Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The article that I read was about a new technology that will help us all save energy. The product is called the Ecodrain. The Ecodrain is an invention that helps to save the energy that we use from our hot water heater every time we shower. The idea behind this was born from the fact that after we use the warm water from our shower it is then just thrown down the drain. It takes a lot of energy to warm the water that we use to shower. Once it touches us and goes down the drain the remainder of the energy in the hot water (which is still more or less the same temperature) is just washed down the drain. This product uses the remaining energy in the hot water to heat up water that is about to come through the showerhead. This means that we will be able to turn down the hot water knob and still get the same temperature out of the showerhead. This is beneficial because it could save us up to 40% of the energy we use from our hot water heater.

            I think this is a great product for two reasons. First it saves energy, which is obviously great for the environment. Frequently the problem with great products like this is, they are not usually affordable as an alternative to what people use now. While I am not sure of the price of this product, the best part about this is that it will help people reduce their electric bill by a large amount. Saving 40% of the energy we use every time we shower is fiscally responsible for peoples budgets as well as good for the environment. This win-win situation is something we rarely see with new green products.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Devin DiCristofaro

On Sunday March 16, the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks were playing in Milwaukee in an NBA matchup.  During halftime, with the game tied, Bucks star Charlie Villanueva used his blackberry to post on popular networking site 'Twitter.'  Villanueva's post read 'In da locker room, snuck to post my twitt. We're playing the Celtics, tie ball game at da half.  Coach wants more toughness.  I gotta step up.'  Villanueva responded by scoring 19 points and lead the the Bucks to an eventual 86-77 win against the Celtics.  Since the incident there has beemn much publicity regarding the role networking websites such as twitter, facebook, and myspace play in society today. While this athlete, who is being payed millions of dollars to perform at the highest level of basketball, is resting during halftime he took the time to post on this website, which illustrates how networking websites such as these can become extremely important in people's lives.  These sites are extremely popular on college campus' across the country and the world, it is interesting; however, to walk through a Loyola computer lab during finals week and you see people procrastinating on these networking sites.  This loss of focus and general distracting can negatively affect peoples grades, and while these sites can be powerful tools to keep in touch with friends, people need to remain focused and not succumb to the negative effects of technology.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Rapid-Recharge Lithium Battery

Normal Lithium batteries take minutes to both charge and discharge the energy inside them. An MIT professor and his Graduate student have figured out a way to make these batteries charge and discharge in seconds so the user can have a quick recharge or serge of energy from the battery at any given time. To better understand this, the article used an example of a car to demonstrate the durability not density of energy from a car battery. One can drive 55 miles an hour for a long period of time; but at this rate to accelerate would take a long time due to the "lower-power density" it stores. However, devices called "ultracapacitors" do the exact opposite: do not run for a long period of time but release high densities of energy so that a car could accelerate quickly while already traveling at high speeds. The only downside is that you could not keep your high speed for the same distance as a normal car battery would be able to last. The MIT professor and his student built the Lithium-ion battery more chemically engineered as a ultracapacitor so that more energy density would result. The expected use of faster charge and discharge batteries include hybrid cars, electric cars, and new consumer products that may be been previously restricted by the "slow" charge and discharge of batteries. My hope is that the consumer products include more advanced cell-a-phone and lab-top batteries that will have the power to recharge in seconds while still maintaining a high battery life before it needs a recharge. The professor and his graduate student have gone about this by analyzing what was holding back the lithium ions from moving through the phosphate tunnels within the battery. A battery regains power or looses power bases on what direction the ions move through the phosphate tunnel; and the speed at which they do so is the result of how long it takes to loose or gain battery power. The research concluded when the Professor developed a new material that acts like a "beltway" inside the battery to ship the lithium ions right into the tunnels so that they can bring the battery new energy density and power never thought possible prior to the research. There is no telling where this discovery will take off to, or its practical use in our near future. However, a company called Phoenix Motorcars already experimented with the new batteries and charged a 160-kilometer range electric cart in ten minutes that was roughly thirty times faster than previous battery charges.
By Ryan krystopowicz
From :
A Rapid-Recharge Lithium Battery
By Samuel K. Moore
First Published March 2009

Four Ways To Smarten Up Your Car

This article features four new up and coming technologies for use in automobiles. The areas of technology consist of mobile computing, 21st century radio, solar phone, and GPS. The first new up and coming feature is a Dashboard Device called ENV-XC. This built-in computer system “lets you give your ordinary car a dose of smarts.” The computer contains a 1.66-gigahertz Intel Core Duo processor, 1 gigabyte of memory, 160 gigabyte hard drive, and a touch screen for operation. Additional features include a DVD-read/write drive, a USB port, a GPS navigation system, and WiFi. The cost of this Dashboard Device is $2,750. The second new up and coming feature is a radio called the MiRoamer. This radio allows access to all of the Internet stations around the world through the use of Bluetooth technology. The estimated prices at release range from $300 to $400. The next up and coming feature is the solar phone. This speakerphone uses Bluetooth to connect to one’s cell phone, allowing the press of just one button to answer phone calls and dial using voice commands. An hour of daylight exposure allows two hours of battery life. One option, the LG solar-powered speakerphone, costs $100. Finally, there is the up and coming portable GPS navigation system, the GY 135. This touch screen controlled system will verbally direct and reroute automatically. “It is loaded with maps of the United States right out of the box.” Other United States and Canadian maps can be stored with the use of a memory card. The price of this GPS navigation system is $189.

This up and coming technology is exciting to hear about. Though this may be expensive for some people, the ENV-XC is a piece of technology that can save a lot of time, effort, and nerves. One of the things I personally hate to see while driving is someone talking on a cell phone after they’ve cut me off because they are not paying attention to the road. The solar phone and Bluetooth technology can minimize, if not eliminate this problem. A simple, hands-free device can save a lot of headaches and lives. Likewise, the GPS navigation system can do the same. Lost drivers tend to make sudden decisions, possibly putting themselves and other drives in danger. The GPS can greatly assist with this problem. My only issue with this up and coming technology is the inevitable dependency that we will develop. Eventually this technology will be a normal part of the automobile industry, thus causing us to become used to a computer doing all of our thinking for us. We will rely so heavily upon a computer system that we will begin lacking in our own personal navigation and common sense skills. What happens if the computer system fails? As long as we do not rely too heavily upon this new technology, it will greatly assist us in saving time.


Boxee iPhone App: A Little Late, but Worth the Wait

Although the wait was long, the Boxee iPhone application was approved just yesterday by the iTunes Application Store. Boxee is a media center software that allows its users to view and share content with others through social networking. In the past, Boxee users would navigate the software via a small Apple remote control that comes included with many Mac desktops and AppleTV; however this remote proved to be inadequate due to its inability to manage interactions requiring input from a keyboard. Luckily for "geeks all
over," as the article says, the newly introduced application added a Boxee remote with two different modes. One mode is the "Buttons" mode, which serves as more of a navigational tool. A screen appears with arrows for up, down, left and right, volume control, as well as an OK button. The second mode, the "Gesture mode," is a touch screen mode with a fully functional keypad. A Boxee symbol appears in the middle of the screen and serves as the touch pad. The user places a finger on the symbol and uses it as a mouse. The keypad is the most notable upgrade because it allows users to navigate parts Boxee that it could not previously access.
This convenient remote has become so popular in the recent past that people have begun to use them for their family room television sets. If the newly approved iPhone application is successful, we could start to see Apple iPhones on coffee tables across the globe.

Cut and paste, MMS highlight iPhone 3.0 improvements

To say that I love my iPod Touch is an understatement. For anyone that is not familiar with this part of the iPod family, the iPod Touch is a complete touchscreen, just like the iPhone. And with my computer currently in the shop, I’ve been using it more than ever. I can send and receive email, browse the internet, play games, all while listening to my favorite songs. And as of less than an hour ago, the iPod Touch and iPhone will soon get a lot better. Apple just announced software update 3.0. This offers more than 100 new features to make the iPhone much more useful. One exciting new feature is the ability to copy & paste. I will soon be able to copy one of my few thousand pictures and send it to a friend in an email with just a click of the screen. Apple also enabled Multimedia Messaging Support (MMS). This enables you to send and receive information a lot easier. The new software that would probably help me the most is Wi-Fi automatic login. Whenever I use my iPod Touch to surf the internet, I need to log in to Loyola’s wireless network. This only takes a minute, but those minutes can really add up and will make my life a lot easier.
As I said, there are over 100 new features with this software update, so I could go on and on about the shake & shuffle, audio recording, search options, Bluetooth support, among others. Individually, these updates would not be that groundbreaking. But as a collective group, this software update just strengthens the lead that the iPhone has over its smartphone competitors. I know millions and millions of people are obsessed with their Blackberry devices, but the iPhone has so many features and capabilities it is almost untouchable in some aspects. No other smartphone can have so much on it at the same time. You can play browse the REAL internet (compared to other smartphones that offer basic and dumbed down versions), check your email, go on instant messenger, see all your pictures, listen to music, watch movies, and even play Pac-Man. If an unbiased person entered the market for smartphones, I don’t see any reason why a Blackberry would be better. Of course, this opinion is coming from an owner (and huge fan) of an iPod and Mac computer. But this new software takes an already remarkable product and makes it better.


Cloud Computing: Counting Nebulae Or A New Business Idea?

As students, none of us really have to worry about serious number crunching, data retrieval, or data analysis, but as we grow older and start applying for serious jobs with serious companies these will be just a few of many tasks put on our shoulders. The only problem is everytime things like this will occur we will have to run back to the office,maybe late at night, just to make sure we get the job done, or do we.
One of the new ideas that has come from the minds of us screenagers is "Cloud Computing", a growing service compromised of various networks and resources, provided over the internet. In layman's terms this service provides the resources, networks, service providers (Google, Yahoo, Amazon), softwares, platforms, and infrastructures you need as a business person to get work done anywhere necessary. The idea is that all the information need is provided for over the internet and never needs to be saved or transfered because it will always be accesible.
I for one think this is a fantastic idea; instead of worrying about running around trying to find data or a system that supports the work you are trying to accomplish all that is needed is an internet connection. Security and safety are the biggest concerns of large corporations, however, the idea of the "Cloud" is that no information or data is saved at the workstation or on the computer you were using, it is only available in the cloud.
Having this technology will help all sorts of business grow due to faster production and more efficient work. It may cause a little anxiety at first because a boss may call early in the morning asking to see the numbers for a new deal, but as "Cloud Counting" advances the speed, performance, and reliability of it will increase and the ease of using it will too. Instead of being on vacation and trying to find a computer for work it will be done in twenty minutes using your cell phone so you don't have to worry about leaving the beach. "Cloud Counting" is the next great idea for the way business will be done and will be exciting to see how it is incorporated into the work place.


Peter Dobrowski

Paperless Books


The article I reviewed was about the new innovations in books: the book without paper. New technologies, like the Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader, and even the ever popular Iphone have been developed to allow users to download books, much like we download music, onto a portable reader. The Kindle and The Reader both come with 100 books from out of copyright sources, and an Itunes like store allows you to browse, purchase, and download more reads of your choice.
Usually, the reading materials that I carry with me are newspapers or magazines, both of which I can't imagine reading from a phone-sized medium. Personally, if I'm sitting on the train on my morning commute, whats the difference if I take out my paperback, or whip out my Iphone to read a book? Books are better off being read from something that's tangible; it makes the experience all that more important.
Moreover, I couldn't imagine laying on the beach in the blazing sun without a real book in my hand. Half the time I can't even see the screen of my cell phone when it's that sunny out let alone read a the full text of a novel off a 3 inch glare-covered screen.

Oracles Launches New Version of Mantas

Oracle has recently launched a new version of its already popular Mantas. This new software is an improvement on the already existing Mantas. The Oracle Mantas Behavior Detection Platform provides its user with the most complete financial crime management process oversight by using all key dimensions including detection, prevention, investigation, and resolution in multiple channels, jurisdictions, lines of businesses, and customer life-cycle stages. The new update will allow its users access to more protection and preventions functions, enhanced investigations through the enterprise-level case management as well as alert and event correlation for financial crime. This basically allows the users to monitor the smallest financial transactions. It will also allow its users to use new interactive dashboards and better queries. The basic components of the system will be there but the new feature will revolutionize the way financial crime prevention will take place. In essence this new version is almost completely new because of these several key aspects. These new capabilities allow institutions to more easily use information from multiple sources, further preventing financial crime. This new technology allows its user to take financial info and then by using this info it can prevent or detect the crime that might or is already happening.

This new software looks great, unless you are someone who wants to defraud a bank or other financial institution. The basics are back for Mantas but along with this already proven technology there are new aspects. This new aspects seem to make it easier for a bank or financial institution to detect and prevent fraud. This is a good thing because that means that peoples’ hard earned money well be guarded even better. This will also allow these financial institutions to worry more about making people and themselves money then people stealing that same money from them. Like I said this new software looks to revolutionize the prevention and detection of financial crime. This is great for all unless you are the one’s committing the crime.


Focus on Software of a Camera's Output

Focus on Software
of a Camera's Output

Innovation: What next after the megapixel wars?

By: Tom Simonite

Digital cameras steadily improve every day with more options, more megapixels, and overall better quality. However, for the average person, all these extra are not really that necessary and useful. The new technology rests within the software of what these digital cameras produce: pictures.

Pictures are becoming closer and closer to the interactive, real-life pictures and portraits of the fantasy Harry Potter! With new programs, such as Microsoft's Photosynth, the pictures we take can be made into a 3D environment. As Simonite mentions, the pictures we now view are even better than seeing the sights in a video in action.

I actually experienced this application myself and must agree. Recently, I was able to see many of the sights and buildings in Florence, Italy. I took photos and video too. Reviewing the photos through Photosynth, I discovered much more within the sights even though I had been present to see them in person. The details of the statues, exterior of the building, and the ceilings were better viewed and enjoyed through Photo Tourism (software used to better the experience of viewing a photo collection). The following website explains how Photo Tourism works: http://phototour.cs.washington.edu/findingpaths/.

A better description of Photosynth:

Photosynth analyzes each photo for similarities to the others, and uses that data to build a model of where the photos were taken. It then re-creates the environment and uses that as a canvas on which to display the photos."


The new technology associated with Photosynth is better understood through actually experiencing it for yourself. At first, I was not able to grasp the new technology until I watched multiple videos displaying the capabilies and the actual environment just regular digital photos could create.

The new technology with digital camera software has a lot of potentional compared to the actual hardware of a digital camera. The camera can only be improved so much and with the discovery of programs such as Photosynth, the extra megapixels and other options are not ever necessary.

I do however, think that improvements within the settings division of digital cameras can be improved. Often times, I fail to take decent pictures with low light or scenic sights with city lights. I mean with all the digital cameras I somehow break the price to pay for another decent one (with the great settings expensive digital cameras have) can still be lowered! I am sure these improvements will take place as digital camera companies still need to make money even though there is not so much money to make with limited room to improve. If these companies are smart, they would look to invest into software for digital camera output that are specific to their products. Soon the software could be added inside the actual digital camera and could be viewed in the palm of your hand on that LCD screen. Digital cameras have taken a new turn and I think there will be a lot more to come with the software programs such as Photosynth. Maybe one day our pictures and portraites will be how they really are in Harry Potter!

Heather Cooke

A helpful video explaining Photosynth:


Site of article: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16770-innovation-what-next-after-the-megapixel-wars.html

Photosynth website: http://photosynth.net/default.aspx

Dell's Adamo? I dunno...

Dell has just responded to the Macbook Air with its launch of the Adamo. The Adamo has met tons of hype on the blogosphere since Dell's exhibit at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Does it deliver? Well, the Adamo is 13.03 inches wide, 9.5 inches deep and uniformly o.65 inches thick, as compared to the Air's 12.8 inch width, 8.94 inch depth, and average thickness of 0.46 inches. So does this mean that the Adamo won't fit into Steve Jobs now famous manila envelope? In short, yes. First, the Adamo is one pound heavier than the Air, weight which Wired's blogger adds "makes itself felt." So what do you get with these extra fractions of an inch and poundage? Dell's Adamo comes with comes with a 1.2 GHz Intel Core2Duo processor, 2 GB memory, a 128GB hard drive, along with 2 USB ports. Reps from the company said that the goal of the Adamo was not to create the most lightweight notebook (citing its 2-pound Latitude for that accomplishment), but to find the highest quality balance between weight, size, and ability. Personally, I think the coolest thing about the Adamo is its keyboard, which Wired refers to as "scalloped." Basically, all the keys are almost completely flat and touching, with each letter or symbol neatly centered on each square tile. For the guitar-video game inclined, the Adamo's keys are similar to the keys on the Rock Band guitars, as compared to the standard computer's keyboard, which I'd compare to those of the Guitar Hero guitars. 

While the Macbook Air officially ranges from $2,499 to $1,799, I found offers as low as $2,399 and $1,299 (!) for new versions of the Air's respective models on Amazon. On the other hand, the Adamnthatsexpensivemo has a price tag of $2,700 for the works or $2,000 for just the meat. While I'm sure PCers have been waiting to have an Air-equivalent to call their own, myself more or less included, I got my current HP (that I love) for just over $800 with a two year all inclusive warranty. 

I think I'll hold out for the lightweight HP.

Lasers to Create 'Miniature Sun' in Hunt for Clean Energy

Scientists have forever wondered about the power of the sun, and how we can harness its power.  It seems as though we may be closer than ever to achieving this feat.  At the National Ignition Facility (NIF) in Livermore, California, scientists have developed a laser that concentrates 1000 times the electric generating power of the entire United States into one billionth of a second.  The scientists that are in charge of the experiment are planning on firing 192 separate lasers at a tiny pellet of hydrogen only slightly larger than the head of a pin.  The goal is an explosion in the 32-foot wide chamber that will hopefully produce at least 10 times the amount of energy used to create it.  

The ultimate goal of this project is to harness the power of the sun and recreate the conditions that exist indie of it.  However, in order to accomplish this goal, the laser must be sent through almost a mile of lenses, mirrors, and amplifiers in so that it can amplify the beam to 10 billion times more powerful than a household lightbulb.  The hope behind this endeavor is that the ability to create this massive amount of energy will create a cleaner source of energy that will alleviate many social, economic, and global problems.  The attempts to get the power of nuclear fusion goes back all the way to 1905 to Albert Einstein's E=mc squared equation.  The only places that have been able to create nuclear fusion-esque environments are nuclear weapons and in highly unstable plasmas in strong magnetic fields.  The scientists at NIF are impatient to get this project completed as fast they possibly can.  

I think that the implications of this are extremely important for the future of the world as a whole.  The creation of fusion power would essentially produce a way for there to be a self-sustaining energy form that can power so many other things as well.  I think that this could potentially be a really important revelation for our world.  The notion that man could achieve the power of the sun is something that I never would have dreamed possible.  It is, however, something that must be approached with a great deal of caution.  This sort of "amplified laser" sounds like something straight out of a James Bond movie to be used as a weapon against the world.  I just think that this power must be used responsibly.  In addition to this, I could potentially see this as a potential target for a future terrorist attack.  The explosive power of these facilities is something that would probably take out a fairly large radius.  In the end I think that this, if successful, will usher in a new age of energy management.



Skin Burning Laser Guns for the Police?

Police May Soon Use Pain Guns That Heat Skin With Microwaves
by Eliza Strickland of Discovery Magazine's Technology Department


According to the Justice Department's research and development agency, we may soon see policemen and women armed with laser or microwave guns. These non lethal "pain guns," are based upon the Pentagon's Active Denial System (ADS) that shoots a beam of short microwaves that burn the surface of the skin. The Justice Department is currently working on two guns. The PHaSR (Personnel Halting and Stimulation Response), that looks like a weapon from the movie, Starship Troopers, "uses an infra-red laser to heat a patch of skin about 4 inches in diameter, and pairs that heat with another bright laser that dazzles the eyes." The PHaSR is big and bulky and seems like it would be difficult to carry around, so I don't see it being that effective if the person carrying it has to change positions while fending off rioters. The second weapon is a down-sized version of the PHaSR that only has a range of about a meter, but has a stronger wave that can go through clothing and burn the skin.

The guns, according to the Pentagon, will "elicit a repel response," making the targeted person want to escape the beam. These guns could be used to control rioters, and I am sure there are many other situations where this type of non lethal force would prove effective. However, the cons greatly outweigh the pros.

At the most basic level; these microwave guns are just another weapon that can be used to inflict excruciating pain to a person. As the security expert, Steve Wright, puts it, the guns are "torture at the touch of a button." Just as there are many cases involving the misuse of tasers by police to inflict unwarranted pain, there will obviously be the same troubles with the microwave gun. Not all law enforcement personnel are first class citizens, and the temptation to use the microwave gun as a form of torture will be just as strong as it is with the taser.

Non lethal force of any kind is better than lethal force, but you think the government could come up with something other than microwaves and lasers. If the microwaves we use at home are not something we want running through our body, why would microwaves that burn our skin be any better?

New Battery Could Recharge in Seconds

This article is about a new battery developed by researchers at MIT. The new battery uses a lithium phosphate material instead of the traditional Lithium batteries we find in cell phones today. This material creates a “fast lane” for ions to move around in. The new coating material allows the ions to move around at unimaginable rates. The remarkable speed of the charge requires the battery to receives a large amount of current. In the past high currents have led to high temperatures, which reduces the battery’s life. Researchers assure that this will not occur in these new batteries. They did a 50-charge/recharge cycle and confirmed there was nearly no drop in the battery life. 

This new battery has the potential to make a big impact. It could alter life in so many ways. In merely seconds a cell phone sized battery could easily be charged. No longer would you have to worry about waiting to charge you cell phone or computer before you go out.  Also hybrid cars could be charged more efficiently, ultimately making them cheaper.

Another edge this new battery holds is that is doesn’t loose its life over time. Many people are used to having to replace laptop or cell phone batteries over time because they no longer hold a charge. Researchers say this won’t happen with these batteries.

The article also goes into the production of the batteries. Although some say the batteries do no compare to ultra capacitors, Ceder, head of MIT research, is optimistic. He believes his batteries could be out in the market in two to three years. A123 Systems and Umicore have already licensed to the batteries.

I thought this article was really cool. Personally it is always a hassle to wait for my phone, laptop, or any other electronic device to charge. I usually forget and am pressed for time, so this would be a great solution to my problem. Also the fact that it wouldn’t loose its life capacity would be fantastic. Freshman year I got a brand new dell laptop and by the end of the year the battery was shot. It only held a charge for 30 minutes before dying.

One thing that makes me hesitant about the batteries is the amount of electrical current they require. Since they are only charging for seconds they must require a massive amount of electricity. If that much electricity is needed at one time it makes me question whether it will be possible. I don’t know if an outlet could provide that much at once. Also I was thinking that potentially burnouts or brownouts could occur. When looking into this further it said that in order to charge a hybrid car, it would take 5 minutes and 180kW, which is very unpractical.(1)



Memory Switch Could Enable Brain Hacks

What will they come up with next? Researchers believe that not only are they coming to understand the brain and its functions, but have finally began to open up the doors needed to be able to better some of its functions. They say that they have “found a telltale mental signature that predicts whether an experience will be remembered” (Wired). Emrah Duzel, one of the researchers, said that the signals found are located in the medical temporal lobe, and although they don’t completely understand how these functions work, they believe they have figure out when they will or won’t. The article goes on to explain that by deciphering this mental signal, a person can actually know when their brains will be retaining the information that they are processing, and when they will most likely not. They have found that at different times, the brain is sometimes in a good state for remembering, and at other times, it is not “primed” for such activity.

It is believed that the reason for the brain’s multiple memory states happen for a reason. At times, the brain prepares to learn new things, and at other times, it is ready to further understand information that it already has come into contact with. The research method used included a magneto encephalograph. 24 test subjects participated, and had their brain’s magnetic fluctuations recorded. When it was time to remember something, changes in theta waves occurred, and then at a later time, if the idea was remembered or not, the results were associated with the previous theta wave readings. In order to know when a brain is primed for such activity, an electronic application can be used, which can detect such signals. One possibility stated is for people to use one of the new technology all-in-one favorites, the iPhone.

In my opinion, this is the most interesting piece of technology information I have ever come into contact with. I believe it further links technology with the study of biology, and shows that human inventions will show us the way to understanding ourselves, as well as the functions we perform continuously. I would love to know when I was in different memory states, it would make studying for school much more efficient. I do see a negative impact that this could have, however. If this technology became available, students with more resources, such as money, would have a greater potential for higher grades. Also, a person might have great grades, due to knowing when to studying, but will that mean they are actually a smart person ready to work for a very complicated job when they will have to be able to process different types of information at any time of the day? We can only wait and see!


Polyurethane Coating Could Make Self-Healing Car Paint

A chemist at the University of Southern Mississippi, Marek Urban explains that there is a new substance that could save numerous surfaces; it is a polyurethane coat that “heals itself” when exposed to ultraviolet light (sunlight). It can coat anything scratch-able, including cars, airplanes, electronics, etc. Meaning that anything with the coating will last longer and look newer without having to be repaired or updated.

This polyurethane compound is fairly new to the market, but certainly is not the first of its kind; in 2001, researchers at the University of Illinois studied synthetic material by embedding “tiny liquid-filled capsules” into a polymer coating (similar to what is used in paints). When the coating was damaged, for example, cracked, the mini capsules burst and spilled healing agents into the area, which repaired the damage.

Four years later, Scott White, one of the scientists from U. of Illinois, founded a company, Autonomic Materials, Inc. that is working towards introducing these self-healing materials to the market in the near future.

The tiny capsules are part of one of many methods being tested; UCLA and USC scientists created a compound that heals itself (much like the previously mentioned compound) but instead of UV rays, this coat responds to high temperatures. Both coatings are similar in that they need external stimuli to begin the “healing process.”

Urban and his co-author Biswajit Ghosh (also from U. of Southern Mississippi) produced the compound by mixing chitosan (a derivative of chitin, the main component of exoskeletons in crustaceans such as crabs and lobsters) into polyurethane. Then, they made tiny nicks in the material and exposed it to UV light close to an intensity produced by the sun. Once exposed to the radiation, a series of reactions occurred and the damaged molecules linked to each other, as if rebuilding themselves. In total, the healing took about 30 minutes.

Although still in testing, this new technology seems promising, especially since it’s not moisture-sensitive, meaning the coating should work in numerous different climates. Urban says that this coating is also economical—which is great to hear these days—because the chitosan is very inexpensive. The only drawback as of now is that the coating can only repair itself once. However, this is still a step in a positive direction.

I can’t think of a better out-of-the-box example of technology. The broad definition of technology is that it is a demonstration of how animals use knowledge and tools to adapt to and improve upon their environments. Think of any automobile driver: I’m sure that more likely than not, he/she has gotten a ding or scratch in a car’s paint while driving around. Everyone gets bumps and bruises while putting their cars through the "wear and tear" of the road. This coating is a great concoction that no doubt will be further developed in the future. Now it’s self-healing polyurethane coating, next, it could be something even better. That’s the beauty of technology; if you wait long enough or work hard enough, something new and different will come along and improve old ideas even more.


Tiny New iPod Shuffle Talks to You

The iPod shuffle, already one of the smallest mp3 players on the market, has gotten even smaller.  Except now, it speaks too.  The new Shuffle is not only much smaller (in fact, it only has one button – the rest are on the headphones themselves), but it now boasts storage of 4 gigabytes, a 400% increase from its 1GB predecessor, which attracts many more customers because 1GB just doesn’t cut it for most avid music listeners.

            The most intriguing thing about this new product is the new “VoiceOver” function.  This feature will, upon your request, read out the name of the artist and song you are listening to, as well as the rest of the upcoming songs on the playlist.  Since the “shuffle” is named because it randomly picks a song for you as you go, this can be a helpful feature.  By hearing what songs are coming up next, it gives the listener the option to skip right up to what they want to hear, instead of just hoping that the next song is something they’ll be in the mood for.

            This new VoiceOver technology is enabled when you sync your iPod to your iTunes.  So not only are you transferring music, but also a computer-generated voice right into your portable device.  VoiceOver boasts 14 different languages that include English, Spanish, and Mandarin.

            New consumers will have to sacrifice approximately two hours of battery life and pony up an extra $30 (from $50 to $80) for the newest mp3 from Apple.  Yet, the development of the VoiceOver technology and the mass space increase should generate plenty of buyers for the new iPod shuffle.


Tiny New iPod Shuffle Talks to You

Unified Computing System to cut costs in rough economy

On March 16, Cisco Systems introduced a new data center architecture named the Unified Computing System. Cisco’s new architecture, composed of numerous new Cisco hardware products like blade servers, an interconnection “fabric,” a chassis for the blade servers, fabric extenders and network adapters, are designed to work together to limit the number of servers within a company (Reardon 1). The Unified Computing System is designed to unify networking, computing, storage, and virtualization resources in order to reduce its total cost of ownership, “radically reduce” the number of devices requiring management, and reduce other labor and financial expenditures as a result (Skillings 1).

Cisco’s new product is being debuted at the perfect time for a more efficient server, when all companies are looking for ways to cut costs and cut back spending. With the economy suffering, any new technology that limits the need for expenditures and man power is certainly popular in the business world. The only question is whether businesses will ditch their current business technologies and servers in favor of the new Unified Computing system, as this will require a substantial expenditure. The question comes down to whether companies see a benefit in the long-run of cutting server size despite the initial cost, or whether they will maintain the status quo and hope that the markets improve before long, thus enabling them to maintain spending.

According to Jon Oltsik, senior analyst at the Enterprise Strategy Group, Cisco’s UCS servers will successfully cut the amount of storage space, cooling, and power needed to run the equipment as compared to other servers (Oltsik 1). This technology only further pushes this system’s capability to save a company money in numerous different avenues, making it that much more appealing. Additionally, Cisco manages the entire UCS virtual data center with one management platform. Cisco management can be integrated with other management platforms from vendors like BMC (Oltsik 1). Not only will Cisco’s new system cut costs due to the requirement of less hardware, but also will not require any new management platform for some businesses.

According to Cisco’s CTO Padmasree Warrior, “We are going to compete with HP. I don’t want to sugarcoat that. There is bound to be a change in the landscape of who you compete with and who you partner with.” One could argue that Cisco has the upper hand in their partnerships, thus making them more promising for the long-run. Cisco has teamed up with BMC, EMC, VMware (who is an industry leader in the cloud-computing phenomenon), and most importantly, Microsoft. Financial-services industry expert Larry Dignan points to this new competition as one that is very beneficial for businesses across the United States. According to Dignan, the clash of major technology experts will not only lead to better products, but also cheaper prices for consumers (Dignan 1).

Essentially, Cisco is cornering the market of any business encountering server problems in this economy. Any business looking to improve capabilities will certainly do so with their bottom line in mind, and any system that will cut costs on so many different levels will certainly be popular in the industry.




"Don't Even Think About Lying: How Brain Scans are Reinventing the Science of Lie Detection" by Steven Silberman


Is it possible that a machine developed to visualize brain activity for medical research could become the next generation lie detector machine? FMRI machines were developed over ten years ago, and use functional magnetic resonance imaging to map the brain's networks while a person processes “thoughts, sensations, memories, and motor commands.” FMRI makes it possible for neurologists to detect early signs of disorders, locate brain tumors, assess new drugs and treatments, and pinpoint important parts of the brain before surgery. However, today the fMRI is being transformed into the new lie detector, using the same technology to detect cognitive differences in the brain when a person lies and tells the truth. This technology is said to be much more accurate than the polygraph lie detectors, which relies on the stress level of the person taking the test as well as the interrogation tactics of the person asking the questions. The developers of No Lie fMRI found 97% accuracy when using the machine with men and women who were asked to tell a lie or a truth. Scientists state that the regions of the brain that become activated during deception require more activity, and light up more than the areas activated when truth is told. This is because in order to tell a lie, the brain must first “stop itself from telling the truth, then generate the deception...” This process is easy to detect because when a person lies, there is more blood flow to the brain which becomes more oxygenated, and the functional imaging used by the machine allows a powerful magnetic field to make these cognitive functions visible to researchers. Mainly this technology is available to innocent people who want to purchase the services to prove that they are guilty, however it will become commercialized which could result in average Americans using the machine to uncover a cheating spouse or even dishonest business practices. The new No Lie fMRI has the ability to drastically change our security systems, judicial systems, law enforcement systems, and the way we live in today’s society. Scientists see the uses for the machine in "crime and society at large, in defense, and even for the insurance industry." The creators hope to have the fMRI tests used as evidence in court rooms, however many are concerned about the ethical implications this may have. People worry about the ability of the government to invade the personal privacy of our minds, comparing this type of control to the government in George Orwell’s 1984.

I agree that this technology would be great for helping those wrongfully accused prove their innocence; however, I do not think the technology has been tested thoroughly enough for American’s to fully rely on. I think that there are many questions that need to be asked about the accuracy of this type of technology. Do stress levels affect brain movements that would affect the precision of results? Does the existence of mental disorders, similar to those that many serial killers and rapists have change the neural movements in the brain that would be able to triumph over the fMRI? Is there any way to beat the fMRI system, the way that expert liars learned to beat the polygraph system? Does the use of drugs during the detection process have any effect on the outcome? All of these questions are important when analyzing the accuracy of a machine such as this. There are also other problems I found during research that would hider the use of the fMRI machine in daily activities. These machines are very large, and therefore are not portable or easy to transport, and they are also very expensive. In addition, the slight shake of the head or movement could also disrupt the procedure and affect the results.

This upcoming technology is definitely worth investigating and researching further, but I agree with the many critics of the No Lie fMRI that there are many aspects that need to be studied further. I think that in the future this type of machine could be very useful in our society, but has the potential to be very harmful at the same time if misused. I am interested to see what will come of the fMRI, and if it will spawn the development of even more accurate and even more portable lie detection technologies.

Sources: http://scienceline.org/2008/11/03/ask-intagliata-lie-detection-fmri-brain-scan/

Monday, March 16, 2009

USB 3.0, the "Superspeed USB"

Who doesn't use USB devices? Printers, flash drives, and external hard drives, and even novelties like mug warmers use the Universal Serial Bus port. With the exception of the RJ-45 network cable and the classic 3.5mm sound connections, USB is the one port that hasn't undergone a major physical revision since it was created in 1996. Video connectors have changed from VGA to DVI, Serial and Parallel port connections are now purely for legacy devices, and even Firewire connections are now outdated. Firewire was originally for Macs, but since the release of USB 2.0, even the hardware-specific Mac market couldn't deny the dominance of the USB connector.

USB 3.0, aka "Superspeed USB," is the next upgrade to the connection. The upgrade is mainly a major increase in speed. USB 2.0 had a maximum transfer rate of 480MB/s, while USB 3.0 will top out at 4.8GB/s - 10 times faster than its predecessor. However, the engineers at Intel also managed to add more power to USB powered devices like iPods. They achieved these two improvements by adding two more connections to the regular 4 prong connector, making a total of six. The Superspeed connections will also be backwards compatible with USB 2.0, 1.1, and 1.0 just like the previous revision was older devices.

The earliest that consumers will be able to experience the 10x increase in speed will be in 2010. The 'spec,' or standard is nearly finished. Of course, by 2010, HiDef video and external hard drives will be common, and the increased bandwidth that USB 3.0 provides will be essential to reduce wait times. So in under a year you may be able to copy your entire music library onto your iPod in under a minute, or move hundreds of movies to your hard drive in under ten, and you'll have USB 3.0, or "Superspeed USB" to thank.

Source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/152683-3/future_tech.html#4

Electric Car Whiz Builds World's First Plug-In Hybrid Speedboat

I am sure many people have heard about the Aptera electric three-wheeled car, but what about the Epic 23e? The Epic 23e is the newest wake boat developed by Chris Anthony of Epic Boats. The boat's characteristics that separate itself from what is already out in the market is its Flux Propulsion EVO 8.1 Marine Drive System, which allows for the boat to run on rechargeable lithium ion batteries. The only time the gas engine is used is when it recharges these batteries that allow for the boat to run for four hours at a time. Currently, there is a lot of media directing towards the need of being more green on the road, but with this invention, people now have the option to stay green on water!

It is said that the Epic 23e will result in as much as a 50% reduction in fuel and a 90% drop in carbon monoxide emissions--a huge step towards the advancement of becoming a more green world. Although this boat offers the great characteristic of battery power, the developers thought that by adding a touch screen interface, GPS speed control, and an entertainment system, there is much confidence that the Epic 23e will attract many customers. However, with every great gadget in this world, there is always one glitch and in Anthony's case the price factor may cause many customers to turn away from his product. The estimated price for the Epic 23e is $150,000 when it is introduced to the market in July, but there has been comments made toward a more improved product in the future only costing $70,000.

Excluding the price factor, I believe the Epic 23e will be very successful in the boating market. Not only does it offer the opportunity to become more green, now, it is easier to maintain power for the boat since it runs on a rechargeable battery. In addition, this wake boat promises the high speed that previous wake boats offer, so the customers do not have to sacrifice their "need for speed" with this new product. I would be very surprised if the Epic 23e fails because it offers a way for people to have fun out on the open waters while saving our planet.


Wireless Electricity, Not So Far Off


Many people absolutely hate how many power cords they have going to power strips all over their houses. They get tangled up and are impossible to maneuver. Now imagine a world where all your electronic devices can be charged wirelessly. That is what this article is about. Recently there has been a movement from various tech companies to create pads which will charge other devices that have a matching pad. This would make it much easier to keep all of your electronics organized because you will never have to fumble around in powercords.

Different variations of this invention are being developed. Early stages that are close to being on the market are simple and can only power one device per pad. New developments are taking place to try to create household items such as tables which have integrated pads and would be able to charge all electronic items placed on it.

Overall I think this is a very good and an extremely profitable idea. Being able to eliminate power strips from your home or office will save space and allow the area to look more organized. If in the future they are able to create a form of this wireless power that can be attached to any device, I believe it more than likely would become the new standard.

Gigapixel photos with a Digital Camera.

There are three ways to capture a moment. 1) By trying your best to memorize it all. 2) By taking a picture of it and 3) by videotaping it. Since memory does not serve the majority of us well, and video cameras are too much of a hassle, the majority of us resort to taking pictures. A new technology that is taking the world by storm is the Gigapan. The Gigapan was developed at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a tripod robot that fits with your standard digital camera, takes thousands of pictures at maximum zoom and then later with a photo stitching software, puts them all together to form a very high resolution and detailed panorama. Its capabilities and works are amazing. It is simply incredible the detail that can be seen with the Gigapan. With all the positives, there are a few negatives with the Gigapan. The problem lies with the very large and spectacular panoramas. Only a very powerful desktop computer will be able to handle such creations. Another problem lies in printing these photos. It is impossible to see the detail of the photo when printed. So then you question is, what’s the point of taking these spectacular pictures if you can’t print them? The answer is for your friends and family to enjoy on website designed specifically to hold such spectacular pictures.
At a price just about 400 dollars, I would say you’re getting your money’s worth.

This is an example of what the Gigapan can do. It was used to capture President Obama's Inaugural Address. It is seemingly effortless trying to count the 50 stars on the third flag hanging from the building.


This is another example of the capabilities of the Gigapan. You can easily see those two well dressed business men standing in the courtyard having a business discussion.




World's First Air-Powered Car: Zero Emissions by Next Summer

What if the world no longer relied on fossil fuels? Thanks to ex-Formula One engineer Guy Nègre, the answer to this question is in the near future. This car runs by forcing compressed air through traditional pistons much similarly to a regular gas engine, but without the combustion and harmful exhaust. Since there is no more combustion in pistons, engines can be made from different materials that will allow for a more efficient a lighter way to power a car. Not only will these engines be cheaper to produce, but they will also be cheaper to fuel. MDI, the producer of this vehicle, estimates that it will cost a mere $2 to fill the carbon-fiber air tanks with 340 liters of air at 4350 psi. Or if the owner can’t find a location to do this, they can simply plug the car in at home for 4 hours, compared the 3 minutes it would take to fill at a station. The one downside, the car can only reach max speeds of 68 mph, but how fast do you really need to go when traveling by air pressure.

With all of this said, who wouldn’t sign up for one? Many countries have already jumped on the idea of an air-powered vehicle including India. Roughly 6000 zero emissions vehicles were scheduled to hit the streets of India in August of 2008. This article says that America will not likely jump on the bandwagon but due to increasing popularity in other countries and increasing oil prices many believe that the air car will soon hit US shores.



New Battery Could Recharge in Seconds

This article by Wired Magazine chronicles the work of researchers at MIT. The progress that has been made in battery technology by MIT is truly extraordinary. The new battery works similar to the traditional Lithium Ion battery that most phones and computers use. The difference is that a new material is used to coat that Lithium Ion battery and this material an Iron Phosphate allows energy to be much more quickly delivered from the energy source into the battery. These new batteries allow recharging at rates that are as higher as 100 times improved from traditional batteries. 
This new technology does have it's detractors however. Many say that due to the abnormally large amount of energy being transfered in a short period of time immense heat would be generated thus harming the staying power of the battery. This means that these new batteries could begin to lose their ability to hold the same amount of energy much quicker than traditional batteries. MIT's study did however addressee this issue, they said that in their findings the batteries could be charged 50 times without any loss to their energy storage capacities. The article mentions that for many less common items charging is needed upwards of hundreds of times per day. For items such as this, these new batteries would be invaluable.  
There are also worries about transferring this technology from purely research based and into consumer markets. The author of the article, Alexis Madrigal likens the process of moving these batteries from prototypes into mass production as similar to recreating home cooking in a school cafeteria. The two process are very different and even have different properties and methods. This is to say the conditions and costs that allow researchers at MIT to create these batteries may be very different from those that any major producer may have. This has not stopped two firms from buying up the rights to these type of batteries in an attempt to put these into production. So while there are many barriers there is still hope that in a few years time we will be seeing these super batteries coming to mainstream use. 

By: Alexis Madrigal Wired Magazine March 11, 2009

Teaching Robot Scolds Unruly Students


Imagine sending your children to school where instead of a human teacher providing them with their education, a robot does. In the future, as a result of a researcher in Japan, this may happen. The researcher has developed a robot that can carry out tasks such as calling roll, scolding students, and praises students. In addition, unlike other robots, the robot's face can portray six emotions, allowing the robot to be more human like. Students have responded to the robot through laughter and crying, which may be a result of the more human like appearance. A benefit of this robot would help alleviate the stress of labor shortage problems in certain countries, but experts and professors are still skeptical about having robots teach children. They argue that robots can replace human intelligence, and humans as role models. If technology allows us to use robots as an additional resource to help children learn and the elderly have better care, I think we should utilize the technology, but I do not think that robots should completely take over these roles. Without actual human contact with a teacher, students will lose subconscious social lessons and most certainly will lose information a human teacher possesses that a programmed robot does not.

Online Ads: Will Fewer, but Bigger, Be Better?

Robert D. Hol’s article, “Online Ads: Will Fewer, but Bigger, Be Better?” is about how numerous popular Web publishers are adopting a new display-ad format that they expect will captivate viewers and ultimately increase revenues. In the past few years, search advertisements have been booming while online display ads have decreased. The Online Publishers Association (OPA) announced last week that there will be three new display-ad formats that will hopefully engage readers more fully and allow online publishers to charge advertisers more. The new display ads will be bigger than standard display ads and will be more interactive. A unique aspect about the new ads is that it will allow viewers to bookmark them the same way one can bookmark a website, that way the viewer can go back to them at a later time. The article goes into further detail describing the “trio of new display-ad formats.” A few of the major Web publishers that are going to use the new ads are BusinessWeek, The New York Times, Time, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, USA Today, and several others that will, in total, account for two-thirds of the U.S. Internet audience. I think the new display-ads will catch on and definitely engage viewers more. I know that I personally ignore advertisements that I see on websites and cannot recall the last time I clicked one on the side of a web site. With fewer but bigger advertisements per page one may be more likely to focus in on the specific ad. These new display-ads will be an alternative to the “cheap ads” on many sites that “many premium sites think are devaluing their ad space.” The article goes on to talk about the ads taking over more of the screen and “in a potentially interruptive way for the user. If they annoy more than they engage, such ads could backfire.” I have the same concern regarding the ads because if the new interactive advertisement appears and maybe is too crazy or annoying it could cause the viewer to become annoyed and leave the site. The new ads are meant to “give more room for creativity to brand marketers” which could lead to advertisements that are too crazy or too outrageous. Andres Combuechen, CEO and chief creative officer of Atmosphere BBDO, the digital agency of agency giant BBDQ said, “The industry needs something new to get reinvigorated.” If the web has been lacking in innovation in this field I think it is a good idea to look towards alternative options. Marketers these days measure the success of advertisements by measuring the number of clicks, but how the new advertisements success will be measured is still unknown. Many believe that the web has become a “sewer” and that it needs to be renovated with new innovative aspects, such as these new display-ads. The new display-ads will hopefully give advertisers more “flexible, creative ways to engage with potential customers.”


Sprint Nextel's Latest Smartphone

Sprint released the brand new LG Rumor2 phone on Sunday, March 15, the newest smartphone available at this time. This slider provides a way to manage messages and voice calls. It includes a full QWERTY keypad (when open) and an alpha numeric keypad for easy texting and voice calls. The display is 1.2 by 1.61 inches. There are many improvements over the last Rumor. The screen resolution has increased. Sprint Nextel has realized America’s dependency on texting, and has added another row of keys to make this process easier. This new phone has an extra battery cover and backplate to allow customization for all buyers. It is also “stereo Bluetooth compatible”. The phone sells for $50 dollars (after rebate) with a two year service agreement. Comparable smartphones, such as the Blackberry storm, sell for $200 or more after rebates. It will be available in standard Titanium Black and Vibrant Blue. The phone is 4.4 by 2.1 inches and is .7 of an inch thick when closed. The phone weighs 4.23 ounces. The phone is perfect for music storage with a micro SD card slot which can hold 16GB. It provides the consumer with global positioning system navigation and access to email accounts. This inexpensive phone can support up to 5.5 hours of “talk time”. It has a camera with a 2x zoom which is 1.3 megapixels. By opening a plan with Sprint, users can sign up for the “Everything Messaging Plan”. This allows buyers unlimited text, video, and picture messaging, unlimited night and weekend minutes, unlimited mobile to mobile minutes, and 450 anytime minutes each month. This is 70 dollars less per month than a cell phone user would find with Verizon or AT&T. In these economic times, Sprint realizes provides great value for the customer by offering a top of the line phone and plan for such a low cost.


Mirror, Mirror...What's on TV?

Royal Philips Electronics has introduced a new product that may appear odd and peculiar at first but it can change the set up of homes and hotels in the near future. The Mirror TV is an LCD television display incorporated just inside of a mirror on the wall. The screen so far has been produced in 17 inch, 23 inch, and 30 inch dimensions. Philips has finally decided to commercialize the product after testing it in their “HomeLab” on prospective customers. The prospects were appealed to the potential ability to get the latest news and weather in the morning while they shaved, brushed their teeth, and got ready to start their day. This new technology combines two assets of a home and increases the efficiency of an individual before they head to work or school. The product has been tested among past customers and has met their needs and as a result Philips believes the product can be a success in the near future. Philips initially plans to market the product towards hotels with the idea of advertising the ability to save space in a smaller room in a trendy fashion.
I think this is a fascinating new product especially for hotels as well as homes of the future. Many hotels do not want to waste already limited space with a bulky television that will rarely be watched. Instead the hotel can combine the mirrors on the wall with the television and create a more spacious room for its guests. The wires and electronics of the television are hidden so it creates a stylish look to the room as well. The Mirror TV can be placed in the center of the room receiving great attention as the screen can be as large as thirty inches or it can be placed above a sink in the bathroom and watched as the person is getting ready to leave for the day or night. While the product may initially be more expensive than a standard television set the hotels can increase their price by advertising more spacious and up-to-date rooms. Along with hotels I believe the future of home design will be affected by this introduction of technology as well. Many homes emphasize large rooms with open space and by combining two common assets of a room this can save space and increase the value of the home. For the home versions of the Mirror TV Philips is hoping to implement a more advanced version that can connect wirelessly to the internet and provide up to the minute specific news for adults and cartoons for children. I think this can change the morning atmosphere of the future for everyone. Adults will gain more knowledge of the world heading into work and I believe this can improve their business decisions and increase their productivity. A price has not yet been set however based on the one- of-a-kind information the Mirror TV can provide, a smaller set is certainly valuable even in today’s economy. I truly believe the Mirror TV will have an impact on the future of hotel and home design and will significantly change the way each and every person begins their day and this can result in an improved and more productive day in the business world.


Article by: 21st Century Technology, Individual author unknown

Volvo's New Accident Avoidance Technology

This article is about a new technology in Volvo cars called "City Safety". It automatically brakes the car when a vehicle in front stops short. This technology could help avoid rear end accidents. it uses a radar to watch the traffic in front of the car. Director of the Volvo Cars Safety Centre, Ingrid Skogsmo states " This system offers benefits to all involved. For the occupents of the car in front, the risk of whiplash injuries is avoided and reduced, plus it can help reduce or even eliminate the cost of repairs to both vehicles". This "City Safety" feature will not be available for two more years, although currently Volvo introduced the Collision Warning and Brake Support. These current systems " alert the driver via audible and visual signals if the gap to the car in front is reducing so quickly that an impact is likely. It automatically pre-charges the braking system so that braking is as effective as possible in an emergency situation but it doesnt offer full auto-braking".
I think this City Safety technology would be great in all vehicles. Both my sister and I have been rear-ended this year. One of our cars was totalled and the our other car was hit from behind so hard that it hit the next car ( double insurance). Both of these accidents could have been avoided if the drivers had this technology in their car, or if they were paying attention to the road and red light ahead of them. It would also be great for rush hour traffic, which is when most people get rear-ended.


A New Spin on Battery Technology

This article discusses a revolutionary new battery technology that could greatly affect modern life. Researchers at the universities of Miami, Tokyo, and Tohoku have discovered a new type of battery. This new type of battery is charged by a very strong magnetic field. This field is called the Magnetic Tunnel Junction (MTJ) and it contains a set of nano-magnets that absorb energy and then release it over time. There were predictions made about how powerful and for how long this energy would last after being charged, but the predictions were way off. The voltage that the device produced was over a hundred times bigger than expected and for "tens of minutes", instead of the predicted milliseconds. If scientists can get to the bottom of the physics of how these batteries truly work, their uses can fit into many configurations. 
Another important thing about this new technology is that is "spin-polarized". What this means is that almost all of the electrons are spinning in one direction. This is big news because "spin logic" could work much faster and for much longer than even the best electronics made today. 
I think this would be a very important technology for the future of our society if we continue spending energy at the rate we are now. The government is taking steps to make everyday products more energy efficient, and if a technology like this can be perfected and made available for daily use, we would be able to cut down on wasted energy. From the way this article makes this technology sound, we aren't that far away from making this technology ready for mass production.