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Posted: 19 August 2007 at 11:29am | IP Logged
Nokia admits mobile battery issue
Mobile phone
More than 50 mobile phone models are affected
Nokia is offering to replace 46 million batteries for its mobile phones after reports of overheating while charging. The problems are confined to BL-5C batteries made by Matsushita between December 2005 and November 2006. More than 250 million BL-5C batteries made for Nokia by other manufacturers are not affected, the company said.

The mobile giant said there had been 100 reports of overheating, and that the problem battery had been used inside more than 50 different phones.

In a statement, the company said: "Nokia has identified that in very rare cases the affected batteries could potentially experience over heating initiated by a short circuit while charging, causing the battery to dislodge." ... more

Source: BBC

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~*Thamizhan*~

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Posted: 19 August 2007 at 11:31am | IP Logged
Tiny wind engines cool computers
Chips on computer circuit board
The idea is to create a breeze that wafts over computer chips
Minuscule wind engines could help to take computing power to the next level, scientists believe. US researchers have developed a prototype device that creates a "breeze" made up of charged particles, or ions, to cool computer chips. The "ionic wind", the scientists say, will help to manage the heat generated by increasingly powerful, yet ever-shrinking devices.

The research is to be published in the Journal of Applied Physics.

As computers grow increasingly powerful, computer chips are becoming more and more densely packed with transistors, the basic building blocks of microprocessors... more

Source: BBC

~*Thamizhan*~

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Posted: 19 August 2007 at 11:32am | IP Logged

An online tool that claims to reveal the identity of organisations that edit Wikipedia pages has revealed that the CIA was involved in editing entries.

Wikipedia Scanner allegedly shows that workers on the agency's computers made edits to the page of Iran's president. It also purportedly shows that the Vatican has edited entries about Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams.

The tool, developed by US researchers, trawls a list of 5.3m edits and matches them to the net address of the editor...more

Source: BBC

~*Thamizhan*~

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Posted: 19 August 2007 at 11:33am | IP Logged
Compact disc hits 25th birthday
CD hspace0
The compact disc was jointly developed by Philips and Sony

Exactly 25 years ago the world's first compact disc was produced at a Philips factory in Germany, sparking a global music revolution. More than 200 billion CDs have been sold worldwide since then and it remains the dominant format despite the growth in digital downloads. The CD was jointly developed by Philips and Sony and the disc has also become a key storage method for computer users.

The first CD produced was The Visitors by Abba.

Piet Kramer, who was a member of the optical group at Philips during the disc's development, said: "When Philips teamed up with Sony to develop the CD, our first target was to win over the world for the CD... more

Source: BBC 

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How the CD was developed
First worldwide presentation of the Philips CD Audio made by Joop Sinjou, Head of Philips CD-Lab founded 1978 on March 9th, 1979 Joop Sinjou
The CD is unveiled to the world in March 1979

The first compact disc was produced exactly 25 years ago in a factory in Germany after years of development by Philips and Sony. We take a look at the humble disc's history and how it shaped the music landscape.

The compact disc project was launched following Philips' failure with its video disc technology in 1978. The video disc was one of the first commercial products to take advantage of laser technology that could read information from a disc without any physical contact. Research into the video disc began as far back as 1969, and itself was inspired by Italian Antonio Rubbiani, who had demonstrated a rudimentary video disc system 12 years earlier. In 1970 Philips began work on what was called the ALP (audio long play) - an audio disc system to rival vinyl records, but using laser technology.

  • Lou Ottens, technical director of the audio division at Philips, was the first to suggest that the ALP be made smaller than the dominant vinyl format and should aim for one hour of music... more

    Source: BBC
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    Posted: 25 August 2007 at 5:09am | IP Logged
    Out-of-body experience recreated
    Out of body experience SPL
    Near-death events have triggered out-of-body experiences
    Experts have found a way to trigger an out-of-body experience in volunteers. The experiments, described in the Science journal, offer a scientific explanation for a phenomenon experienced by one in 10 people. Two teams used virtual reality goggles to con the brain into thinking the body was located elsewhere. The visual illusion plus the feel of their real bodies being touched made volunteers sense that they had moved outside of their physical bodies. The researchers say their findings could have practical applications, such as helping take video games to the next level of virtuality so the players feel as if they are actually inside the game. Clinically, surgeons might also be able to perform operations on patients thousands of miles away by controlling a robotic virtual self. Teleported For some, out-of-body experiences or OBEs occurs spontaneously, while for others it is linked to dangerous circumstances, a near-death experience, a dream-like state or use of alcohol or drugs.
    We feel that our self is located where the eyes are
    UCL researcher Dr Henrik Ehrsson
    One theory is that it is down to how people perceive their own body - those unhappy or less in touch with their body are more likely to have an OBE. But the two teams, from University College London, UK, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, believe there is a neurological explanation. Their work suggests a disconnection between the brain circuits that process visual and touch sensory information may thus be responsible for some OBEs. In the Swiss experiments, the researchers asked volunteers to stand in front of a camera while wearing video-display goggles.
    Graphic hspace0

    Through these goggles, the volunteers could see a camera view of their own back - a three-dimensional "virtual own body" that appeared to be standing in front of them. When the researchers stroked the back of the volunteer with a pen, the volunteer could see their virtual back being stroked either simultaneously or with a time lag. The volunteers reported that the sensation seemed to be caused by the pen on their virtual back, rather than their real back, making them feel as if the virtual body was their own rather than a hologram. Volunteers Even when the camera was switched to film the back of a mannequin being stroked rather than their own back, the volunteers still reported feeling as if the virtual mannequin body was their own. And when the researchers switched off the goggles, guided the volunteers back a few paces, and then asked them to walk back to where they had been standing, the volunteers overshot the target, returning nearer to the position of their "virtual self". Dr Henrik Ehrsson, who led the UCL research, used a similar set-up in his tests and found volunteers had a physiological response - increased skin sweating - when they felt their virtual self was being threatened - appearing to be hit with a hammer. Dr Ehrsson said: "This experiment suggests that the first-person visual perspective is critically important for the in-body experience. In other words, we feel that our self is located where the eyes are."

    Dr Susan Blackmore, psychologist and visiting lecturer at the University of the West of England, said: "This has at last brought OBEs into the lab and tested one of the main theories of how they occur.

    "Scientists have long suspected that the clue to these extraordinary, and sometimes life-changing, experiences lies in disrupting our normal illusion of being a self behind our eyes, and replacing it with a new viewpoint from above or behind."

    source: BBC News

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    Posted: 25 August 2007 at 5:10am | IP Logged
    Planet Uranus rings the changes
    A series of images reveals the rings' changing structure

    More details
    Astronomers have captured remarkable new images of the rings of Uranus. The rings are currently edge-on to Earth, in an event that only happens every 42 years. A team, led by Imke de Pater from University of California, Berkeley, US, has analysed the rings' structure, with some surprising results. The group tells the journal Science their images show that the rings are changing much more quickly than researchers had previously believed. The study compares pictures of the rings obtained in May with data gathered over the last seven years. The edge-on perspective is considered favourable for seeing particular features in the rings. It makes the outer rings that contain centimetre- to metre-sized rocks seem dimmer as they obscure each other; but those that are normally almost transparent layers of dust become more visible as the material merges into a thin band along the line of sight. Astronomers can also look for other properties not measurable from other angles, like warps or waves in the ring structure, the thickness of different rings and their inclination and orientation. Clearer view The research team has been using an infrared camera on Hawaii's Keck II telescope to make its observations. The group also employed the telescope's adaptive optics system which corrects the distortions introduced into images by the Earth's turbulent atmosphere.
    This edge-on event is the first since the rings' discovery in 1977

    More details
    The pictures show the nearly edge-on rings appearing as a bright line bisecting a dim Uranus, which appears dark in the infrared. "The improvements to the adaptive optics systems allowed us to capture unbelievably crisp images of Uranus," said Marcos van Dam from the W. M. Keck Observatory. The images revealed that the inner rings of micron-sized dust have changed significantly since the Voyager 2 spacecraft photographed the Uranus system 21 years ago. Today the inner rings are much more prominent than expected. "People tend to think of the rings as unchanging, but our observations show that not to be the case," said Dr de Pater. "There are a lot of forces acting on small dust grains, so it is not that crazy to find that the arrangement of rings has changed." From orbit The Hubble Space Telescope also imaged Uranus earlier this month. Scientists hope this data could expose some of Uranus' small moons. There is even a chance that some previously unknown moons will be discovered.
    URANUS - THE SEVENTH PLANET
    Uranus and its rings Image: Nasa
    It was discovered in 1781 by astronomer William Herschel
    The first planet to be found with the aid of a telescope
    Uranus takes 84 years to complete an orbit of the Sun
    One of the gas giants - like Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune
    "Two little satellites called Cordelia and Ophelia straddle the brightest ring, the epsilon ring, and keep it in place, but people have always assumed there must be a bunch more of these satellites that are confining the nine other narrow rings," said Mark Showalter from the Seti Institute in California. "This is the unique viewing geometry that only comes along once in 42 years, when we have a chance of imaging these tiny satellites, because normally they are lost in the glare of the rings. Now, the rings are essentially invisible."

    The research team will be continuing to gather data over the next few months.

    The group is waiting for the Uranus equinox, which occurs in December. At this time, the planet's rings are edge-on to the Sun, and the position of the Earth will allow astronomers to see the rings at a steep angle with no glare from our star.

    Source: BBC News

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