Lucas123 writes "Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have shown they can increase the density, performance and the durability of phase-change memory (PSM) by using diamonds to change the base alloy material. Instead of using the more typical method of applying heat to the alloy to change its state from amorphous to crystalline, thereby laying down bits in the material, the researchers used pressure from diamond-tipped tools. Using pressure versus heat allowed them to slow down the change in order to produce many varying states allowing more data to be stored on the alloy. 'This phase-change memory is more stable than the material used in current flash drives. It works 100 times faster and is rewritable millions of times,' said the study's lead author, Ming Xu, a doctoral student at the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. 'Within about five years, it could also be used to replace hard drives in computers and give them more memory.'"
Check out SlashCloud for the latest in cloud computing.
New submitter brabq writes "Now that I have a couple of CableCard tuner devices in the house (including the network-based HDHomeRun Prime), I'm thinking of buying one of those all-in-one touchscreen PCs for our kitchen (yeah, something I've always sworn against for future repair reasons). The idea is that it would be used primarily for (1) watching TV, via the aforementioned Prime and WMC, and (2) light web surfing (recipes, some sort of video chat possibly). Does anyone have any experience with these types of devices in a kitchen-like setting (where I'd like to use a touchscreen over having a keyboard/mouse on a kitchen counter)? I keep hearing that Windows 8 is going to have some added benefits to this type of setup — is it worth waiting for its release? My end goal is it has to have a high WAF ... if my wife doesn't like its appearance on the counter or finds it useless, then the whole thing will be a waste."
yyzmcleod writes with this excerpt: "A research team at Queen's University has created a human-scale 3D hologram pod that allows people in different locations to videoconference as if they are standing in front of each other. Called TeleHuman, the technology is the creation of professor Roel Vertegaal, director of the Human Media Lab, and his graduate team at the Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. Similar to the Star Trek holodeck, participants can walk around the 3D hologram of the remote person they're talking to and view them from all sides. More importantly, the system captures 3D visual cues that 2D video miss, such as head orientation, gaze and overall body posture."
MatthewVD writes "A new, user interface-enabled generation of electronics that you wear under your skin could be used for convenience, or even pleasure, rather than medical reasons. Scientists at Autodesk Research in Toronto have implanted electronics with user buttons, pressure sensors and LEDs under the skin of a cadaver's arm and wrapped in artificial skin. The electronics could buzz you when you have an appointment, carry memory cards with data, or connect you in a social network with others wearing electronics."
jjslash writes "It has been six years in the making, with the original goal of the project intending to reignite computer programming in schools across the country. Despite those honorable intentions, the $35 ARM-based credit-card sized computer has captured the imagination of programmers, consumers and tinkerers alike, resulting in unprecedented demand for the product. Last month the first 10,000 credit-card sized computers were set to make their way to those who pre-ordered them back in February. TechSpot takes a look at the Pi Model B, covering the basic steps for setting up the computer, as well as basic post-installation tasks those first using it might encounter."
Overly Critical Guy writes "Auto makers are launching a universal EV charger that charges an electric vehicle in 15 to 20 minutes. The standard, called Combined Charging System, has been approved by the Society of Automotive Engineers and ACEA, the European association of vehicle manufacturers, as the standard for fast-charging electric vehicles."
bonch writes "Apple has quietly replaced the iPad 2's A5 with a smaller 32nm die that increases battery life by 15 to 30%. It's theorized that Apple is using the iPad 2 as a test bed for the new hardware platform, which shrinks the surface area of the A5 to 57% of the previous size."
MojoKid writes "NVIDIA has lifted the embargo on benchmarks and additional details of their GeForce GTX 690 card today. According to a few folks at NVIDIA, company CEO Jen Hsun Huang told the team to spare no expense and build the best graphics card they possibly could, using all of the tools at their disposal. As a result, in addition to a pair of NVIDIA GK104 GPUs and 4GB of GDDR5 RAM, the GeForce GTX 690 features laser-etched lighting, a magnesium fan housing, a plated aluminum frame, along with a dual vapor chamber cooler with ducted airflow channels and a tuned axial fan. The sum total of all of these design enhancements results in not only NVIDIA's fastest graphics card to date, but also one of its quietest. In the performance benchmarks, NVIDIA's new dual-GPU powerhouse is easily the fastest graphics card money can buy right now, but of course it's also the most expensive." The GeForce GTX 690 has been reviewed lots of different places today, Tom's Hardware and AnandTech to name a few.
An anonymous reader writes "I have at least 10 assorted hard drives ranging from 100 GB to 3 TB, including external drives, IDE desktop drives, laptop drives, etc. What's the best way to setup a home NAS to utilize all this 'excess' space? And could it be set up with redundancy built-in so a single drive failure would cause no data loss? I don't need anything fancy. Visibility to networked Windows PCs is great; ability to streak to Roku / iPad / Toshiba etc would be great but not necessary. What's the best way to accomplish this goal?"
mikejuk writes "Oracle seem to be concerned that the Raspberry Pi manages to run Java properly and they are actively working on the problem. To prove that it more than just works, what better than to get a JavaFX app up and running — what could be more cutting edge? Unfortunately the trick was performed using a commercial version of the JDK with JIT support and some private code, but it is still early days yet. Java and JavaFX on Raspberry Pi takes us into a whole new ball game." Watch the video at the linked report to see it in action.
1sockchuck writes "Are you ready for wider servers? The Open Compute Project today shared details on Open Rack, a new standard for hyperscale data centers, which will feature 21-inch server slots, rather than the traditional 19 inches. "We are ditching the 19-inch rack standard," said Facebook's Frank Frankovsky, who said the wider design offered better heat removal and a unified approach to power, including a 12 volt busbar. The Open Compute Project, developed by Facebook to advance open source hardware design, believes an open approach can avoid the mistakes of blade server chassis design."
MrSeb writes "Back in the olden days, when WiFi and Bluetooth were just a glimmer in the eye of IEEE, another short-range wireless communications technology ruled supreme: Infrared Data Association, or IrDA for short. IrDA was awful; early versions were only capable of kilobit-per-second speeds, and only over a distance of a few feet. Trying to get my laptop and mobile phone to link up via IrDA was, to date, one of the worst tech experiences I've ever had. There's a lot to be said for light-based communications, though. For a start, visible (and invisible) light has a frequency of between 400 and 800THz (800 and 375nm), which is unlicensed spectrum worldwide. Second, in cases where you really don't want radio interference, such as hospitals, airplanes, and other sensitive environments, visible light communication (VLC), or free-space optical communication, is really rather desirable. Now researchers at the National Taipei University of Technology in Taiwan have transmitted data using lasers — not high-powered, laboratory-dwelling lasers; handheld, AAA-battery laser pointers. A red and green laser pointer were used, each transmitting a stream of data at 500Mbps, which is then multiplexed at the receiver for a grand total of 1Gbps."
New submitter schlesingerj writes in with news about a six legged robot "The Artisans Asylum hackerspace in Somerville, MA is building a monster rideable hexapod named 'Stompy', with fully articulated legs (18 hydraulics actuators in total), powered by a humongous propane forklift engine. This is being built as a class, lead by a team of expert roboticists with an impressive background, including DEKA, Boston Dynamics and Barret Technologies and is expected to be finished by the end of the summer. I for one welcome our new robot overlords."
Uwe Hermann today announced the availability of sigrok, one of the first Open Source logic analyzers. Tired of being tied to Windows and proprietary software with limited features, in late 2010 he began work on flosslogic, which, after discovering Bert Vermeulen was also working on similar software, became sigrok. From the article: "Thus, the goal was to write a portable, GPL'd, software that can talk to many different logic analyzers via modules/plugins, supports many input/output formats, and many different protocol decoders. ... Currently supported hardware includes: Saleae Logic, CWAV USBee SX, Openbench Logic Sniffer (OLS), ZEROPLUS Logic Cube LAP-C, ASIX Sigma/Sigma2, ChronoVu LA8, and others." Their wiki has a list of supported protocols as well. You can grab the source over at SourceForge.
MrSeb writes with news about a production ready electric-hybrid airplane. From the article: "... The four-passenger carbon fiber aircraft isn't really an electric plane but more of a plug-in hybrid plane, much like the Chevrolet Volt. Whatever it is, the Volta Volare aeronautics company of Portland, Oregon says the plane can travel 300 miles on battery power, then a 1.5-liter gasoline engine engages and extends the plane's range to 1,000 miles. The company sees the plane being attractive for its low cost of operation and its environmental friendliness. Aviation gasoline is typically leaded fuel, which has been gone from motor vehicle fuel since the 1980s. On a 200-mile trip in a comparable four-passenger gas-engine private plane, you'd burn $80 worth of avgas, while the electricity to carry the GT4 200 miles would cost only $20 — nice savings, but perhaps a little inconsequential when the plane itself is expected to cost around $500,000. Testing begins this spring on the Volta Volare GT4."