David Kirkpatrick

May 13, 2010

Simon & Schuster, Fortune epic fail

I feel for that other David Kirkpatrick. He’s caught in the circular fire of a dying publishing industry. The thrashings of that particular dinosaur aren’t as public or violent as those of the music and entertainment industries, but they certainly aren’t any less dumb.

Read this entire piece for a taste of the soon-to-be-history file.

From the second link:

I carefully wrote the post, taking time to properly format the text from the excerpts (which is a real pain), linking to both the Kindle and hardcover pre-sale versions of the book in the first paragraph, and linking to Fortune twice in the second paragraph. I added a bolded statement“In the meantime, Fortune has access to two excerpts from the book, and this stuff is solid gold.”

In my world, that’s known as a big wet kiss. And at first both Fortune and Kirkpatrick were pleased. 22 minutes after the post was live, Kirkpatrick emailed to thank me. 48 minutes after the post was live, Fortune emailed to say:

Hi Michael, thank you so much for doing such a great post this morning.

But of course no good deed goes unpunished.

Just six minutes after emailing to tell me how great the post was, Fortune emailed again telling me that in fact they had only wanted me to post exerpts of the excerpts, not the whole excerpts:

Michael, I don’t know where there was a miscommunication, but I didn’t offer you to post the entire excerpt, just the first look and to pluck pieces from it. I need you to please take down the entire excerpts and just post pieces of it as we discussed. I gave you the excerpts to select from, but did not offer for you to post our content, I’m sorry if that was unclear. This is now an issue of copy write infringement and I really need your help in taking down the full excerpts and just posting pieces of it. Please contact me as soon as you can to let me know that this is happening.

Uh oh. “copy write infringement.” Sounds serious.

That was just before 6 am on May 6. I had been asleep for two hours. Fortune then called me three times between 6 am and 7:30 am. I woke up each time and thought “Who’s the jerk calling me in the middle of the night?” and went back to sleep without checking.

Another email at 6:03 am:

Michael, I really need your help on this. Again, I need the post to be fixed and you’re welcome to post a few hundred words from each of the excerpts, but I didn’t offer for you to post the entire excerpt. I gave those to you only to choose something to post. I’m sorry if that was a miscommunication, but I wouldn’t give you permission to post all of our content. Please take down the post and edit it to reflect only some quotes. Please let me know as soon as possible who I might reach to make that happen. I really need your help.

A fourth (or maybe fifth) call at 9:46 am finally got me up (after almost 6 hours of sleep, my average). This time it was Dan Roth, the managing editor of Fortune.com.

I returned the call and things got…heated. Roth said it was unreasonable for me to post the entire excerpts, despite the fact that they asked me to, and that it should have been obvious that we could only post excerpts of excerpts. He told me I needed to edit the posts. I declined on the grounds that I was pissed off I was being called so many times and that it would be a ridiculous amount of new work to pick out the right excerpts of excerpts.

He called me unethical. He then called me unprofessional. He demanded that I remove the post entirely. I declined. We hung up.

GOP wants to block “Euro bailout”

Filed under: Business, Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 7:07 pm

This is simply shortsighted, puts the cart before the horse and is, well, really inane. I abhor the idea that US dollars could be used to bailout foreign companies or governments, but the reality is we do it regularly. And whatever code words someone wants to throw around, like “new world order” to offer one example, we actually do live in a global economy where if any of its moving parts — US, Asia or yes, even the European Union — catastrophically fails, everybody else does, too. Ever try to drive a car with one blown-out tire?

From the link:

After a week of preemptive attacks on a possible IMF bailout of Greece, Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) introduces the European Bailout Protection Act, aimed at preventing taxpayer dollars from going to a rescue plan.

“This legislation would require that countries like Greece cut spending and put their own fiscal house in order,” says Pence, backed up by other members of the House GOP, “instead of looking to the United States for a bailout. We face record unemployment and a debt crisis of our own, and American taxpayers should not be forced to bear the risk for nations that have avoided making tough choices.”

(Hat tip: Drudge Report)

Molecular nanobots

Via KurzweilAI.net — very cool! As always, I’ve included the entire KurzweilAI post. This one is a bit longer than usual.

How to make a molecular nanobot
KurzweilAI.net, May 13, 2010

Scientists have programmed an autonomous molecular nanorobot made out of DNA to start, move, turn, and stop while following a DNA track.


(Paul Michelotti)

The development could ultimately lead to molecular systems that could be used for medical therapeutic devices and molecular-scale reconfigurable robots—robots made of many simple units that can reposition or even rebuild themselves to accomplish different tasks.

Molecular robots, in theory, could be programmed to sense their environment (say, the presence of disease markers on a cell), make a decision (that the cell is cancerous and needs to be neutralized), and act on that decision (deliver a cargo of cancer-killing drugs). Or they could be programmed to assemble complex molecular products.

“In normal robotics, the robot itself contains the knowledge about the commands, but with individual molecules, you can’t store that amount of information, so the idea instead is to store information on the commands on the outside,” says Nils G. Walter, professor of chemistry and director of the Single Molecule Analysis in Real-Time (SMART) Center at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. And you do that by “imbuing the molecule‘s environment with informational cues,” says Milan N. Stojanovic, a faculty member in the Division of Experimental Therapeutics at Columbia University.

“We were able to create such a programmed or ‘prescribed’ environment using DNA origami,” explains Hao Yan, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Arizona State University. DNA origami is a type of self-assembledstructure made from DNA that can be programmed to form nearly limitless shapes and patterns. Exploiting the sequence-recognition properties of DNA base pairing, DNA origami are created from a long single strand of DNA and a mixture of different short synthetic DNA strands that bind to and “staple” the long DNA into the desired shape. The origami used in the Nature study was a rectangle that was 2 nanometers (nm) thick and roughly 100 nm on each side.

The researchers constructed a trail of molecular “bread crumbs” on the DNA origami track by stringing additional single-stranded DNA molecules, or oligonucleotides, off the ends of the staples. These represent the cues that tell the molecular robots what to do—start, walk, turn left, turn right, or stop, for example—akin to the commands given to traditional robots.

To build the 4-nm-diameter molecular robot, the researchers started with a common protein called streptavidin, which has four symmetrically placed binding pockets for a chemical moiety called biotin. Each robot leg is a short biotin-labeled strand of DNA, “so this way we can bind up to four legs to the body of our robot,” Walter says. “It’s a four-legged spider,” quips Stojanovic. Three of the legs are made of enzymatic DNA, which is DNA that binds to and cuts a particular sequence of DNA. The spider also is outfitted with a “start strand”—the fourth leg—that tethers the spider to the start site (one particular oligonucleotide on the DNA origami track). “After the robotis released from its start site by a trigger strand, it follows the track by binding to and then cutting the DNA strands extending off of the staple strands on the molecular track,” Stojanovic explains.

“Once it cleaves,” adds Yan, “the product will dissociate, and the leg will start searching for the next substrate.” In this way, the spider is guided down the path laid out by the researchers. Finally, explains Yan, “the robot stops when it encounters a patch of DNA that it can bind to but that it cannot cut,” which acts as a sort of flypaper.

Using atomic force microscopy and single-molecule fluorescence microscopy, the researchers were able to watch spiders crawling over the origami, showing that they were able to guide their molecular robots to follow four different paths.

More info: Caltech news and Molecular robots guided by prescriptive landscapes

The iPad is a netbook killer

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:08 pm

And just wait until Windows or Chrome versions hit the shelves.

From the link:

While it’s true that netbooks are the more affordable choice with better keyboards, USB ports, faster processors, superior e-mail and Flash usability, and a variety of models to choose from, the popularity of netbooks have been in a freefall just as the elegant iPad is catching fire.

Could this be happenstance? Maybe. The netbook trend may just be played out regardless of the iPad. But a new report from Morgan Stanley argues there is a direct correlation.

In addition to forecasting that the iPad will cannibalize iPod Touch sales, the Morgan Stanley report provides data showing that the netbook craze hit a crescendo in July of 2009, with a stunning 641 percent year-over-year growth. But after the holidays, netbook growth took a big fall, and it’s been dropping each month since. In April, netbooks only experienced 5 percent year-over-year growth.

CPAs see economic sunshine

For the first time in a couple of years.

From the link:

For the first time in more than two years, CPA financial executives were more optimistic than pessimistic about the outlook for the U.S. economy, according to a quarterly survey conducted by the AICPA and the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, but more than half don’t expect full economic recovery until 2012 or later, and 42% are now concerned about inflation.

Results from the AICPA/UNC Kenan-Flagler Business & Industry Economic Outlook Survey Q2 2010 found that 40% of respondents were optimistic or very optimistic about the outlook for the U.S. economy for the next 12 months. This is up from 25% who showed optimism during the first quarter of 2010, and a significant increase from record-low levels of 5% optimism in the first quarter of 2009. This quarter, 25% were very pessimistic or pessimistic, down from 38% last quarter, and the remainder were neutral.

The survey, conducted between April 13 and May 2, includes responses from 1,768 CPA executives in business and industry.

Mapping state and local tax burdens

Filed under: Business, Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:20 am

Interesting graphic from the Tax Foundation:

May 12, 2010

Doubling organic solar cell efficiency …

Filed under: et.al. — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:39 pm

… with “light pipes.” If this research bears fruit it will be a major solar breakthrough — drastically increased efficiency coupled with lower cost manufacturing. A win-win.

From the link:

Researchers in North Carolina have developed a way to more than double the performance of organic solar cells by adding a layer of upright optical fibers that act as sunlight traps.

David Carroll, a professor of physics at Wake Forest University, led the development of a prototype solar cell incorporating the fibers. He is the chief scientist at a spinoff company called FiberCell that is developing a reel-to-reel manufacturing process to produce the cells. “We’re on the cusp of having working demonstrators that would convince someone to go into production with this,” said Carroll.

The best organic solar cells today are nearly 8 percent efficient, although efforts are ongoing to develop organic chemistries that would push the efficiency of such cells above 10 percent. But Carroll says improved chemistries alone won’t be enough to catch up to the performance of silicon cells. “The answer doesn’t lie in chemistry–it lies in the architecture of the cell itself,” he says. Carroll adds that the dollar-per-watt cost of manufacturing fiber-based organic cells should be about the same cost as for flat organic cells. “But they can be produced in a factory costing one-tenth that of a silicon foundry,” he says. This would make them much cheaper to produce than silicon cells.

Fiber forest: This prototype solar panel is covered with optical fibers. Photons bounce around inside the fibers before being absorbed, and this doubles the panel’s efficiency compared to regular organic cells.
Credit: Wake Forest University

3D printing and movie props

Filed under: Arts, et.al., Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:26 pm

Via KurzweilAI.net — I do a lot of blogging about 3D printing and other rapid technologies (rapid prototyping, additive manufacturing, 3D modeling and visualization, et.al.) and this is one cool use for 3D printing.

Iron Man 2′s Secret Sauce: 3-D Printing
Fast Company, May 7, 2010

Maybe the most cutting-edge facet of Iron Man 2′s production was the real-life fabrication of the suits: using 3-D printers, the film’s production company, Legacy Effects, was able to have artists draw an art concept, input into a CAD program, and then physically make that concept in just four hours.

Read Original Article>>

This video accompanied the original KurzweilAI post:

DNA-based logic chips

Very cool and very fascinating in terms of extreme mass production.

The release:

DNA could be backbone of next generation logic chips

IMAGE: This is Duke University’s Chris Dwyer.

Click here for more information.

DURHAM, N.C. – In a single day, a solitary grad student at a lab bench can produce more simple logic circuits than the world’s entire output of silicon chips in a month.

So says a Duke University engineer, who believes that the next generation of these logic circuits at the heart of computers will be produced inexpensively in almost limitless quantities. The secret is that instead of silicon chips serving as the platform for electric circuits, computer engineers will take advantage of the unique properties of DNA, that double-helix carrier of all life’s information.

In his latest set of experiments, Chris Dwyer, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering, demonstrated that by simply mixing customized snippets of DNA and other molecules, he could create literally billions of identical, tiny, waffle-looking structures.

Dwyer has shown that these nanostructures will efficiently self-assemble, and when different light-sensitive molecules are added to the mixture, the waffles exhibit unique and “programmable” properties that can be readily tapped. Using light to excite these molecules, known as chromophores, he can create simple logic gates, or switches.

These nanostructures can then be used as the building blocks for a variety of applications, ranging from the biomedical to the computational.

IMAGE: This is a closeup of a waffle.

Click here for more information.

“When light is shined on the chromophores, they absorb it, exciting the electrons,” Dwyer said. “The energy released passes to a different type of chromophore nearby that absorbs the energy and then emits light of a different wavelength. That difference means this output light can be easily differentiated from the input light, using a detector.”

Instead of conventional circuits using electrical current to rapidly switch between zeros or ones, or to yes and no, light can be used to stimulate similar responses from the DNA-based switches – and much faster.

“This is the first demonstration of such an active and rapid processing and sensing capacity at the molecular level,” Dwyer said. The results of his experiments were published online in the journal Small. “Conventional technology has reached its physical limits. The ability to cheaply produce virtually unlimited supplies of these tiny circuits seems to me to be the next logical step.”

DNA is a well-understood molecule made up of pairs of complimentary nucleotide bases that have an affinity for each other. Customized snippets of DNA can cheaply be synthesized by putting the pairs in any order. In their experiments, the researchers took advantage of DNA’s natural ability to latch onto corresponding and specific areas of other DNA snippets.

Dwyer used a jigsaw puzzle analogy to describe the process of what happens when all the waffle ingredients are mixed together in a container.

“It’s like taking pieces of a puzzle, throwing them in a box and as you shake the box, the pieces gradually find their neighbors to form the puzzle,” he said. “What we did was to take billions of these puzzle pieces, throwing them together, to form billions of copies of the same puzzle.”

IMAGE: These are many waffles.

Click here for more information.

In the current experiments, the waffle puzzle had 16 pieces, with the chromophores located atop the waffle’s ridges. More complex circuits can be created by building structures composed of many of these small components, or by building larger waffles. The possibilities are limitless, Dwyer said.

In addition to their use in computing, Dwyer said that since these nanostructures are basically sensors, many biomedical applications are possible. Tiny nanostructures could be built that could respond to different proteins that are markers for disease in a single drop of blood.

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Dwyer’s research is supported by the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Army Research Office. Other members of the Duke team were Constantin Pistol, Vincent Mao, Viresh Thusu and Alvin Lebeck

Semi-conductor nanocrystals and quantum computing

Another step toward quantum computing.

The release:

Quantum move toward next generation computing

McGill researchers make important contribution to the development of quantum computing

This release is available in French.

IMAGE: These images show the electrostatic energy given off when electrons are added to a quantum dot. They were made with an atomic-force microscope.

Click here for more information.

Physicists at McGill University have developed a system for measuring the energy involved in adding electrons to semi-conductor nanocrystals, also known as quantum dots – a technology that may revolutionize computing and other areas of science. Dr. Peter Grütter, McGill’s Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Education, Faculty of Science, explains that his research team has developed a cantilever force sensor that enables individual electrons to be removed and added to a quantum dot and the energy involved in the operation to be measured.

Being able to measure the energy at such infinitesimal levels is an important step in being able to develop an eventual replacement for the silicon chip in computers – the next generation of computing. Computers currently work with processors that contain transistors that are either in an on or off position – conductors and semi-conductors – while quantum computing would allow processors to work with multiple states, vastly increasing their speed while reducing their size even more.

Although popularly used to connote something very large, the word “quantum” itself actually means the smallest amount by which certain physical quantities can change. Knowledge of these energy levels enables scientists to understand and predict the electronic properties of the nanoscale systems they are developing.

“We are determining optical and electronic transport properties,” Grütter said. “This is essential for the development of components that might replace silicon chips in current computers.”

IMAGE: These images show the electrostatic energy given off when electrons are added to a quantum dot. They were made with an atomic-force microscope.

Click here for more information.

The electronic principles of nanosystems also determine their chemical properties, so the team’s research is relevant to making chemical processes “greener” and more energy efficient. For example, this technology could be applied to lighting systems, by using nanoparticles to improving their energy efficiency. “We expect this method to have many important applications in fundamental as well as applied research,” said Lynda Cockins of McGill’s Department of Physics.

The principle of the cantilever sensors sounds relatively simple. “The cantilever is about 0.5 mm in size (about the thickness of a thumbnail) and is essentially a simple driven, damped harmonic oscillator, mathematically equivalent to a child’s swing being pushed,” Grütter explained. “The signal we measure is the damping of the cantilever, the equivalent to how hard I have to push the kid on the swing so that she maintains a constant height, or what I would call the ‘oscillation amplitude.’ “

Dr. Aashish Clerk, Yoichi Miyahara, and Steven D. Bennett of McGill’s Dept. of Physics, and scientists at the Institute for Microstructural Sciences of the National Research Council of Canada contributed to this research, which was published online late yesterday afternoon in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The research received funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, le Fonds Québécois de le Recherche sur la Nature et les Technologies, the Carl Reinhardt Fellowship, and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.

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Graphene transistor

Filed under: Science, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:23 am

One step toward nanoelectronics.

From the link:

For years, scientists and researchers have been looking into the properties of carbon nanotubes and graphene for use in nanoelectronics. “There is no real mass application of devices based on graphene and carbon nanotubes,” Zhenxing Wang tells PhysOrg.com. “This is really an opportunity for them to show their capabilities.”

Wang is part of a group at the Key Laboratory for the Physics and Chemistry of  at Peking University in Beijing. Along with Zhiyong Zhang, Huilong Xu, Li Ding, Sheng Wang, and Lian-Mao Peng, Wang tested a top-gate  field-effect transistor based frequency doubler in order to gauge its performance. They were able to show that a graphene based frequency doubler can provide more than 90% converting efficiency, while the corresponding value is not larger than 30% for conventional frequency doubler. Their work is published in : “A high-performance top-gate graphene field-effect transistor based frequency doubler.”

May 11, 2010

US tax bill at lowest level in 60 years

Kinda punches a few holes in that whole “Obama is out to get everything you own” meme floating around the not-so-rational right.

From the link:

Amid complaints about high taxes and calls for a smaller government, Americans paid their lowest level of taxes last year since Harry Truman‘s presidency, a USA TODAY analysis of federal data found.

Some conservative political movements such as the “Tea Party” have criticized federal spending as being out of control. While spending is up, taxes have fallen to exceptionally low levels.

Federal, state and local taxes — including income, property, sales and other taxes — consumed 9.2% of all personal income in 2009, the lowest rate since 1950, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports. That rate is far below the historic average of 12% for the last half-century. The overall tax burden hit bottom in December at 8.8.% of income before rising slightly in the first three months of 2010.

“The idea that taxes are high right now is pretty much nuts,” says Michael Ettlinger, head of economic policy at the liberal Center for American Progress. The real problem is spending,counters Adam Brandon of FreedomWorks, which organizes Tea Party groups. “The money we borrow is going to be paid back through taxation in the future,” he says.

Is ball lightning all in your mind?

It just might be due to extremely strong magnetic fields created by certain lightning strikes. Things to ponder here in the midst of big storm season.

From the link, the science:

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is an extraordinary technique pioneered by neuroscientists to explore the workings of the brain. The idea is to place a human in a rapidly changing magnetic field that is powerful enough to induce currents in neurons in the brain. Then sit back and see what happens.

Since TMS was invented in the 1980s, it has become a powerful way of investigating how the brain works. Because the fields can be tightly focused, it is possible to generate currents in very specific areas of the brain to see what they do.

Focus the field in the visual cortex, for example, and the induced eddys cause the subject to ‘see’ lights that appear as discs and lines. Move the the field within the cortex and the subject sees the lights move too.

All that much is repeatable in the lab using giant superconducting magnets capable of creating fields of as much as 0.5 Tesla inside the brain.

Also from the link, out in the field:

But if this happens in the lab, then why not in the real world too, say Joseph Peer and Alexander Kendl at the University of Innsbruck in Austria. They calculate that the rapidly changing fields associated with repeated lightning strikes are powerful enough to cause a similar phenomenon in humans within 200 metres.

To be sure, this is a rare event. The strike has to be of a particular type in which there are multiple return strokes at the same point over a period of a few seconds, a phenomenon that occurs in about 1-5 per cent of strikes, say Peer and Kendl.

And the observer has to be capable of properly experiencing the phenomenon; in other words uninjured. “As a conservative estimate, roughly 1% of (otherwise unharmed) close lightning experiencers are likely to perceive transcranially induced above-threshold cortical stimuli,” say Peer and Kendl. They add that these observers need not be outside but could be otherwise safely inside buildings or even sitting in aircraft.

The Facebook Effect

No, I’m not the David Kirkpatrick who authored the upcoming book on Facebook — The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World — but if you enjoy social networking, social media, the Facebook experience in general or just interesting tales from the world of business, hit the link and pre-order a copy.

There is some confusion because I do blog fairly often on social media/web 2.0 and occasionally blog about Facebook specifically, and I’ve been a professional freelance writer for many years. The David Kirkpatrick who wrote “The Facebook Effect” has most recently been a senior editor at Fortune magazine, and to add just a little more murk into the mix there’s yet another David Kirkpatrick who’s a reporter for the New York Times. Most recently that David Kirkpatrick served as the Washington DC correspondent and I understand he is to transfer to the Cairo bureau sometime soon.

So there you go. Do continue to enjoy this blog, pick up a copy of “The Facebook Effect” by one of the other David Kirkpatrick’s out there and keep on reading yet another in the NYT.

Kagan gets to SCOTUS with 65 ayes

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:19 pm

At least according to Mike Allen’s hypothetical Senate vote.

From today’s Playbook:

PLAYBOOK FORECAST: Elena Kagan will be confirmed with 65 votes — 3 fewer than Justice Sotomayor, and 4 more than Kagan got for solicitor general last year. Here’s the math, from someone smarter than us (we welcome your quibbles/rebuttals): For solicitor general, Kagan got 61 ayes and 31 nays. Safe to assume if you were one of the 31 Republicans voting nay then, you can’t vote aye this time? Probably. Of the 61 ayes, seven were Republicans: Collins, Snowe, Gregg, Hatch, Kyl, Lugar and Coburn. After conservatives flexed their muscles in Utah last weekend (the Bennett effect), it’s hard to see Coburn, Hatch or Kyl voting for her this time. So that would theoretically put her at 58. But Specter voted no, and could now be expected to vote yes. So that’s 59. Four Democrats missed the vote. Of these, Boxer, Klobuchar, and Murray would be yes votes. So that’s 62. The fourth missing Democrat was Kennedy. His successor, Brown, might be gettable. (Is the Massachusetts senator really going to vote against the Harvard Law dean?) So that’d be 63. And Franken was not seated yet last time, but would be a yes now. So 64. Three Republicans did not vote: Cochran, Ensign and Graham. Of these, Graham is gettable, but it would be tough to envision either of the other two Republicans voting for her. So that puts her at 65. That’s with every Democrat (including Ben Nelson) voting yes, as well as the two Maine-iacs, Scott Brown, Judd Gregg, Lugar and Graham. Roll call on Kagan for solicitor general.

Graphene as a heat sink

Filed under: Science, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:43 am

Nanotech news from UC Riverside.

The release:

Hot new material can keep electronics cool

Few atomic layers of graphene reveal unique thermal properties

IMAGE: Alexander Balandin is a professor of electrical engineering in the Bourns College of Engineering at the University of California, Riverside.

Click here for more information.

Professor Alexander Balandin and a team of UC Riverside researchers, including Chun Ning Lau, an associate professor of physics, have taken another step toward new technology that could keep laptops and other electronic devices from overheating.

Balandin, a professor of electrical engineering in the Bourns College of Engineering, experimentally showed in 2008 that graphene, a recently discovered single-atom-thick carbon crystal, is a strong heat conductor. The problem for practical applications was that it is difficult to produce large, high quality single atomic layers of the material.

Now, in a paper published in Nature Materials, Balandin and co-workers found that multiple layers of graphene, which are easier to make, retain the strong heat conducting properties.

That’s also a significant discovery in fundamental physics. Balandin’s group, in addition to measurements, explained theoretically how the materials’ ability to conduct heat evolves when one goes from conventional three-dimensional bulk materials to two-dimensional atomically-thin films, such as graphene.

The results published in Nature Materials may have important practical applications in removal of dissipated hear from electronic devices.

Heat is an unavoidable by-product when operating electronic devices. Electronic circuits contain many sources of heat, including millions of transistors and interconnecting wiring. In the past, bigger and bigger fans have been used to keep computer chips cool, which improved performance and extended their life span. However, as computers have become faster and gadgets have gotten smaller and more portable the big-fan solution no longer works.

New approaches to managing heat in electronics include incorporating materials with superior thermal properties, such as graphene, into silicon computer chips. In addition, proposed three-dimension electronics, which use vertical integration of computer chips, would depend on heat removal even more, Balandin said.

Silicon, the most common electronic material, has good electronic properties but not so good thermal properties, particularly when structured at the nanometer scale, Balandin said. As Balandin’s research shows, graphene has excellent thermal properties in addition to unique electronic characteristics.

“Graphene is one of the hottest materials right now,” said Balandin, who is also chair of the Material Sciences and Engineering program. “Everyone is talking about it.”

Graphene is not a replacement for silicon, but, instead could be used in conjunction with silicon, Balandin said. At this point, there is no reliable way to synthesize large quantities of graphene. However, progress is being made and it could be possible in a year or two, Balandin said.

Initially, graphene would likely be used in some niche applications such as thermal interface materials for chip packaging or transparent electrodes in photovoltaic solar cells, Balandin said. But, in five years, he said, it could be used with silicon in computer chips, for example as interconnect wiring or heat spreaders. It may also find applications in ultra-fast transistors for radio frequency communications. Low-noise graphene transistors have already been demonstrated in Balandin’s lab.

Balandin published the Nature Materials paper with two of his graduate students Suchismita Ghosh, who is now at Intel Corporation, and Samia Subrina, Lau. one of her graduate students, Wenzhong Bao, and Denis L. Nika and Evghenii P. Pokatilov, visting researchers in Balandin’s lab who are based at the State University of Moldova.

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The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California’s diverse culture, UCR’s enrollment of over 19,000 is expected to grow to 21,000 students by 2020. The campus is planning a medical school and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Graduate Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

May 10, 2010

Deepwater Horizon blowout caused by methane bubble

Doesn’t mitigate the extent of this disaster, but it is good to at least have an idea about what caused the blowout in the first place.

From the link:

The deadly blowout of an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico was triggered by a bubble of methane gas that escaped from the well and shot up the drill column, expanding quickly as it burst through several seals and barriers before exploding, according to interviews with rig workers conducted during BP’s internal investigation.

While the cause of the explosion is still under investigation, the sequence of events described in the interviews provides the most detailed account of the April 20 blast that killed 11 workers and touched off the underwater gusher that has poured more than 3 million gallons of crude into the Gulf.

Also from the link, sounds like a very frightening few moments on the rig:

As the bubble rose up the drill column from the high-pressure environs of the deep to the less pressurized shallows, it intensified and grew, breaking through various safety barriers, Bea said.

“A small bubble becomes a really big bubble,” Bea said. “So the expanding bubble becomes like a cannon shooting the gas into your face.”

Up on the rig, the first thing workers noticed was the sea water in the drill column suddenly shooting back at them, rocketing 240 feet in the air, he said. Then, gas surfaced. Then oil.

“What we had learned when I worked as a drill rig laborer was swoosh, boom, run,” Bea said. “The swoosh is the gas, boom is the explosion and run is what you better be doing.”

The gas flooded into an adjoining room with exposed ignition sources, he said.

“That’s where the first explosion happened,” said Bea, who worked for Shell Oil in the 1960s during the last big northern  oil well blowout. “The mud room was next to the quarters where the party was. Then there was a series of explosions that subsequently ignited the oil that was coming from below.

May 7, 2010

Is Kagan the next SCOTUS judge?

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:44 pm

Yes, according to Mike Allen.

From today’s Playbook:

Look for President Obama to name his Supreme Court pick Monday, and look for it to be Solicitor General Elena Kagan, a former Harvard Law dean. The pick isn’t official, but top White House aides will be shocked if it’s otherwise. Kagan’s relative youth (50) is a huge asset for the lifetime post. And President Obama considers her to be a persuasive, fearless advocate who would serve as an intellectual counterweight to Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Scalia, and could lure swing Justice Kennedy into some coalitions The West Wing may leak the pick to AP’s Ben Feller on the later side Sunday, then confirm it for others for morning editions. For now, aides say POTUS hasn’t decided, to their knowledge. Kagan pic and bio

May 6, 2010

SculptCAD Rapid Artist — Mark Grote

This post is the fifth in an ongoing series highlighting the artists behind the SculptCAD Rapid Artists Project. (Hit this link for all posts related to the project.)

Mark has been teaching at Loyola University for over thirty years as a full professor and he is a graduate of Washington University St. Louis. Mark has exhibited both nationally and internationally and is the recipient of numerous awards and grants including Fulbright, Pollock Krasner, Joan Mitchell, and Artist and Scholars at the American Academy of Rome.

How did you get involved with the RAPID Artists project?
Nancy Hairston is one of my past students.
Is this your first experience with 3D/digital sculpting technology and tools?
Yes
How have these technologies changed the way you approach your process?
It has opened up many possibilities for producing works or parts of work in mass.
Are these digital tools having an effect on the work you are creating? Are the tools aiding/adding to/hindering the process?
I believe they will have a very positive effect on my future work.
What are your thoughts on the SculptCAD Rapid Artists Project?
It has been a very well organized project and has offered all the artist a lots of information, feed back from other artist. Opened up new possibilities of how one thinks about and how one can make work. I hope they do another one next year and I can participate. Now that I know more I want to use that information.
Looking beyond the project, what do you have coming up in the near future art-wise? Do you have any shows or projects planned?
Project pending at Kohler artist in residence program.
How can people interested in your work get in touch with you?
Here is Mark’s Rapid Artist concept and statement:
Statement The war on the Taliban and Al-Qaeda has now been going on for over nine years. The attackers used box cutters to takeover the four planes. Today we have only one thing we can look at to see our successes. And that is many of the Afghan people have been able to vote. However even that has much to be desired. Scan my finger and construct 234 fingers out of rubber. Dip each in blue ink and attach the box knife.
Head below the fold for more images of Mark’s work. (more…)

May 5, 2010

IRS offering open house May 15 for small business and individuals

The facts straight from the source:

Open House on Saturday May 15 to Help Small Businesses, Individuals Solve Tax Problems

IR-2010-55, May 3, 2010

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service will host a special nationwide Open House on Saturday May 15 to help small businesses and individuals solve tax problems.

Approximately 200 IRS offices, at least one in every state, will be open May 15 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time. IRS staff will be available on site or by telephone to help taxpayers work through their problems and walk out with solutions.

“Our goal is to resolve issues on the spot so small businesses and individuals can put any issues they have with the IRS behind them,” IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said. “If you have a problem filing or paying your taxes or resolving a tough tax issue, we encourage you to come in and work with us.”

IRS locations will be equipped to handle issues involving notices and payments, return preparation, audits and a variety of other issues. At a previous IRS Open House on March 27, approximately two-thirds of taxpayers requested and received assistance with payments and notices.

So, for example, a taxpayer who cannot pay a tax balance due can discuss with an IRS professional whether an installment agreement is appropriate and, if so, fill out the paperwork then and there. Assistance with offers-in-compromise will also be available. Likewise, a taxpayer struggling to complete a certain IRS form or schedule can work directly with IRS staff to get the job done.

At the March 27 Open House, 88 percent of the taxpayers who came in for help had their issues resolved the same day.

Locations for the May 15 Open House are listed here.

The Open House on May 15 is the first of three events scheduled through the end of June. The next two are planned for Saturday June 5 and Saturday June 26. Details regarding those events will be available soon.

Dracula would like this nanotech …

… because it’s perfectly non-reflecting.

The release:

Perfectly non-reflecting

Research News May 2010

A new nanocoating ensures a perfectly non-reflecting view on displays and through eyeglasses. The necessary surface structure is applied to the polymeric parts during manufacture, obviating the need for a separate process step. The hybrid coating has further advantages: the components are scratch-proof and easy to clean.

Link: download picture

Moths are the prototype. As they search for food at dusk they have to hide from predators. Their presence must not be betrayed by reflections on their facet eyes. On other insects these eyes shimmer, but the moth’s eyes are perfectly non-reflecting. Tiny protuberances smaller than the wavelength of light form a periodic structure on the surface. This nanostructure creates a gentle transition between the refractive indices of the air and the cornea. As a result, the reflection of light is reduced and the moth remains undetected.

Research scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM in Freiburg have adopted this artifice and adapted it to a range of different applications. On eyeglasses, cell phone displays, fitting or panel covers, transparent surfaces are generally only useful if they allow viewing without light reflecting back. Whereas conventional methods apply the anti-reflective coating in a separate step after production, the Fraunhofer scientists have found a way of reducing light reflection during actual manufacture of the part or component: »We have modified conventional injection molding in such a way that the desired nanostructure is imparted to the surface during the process,« explains Dr. Frank Burmeister, project manager at the IWM.

For this the researchers have developed a hard material coating which reproduces the optically effective surface structure. »We use this to coat the molding tools,« says Burmeister. »When the viscous polymer melt is injected into the mold, the nanostructures are transferred directly to the component.« Because no second process step is required, manufacturers achieve an enormous cost saving and also increase efficiency. »Normally the component would have to undergo an additional separate process to apply the anti-reflex coating,« Burmeister adds.

Normal plexiglass and some anti-reflex coatings are particularly sensitive, but the scientists are producing wipe-resistant and scratch-proof surfaces. For this purpose the injection mold is additionally flooded with an ultra-thin organic substance made of polyurethane. Burmeister: »The substance runs into every crevice and hardens, like a two-component adhesive.« The result is an extremely thin nanocoating of polyurethane on which the optically effective surface structures, which are just one ten-thousandth of a millimeter thick, are also reproduced. Working in cooperation with industrial partners, the research scientists now aim to develop components for the auto industry, for example, which are not only attractive to look at but also hard-wearing and easy to clean.

US Treasury hacked and serving malware

Not good. Looks like the attack originated in Ukraine.

From the link:

Three Web sites belonging to the U.S. Department of the Treasury have been hacked to attack visitors with malicious software, security vendor AVG says.

AVG researcher Roger Thompson discovered the issue Monday on three Web domains associated with the home page of the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing. As of late Monday, all three Web sites were still actively serving malicious software and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Web site should be avoided until it’s clear that they’ve been cleaned up, Thompson said in an interview via instant message.

Although the Treasury Department could not be reached for comment, IT staff there appear to be aware of the problem. On Tuesday morning, all three sites had apparently been taken offline and were returning a “page not found” error.

According to Thompson, hackers had added a small snippet of virtually undetectable iframe HTML code that redirected visitors to a Web site in the Ukraine that then launched a variety of Web-based attacks based on a commercially available attack-kit called the Eleonore Exploit pack.

There’s a whole lot of digital information out there

Via KurzweilAI.net — Wow.

Digital information will grow to 1.2 zettabytes this year: IDC study
KurzweilAI.net, May 5, 2010

Last year, the Digital Universe (the amount of digital information created and replicated in the world) grew by 62% to nearly 800,000 petabytes (a petabyte is a million gigabytes, or a quintillion bytes), and this year, the Digital Universe will grow almost as fast to 1.2 million petabytes, or 1.2 zettabytes, according to IDC’s annual report, “The Digital Universe Decade – Are You Ready?” May 2010, which monitors the amount of digital information created and replicated in a year.

“Between now and 2020, the amount of digital information created and replicated in the world will grow to an almost inconceivable 35 trillion gigabytes, as all major forms of media — voice, TV, radio, print — complete the journey from analog to digital…. This explosive growth means that by 2020, our Digital Universe will be 44 times as big as it was in 2009.”

By 2020, more than a third of all the information in the Digital Universe will either live in or pass through the centrally hosted, managed, or stored in public or private repositories that today we call “cloud services.”

IDC estimates that in 2009, if people had wanted to store every gigabyte of digital content created, they would have had a shortfall of around 35%. This gap is expected to grow to more than 60% (that is, more than 60% of the petabytes created could not be stored) over the next several years.

“The greatest challenges are related not to how to store the information we want to keep, but rather to reducing the cost to store all of this content” (75% of which is a copy), “reducing the risk (and even greater cost) of losing all of this content, and extracting all of the value out of the content that we save.”

OBL in WDC

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 9:29 am

Ahmadinejad is crazy … crazy like a fox. Check out this exchange with George Stephanopoulos:

STEPHANOPOULOS: One final question. There’s a new documentary out that says that Osama Bin Laden is living in Tehran. And the subject of the documentary, a man named Alan Parrot, one of the world’s foremost falconers living in Iran, says he’s spoken to Osama bin Laden several times since 2003. Is Osama bin Laden in Tehran?

AHMADINEJAD: Your question is laughable.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Why?

AHMADINEJAD: The U.S. government has invaded Afghanistan in order to arrest Bin Laden. They probably know where Bin Laden is. If they don’t know he is, why did they invade? Could we know the intelligence?

STEPHANOPOULOS: I think if they knew, they would find him. They would get him.

AHMADINEJAD: First they should have tried to find his location, then invade, those who did not know about his location first they invaded and then they tried to find out where he is, is that logical? Do you think this is logical?

STEPHANOPOULOS: What I think is that you didn’t answer my question. Is he in Tehran or not?

AHMADINEJAD: Our position is quite clear. Some journalists have said Bin Laden is in Iran. These words don’t have legal value. Our position towards Afghanistan and against terrorism is quite clear.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Is it true or not?

AHMADINEJAD: Maybe you know, but I don’t know.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I’m asking you. You’re the President of Iran.

AHMADINEJAD: I don’t know such a thing, you are giving news which is very strange.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, let me ask it a different way. If you did know that Osama bin Laden was in Tehran, would you show him hospitality? Would you expel him? Would you arrest him?

AHMADINEJAD: I heard that Osama bin Laden is in the Washington, D.C.

STEPHANOPOULOS: No, you didn’t.

AHMADINEJAD: Yes, I did. He’s there. Because he was a previous partner of Mr. Bush. They were colleagues in fact in the old days. You know that. They were in the oil business together. They worked together. Mr. Bin Laden never cooperated with Iran but he cooperated with Mr. Bush–

STEPHANOPOULOS: I’ll ask one more time and then I’ll let you go. If you knew that Osama bin Laden was in Tehran, which you say you don’t. If you knew, would you expel him? Would you arrest him? Would you show him hospitality?

AHMADINEJAD: Our borders, our borders are closed to the illegal entry of anyone. Anyone who that may be. Whether it’s the three American mountaineers, Mr. Bin Laden or anyone else. The borders are closed. Our position is clear.

I’m quite surprised, to see that you adjust your daily lives based on the news that is being broadcast. I’m concerned that the government of the United States takes positions based on such news. If it is so, it is too bad. The news must be accurate and accountable, otherwise it will disrupt the relations between the nations. Just like this, did the government of the United States knew about the location of Mr. Bin Laden? And you said, “No, they went to find out.” Well, first you locate–

STEPHANOPOULOS: They lost the trail.

AHMADINEJAD: –to find out they have invaded Afghanistan. First they have to find out his location and then invade. It’s like for a judge to arrest someone and then go after the evidence.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you deny categorically that he’s in Tehran today? He is not– Osama bin Laden is not in Tehran today?

AHMADINEJAD: Rest assured that he’s in Washington. I think there’s a high chance he’s there.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I don’t agree.

Thank you for your time, Mr. President.

(Hat tip: Mike Allen’s Playbook)

Providing disadvantages along with advantages helps nanotech acceptance

One of my more popular all time posts is “Nanotechnology does have drawbacks” from September 2008 so that tells me people regularly search for the negative side of nanotech. The topic is something that heads toward higher level science and the term gets tossed around a lot — and a lot of the time incorrectly as far as that goes — so people are naturally curious about exactly what is nanotechnology and how is it good and bad.

This survey, not surprisingly, found that providing information about the risks of nanotech increases public support among those who have heard of the field. Of course it also found support decreased among those who’d never heard the term once they were frightened by the potential drawbacks. I’m guessing scientific fact that sounds like scientific fiction can be pretty scary to someone who’s not familiar with what it can, and might, do both positive and negative.

From the second link, the release:

Survey: Hiding Risks Can Hurt Public Support For Nanotechnology

Release Date: 05.04.2010

A new national survey on public attitudes toward medical applications and physical enhancements that rely on nanotechnology shows that support for the technology increases when the public is informed of the technology’s risks as well as its benefits – at least among those people who have heard of nanotechnology. The survey, which was conducted by researchers at North Carolina State University and Arizona State University (ASU), also found that discussing risks decreased support among those people who had never previously heard of nanotechnology – but not by much.

“The survey suggests that researchers, industries and policymakers should not be afraid to display the risks as well as the benefits of nanotechnology,” says Dr. Michael Cobb, an associate professor of political science at NC State who conducted the survey. “We found that when people know something about nanotechnologies for human enhancement, they are more supportive of it when they are presented with balanced information about its risks and benefits.”

The survey was conducted by Cobb in collaboration with Drs. Clark Miller and Sean Hays of ASU, and was funded by the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at ASU.

However, talking about risks did not boost support among all segments of the population. Those who had never heard of nanotechnology prior to the survey were slightly less supportive when told of its potential risks.

In addition to asking participants how much they supported the use of nanotechnology for human enhancements, they were also asked how beneficial and risky they thought these technologies would be, whether they were worried about not getting access to them, and who should pay for them – health insurance companies or individuals paying out-of-pocket. The potential enhancements addressed in the survey run the gamut from advanced cancer treatments to bionic limbs designed to impart greater physical strength.

One segment of participants was shown an image of an unrealistic illustration meant to represent a nanoscale medical device. A second segment was shown the image and given a “therapeutic” framing statement that described the technology as being able to restore an ill person to full health. A third segment was given the image, along with an “enhancement” framing statement that described the technology as being able to make humans faster, stronger and smarter. Two additional segments were given the image, the framing statements and information about potential health risks. And a final segment of participants was not given the image, a framing statement or risk information.

The survey found that describing the technology as therapeutic resulted in much greater public support for the technology, as well as a greater perception of its potential benefits. The therapeutic frame also resulted in increased support for health insurance coverage of nanotech treatments once they become available, and increased concerns that people wouldn’t be able to afford such treatments without insurance coverage.

“These findings suggest that researchers, policymakers and industries would be well advised to focus their research efforts on developing therapeutic technologies, rather than enhancements, because that is the area with the greatest public support,” Cobb says.

The use of the nanotech image did not have a significant overall impact on participants’ support, but did alarm people who were not previously familiar with nanotechnology – making them less likely to support it.

The survey was conducted by Knowledge Networks between April 2-13. The survey included 849 participants, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percent.

NC State’s Department of Political Science is part of the university’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

This illustration was used to represent a nanoscale medical device in the national survey on public attitudes towards the use of nanotechnology for human enhancement.This illustration was used to represent a nanoscale medical device in the national survey on public attitudes towards the use of nanotechnology for human enhancement.

May 4, 2010

Deepwater Horizons’ troubles were predicted

Not the blowout itself — those just happen to oil rigs and can’t be avoided — but the failure of the blowout preventer (BOP). BOPs are the primary, and clearly just about the only, defense the oil and gas industry has against blowouts in deepwater wells.

From the link:

While the Deepwater Horizon leaks’ depth is unprecedented, it was not unanticipated. A report by engineering consulting firm URS Corp. in 2002 concluded that “Technologies used in shallow waters are no longer adequate for water depths over 1,000 meters. As a result, the environmental consequences of some of the newer deepwater technologies are not well understood.”

In 2005 petroleum engineering researchers from Texas A&M University suggested that drilling in the “dangerous and unknown” ultra-deep environment required new blowout control measures: “While drilling as a whole may be advancing to keep up with these environments, some parts lag behind. An area that has seen this stagnation and resulting call for change has been blowout control.”

An analysis of incidents in the Gulf of Mexico by the Texas A&M researchers showed that offshore blowouts had continued at “a fairly stable rate” since 1960 despite the use of BOPs. Regulators require inspection of BOPs every 14 days. BP says it inspected the Deepwater Horizon’s 10 days before last month’s blowout.

Hit this link for satellite images of the slick from April 29, 2010.

Here is leaked oil heading toward the coastline of Louisiana:

Tuesday video fun — Craig Ferguson, “There’s a monster coming”

Filed under: Arts, et.al., Media — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:03 am

I happened to catch this when it aired on April 5 and immediately DVRed it for posterity. This is one late-night clip everyone should see at least once.

May 3, 2010

Facebook is a privacy nightmare

Here’s a timeline of the social networking site’s eroding privacy policy courtesy of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

From the link:

Since its incorporation just over five years ago, Facebook has undergone a remarkable transformation. When it started, it was a private space for communication with a group of your choice. Soon, it transformed into a platform where much of your information is public by default. Today, it has become a platform where you have no choice but to make certain information public, and this public information may be shared by Facebook with its partner websites and used to target ads.

Recovering lost art through technology

Undoing 16th century vandalism in the name of religion.

The release:

Reveal-all-scanner for works of art

Research News May 2010

Painted-over murals were thought to be irretrievably lost because conventional methods are seldom suitable to rendering the hidden works visible without causing damage. Research scientists now aim to reveal the secrets of these paintings non-destructively using terahertz beams.

Link: download picture

Many church paintings are hidden from sight because they were painted over centuries ago. In the 16th century, for instance, Reformation iconoclasts sought to obscure the religious murals, while in later times the iconoclast images often were painted over once again. Several layers of paintings from various epochs can now be found superimposed on top of each other. If mechanical methods are used to uncover these pictures there is always a risk that the original work will be damaged. What’s more, the more recent layers and pictures on top of the original, which are also worthy of preservation, would be destroyed. Research scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS in Dresden are now working on a non-destructive method for rendering these works visible, which involves the use of terahertz (THz) radiation. In the TERAART project funded by the German federal ministry of education and research (BMBF) they are cooperating with Dresden University of Technology, the FIDA Institute for Historic Preservation in Potsdam and the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts.

»We use THz radiation because it can penetrate the plaster and lime wash even if the layer is relatively thick. Unlike UV radiation for example, THz radiation does not damage the work of art. Infrared beams cannot be considered because they do not penetrate deep enough. Microwaves offer no alternative either, because they do not achieve the necessary width and depth resolution,« explains Dr. Michael Panzner, scientist at the IWS. A mobile system that can be used anywhere was developed to conduct the examinations. It consists of a scanner with two measuring heads which travels contactlessly over the wall. One measuring head transmits the radiation, the other picks up the reflected beams. The researchers were supported by the Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques IPM, which built the adapted THz component.

»To produce the THz radiation we use a femtosecond laser incorporating the design principle of a fiber laser. The THz time domain spectroscopy technique applied by us utilizes the short electromagnetic pulses with a duration of just one to two picoseconds produced by the femtosecond laser. Each layer and each pigment reflects these pulses differently so that both a picture contrast as well as depth information can be obtained,« says Panzner. »The measured results provide information for example about the thickness of the layers, what pigments were used and how the colors are arranged. A specially developed software system puts the measured results together to form a picture displaying the structure of the concealed paintings.«

On a test wall, on which paintings in various types of paint were painted over with distemper, the scientists have already succeeded in revealing the structures of the concealed pictures. The next step will be to conduct a practical test in a church. The experts are also confident of being able to use THz radiation to detect the presence of carcinogenic biocides on and in works of art made of wood or textiles. »Preservationists will be very interested in our reveal-all-scanner for works of art, « affirms Panzner.

Yahoo’s Carol Bartz must be high

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:35 pm

That’s the only way to explain her very odd mischaracterization of Google in this BBC article unless she was massively quoted out of context. If she’s running the company and has that poor of mental grasp on the competition, I’d be very, very concerned as a shareholder for the future of the company.

From the link:

“Google is going to have a problem because Google is only known for search,” said Ms Bartz.

“It is only half our business; it’s 99.9% of their business. They’ve got to find other things to do.

“Google has to grow a company the size of Yahoo every year to be interesting.”

Find other things to do? I’m no Google cheerleader (although I absolutely love the Chrome browser), but is she serious? I think I answered that in the previous parenthetical reference. Now I know Bartz was talking about monetized business, but even facing the Facebook threat to online ad revenue I seriously doubt Google has any short- or even mid-term concerns to remaining enormously profitable.

Maybe the tone of the interview was driven by a little industry jealousy. Just for fun let’s compare the recently released Q1 earnings reports for each.

Yahoo! (released April 20, 2010)

revenue: just under $1.6M, up one percent over first quarter 2009

Google (released April 15, 2010)

revenue: $6.77B, up 23 percent over last year’s first quarter

Now that is a difference in revenue. Yahoo is below two million and Google is below seven billion. Good interview, Carol. It’s always smart to call out your competition when you’re operating from a position of strength. Oh, wait …

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