Sci-Tech

  • Smart CCTV detects brush-fire in early stage

    Researchers develop a CCTV that can detect the first flames of a brush fire; a specially developed software for the CCTV analyzes video images for the characteristic flicker and color of a flame; the software looks for pixels which change from one frame to the next, and which also have a fire-like color

  • Designing terror-proof buildings

    Terrorists attack high-profile building for the symbolism such attacks carry; students at Purdue University test methods to make buildings terror-proof, and the research results could be used in high-profile construction projects

  • Oakton, NIU to offer degree program in emergency provider fields

    Oakton Community College and Northern Illinois University offers police officers, firefighters, and emergency management personnel taking courses there the chance to earn a Northern Illinois University bachelor’s degree; bachelor’s degrees for first responders have become increasingly important in light of comprehensive training requirements enacted since 9/11

  • VTOL, ducted-fan UAV for security monitoring of the London Olympics

    A U.K. company developing a ducted-fan, VTOL UAV says the ability of the vehicle to take off vertically and maneuver around the tops of buildings would make it ideal for security monitoring at the London Olympics and other urban law-enforcement mission; the U.K. start-up says that compared to other UAVs, the Flying Wing can work more aptly against wind gusts, making it suitable for helping troops in mountainous Afghanistan

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  • Israel unveils world's largest UAV

    The Eitan is 79 feet long, has a wingspan of 86 feet — about the size of a Boeing 737 airliner — and can stay aloft for 20 hours at high altitude; powered by a 1,200-horsepower turbojet engine, it has a maximum altitude of 40,000 feet and can carry hundreds of pounds of equipment, such as high-resolution cameras and electronic systems and presumably weapons; Israel says the UAV has the capability of reaching the Gulf

  • Montana State team developing new way to fight influenza, bioterrorism threats

    Researchers develop aerosol spray containing tiny protein cages that will activate an immune response in the lungs; the protein cages trigger the rapid production of lymphoid tissue in the lung; the technology could be used to prevent or treat a range of pulmonary diseases including influenza; it might counter bioterrorism threats, such as airborne microbes

  • Federal loans notwithstanding, Georgia nuclear power plant faces hurdles

    The Obama administration has signaled its interest in expanding the U.S. domestic nuclear power industry by giving $8.3 billion in loan guarantees for a Georgia nuclear power plant expansion; critics say that the American tax-payer is at risk; that the original nuclear reactor design has been rejected by the NRC, and that there is no solution for the nuclear waste problem

  • Intellectual Ventures: A genuine path breaker or a patent troll?

    Intellectual Ventured has amassed 30,000 patents, spent more than $1 million on lobbying last year, and its executives have contributed more than $1 million to Democratic and Republican candidates and committees; the company says it wants to build a robust, efficient market for “invention capital”; critics charge that some of its practices are closer to that of a patent troll

  • Killing malaria bugs dead with laser

    Mosquito-killing laser demonstrated; if bed nets are the low-tech solution to combat the deadly malaria — caused by a parasite transmitted when certain mosquitoes bite people — the laser is a high-tech one; the laser detection is so precise, it can specify the species, and even the gender, of the mosquito being targeted

  • New group calls for holding vendors liable for buggy software

    The group released draft language it advises companies to incorporate into procurement contracts between user organizations and software development firms; SANS Institute, Mitre also release 2010 list of Top 25 programming errors

  • New fiber nanogenerators could lead to electric clothing

    UC Berkeley researchers have created energy-scavenging nanofibers that could one day be woven into clothing and textiles; these nano-sized generators have “piezoelectric” properties that allow them to convert into electricity the energy created through mechanical stress, stretches, and twists

  • New technologies unveiled to protect U.K. 75 million mobile phone users from crime

    U.K. e-commerce, or contatcless, mobile transactions, will account for £151 billion by 2013. the U.K. government’s Design Council unveils three solutions aiming to make mobile phones – and, hence, e-commerce – safer

  • New method of sensing concrete corrosion

    Researchers develop a novel sensor system to monitor the early signs of concrete corrosion, which could reduce expensive, long-term maintenance costs; the sensors measure the key parameters related to concrete corrosion — pH, chloride, and humidity — in highly alkaline environments

  • Oak Ridge develops powerful intrusion detection systems

    The attack analysis program uses machine learning to increase effectiveness; ORCA effectively sits on top of off-the-shelf intrusion detection systems, and its correlation engine processes information and learns as cyberevents arrive; the correlation engine supplements or replaces the preset rules used by most intrusion detection systems to detect attacks or other malicious events