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KNOW WHAT'S INSIDE

In this special edition of In the Know, learn how to resolve your data management challenges – no matter how complex they may seem.

Complex Data Management in the Flat World: Creating Interoperability & Collaboration
Manufacturers competing in today’s “Flat World” face new challenges. With traditional databases and legacy platforms failing to provide manufacturers with the level of precision and speed required, many are turning to Independent Software Vendors (ISVs). In this white paper, learn how ISVs are delivering solutions that will protect long-term investments and adapt to ever-changing demands, while maintaining superior performance and reliability.

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Choosing a Higher Performance Database: Selecting an ODBMS
Many organizations are confused about whether an object database management system (ODBMS) is right for them. Most of the confusion can be eliminated by simply focusing on the application's requirements. This paper discusses requirements for applications that are well suited to ODBMSs, particularly those used in Government Military and Intelligence, Manufacturing, Process Control & Automation, Medical Equipment, Bioinformatics and Data Intensive Science and Telecommunications Equipment. Download this white paper to learn key insights for selecting and implementing an ODBMS in your organization.

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Creating a Seamless Information Grid: Data Fusion for Government Security & Intelligence Agencies
In today’s security landscape, government agencies have more data to analyze from more sources, with greater complexity, than ever before. Agencies increasingly need to share information through a single, coherent view of data in order to achieve true actionable intelligence. In this white paper, learn the main challenges that government security and intelligence agencies face when trying to integrate disparate data systems into a single view and the solutions that can help overcome these challenges.

VIEW THIS WHITE PAPER

This special edition of In the Know is brought to you by Objectivity, a global technology company that provides precise, reliable data management platforms for sophisticated software applications with the most complex data management challenges.
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A new Nanowerk Spotlight

"Flame-retardant materials with more nanotechnology and less toxic
chemicals"

is available on the Nanowerk website at
http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=2445.php

Firefighters and stuntmen certainly appreciate the fire resistant
capabilities of modern textiles. Going far beyond such niche use, flame
retardant materials have become a major business for the chemical industry
and can be found practically everywhere in modern society. If you live in a
country where houses are mostly built from wood (like in the U.S.; where, on
the other hand, the things that used to be wood are now plastic - like
christmas trees; flame retardant ones of course) most structural timber and
wood elements such as paneling are treated to make them more fire resistant.
Plastic materials are replacing traditional materials like wood and metal -
just look at the toys you played with and the ones your kids have today.
Unfortunately, the synthetic polymeric materials we group under the term
'plastic' are flammable. To decrease their flammability they require the
addition of flame-retardant chemical compounds. The plastic casings, circuit
boards and cables of your computers, electrical appliances or car are flame
retardant. So is practically every material in airplanes, trains and ships
from the fabric of seats to every kind of plastic structure found onboard.
Name any plastic product and chances are it has been made flame retardant.
Conventional methods for making plastic flame retardant involve a range of
not exactly harmless chemicals. Improving the flame retardancy of polymeric
materials without the use of toxic chemicals could now become possible
thanks to the synergistic effect of carbon nanotubes and clay.

Enjoy!

Michael
michael@nanowerk.com

Scientists: Artificial life likely in 3 to 10 years

  • Story Highlights
  • Scientists working to create the first cell of synthetic life
  • Artificial life could be used to fight diseases, climate change
  • Some worried creating life could "run amok"
  • Next Article in Technology »
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Around the world, a handful of scientists are trying to create life from scratch and they're getting closer.

Experts expect an announcement within three to 10 years from someone in the now little-known field of "wet artificial life."

"It's going to be a big deal and everybody's going to know about it," said Mark Bedau, chief operating officer of ProtoLife of Venice, Italy, one of those in the race. "We're talking about a technology that could change our world in pretty fundamental ways -- in fact, in ways that are impossible to predict."

That first cell of synthetic life -- made from the basic chemicals in DNA -- may not seem like much to non-scientists. For one thing, you'll have to look in a microscope to see it.

"Creating protocells has the potential to shed new life on our place in the universe," Bedau said. "This will remove one of the few fundamental mysteries about creation in the universe and our role."

And several scientists believe man-made life forms will one day offer the potential for solving a variety of problems, from fighting diseases to locking up greenhouse gases to eating toxic waste.

Bedau figures there are three major hurdles to creating synthetic life:

 

  • A container, or membrane, for the cell to keep bad molecules out, allow good ones, and the ability to multiply.

     

     

  • A genetic system that controls the functions of the cell, enabling it to reproduce and mutate in response to environmental changes.

     

     

  • A metabolism that extracts raw materials from the environment as food and then changes it into energy.

     

    One of the leaders in the field, Jack Szostak at Harvard Medical School, predicts that within the next six months, scientists will report evidence that the first step -- creating a cell membrane -- is "not a big problem." Scientists are using fatty acids in that effort.

    Szostak is also optimistic about the next step -- getting nucleotides, the building blocks of DNA, to form a working genetic system.

    His idea is that once the container is made, if scientists add nucleotides in the right proportions, then Darwinian evolution could simply take over.

    "We aren't smart enough to design things, we just let evolution do the hard work and then we figure out what happened," Szostak said.

    In Gainesville, Florida, Steve Benner, a biological chemist at the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution is attacking that problem by going outside of natural genetics. Normal DNA consists of four bases -- adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine (known as A,C,G,T) -- molecules that spell out the genetic code in pairs. Benner is trying to add eight new bases to the genetic alphabet.

    Bedau said there are legitimate worries about creating life that could "run amok," but there are ways of addressing it, and it will be a very long time before that is a problem.

    "When these things are created, they're going to be so weak, it'll be a huge achievement if you can keep them alive for an hour in the lab," he said. "But them getting out and taking over, never in our imagination could this happen." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

    Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

    Faster wireless in works to transfer large files from gadget to gadget

    • Story Highlights
    • Scientists working on faster wireless technology to transfer large files
    • One possible method would use extremely high radio frequences
    • Next Article in Technology »
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    ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) -- With a wave of his hand over a homemade receiver, Georgia Tech professor Joy Laskar shows how easily -- and quickly -- large data files could someday be transferred from a portable media player to a TV.

    art.apple.itunes.gi.jpg

    The emerging wireless technology could enable users to transfer large files -- like iTunes libraries -- between gadgets effortlessly.

    Poof! "You just moved a movie onto your device," Laskar says.

    While Wi-Fi and Bluetooth have emerged as efficient ways to zap small amounts of data between gadgets, neither is well suited for quickly transferring high-definition video, large audio libraries and other massive files.

    Laskar and other scientists at the Georgia Electronic Design Center have turned to extremely high radio frequencies to transfer huge data files over short distances.

    The high frequencies -- which use the unlicensed 60 gigahertz band -- have been a mostly untapped resource. Researchers say it could one day become the conventional wireless way to zap data over short distances.

    Laskar hopes it could soon become a rival to other wireless technologies. Getting government permission to use the spectrum would not be a problem, since that radio band, much like the one used for Wi-Fi, in unlicensed. Because the range will likely be less than 33 feet, interference is less likely and transmissions could be more secure.

    A similar short-range technology, known as ultra-wideband, is just now reaching the market after several years of wrangling between different companies and engineering bodies. It exploits another unlicensed band, reaching up to 10.3 GHz. Last month, Toshiba Corp. introduced laptops with built-in UWB chips that can communicate wirelessly with a docking station. Other possible uses include transmission of high-definition video.

    But the maximum current speed of UWB is about 480 megabits per second, equivalent to a high-speed computer cable but possibly not be enough for all applications. Use of the 60 GHz band promises much higher speeds.

    "There will be a constant pressure for speed and it will never cease," said M. Kursat Kimyacioglu, director of strategy and wireless business development at the semiconductor subsidiary of Philips Electronics NV. "We need much faster wireless data networking technologies to make much faster downloads and back-ups and higher resolution HD video streaming possible."

    He said Philips is looking at using the technology to eliminate cable bundles, but much more research will be needed. The signals don't penetrate walls very well and are too easily disturbed by passing people and pets, Kimyacioglu said.

    The research is far from over, Laskar said, but he hopes those challenges can be overcome in the next year or so. If so, the hardware for transferring files could be available by 2009, and new TV sets could be built with the chips the next year.

    The center has already achieved wireless data-transfer rates of 15 gigabits per second from a span of 1 meter. That would mean a download time of less than five seconds for a DVD-quality copy of "The Matrix" or other Hollywood movies.

    Specialized radios have been sending and receiving high-frequency signals for years, but they're big and can cost tens of thousands of dollars. The Georgia center's challenge has been to convert these devices into tiny chips that can be slipped directly into phones and computers. To be competitive with other technologies, Laskar's set his sights on a $5 chip, and so far his researchers have hammered together a few prototypes to show off the technology.

    "We don't want to replace these guys," says Laskar, pointing at an HD receiver and TV set. "We want to complement them."

    A cheap chip would launch a new round of competition for the technology, said Anh-Vu Pham, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of California, Davis.

    "The technology is there, it just requires a little more work," he said. "If the radio can be deployed, you'll have a lot of applications -- from HDTV to flash drives -- without using any type of cable. Once you solve that problem, you open up so many applications."

    The technology could get a big boost if the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, a top international association of electrical engineers, decides to create a standard for the spectrum. The group is weighing the decision now and could decide by next year.

    "You're talking about moving gigabits in seconds, your whole iPod library, your whole video library," said Laskar. "This has the potential of becoming the de facto way of moving this information on and off the devices.

    "With this type of technology, you can compete -- and pretty much crush -- the wired competition." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

    Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

    All About Wireless Technology

  • ELECTRİC MOTORS

    art.electric.car.ap.jpg

    Ian Clifford, founder and CEO of Zenn Motor Company, shown with an electric car.

    An Austin-based startup called EEStor promised "technologies for replacement of electrochemical batteries," meaning a motorist could plug in a car for five minutes and drive 500 miles roundtrip between Dallas and Houston without gasoline.

    By contrast, some plug-in hybrids on the horizon would require motorists to charge their cars in a wall outlet overnight and promise only 50 miles of gasoline-free commute. And the popular hybrids on the road today still depend heavily on fossil fuels.

    "It's a paradigm shift," said Ian Clifford, chief executive of Toronto-based ZENN Motor Co., which has licensed EEStor's invention. "The Achilles' heel to the electric car industry has been energy storage. By all rights, this would make internal combustion engines unnecessary."

    Clifford's company bought rights to EEStor's technology in August 2005 and expects EEStor to start shipping the battery replacement later this year for use in ZENN Motor's short-range, low-speed vehicles.

    The technology also could help invigorate the renewable-energy sector by providing efficient, lightning-fast storage for solar power, or, on a small scale, a flash-charge for cell phones and laptops.

    Skeptics, though, fear the claims stretch the bounds of existing technology to the point of alchemy.

    "We've been trying to make this type of thing for 20 years and no one has been able to do it," said Robert Hebner, director of the University of Texas Center for Electromechanics. "Depending on who you believe, they're at or beyond the limit of what is possible."

    EEStor's secret ingredient is a material sandwiched between thousands of wafer-thin metal sheets, like a series of foil-and-paper gum wrappers stacked on top of each other. Charged particles stick to the metal sheets and move quickly across EEStor's proprietary material.

    The result is an ultracapacitor, a battery-like device that stores and releases energy quickly.

    Batteries rely on chemical reactions to store energy but can take hours to charge and release energy. The simplest capacitors found in computers and radios hold less energy but can charge or discharge instantly. Ultracapacitors take the best of both, stacking capacitors to increase capacity while maintaining the speed of simple capacitors.

    Hebner said vehicles require bursts of energy to accelerate, a task better suited for capacitors than batteries.

    "The idea of getting rid of the batteries and putting in capacitors is to get more power back and get it back faster," Hebner said.

    But he said nothing close to EEStor's claim exists today.

    For years, EEStor has tried to fly beneath the radar in the competitive industry for alternative energy, content with a phone-book listing and a handful of cryptic press releases.

    Yet the speculation and skepticism have continued, fueled by the company's original assertion of making batteries obsolete -- a claim that still resonates loudly for a company that rarely speaks, including declining an interview with The Associated Press.

    The deal with ZENN Motor and a $3 million investment by the venture capital group Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which made big-payoff early bets on companies like Google Inc. and Amazon.com Inc., hint that EEStor may be on the edge of a breakthrough technology, a "game changer" as Clifford put it.

    ZENN Motor's public reports show that it so far has invested $3.8 million in and has promised another $1.2 million if the ultracapacitor company meets a third-party testing standard and then delivers a product.

    Clifford said his company consulted experts and did a "tremendous amount of due diligence" on EEStor's innovation.

    EEStor's founders have a track record. Richard D. Weir and Carl Nelson worked on disk-storage technology at IBM Corp. in the 1990s before forming EEStor in 2001. The two have acquired dozens of patents over two decades.

    Neil Dikeman of Jane Capital Partners, an investor in clean technologies, said the nearly $7 million investment in EEStor pales compared with other energy storage endeavors, where investment has averaged $50 million to $100 million.

    Yet curiosity is unusually high, Dikeman said, thanks to the investment by a prominent venture capital group and EEStor's secretive nature.

    "The EEStor claims are around a process that would be quite revolutionary if they can make it work," Dikeman said.

    Previous attempts to improve ultracapacitors have focused on improving the metal sheets by increasing the surface area where charges can attach.

    EEStor is instead creating better nonconductive material for use between the metal sheets, using a chemical compound called barium titanate. The question is whether the company can mass-produce it.

    ZENN Motor pays EEStor for passing milestones in the production process, and chemical researchers say the strength and functionality of this material is the only thing standing between EEStor and the holy grail of energy-storage technology.

    Joseph Perry and the other researchers he oversees at Georgia Tech have used the same material to double the amount of energy a capacitor can hold. Perry says EEstor seems to be claiming an improvement of more than 400-fold, yet increasing a capacitor's retention ability often results in decreased strength of the materials.

    "They're not saying a lot about how they're making these things," Perry said. "With these materials (described in the patent), that is a challenging process to carry out in a defect-free fashion."

    Perry is not alone in his doubts. An ultracapacitor industry leader, Maxwell Technologies Inc., has kept a wary eye on EEStor's claims and offers a laundry list of things that could go wrong.

    Among other things, the ultracapacitors described in EEStor's patent operate at extremely high voltage, 10 times greater than those Maxwell manufactures, and won't work with regular wall outlets, said Maxwell spokesman Mike Sund. He said capacitors could crack while bouncing down the road, or slowly discharge after a dayslong stint in the airport parking lot, leaving the driver stranded.

    Until EEStor produces a final product, Perry said he joins energy professionals and enthusiasts alike in waiting to see if the company can own up to its six-word promise and banish the battery to recycling bins around the world.

    "I am skeptical but I'd be very happy to be proved wrong," Perry said. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

    Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

    All About Electric Vehicles

    Yazarın xeon işlemcisi hakkında fikirleri

    Bazılarımız xeon uzay oyununu oynamıştır. Korkarım o gün geliyor
    ve mikroişlemcilerin ışık üreteci olarak çalışabilecekleri güne 
    çağa yaklaşıyoruz. Optik bilgisayarların şimdiden üretildiği düşünülürse
    belkide birgün milyon yıl uzaktan cihazları kullanabileceğiz ve savaş 
    gemilerimizin akıllı laser yada photon silahları olacak. 

    A New Entry From A.M.D. in Chip Wars

    By LAURIE J. FLYNN
    Published: September 10, 2007

    Advanced Micro Devices is counting on a new high-performance computer chip to hold on to hard-fought market share it has won from its principal rival, Intel.

    The company, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., is set today to release the next generation in its Opteron line of processors for computer servers. The new chip puts four processors on one piece of silicon, a technology known as quad-core, allowing for faster calculating and greater energy efficiency, features sought by companies running large data centers and server farms.

    Mario Rivas, executive vice president for computing products at A.M.D., said the latest Opteron chip is the company’s most significant new product in several years.

    For Advanced Micro, the stakes are high, with the new chip arriving just as it struggles to maintain its hard-earned gains from Intel, its far larger rival. A.M.D.’s product introduction comes less than a week after Intel tried to upstage it with a server update of its own: new Xeon server processors that bundle together two chips that each have the circuitry of two processing engines.

    In July, A.M.D. reported a $600 million loss for the second quarter, its third loss in a row, as it grappled with the renewed competition from Intel and falling chip prices. But it also said that shipments of microprocessors rose 38 percent from the first quarter, and that it had begun to win back market share after several quarters of slipping.

    Intel and A.M.D. have been locked in a race to deliver high-performing chips for several years. A.M.D. was first to market with a dual-core chip more than two years ago as Intel struggled to get its dual-core strategy off the ground.

    When A.M.D. introduced the Opteron server chip in 2003, the industry was slow to warm to the product, but the company says that this time will be different. Four years ago, Intel’s server processors were favored by nearly all major hardware suppliers. But delays at Intel induced Dell, I.B.M., Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems to gradually turn to the Opteron as an alternative.

    A.M.D. gained market share, particularly in the desktop and server markets, though Intel managed to keep a tight grip on fast-growing notebook PCs.

    In recent quarters, Intel has responded with a succession of processors, and has managed to win back some of the share it lost. Intel is now leading in the market for servers, analysts say.

    Analysts expect the new Opteron to take off more quickly this time because the major hardware companies are already A.M.D. customers. “This chip will have a much faster impact on A.M.D.’s business,” said Nathan Brookwood of Insight64, a chip industry consulting firm, “but a lot will be riding on just how good it is.”

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