• Preparing for the electromagnetic pulse (EMP) threat

    One unexpected lesson of the many nuclear tests conducted by the superpowers in the late 1950s and early 1960s was that high-altitude nuclear blasts create far-reaching atmospheric effects that could instantly shut down power grids; as modern life becomes ever-more dependent on electronic gadgets, and as the proliferation of nuclear weapons and missiles continue, fear grows that an adversary will seek to cripple the United States by creating an atmospheric EMP effect

  • U.S. hi-tech companies brace for new squeeze on high-tech visas

    U.S. companies can apply for H1-B visa for a skilled foreign employee beginning 1 April for the fiscal year which begins 1 October; last year, all 65,000 H1-B visas were filled on the first day of application; tomorrow will be no different

  • Southern California utility to push solar power

    Southern California Edison, largest utility in California, will place 250 MW of photovoltaic generators on 65 million square feet of roofs of Southern California commercial buildings

  • Four-legged robot simulates human motion

    Four-legged, all-terrain robot can maintain its balance over rugged terrain while carrying a payload of up to 340 pounds; robot can also cope with man-made obstacles and gallop (well, something between “gallop” and “canter”) over impediments

  • U.K.'s Future Soldier / Science and Engineering Week a success

    Two events — Future Soldier and National Science and Engineering Week — took place in London, showing how government, industry, and academia can fruitfully cooperate to promote science, engineering, and technology education

  • New generator for wind turbines

    To connect to the National Grid, large turbines often use a doubly fed induction generator (DFIG) system comprising brushes and slip rings; these require regular maintenance which can be difficult to carry out, particularly offshore or in poor weather conditions; U.K. researchers offer solution

  • DOE penalizes Battelle for lax worker safet at national lab

    Department of Energy penalizes Battelle $250,000 for lax worker safety procedure at Idaho National Laboratory; this is the latest in a series of penalties imposed on contractors operating national labs

  • World's largest caliber supersonic railgun successfully tested

    DARPA-sponsored railgun successfully launches a full-sized projectile, with size and weight similar to a 120 mm mortar, at speeds of 430 meters-per-second

  • New acoustic system locates snipers with accuracy

    System detects the sound of an initial gunshot then the shockwave from the muzzle of the weapon being fired; since sound travels faster than a shockwave, the system is able to pinpoint the position of the attacker

  • Intelligent wireless networks promoted by European consortium

    The proliferation of wireless communication-enabled embedded systems will have significant effects in areas from emergency management to critical infrastructure protection to healthcare and traffic control; European consortium to promote idea

  • Breakthrough: Dramatic increase in thermoelectric efficiency achieved

    Two hundred years ago scientists discovered the thermoelectric effect: Certain materials can convert heat into electricity and vice versa; trouble is, most materials which conduct electricity also conduct heat, so their temperature equalizes quickly; until now: Boston College, MIT researchers solve this vexing problem

  • Pencilbeam X-ray technology for more effective luggage inspection

    New luggage screening technology investigates suspicious material by penetrating the luggage with a pencilbeam X-ray; new approach reduces instances of false alarms

  • New material captures carbon dioxide

    Georgie Tech researchers developed material which captures CO2 from the chimneys of coal-fired power plants and other generators of the greenhouse gases

  • Cat's eyes locate things underwater

    A new underwater cat’s eye can reflect back a tuned signal, revealing its location, to existing sonar systems; new device does not use batteries — and it does rely on toxic chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)

  • Ambient blue light resets tired workers' body clocks

    Tedious work during the “wrong” hours of the body’s biological clock — think truckers who drive through the night, or security officers monitoring CCTV screens during the graveyard shift — often leads to drowsiness; falling asleep behind the wheel or in front of a security monitoring screen can lead to catastrophes; researchers develop a way to “fool” the brain to think it is morning