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Qualcomm unveils Snapdragon 805 with Adreno 420 GPU

Qualcomm has announced today a new generation Snapdragon 805 chipset with better 2.5GHz quad-core processor and 4K graphics. The Snapdragon 805 delivers 4K display support in addition to the 4K video recording support, which was already available on t...
Science

CT and 3-D printers used to recreate dinosaur fossils

Nov. 20, 2013 — Data from computed tomography (CT) scans can be used with three-dimensional (3-D) printers to make accurate copies of fossilized bones, according to new research published online in the journal Radiology.

Fossils are often stored in plaster casts, or jackets, to protect them from damage. Getting information about a fossil typically requires the removal of the plaster and all the sediment surrounding it, which can lead to loss of material or even destruction of the fossil itself.

German researchers studied the feasibility of using CT and 3-D printers to nondestructively separate fossilized bone from its surrounding sediment matrix and produce a 3-D print of the fossilized bone itself.

"The most important benefit of this method is that it is non-destructive, and the risk of harming the fossil is minimal," said study author Ahi Sema Issever, M.D., from the Department of Radiology at Charité Campus Mitte in Berlin. "Also, it is not as time-consuming as conventional preparation."

Dr. Issever and colleagues applied the method to an unidentified fossil from the Museum für Naturkunde, a major natural history museum in Berlin. The fossil and others like it were buried under rubble in the basement of the museum after a World War II bombing raid. Since then, museum staff members have had difficulty sorting and identifying some of the plaster jackets.

Researchers performed CT on the unidentified fossil with a 320-slice multi-detector system. The different attenuation, or absorption of radiation, through the bone compared with the surrounding matrix enabled clear depiction of a fossilized vertebral body.

After studying the CT scan and comparing it to old excavation drawings, the researchers were able to trace the fossil's origin to the Halberstadt excavation, a major dig from 1910 to 1927 in a clay pit south of Halberstadt, Germany. In addition, the CT study provided valuable information about the condition and integrity of the fossil, showing multiple fractures and destruction of the front rim of the vertebral body.

Furthermore, the CT dataset helped the researchers build an accurate reconstruction of the fossil with selective laser sintering, a technology that uses a high-powered laser to fuse together materials to make a 3-D object.

Dr. Issever noted that the findings come at a time when advances in technology and cheaper availability of 3-D printers are making them more common as a tool for research. Digital models of the objects can be transferred rapidly among researchers, and endless numbers of exact copies may be produced and distributed, greatly advancing scientific exchange, Dr. Issever said. The technology also potentially enables a global interchange of unique fossils with museums, schools and other settings.

"The digital dataset and, ultimately, reproductions of the 3-D print may easily be shared, and other research facilities could thus gain valuable informational access to rare fossils, which otherwise would have been restricted," Dr. Issever said. "Just like Gutenberg's printing press opened the world of books to the public, digital datasets and 3-D prints of fossils may now be distributed more broadly, while protecting the original intact fossil."

Science

World’s first known magnetic cellulose loudspeakers: Potential for magnetic cellulose comes in crisp and clear

Nov. 20, 2013 — They're flat, ultra-thin and great-sounding. The world's first known magnetic cellulose loudspeakers have been demonstrated at KTH.

Throughout the ages, Swedes have relied on their country's vast forests as a source of sustenance and economic growth. Now add the world's first magnetic cellulose membrane loudspeakers to the list of products that can be produced from wood.

These flat, sonorous and environmentally-friendly speakers are made with a new material derived from wood pulp -- magnetic cellulose gel -- which was developed at Stockholm's KTH Royal Institute of Technology. Unlike ordinary speakers, they require no heavy permanent magnets.

Richard Olsson, a KTH researcher in chemical sciences who supervised the doctoral research behind the magnetic cellulose gel, says the new material may open the way for innovations in such areas as acoustic applications for automobiles.

Olsson and his colleagues at KTH, Lars Berglund, also a researcher in chemical sciences, and Valter Ström, a scientist in engineering physics of materials, recently demonstrated the speakers for the first time. Their paper is published by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

"This is, to our knowledge, the first reported magnetic speaker membrane," Olsson says. He adds that the sound quality is at least as good as in conventional speakers -- possibly better because of the even distribution of forces created in the membrane.

The idea is to show the potential of natural and environmentally-sustainable materials in everyday products. "We want to use this first prototype to see how the cellulose can be used in new applications," he says.

He and his research colleagues have patented the material, which was created by attaching magnetic nanoparticles to cellulose nanofibrils. The cellulose comes from renewable wood pulp and involves environmentally-friendly water chemistry. The gel is cast into a membrane which is then allowed to dry. The membrane's strength is that it has a rapid reaction capability, which means a high degree of precision in sound reproduction.

Ordinary speakers include a large permanent magnet. The speaker cone's movement, which creates sound waves, is driven by a voice coil that is wrapped around the permanent magnet and attached to the cone.

With the cellulose membrane speakers, the magnetic particles are part of the membrane itself. The KTH speaker has a coil, but it has no direct contact with the cone, so the only thing that creates sound is the movement of air. All of these components can be manufactured at a very small scale.

The technology has potentially other uses, he says. "We want to look at applications for the material that are driven by magnetic fields. It may, for example, be a form of active damping for cars and trains." It could also involve technology that cancels out noise.

Research in materials from the Swedish forests is conducted at Wallenberg Wood Science Center (WWSC). The doctoral students in the project are Sylvain Gallan, Richard Andersson and Michaela Salajkova.

Science

The Galaxy’s ancient brown dwarf population revealed

Nov. 20, 2013 — A team of astronomers led by Dr David Pinfield at the University of Hertfordshire have discovered two of the oldest brown dwarfs in the Galaxy. These ancient objects are moving at speeds of 100-200 kilometres per second, much faster than normal stars and other brown dwarfs and are thought to have formed when the Galaxy was very young, more than 10 billion years ago. Intriguingly the scientists believe they could be part of a vast and previously unseen population of objects.

The researchers publish their results in the Oxford University Press journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Brown dwarfs are star-like objects but are much less massive (with less than 7% of the Sun's mass), and do not generate internal heat through nuclear fusion like stars. Because of this brown dwarfs simply cool and fade with time and very old brown dwarfs become very cool indeed -- the new discoveries have temperatures of 250-600 degrees Celsius, much cooler than stars (in comparison the Sun has a surface temperature of 5600 degrees Celsius).

Pinfield's team identified the new objects in the survey made by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), a NASA observatory that scanned the mid-infrared sky from orbit in 2010 and 2011. The object names are WISE 0013+0634 and WISE 0833+0052, and they lie in the Pisces and Hydra constellations respectively. Additional measurements confirming the nature of the objects came from large ground-based telescopes (Magellan, Gemini, VISTA and UKIRT). The infrared sky is full of faint red sources, including reddened stars, faint background galaxies (large distances from our own Milky Way) and nebulous gas and dust. Identifying cool brown dwarfs in amongst this messy mixture is akin to finding needles in a haystack. But Pinfield's team developed a new method that takes advantage of the way in which WISE scans the sky multiple times. This allowed them to identify cool brown dwarfs that were fainter than other searches had revealed.

The team of scientists then studied the infrared light emitted from these objects, which are unusual compared to typical slower moving brown dwarfs. The spectral signatures of their light reflects their ancient atmospheres, which are almost entirely made up of hydrogen rather than having the more abundant heavier elements seen in younger stars. Pinfield comments on their venerable ages and high speeds, "Unlike in other walks of life, the Galaxy's oldest members move much faster than its younger population."

Stars near to the Sun (in the so-called local volume) are made up of 3 overlapping populations -- the thin disk, the thick disk and the halo. The thick disk is much older than the thin disk, and its stars move up and down at a higher velocity. Both these disk components sit within the halo that contains the remnants of the first stars that formed in the Galaxy.

Thin disk objects dominate the local volume, with thick disk and halo objects being much rarer. About 97% of local stars are thin disk members, while just 3% are from the thick-disk or halo. Brown dwarfs population numbers probably follow those of stars, which explains why these fast-moving thick-disk/halo objects are only now being discovered.

There are thought to be as many as 70 billion brown dwarfs in the Galaxy's thin disk, and the thick disk and halo occupy much larger Galactic volumes. So even a small (3%) local population signifies a huge number of ancient brown dwarfs in the Galaxy. "These two brown dwarfs may be the tip of an iceberg and are an intriguing piece of astronomical archaeology," said Pinfield. "We have only been able to find these objects by searching for the faintest and coolest things possible with WISE. And by finding more of them we will gain insight into the earliest epoch of the history of the Galaxy."

Latest Technology, Nokia
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Android-powered Oppo R833T leaks

Oppo is en route to release a new affordable Android smartphone. Labeled as R833T, the handset is supposed to pack a 4.3" IPS screen of WVGA (480 x 800) resolution and cost around $160 placing it in strictly entry-level territory. The rest of the spec...
Latest Technology

Education-focused tablet by Nintendo in the works

According to several tweets published by Nintendo software engineer Nando Monterazo, the company is hard at work creating an Android tablet with a focus on education. Judging from his writings, the Android slate is going to be used by kids, who will get access to various educational games.

Those games, naturally, will have classic Nintendo characters in them. However, Monterazo points out that old-school Nintendo games won’t be coming to the upcoming tablet. NES, Super Nintendo, and Game Boy games will not be available for the unnamed Nintendo tablet, as “educational games only” will be the focus.

Monterazo’s tweets have since been removed.

With the Nintendo Wii U gaming console not reaching its sales goals and struggling to compete with Sony and Microsoft, a logical step for the company would be to turn its attention to Android and iOS. While the Android tablet hasn’t been confirmed by Nintendo, it’s likely the company is working on one.

Tablet sales are at an all time high are expected to continue their growth going into 2014.

Via | Source

Latest Technology

US-based online store sells tech for bitcoins only

Bitcoin is often written about but still most people have had no contact with it. A new online store BitcoinShop.US that just launched may finally start to change that. The store boasts 400 categories, among which are smartphones and accessories.

All phones – 202 at the time of this writing – are sold unlocked. Most of them seem to be from Sony and BLU, with a few Samsung, LG and HTC models.

If you’re one of the lucky people who have recently uncovered their long forgotten bitcoin wallets with coins bought on the cheap, this shop is a way to buy a shiny new Samsung Galaxy S4 for under a dollar.

If you haven’t bought or mined bitcoins though, the shop just makes things difficult. Bitcoin is very volatile – it was $200 recently, then jumped to $400 and for a short stint was $900, but is now dropping again.

So most phones cost 1 bitcoin or so, but that could have vastly different dollar values. This could be good or bad for the savvy buyer, but be careful – an 8GB Samsung Galaxy S (yes, the original) goes for almost as much as a Sony Xperia Z and the Xperia S costs as much as a Galaxy S4.

Anyway, if you’re one of those that bought thousands of bitcoins for 10 bucks, this store might be worthwhile as cashing out from bitcoins to dollars is a hassle. There’s free shipping for the continental US too.

Source

Latest Technology

Samsung giving away $50 Play Store credit to Galaxy Note 3 users

Samsung is offering a $50 Play Store credit for all the current and new owners of Galaxy Note 3 in the US. The promotion should help maintain the strong performance of the company’s phablet flagship during the holiday season.

All the Galaxy Note 3 owners, who purchase their device on or before January 6, will be eligible to claim the offer. You have to register your phone number, IMEI and a few other details with Samsung, before you redeem your $50 credit. With the Play Store credit you can download apps, movies, music, games, books, magazines and TV shows without having to pay anything.

If you are one of the existing Galaxy Note 3 users, then head on to the source link below to claim your voucher.

Source

Latest Technology

Samsung Galaxy Gear with discounted price tag up for grabs on eBay

Samsung has already sold 800,000 units of its Galaxy Gear smartwatch in just about two months. The gadget is one of the most expensive smartwatches in the market with the device retailing at $299 or €299.

Now, however, the Galaxy Gear is up for grabs with discounted price tag on eBay in Germany for €229 with worldwide shipping.

Head over here for the deal. There are additional colors available as well (Yellow, White/Silver, White/Gold). The shipping might cost you a few bucks depending on where you live, so make sure you go through the fine print before purchasing.

Meanwhile, if you want to learn more about the Samsung Galaxy Gear, then check out our detailed review.

Via

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