Windows Vista & Microsoft Office 2007 New Packaging Revealed
Microsoft revealed yesterday the retail packaging for Windows Vista and Office 2007, the eagerly awaited new products to be made widely available in early 2007.
"With Windows Vista and 2007 Office system, we didn't just redesign the software packages themselves, but are also introducing new packaging for the two products. The packaging has been completely revised and, we hope, foreshadows the great experience that awaits you once you open it." said Nick White in Windows Vista Blog.
"Designed to be user-friendly, the new packaging is a small, hard, plastic container that’s designed to protect the software inside for life-long use. It provides a convenient and attractive place for you to permanently store both discs and documentation. The new design will provide the strength, dimensional stability and impact resistance required when packaging software today. Our plan is to extend this packaging style to other Microsoft products after the launch of Windows Vista and 2007 Office system."
Can Steam Powered Car really go 200mph? That's what a team in Britain is trying to do next year as part of the British Steam Car Challenge.
Bill Rich has long been an enthusiast of steam powered vehicles. In 1997, he had a discussion with Dr. Neil Richardson at the University of Southampton about the fact that the longest standing Land Speed Record was set in 1906. A Stanley Steamer driven by factory man Fred Marriott managed to get to 127.659 and wouldn’t it be interesting to create a steam powered vehicle that could exceed 200 MPH?
At the conclusion of the project, Dr. Richardson suggested to Lord Montagu that the project would make an interesting addition to the collection at Beaulieu. Lord Montagu pulled together an assortment of personalities and the project began to take on a life of its own.
"The car has been named Inspiration after the impact we hope it will have on the public conscience as well as the minds of the future generation of engineers, designers and public policy makers." said the website of the British Steam Car Challenge.
Anticipated costs for the entire project have been forecast at over £650,000. The car will undergo its first speed record test in South Africa next June and then go to the Bonneville Salt Flats.
No one wants Hell. The Internet domain name Hell.com failed to be bought via a live auction Friday, which organizers had hoped would bring bids of more than $1 million.
Another live auction will not take place until a year from now. However, interested buyers will have the opportunity to grab hell.com before then in ongoing silent auction, according to Moniker. Moniker is a unit of the brand and marketing company Seevast Corp.
"The world is still alive and well. Nobody is going to hell right now," said Seevast Chief Executive Lance Podell.
The owner put a minimum price of $1 million on the underworld's domain, confident of high interest after the salacious address, Sex.com, sold for about $12 million earlier this year. But there were no takers with bids failing to reach the reserve price.
Moniker was selling HELL.com on behalf of a group called BAT Flli LLC, whose founder Kenneth Aronson registered the name in 1995.
It's not the first time that Aronson has tried to sell HELL.com. He put the address on the auction block in April 2000, at a starting bid of $8 million.
According to the site, HELL.com is a "private parallel web" not accessible with a Web browser.
The auction on Friday included a list of domain names such as cameras.com, which pulled in $1.5 million. Sexeducation.com that sold for $120,000 and babies.net which went for $26,000.
Flowers.mobi, an address with the new extension for mobile devices, went for $200,000, while fun.mobi pulled in $100,000.
Just to show you a quick comparison between Heaven & Hell (web domains I mean), the following are their rankings according to Alexa.com
Emirates Palace: $3 Billion Hotel Wins Seven Stars and Stripes Award
I still the remember the dinner I had in Emirates Palace May 3rd, 2005. It is certainly a place worth visiting if you happen to be in the UAE.
It's reported by New York Times that Emirates Palace took more than three years and reportedly more than $3 billion to build, which would make it the most expensively constructed hotel in the world.
Affirming its status as one of the best luxury hotels in the world, Seven Stars and Stripes Awards gave Emirates Palace its highest honours — the World Level Perfection Award, citing the luxury resort's world-class customer service.
The award was given following three days of thorough inspection of the hotel and two restaurants by a Seven Stars and Stripes team, whose members have previously inspected and rated luxury hotels and resorts, as well as A-list restaurants all over the world.
New York-based Seven Stars and Stripes is the only global award programme dedicated to reviewing upscale products to luxury resorts and exclusive destinations. Its president and founder, Thorsten Buehrmann, was in Abu Dhabi to personally give the award to Emirates Palace general manager Noel Massoud.
In accepting the award, Massoud said: "This is a fantastic achievement for the hotel, and serves to strengthen our positioning as a truly world-class resort destination. Providing customer service beyond expectations is a daily commitment for us here, and we are deeply thankful for this recognition."
Seven Stars and Stripes Awards maintains the highest standards of review policy. Buehrmann explained, "All hotels, resorts, restaurants, products and services are personally viewed and tried by our staff. We inspect, compare and judge along guidelines and criteria prescribed by Seven Stars and Stripes. There are no exceptions to the rules."
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates launches today its new daily service to New York City. This is Etihad Airline’s 35th international destination and the second to North America, following on from the success of the three times-a-week service to Toronto, Canada.
'Our Guests will be afforded the very best in Etihad luxury, hospitality and entertainment aboard our brand-new Airbus A340-500. The aircraft has been purpose-built to our own specifications and can carry 240 Guests across the Diamond, Pearl and Coral zones.' said Geert Boven, VP commercial, Etihad Airways.
Etihad flight EY 503 will depart Abu Dhabi International Airport daily at 14:15, arriving into JFK Airport's Terminal Four at 21:25.
The return flight, EY 504, departs New York at 23.10 arriving the next day in Abu Dhabi at 20.25.
The fare breakdown is: Coral Zone (economy) Dh3,610, Pearl Zone (business) Dh14,230 and Diamond Zone (first class) Dh21,930.
NASA's First 3-D Solar Imaging Mission Soars Into Space
NASA's twin Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatories mission, known as STEREO, successfully launched Wednesday at 8:52 p.m. EDT from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
STEREO's nearly identical twin, golf cart-sized spacecraft will make observations to help researchers construct the first-ever three-dimensional views of the sun. The images will show the star's stormy environment and its effects on the inner solar system, vital data for understanding how the sun creates space weather.
"The stunning solar views the two observatories will send back to Earth will help scientists get a better understanding of the sun and its activity than we've ever been able to obtain from the ground or any of our other missions," said Nick Chrissotimos, STEREO project manager at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
During the observatories' two-year mission, they will explore the origin, evolution and interplanetary consequences of coronal mass ejections, some of the most violent explosions in our solar system. These billion-ton eruptions can produce spectacular aurora, disrupt satellites, radio communications and Earth's power systems. Energetic particles associated with these solar eruptions permeate the entire solar system and can be hazardous to spacecraft and astronauts.
Better prediction of solar eruptions provides more warning time for satellite and power grid operators to put their assets into a safe mode to weather the storm. A better understanding of the nature of these events will help engineers build better and more resilient systems.
"We're becoming more and more reliant on space technologies in our everyday lives and are hatching ambitious plans to explore our outer space surroundings," said Michael Kaiser, STEREO Project Scientist at Goddard. "But nature has a mind of its own and STEREO is going to help us figure out how to avoid those surprises the sun tends to throw at us and our best-laid plans."
Zayed eBook: UAE Grade 12 Electronic School Books in USB Flash Drives
UAE students are now receiving the “e-Zayed book,” which is “technically a flash memory disk usable in any laptop or computer. A student can order any number of subjects taught in public schools to be included in the hand-held device…. The current product includes only the Grade 12 curriculum of public schools. The subjects include physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, and Arabic and English languages. The objective is to ease the burden of carrying heavy books to school…”
Sawsan Al Rahma, Director of Zayed E-Book said: "The initiative aims at fostering the UAE's strategic plans towards creating an e-enabled society. Zayed E-Book is aligned with the UAE's education policies and is based on the curriculum endorsed by the Ministry of Education."
Zayed E-Book has signed a franchise agreement with the Educational Horizons Publishing & Distribution, holders of the Ministry of Education's copyright to publish and distribute books for government schools throughout the UAE.
Abdulla Khalifa Al Qubaisi, CEO of Educational Horizons said: "This initiative will be a turning point in education methodologies followed in our schools. The prospects to develop the e-project and widen its scope to include other curricula are high. We look forward to receiving feed back from students, their families and teachers."
A whole school book in a flash drive? That's a nifty idea. For information about online school books, take a gander at our site! Perhaps you are interested in going after a job in IT. There is much to learn about getting an online education in Information Technology, so you can live your desires. also, locate school grants to enable your success.
Starting from today afternoon (Pacific Time), everyone should go through Mozilla's main channels for download at getfirefox.com or mozilla.com to obtain Firefox, as this is the pathway Mozilla has optimized for the high volume of Web traffic.
Once FireFox 2.0 is released, Mozilla-supported festivities all the world over will begin. Visitors to firefoxparty.com can find a mashup of Google maps with parties represented geographically. Guest lists aren't exclusive; all fans have to do is sign up.
So far there are 446 parties with 3,717 people registered to attend. There are many in the U.S., but they also reach as far as the Maldives, Antarctica, Jordan and Uzbekistan.
Microsoft Office RoundTable: 360-Degree Conferencing Camera
Microsoft Office RoundTable is a communications device consisting of a 360-degree camera and unified communications software. When combined with Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, Office RoundTable delivers an immersive conferencing experience that extends the meeting room across multiple locations. RoundTable and Communications Server 2007 provide meeting participants, including those in remote locations, with a panoramic view of everyone in the conference room and a close-up view of individual participants, triggered by the voice of the active speaker.
RoundTable has built-in microphones that capture audio content. The console enables all meeting content to be recorded, indexed and archived for playback, transforming meetings into reusable corporate assets.
Microsoft Releases Windows Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP
Wednesday October 18, Microsoft released to the public Windows Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP, the latest version of Internet Explorer Web browser. Customers can upgrade and browse the Web knowing that the new browser provides a greater level of security and works well with the Web sites they visit.
“We listened carefully to our customers and are delivering a safer browser that makes the tasks they do every day much easier,” said Dean Hachamovitch, general manager of the Internet Explorer team at Microsoft.
Financial institutions and security vendors such as PayPal and VeriSign are lining up to support the newest generation of the browser and encouraging their customers to upgrade to Internet Explorer 7.
“Security is a top priority for PayPal, and we encourage our customers using Windows to download and use Internet Explorer 7,” said Michael Barrett, chief information security officer for PayPal Inc. “The new Internet Explorer 7 browser has significant security enhancements, including features that help customers protect their personal information when browsing, communicating and transacting online.”
“As the industry leader in Web site authentication, VeriSign believes that Microsoft’s new Internet Explorer 7 browser will help increase user confidence and help make consumers more secure when using the Internet,” said Tim Callan, product marketing director at VeriSign Inc. “VeriSign has always been on the leading front of offering the most current technologies to help secure consumers online, which is a concept that Microsoft brings to life with Internet Explorer 7. We encourage users to move to the new browser.”
Internet Explorer 7 delivers a new look and enhanced capabilities that make everyday tasks — such as searching, browsing multiple sites and printing — simple and fast. To help users do more with the browser, Microsoft is introducing users of Internet Explorer to tabbed browsing. With tabs, users are able to view multiple sites in a single browser window and easily switch from one site to another. In Internet Explorer 7, Microsoft extends tab functionality with a new feature called Quick Tabs, which provides an “at a glance” snapshot of all open tabs on a single screen, enabling easier and faster site selection and navigation.
Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP is now available in English and runs on Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows XP 64-bit Edition and Windows Server® 2003 Service Pack 1. Internet Explorer 7 will be made available in other Windows-supported languages over the coming weeks.
First Demonstration of a Working Invisibility Cloak
A team led by scientists at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering has demonstrated the first working "invisibility cloak." The cloak deflects microwave beams so they flow around a "hidden" object inside with little distortion, making it appear almost as if nothing were there at all.
Cloaks that render objects essentially invisible to microwaves could have a variety of wireless communications or radar applications, according to the researchers.
The researchers manufactured the cloak using "metamaterials" precisely arranged in a series of concentric circles that confer specific electromagnetic properties. Metamaterials are artificial composites that can be made to interact with electromagnetic waves in ways that natural materials cannot reproduce.
The cloak represents "one of the most elaborate metamaterial structures yet designed and produced," the scientists said. It also represents the most comprehensive approach to invisibility yet realized, with the potential to hide objects of any size or material property, they added.
Earlier scientific approaches to achieving "invisibility" often relied on limiting the reflection of electromagnetic waves. In other schemes, scientists attempted to create cloaks with electromagnetic properties that, in effect, cancel those of the object meant to be hidden. In the latter case, a given cloak would be suitable for hiding only objects with very specific properties.
"By incorporating complex material properties, our cloak allows a concealed volume, plus the cloak, to appear to have properties similar to free space when viewed externally," said David R. Smith, Augustine Scholar and professor of electrical and computer engineering at Duke. "The cloak reduces both an object's reflection and its shadow, either of which would enable its detection."
Although the new cloak demonstrates the feasibility of the researchers' design, the findings nevertheless represent a "baby step" on the road to actual applications for invisibility, said team member Steven Cummer, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Duke.
"It's not yet clear that you're going to get the invisibility that everyone thinks about with Harry Potter's cloak or the Star Trek cloaking device," Smith said.
To make an object literally vanish before a person's eyes, a cloak would have to simultaneously interact with all of the wavelengths, or colors, that make up light, he said. That technology would require much more intricate and tiny metamaterial structures, which scientists have yet to devise.
Schwinn teamed up with Protanium Inc. to develop a whole series of rides in different configurations (the Streamline pictured above), all of which employ lithium polymer batteries and in-hub motors, both well concealed.
They claim their Plug’n Drive system delivers approx. 40 miles of range and charges fully in four hours. They also claim their batteries deliver full power until completely drained (rather than slowly dwindling). Total bike weight ranges from 40-45 lbs., the electric system alone weighs around ten, the battery is stashed on the cargo rack behind the seat, and electric components live inside the frame tubes.
No word on price yet for the Schwinn’s, but they could be looking at a corner on the market. The company has offered electric bikes and scooters in the past, but the vast majority of motor-assisted bikes on the market come out looking freakish (like this or this).
The Tornado: USB Transfer Files Between Two PCs
The Tornado is a device that enables the copy and transfer of all types of data files via USB ports within seconds of plugging it in. Once connected to each PC The Tornado automatically displays both hard drives on the screen, enabling the user to locate and copy files to and from each system.
The Tornado is pocket sized and it operates at USB 2.0 speeds. It has retractable cables allowing it to be easily carried anywhere and can transfer files with speed up to 25 Mb/sec
The Tornado PC-to-PC Transfer tool costs (US $59.95) and can be ordered online at www.thetornado.com
Treadmill Bike: For Treadmill Exercising Outdoors
If you like using the treadmill machine while at the same time you'd rather spend your exercise time outdoors instead, then you have to have the Treadmill Bike from the Bicycle Forest. So what can you do with the Treadmill Bike?
The Treadmill Bike can be used it instead of your car for everyday tasks such as shopping, and traveling to school or your place of work. It will protect your feet (shoes) from dirt and other contaminants commonly found on the earth's surface.
If you are a parent, then you know how frustrating it is to buy news shoes for your kids just because your kids are growing so quickly. In this case, I'm happy to deliver to you this good news to you :) How about buying shows that can actually grow with your kids' feet?
Built right into INCHworm shoes is the iFit technology. The iFit technology allows you to GROW the size of the shoe with a simple push of the button. So eliminate unnecessary trips to the shoe store and provide your children with better fitting shoes that last up to three sizes longer. Inchworm shoes grow in half size increments. Just push the button on the side, and pull the toe of the shoe to adjust into the next size.
The shoes extend up to one full size and is good for children 3-9 years old.
For all obsessed Star Wars fans & USB flash drives fans, here comes the moment you've all been waiting for .... Star Wars USB Flash Drives!
Mimoco, in collaboration with Lucasfilm Ltd., presents Star Wars mimobot Series 1 Designer USB Flash Drives!!!
This holiday season, two of your favorite galaxies will collide to create four awesome Star Wars Mimobot crossover characters. Each are available in 1, 2, & 4GB capacities and will come preloaded with bonus removable Star Wars Mimobot content like trailers, soundbites, avatars, and wallpapers!
Series 1 of this limited edition Mimobot collection, arriving January 2007, includes Darth Vader who is now open for preorders! The prices are listed below:
Coca-Cola and Nestlé claim that they have have come up with a calorie-burning soft drink called (Enviga). Enviga will hit the U.S. market in the Northeast in November and will roll out nationally there in January 2007.
A 12-oz serving can of Enviga will cost $1.29 and it will burn from 50 to 100 calories per serving.
"Enviga increases calorie burning. It represents the perfect partnership of science and nature," said Dr. Rhona Applebaum, chief scientist, The Coca-Cola Company. "Enviga contains the optimum blend of green tea extracts (EGCG), caffeine and naturally active plant micronutrients designed to work with your body to increase calorie burning, thus creating a negative calorie effect. It makes this product stand out as unique. Enviga brings the benefits of green tea to the forefront in a convenient and accessible, great tasting beverage."
The Nestlé Research Center in Lausanne, Switzerland, has studied the properties and benefits of green tea for decades as part of its extensive global tea business. A recent study conducted by the Center in collaboration with the University of Lausanne revealed that consuming the equivalent of three Enviga beverages over the course of the day resulted in a noticeable increase in calorie burning.
"The accumulated body of scientific research shows the ability of green tea's powerful antioxidant EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) to speed up metabolism and increase energy use, especially when combined with caffeine," said Nestlé researcher Dr. Hilary Green.
Enviga will hit the U.S. market in the Northeast in November and will roll out nationally there in January 2007
I liked the comment made by SharkJumper from Gizmodo when he said, "Try ice water. Sip it regularly throughout the day. It also burns calories as your body has to warm it up for processing. You'll pee a bit more, but think of it as peeing away your flab, fatty."
Looks like this Enviga might be scam after all so let us not get too excited. This is what I found from Mouse Print, "The study was very small, consisting of only 32 healthy people, of normal weight, aged 18 - 35. (Wouldn’t this product appeal more to overweight people, and where is the study for that?) The results actually showed that there was no difference in fat oxidation (fat burning) between those drinking Enviga versus a placebo. But it did show that “energy expenditure” was significantly higher for the Enviga drinkers.
Coke is very careful in the way they word their claims, never saying anything about weight loss. Instead they say this drink “is a simple way and positive step you can take toward a healthy balanced lifestyle.” The back of the can even cautions that drinking more than three cans a day of Enviga will not have any additional effect."
Yunus set up a new kind of bank in the 1976 to give credit to the very poorest in his native Bangladesh, particularly women, enabling them to start up small businesses without collateral. In doing so, he invented microcredit, a system which has been duplicated across the globe.
"In Bangladesh, where nothing works and there's no electricity," Yunus said, "microcredit works like clockwork."
The Nobel committee awarded the prize to Yunus and Grameen Bank "for their efforts to create economic and social development from below," it said in its citation.
"Lasting peace can not be achieved unless large population groups find ways in which to break out of poverty. Micro-credit is one such means. Development from below also serves to advance democracy and human rights," it said.
Yunus was convinced women could break through poverty by taking tiny loans to start or expand tiny businesses. The Grameen Bank now serves 6.1 million borrowers.
The Grameen Foundation which grew out of the bank, was founded in 1997 and has a global network of 52 partners in 22 countries that has helped an estimated 11 million people in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and the Middle East.
This man deserves all the respect and admiration. I hope we will see more bankers and banks who will follow this man footsteps and think more of the poor.
Google announced yesterday that it would buy YouTube, the popular video-sharing Web site, for stock that it valued at $1.65 billion.
Google beat out a number of other YouTube suitors, including Microsoft, Viacom, Yahoo and the News Corporation. By successfully negotiating the deal, Google has once again proved that it is the Internet’s dominant player.
Under the terms of the deal, YouTube will retain much of its identity and will keep its name and its office in San Bruno, Calif., more than 25 miles from Google’s headquarters in Mountain View.
Chad Hurley, YouTube’s co-founder and chief executive, has repeatedly said he would prefer for his company to remain independent. Asked about such comments in a conference call with Wall Street analysts and investors held late afternoon yesterday, Mr. Hurley said his company did want to stay independent, adding that “by working with Google, that’s still the case.”
Steve Chen, also a YouTube co-founder, said, “It is hard for me to imagine a better fit for two companies,” both in terms of technology and company culture.
In anticipation of the acquisition, investors pushed shares of Google up $8.50, or 2 percent, on Nasdaq on Monday to a closing price of $429.00 -- a level not seen since late April. In extended-hours trade following the announcement of the deal, Google stock dipped to $427.63.
Filmed in August, the video shows young adherents of the Danish People's Party (DPP) – a political ally of the centre-right coalition led by Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen - mocking Prophet Muhammad during a summer party, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).
Participants in the summer gathering were competing who could draw the Prophet in the most humiliating and laughable manner.
One cartoon appeared to depict the Prophet as a camel, urinating and drinking beer. A song playing in the background contains the lyrics, "The camel Muhammad has four beers…"
Some other participants portrayed the Prophet dressed in a turban and wearing a belt with explosives as others look on in laughter.
The video was filmed by Martin Rosengaard Knudsen who posed as a member of the party for several months to document attitudes among young members.
"RC2 reflects that feedback and includes important improvements in performance, application compatibility, and fit and finish work," said a statement released by Microsoft on Friday afternoon. A Microsoft representative was not available for comment to discuss the specific changes.
Microsoft expects that RC2 will be the final release before Vista hits market, which is still scheduled for January 2007. The statement also assures that RC1 will continue to be supported until the launch of Vista because it "remains a viable build for logo certification."
Quantum Information Teleported From Light To Matter
Physicists in Denmark have teleported information from light to matter bringing quantum communication and computing closer to reality.
Until now scientists have teleported similar objects such as light or single atoms over short distances from one spot to another in a split second.
But Professor Eugene Polzik and his team at the Niels Bohr Institute at Copenhagen University in Denmark have made a breakthrough by using both light and matter.
"It is one step further because for the first time it involves teleportation between light and matter, two different objects. One is the carrier of information and the other one is the storage medium," Polzik explained in an interview on Wednesday.
The experiment involved for the first time a macroscopic atomic object containing thousands of billions of atoms. They also teleported the information a distance of half a meter but believe it can be extended further.
"Teleportation between two single atoms had been done two years ago by two teams but this was done at a distance of a fraction of a millimetre," Polzik, of the Danish National Research Foundation Center for Quantum Optics, explained.
"Our method allows teleportation to be taken over longer distances because it involves light as the carrier of entanglement," he added.
The achievement of Polzik's team, in collaboration with the theorist Ignacio Cirac of the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching, Germany, marks an advancement in the field of quantum information and computers, which could transmit and process information in a way that was impossible before.
"It is really about teleporting information from one site to another site. Quantum information is different from classical information in the sense that it cannot be measured. It has much higher information capacity and it cannot be eavesdropped on. The transmission of quantum information can be made unconditionally secure," said Polzik whose research is reported in the journal Nature.
Quantum computing requires manipulation of information contained in the quantum states, which include physical properties such as energy, motion and magnetic field, of the atoms.
"Creating entanglement is a very important step but there are two more steps at least to perform teleportation. We have succeeded in making all three steps -- that is entanglement, quantum measurement and quantum feedback," he added.
ADNOC Expands Natural Gas for Vehicles (NGV) Project
Following the successful opening of its first public Natural Gas Filling Station in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates, Adnoc Distribution has plans to expand its Natural Gas for Vehicles (NGV) project.
The NGV Pilot Project includes conversions to a limited number of gasoline driven vehicles to run on both Natural Gas and gasoline. So far, 30 cars have been converted including taxis and vehicles belonging to local government departments and institutions. The number of converted vehicles is expected to reach 200 during the next few months.
Following the positive results and feedback from the NGV Pilot Project in Abu Dhabi, Adnoc Distribution has plans to expand its future NGV program throughout the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, in line with the decision of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi Emirate to expand the use of natural gas as an alternative fuel for vehicles.
Also, contacts have been made with vehicle manufacturers who are currently producing new bi-fuel vehicles that run on both Natural Gas and gasoline to encourage them to supply these models to the UAE market in the near future.
In the initial phase, Adnoc Distribution will set up abut 10 Filling Stations to offer NGV filling services in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Plans are also under way to set-up about three centers to carry out conversions to gasoline driven vehicles to run on both Natural Gas and gasoline. This project will be executed in cooperation with speci alist international companies at selected strategically located sites in the Abu Dhabi Emirate and will extend to some of the Northern Emirates in near future.
Natural gas offers a real alternative to the economic and environmental issues associated with operating traditional gasoline- and diesel-based vehicles. In fact, the use of natural gas in vehicles dates back to the 1930’s, but tremendous strides in technology and engine efficiency over the past 20 years has helped to bring Natural Gas Vehicles (NGV) into widespread use and popularity.
Today, operating natural gas vehicles typically costs 30 percent less than the same vehicle using gasoline. Engine maintenance costs for NGV’s are also significantly lower than traditional gasoline vehicles, and the life of motor oils and spark plugs is extended.
Natural gas vehicles operate cleaner, and produce fewer emissions than traditional gasoline-based vehicles, and because natural gas is primarily methane (a molecule found naturally in the environment), it contains fewer harmful compounds than gasoline. In fact, natural gas is second only to hydrogen, in terms of the amount of carbon dioxide produced when burned, and offers the promise of meeting or exceeding even the toughest environmental emissions standards.
NG Vehicles operate and perform much like traditional gasoline-based vehicles, and the transformation is subtle and unobtrusive. The engine fuel intake is modified, and a reinforced compressed fuel tank is added, while still allowing easy access for refueling. With over three million Natural Gas Vehicles in operation in over 50 countries worldwide, the popularity and availability of NGV’s continues to grow. NGV filling stations operate on the same ‘drive-through’ principle as a traditional station, and globally, there are nearly 7,000 in operation.
The use of natural gas in vehicles presents an exciting opportunity to minimize the impact on the environment through the reduction of emissions. In addition to feeling good about minimizing their environmental footprints, NGV drivers benefit from a less expensive, readily available fuel source.
Mahr Federal MarConnect USB Interface For Data Transmission To PCs
A new USB hub system from Mahr Federal makes connecting gages with computers a simple matter of 'plug and play.' The new MarConnect USB interface kits provide all the elements needed to make quick, universal assemblies of multiple measuring systems for data transmission. MarConnect kits include data connection cables, a seven-port industrial model USB hub (although any approved USB hub device will suffice) and new MarCom data transmission software.
"Long term, we feel USB is the way to go for data collection," said George Schuetz, Director of Precision Gages for Mahr Federal in Providence, RI. "While connection via RS-232 multiplexer boxes is still the norm in industry, more and more computers are doing away with RS-232 ports and replacing them with USB ports. USB hubs are less costly than multiplexer boxes," he added.
With additional hubs, up to 100 measuring devices can be connected using the MarConnect USB interface, and data acquisition is simplified with MarCom software. Measuring sequences can be activated either at the gage, on the connected PC, or via a foot switch also available with MarConnect. Measuring instruments can be freely assigned and are clearly identified with MarCom icons.
Measured values can be directly transferred to either MS Excel spreadsheets, or into a text file.
Venturi Astrolab: World’s First Commercially-Available Solar Hybrid
With 3.6 m2 of photovoltaic cells giving an exceptional yield of 21%, and covered by a film composed of nano-prisms enabling denser concentration of solar energy, Astrolab is the first high-performance solar vehicle to be commercialised in the world.
Capable of working with very little energy (16 kWc engine) and of recharging even when in motion, this vehicle of another era does not need to be permanently exposed to the sun in order to move. Its last-generation NiMH Venturi NIV-7 batteries – liquid cooled – in fact enable it to restitute stored energy, whether solar or from the electricity supply, making it the first electro-solar hybrid vehicle.
With a top speed of 120 km/hr and autonomy of 110 km, Astrolab is a real "Solar Commuter" making extensive trips on a daily basis.
CONSUMPTION = 0, EMISSIONS = 0
This is very first vehicle that consumes no fossile resources in order to work : the emissions of CO2 required for its construction will even be compensated for by evironmental actions.
The company plans to ship these vehicles in January, 2008 for €92,000, or about $117,000
Wallet 2.0 designed by Steve Gates is just about the size of your normal leather wallet. It can hold different refill sheets of credit cards, bills, I.D., coins, notes, card holder, memory card, etc.
The Wallet 2.0 itself is made of soft silicone and has a flexible lid that should keep anything from falling out while in your pocket.
Wallet 2.0 can be transformed into a mobile phone, MP3 or key chain cases, and the two strap holes on the side allows you attach it to a cell phone strap or lanyard. You could put many different refill sheets into the wallet, to give it different usages. With a little imagination, you can come up with all sorts of creative ways to use Wallet 2.0 for not only managing your money, but for accenting your lifestyle.
3000MB (3TB) CD-ROM? Is it possible? Theoretically, yes!
A research team at Harvard University has developed a technique that could help to significantly boost the capacity of conventional optical discs. They've fabricated a nano antenna--built directly onto an inexpensive, off-the-shelf laser--that focuses light to a much smaller spot size than is possible with even the best traditional lenses, potentially enabling more bits to be written onto an optical disc.
The storage capacity of a disc increases as the wavelength of light used to write data to it decreases; CDs are written and read using light with a wavelength of 780 nanometers, DVDs use 650 nanometers, and HD-DVDs and Blu-ray discs use 405 nanometers. Wavelengths shorter than 405 nanometers would require light sources far too expensive for consumer electronics.
The team of Crozier, Federico Capasso, professor of applied physics at the university, and graduate students Eric Kort and Ertugrul Cubukcu designed the optical antenna to focus light from a commercial laser (with a wavelength of 830 nanometers) to a spot size of 40 nanometers. With this resolution, "you'd be able to pack more than three terabytes [3,000 gigabytes] worth of data onto something the size of a CD," Crozier estimates. That's enough to hold more than 300 feature-length movies. By comparison, a dual-layer HD-DVD or Blu-ray disc can hold 30 gigabytes or 50 gigabytes, respectively.
Crozier says his team is exploring fabrication techniques that can further decrease the spot size to 20 nanometers. They're also exploring alternatives to the gold metal that currently coats their nano rods. Silver, for instance, could focus light more efficiently than gold at the wavelengths used by the consumer electronics industry.
Microsoft has confirmed Wednesday September 27, that the Xbox 360 HD DVD drive will arrive mid-November for the US and Europe. The price will be $199.99 in the US, €199.99 in Europe and £129.99 in the United Kingdom. The HD DVD drive will be bundled with Peter Jackon's King Kong and the Xbox 360 Universal Remote.
"[The HD DVD drive] will work with either Core or SKU. It puts [the price] on par with people who want to watch movies," said Scott Henson, Director of the Game Development Group at Microsoft. "The key part for us is to give consumers choice. We're not gonna lose money on this, but we will give it value."
Just last week, Microsoft's Peter Moore announced that the Japanese HD DVD drive would launch November 22 for ¥19,800 (about $170).
PeaceMaker & Global Conflicts Palestine: Video Games For Peace & Education?
Three months ago I talked about how Muslims entered the world of video games. I just found out about two new video games (not yet released) that claim to educate people about the Middle East crisis and promote peace. I cannot judge the games yet since I did not get the chance to try them.
The Middle East is far away. This is your chance to get closer. Play a young journalist that has just arrived in Israel, and shape the region's future in a peaceful direction. You must complete your assignment at all cost navigating between Palestinians and Israeli sources to get your article. Will you be able to stay objective and maintain trust on both sides as the conflict escalates. What happens when people become much more than just your sources...
While playing the game as a student or player you will learn about the conflict. You will engage with real personal stories seeing the conflicts from different perspectives and experience why the Israeli-Palestinian conflict just won't go away. The game will have extensive support for educational use with features like encyclopedia, primary sources, assessment and teacher's manual.
As for the second video game (PeaceMaker), it is a simulation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that it supposed to be used to promote peaceful resolution among Israelis, Palestinians and young adults worldwide. The following is the description from the game official website:
PeaceMaker is a one-player game in which the player can choose to take the role of either the Israeli Prime Minister or the Palestinian President. The player must react to in-game events, from diplomatic negotiations to military attacks, and interact with eight other political leaders and social groups in order to establish a stable resolution to the conflict before his or her term in office ends.
The core target audience for PeaceMaker is young adults worldwide, gamers and non-gamers alike. The game aims to educate future global citizens by allowing them to experiment with “what if” scenarios and experience events as seen from the other side’s perspective. In addition, in high school, college classrooms and community events, teachers can use PeaceMaker as an engaging and fresh way to involve their students in discussing current events.