GPU will continue to grow for another 15 years: Q&A with Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO of Nvidia

Science will hand us the ultimate clean, green, renewable energy source ... if we're patient

Researchers have discovered a tungsten carbide-based catalyst which converts cellulose directly into ethylene glycol, an intermediate product which can be readily converted into different types of fuel. This discovery uses the cellulose from plants directly, not its fruit or vegetables (basically the waste material like stalks, branches and leaves). The process does not rely on sugars being fermented. It is a direct chemical process which takes cellulose and coverts it to alcohols quickly, efficiently and in one step.

Would You Drive This? Pontiac Solstice concept car

The Pontiac Solstice concept car doesn't have any windshield wipers heck it doesn't even have the windshield, but it looks great in person.  Sporting a ruby red body the SD-290 racing concept car is a highly modified version of the regular Pontiac Solstice production model.  Basically Pontiac stripped off the top of the car leaving just a small windscreen to protect the driver-side.

Hospital workers fired after posting injury pics on MySpace

Two University of New Mexico hospital workers have been fired after they posted patient pictures on MySpace.  The workers used their cell phone cameras to take close-up pictures of injuries and then posted them to their private MySpace pages for their friends and coworkers to see.  So far no charges have been filed and the photos have been deleted from MySpace and from the workers’ cell phones.

YouTube banned in Kuwait

Liquid optics created which change focus through sound waves

A research team at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) has developed a new type of liquid lens that rapidly changes focus through sound wave energy. The lens is extremely light weight, durable and may have future applications in cell phones and other low-power, high speed stationary cameras for security at speeds in excess of 1080p HD captures today.

Melting polar ice now visible in Google Earth

The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) has introduced a beta program which allows KML files to be downloaded into Google Earth for display. The data files contain a wide range of climate information primarily centered around the north and south poles. Files showing sea ice trends, floating buoy tracks, snow cover, brightness, infrared, wind, temperature, atmospheric pressure, iceberg tracks and more are updated daily.

MIT develops solar panels which track the sun without motors

 Students at MIT participating in the annual MADMEC (Making And Designing Materials Engineering Contest) have devised a zero-input energy solution which allows solar panel arrays to track the sun's movement thereby increasing solar panel efficiency by 38% over stationary panels. The three-person team of Forrest Liau, Vyom Sharma, Geroge Whitfield, all Materials Science graduate students, won top honors and a $10,000 prize for their invention.

Helium leak forces LHC to shut down for two months

CERN reported the second major hiccup in getting its Large Hadron Collider(LHC) up to speed. A “large” helium leak, likely caused by a faulty electrical connection between two magnets, was detected on Friday. The repairs require the LHC to warm up, which means that the entire system will be offline for at least two months.  

Stephen Hawking unveils time-eating clock

Physicist Stephen Hawking helped unveil what may be most scary clock in the world. The Corpus Clock, located at the University of Cambridge, visualizes the belief that time will always be against us. A grasshopper/locust sits atop the dial, eating away every second of our life, swallowing minutes and hours with pleasure. You could get very depressed watching this $2 million clock tick away – or you may see this time-eater as an image to highlight the value of every second that is given to us.

African locusts could help make better cars

The lowly and much reviled African locust could prevent needless car crashes.  Researchers at Volvo and the University of Newcastle are studying anti-collision mechanisms in the locust and hope the information will help build faster and more efficient braking systems.

LCD panel prices to remain stable until October

Wafer foundries said to be cutting workforce or slowing down recruitment

eBay looking to unload StumbleUpon

Online auction giant eBay is looking to unload StumbleUpon.  According to TechCrunch, an anonymous source says eBay has recruited Deutsche Bank in the hopes of finding a suitable buyer for the venerable website that allows people to recommend their favorite websites.  There’s no word on how much eBay wants, but it spent $75 million last year in purchasing StumbleUpon.

Offshore drilling approved, clean energy tax credits to be issued

Green gasoline, diesel and jet fuel produced from waste plant material, not corn

Alternative energy sources used in automobiles today generally come in two forms.  Those which work with or in place of gasoline, like ethanol E85, and more exotic forms, like compressed hydrogen, that can be dangerous.  A University of Wisconsin-Madison professor is looking to change that.  His proposal converts non-edible "waste plant material" directly into green gasoline through a simple, yet economical chemical process.

Brits love Chrome?

The new Google Chrome Web browser, which saw a quick spike in browser market share when it was first released before later settling in, apparently continues to do well at one particular and prominent Web site in the United Kingdom. This is from WebTrends, an online metrics firm.

Advanced math computes McCain ahead in early electoral college

Election day isn't until November 4, 2008, and yet already politicians are using math to determine that McCain is ahead by 28 electoral votes.  One forecast model shows Democrat Senator Barrack Obama weighing in at 255.2 (47%), while Republican Senator John McCain pulls in a hefty 282.8 (53%) or about 27 more votes.  A recent Gallup poll shows the popular trend reversed - Obama receiving 48% of the vote with McCain receiving 44%.  If those votes could translate directly into the electoral college, it would be Obama 210 and McCain 192 (the remaining votes would go to 3rd party candidates).  So, do we believe the model or the poll?

Large Hadron Collider mishap forces shut down

It was reported yesterday that a 30-ton transformer used to power cooling stations for portions of the Large Hadron Collider's (LHC) gigantic superconducting magnets failed last Thursday, just one day after the LHC went online. 

Apple to build iPhone processors with ARM, Imagination and Samsung technologies?

Background – The inner workings of the first and second generation iPhones are largely based on off-the-shelf parts from third-party suppliers, but we are feeling the wind of change. Several puzzle pieces have fallen into place and begin to reveal the bigger picture behind Apple's $278 million acquisition of P.A. Semi. Apple is believed to be in a deal with Imagination, ARM and Samsung to enable the design of a custom chip for future mobile devices. Everything is shaping up to a scenario in which Apple will design its own system-on-chip (SoC) devices, based on ARM blueprints and PowerVR SGX graphics cores, while Samsung will manufacture the chips. The SoC could translate into a more capable engine driving the handset, shader-based 3D graphics for mobile games and HD video decoding for improved multimedia capabilities.