Gray's 72-yr old Paradox solved, dolphins really are that powerful

Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) have finally put to rest the 1936 claim by British zoologist Sir James Gray. Gray studied dolphins and concluded that their muscle strength was insufficient to propel them at the 20mph speeds they were seen swimming in the ocean. Gray believed some unique surface interaction was taking place which reduced drag. However, RPI scientists have now modeled the dolphin and claim their muscles really are that strong.

Microsoft commissions survey on Holiday 2008 buying habits

A survey conducted by Microsoft, Ipsos and StrategyOne shows that on average consumers will be spending $124 less (16%) than they did in 2007 (meaning they spent $775 in 2007). 60% of respondents are planning to stay at home or close to home in order to save money. 86% of young adults are hoping to get at least one video game, while 89% of all respondents are looking for gifts that "keep on giving." Microsoft sees this trend as a unique opportunity to push Xbox. While the family stays home to save money, the thought of bringing them together over a new entertainment system and/or new games could be just the thing to keep close family ties - according to Microsoft.

NASA preps Juno mission to Jupiter

NASA today said that it is preparing an “unprecedented, in-depth study of Jupiter”. Called Juno, the spacecraft set to launch aboard an Atlas rocket from Cape Canaveral, in August 2011 and reach Jupiter in 2016.

DVD sales plummet, last chance for Blu-ray this Christmas

Hollywood studios released recent movie sales data that indicate that DVD sales have dropped in 2008 again. The decline is estimated at about 4%, which may not sound much, but is significant when we consider the fact that DVD sales make up 70% of Hollywood movie revenue. Studios hope to reverse the trend with releases such as "Wall-E" and "The Dark Knight" – and hope that Blu-ray will finally become mainstream – or disappear.

Enterprise HDDs shifting from 3.5" to 2.5" in mainstream size, says WD

Virgin America offers in-flight wireless Internet via Gogo

SpaceX reports successful test-firing of Falcon 9 rocket

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), a company that may play a critical role in providing NASA an opportunity to continue its space flights when the Space Shuttle retires in 2010, made another step toward a functional space craft. The company said that it successfully conducted a full mission-length firing of its Falcon 9 launch vehicle on Saturday.

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Analyst firm cuts 2009 PC growth expectations by 64%

iSuppli the first major market research firm to drastically cut its PC outlook for 2009. Amid rapidly deteriorating conditions in the global economy and financial system iSuppli said that it has reduced the expected growth rate from 11.9% to 4.3%. The company believes the market will improve in 2010, but fall behind previous expectations as well.

Graphene-based memory eyed by researchers to replace flash

A research team at Rice University led by James Tour with Yubao Li and Alexander Sinitskii have discovered that memory cells created by graphene (thin sheets of graphite) can be 5x as dense while requiring significantly less power to operate. In addition, the lab has already experimented with up to 20K cycles and there was "no discernable degradation."

UPDATE2: Teen commits suicide on live streaming Justin.TV

A 19-yr old named Abraham K. Biggs was urged to commit suicide on live streaming TV this past Wednesday. The viewers thought Biggs was joking after taking a bunch of pills and appearing to slowly go to sleep. After a few hours they began to realize he was serious and contacted the authorities. The Broward County medical examiner confirmed Biggs' death shortly thereafter.

Infrared light shown to stimulate neurons, help deaf people hear

Web video developing into cable alternative

NIST releases final report on 9/11 WTC7 collapse

{mosimage}Yesterday, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released its final report on the September 11, 2001 collapse of World Trade Center building #7 (WTC7). The report states that a crucial column (number 79) failed due to uncontrolled fires burning on several floors which produced "an extraordinary event." Once column 79 failed, it "initiated a fire-induced progressive collapse that brought the building down."

UPDATE: Removing a major hurdle to wide acceptance of battery powered vehicles

Opinion - I had a thought yesterday. I was doing some research on future green technologies and something occurred to me. One of the limiting factors today in greener, battery-powered automobiles is their limited range. Another is expense. Most battery-only vehicles will get you about 75 miles, and hybrid solutions are very pricey. Still, 75 miles is enough to commute back and forth to work each day even with some extra driving thrown in. But, it's not really good for much else. So what's the solution? I think it might be an external, auxiliary source of power.

NASA spacecraft identifies buried glaciers on Mars

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has (MRO) made its second significant discovery: There are vast Martian glaciers of water ice under protective blankets of rocky debris – outside the polar caps.

Obama promised 5 million new green collar jobs, Duke shows us the way

Researchers at Duke University have been looking into the economic plan proposed by Barack Obama during his presidential campaign. Obama proposed creating 5 million new jobs in the environmental industries. Duke University researchers have taken his lead and determined exactly what new "green collar" jobs might be feasible. All of them fall into the area of a lower-carbon economy.

Super-microscope watches molecules break apart and bond step by step

While developing tools to analyze non-consuming catalytic reactions in water, Rice University researchers have created a visible-light microscope that can actually view molecules breaking apart and re-bonding into new forms. This tool may help scientists create new catalysts which remove toxins and pollutants from water sources faster and with greater efficiency.

Silicon-based anode created for more powerful lithium-ion batteries

A research team led by Jaephil Cho at Hanyang University has developed a 3-dimensional, porous silicon structure that can replace graphite as an anode in lithium-ion batteries. The result is a far more powerful solution that, according to Cho, could lead to a whole new generation of lithium-ion batteries.

Astronaut on space-walk loses $100,000 tool bag

"Umm, we have a lost tool," came the heralding cry of Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper who, while cleaning and lubing a joint on a wing of one of the station's solar panels, let a tool bag drift away just beyond her reach. The mission was able to be salvaged, however, as fellow spacewalk astronaut Stephen Bowen shared his tools with Stefanyshyn-Piper to complete their work in 7 hours.