Teams picked for rush hour robot race

Culver City (CA) - The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has picked the first eleven teams for next year's Urban Challenge race. In the race, robotic cars from each team will have to complete an urban, obstacle filled 60-mile course in less than six hours. In return for giving up some technology rights, each team will receive up to $1 million in funding before the race.

Mobile e-mail revenues to pass SMS in North American wireless business market

By the end of the decade more than 41 million North American business users will spend over US$10 billion annually on wireless enterprise data services, with enterprise mobile e-mail to eclipse SMS as the prime revenue generator as early as 2009, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.

Robot cars will race in real traffic

The first 11 teams for a race in which robot cars will jostle with real ones along mocked-up city streets have been announced.

Flexible transistors for your clothes

Physicists from Austria and the U.S. have built ultra-thin pressure sensors which can be woven into sensitive textiles.

Apple suspect in Internet device market study

Apple Computer is one of few high-tech companies which may have been responsible for a recent market survey that asked participants to rate their preference of form factor designs for a next-generation Internet handheld device.

Hackers invited to break the security on $100 laptops

Cheap computers for the world's poor could mean big security headaches. The $100 One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project is inviting hackers to break test out and even break the security on the upcoming computers.

Quad-core and a 6000W heatsink: Impressions from the IDF showfloor

San Francisco (CA) - The recently completed IDF had a lot of news about new processors and computers, but the event also exhibits a fair share of other gadgets. Several dozen companies showed off their wares and we are showing some of the most interesting. They run the gamut from a Core 2 Duo overclocked to 4.0 GHz to a heat plate that can dissipate 6000 watts.

Driver's licenses become smart cards

Digimarc, a company that specializes in providing driver's licenses, today announced the completion of a project that would integrate a silicon chip into driver's licenses. The card would meet new Federal requirements for proof of citizenship when crossing U.S. borders.

SATA may replace ATAPI as mainstream for DVD burners in 2007

Although advanced technology attachment packet interface (ATAPI) is the mainstream interface standard for optical disc drives (ODDs) currently, serial ATA (SATA) stands a chance of replacing the former in the second half of 2007, according to sources in Taiwan's ODD manufacturing industry.

Price war for 40" LCD TVs intensifies in N. America

Brand LCD-TV makers are offering more aggressive prices for their products in North America amid a traditionally strong season and support from panel makers, with prices for 40" and 42" models competing more fiercely than before.

Inexpensive podcast studios are no excuse for low-quality audio says podcast expert

Ontario (California) - Hobbyists and professionals from all walks of life are trying their hand at making podcasts and it doesn't take thousands of dollars to get started. Speaking at the Podcast and Portable Media Expo in Ontario California, Paul Figgiani, a Senior Production Engineer at GigaVox, told attendees that basic podcasting rigs can be bought for less than $100. But while the entry costs may be low, Figgiani warned that listeners today are much less forgiving of poor audio quality.

Microsoft and Hughes to roll out 5000 satellite-based Internet kiosks in India

Microsoft and Hughes India have partnered up to roll out thousands of satellite-based Internet kiosks in India. Around 5000 Information and Communications Technology (ICT) kiosks will be built in 200 small towns and rural regions across the country. In addition to Internet access, the kiosks will have international voice calling and business to business services.

US still leads in electronic design influence but China catching up

The United States in 2006 is expected to maintain its lead in the worldwide electronic equipment design business, with the nation's activities in this area driving the most semiconductor purchasing of any country on earth, according research firm Isuppli.

Solar flares will disrupt GPS in 2011

Navigation, power and communications systems that rely on GPS satellite navigation will be disrupted by violent solar activity in 2011, research shows.

Casual games market belongs to middle-aged women

Video games, which have become intensely closely related to teenage and twenty-something males, are not as gender specific as the societal norm makes them out to be, according to studies from two game publishers. RealNetworks, Inc, and PopCap Games, who specialize in the growing market of "casual games", said that their target audience, casual gamers, is dominated by women. According to them, 70 percent of casual gamers are females over the age of 40.

Now this is an upgrade, Virgin Atlantic frequent flyer converts miles into a space trip

A north Londoner will be getting the ultimate upgrade with his Virgin Atlantic frequent flier miles. Alan Watts, a former electrician, has amassed more than 2 million miles and has converted them into a space trip on the newly formed Virgin Galactic. He will be one of the first 1,000 people scheduled to fly to 75 miles above Earth.

VW Cyber-Passat surfs web, plays video at freeway speeds (Picture Gallery)

San Francisco (CA) - Ultra mobile PCs or UMPCs have been heavily touted by Intel, but so far there hasn't been any "killer app" to catch any significant attention. Intel is partnering up with Volkswagen to change that by developing UMPC-enhanced cars capable of surfing the web and playing video at freeway speeds. At the Intel Developer's Forum, attendees gawked at a prototype 2006 Passat that could playback music, videos and podcasts. It could even stream two different videos to the backseat monitors.

MySpace leads in U.S. video streaming

According to Comscore Media Metrix, a consulting firm that measures the use of digital media, MySpace is currently the top video streaming site in the U.S., at least in terms of the total number of streams initiated. The network of Yahoo sites tops the list on an international scale.

Second generation UMPC to debut in H1 2007

San Francisco (CA) - Forget about the first, relatively bulky UMPCs - which have sparked quite some controversy at their launch back in march of this year. The second generation is being prepped - with case designs and the functionality that was expected to be available for the initial wave of devices.

Intel touts direct DC power supplies for power savings

San Francisco (CA) - It should come as no surprise that server computers use a lot of electricity, but Intel's CTO Justin Rattner says much of that power is wasted and of course he has a solution. Speaking at the Intel Developer's Forum, Rattner said direct current power supply units (PSUs), the ones that don't need AC power, could save an extra 14% over existing high-efficiency PSUs. Rattner even demonstrated a prototype DC PSU and proclaimed that it had an efficiency of greater than 90%.