Categories
Gadgets Sci/Tech

Friday Finds – Coronal Mass Ejection!

First, here are my posts from this week:

And a few new things you might find interesting:

Wired’s GeekDad column tells parents what they need to know about Cars 2.  Sounds better than what I’m expecting to be honest, and I’m from a place that worships at the altar of NASCAR.

Also at Wired, the Sun has sent a Coronal Mass Ejection towards Earth.  The phrase ‘Coronal Mass Ejection’ just sounds awesome to me.

Netflix is now on a few select Android devices, with more to come.

Lifehacker has a whole series of Night School posts – they take a subject and give a layman the basics to improve themselves at it.  The current series is about photography, including how best to use the automated and manual settings on a camera, helping to understand ISO and aperture settings, and the like.  They’ve also covered video editing.

New trend in movie posters – Diagonal!

Finally, looking back on old posts here I found this:  the Ultra-fast, Ultra-intense Laser.  The applications they are looking at for this tech are awesome, whether it’s bonding replacement joints to bone, killing cancer cells, or, you know, creating Wolverine.

Categories
Media News Sci/Tech

Friday Finds – Free RPG Day and more

It’s Free RPG Day tomorrow, similar to free comic book day where you can go to your favorite local RPG game store (the board game, pen and paper kind) and pick up a free game.  Most of what is available is the basic stuff, a good way to introduce your kids if you think they might be into it.  This link can find a store near to you that is participating (none here, drat).

Leviathan Wakes is out in stores now, if you are the sort that likes to go and pick up actual paper copies of books.

Speaking of Friday, Rebecca Black’s Friday is gone from YouTube.  We so excited.

Redbox users can now get videogames, $2/day.  Maybe YOU will enjoy Duke Nukem Forever.

Black hole eats a star.  Choice quote:

A huge “belch” of radiation from a supermassive black hole indicates that the cosmic monster recently devoured a star, scientists say.

As my nephew says at every meal (quote Garfield), and that’s the sign that the tank is full.

Speaking of Duke Nuken, I referenced the hilariously delayed game in an early post on this very site – in 2007.

Categories
Sci/Tech

Rubber That Conducts Electricity

Japanese scientist have discovered a way of embedding carbon nanotubes in a rubbery material, which can then be stretched but still retain it’s conductivity. Here’s what they have to say about it:

The elastic conductor would allow electronic circuits to be mounted in places that would have been impossible up to now, including “arbitrary curved surfaces and movable parts, such as the joints of a robot’s arm,” Sekitani and colleagues wrote.

The eyes have it?
The eyes have it?

Of course the Japanese would first look to use it in a robot. Not to be outdone, a US team mentioned in that same article has developed an elastic mesh which “allowed them to use standard electronics materials to build an electronic eye camera based on the shape and layout of the human eye.” So Geordi Laforge’s eye implants from the ST movies may be possible in the future. Pretty cool.

Categories
Sci/Tech

Graphene – Strongest Material Ever Tested

Technology Review has posted an article about Graphene, which has been thought to be the strongest material known since it was first isolated. Scientists were finally able to test it and confirm that it is.

Jeffrey Kysar and James Hone, mechanical-engineering professors at Columbia University, tested graphene’s strength at the atomic level by measuring the force that it took to break it. They carved one-micrometer-wide holes into a silicon wafer, placed a perfect sample of graphene over each hole, and then indented the graphene with a sharp probe made of diamond.

Now, before you tremble in fear at the thought of the next generation of battle robots covered in this stuff, as they noted that “Only a tiny sample can be perfect and superstrong”. What they ARE interested in using this for is as a replacement for silicon in transistors.

“The main liability concerning the microprocessing industry is strain,” says Julia Greer, a materials scientist at Caltech. Not only must the materials used to make transistors have good electrical properties, but they must also be able to survive the stresses of manufacturing processes and the heat generated by repeated operations. The processes used to pattern metal electrical connections onto microprocessors, for example, exert stresses that can cause chips to fail. And, says Greer, the main obstacle to making faster microprocessors is that “the heat is too much for materials to take.” Based on measurements of its strength, graphene transistors could take the heat.

That means they could stay in the kitchen, as well. Very nice. H/T to Gizmodo for the link to a neat article.