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Tech-news archive: March-April 2009

invisibility cloak
Invisibility cloak edges closer
(Apr 30, 2009)

Scientists have rendered objects invisible to near-infrared light. Unlike previous such "cloaks", the new work does not employ metals, which introduce losses of light and result in imperfect cloaking. Because the approach can be scaled down further in size, researchers say this is a major step towards a cloak that would work for visible light.

Read more. Source: BBC

optical disk
Optical disk offers 500GB storage
(Apr 28, 2009)

A disk that can store 500 gigabytes (GB) of data, equivalent to 100 DVDs, has been unveiled by General Electric. The micro-holographic disk, which is the same size as existing DVD disks, is aimed at the archive industry. But the company believes it can eventually be used in the consumer market place and home players.

Read more. Source: BBC

electricity pylon
Spies 'infiltrate US power grid'
(Apr 8, 2009)

The US government has admitted the nation's power grid is vulnerable to cyber attack, following reports it has been infiltrated by foreign spies. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) newspaper reported that Chinese and Russian spies were behind this "pervasive" breach. It said software had been left behind that could shut down the electric grid.

Read more. Source: BBC

thin, flexible speaker
Thin speaker offers 'crisp sound'
(Apr 2, 2009)

Anyone who has struggled to understand speaker announcements at train stations will be heartened by work initially done at Warwick University in the UK. Engineers claim their new ultra-thin speakers, as well as looking good and being easy to conceal, will also deliver clearer, crisper sound. The loudspeakers could replace public address systems in passenger terminals and shopping centers.

Read more. Source: BBC

OnLive screenshot
A gaming world without consoles?
(Mar 25, 2009)

A new online video game distribution network hopes to revolutionise the way people play games and re-write the economics of the industry. OnLive, to be launched at the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco, aims to let players stream on-demand games at the highest quality level. The service could signal the end for Playstation, Xbox, and the Wii.

Read more. Source: BBC

graphical representation of the molecular machine
Major leap for faster computers
(Mar 22, 2009)

Super-fast quantum computers are now a step closer to becoming a reality, thanks to a breakthrough by scientists. Edinburgh and Manchester University researchers have created a molecular device which could act as a building block for super-fast computers. They have created components that could be used to develop quantum computers, which can make intricate calculations faster than conventional machines.

Read more. Source: BBC

brain scan
Scientists able to read people's minds
(Mar 14, 2009)

Having the ability to read someone's mind with a "thought machine" has come a step closer after scientists showed that they could guess a person's memory simply by looking at the electrical activity of their brain. Scientists have found that spatial memories can be "read" by a brain scanner so that it is possible to predict automatically where someone imagines themselves to be (the exact location in a maze, for instance) without actually asking them.

Read more. Source: The Independent


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