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July 29, 2016

BROWSE NEWS RESULTS

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Technology Review
April 5, 2010

Chinese Wind Power Heads Offshore

Breezy tidal flats offer green power on the doorstep of China's bustling seaboard.
China's first offshore wind farm, a 102-megawatt array that's set to come to full power this month in the Yangtze River delta near Shanghai, looks to be the start of something big. Chinese officials announced plans last month to request bids for three to four large-scale offshore wind power projects generating up to 1,000 megawatts total. Beijing-based energy consultancy Azure International predicts that China will install 514 megawatts of offshore wind over the next three to four years, and by 2020 will have invested $100 billion to install up to 30,000 megawatts. That's equal to all of the onshore wind farms currently installed in China, already the world's largest market for wind power. China's offshore winds are slower than Europe's because they cross Asia before striking out to sea, whereas the North Sea's winds travel an unimpeded transatlantic path. But 40 percent of China's population lives along the eastern seaboard. China is building a transmission supergrid to bring in hydroelectric, coal, and wind power from western China, but Meyer says leaders of coastal provinces see offshore development as a means of local investment. "China still has a very locally protectionist economy. There's an interest from provincial governments to support the coastal economy and jobs by supporting a wind industry in their backyard," says Sebastian Meyer, Azure's research director.
Technology Review
April 5, 2010

Hacking the Smart Grid

One researcher shows how your house's power could be shut down remotely, but the threat is only theoretical--for now.
Components of the next-generation smart-energy grid could be hacked in order to change household power settings or to spoof communications with a utility's network, according to a study of three pilot implementations. The problems were highlighted in a presentation given last week by security researcher Joshua Wright of InGuardians, a consulting firm with many infrastructure companies among its clients. Vulnerabilities discovered by Wright could let attackers remotely connect to a device or to intercept communications with the managing power company.
Technology Review
April 5, 2010

Is 3D Bad for You?

Researchers are studying whether viewing 3D causes eyestrain.
The success of 3D movies has been accompanied by complaints from some viewers of headaches and eyestrain. And with 3D TVs, Blu-Ray players, and gamescoming to the home this year, some experts are calling for more research into the possibility of eyestrain associated with 3D viewing, particularly on smaller screens that are closer to the viewer. The eyestrain issue "has come up very recently, anecdotally, with people having symptoms of headaches after Avatar," says Michael Rosenberg, MD, and associate professor at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. "It was the first time there was a 3D movie that attracted the volume of people it did and had the kind of advanced technology it did."
Technology Review
April 5, 2010

Apple sells more than 300,000 iPads on first day

SEATTLE (AP) -- Apple Inc. said Monday that it delivered more than 300,000 iPads on its opening day, meeting expectations of some analysts while underscoring the challenges the company still faces marketing the device beyond early adopters. The total seemed modest given the weeks of hype about the revolutionary nature of Apple's new touch-screen tablet device. Furthermore, the figures included pre-orders that were picked up or delivered Saturday and iPads sent to retail stores such as Best Buy but not necessarily purchased. Apple did not say how many went to such stores.
MIT Research News
April 5, 2010

In Profile: Missy Cummings

Former U.S. Naval fighter pilot aims to improve how humans and computers interact.
Mary (Missy) Cummings was exhilarated the first time she landed a fighter jet aboard an aircraft carrier in 1989, but the young pilot's elation didn't last long. Seconds later, a close friend died while attempting the same landing on the back of the carrier.

“I can't tell you how many friends died because of bad designs,” says Cummings, recalling the crash that occurred on the U.S.S. Lexington in the Gulf of Mexico. “After spending so much time as a pilot, I found it incredibly frustrating to work with technology that didn’t work with me.”

Read Full Article at MIT News Office
Technology Review
April 2, 2010

EBay makes a big play for fashion

NEW YORK (AP) -- EBay Inc. may be the biggest online clothing seller, but it's still known for selling other people's castoffs. Now it wants shoppers to think of it when looking for trendy duds like hipster jeans and red ballerina flats. EBay will launch a new fashion microsite Monday. It's the latest in a series of changes that will sometimes have it acting more like an outlet mall or "private sale" Web site.
Technology Review
April 2, 2010

Web site of China-based journalist club attacked

BEIJING (AP) -- An organization for foreign journalists based in China has become the latest victim of cyberattacks targeting the Web sites or e-mail accounts of human rights groups and reporters focused on China.
Technology Review
April 2, 2010

A Two-Pronged Attack on Cancer

A number of dual-action antibodies are in clinical trials for fighting cancer.
Last year marked a first for engineered antibodies--the European Commission approved a new cancer drug called Removab (catumaxomab), an antibody specially designed to grab both cancer cells and immune cells in such a way that the immune cell can kill the cancer cell. (The drug is undergoing testing for U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval.) Now a handful of similarly complex molecules, dubbed "bispecific antibodies" for their ability to target two things at once, are in clinical trials. The two arms of these antibodies work together in different ways to treat cancer or other diseases, by bringing together two types of cells, as with Removab, by targeting two different types of receptors on the surface of a cell, or even using one arm to deliver drugs to specific cells targeted by the other.
Technology Review
April 2, 2010

Rethinking Apps for the iPad

Developers speak about the challenges of rebuilding iPhone apps for the device.
The iPad isn't the only thing making its big debut this Saturday. Several hundred newly minted iPad applications, many of which have been painstakingly redesigned and rebuilt for the device, will also get their first airing. Developers granted access to the iPad software developer kit have been forced to sign a strict nondisclosure agreement that forbids them from discussing the contents of the kit. But they were able to discuss the challenges of porting their existing applications.
Technology Review
April 2, 2010

Black Silicon Makes Solar Cells Cheaper

A one-step process creates a highly antireflective layer for photovoltaics.
A simple chemical treatment could replace expensive antireflective solar cell coatings, bringing down the cost of crystalline silicon panels. The treatment, a one-step dip in a chemical bath, creates a highly antireflective layer of black silicon on the surface of silicon wafers, and it would cost just pennies per watt, say researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). They've used it to create black silicon solar cells that match the efficiency of conventional silicon cells on the market. The crystalline silicon wafers used to make today's solar cells are treated to create a textured surface, then coated with an antireflective layer, usually silicon nitride, using high-vacuum processes. This additional layer increases the value of a solar cell by improving its efficiency--the more times a photon bounces around inside a solar cell's active layer, the greater the chances it will contribute to the flow of electricity off the cell. But the extra layer also adds to the expense. "We believe it can be cheaper," says Howard Branz, principle scientist in silicon materials and devices at NREL. Even with a coating, the best-quality silicon solar cells typically reflect 3 percent of the light that hits them. Branz's lab is developing inexpensive ways to create black silicon, which reflects almost no light.
MIT Research News
April 2, 2010

A Step Toward Lighter Batteries

Research shows metal catalysts play important role in improving the efficiency of lithium-oxygen batteries
Lightweight batteries that can deliver lots of energy are crucial for a variety of applications — for example, improving the range of electric cars. For that reason, even modest increases in a battery’s energy-density rating — a measure of the amount of energy that can be delivered for a given weight — are important advances. Now a team of researchers at MIT has made significant progress on a technology that could lead to batteries with up to three times the energy density of any battery that currently exists.

Yang Shao-Horn, an MIT associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and engineering, says that many groups have been pursuing work on lithium-air batteries, a technology that has great potential for achieving great gains in energy density. But there has been a lack of understanding of what kinds of electrode materials could promote the electrochemical reactions that take place in these batteries.
Read Full Article at MIT News Office
Technology Review
April 1, 2010

Google Squeezes Flash into Chrome

The move is part of an effort to let browsers and plug-ins interact more easily.
Adobe's Flash Player has come under fire from developers and companies who question its necessity, but the plug-in has just received a big vote of confidence from Google. This week, Google announced that its Chrome browser will come with Flash built in. And Google, Adobe, and another browser maker, Mozilla, have revealed plans to improve the way plug-ins interface with browsers. This could lead to better performance, security, and user experience for Flash and other plug-ins, say those involved.