MIT's "Next Giant Leap" team announced, will try to claim Google's Lunar X-Prize

 MIT announced today their "mystery team." It's a group of of engineers from MIT, an aerospace company and various small businesses with one goal in mind: to win the Google Lunar X-Prize competition and claim its $30 million award. The "Next Giant Leap" team, as it is being called - a play on Armstrong's famous "...one giant leap for mankind" speech, is comprised of MicroSat Systems, Draper Laboratory, Aurora Flight Sciences and Busek - a propulsion company.

Study: YouTube watching excessive at work, companies looking to curtail

 It happens all over the country. Individuals take a quick break from their normal work duties to surf the web and check out a couple YouTube videos, or send a message on Facebook. But is this trend causing a backlash for employers? Companies have long frowned on the time required for workers to step outside for a smoke. And now those same workers don’t even have to step outside to waste far more time. Companies are beginning to seek out ways to respond.

NASA: Life on Mars? Watery history now confirmed by vast carbonate discovery

 NASA is reporting that their Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has discovered a vast field of a "long sought-after mineral" on Mars, called carbonate. Using the craft's Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer (CRISM), the finding indicates Mars had neutral to alkaline water as far back as 3.6 billion years ago. This indicates the Martian planet has remained watery, increasing greatly the possibility that it has supported life.

Report: Previous world coal reserve estimates could be way off

 Previous estimates are way off in regards to the world’s coal reserve, says a new calculation from Caltech. If this is true, this information could have a huge impact Earth’s future climate forecasts and the impact of man on the greenhouse effect.

Portugal will soon harness ocean wave energy with efficient new device

 MIT researchers working in conjunction with teams from the Technical University of Lisbon have created a computer model which will allow them to significantly advance the ability to capture more energy from ocean waves striking the shore. They have already designed ways to compress huge volumes of air, resulting in continuous power generation despite infrequent or variable sized waves.

Update: Analog TV tests being conducted across America

 On February 17, 2009, all analog broadcast TV stations transmitting their signals through their air are required to switch to digital transmissions by new FCC regulations. But are American consumers prepared for the switch?

Virtual worlds more effective than web conferencing, soon more so than real life?

 Forterra Systems will soon issue a new report claiming that enterprise virtual worlds are much more effective than web conferencing for conducting business. Forterra’s goals run parallel to the report as their desire is to deliver that kind of virtual world technology and software to the real business world. ReadWriteWeb.com had an exclusive opportunity to view the report. Let's see what they found out.

Dell greens its packaging

Dell announced plans to reduce desktop and laptop packaging materials by approximately 10% worldwide, increase sustainable content in cushioning and corrugate packaging by 40% and 75% of packaging components are curbside recyclable by 2012.

Toshiba, IBM and AMD develop smallest, most stable FinFET SRAM to date

 Yesterday, Toshiba, IBM and AMD announced that via a joint effort they have developed a SRAM cell just 0.128 μm2. The cell is more than 50% smaller than the previous record holder, a nonplanar-FET cell measuring 0.274 μm2. SRAM is used in a computer's cache. Smaller SRAM cells means less heat, greater performance and lower production costs as it requires less silicon real-estate to produce similar cache sizes.

New dark energy findings suggest Einstein's theory is dead-on

NASA reported its latest findings on dark energy today. They have now "clearly seen" the effects of dark energy in our universe.

Update: Image of extraterrestrial liquid captured on film by space probe, a first

 The Huygens craft has made some amazing leaps for our science. For example, it landed a probe on one of Saturn’s moons in 2005. Now, the craft has managed to send back the first pictures of extraterrestrial liquid ever taken.

Steve Jobs' Macworld 2009 keynote uncertain

A lousy economy might endanger Macworld Expo, the biggest Apple-oriented consumer exhibition in the world. The spectacle that always draws incredible media attention is Steve Jobs' legendary keynote address when the Apple CEO usually unveils refreshed products, announces new initiatives and stuns the crowd with "one more thing." However, a depressed economy has prompted a number of key exhibitors to either downsize or skip the upcoming event completely. And now we are receiving information that Jobs' keynote also hangs in the air.

2.93 GHz Core i7 Dual-socket Xeon X5570 breaks SAP records

Evonik, Daimler to make batteries for electric cars

New low-cost nickel-based fuel cell could prove revolutionary

 A new form of non-alkali membrane used in fuel cells could allow expensive and rare platinum to be replaced with nickel. If true, the market could soon be filled with much less expensive fuel cells and a changing attitude toward fuel economy in automobiles as fuel cells can be more efficient than internal combustion engines.

NASA needs a new direction, says independent review panel

Survey shows 65% of American adults need daily Internet access

 Intel published the findings of a recent survey conducted on 2,119 Americans aged 18 and over. When asked question regarding the significance of daily Internet access in their lives, 65% of respondents said they could not live without daily access. 71% said it was important or very important to have Internet-enabled devices (95% said it was "somewhat important"). And the big one: A stunning 46% of women and 30% of men aged 18-34 said they would rather go without sex for two weeks rather than lose daily Internet access for the same period of time. Those numbers also increase slightly with age.

Chrysler's plan to beat the Chevy Volt

Solar flares observed to emit huge streams of hydrogen, a first

"What a surprise!" said California Institute of Technology's (CIT) Richard Mewaldt when in 2006 NASA's twin STEREO spacecraft detected a 90-minute long stream of hydrogen atoms flowing out of the sun following the eruption of an X9-class solar flare (one of the largest in the past 30 years). Astronomers now believe they have figured out how the sun was able to emit huge quantities of hydrogen following the flare, when traditional wisdom held that everything should have been destroyed into sub-atomic particles.

MIT study of oceanic micro-organisms may help better understand global climate change

A tiny seawater laboratory smaller than a stick of gum is showing how amazingly complex and mobile the underwater world of microscopic sea-life can be. In fact, it's helping MIT rewrite the book on understanding changes in global climate as these carbon munching microbes affect the macro world by transferring energy rapidly through the food chain.