Northwestern University researchers have developed a new technique for rapidly prototyping nanoscale devices and structures that is so inexpensive the “print head” can be thrown away when done.
Hard-tip, soft-spring lithography (HSL) rolls into one method the best of scanning-probe lithography — high resolution — and the best of polymer pen lithography — low cost and easy implementation.
HSL could be used in the areas of electronics (electronic circuits), medical diagnostics (gene chips and arrays of biomolecules) and pharmaceuticals (arrays for screening drug candidates), among others.
To demonstrate the method’s capabilities, the researchers duplicated the pyramid on the U.S. one-dollar bill and the surrounding words approximately 19,000 times at 855 million dots per square inch. Each image consists of 6,982 dots. (They reproduced a bitmap representation of the pyramid, including the “Eye of Providence.”) This exercise highlights the sub-50-nanometer resolution and the scalability of the method.
The results were published Jan. 27 by the journal Nature.
One hundred solar-powered 7-Elevens will be operating in Japan by the end of the year. The carbon savings are the equivalent to taking 600 cars off the road. In addition, 7-Eleven will offer electric vehicle charging stations as the company promotes its desire to become more eco-friendly.
While mobile communication (voice+text) has seen incredible growth in India, broadband connectivity hasn’t been taken as seriously. Last year, India announced a National Broadband Plan with the intention of connecting close to 160 million households compared to an estimated 10.3 Million connections as of now.
Global information-technology giant IBM is planning to provide its Smarter Cities solutions to medium-sized cities this year by means of cloud computing and software as a service. The move will aim to expand IBM’s business base and add new business partners, thereby increasing the company’s revenue and creating new markets. IBM’s vice president and chief technology officer for the global public sector Guruduth Banavar said the company planned to deliver shared services for Smarter Cities, focused on business outcomes rather than IT solutions, through a cloud-based delivery model, starting this year.
In the span of a century, IBM has evolved from a small business that made scales, time clocks and tabulating machines to a globally integrated enterprise with 400,000 employees and a strong vision for the future. The stories that have emerged throughout our history are complex tales of big risks, lessons learned and discoveries that have transformed the way we work and live. These 100 iconic moments—these Icons of Progress—demonstrate our faith in science, our pursuit of knowledge and our belief that together we can make the world work better.
Check back. New stories will be added throughout our centennial year.
IBM 1401: The Mainframe
In 1959, IBM introduced the 1401, the first high-volume, stored-program, core-memory transistorized mainframe computer. Its versatility in running enterprise applications of all kinds helped it become the most popular computer model in the world in the early 1960s. IBM also introduced the 1403 chain printer, which launched the era of high-speed, high-volume impact printing. The 1403 was unsurpassed in quality until the advent of the laser printer in the 1970s. The 1401 was the first computer system in the world to reach 10,000 unit sales.
InfoSphere enables medical facilities to view all the data for a single patient as well as operational indicators for quality, safety, cost and general performance, Sulkers said.
Physicians can track a hospital’s clinical, financial and administrative performance in InfoSphere by viewing Web-based graphics.
In addition to hospital systems, researchers at universities such as Columbia, in New York, are using IBM’s InfoSphere analytics software to detect medical problems, like complications from brain injuries.
“The authors suggest that instead of producing more food to meet the world’s growing population needs, a more effective way to address food security issues and climate change would be to encourage self-sufficiency and waste reduction, in wealthier and poorer nations alike. “If we shift just some of our attention away from production to consumption issues and reducing food waste, we might actually get quite a big bang for our buck, because that ground has been neglected,” said Brian Halweil, co-director of the project. “The majority of incentives that governments give to farmers are still tied to the production mindset. The farmers are rewarded for sheer production quantity, with very little guidance for the quality they produce and the impact of their farming practices on the environment and on human health and nutrition … It is necessary to change these incentives,” he said.”
Nothing that hasn’t been said here or elsewhere before, but it’s a good point to underscore.
Atul Gawande on Jeff Brenner and lower chronic healthcare costs
“In the current health care system, you’re not paid to keep people healthy. If you’re a complex patient with a range of problems, it doesn’t fit into the world [of primary care visits.] You needs a project manager — a whole team to take you under their wing and see you through this course of illness. What [Brenner’s] creating is the system as it should be.”
For the first time, researchers have taken an overall look at Swedish biofuels and analysed what impact they have on the environment, both in relation to one another and to the fossil fuel alternatives petrol and diesel. The results show that they produce between 65 and 140 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions than petrol and diesel, even when direct and indirect land use changes are taken into account.
Thus the report pokes holes in a controversial argument against biofuels produced from food crops, [namely,]… that these do not have any climate benefit because they crowd out food production and so force new land clearance for cultivation of food in other countries instead… “Our results do not indicate that biofuels produced from crops grown in Sweden currently lead to indirect land use changes.. Despite this, a number of economists have claimed that it could take 50 years for biofuels to repay their impact on the climate, specifically as a result of indirect land use changes,”…
iPad Drives Tablet Market to 17 Million Units Shipped in 2010
A new report from IDC shows that both the media tablet market and the e-reader market made big leaps in 2010. The market for media tablets grew from 3.3 million in Q2 to 4.8 million in Q3, an increase of 45.1%. That growth was fueled almost exclusively by the iPad. In Q3, Apple sold 4.19 million iPads, representing over 87% of the media tablet market.
IDC defines media tablets as devices larger than five inches and less than 14 inches running “lightweight operating systems,” primarily iOS and Android.
E-readers experienced rapid growth as well, led by the Amazon Kindle. 1.14 million Kindles were shipped in Q3, representing 41.5% of the e-reader market. Unexpectedly though, the Pandigital Novel (440 million) beat out the Barnes and Noble Nook (420 million) for second place.
The most interesting part of the report though was the overall forecasts for 2010, 2011 and 2012. For 2010, IDC predicts that about 17 million media tablets will be shipped (they’re still counting up the numbers), but that it will grow to a whopping 44.6 million in 2011 and 70.8 million in 2012. If devices like the iPad 2 and the Motorola Xoom succeed though, then IDC might have to revise its numbers.
More than half of mid-sized businesses worldwide are planning to increase IT budgets in the next 12 to 18 months, targeting resources at cloud computing, business analytics, collaboration, mobility and improving customer relationships, according to a new study commissioned by IBM Corp. that suggests economic recovery may be for real.
In it, I discuss the ramifications of IBM’s remarkable Watson software for Business in the next 10 years. It’s amazing to watch the videos of IBM’s Watson participating in Jeopardy rounds against the human champions. Watson answers faster and more accurately, and it seemingly knows everything. The mileau of information that has to be cataloged in order to have a shot at winning Jeaporday is vast and includes history, literature, politics, arts and entertainment, and science, not to mention algorithms capable of natural language reasoning to be able to decipher the question and arrive at a specific answer.
Imagine having a resource like Watson tirelessly available for your organization’s needs. Would it be the ultimate business intelligence tool? Ask any question, Jeopardy-style, and the machine could cross index every bit of data available in any datamart your corporation has for an answer. How much more effective would meetings be if you could ask such questions and quickly get answers?
New research has shown that it is possible and affordable for the world to achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2030, if there is the political will to strive for this goal.
Achieving 100 percent renewable energy would mean the building of about four million 5 MW wind turbines, 1.7 billion 3 kW roof-mounted solar photovoltaic systems, and around 90,000 300 MW solar power plants.
Mark Delucchi, one of the authors of the report, which was published in the journal Energy Policy, said the researchers had aimed to show enough renewable energy is available and could be harnessed to meet demand indefinitely by 2030.
Delucchi and colleague Mark Jacobson left all fossil fuel sources of energy out of their calculations and concentrated only on wind, solar, waves and geothermal sources. Fossil fuels currently provide over 80 percent of the world’s energy supply. They also left out biomass, currently the most widely used renewable energy source, because of concerns about pollution and land-use issues. Their calculations also left out nuclear power generation, which currently supplies around six percent of the world’s electricity.
“The new green economy could be transformational for our country. Compare it to the internet. Fiftteen years ago there was no web browser. There was no internet at your fingertips, no ecommerce, no search engines. Now, the internet has transformed our lives: how we learn and inform, how we…