Sci-Tech

  • New surveillance camera offers panoramic view, zoom-in capabilities

    Not unlike the surveillance cameras that tracked Will Smith’s every move in the movie “Enemy of the State,” Adaptive Imaging Technologies’ “panoramic telescope” may yet revolutionize the field of surveillance: the camera can, at the same time, monitor a panoramic field of view and zoom in on any spot in real time with exceptional clarity

  • Tiny sensor "listens" to gunshots to identify source of fire and type of weapon

    The sensor, developed by a Dutch company, is smaller than the head of a match, made of two 200-nanometer-thick, 10-micrometer-wide platinum strips that are heated to 200 degrees Celsius; the sensor does not truly “listen” to sounds; rather, it senses air particles that flow past the platinum strips and cool them unevenly

  • Charles Thacker wins Turing Award

    Inventor Charles Thacker wins computer industry’s most prestigious award for his contributions to the field; Thacker built a prototype of a desktop computer, called the Alto, which featured a number of innovations that have since become commonplace: a television-like screen, a graphical user interface, and a WYSIWYG text editor; Thacker was also co-inventor of the Ethernet networking technology

  • German fails to prove atom-smasher will end world

    A German woman sued to prevent the Large Hadron Collider from being started because, she argued, the Earth would be sucked into oblivion in a black hole; a German Constitutional Court threw out her appeal, ruling plaintiff was “unable to give a coherent account of how her fears would come about”

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  • ISC West: Premier security event, showcase for the latest security technology

    ISC West is the premier showcase for security technology and solutions; more than 20,000 attendees, and nearly 1,000 exhibitors will meet in Las Vegas to exhibit — and to examine — the best and the latest in security technology

  • Nanomaterial in shoes, cloths converts movement into power

    New nanomaterials achieve 80 percent efficiency at converting mechanical energy (as that being generated from walking) into electricity; a single PZT crystal, implanted into a shoe, could theoretically generate 10 milliwatts of power: enough to operate 10 iPods; the goal is to embed the crystals in shoes and cloths of both soldiers and civilians so that the wearer’s movements would power whatever electronic gear he or she carries

  • High school students offer engineering solutions to everyday challenges

    Milwaukee high school participates in Project Lead the Way program, a national curriculum that offers mathematics, science, engineering, and technology education courses to middle and high schools students; students in the program solve everyday problems using engineering technology; they are also mentored by industry insiders, and are encouraged to patent their inventions

  • DHS: New bioterror detector will provide near real-time results

    The BioWatch program now monitors more than 30 U.S. urban areas - 20 more will be added in the near future - for the presence biological pathogens, including anthrax, smallpox, plague, and tularemia; the process of collecting the sensors’ filters and analyzing them takes about 36 hours; DHS says Generation 3 technology will provide near real-time analysis; some experts are skeptical

  • One in four Germans willing to have microchip under skin

    A poll shows one in four Germans would be happy to have a microchip implanted in their body if they derived concrete benefits from it; 5 percent of people said they would be prepared to have an implant to make their shopping go more smoothly

  • U.S. Army looking for robots to extract wounded soldiers from battlefield

    Rescuing wounded soldiers under fire is itself a major cause of military death and injury; the U.S. Army asks inventors to come with idea for a Robotic Combat Casualty Extraction device; the robot should not only be strong and dexterous, but should also be capable of planning an approach and escape route without prior knowledge of the local terrain and geography

  • Robot evaluates safety inside structures

    Researchers develop new method to inspect to interior of dangerous structures — dangerous because of structural damage or because terrorists or criminals are hiding there; a remote-controlled robot that is equipped with an infrared camera and LIDAR (light detection and ranging) technology, which sends out multiple laser points that bounce off objects and provide feedback

  • 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