Research

America, But Not Americans, Lead World in Science

Posted In DataCenter
U.S. keeps increasing R&D, IT-driven growth as the world races to catch up, but a quarter of Americans still don’t know the Earth revolves around the Sun. continue…

Is Earth Weighed Down By Dark Matter?

Posted In DataCenter
Earth may have a dark-matter corset weighing it down… or that might just be a shadow. continue…

Ann Arbor Eyes R&D Hub for Connected Cars

Posted In Looking in Tech
Car from 1984
IT and the automotive industry are becoming even more closely entwined in Ann Arbor, Mich., as plans develop for an R&D hub focused on connected-vehicle technology. The former General Motors Willow Run powertrain plant, one of the largest buildings in the world, will be demolished to make room for a facility and test track. The project involves the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute and the Department of Transportation’s connected vehicle project. U-M regents recently approved building the university’s own… continue…

SunShot Initiative Funding Data-Driven Research into Solar Energy

The Department of Energy is pouring money into seven projects using data to make solar-energy technology more efficient. continue…

IBM Planning New Analytics Center in Ohio

IBM is setting up an analytics research center in Columbus, Ohio. continue…

Tiny Rocket Thrusters Pave Way For Smaller Satellites

Posted In Living in Tech
These small cube-shaped objects are rocket thrusters that can be used to allow a small satellite to roll or adjust its orbit. That might not sound like a big deal but for nanosatellites, it’s huge. The microthruster, which was developed by MIT’s Paulo Lozano, is about the same size as a penny and weighs about as much as a typical computer chip. It’s useless on Earth, but is perfectly capable of repositioning a shoebox-sized nanosatellite in the zero-gravity environment of… continue…

New Infrared Lenses Could Make Driving Safer

Posted In Living in Tech
cheaper infrared lense
Driving at night in bad weather, or in the dark, or both can be a dangerous thing. But there’s good news ahead for drivers everywhere. A group of German researchers has created a production process that may significantly cut the cost for forward looking infrared (FLIR) lenses for use in cars. FLIR can make driving at night safer, but the cost has been an enormous barrier. So, the technology remains an aftermarket add-on to a few luxury vehicles. Thanks to… continue…

You Can Find a Job in R&D If You Look Hard Enough

Posted In Looking in Tech
Quick: Name a truly innovative company today. Chances are you thought of someone like Amazon (for its AWS and related-cloud services), Apple (shiny devices and usability), Twitter (zero to ubiquity in just a few years), or someone like that. They all have done great things. But in 20 or 40 years, will any of them still matter? There’s an argument to be made that cloud services legitimately changed the face of computing. But Twitter? That is going down in history… continue…

New Solar Cell Could Charge Your Phone, and Your House

Posted In Living in Tech
solar
UCLA researchers are working on a new type of solar cell that could be used as a smart window and may be able to seamlessly collect energy for both small hand-held devices and large buildings. Previous attempts at creating transparent solar windows failed because of a single problem: You can have a good window, or a good solar cell, but you can’t have both. In order for a photovoltaic cell to function as a window, it has to let a… continue…

MIT Algorithm Sorts Real Smiles from Fakes

MIT researchers have developed an algorithm that determines, with 90 percent accuracy, whether a person’s smile is genuine or not. The algorithm uses visual cues to calculate the likelihood that a smile is real, – and it does well enough to beat regular humans, who tend to score worse than if they simply left their assessment to random chance. Researchers say people with autism could potentially benefit from this technology, because they have particular difficulty in picking up contextual clues… continue…