12,978,189-digit prime number discovered by UCLA researchers

Mathematicians at UCLA discovered the 45th known Mersenne prime with almost 13 million digits. The discovery makes the group eligible for a $100,000 prize, which was promised for discovering the first prime with more than 10 million digits.

Turn your PC into a Tivo with Nero’s LiquidTV

Nero has announced its LiquidTV software that turns your Windows computer into a Tivo digital video recorder.  Available in October, LiquidTV lets people save high definition and standard def shows onto computer hard drives.  These shows can viewed later or exported to Apple iPods or the Sony PSP.  You can even burn the content to DVDs.

Space news: Snow on Mars, Hubble hiccup

NASA today said that is Phoenix Mars Lander has detected snow falling from Martian clouds and found more details about soil data that are believed to hint to a liquid past. The organization also plans to update journalists on a “significant anomaly” affecting its Hubble Space Telescope, which will delay next month's space shuttle Atlantis' Hubble servicing mission.

Taxed from above – counties use aerial photography to spy on homeowners

Aerial and satellite photography regularly helps our troops fight on the battlefield, but the same technology is now being used by cash-strapped counties to assess taxes.  In Cape May County, New Jersey, county tax assessors are using photos to look for illegal additions to properties and to fine farmers for not farming enough.  The county says the photos are a fantastic tool, but some people say the government has no business peeking into our backyards.

A light bulb that could earn you $10 million

With the current state of our economy, it’s a no brainer that many of us could use an extra $10 million. Here is one way to get your hand on this amount: The Department of Energy is holding a competition that envisions a new generation of light bulbs: The L Prize will reward an individual or organization with a prize money of $10 million, who creates a viable solid-state LED replacement for the standard 60 watt incandescent bulb. A second prize will also be awarded for any company creating a replacement for a PAR 38 halogen reflector lamp.

Notebook LED backlighting to see 30-40% penetration next year

Metallurgical silicon to compete with thin film in 2009

‘RocketMan’ soars across English Channel

Sure the English Channel has been crossed before, but Yves Rossy is the first person to do it with a rocket pack.  The self-proclaimed 49-year-old “Fusion Man” jumped out of an airplane over Calais France and covered 22 miles in 13 minutes while suspended on a composite wing.  Rossy rocketed at 120 MPH thanks to the help of four kerosene-powered jet turbines affixed to the wing.  He landed safely near the famous White Cliffs of Dover in England.

Xerox to show off self-erasing paper at NEXTFEST

BCP lithography, self-assembling nanotechnology to build IC circuits from the bottom up

Scientists at UC-Santa Barbara have engineered a new nano-construction process capable of assembling integrated circuits. Five companies helped fund the research, including giants Intel and IBM. A patent was also filed for their discovery. According to the researchers, this technology could be introduced into mainstream semiconductor manufacturing as early as 2011.

Google patents invention to end wireless contracts forever

Inventors at Google have developed a novel concept to end the war of cell phone and wireless contracts. Their idea was awarded a patent yesterday and relates to per use bidding. Their patent is broad enough that it could apply to all wireless communications, including GSM, 3G, WiFi, WiMAX and the so-called "white space spectrum" which will be freed up once analog TV broadcasts are replaced with digital ones in 2009. "Bid before you use" is the model Google has patented. But will it work?

Physicists discover better, faster path to MRAM

While many commercial ventures are searching for ways to improve efficiency in the dominant spin-torque model for Magnetoresistive-RAM (or MRAM), Japanese physicsts have stumbled upon an entirely new approach which uses less power, switches faster and is even easier to manufacture.

Lies flourish in emails, researchers say

Researchers from the University of Lehigh conducted an experiment which they belive indicates that people are more prone to lie in an email than in traditional pen and paper communications. They claim that their results show a more frequent and calculated abuse of the truth online than offline.

MIT solves 100-yr old engineering problem

A team of scientists affiliated with MIT's Mechanical Engineering department have solved a 100-yr old engineering problem. In 1904, a German physicst named Ludwig Prandtl mathematically solved the problem of flow separation in fluids. His work did have limitations, however, namely that it only worked in two dimensions and the air flow had to be very steady. MIT's new model expands Prandtl's research into three dimensions and unsteady streams of air. Plus, it has the added bonus of being experimentally verified.

Browser makers race for speed and your desktop is the prize

A new browser war unfolds as browser makers are rapidly improving JavaScript engines to capture the ultimate prize - your desktop. Apple's new SquirrelFish Extreme engine promises a two-fold speed increase and may put Safari 4 ahead of the pack. However, given the breathtaking development pace of other browser makers, it is far from certain that Safari 4 will be the fastest browser on the planet when it debuts. Mozilla, Google and Microsoft as well as smaller makers such as Opera are all working on more nimble and faster engines.

China awaits manned spaceflight

CERN’s LHC to take a long winter break

The recently reported electrical problems in the LHC system will have a greater impact than initially expected. A simple repair turned into a two month shutdown, which in fact will turn into an outage that may take at least six months. A restart of the collider is planned for early spring, CERN said today.

NAND flash spot prices up slightly this week

Notebook vendors adjust Blu-ray notebook strategy amid changing economic realities

Worldwide GPS system vulnerable to local terrorist attacks

Researcher teams led by Paul Kintner and Mark Psiaki at Cornell University have demonstrated that suitcase-sized transmitters could be employed to fool even commercial and military GPS units.  By sending out "false authentic" signals in close proximity, those which mimic true GPS satellites, over time GPS receivers begin to accept the false signals as genuine and report improper position data to the user.  Concerns over personal, commercial and military implications of the false data are the focus of the study.