Silicon wafer shipments up 6% in Q2

Humans meet their robot overlords at SIGGRAPH

Balancing on two wheels, the shiny UBot-5 scurries around the Los Angeles Convention Center like it owns the place.  Made by students at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the robot can speed up to 12 km/hour and can’t be knocked over.  Nearby, MIT students were demoing “Nexi”, a robot that can respond to people with face gestures and speech.  Put your hand directly in “her” face and the bot will act upset.  Say something and the robot will follow your face around.  Oh, and don’t you dare have a staring contest against Nexi, because she will win, guaranteed.

U.S. broadband speeds too darn slow; adoption hits 7-Year low

NASA’s Constellation has a hiccup: First flight delayed to 2014

Washington, D.C. – Following the release of the annual report of the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP), NASA announced that it is realigning its Constellation program milestones. “Realigning” means that the program, which will replace the current Space Shuttle program and target a return to the moon by 2020, is being delayed by one year.

Falling prices to boost LCD TV sales in Q4

LCD panel production cuts causing insufficient supply to monitor vendors

Ritek to produce solar modules

Interest in small cars shifts to crossovers as gas prices decline

Hubble telescope completes 100,000 orbits

A greener LA: Park 101

Nanoantennas envisioned as possible replacement for solar cells

Imagine the possibilities of harvesting waste heat and converting it into electricity. Computer processors could be the source of power for their own cooling devices and solar cells could become dramatically more efficient by leveraging energy that is not being used today. If everything goes right, nanoantennas could even replace solar cells one day, researchers believe.

Rentech creates synthetic fuel from natural gas and coal

Rentech, a company that turns hydrocarbons such as coal and natural gas into alternative fuels, says it has begun producing an “ultra clean synthetic fuel”. The process is controversial, especially because coal, which is capable of emitting significant amounts of carbon dioxide when combusted, is involved.

Scientists make giant step towards 3D cloaking devices

The secret that allows objects to become completely invisible to the human eye has been one of the big quests of science, but remains a mystery can only be achieved through special effects in science-fiction movies. U.S. researchers now were able to actually build and define the first 3D cloaking device that can, in a limited way, achieve 3D cloaking ability.

The Terminator’s bionic eye becomes reality

Defcon’s badge from hell

When it comes to convention badges, Defcon certainly takes first place.  This year’s badge is practically studded with blinking LED lights, batteries and even an SD card reader.  As always, attendees are encouraged to hack the badge and the best contraption will win prizes.

Blu-ray players stuck above $300

Pricewatch – HD DVD players are gone for almost half a year and the victorious Blu-ray format is plugging along, but there seems to be few convincing incentives for consumers to actually make the jump to the high-def format. Average retail prices are falling and have broken through the $400 barrier. The next barrier is $300 and it seems that most companies believe that a price of or around $300 is about right at this time.

Intel graphics update: Ray-tracing the way to go for game developers?

Interview – Lots of graphics tech tradeshows are on the calendar for the coming weeks - Siggraph 2008 in Anaheim, IDF Fall in San Francisco, Games Convention in Leipzig and Nvision 08 in San Jose. Intel will play a big role in three of those shows and with Larrabee out and Nehalem almost ready for showtime, we felt it was time to get an update on Intel’s ray-tracing efforts.

Dell claims carbon neutrality

This morning Dell announced the company has achieved its goal of carbon neutrality in less than a year’s time and five months ahead of their schedule. Dell has done this by using a combination of methods ranging from energy efficiency, carbon offsets from rainforest preservation in Madagascar and voluntary green power purchases. The program was designed to help eliminate or offset 475,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

CERN ready to test fire its time machine on September 10

Scientists are gearing up to launch the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) a 17-mile long particle accelerator that debuts with the promise to enable science to look deep into the origins of the universe, providing new insights in matter, space and time. The LHC may very well be the most fascinating science project of our generation.  

GM promises 435 mile range for Volt electric vehicle (sort of)