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:astig:Spanish scientists managed to create a wheelchair that a person can control by simply thinking about the desired destination. People who have disabilities that prevent them from using the joystick can control this latest invention in technology by simply thinking where they want to go. The wheelchair features a laser scanner that helps create a 3D image of the surroundings. The image that shows the area around is displayed on a screen installed in front of the user, who needs to concentrate on the part of the screen where they wish to go and the wheelchair acts in response. In order to identify the brain activity of the user, researchers use a skullcap that helps work out the destination they want to go to. The engineer, who came up with the idea of developing a wheelchair that can be controlled by the mind, is Dr Javier Minguez from the University of Zaragoza in Spain. He mentioned that it took only 45 minutes for the study participants to learn to control the device. This is the latest invention to be controlled with the help of thought. But the wheelchair prototype is still not ready to hit the stores, due to the fact that it can only handle two thoughts every minute. Researchers look forward to creating faster and more complex versions in future. ( www.infoniac.com )

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:astig:Google's share of the search space has fallen from 78.72 per cent in May to 78.48 per cent in June, according to internet data firm Statcounter.Microsoft’s share of the market, meanwhile, has grown to 8.23 per cent since the launch of Bing, up from the 7.8 per cent share it enjoyed before the rebranding of its search portal. However, despite Microsoft’s gains, Yahoo! remains the second most popular search engine in the United States, accounting for 11 per cent of all search traffic in June, slightly up on the previous month. Bing’s share peaked in the first week of June, shortly after launch, when it accounted for more than 9 per cent of search traffic. “At first sight, a one per cent increase in market share does not appear to be a huge return on the investment Microsoft has made in Bing, but the underlying trend appears positive,” said Adohan Cullen, chief executive of StatCounter. StatCounter’s data is based on four billion pageloads per month, monitored through a network of websites. Microsoft is thought to be spending around $100 million to market its new-look search portal. Bing has run in to problems in recent weeks after flight comparison site Kayak accused Bing’s travel search of being too similar to its own product, and “confusing consumers”. ( www.telegraph.co.uk )

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:woooh:Experts from the engineering company called Festo, based in Germany, recently presented their latest invention in technology - robotic penguins. These robots use their flippers to paddle through water just like the real penguins. Engineers also developed robotic penguins filled with helium that can fly in the air. You can see these latest inventions at the Hannover Messe Trade Exhibition. It is worth mentioning that every robot features a 3D sonar created by EvoLogics in Berlin, Germany. The device is used to observe the surroundings and prevent collisions with walls or other robots. Engineers introduced flexible glass fibre rods in their robotic penguins so their creations could twist and turn just as elegantly as the real animals. According to Markus Fischer, who currently heads the company's corporate design team, the design of the bionic penguins has industrial applications. For example the company managed to adopt their latest invention to develop a flexible, trunk-like arm that features a gripper on the end. The arm can be used in various industrial applications, being able to twist up to 90 degrees in any direction, reports New Scientist. ( www.infoniac.com )

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:ayokona:

A law requiring computer manufacturers to include a program called Green Dam on every PC was "delayed" just hours before it was due to come into effect. Green Dam filters the internet and blocks access both to pornography and to politically sensitive content. Researchers also discovered that it is capable of sending reports about an individual's web use back to the authorities. China retreated in the face of angry and sustained criticism not only from internet users but also from computer manufacturers and trade bodies. In addition, a US company called Solid Oak has filed a lawsuit against the makers of Green Dam, charging them with having stolen the software that makes up the program. "China will delay the mandatory installation of the software on new computers," said Xinhua, the government newswire. "The pre-installation was delayed as some computer producers said such massive installation demanded extra time," it added. There was no statement on how long the delay would last, and some observers speculated that the government will not make Green Dam compulsory. ( www.telegraph.co.uk )


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:astig:The developers of a new supercomputer, dubbed Jaguar, claim that it is the most powerful machine built to do scientific researches on climate change, supernovas, as well as the composition of water. The supercomputer was installed at the National Center for Computational Sciences (NCCS), part of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee. Jaguar can reach an operating performance of 1.64 petaflops, which means that every second the machine is able to carry out over a million billion mathematical operations.

While most desktop computers have one, two or a maximum of four cores, the Jaguar supercomputer can boast 181,000 processing cores. A supercomputer that is more powerful than Jaguar belongs to the US Nuclear Security Administration, having an operating performance of 1.7-petaflops. It's called Roadrunner and it can be found at the Los Alamos National Laboratory located in New Mexico. The Jaguar supercomputer was for the first time unveiled in 2008. It took several months to test its performance before directors at Oak Ridge decided to task the machine with its first research projects. The first 21 projects are dedicated to problems linked with the environment. Three projects feature climate models. One of these models reproduces the global atmosphere down to grids of 14km instead of the more common 55 or 100km squares. As for other projects on the environment, they will model flames inside diesel engines, which will help in cutting fuel consumption and creation of biofuels from waste plant material.

Other issues for the supercomputer will include the study of 3-dimensional structures of SN 1987A, the closest exploding star in almost 400 years and the precise arrangement of molecules in liquid water, which, despite the fact that is very important for life, still remains a mystery.

"This is a very programmable platform with a boatload of memory - three times the amount of memory relative to the next closest system - and is turning out to be very stable and reliable," says Douglas Kothe, director of the NCCS. According to the National Center for Computational Sciences, after July the Jaguar supercomputer will begin working on climate issues. It will be offered to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for one or several months. ( www.infoniac.com )


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:ayokona:

The problem appears to particularly affect the white handsets of Apple’s new turbocharged device, which is twice as fast as its predecessor, the iPhone 3G, and boasts an improved camera and the ability to record video. Dozens of users have reported overheating issues, with some iPhone owners unable to pick up the device because the handset gets so hot to the touch. Owners of the white iPhone 3GS say the casing turns pink with the heat. Some users have said the device has been too hot to put to their ear while making a phone call, and others have said they were worried it could explode. The overheating seems to occur when owners are using the iPhone’s mapping software, which uses the handset’s built-in GPS technology to pinpoint their location and provide directions.

On Apple’s support forums, iPhone owners have been complaining about the problems. “My iPhone 3GS back get somewhat warm when playing a few mins of games. Is this normal?,” asks one user, Dreamcast DC. “I am having the same issue,” reports Ron Lift. “I am definitely experiencing issues with the iPhone running warm and quick battery life lost,” writes Tom Goldstein in another discussion thread. “The phone seems to warm up almost immediately if I am doing anything that pulls data over the network. It doesn’t get burning hot, but very noticeably warm.”

“I was on a call for 20 minutes and it was so uncomfortably hot I had to put it on speaker,” reports Alan Ziegler. Several other users have also complained that the iPhone 3GS, which is supposed to boast a longer battery life than the iPhone 3G, in fact loses its charge quicker than its predecessor. Some gadget experts believe faulty batteries could be the cause of overheating and poor battery life. “My guess is there’s going to be a whole lot of batteries affected because these [iPhones] are from very large production runs,” said Aaron Vronko of Rapid Repair, which fixes iPods and iPhones. ( www.telegraph.co.uk )


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