Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Shrinking Deice object smaller---- Science News © 2012

Shrinking device makes objects appear smaller than they are. 2012 latest review


Shrinking device makes objects appear smaller than they are

(a) A real spoon in the real space enclosed by the shrinking device. (b) The illusion object (a smaller spoon) in the virtual space. (c) A photograph of the shrinking device. A unit cell is shown in the inset. Image credit: Jiang, et al. ©2011 American Institute of Physics
By controlling how light bends around an object, researchers have built a shrinking device that makes objects appear smaller than they actually are. Although the original object does not actually shrink, the illusion of the smaller object is convincing enough to confuse viewers since the real size of the object cannot be perceived.
The team of engineers, led by Wei Xiang Jiang and Tie Jun Cui from Southeast University in Nanjing, China, has published their study on their shrinking device in a recent issue of Applied Physics Letters.
“The shrinking device can shrink the size of an object virtually, so we named it a ‘shrinking device,’” Cui told PhysOrg.com. “Such a device works at microwave frequencies and will confuse the radar or other electromagnetic detection equipment to make wrong decisions. Hence it may have potential applications in the military.”
The researchers built the shrinking device out of metamaterials, which are best known for their role in invisibility cloaks. When used in the field of transformation optics, metamaterials can bend light and control its path in desired ways.
Here, the researchers used metamaterials to build eight concentric rings that are each 12 mm high. They then placed an arbitrary object, such as a spoon, in the center of the rings. When light waves propagate through the shrinking device, the wave fronts begin to bend and their wavelengths get compressed. When the light reaches the inner circular region, the wavelengths become decompressed. To an observer on the outside of the shrinking device, the manipulated light creates the illusion of a smaller object with the same shape as the real object.
“The device is designed by using transformation optics, which make the objects in the real space and virtual space look like the same,” said Cui. “In our design, the real object is a large one and the virtual object is a small one. With the help of shrinking device, the scattering field of the large object becomes the same as that of the small one.”
As the researchers explained, the shrinking device works somewhat like the beginnings of an invisible cloak since both devices involve shrinking the radius of the inner circular region. For the shrinking device, the radius of this space is always positive. But as the radius approaches zero, the shrinking device becomes a perfect invisibility cloak.
“An object can be made to appear arbitrarily small as desired,” said Cui.
The researchers demonstrated the shrinking performance both numerically and experimentally, and found that the experimental results agreed very well with the simulations. The results showed that the device had an overall “good shrinking performance,” with the illusion looking like an exact smaller version of the original object.
As the researchers noted, because some objects’ proportions depend on their sizes, the shrinking device could even generate virtual objects of small sizes that do not exist in nature.
In addition, the methods used here to design the shrinking device could be extended to design and realize other illusion devices, such as devices that can change some of the other parameters of an object.

Energy Drink for Kids are not good for kids Medicine & Health © 2012 Study

Energy and sports drinks not for kids: study 2012 Latest Review

Energy drinks

Medical Xpress) -- In a recent study published in Pediatrics, Dr. Holly Benjamin from the American Academy of Pediatrics, urged parents and pediatricians to keep sports drinks and energy drinks away from children and adolescents. Citing that the drinks contain caffeine, other stimulants, and sugar, they state that they are not recommended or nutritional for children and can be contributing to childhood obesity
The energy drinks, researchers say, are the biggest problem. With many containing various vitamins and herbal extracts where the side effects aren’t always understood, creates a problem for children. They not that while there are no direct cases of the beverages causing medical complications, the in the drinks can disturb the hearts natural rhythm and in some cases can lead to seizures.
The study suggests sports drinks, like Gatorade, can be consumed by children and teens who regularly participate in vigorous activity, but that they should be drinking water as well. During vigorous activity, the body does lose electrolytes and these drinks can help the body replace them quicker. However, drinking sports drinks as a regular beverage throughout the day is not recommended.
Dr. Stephen Cook from Golisano Children’s Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center says his biggest concern with these drinks is that they may be displacing the adequate sources of calcium and vitamin D in a child’s diet. While children should be drinking milk in order to provide for bone growth and development, many are substituting it with these energy or .
are estimated to hit $9 billion this year and of that, children and teens account for at least half of the market.
More information: Clinical Report—Sports Drinks and Energy Drinks for Children and Adolescents: Are They Appropriate? http://pediatrics. … 965.abstract
Sports and energy drinks are being marketed to children and adolescents for a wide variety of inappropriate uses. Sports drinks and energy drinks are significantly different products, and the terms should not be used interchangeably. The primary objectives of this clinical report are to define the ingredients of sports and energy drinks, categorize the similarities and differences between the products, and discuss misuses and abuses. Secondary objectives are to encourage screening during annual physical examinations for sports and energy drink use, to understand the reasons why youth consumption is widespread, and to improve education aimed at decreasing or eliminating the inappropriate use of these beverages by children and adolescents. Rigorous review and analysis of the literature reveal that caffeine and other stimulant substances contained in energy drinks have no place in the diet of children and adolescents. Furthermore, frequent or excessive intake of caloric sports drinks can substantially increase the risk for overweight or obesity in children and adolescents. Discussion regarding the appropriate use of sports drinks in the youth athlete who participates regularly in endurance or high-intensity sports and vigorous physical activity is beyond the scope of this report.

Thyriod Patients Facelift incision --- Medicine & Health news © 2012

Facelift incision offers safe option for some thyroid patients 2012 Latest Review

Facelift incision offers safe option for some thyroid patients

Dr. David Terris of Georgia Health Sciences University has used robotics and a facelift incision to develop an approach to removing a portion of a diseased thyroid without the characteristic neck scar. Credit: Phil Jones/GHSU
A facelift incision and robotics can help surgeons safely remove a portion of a diseased thyroid from some patients without the characteristic neck scar.
Georgia Health Sciences University surgeons developed the technique utilizing the remote access capabilities of robots, experience gained from another no-neck-scar approach through the armpit and earlier success removing the largest salivary gland from the lower jaw region.
"It is outpatient, it doesn't require a surgical drain and it has the advantage of no neck scar," said Dr. David Terris, Chairman of the GHSU Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.
The goal was a no-neck-scar technique that's as safe as conventional thyroidectomy, which involves an
at the base of the neck to gain immediate access to the thyroid, the surgeons report in The Laryngoscope. Two articles detail experiences developing the technique in human cadavers and using it on 14 patients.
"The overarching principle is customizing the surgery to the patient and their disease as opposed to one size fits all. Our advice to patients and surgeons is to do what works best for you," said the studies' corresponding author Terris, who lays out all options for his patients.
Surgery has been done through a multi-inch neck incision for more than 100 years on the thyroid, the endocrine gland just under the Adam's apple that controls the body's
metabolic rate
. In the last decade, Terris and others have pioneered minimally invasive approaches that can reduce the incision to less than an inch.
In 2004, Terris and colleagues published another Laryngoscope paper that indicated, at least in pigs, the armpit approach worked for avoiding neck scars altogether. While this approach is used selectively in other countries, reports have surfaced of serious side effects such as damage to the brachial plexus, the main nerve to the arm and hand;
blood loss; and perforation of the esophagus. After using it on small number of patients, Terris envisioned a more direct, logical route. That's when he thought about his earlier success at removing the large salivary gland through a facelift incision in the hairline.
The daVinci Surgical System, in which surgeons sitting at a console maneuver through tight spaces and around corners, enables remote access, via the armpit or a facelift incision, Terris said. He makes a small incision in the scalp line, burrows under the skin, then moves under the muscle as he nears the thyroid. A retractor developed by Korean surgeons keeps the skin and muscle out of the way while the long, flexible arms and three- dimensional perspective provided by the robot enables removal of up to half of the two-sided thyroid gland. Patients with known cancers or large thyroids are not candidates for this approach but Terris said advances in robotic technology may soon enable surgeons to reach around to access both sides of the thyroid through a single incision.

Apple's Jobs to unveil 'Lion' operating system 2012

Apple's Jobs to unveil 'Lion' operating system 2012 Review

Ailing chief executive Steve Jobs, pictured in March 2011, will return from sick leave to unveil Apple's latest generation of software next week, the firm announced Tuesday.
Ailing chief executive Steve Jobs will return from sick leave to unveil Apple's latest generation of software next week, the firm announced Tuesday.
The 56-year-old cancer survivor will present Apple's new operating system, dubbed "Lion," at a in San Francisco on June 6.
Jobs went on leave in January, his third medical absence since 2004, but has retained his title of chief executive at Apple.
He underwent an operation for pancreatic cancer in 2004 and received a liver transplant in 2009, but Apple has not released any details about his latest health issues.
"Lion" will be the eighth major iteration of Apple's operating system, "Mac OS."
(c) 2011 AFP

RFID into Food Nutri Smart System ---- Technology News © 2012

The Nutri Smart system would put RFIDs into your food for enhanced information2012

The NutriSmart system would put RFIDs into your food for enhanced information

RFID, short for Radio Frequency ID, tags have found their way into a wide variety of applications. These pellets, which are often roughly the same size as a grain of rice, can help us to be reunited with our lost pets, keep towels inside the hotel, and keep big box stores shipping the right boxes to the right places at the right time.
In time you may even find them inside your own stomach. At least they will be there if Hannes Harms has anything to say about it. Mr. Harms, who is currently a design engineering student at the Royal College of Art in London, has designed the NutriSmart system. The system is based on edible RFID tags that will tell you more about your food then you ever wanted to know.
The system would be able to not only give you complete nutritional data on the food that you are about to consume, but able to tell you the entire supply chain behind everything that you are putting into your mouth. While this could be good news for diabetics, people with serious food allergies, and vegans, it also has applications outside of the medical.
A properly equipped refrigerator would be able to give the user a look at everything that the box contains, and when it is going to go bad.
The system can also be paired with a "Smart plate", which would allow the embedded reader in the dish to tell you about the caloric and nutrition information about what you are eating, as well as how many miles it has come to be on your plate. The data can then be sent to your cell phone, via a Bluetooth connection.
No word yet about what happens to the tags when you are finished with them.

Sony Games Augmented Reality---- Technology News © 2012

Sony Sets Its Sights on Augmented Reality Review 2012

Sony Games Augmented Reality 2012
The future of mobile gaming will merge the virtual and real worlds.
Sony has demonstrated a new augmented reality system called Smart AR that can be built into the company's future gaming devices.
Augmented reality involves mapping virtual objects onto a view of the real world, usually as seen through the screen of a smart phone. The technology has so far been used to create a handful of dazzling smart-phone apps, but has yet to take off in a big way. However, many believe that mobile gaming could prove to be an ideal platform for the technology. With Smart AR, certain real-world objects could become part of a game when viewed through a device such as the PlayStation Portable. This could allow game characters to appear on a tabletop, perhaps, or to respond to the movement of real objects.
Unlike many augmented reality systems, Smart AR does not use satellite tracking or special markers to figure out where to overlay a virtual object. Instead, it uses object recognition. This means it works where GPS signals are poor or nonexistent, for example, indoors. The markerless system is more difficult to pull off, but it allows many more everyday objects to be used.
"Prototypes of Sony Computer Entertainment's next-generation of portable entertainment systems will be integrated with this technology," says Takayuki Yoshigahara, deputy general manager of Sony's Intelligent Systems Research Laboratory in Tokyo. "SCE is also considering adopting this technology for its software development kit in the future." This would allow games developers to add augmented reality features in the games made for Sony consoles.
  Sony has dabbled with the technology before, using two-dimensional barcodes known as CyberCodes as markers for tracking objects.
According to Yoshigahara, Smart AR identifies objects using an approach known as local feature extraction, which means it tries to identify salient parts of the object within the image. The system also tracks the object's movement, and works out its orientation. This is necessary in order to know how the virtual data should be positioned in relation to the object.


Smart AR also builds a rough 3-D map of a room. This is achieved by measuring disparities between different snapshots taken from slightly different perspectives as the camera moves. This allows virtual objects to interact with the environment.
Tobias Hollerer, an associate professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, says Sony's technology combines several areas of research. "If they do anything new, it is in tracking the entire room," he says.
Edward Rostens, a lecturer at the University of Cambridge and cocreator of an augmented reality system for the iPhone, called Popcode, says getting several different techniques to work together using the limited processing power of a handheld device would be impressive.

Hearth Heal Nanotube Patch --- Biomedicine & Health News © 2012

A Nanotube Patch to Help Heal the Heart 2012

Hearth Heal Nanotube Patch
Have a heart: Brown University researchers have created a tiny patch made out of carbon nanotubes that they hope will someday help regenerate heart cells.
Researchers create carbon nanotubes that mimic natural tissue and can regenerate heart cells in a dish.
Credit: Thomas Webster at Brown University
A conductive patch of carbon nanotubes can regenerate heart tissue growing in a dish, according to preliminary research from Brown University. The patch, made of tiny chains of carbon atoms that fold in on themselves, forming a tube, conducts electricity and mimics the rough surface of natural tissue. The more nanotubes the Brown researchers added to the patch, the more cells around it were able to regenerate.
During a heart attack, areas of the heart are deprived of oxygen, killing muscle and nerve cells used to keep the heart beating strongly and rhythmically. The tissue cannot regenerate on its own, which disrupts the heart's rhythm, weakens it, and sometimes leads to a repeat heart attack. Tissue engineers around the globe are searching for ways to regenerate or repair this damaged tissue using different types of scaffolds and stem cells.
Thomas Webster, an associate professor of engineering and orthopedics at Brown and senior author of the study, says his work is distinctive because he examined not just the muscle cells that beat, but also the nerve cells that help them contract and the endothelial cells that line the blood vessels leading to and from the heart. The fact that the patch helped regenerate all three types of cells, which function interdependently in the heart, suggests the newly grown tissue is similar to normal heart tissue. The research was published today in Acta Biomaterialia.
Jeff Karp, codirector of the Regenerative Therapeutics Research Center at Brigham and Women's Hospital, says he's impressed by Webster's idea. But Karp cautions that the work is still preliminary. "It will be some time before we know how promising this approach truly is," he says, because it has not yet been tested in animals.
Webster's nanotube patch is just one of many approaches underway to help repair the heart. Many involve injecting stem cells collected from the patient into the damaged heart or implanting patches of muscle derived from these stem cells. He says the nanotubes could be used on their own, or as scaffolds for stem cells.
Webster's team is now fine-tuning the nanomaterial to create a linear pattern to more closely mimic the pattern in natural tissue. Others have shown that creating this kind of structure can provide a natural scaffold that supports tissue strength and growth. The team is also working to make the patch as precisely as conductive as heart tissue, to see if that improves its function. The next step will be to figure out how to deliver the patch, which could be rolled up and transported to the heart via a catheter.
Of course, researchers need to do extensive safety testing before the technology can be used in patients. Unlike other materials used in tissue engineering, the carbon nanotube patch would not naturally degrade in the body. "The idea would be that the heart tissue would grow around these carbon nanotubes and they would continue to provide electrical stimulus to the heart," Webster says.
To avoid regulatory delays, Webster says, he may try his carbon nanotube patch first on pets. Right now, heart attacks are usually fatal for the family dog, Webster says, because most animals don't get diagnostic medical care or treatment, and have smaller hearts that have a harder time than human hearts compensating for damage. Treating pets "could be a way to get this technology out earlier," he says.

Worldwide Nuclear slowdown in Asia and Saudi Arabia 2012

 A Worldwide Nuclear Slowdown Continues Saudi Arabai 2012

Waste land: A site in Victoria, Texas, where Exelon has proposed constructing a new nuclear plant.
Credit: Exelon
Aftershocks from Fukushima shake political confidence in nuclear—and provide a boost for renewables.
The bad news from Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant continues to reverberate around the world, dimming nuclear energy's future and boosting the fortunes of low-carbon power sources. Last week's decision by Japan's prime minister to scrap plans for 14 new reactors is just the latest sign of a global nuclear slowdown, and the technology faces renewed scrutiny even in countries with pronuclear governments, including the U.S., China, and France.
"Due to both the time needed for integrating the lessons learned from Fukushima in new reactor designs and the likely hesitations of the public and decision makers, the deployment of nuclear power will be delayed," says Jan Horst Keppler, principal economist at the Nuclear Energy Agency, a Paris-based arm of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
What has not changed, says Keppler, are the drivers that were fueling new reactor construction: concerns over energy security and climate change. In the past, nuclear technology has been perceived as the cheapest option. But with nuclear on hold, governments are looking to accelerate renewable-energy development, and the latest cost estimates from the U.S. Energy Information Agency provide support for that position.
The agency's Annual Energy Outlook, released this month, estimates that new reactors starting up in 2016 will produce power at a cost of $114 per megawatt-hour. Onshore wind turbines, geothermal, and biomass power plants all beat that price, according to the agency's figures (as do gas-fired power plants that capture and sequester their carbon emissions underground).

The potential for renewable energy technologies to scale, meanwhile, was affirmed this month by the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which issued a special report predicting that renewable sources could satisfy up to 80 percent of global energy needs by 2050.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also highlighted nuclear energy's comparatively troubled position last week with his call for a high-level debate on nuclear energy's costs, risks, and benefits. "Twenty-five years after Chernobyl and in the aftermath of Fukushima, I believe it is high time to take a hard look at ... strengthening nuclear safety and security," he told reporters at a press conference in Geneva last Wednesday. The discussion by world leaders is scheduled for September's General Assembly meeting in New York.

Japan is taking the hardest look at nuclear, as Tokyo Electric Power—Fukushima Daiichi's operator—continues to wrestle with dangerous radiation levels in its bid to cool the reactors and spent fuel pools at its stricken plant. Last week it was revealed that nuclear fuel in one reactor had melted and sunk to the reactor's bottom, and that Tokyo Electric Power had withheld radioactivity readings in the first days of the crisis, keeping the government and public in the dark and putting plant workers at risk.
Japan's prime minister, Naoto Kan, is looking to renewable power and energy efficiency to replace some nuclear energy. But in the short term, he faces a power-supply crisis that got worse last week when two reactors at the coastal Hamaoka nuclear plant, southwest of Tokyo, were shut down at Kan's request pending tsunami-protective upgrades.
Chubu Electric Power, the utility that owns Hamaoka, may struggle to meet peak demand this summer without the reactors, which generate over 3,600 megawatts of power. Tokyo Electric is counting on 1,000 megawatts from Chubu to meet its own summer peak, and even with that help, it is facing at least a 5,000-megawatt supply shortage this summer, according to the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan.

Windows Phone 7---- 2.6 million sale in 2012 IT News © 2004

Microsoft sells 1.6 million Windows Phone 7 devices in Q1

Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 devices sold 1.6 million units to end users in the first quarter, according to Gartner. That tally isn’t nearly enough to blunt Android’s momentum. Android had 36 percent of the global market in the first quarter.
Gartner’s smartphone OS standings look like this:

Under the surface there are a few items worth noting. To wit:
  • Android and iOS have all the momentum.
  • Given Microsoft’s alliance with Nokia—and a rough 2011 before production Windows Phone devices are ready—rivals are aiming to swipe Symbian’s global market share.
  • Nokia will accelerate Windows Phone adoption, but it’s unclear what the market share baseline will be by the end of the year.
  • Gartner is conservative about mobile device sales because channel inventory is up to 13.3 million units. Gartner cut its 2011 sales estimate to 1.79 billion and 1.795 billion units.
On the device side of the equation, smartphones were 23.6 percent of total mobile device sales in the first quarter. Overall, 428 million mobile devices were sold in the first quarter, up 19 percent from a year ago.

Strongest performers included Apple, Samsung and HTC. Nokia lost 5.5 percent of market share in the first quarter compared to a year ago. Apple and HTC gained share and RIM held its own.

Intel 2012 New Chip ultrabooks ----- IT News © 2003

Intel’s new ‘ultrabooks’ coming by 2012


New chips will offer computers day-long power and ‘weeks’ of standby time by early 2012, Intel says at Computex.

Intel has unveiled a new generation of chips that it says will power ‘ultrabook’ laptops and offer significantly increased processing power and battery life. The development, the company hopes, will allow slimmer and more stylish laptops that also retain high levels of computing power. The company said it expects 40 per cent of laptops sold in 2012 to be ‘ultrabooks’.
The chips, previously announced with the codename ‘Ivy Bridge’, will be the successor to the current ‘Sandy Bridge’ processors. At just 22nm, they are set to power machines less than 20mm thick that are likely to be more stylish than current models. The move means more PC manufacturers will be able to offer designs that challenge Apple’s MacBook Air model.
Making the announcement at the Computex show in Taipei, Taiwan, Intel also emphasised its ambition to unseat rival Arm in providing chips for tablets and smartphones. It also said that it would accelerate its release cycle for Atom processors to a new generation of chips every year.
At the same show, Asus also revealed the ‘Padfone’. Building on the approach of Motorola’s Atrix, the Padfone is a standard telephone that can also be ‘docked’ into a tablet to provide a larger screen. Release dates for Europe have not been announced.

Nokia:2011 Windows Phone 7 Devices in 2012

Nokia: 2011 going from bad to worse; Windows Phone 7 device in Q4

Nokia on Tuesday cut its second quarter and 2011 outlook as it struggles to fend off competition and is watching average selling prices for its devices tank.
Conditions have unraveled for Nokia so quickly that the company said it can’t give 2011 forecasts.
Also see: Nokia, RIM: Sidekicks walking through the valley of the shadow of death

These phones aren't selling.

The problem: Nokia is in limbo as it tries to sell Symbian based devices ahead of Windows Phone 7 devices in late 2011 and early 2012. Nokia confirmed that it will ship a Windows Phone 7 device in the fourth quarter. What’s unknown is whether that device will be enough to salvage 2011 and give Nokia some confidence about 2012. In any case, Nokia is betting everything on Windows Phone. In the meantime, the company needs to sell you a few Symbian devices.
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said:
“We recognize the need to deliver great mobile products, and therefore we must accelerate the pace of our transition. Our teams are aligned, and we have increased confidence that we will ship our first Nokia product with Windows Phone in the fourth quarter 2011.”
In a statement, Nokia said that its devices and services unit will produce second quarter sales “substantially below its previously expected range of EUR 6.1 billion to EUR 6.6 billion for the second quarter 2011.” Nokia said device volume is lower than expected and average selling prices are tanking.
Second quarter operating margins, which were already cut before, are now expected to “substantially below” the 6 percent to 9 percent range for the second quarter. Device sales are looking weak and Nokia said its operating margin “could be around breakeven.”
For the year, Nokia said “it is no longer appropriate to provide annual targets for 2011.”
As for fixing the situation, Nokia said it is working to add capabilities to its Symbian portfolio to boost sales. The problem with Symbian is that Nokia will move on to another OS soon. Nokia said it will up its retail marketing.
The company has already restructured, but more layoffs could be on tap given the severity of the outlook.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Woman can literally feel the noise Latest Study 2012

Woman can literally feel the noise


(Medical Xpress) -- A case of a 36-year-old woman who began to literally 'feel' noise about a year and a half after suffering a stroke sparked a new research project by neuroscientist Tony Ro from the City College of New York and the Graduate Center of the City University. Research and imagery of the brain revealed that a link had grown between the woman’s auditory region and the somatosensory region, essentially connecting her hearing to her touch sensation.
Ro and his team presented the findings at the Acoustical Society of America’s meeting on May 25. They pointed out that both and touch rely on vibrations and that this connection may be found in the rest of us as well.
Another researcher and neuroscientist Elizabeth Courtenay Wilson from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston agrees that there is a strong connection between the two. Her team believes that the ear evolved from skin in order to create a more finely tuned analysis. She earned her PhD from MIT with a study on whether vibrations could help hearing aid performance. Her studies showed that individuals with normal hearing were better able to detect a weak sound when it was accompanied by a weak vibration to the skin.
Ro himself published another paper in Experimental Brain Research in 2009 focusing on what he calls the mosquito effect. Those pesky little bugs sound frequency makes our skin prickle and he believes that in order for this to work the frequency of sound must match the frequency of the vibrations we feel.
Functional MRI scans of the brain have revealed that the auditory region of the brain can become activated by a touch. It is believed by some researchers that areas of the that are designed to understand frequency may be responsible for this wire crossing, though they are not yet sure exactly where the two senses come together.
More information: Sound enhances touch perception, Tony Ro et al., Experimental Brain Research Volume 195, Number 1, 135-143, DOI: 10.1007/s00221-009-1759-8
© 2010 PhysOrg.com

Bootable hard disk formatting software Japan Hard Disk EU probes US

Bootable hard disk formatting software
EU probes US, Japan hard disk takeover plans

A Samsung flag flies in Seoul 
A Samsung flag flies in Seoul. European anti-trust regulators on Monday launched in-depth probes into proposed US takeovers of South Korean and Japanese businesses manufacturing computer hard disk drives (HDD).
European anti-trust regulators on Monday launched in-depth probes into proposed US takeovers of South Korean and Japanese businesses manufacturing computer hard disk drives (HDD).
The planned acquisitions of the hard disk drive operations of South Korean electronics giant Samsung by Seagate Technology, and the storage business of Japan's Hitachi by Western Digital Corporation in a sector with just five manufacturers worldwide have raised concerns in Brussels, the European Commission said.
"Hard drives are the backbone of the digital economy," said EU competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia in announcing the investigation.
"The sector has already experienced significant consolidation and the proposed acquisitions will further reduce competition."
Used in everything from computers to digital video recorders, Toshiba is the fifth major player.
Brussels officials have until October 10 to decide what action if any they will take.
(c) 2011 AFP

Effect of radioactive waste on environment-Blue goo used to clean up

Effect of radioactive waste on environment
Blue goo used to clean up radioactive waste Latest news 2012
Cleaning up radioactive waste usually requires lots water and soap. Hawaiian entrepreneur Hank Wuh invented a blue goo called DeconGel that can literally peal away contaminants. Wuh gave away 100 five-gallon pails of the cleaner to Japanese officials, reports CNN. The gel can peal away dirt, oil, grease, algae..and anything that doesn’t belong on the surface.
effect of radioactive waste on environment
In Japan, the goo is being used to clean up areas in and around the exclusion zones including sidewalks, parking lots and other commercial zones. However, the goo can’t make radioactivity disappear. But it can reduce disposal of the waste by 90 percent. It contains the waste more than traditional clean up methods, so contaminants are less likely to leak back into the environment.
CNN Money describes how the goo works:
DeconGel starts off as a liquid that can be brushed or sprayed onto contaminated surfaces. It dries to form a gel that encapsulates microscopic bits of radioactive or otherwise hazardous waste, including PCBs, beryllium, mercury and chromium. The gel can then be peeled off, rolled up and thrown away.
In the next few years, Wuh expects orders for DeconGel to increase substantially.
Watch how the biodegradable slime works:

In emergencies, new products like DeconGel are tested out. During the BP oil spill clean up, researchers tried out a non-woven cotton absorbent called Fibertect. Originally developed to protect the U.S. military from chemical and biological warfare agents, this raw cotton and carbon material has already been approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. When researchers tested it on the shores of Louisiana, it passed the test.

Scientists say electrons shape are spectacularly round

Scientists have found that electrons are basically perfect spheres.
So perfect that if the subatomic particle were blown up to be the size of our solar system, any imperfection would be less than the width of a human hair.
Put another way, any deviation of roundness would be less than a billionth of a billionth of a billionth of a centimeter across.
That’s mind-bogglingly round.
The six scientists at Imperial College London measured the electron’s roundness by training a measuring system of red and green lasers on a special molecule orbited by a single electron. They then put the molecule in an electrically charged place and looked to see if the electron would wobble.
Just as an egg placed on your dining table would flop over, an imperfectly round electron would be expected to flop over, or wobble.
They ran this experiment 25 million times and blinded themselves from its results until after the 25 millionth run of the experiment so they would not be biased in interpreting the results.
The Guardian, quoting researcher Jony Hudson, reported,
They found no sign of the electron wobbling in the field, meaning it is more spherical than any previous experiment had shown. “To the best of our knowledge, with the experimental precision we have, the electron appears to be round,” Hudson said.
Their results, published in Nature, call into question theories that posit the electron is not perfectly round. A slightly aspherical electron would help explain why antimatter has disappeared since the Big Bang created the universe 12 to 14 billion years ago. An imperfectly round electron could also provide proof for a relatively new theory of physics called supersymmetry in which the particles of nature must come in pairs.
This recent finding could be a blow to the theory of supersymmetry, but even more precise measurements are necessary, because the electron could be egg-shaped at a scale smaller than this experiment examined.
Nature, quoting lead researcher Edward Hinds, reported,
Hinds reckons that by increasing the number of molecules per pulse and reducing their speed, his group should be able to raise the sensitivity of measurement by a factor of ten “over the next few years”, and, ultimately, by a factor of 100. … “We would pretty much rule out all current theories if we went down by a factor of 100 and saw nothing,” he says.