|Ken Novak's Weblog
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Wednesday, April 28, 2004
Printer Writes Micro 3D Objects: "University of Illinois researchers have come up with a new type of quick-setting three-dimensional ink that works a bit like a microscopic tube of toothpaste. The researchers' printer robotically deposits a continuous, elastic-like ink filament into a liquid rather than putting ink drops onto a surface.
The filament hardens in the liquid rapidly enough to allow for printing three-dimensional structures that have features like unsupported spanning elements. The process yields complete three-dimensional structures in about five minutes, and provides resolutions that are close to two orders of magnitude finer than existing methods, according to the researchers. The researchers' prototype has nozzles that vary in diameter from five microns to 0.5 microns. A micron is one thousandth of a millimeter.
Because the resolution is so high, the process has the potential to produce templates for structured materials, like photonic band gap materials used to control light, microfluidic devices used for biological and chemical testing, and bioscaffolds for tissue engineering." 11:08:26 PM
: After the Madrid bombings, "the rule of law in Spain has not been suspended, there appears complete transparency in the arrests and detention of suspects, and no general “war” was declared or “Guantanamos” set up. Surely the Spaniards are as terrified as Americans were on that tragic day in September 2001 and their primal urge to retaliate is as strong. But in an exemplary demonstration of how democracies should operate in emergencies, Spaniards have conducted themselves—as Palacio had said they would—with the penal code in one hand and laws and procedures in the other.
The 25 countries of the European Union, meeting on March 21, 2004, barely two weeks after the terrorist attacks in Madrid, appointed a terrorism-czar to coordinate the European anti-terrorism efforts. But they made clear that Europe's heightened efforts to combat terrorism would not dilute their democratic institutions and free societies. "Europe is not at war
," Javier Solana, the European Union's foreign policy czar told Germany's Bild am Sonntag newspaper. "We must oppose terrorism energetically, but we must not change our way of life. We are democrats who love freedom." " 6:18:23 PM
Send Jobs to India? Some Find It's Not Always Best
: Examples when programming work was returned the US after trying India. "Indian programmers required more detailed instructions to write the software code than would a programmer here, who would be more familiar with the customer's needs. This slowed the process, which was a major drawback because this technology is new and changing very fast. .. "Whenever the pace of innovation is very rapid," he said, "is when the work should be done closer to the client." .. [India's] Infosys announced that it would spend $20 million to set up a consulting company in the United States." 5:22:48 PM
Nano-Hive: Nanospace Simulator:
"Nano-Hive is a modular simulator used for modeling the physical world at a nanometer scale. The intended purpose of the simulator is to act as a tool for the study and development of nanotech entities." Version 1
is for a single-user desktop, version 2 is planned to be distributed, possibly using Globus. 8:59:02 AM
China grows solar-cell production
: "Mainland China will enter the top 5 countries with the largest output of solar cells next year.. The total capacity of the mainland's solar-cell industry doubled to 30MW last year.. [forecasting] 60MW this year.
Of over 30 solar-cell manufacturers in the mainland, about 6 have large-scale operations. .. The central government has allocated Rmb10 billion ($1.21 billion at Rmb8.28:$1) for the adoption of solar and wind energy for power generation in remote areas of West China. ..
At present, local solar cell manufacturers focus on improving the efficiency of their solar cells. The converting efficiency of Suntech Power's mono- and polycrystalline silicon solar cells range between 16 to 16.5 percent and 15 to 15.5 percent, respectively. Guan says the company plans to upgrade efficiency by 1 percent annually in the next several years." 7:30:57 AM
Internet-based Distributed Computing Projects: Directories of active and completed projects. Among them is a designer for circuits with Built-In Self-Test (BIST), such as ones used in space or medical applications where reliability and fault detection are critical. It uses Genetic Algorithms (GA) and Evolutionary Strategies (ES) to derive and simulate alternate designs. 6:43:27 AM