi-site deployments, and additional pricing models for charging services.

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Underage Interns Found at iPhone Manufacturer

October 16, 2012 7:14 am | by Foxconn Technology Group said the interns were found by a company investigation at its factory in the eastern city of Yantai and were sent back to their schools. China's minimum legal working age is 16. | Comments

The company that manufactures Apple's iPhone said Tuesday it found underage interns as young as 14 working at one of its factories in China. Foxconn, owned by Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., said it was investigating with schools how the interns were sent to its factory. It didn't say how many underage interns it found.

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Another Advance on the Road to Spintronics

October 16, 2012 7:08 am | by Alexander Gray (left) and Charles Fadley at Beamline 9.3.1 of Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source where they are now carrying out HARPES experiments. (Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt, Berkeley Lab) | Comments

Spintronic technology, in which data is processed on the basis of electron “spin” rather than charge, promises to revolutionize the computing industry with smaller, faster and more energy efficient data storage and processing. Materials drawing a lot of attention for spintronic applications are dilute magnetic semiconductors – normal semiconductors to which a small amount of magnetic atoms is added to make them ferromagnetic.

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Amazon In Talks To Buy Texas Instruments' Mobile Chip Business

October 15, 2012 7:37 am | Comments

Amazon in talks to buy Texas Instruments' mobile chip arm:TEL AVIV ( Reuters ) - Amazon.com Inc, the world's largest Internet retailer, is in advanced talks to buy the mobile chip business of Texas Instruments , Israeli financial newspaper Calcalist reported on Monday. If negotiations lead to an agreement, Amazon, which makes tablets and is expected to enter the smartphone industry, would become a direct rival to Apple and Samsung Electronics, which also designs their own chips.

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