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The UCSB von Neumann quantum computer. The small black squares are the superconducting qub...

John Martinis’ research group at the University of California at Santa Barbara has created the first quantum computer with the quantum equivalent of conventional Von Neumann architecture. This general-purpose programmable quantum computer is realized using superconducting circuits and offers greater potential for large-scale quantum computing than the one-problem devices that have been demonstrated in this emerging field to date.  Read More

Light pulses (white spheres) traveling down the optical fiber can be converted into electr...

When data is transmitted as pulses of light along a fiber optic cable, chips at either end of that cable must convert the data from and back into an electronic signal - this is what allows an outgoing video image to be converted into light pulses, then back into video at the receiving end, for instance. There are a number of technical challenges in coupling chips to fibers, however. Now, an international team of scientists are developing an alternative ... fiber optics with the electronics built right into the fiber.  Read More

Unlike typical 3D printers, iModela carves rather than builds its models

3D printers are certainly hot technology these days, with machines like the Printrbot, MakerBot and Cubify launching on a regular basis. But while most of these devices focus on building something from the ground up, Roland DG has unveiled a new machine that does the exact opposite. Rather than slowly building a model by adding layers of material, the iModela iM-01 3D Modeling Machine carves its creations down from a larger block of material, like a small, automated sculptor.  Read More

A new type of radio frequency identification (RFID) tag doesn't have an antenna of its own...

Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags are definitely a handy way of tracking shipments. Instead of simply crossing their fingers and hoping for the best, importers and exporters can check the location and condition of shipped items in real time, by remotely accessing the data being transmitted by RFID tags attached to those items. Unfortunately, many such tags don't work on metal objects such as shipping containers or oil drums, as the metal interferes with the functioning of the tags' antennas. A new tag developed at North Dakota State University gets around that limitation, however - it uses the metal object as its antenna.  Read More

The open-source, self-build Tworsekey interface allows users to tap short messages in Mors...

Urgent messages sent using Morse Code via radio waves or by electrical telegraphy are, by necessity, quite short - after all, you don't want to spend all day dotting and dashing your way through War and Peace. These days, of course, if you want to send the latest piece of gossip or news to those near and dear there are quite a few quicker options - from email to instant messaging and Facebook to Twitter. For users of the latter networking platform who are looking for a novel way to merge the old with the new, Martin Kaltenbrummer's open source Tworsekey Morse Code interface can deliver messages direct to the Twitter API via Ethernet LAN.  Read More

Titus Appel (left) and Steve Sanderson, with their power-over-fiber communications cable

When you want to isolate communications between two devices or locations, a fiber optic link is one of the best ways to go. Under some circumstances, however, you might also want to isolate the transmission of power – in situations where traditional copper wire might prove unsafe or impractical, for instance. That’s why researchers at Sandia National Laboratories are developing a power-over-fiber (PoF) communications cable. It carries not only data, but also optical power.  Read More

Charge music players, phones and other portable devices with your legs

K-TOR has added a new portable charging device to its lineup. The new Power Box puts your legs to work toward converting kinetic energy to electricity. Use it enough and you might just get your weekly workout. It is quite simply a pedal-powered generator equipped with a dual-pronged outlet so that you can plug in an AC adapter and charge your device directly from your leg power. The box works for devices rated 20W and below, including low-power netbooks, tablets, smartphones, video devices and portable game systems.  Read More

The Artguardian system monitors environmental conditions in galleries, to make sure that a...

While great works of art should be exhibited so the public can enjoy them, putting those pieces on display also puts them at risk. If environmental factors such as lighting intensity, temperature or humidity aren’t in the optimal range, for instance, works can prematurely deteriorate as a result. In order to minimize the risks, three of Germany’s Fraunhofer research institutes have collaborated to develop Artguardian, a system that monitors the conditions under which artworks are displayed.  Read More

Feedair personalized news ticker

Laptops, tablets, smartphones ... there are plenty of options out there when it comes to managing the constant stream of information we find ourselves faced with - here's another. Feedair is a personalized news tracker that fits in the palm of your hand and uses your smartphone as a controller (iPhone and Android apps are available) to push information via WiFi to the simple scrolling LED readout on the device.  Read More

Scientists have developed a new method of creating elastic conductors, using buckled carbo...

Whether it’s touch-sensitive skin for robots, clothing made from smart fabrics, or devices with bendable displays, stretchable electronics will be playing a large role in a number of emerging technologies. While the field is still very new, stretchable electronic devices may have come a step closer to common use, thanks to research being conducted at North Carolina State University. Scientists there have recently developed a new method for creating elastic conductors, using carbon nanotubes.  Read More

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