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Tech-news archive: September-October 2010

Chinese supercomputer wrests title from U.S.
(Oct 28, 2010)

A Chinese scientific research center has built the fastest supercomputer ever made, replacing the United States as maker of the swiftest machine, and giving China bragging rights as a technology superpower. The computer, known as Tianhe-1A, has 1.4 times the horsepower of the current top computer, which is at a national laboratory in Tennessee.

Read more. Source: New York Times

brain scan
Dream recording device 'possible' researcher claims
(Oct 27, 2010)

A US researcher says he plans to electronically record and interpret dreams. Writing in the journal Nature, scientists say they have developed a system capable of recording higher level brain activity. "We would like to read people's dreams," says the lead scientist Dr Moran Cerf.

Read more. Source: BBC

Google car
Google cars drive themselves, in traffic
(Oct 10, 2010)

Anyone driving the twists of Highway 1 between San Francisco and Los Angeles recently may have glimpsed a Toyota Prius with a curious funnel-like cylinder on the roof. Harder to notice was that the person at the wheel was not actually driving.

Read more. Source: New York Times

A circuit of four superconducting qubits. Image credit: M. Neeley
Quantum computers move a step closer
(Oct 1, 2010)

Quantum computing has made another advance along the path from theorists' darling to working device. The concept depends on entanglement, a strange phenomenon in which the quantum states of spatially separated systems, called qubits, become intrinsically linked. In the latest work research teams have achieved three-qubit entanglement in a superconducting circuit.

Read more. Source: Nature

Iranian nuclear plant
Stuxnet worm hits Iran nuclear plant staff computers
(Sep 27, 2010)

A complex computer worm has infected the personal computers of staff at Iran's first nuclear power station, the official IRNA news agency reported. However, the operating system at the Bushehr plant – due to go online in a few weeks –-has not been harmed, project manager Mahmoud Jafari said. The Stuxnet worm is capable of seizing control of industrial plants.

Read more. Source: BBC

laser light flowing in a curved path. Image: Physical Review Letters
Light trapped on curved surfaces
(Sep 18, 2010)

Light, which in everyday experience travels in straight beams, has been trapped on complex curved surfaces. The feat is not just a parlor trick – it could help people visualise how light travels in the curved fabric of space.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Memristor revolution backed by HP
(Sep 3, 2010)

Electronics giant HP has joined the world's second-largest memory chip maker Hynix to manufacture a novel member of the electronics family. The deal will see "memristors" – first demonstrated by HP in 2006 – mass produced for the first time. Memristors promise significantly greater memory storage requiring less energy and space, and may eventually also be employed in processors.

Read more. Source: BBC


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