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Tech-news archive: May-June 2009

Microsoft Natal
Behind Microsoft's full-body gaming interface
(Jun 6, 2009)

At the E3 2009 gaming conference in Los Angeles, California, this week, Microsoft unveiled a new hands-free, full-body-control system for its Xbox 360 console, codenamed Natal. Using it, players can interact with games simply by talking and moving their body. Microsoft also claims that it can recognise emotions, and Natal has impressed game players, developers and movie mogul Steven Spielberg alike.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

entanglement electrode
Bridging the gap to quantum world
(Jun 6, 2009)

Scientists have "entangled" the motions of pairs of atoms for the first time. Entanglement is an effect in quantum mechanics, a relatively new branch of physics that is based more in probability than in classical laws. It describes how properties of two or more objects can be inextricably linked over "vast" distances.

Read more. Source: BBC

How to fit 300 DVDs on one disc
(May 21, 2009)

A new optical recording method could pave the way for data discs with 300 times the storage capacity of standard DVDs, Nature journal reports. The researchers say this could see a whopping 1.6 terabytes of information fit on a DVD-sized disc. They describe their method as "five-dimensional" optical recording and say it could be commercialised.

Read more. Source: BBC

OLED light sources
Flat-screen light bulbs switch on
(May 19, 2009)

Researchers have demonstrated white, organic light-emitting diode (OLED) sources with the same efficiency as fluorescent light bulbs. The result brings closer the prospect that OLEDs will be the flat-screen light sources of choice in the future. The limited lifetime of the blue-emitting part of the devices means they survive for just hours, but new blue-emitting materials are on the horizon.

Read more. Source: BBC

Google plant in The Dalles in 2006
Google's power-hungry data centers
(May 6, 2009)

Few places throw the internet's rapacious appetite for energy into relief more sharply than a remote 30-acre patch of scrubland in northern Oregon owned by Google. The site, on the fringes of the city of The Dalles on the banks of the Columbia river, is home to one of the world's largest and most powerful data centers.

Read more. Source: The Guardian


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