28 Mar 2012

According to CPU World, Intel will be introducing a number of new Ivy Bridge processors for desktops and mobile systems during the week of April 22-28, becoming available April 29.  Originally the 29th was set as the quad-core desktop launch but now both versions of the chips will be debuting at the same time.

27 Mar 2012

A high school student team which has developed an Aquatic Thermoelectric Generator to produce energy from heat.  (Credit:  NCIIA)

A group of San Jose, California high school students has come up with a way to utilize swimming pools as a source of electricity to power schools, homes and businesses.

Their solution relies on thermoelectric panels that can harness the temperature difference between a hot surface and the cold water.  This could be expanded into huge floating farms of these devices, possibly powering entire coastal towns.  

22 Mar 2012

As we initially speculated, the video clip of the birdwing and Jarno Smeets was a hoax.  We all wanted it to be true though.  Jarno didn't actually fly and his name is not Jarno Smeets its Floris Kaayk, a Dutch CGI artist/filmmaker who told a Dutch TV show that the "Human Bird Wing" project was all for a documentary he is making on Internet hoaxes.  The video ranked up 3 million views on YouTube in less than a week, but suspicions as to the authenticity of the flight began just as early as the view count.  Many internet commenters were convinced it was a hoax, possibly as a publicity stunt for Nintendo, since Wii controllers were used on the wings, while CGI experts considered the video very well done.

Wired magizine discovered that Jarno Smeets' LinkedIn profile was a fake.  Coventry University, had no record of anyone by that name.  The past companies he listed had no record of anyone by that name either.

With the aid of computers and technology, the line between reality and computer graphics is becoming more blurred.  This was a good hoax, it certainly won't be the last one.

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21 Mar 2012

Bring out the laser, Mini Me, well, at least the ultraviolet one.  A team at the National Ignition Facility in Livermore, California has fired the world's first two megajoule ultraviolet laser.  Earlier this week, a 1.875-megajoule shot was sent into the target chamber and after it passed the final lens it hit the 2.03 megajoule mark.  It was accomplished using a combination of 192 lasers.  This step is important for science, as scientists have been trying to get past the ignition phase to get fusion energy from tiny frozen (hydrogen) fuel pellets. 

Ultimately the goal is to have the laser fire 15 shots per second, but for now at least, we know one can be done without a major explosion.  Once they get the rate increased, it might be possible to start a fusion reaction by imploding the hydrogen isotope pellets where the energy output would be higher than the energy required to boot.

Scientists feel that things are advancing in such a way that a fusion reaction that just breaks even may occur within six months.  The US Department of Energy has focused most of its efforts on magnet-based fusion, so for laser fusion to achieve ignition by years end, would be great because funding for laser fusion is due to run out by years end.

The Tech-Stew Take Home

This laser test firing is huge for the purpose of starting a fusion reaction.  Fusion has many advantages as far as energy production goes.  The fuel for fusion reactions are readily available and nearly inexhaustible.  Unlike burning fossil fuels, fusion doesn't emit harmful toxins into the atmosphere.  Fusion produces only helium which doesn't contribute to global warming.  Fusion also doesn't have the nuclear waste that fission power contains.

Source:  Geekosystem.com

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21 Mar 2012

Ever wished you could take a picture of something just around the next corner.  Well, Ramesh Raskar and a team from MIT's Media Lab have done something like this.  Through the use of lasers, the camera can gather images of objects hidden behind walls and then construct a 3D model.

The camera sends lasers off of visible walls and scattered photons reach the target object.  The time it takes for the photons to come back to the camera are recorded and repeated 60 times each time the laser is fired at a different position.  The image gets recorded each time and an algorithm is used to create a 3D model of the target, similar to how a CAT scan is done.  It takes several minutes to generate the model as of now, but the team hopes to shrink that to 10 seconds.  This technique could be useful for hard to reach or dangerous areas.

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20 Mar 2012

Man has dreamed of taking to the skies under his own power, with wings like that of a bird.  One man, Jarno Smeets, may have done just that with his own engineered birdwings. 

Take a look below at the amazing YouTube video, you see him get a running start then lift off the ground by flapping his wings flying for 100 meters.  Smeets is a mechanical engineer and has spent eight months researching and designing the birdwings with his Human Birdwings Project

20 Mar 2012

Hungry for more hard drive space to download all the episodes of the Tech-Stew Podcast plus your Blu-ray movies?  Well, hang tight, because Seagate has an even larger solution than before.  Seagate announced Monday that they are the first hard drive manufacturer to reach a storage density of 1 terabit per square inch.  They accomplished this through heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR), instead of the usual Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) method.  This should allow 60 TB capacities within 10 years on a single drive.  Imagine the RAID array possibilities with this capacity.

The existing density areal maximum was 620 gigabits per square inch.  Seagate has stated the first generation drives will likely double the capacities of the largest 3.5 and 2.5" drives in the near future to 6 TB and 2 TB.  The theoretical areal density limit ranges from 5 to 10 TB per square inch, so capacities should range from 30 TB to 60 TB for 3.5-inch drives, while 10 TB to 20 TB for 2.5-inch drives.

Source:  Tomshardware.com

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19 Mar 2012

From Star Wars to real sound of rockets:  Skywalker Sound, the George Lucas audio department has created a sound effects mix of the real sound of a Rocket Booster from the moment of lift-off until splashdown, about 400 seconds worth of space shuttle goodness.  This via the NASA Glenn Research Center.

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