• Robots in search-and-rescure competition

    A robot competition takes place in Germany this week; the robots compete with each other in how well they traverse, autonomously and without any input from handlers, through a maze resembling the aftermath of a natural disaster; robots sniff out toy dolls that either emit CO2, give off heat, make noise, or move

  • Patent "trolls" bill not likely soon

    Patent trolls, who file patents without any intention of developing them, have been the bane of the technology sector (remember the Blackberry case?); a bill to limit the rights of trolls passed the House but stalled in a Senate committee

  • Swedish researchers find vulnerability in quantum encryption technology

    Quantum encryption is supposed to offer air-tight security owing to the laws of quantum mechanics; to send a key over the quantum channel you must simultaneously send additional data over the traditional Internet channel, and then verify that the classical data has not been changed through an authentication process; data traveling though the quantum channel was 100 percent secure, but the combined system showed vulnerabilities

  • Chicago testing Lake Michigan water for drugs

    Lab tests found traces of pharmaceuticals in the water of Lake Michigan, the source of drinking water for millions in the greater Chicago area; city water authorities launch a thorough water testing campaign

  • Energía renovable en Aragón

    Renewable energy in Spain: Iberdola Renewables, one of Spain’s largest alternative energy companies, forms a joint venture with an Aragón bank to develop clean energy installations in the Aragon region of northeastern Spain

  • Army future combat technology demonstrated for Congress

    The Army exhibited its future combat systems on Capitol Hill last week; among the items demonstrated: urban unattended ground sensors, land warrior, small UGV, and Class I UAV

  • Shape-shifting skin to reduce drag on planes and submarines

    Dolphins induce their skin to wrinkle so water would not stick to them, thus reducing drag and friction; researchers design shape-shifting skin for submarines and planes to reduce drag

  • World's first rocket racing event announced

    The EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, is the world’s largest air show, with this year’s expected attendance of 700,000; on the first two days of August the show will offer a new feature: Rocket racing; home-made rockets will compete

  • Ontario invests in harnessing river flow for energy

    New York City already has it: A Free Flow Turbine in the East River which will generate 10 MW when the project is completed; now Ontario wants to place a three-blade, horizontal-axis turbine on the floor of the St. Lawrence River

  • Energy from vortices

    When water flows over an underwater obstacle, whirlpools or vortices form alternately above and below it; the vortices create a tugging effect, so the result is an alternating force that yanks the object up and down; Wolverines researchers want to harness the power of vortices to generate energy

  • New technology allows for better communication on the battlefield

    Multi-User Detection technology allows radios to transmit at the same time while sharing the same frequency; MUD allows more traffic on various networking systems, which is an advantage to military personnel with critical need for high throughput air-to-air, air-to-ground, and soldier-to-soldier communications

  • USGS says Bakken Formation holds large recoverable oil, gas reserves

    U.S. Geological Survey assesses Bakken Formation to Hold 3 to 4.3 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil — 25 times more than 1995 estimate; in addition, assessment also identified 1.85 trillion cubic feet of associated/dissolved natural gas, and 148 million barrels of natural gas liquids

  • Canadian government blocks sale of MDA space division

    For the first time in the 23-year history of the Investment Canada Act, the federal government blocked a foreign takeover because of a failure of the “net benefit” test; during this period, successive governments have approved 1,587 foreign takeovers; another 11,214 foreign acquisitions required notification under the Act, but not a formal review

  • Stolen military items available for sale online

    GAO investigators buy dozens of prohibited military items on eBay and Craigslist; some of the time would be of direct help to terrorists and insurgents

  • UK Biometrics offers new finger print reader

    Newcastle-based biometric company introduces its Evolution product; company says Evolution can scan one million records per second